Pollution

Investors pledge $10 billion for renewable energy
February 15, 2008 09:42 AM - Reuters

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - U.S. institutional investors pledged at a U.N. summit on Thursday to invest $10 billion over two years in technologies that aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to pressure companies to disclose their risks associated with climate change. The plan "reflects the many investment opportunities that exist today to put a dent in global warming pollution, build profits and benefit the global economy," said Mindy Lubber, the president of Ceres, a coalition of investors and environmental leaders, and director of the Investor Network on Climate Risk.

Energy taxes in Italy seen falling as CO2 rises
February 15, 2008 09:41 AM - Reuters

ROME (Reuters) - Taxes on energy in Italy have fallen by almost a quarter in the last decade while greenhouse gas emissions have soared, environmental group Legambiente said on Friday, calling for greater action against climate change. In its annual report on the state of the environment, Italy's leading green group said successive Italian governments had failed to discourage growing energy consumption or encourage renewable power such as wind and solar.

U.S. moving toward ban on new coal-fired power plants
February 15, 2008 09:39 AM - Lester Brown, Earth Policy Institute

In a report compiled in early 2007, the U.S. Department of Energy listed 151 coal-fired power plants in the planning stages and talked about a resurgence in coal-fired electricity. But during 2007, 59 proposed U.S. coal-fired power plants were either refused licenses by state governments or quietly abandoned. In addition to the 59 plants that were dropped, close to 50 more coal plants are being contested in the courts, and the remaining plants will likely be challenged as they reach the permitting stage.

“Green Economics”: Turning Mainstream Thinking on Its Head
February 15, 2008 09:28 AM - , Worldwatch Institute

A few years ago, a homeowner in Las Vegas—a place that gets maybe five inches of rainfall a year—was confronted by a water district inspector for running an illegal sprinkler in the middle of the day. The man became very angry. He said, “You people and all your stupid rules—you’re trying to turn this place into a desert!” Ideas about how the world works that don’t accord with reality can be unhelpful. That’s especially true about mainstream economics, which is based in part on ideas that made a lot of sense at some point in the last 250 years but that have outlived their time and usefulness.

Beijing to clean up gas stations before Olympics
February 15, 2008 06:44 AM - Reuters

BEIJING (Reuters) - Beijing plans to shut down 144 petrol stations by the end of May, about 10 percent of the city's total, to help clean up its air before the August Olympic games, state media reported on Friday. These gas stations, and nine oil depots, are mostly owned by China's state oil major Sinopec and by CNPC, the official Xinhua News Agency reported, citing the city's environmental authority.

Shoppers fret more over food packaging waste: poll
February 14, 2008 08:09 AM - Reuters

OSLO (Reuters) - Wasteful food packaging is among the fastest-growing environmental concerns for shoppers worldwide with New Zealanders most willing to cut back, a poll showed on Thursday. The Internet-based survey in 48 nations, by the Nielsen Company, indicated that 40 percent of respondents were "very concerned" by trash from food packaging in November 2007 against just 31 percent in the previous poll in May 2007.

Germany says won't meet carbon permits deadline
February 14, 2008 05:52 AM - Reuters

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Germany will probably miss a February deadline to issue carbon emissions permits to its industry under the next phase of Europe's carbon trading scheme from 2008-12, a carbon registry spokeswoman said. Reuters reported earlier this week that Hungary would not meet the end-February deadline to issue carbon emission permits, called European Union Allowances (EUAs).

U.N. urges Japan to push for G8 emissions targets
February 14, 2008 04:07 AM - Reuters

TOKYO (Reuters) - The United Nations' top climate change official on Thursday called on Tokyo to push for ambitious midterm emissions targets at the G8 summit to be held in northern Japan in July. Yvo de Boer, in Tokyo for an official level climate change conference, told reporters that Japan faces the task of reaching a consensus among industrialized countries on 2020 targets for reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

Nobel winner urges oil execs to help cut emissions
February 13, 2008 09:37 AM - Reuters

HOUSTON (Reuters) - Rajendra Pachauri said he thought he was "walking into the lion's den" on Tuesday when he told oil executives they need to take a lead in cutting greenhouse gas emissions in order to save the earth. Pachauri, chairman of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with former Vice President Al Gore, said the oil industry has been both lion and lamb when it comes to seeing the need to cut greenhouse gas emissions to prevent global warming.

Sulphuric acid spill pollutes China river
February 13, 2008 09:15 AM - Reuters

BEIJING (Reuters) - A Chinese tanker truck carrying more than 30 metric tons of sulphuric acid has crashed in southwest China, spilling its load into a river and causing "serious pollution," state media said on Wednesday. The accident occurred on Tuesday, the last day of the Lunar New Year holiday, when the truck ran into the guard rail on a highway linking Anning and Chuxiong in the mountainous province of Yunnan, Xinhua news agency said.

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