Pollution

Court ruling due in Total French oil spill trial
January 14, 2008 12:50 PM - Reuters

PARIS (Reuters) - A French court is due to deliver a ruling on Wednesday on the 1999 sinking of the tanker Erika, a case in which oil giant Total is accused of responsibility for one of France's worst environmental disasters. Total, which chartered the tanker, has denied responsibility for a spill that poured 20,000 tons of toxic fuel oil into the sea, polluted 400 km (250 miles) of coastline and killed tens of thousands of sea birds.

Abu Dhabi unveil plans for sustainable city
January 14, 2008 09:24 AM - WWF

WWF and the government of Abu Dhabi today launched a Sustainability Strategy to deliver the world’s greenest city. Masdar City will be the world’s first zero-carbon, zero-waste, car-free city, meeting or exceeding a set of stringent sustainability goals established under the “One Planet Living™”ť programme established by WWF and environmental consultancy BioRegional.

Neapolitan couple seek Swiss refuge from refuse
January 14, 2008 08:30 AM - Reuters

An Italian couple from Naples have applied for asylum in Switzerland, saying toxic waste dumped around the city poses a health risk to their unborn child. Piles of trash have lined the streets of Naples since waste collection stopped before Christmas after dumps in the region were declared full. The crisis has led to protests.

Russian oil spill threatens drinking water
January 11, 2008 11:18 AM - Reuters

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian volunteers on Friday scooped dead ducks out of a river outside Moscow polluted by an oil spill from a nearby power plant that is threatening to spread and contaminate drinking water. The oil leaked into the River Dulov on Sunday. Conservation group WWF said the spill measured around 500 tonnes and accused authorities of playing down its size and being slow to respond.

Ocean Fertilization 'Fix' For Global Warming Discredited By New Research

Research performed at Stanford and Oregon State Universities suggests that ocean fertilization may not be an effective method of reducing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, a major contributor to global warming. Ocean fertilization, the process of adding iron or other nutrients to the ocean to cause large algal blooms, has been proposed as a possible solution to global warming because the growing algae absorb carbon dioxide as they grow.

California agency presses EPA on ship exhaust
January 10, 2008 10:35 PM - Reuters

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A Los Angeles-area air quality agency on Thursday petitioned the Environmental Protection Agency to immediately set tougher standards on global-warming pollutants for ocean vessels calling on U.S. ports.

Cell Phone Recycling is an Easy Call
January 10, 2008 01:35 PM - Environmental Protection Agency

(Washington, D.C. - Jan. 8, 2008) The nation's leading cell phone makers, service providers, and retailers have teamed up with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to answer America's call for easy cell phone recycling. As part of EPA's Plug-In to eCycling program, partners supporting the cell phone recycling campaign include AT&T Wireless, Best Buy, LG Electronics, Motorola, Nokia, Office Depot, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, Sprint, Staples, and T-Mobile.

China Bans the Use of Plastic Bags
January 10, 2008 10:34 AM - , Triple Pundit

China announced this week that production and use of plastic bags in supermarkets and retail shops will be banned beginning June 1. This new law could have a considerably positive environmental impact, given that Chinese citizens "use as many as 3 billion plastic bags a day." The law is part of a larger campaign to fight "white pollution" in China, which includes other forms of rampant plastic and styrofoam use as well. This bold and surprising move demonstrates that the Chinese government is starting to take pollution concerns seriously. While a few city governments here in the U.S. have passed (San Francisco) or are considering passing similar legislation (New York), it is refreshing to see a national government as powerful and influential as the China make such a decision.

Hungary says new CO2 plan to curb windfall profits
January 10, 2008 08:04 AM - Reuters

Hungary's new greenhouse gas emissions plan for 2008-12 will clamp down on windfall profits generated at some firms in the previous allocation period due to oversupply of pollution permits, a ministry official said. Hungary's government seeks to pass a decree on the revised carbon dioxide (CO2) limits under the EU's emissions trading scheme next month after the European Commission cut its proposal by 12.4 percent to 26.9 million tons a year for 2008-12.

Sub-Saharan Africa: The Population Emergency

The report of a demographic study, coordinated by the Centre Population et Développement (CEPED), commissioned by the Agence Française de Développement (AFD), was published recently. The work was performed by a joint team involving scientists from the IRD and specialist academics from Belgium, Cameroon, France and the Ivory Coast (2). They examined the recent and projected future population trends in Sub-Saharan Africa and the relationships between these tendencies and the development of the region. This review effectively demolished some generally accepted ideas, in particular the one that Sub-Saharan Africa is underpopulated.

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