China’s Plastic Bag Ban Likely to Change Consumer Habits
January 15, 2008 10:04 AM - , Worldwatch Institute
The State Council, China’s cabinet, recently issued a directive banning the production of ultra-thin plastic bags for environmental reasons. The ruling also prohibits shops, supermarkets, and sales outlets nationwide from handing out free plastic bags starting on June 1, according to China News Agency. The imposition of fees on plastic bag usage is likely to influence consumer behavior in China and bring environmental benefits in the coming years.
EU lawmakers seek more time for car CO2 cuts
January 15, 2008 09:24 AM - Reuters
Automakers should be given more time to cut carbon dioxide emissions from their cars under legislation proposed by the European Union's executive arm, EU lawmakers said on Tuesday. In a non-binding report, the European Parliament said manufacturers should reduce the average level of car C02 emitted to 125 grams per km by 2015, rather than to 120 grams by 2012 as proposed by the European Commission last month.
Germans and Spain warn EU on renewables plan
January 15, 2008 08:32 AM - Reuters
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Germany and Spain have warned the European Commission that an ambitious plan to boost the use of renewable energy sources, due to be unveiled next week, could be counter-productive and wreck existing successful schemes.
China warns of faulty dams danger, plans repairs
January 15, 2008 06:23 AM - Reuters
Just under half of China's nearly 90,000 dams are dangerously unstable and need urgent repair, the government said on Tuesday, unveiling a three-year plan to do just that costing 27 billion yuan ($3.7 billion). "Over the last several years, dams have had a very important effect on socio-economic development," Deputy Water Resources Minister Jiao Yong told a meeting carried live on central government Web site www.gov.cn.
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 Livingâ„˘”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
January 11, 2008 09:11 AM - University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science
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.