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International airlines have agreed for the first time to global curbs on their greenhouse gas emissions – but fell well short of the measures to combat climate change that green campaigners had demanded – they did not agree to a global limit on greenhouse gas emissions from air travel, or detail how governments should implement a market-based mechanism to cover all airlines.
Pricing carbon to reduce emissions and tackle global warming is moribund in Congress for now, but not elsewhere. A new World Bank report finds that more than 40 national governments and 20 sub-national governments have either put in place carbon-pricing schemes or are planning one for the years ahead.
In China, transport-based GHG emissions are expected to four-fold increase from 2004 to 2030, mainly due to rising demand for road freight transport. A GEF/World Bank project supports the demonstrations of green trucks, a more efficient model of freight transport that can contribute to reducing GHG emissions and to improving air quality.
The rise in the surface temperature of earth has been markedly slower over the last 15 years than in the 20 years before that. That lull in warming has occurred as greenhouse gases have accumulated in the atmosphere at a record pace. This current plateau will end at some point, and a new era of rapid global warming will begin.
They assembled on the 40th floor of the tallest building in Seattle last week, the ex-Mexican president and the businessman who wants to be known as the Bill Gates of Bud. On the table: a pie bigger than the sky. It would involve drugs, suppliers and retailers, and laser-targeted marketing for buyers willing to pay a premium.
Food waste in America is a problem that has grown by 50 percent since the 1970s. Today, as much as 40 percent of food produced in America is thrown away. Decomposing food releases methane, a greenhouse gas that is more than 20 times as effective at trapping atmospheric heat than carbon.
A team of genetic engineers reports it has developed an inexpensive process that uses fungus to convert raw materials such as straw and sawdust into a productive biofuel. The previous process was prohibitively expensive since the molecular switch required stimulation from a pure substance worth 60 times more than gold.
Climate change has been a key factor in the rise and fall of societies and states from prehistory to the recent fighting in the Sudanese state of Darfur. The ways in which cultures have met the climate challenge provide object lessons for how the modern world can handle the new security threats posed by unprecedented global warming.
On recycling in New York City, Mayor Michael Bloomberg has come a long way. 11 years ago, Mr. Bloomberg eliminated a major chunk of the city’s recycling program to save money. He has since been working hard to restore the city’s recycling program to its pre-2002 levels.
Green Depot is the nation’s leading supplier of environmentally friendly building products, services and home solutions. Green Depot’s mission is to make green building products readily accessible, affordable and gratifying so that sustainable practices can easily be adopted into standard construction operations.
Over the past 15 years air temperatures at the Earth’s surface have been flat while greenhouse-gas emissions have continued to soar and yet the five-year mean global temperature has been flat for a decade. Despite all the work on sensitivity, no one really knows how the climate would react if temperatures rose by as much as 4°C. Hardly reassuring.
Some carmakers try harder than others to be green. Besides making their models cleaner to run, many carmakers are also trying to reduce the environmental impact of manufacturing them. Having been depicted as environmental villains since the 1950s, cars and their makers may soon be able to move out of the spotlight.
For consumers, homebuilders, and companies that want to feel confident that their buildings are made with environmentally friendly materials, it can be hard to know what building materials to use. Seizing on this lack of information in the market, and consumer interest in sustainability, Sarah Beatty started Green Depot.
To run his coal trains, Buffet needs to seize land from a bunch of Montana cowboys. The coal industry will ignore global warming. But a federal agency charged with weighing the environmental consequences of a coal-carrying railroad should do better. So should America’s most admired investor.
Without nitrogen, the machinery of photosynthesis cannot function. Corn, wheat, and rice, the crops on which humanity depends for survival, are among the most nitrogen hungry of all plants. Yet, runaway nitrogen is suffocating wildlife in lakes and estuaries, contaminating groundwater, and even warming the globe’s climate.
A line of Mini Coopers, each attached to the regional power grid by a thick cable plugged in where a gasoline filler pipe used to be, no longer just draws energy. The power now flows two ways between the cars and the electric grid, as the cars inject and suck power in tiny jolts, and get paid for it.
The solar era has begun: the industry is booming, prices are dropping, and solar energy at last seems poised to help topple the climate-altering dominance of fossil fuels. But bringing it to the masses won’t be as simple as just soaking up the sun. Electric companies and solar developers are watching Hawaii.
Why pay through the nose for something when you can rent it more cheaply from a stranger online? That is the principle behind a range of online services that enable people to share cars, accommodation, bicycles, household appliances and other items, connecting owners of underused assets with others willing to pay to use them.
Patagonia wants to be in business for a good long time, and a healthy planet is necessary for a healthy business. We want to leave behind not only a habitable planet, but an Earth whose beauty and biodiversity is protected for those who come after us. We think that business can inspire solutions to the environmental crisis.
The World Resources Institute focuses on the intersection of the environment and socio-economic development. We go beyond research to put ideas into action, working globally with governments, business, and civil society to build transformative solutions that protect the earth and improve people’s lives.
