Coal Creates Legacy for China’s Past, Future
November 16, 2007 08:26 AM - Julia Tier, Worldwatch Institute
Acid rain and air pollution, mainly from the burning of coal, have contributed to the degradation of more than 80 percent of China’s 33 designated World Heritage sites, according to the Associated Press. Across the nation, particulates from smokestacks have stained historic structures and statues black, including the 17-meter Leshan Giant Buddha, a sandstone landmark that has stood in Sichuan Province since the 7th century.
China pulls bank loans to 12 major polluters
November 16, 2007 08:15 AM -
Twelve polluting enterprises have had crucial bank loans recalled, suspended or rejected as China's new "green-credit policy" kicks into action, Friday's China Youth Daily said.
Decades of heavy industrialization have made water from some of China's lakes and rivers so polluted it is no longer usable, with untreated waste from factories and other enterprises pumped directly into water sources.
U.N. Climate Talks Make Slow Progress
November 15, 2007 04:29 PM - Reuters
VALENCIA, Spain (Reuters) - Delegates at crucial U.N. talks on the causes and effects of global climate change are making slow progress with an agreement still some way off, sources close to the discussions said on Thursday.
"The same governments which are usually hostile to binding emissions reductions, and especially the Kyoto Protocol, are also those who are blocking progress on agreeing to sound science as the basis for future action," said Stephan Singer, a climate expert at the WWF conservation group.
U.S. Appeals Court Orders New Fuel Economy Standards
November 15, 2007 04:23 PM - Reuters
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A U.S. appeals court on Thursday ordered the federal highway commission to formulate new fuel economy standards for upcoming models of light trucks to take into account the environmental impact of their emissions.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals also ordered the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to close a loophole allowing SUVs and other light trucks to satisfy lower fuel efficiency standards than cars.
Russian Oil Spill Killing Dolphins, says Watchdog
November 15, 2007 04:14 PM - Reuters
MOSCOW (Reuters) - A fuel oil spill from a Russian tanker into the Black Sea is killing dolphins and the nearby Sea of Azov may suffer heavy pollution if urgent measures are not taken, Russia's environment watchdog said on Thursday.
A storm on Sunday broke up the tanker and sank at least four freighters while crippling other vessels in the narrow Kerch Strait between the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov. Four seamen were drowned and four others are missing.
OPEC Must Tackle Climate Change: U.N. Official
November 15, 2007 09:20 AM - Reuters
RIYADH (Reuters) - OPEC oil exporters must take climate change seriously at a summit meeting this week, ahead of a key meeting to tackle global warming in Bali next month. a leading U.N. climate change official said on Thursday.
"I encourage OPEC to contribute to climate change abatement and to play an important role in history to drive forward sound solutions to a global problem," Yvo de Boer, executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, told an OPEC forum in the Saudi capital.
German Carmakers Lag France, Italy in CO2 Cuts: Group
November 15, 2007 09:03 AM - Reuters
STRASBOURG, France (Reuters) - Average carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from new cars made by German manufacturers rose in 2006, while French and Italian producers cut pollution from their vehicles, data showed on Thursday.
Brussels-based environmental group Transport & Environment (T&E) said average emissions from new German vehicles jumped 0.6 percent last year because Germany was producing heavier cars, while French and Italian manufacturers cut emissions from their new cars by 1.6 percent on average.
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.