China Bans the Use of Plastic Bags
January 10, 2008 10:34 AM - , Triple Pundit
China announced this week that production and use of plastic bags in supermarkets and retail shops will be banned beginning June 1. This new law could have a considerably positive environmental impact, given that Chinese citizens "use as many as 3 billion plastic bags a day." The law is part of a larger campaign to fight "white pollution" in China, which includes other forms of rampant plastic and styrofoam use as well. This bold and surprising move demonstrates that the Chinese government is starting to take pollution concerns seriously. While a few city governments here in the U.S. have passed (San Francisco) or are considering passing similar legislation (New York), it is refreshing to see a national government as powerful and influential as the China make such a decision.
Hungary says new CO2 plan to curb windfall profits
January 10, 2008 08:04 AM - Reuters
Hungary's new greenhouse gas emissions plan for 2008-12 will clamp down on windfall profits generated at some firms in the previous allocation period due to oversupply of pollution permits, a ministry official said. Hungary's government seeks to pass a decree on the revised carbon dioxide (CO2) limits under the EU's emissions trading scheme next month after the European Commission cut its proposal by 12.4 percent to 26.9 million tons a year for 2008-12.
Sub-Saharan Africa: The Population Emergency
January 9, 2008 10:01 AM - Institut de Recherche Pour le Developpement.
The report of a demographic study, coordinated by the Centre Population et Développement (CEPED), commissioned by the Agence Française de Développement (AFD), was published recently. The work was performed by a joint team involving scientists from the IRD and specialist academics from Belgium, Cameroon, France and the Ivory Coast (2). They examined the recent and projected future population trends in Sub-Saharan Africa and the relationships between these tendencies and the development of the region. This review effectively demolished some generally accepted ideas, in particular the one that Sub-Saharan Africa is underpopulated.
'Green' Energy Efficient Mobile Home Designed
January 9, 2008 09:45 AM - Wiley-Blackwell
But "green" is exactly what Michael Berk, F.L. Crane Endowed Professor of Architecture at Mississippi State, wants mobile homes to be. He hopes to toss traditional thinking about the structures into the recycling bin, salvaging the traditional "mobile home" perception one national award at a time. Working in the Carl Small Town Center--a part of MSU's College of Architecture, Art and Design--Berk created an award-winning, next-generation factory-built unit he calls the GreenMobile. Unlike other lower-end housing, Berk's applies sound construction methods, as well as energy-saving concepts for lower utility costs.
Italy's "trash tsar" takes charge
January 9, 2008 09:27 AM - Reuters
NAPLES (Reuters) - A government-appointed "trash tsar" took charge of a waste crisis in Naples on Wednesday after residents sealed off a suburb with barricades to stop it becoming a dumping ground for mountains of garbage. Images of the historic port city wallowing in its own filth have shocked Italians and embarrassed the ruling centre left coalition of Prime Minister Romano Prodi, which also holds office at the local and regional level in Naples.
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).