President Barack Obama’s promise to attack climate change is likely to light a fire under federal agencies slow to comply with a mandate to cut energy use – which could be very good news for companies that specialize in systems that save power. Major efficiency companies have been working to develop project proposals.
The International Renewable Energy Agency is an intergovernmental organisation that supports countries in their transition to a sustainable energy future, and serves as the principal platform for international cooperation, and a repository of policy, technology, resource and financial knowledge on renewable energy.
If EU policies work as intended, electricity from renewables will gradually take a larger share of overall generation. But at the moment, EU energy policy is boosting usage of the most polluting fuel, increasing carbon emissions, damaging the creditworthiness of utilities and diverting investment into energy projects elsewhere.
Chicago claims to have the densest network of charging stations for electric vehicles, and to be home to more wind-farm companies than any city in America. The state is spending up to $3.2 billion on modernising the electrical grid in Illinois. It has also put aside $72.5m to invest in new smart-grid technology.
Russia has coasted on an oil legacy inherited from Soviet days. Much of the oil still in the ground will be more difficult and costly to find and produce. As expenses go up, profit margins will decline. At the same time, the oil industry will have to spend more of its remaining profits on its own renewal.
Far beneath the ground, Yasuní, Ecuador, harbors a treasure that poses an urgent challenge to the precious web of life on the surface: hundreds of millions of barrels of untapped Amazon crude. President Rafael Correa has offered to leave indefinitely untouched an estimated 850 million barrels of oil, but the international response to the initiative has been tepid.
2012 was the hottest year ever recorded in the contiguous United States. 34,008 daily high records were set at weather stations across the country. 10 warmest years on record all fell within the past 15 years. 11 disasters in 2012 have exceeded $1 billion in damages, with Hurricane Sandy likely to exceed $60bn.
Industrial ecology (IE) is the study of material and energy flows through industrial systems. It is concerned with the shifting of industrial process from linear (open loop) systems, in which resource and capital investments move through the system to become waste, to a closed loop system where wastes can become inputs for new processes.
RealClimate is a commentary site on climate science by working climate scientists for the interested public and journalists. Real Climate aims to provide a quick response to developing stories and provide the context sometimes missing in mainstream commentary.
TRAFFIC is a wildlife trade monitoring network that works to ensure that trade in wild plants and animals does not threaten the conservation of nature. TRAFFIC is a global research-driven and action-oriented network committed to delivering innovative and practical conservation solutions.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature focuses on conserving biodiversity. IUCN demonstrates how biodiversity is fundamental to some of the world’s greatest challenges: climate change, sustainable energy, human well-being and building a green economy.
The objective of the UNEP-led Green Economy Initiative is to provide the analysis and policy support, through components including the Green Economy Report, advisory services, and research, for investing in green sectors and in greening environmental unfriendly sectors.
Pavan Sukhdev is McCluskey Fellow at Yale University. Building on 25 years of financial markets experience, his work is focused in showing how corporations and society can and should work together to achieve common goals and build a green economy.
Tim Jackson currently serves as the economics commissioner on the UK government’s Sustainable Development Commission and is director of RESOLVE, an inter-disciplinary collaboration aiming to develop an understanding of the links between lifestyle, societal values and the environment.
Jared Diamond is a professor of geography and physiology at the University of California, a MacArthur Fellow, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Medal of Science. He is author of the books: Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies; and Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed.
Sir Martin Rees is the UK’s Astronomer Royal, Master of Trinity College, and Emeritus Prof. of Cosmology and Astrophysics at the University of Cambridge. He is the author of the book: Our Final Hour: How Terror, Error, and Environmental Disaster Threaten Humankind’s Future In This Century.
Biologist Edward O. Wilson is University Research Professor Emeritus at Harvard University, and author of the books: The Creation: An Appeal to Save Life on Earth; The Future of Life; and The Diversity of Life, which describes how man is in the process of causing the “sixth extinction”.
Daniel Kahneman is the Eugene Higgins Professor of Psychology Emeritus, and Professor of Psychology and Public Affairs Emeritus, at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University, and author of the book, “Thinking Fast and Slow”.
The OECD’s environmental research covers topics such as: Biodiversity, Water, and Natural Resource Management; Climate Change; Consumption and Innovation; and Sustainable Development. OECD works on ecosystem services valuation, and creation of economic incentives and markets…
Frog works with the world’s leading companies, helping them to design, engineer, and bring to market meaningful products and services. Frog’s inter-disciplinary team delivers connected experiences that span multiple technologies, platforms, and media, for a broad spectrum of industries.
The Government Accountability Office provides public access to its wide-ranging research related to Energy. Covered topics include nuclear regulation, energy conservation and climate change, renewable energy, oil and gas, defense infrastructure, biofuels, and energy policy.
The Government Accountability Office provides public access to its wide-ranging research related to Business Regulation and Consumer Protection. Covered topics include Securities Regulation, Product Safety, Federal Antitrust Policy, and Healthcare Price Transparency.
The Congressional Budget Office analyzes proposed policies for limiting damage resulting from pollution that affects the atmosphere, land, and water resources. Of particular concern are the increasingly large quantities of greenhouse gases that are being emitted as a result of human activities.