Biomass-burning 'behind Asian brown clouds'
January 26, 2009 11:06 AM - SciDev.Net

[NEW DELHI] Burning biomass is the main cause of the dense 'brown clouds' that plague South Asia each winter, and both biomass and fossil fuel burning should be targeted to combat climate change and improve air quality. These are the conclusions of a study published today (23 January) in Science. The study, conducted at two sites in South Asia, attempted to find the main source of the carbon soot particles that comprise much of the clouds.

Pitching Reusable Packing - Is the RPA Missing the Point?
January 23, 2009 07:56 AM - Triple Pundit

Obama-mania is sweeping the nation and concern for the environment, seeping into our collective conscience, is increasingly less likely to be perceived as the hobbyhorse of the liberal elite. As this surge of enthusiasm converges with recession it presents an opportunity for savvy marketing. The reusable packaging industry, as represented by the Reusable Packaging Association (RPA), is doing just that. RPA Board Chairman Bob Klimko claims, “The time is ripe for businesses to embrace the concept of reuse and to realize its potential to help them reach their sustainability objectives while strengthening their own companies through cost savings and improved efficiencies.”

EU wants "zero-waste, zero-emission" goal for ships
January 22, 2009 08:56 AM - wbcsd.org/

ENDS Europe Daily, 21 January 2009 - The European commission has issued a plan to increase the competitiveness of the EU maritime sector and improve its environmental performance by 2018. The plan is also intended to meet objectives in other sectors such as energy and road transport. The commission calls for an ambitious long-term "zero-waste, zero-emission" goal for the maritime sector. It reaffirmed its intention to table draft legislation to cut greenhouse gas emissions from ships if world governments failed to agree global reductions this year.

UN aviation agency presses global emissions trading plan
January 19, 2009 09:06 AM - Gulf News

Tokyo: The UN's aviation agency is pressing on with developing the framework for a global emissions trading scheme despite a growing number of regional and national schemes, a top official for the group said on Friday. Emissions from international aviation fall outside reduction commitments of the Kyoto Protocol but will be part of a new and broader UN climate pact that about 190 nations will try to agree at the end of the year.

Time Running Out for Steep Emissions Cuts
January 19, 2009 08:46 AM - Worldwatch Institute

Washington, D.C.-The world will have to reduce emissions more drastically than has been widely predicted, essentially ending the emission of carbon dioxide by 2050 to avoid catastrophic disruption to the world's climate, according to State of the World 2009: Into a Warming World, released today by the Worldwatch Institute. Yet opportunities abound in renewable energy and efficiency improvements, agriculture and forestry, and the resilience of societies for slowing and managing climate change, according to the book's 47 authors.

11 states agree to work together to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from vehicle fuels
January 14, 2009 08:05 AM - Harvard University Kennedy School of Government

Massachusetts and 10 other Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states have committed to developing a regional Low Carbon Fuel Standard in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from fuels for vehicles and other uses, Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Ian Bowles announced today. These 11 states - which include all the member states of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) plus Pennsylvania - will work together to create a common fuel standard that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions on a technology-neutral basis.

China Combating Pollution by Paying People Not to Drive
January 13, 2009 08:15 AM - Triple Pundit

As Causecast.org recently reported, China is so desperate to get high-polluting cars off the roads of Beijing, the city government is willing to pay drivers $3,600 not to use their cars. This comes at an interesting time for China as it battles its impacts on the environment, and perhaps equally important, how the rest of the world views its response. As the entire world watched during the lead up to the Olympics, the country managed to make some positive strides, including acity-wide ban on cars one day a week based on license plate numbers, which according to the Chinese government greatly reduced city-wide pollution.

A bright future for clean technology in China
January 9, 2009 09:06 AM - Science and Development Network

Government policy, entrepreneurship and consumer awareness will accelerate clean technology innovation in China — and the future is bright for investors, says venture capitalist Gary Rieshel. Cleaner and more efficient technologies are needed in all China's industries.

Harvard’s ‘Hippo’ Jet Heads to Pole to Test CO2 Level
January 9, 2009 08:48 AM - Bloomberg.com

Harvard University is flying a specially equipped jet between the North Pole and South Pole to test the atmosphere for variations in global-warming gases, aiming to improve computer models for predicting climate change. A modified Gulfstream V took off today from Colorado bound for the Arctic as part of a three-year mission dubbed Hippo, said David Hosansky, a spokesman for the National Center for Atmospheric Research, a collaborator in the Harvard-led project based in Boulder, Colorado. The plane will later turn south via New Zealand toward Antarctica.

A tale of two pollutants
January 8, 2009 08:23 AM - dailyclimate.org

LANSING, Mich. - After more than a decade of research, a team of scientists has found that by releasing one pollutant into the environment, we might help capture another. Findings from one of the National Science Foundation's longest-running studies show that adding nitrogen to soil prompts northern hardwood forests to absorb more heat-trapping carbon dioxide.

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