Pollution

Japan to consider emissions trading system
February 29, 2008 01:44 AM - Reuters

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan will consider a scheme for trading greenhouse gas emissions, the government said on Friday, a week after a powerful business lobby and the trade ministry softened their strong opposition. In a report of new steps aimed at slashing its greenhouse gas emissions in line with the Kyoto protocol, the government also proposed deeper but voluntary cuts for industry, adding to existing measures such as preserving forests and purchasing emissions rights from abroad.

Renewable Energy Accelerates Meteoric Rise
February 28, 2008 10:17 AM - UNEP

Washington, D.C. - The renewable energy industry is stepping up its meteoric rise into the mainstream of the energy sector, according to the REN21 Renewables 2007 Global Status Report. Renewable energy production capacities are growing rapidly as a result of more countries enacting far-reaching policies.

Bad blends: biofuel labeling often inaccurate
February 28, 2008 10:04 AM - ENN

While sampling blended biodiesel fuels purchased from small-scale retailers, researchers at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution found that many of the blends do not contain the advertised amount of biofuel. Marine chemist Chris Reddy and colleagues sampled pure biodiesel and blends from more than a dozen distributors across the United States. When testing fuels listed as 20 percent biodiesel (commonly known as B20), they found that the actual percentage of biofuel ranged from as little as 10 percent to as much as 74 percent. Only 10 percent of samples met the specifications for biofuel blends required for vehicles of the U.S. Department of Defense, one of the leading consumers of the products.

Only Austria and Denmark have issued 2008 EUAs: EU
February 28, 2008 09:32 AM - Reuters

LONDON (Reuters) - Just two countries have so far met a deadline on Thursday to give their industry permits to emit carbon dioxide, the European Union's executive Commission said, likely delaying a 2008 carbon spot market. Thirteen countries have submitted the necessary information to the Commission to be able to allocate EUAs, and of these, five have received Commission approval to issue.

China cracks down on water polluters with new law
February 28, 2008 06:32 AM - Reuters

BEIJING (Reuters) - China heightened pressure on polluters on Thursday, passing legislation that allows for stiff fines against heads of companies that foul its scarce water resources. The Water Pollution Prevention and Control Law which was passed ahead of the annual full session of China's parliament, or National People's Congress, which opens next week, will take effect on June 1, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

How to Save the Rainforests
February 27, 2008 09:50 AM - , Organic Consumers Association

While we have fixated on our little local worries over the past week, the biggest news story of the year passed unnoticed in the night. The Brazilian government was forced to admit that the destruction of the Amazon rainforest has returned to ecocidal levels. An area the size of Belgium, taking thousands of years to evolve, was destroyed in the past year alone. Some 20 per cent of the forest has now been trashed, with a further 40 per cent set to be slashed in my lifetime. This is steadily happening to all the rainforests on earth.

Hydrogen Gas Fueled Vehicles A Step Closer
February 27, 2008 09:41 AM - University of California - Los Angeles

While liquid hydrogen is denser and takes up less space, it is very expensive and difficult to produce. It also reduces the environmental benefits of hydrogen vehicles. Widespread commercial acceptance of these vehicles will require finding the right material that can store hydrogen gas at high volumetric and gravimetric densities in reasonably sized light-weight fuel tanks.

Tree Blocks: Building imagination with reclaimed trees
February 27, 2008 09:31 AM - , The Alternative Consumer

While cleaning the kids’ playroom for what must be the umpteenth time today I spied the bag of Tree Blocks that our entire family loves to build with. These unusual building blocks are cut from tree branches and make the most beautiful sculptures, keeping little hands busy for at least long enough for me to get a shower. The “elves” at Tree Blocks identify abandoned or end of productive cycle plots of apple, cherry and hazelnut trees and contact the farmers. They then push the old trees over removing the roots. Tree Blocks bridges and blocks are made from the wood purchased and processed by the “elves.” This leaves the farmer clean soil and seed money, so he can get back into production.

Taps shut in central China due to red, bubbly river
February 26, 2008 09:38 AM - Reuters

BEIJING (Reuters) - A spill on the Hanjiang River, in central China's Hubei Province, has affected water supply for 200,000 people living along three tributaries since Sunday, the Xinhua news agency said on Tuesday, citing local media. The water became "red with large amounts of bubbles," Xinhua said, citing Gao Qijin, head of Xingou Township Tap Water Company in Jianli County, which is along the Dongjing River, one of the affected tributaries.

Top China plastic bag maker closes amid green drive
February 26, 2008 04:24 AM - Reuters

BEIJING (Reuters) - China's largest plastic bag maker has closed following a state-led environmental campaign discouraging plastics use, Xinhua news agency said on Tuesday. China launched a surprise crackdown on plastic bags in January, banning production of ultra-thin bags and forbidding its supermarkets and shops from handing out free carrier bags from June 1.

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