New Bans on Plastic Bags May Help Protect Marine Life
January 9, 2008 09:26 AM - Alana Herro, Worldwatch Institute
China’s surprise crackdown on plastic bags, announced on Tuesday, will prohibit the production and distribution of ultra-thin bags beginning June 1. The ruling bans the manufacture, sale, and use of plastic bags under 0.025 millimeters thick and prohibits supermarkets and shops nationwide from handing out the sacks for free. With the move, China joins a growing list of regions, from San Francisco to South Africa, that are using taxes, bans, and other regulations to try to decrease the prevalence of the ubiquitous bags.
Uncertainties may hurt climate fight
January 9, 2008 09:26 AM - Reuters
LONDON (Reuters) - A stronger focus on turbulent financial markets and escalating geopolitical tension in 2008 could prompt governments and companies to neglect less immediate risks such as climate change and food security, the World Economic Forum warned.
Zambia cites environment in mine suspension
January 8, 2008 01:08 PM - Reuters
Zambia's second largest copper and cobalt producer has had a new mining project suspended after the government decided it failed to meet environmental standards, an official said on Tuesday. Edward Zulu, the director of the Environmental Council of Zambia (ECZ), said a leach plant project at Mopani Copper Mines (MCM), a joint venture of Swiss firm Glencore International AG and Canada's First Quantum Minerals, had been suspended.
Italy's PM orders "trash tsar" to end crisis
January 8, 2008 12:12 PM - Reuters
NAPLES (Reuters) - Prime Minister Romano Prodi gave Italy's former police chief four months to clean up a garbage crisis in Naples where tons of rotting rubbish sparked clashes between police and residents on Tuesday. A neighborhood on the outskirts of Italy's third largest city has been sealed off since Saturday by protesters trying to stop truckloads of garbage being brought in for dumping. Police fired tear gas overnight to disperse protesters.
China launches surprise crackdown on plastic bags
January 8, 2008 07:50 AM - Reuters
BEIJING (Reuters) - China launched a surprise crackdown on plastic bags on Tuesday, banning production of ultra-thin bags and forbidding its supermarkets and shops from handing out free carriers from June 1. China uses too many of the bags and fails to dispose of them properly, wasting valuable oil and littering the country, China's cabinet, the State Council, said in a notice posted on the central government Web site (www.gov.cn).
Fiat sees EU CO2 proposal upping prices: report
January 8, 2008 05:09 AM - Reuters
VIENNA (Reuters) - Fiat Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne said the EU's proposed legislation to lower carbon dioxide emissions from cars would push up prices for buyers. The European Commission proposed in December tough legislation aimed at reducing CO2 emissions which would mean manufacturers failing to comply face steep fines.
Beijing Introduces Strictest Fuel Standard Yet
January 7, 2008 03:26 PM - , Organic Consumers Association
On January 1, China’s capital city of Beijing introduced its toughest vehicle fuel standard yet. The rule requires that gasoline and diesel sold in the city must comply with the new China IV emission standards, equivalent to the European Union’s Euro IV standards. Under the elevated standard, motor fuels are permitted to contain only 50 parts per million (ppm) of sulfur, compared with the previous China III level of 150 ppm.
Justices won't hear Teck Cominco pollution case
January 7, 2008 11:40 AM - Reuters
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear an appeal by the Canadian mining company Teck Cominco Ltd of a ruling that an American environmental law applied to a foreign company when some of its pollution reaches U.S. territory. Vancouver-headquartered Teck appealed in an effort to block a lawsuit by two members of the Colville Confederated Tribes in Washington state who contended that pollution from the company's lead and zinc smelter in Trail, British Columbia, had flowed into the Columbia River and into the United States.
EU seeks OK for climate package by mid-2009
January 7, 2008 04:53 AM - Reuters
LJUBLJANA (Reuters) - EU President Slovenia said on Monday it would use its stewardship of EU business over the next six months to try and steer the bloc's proposed package of energy and climate change reforms towards approval by mid-2009. Prime Minister Janez Jansa told a news conference he would aim by the end of the Slovene presidency on June 30 to have had a first reading in the European Parliament of proposals due to be unveiled later this month intended to spur wider use of renewable energies and include targets for CO2 reductions.
PM orders Naples schools to open despite garbage
January 6, 2008 12:28 PM - Reuters
NAPLES, Italy (Reuters) - Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi ordered Naples schools to reopen on Monday despite fears that stinking heaps of uncollected garbage in the streets could spread disease. More than 100,000 tonnes of refuse is estimated to be festering on the roadsides of the southern Italian city and surrounding areas after garbage trucks stopped operating two weeks ago because all landfills are full.