Pollution

HSBC to curb palm oil lending, review oil sands

Environmental concerns have caused HSBC to scale back lending to forestry schemes in Malaysia and Indonesia and review links with Canadian oil sands, the British company told Reuters. HSBC will cut ties with a third of forestry clients such as palm oil, soy and timber companies, operating in countries where illegal logging and social conflicts are a problem, including Malaysia and Indonesia, the bank said.

Soot darkens ice, stokes runaway Arctic melt: study
December 3, 2008 08:50 AM - Reuters

POZNAN, Poland (Reuters) - Soot is darkening ice in the Arctic and speeding a melt that could make the ocean around the North Pole ice-free in summer well before 2050, experts said on Tuesday. The experts said the fight against warming in the Arctic should be re-directed to focus more on cutting the industrial pollution from soot, ozone and methane in Europe, North America and Russia to try to prevent the ice disappearing.

MIT: A quicker, easier way to make coal cleaner
December 2, 2008 09:32 AM - Massachusetts Institute of Technology

WASHINGTON, DC--Construction of new coal-fired power plants in the United States is in danger of coming to a standstill, partly due to the high cost of the requirement — whether existing or anticipated — to capture all emissions of carbon dioxide, an important greenhouse gas. But an MIT analysis suggests an intermediate step that could get construction moving again, allowing the nation to fend off growing electricity shortages using our most-abundant, least-expensive fuel while also reducing emissions.

EU agrees to cut car emissions in climate fight
December 2, 2008 08:40 AM - Reuters

European carmakers must cut global-warming gases from new vehicles by 18 percent within the next six years, the EU agreed on Monday, after a long battle between environmentalists and an industry facing tough times. "This deal represents a balance between the needs of the environment and the car industry across Europe, which is suffering massively at the moment," British Conservative lawmaker Martin Callanan told Reuters late on Monday.

Green taxes need explaining or risk backlash: study
November 28, 2008 09:49 AM - Reuters

OSLO (Reuters) - Governments must do a better job of explaining environmental taxes such as charges on driving in cities or higher electricity bills or risk a public backlash, a study showed on Friday.

White House Prods Allies to Oppose Limits on Greenhouse Gases
November 26, 2008 09:27 AM - Washington Post

As the Bush administration prepares to issue its ruling on whether to limit greenhouse gases, it's sending out a message to some of its allies: Tell us how much you don't want us to regulate emissions linked to global warming.

Little gain from oil sands carbon capture - report

Canada's government saw only limited opportunities to cut greenhouse gas emissions from the oil sands using carbon capture and storage technology, according to briefing notes obtained by a Canadian media. The notes, prepared by a carbon capture task force, were used by Canadian federal and provincial politicians and were obtained by the Canadian Broadcasting Corp, which said it requested them under freedom of information legislation.

Harvard urges rich nations to cut emissions first
November 24, 2008 09:53 AM - http://www.guardian.co.uk

LONDON, Nov 24 (Reuters) - Rich nations should make the first cuts in greenhouse gases while developing countries carry on business-as-usual for the time being, according to a report published on Monday by Harvard University. This is among proposals by the American university's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs to negotiators who meet for U.N. climate talks next week in Poland. The current climate pact, the Kyoto Protocol, expires in 2012 and governments are scrambling to agree a new treaty by the end of next year.

Putting a green cap on garbage dumps
November 24, 2008 09:39 AM - Inderscience Publishers

Landfill sites produce the greenhouse gases, methane and carbon dioxide, as putrescible waste decays. Growing plants and trees on top of a landfill, a process known as 'Phytocapping', could reduce the production and release of these gases, according to Australian scientists writing in a forthcoming issue of International Journal of Environmental Technology and Management.

Trees for kids: Indonesia's way of beating global warming
November 24, 2008 08:21 AM - Reuters

JAKARTA (Reuters) - An Indonesian city battling the effects of deforestation has come up with a novel way of tackling the problem. Would-be families must plant a tree. "Everyone who wants to get married or apply for a birth certificate must plant a tree," Syahrum Syah Setia, the head of Balikpapan city's Environmental Impact Management Agency, said.

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