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Paying Farmers to Protect the Planet is Future: U.N.
November 15, 2007 09:00 AM - Reuters
ROME (Reuters) - Paying farmers to protect the environment -- rather than just for their produce -- will be an important way to ensure a rapidly increasing demand for food does not destroy the planet, a U.N. agency said on Thursday.
The United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said paying for "environmental services" is set to be an important way to link two of humanity's greatest challenges: beating poverty and safeguarding the environment.
"(Farming) has the potential to degrade the Earth's land, water, atmosphere and biological resources -- or to enhance them -- depending on the decisions made by the more than 2 billion people whose livelihoods depend directly on crops, livestock, fisheries or forests," said FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf.
Greenpeace Blocks Shipment of Indonesian Palm Oil
November 15, 2007 08:35 AM - Reuters
JAKARTA (Reuters) - Greenpeace has blocked a tanker carrying more than 30,000 tonnes of palm oil from leaving an Indonesian port to protest against forest destruction blamed on plantations, the environmental group said on Thursday.
The protest came less than three weeks before a U.N. climate change meeting on the resort island of Bali, where delegates from 189 countries will debate ways to slow down global warming, including the impact of dwindling tropical rainforests.
China Says Key Pollution Levels Nudge Down
November 15, 2007 08:29 AM - Reuters
BEIJING (Reuters) - Two key measures of pollution in China have fallen slightly in what the country's environmental regulator claimed was a victory for its clean-up procedures, state media reported on Thursday.
Emissions of sulphur dioxide, which belches from smokestacks and causes acid rain, fell by 1.81 percent in the first nine months of 2007 compared with the same period last year, the China Daily reported.
COD, or chemical oxygen demand, a measure of water pollution, dropped by 0.28 percent, the paper said.
Many Chinese cities are enveloped in choking smog, including 2008 Olympic host Beijing. The level of air pollution in the capital and its possible effects on athletes' health has been one of the biggest issues facing organizers of next year's Games.
China Defends Mega Dam, Guards Against Disaster
November 15, 2007 08:16 AM - Reuters
BEIJING (Reuters) - China defended the environmental effects of its huge Three Gorges Dam on Thursday, with a senior official saying pollution was under control and threats from landslides under close guard.
The dam on the Yangtze River lies in the central province of Hubei and holds a 660-km (410-mile) reservoir. In September, an official warned of environmental calamity if landslides, siltage and pollution were not contained.
But in an implicit denial of that warning, the office director of the Three Gorges Project Committee, Wang Xiaofeng, said problems were manageable and within expectations.
Greenpeace says shuts down Australia power station
November 14, 2007 07:11 PM - Reuters
"Climate activists have taken non-violent direct action to shut down the power station ... by locking onto the conveyor system and preventing coal from feeding the plant," Greenpeace Head of Campaigns Steve Campbell said in a statement.
U.N. Completes Carbon Trading Link Under Kyoto
November 14, 2007 01:49 PM - Reuters
LONDON (Reuters) - Japan on Wednesday became the first country to take delivery of carbon offsets which it can use to help it stay within its binding greenhouse gas emissions limits under the Kyoto Protocol, the U.N. climate body said.
Two large meat processors defend carbon monoxide use despite risks
November 13, 2007 08:09 PM - By Christopher Doering
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Two of the biggest U.S. meat processors on Tuesday defended a packaging technique designed to keep meat looking fresh at grocery stores even as U.S. lawmakers criticized it as unsafe and misleading.
Packers use carbon monoxide to stabilize the color of meat, but some Democrats said the process misleads consumers by making the products look safer than they really are, and puts the public at risk of eating spoiled meat.
Rep. Bart Stupak, Michigan Democrat and chairman of a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee, called the practice deceptive and "a potential health threat," and accused U.S. regulators of "turning a blind eye" toward health dangers.
Hillary Clinton Praises College of The Atlantic's Net-Zero Commitment
November 13, 2007 09:38 AM - College of The Atlantic
College of the Atlantic’s commitment to reduce energy use on campus and become the nation’s first net-zero campus for carbon emissions came to the attention of Sen. Hillary Clinton Thursday. In a press release issued by the senator as part of her primary campaign, Clinton called upon colleges and K-12 schools to reduce emissions on campus and in communities.
London buys hydrogen-fuelled red buses
November 13, 2007 08:29 AM - Reuters
London's mayor said on Tuesday he had signed a 10 million-pound ($20.7 million) deal for ten hydrogen-powered buses to help reduce pollution and CO2 emissions in the UK capital.
Russian PM takes charge of oil spill clean-up
November 13, 2007 07:29 AM - Chris Baldwin -Reuters
Russian Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov flew to the Black Sea coast on Tuesday to oversee efforts to clean up an oil slick that coated beaches with a thick black sludge and left birds poisoned and blinded. Officials said 2,000 tonnes of heavy fuel oil had now escaped from a tanker which broke up in a once-in-a-century storm on Sunday that also swamped other ships and drowned at least three seamen.