Category Archives: general

Brazilian forest conservationist Silva wins Norway prize

Reuters: Brazilian senator and former environment minister Marina Silva won Norway’s $100,000 Sophie Prize for her work to protect the Amazon rainforest, the prize foundation announced on Wednesday. The Sophie Prize is awarded annually for environmental protection and sustainable development. It was set up in 1997 by Norwegian author Jostein Gaarder and is named after the main character of his book "Sophie’s World." Silva, who was environment minister in 2003-2008, clamped down on …

United Kingdom: NGOs slam emissions trading policy

Business Green: The EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) is in urgent need of tighter caps on carbon emissions if it is to deliver even modest reductions in Europe’s long-term carbon footprint, NGOs warned the Environmental Audit Committee yesterday. The scheme — which puts a cap on the amount of carbon dioxide firms are allowed emit and requires them to purchase carbon allowances to cover emissions above that cap, in Europe — has been heavily criticised in recent months as falling levels of …

Germany clears way for climate change hope CCS

Agence France-Presse: The German government cleared the way on Wednesday for pilot projects to test the viability of siphoning off carbon dioxide churned out by coal power stations and storing it deep underground. The technology, known as Carbon Storage and Sequestration (CCS), aims to store the CO2 in geological chambers such as disused oilfields, rather than letting it escape into the atmosphere where it contributes to global warming. Supporters say that with the large majority of the world’s …

United Kingdom: Boris Johnson to slash London environmental team in half

Business Green: The team in charge of London’s bid to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase recycling and biodiversity is to be cut in half in a major shake-up that calls into question the commitment to the environment of the mayor, Boris Johnson. Leaked documents seen by The Guardian show that the Greater London Authority plans to reduce the total number of 40 staff working on environmental issues in the capital to 20. The cuts will reduce the climate change and energy team from 10 to three, …

Study finds 6,000 rare Irrawaddy dolphins off Bangladesh

Independent: Thousands of rare Irrawaddy dolphins have been found in Bangladeshi waters, a wildlife advocacy group said today, a hopeful sign for a vulnerable species found only in small numbers elsewhere. However, the newly discovered population is already threatened by climate change and fishing nets, the New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society said. Nearly 6,000 Irrawaddy dolphins, which are related to orcas or killer whales, were found living in freshwater regions of Bangladesh’s …

Australia: Concerns for jarrah welcomed

West Australian: Green groups have welcomed calls for more scrutiny of climate change effects on WA’s eastern jarrah forests. Conservation Commission chairman John Bailey raised the possibility of more logging curbs in releasing the forest watchdog’s audit of the 2004-13 forest management plan on Monday. The report called for renewed focus on the eastern jarrah forest around Dwellingup and Collie because of the commission’s fears that declining rainfall was slowing …

Rich urged to make deeper CO2 cuts

Reuters: China, India and other developing nations joined forces on Wednesday to urge rich countries to make far deeper cuts in greenhouse gas emissions than planned by 2020 to slow global warming. Many developing states at 175-country talks in Bonn, working on a new U.N. climate pact, urged the rich to cut emissions by "at least 40 percent" below 1990 levels by 2020 to confront what they said were worsening signs of climate change. The calls, part of negotiations on a new U.N. climate …

United Kingdom: Tesco tells shoppers: too much packaging? Leave it with us

Guardian: Tesco is to encourage customers to discard unwanted and excessive packaging near the tills, in an experiment along the lines of a similar "take-back" scheme in Germany. The supermarket chain has already cut back on what it regards as "wasteful" packaging, such as bulky dog food bags and unnecessary plastic wrapping on food. A regional trial will now try to find out which kinds of packaging consumers are prepared to do without. Common customer gripes include the amount of plastic, …

U.S. needs another year to test higher ethanol blend

Reuters: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said on Wednesday it will take another year to complete government testing on whether higher levels of ethanol can be blended into gasoline without harming engines. Ethanol is now approved to make up 10 percent of gasoline in cars and trucks. Producers are pushing the government to allow higher ethanol blend levels, as more ethanol will be required each year under federal law. Congress required 9 billion gallons of ethanol and other …

U.S. says climate plans do not signal protectionism

Reuters: U.S. plans to step up the fight against climate change and revive the economy will not mean a slide toward protectionism, Washington’s delegation told United Nations climate talks on Wednesday. Developing nations at the 175-nation U.N. meeting in Bonn say that exports, of everything from Chinese steel to African flowers, would suffer if rich states put up import barriers to penalize their emissions from burning fossil fuels. "We certainly do not see it that way," U.S. deputy …