MIAMI - Americans do not need to pare back their lifestyles to help protect the global environment but may need to use sugar or orange peel to power their energy-guzzling Hummers and Cigarette boats, Florida's governor said on Tuesday. Gov. Charlie Crist, who in July signed executive orders setting new limits on greenhouse gas emissions in his state, said he did not believe the American lifestyle was incompatible with the need to address climate change and reduce fossil fuel consumption.
PASARGADAE, Iran - For the people protesting against it, a new dam near these sun-drenched ruins may be more than an environmental upheaval: in it they scent an affront to the country's pre-Islamic identity. For 2,500 years, the tomb of Cyrus the Great has stood on the plain at Pasargadae in southern Iran, a simple but dignified monument to a king revered as the founder of the mighty Persian empire. But some fear the dam and reservoir pose a threat to the ancient structure.
SYDNEY The global insurance industry faces substantial risks from climate change due to the increased incidence of cyclones, floods, drought and bushfires, a major European reinsurer told the Greenhouse 2007 conference. Losses from tropical cyclones were increasing particularly strongly, Eberhard Faust, head of climate risks at Munich Re (MUVGn.DE: Quote, Profile, Research), he told the conference organized by the Australian government-backed Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization.
TOKYO - Achieving a breakthrough in battery technology is the key to tackling pollution caused by cars and sustaining a rapid growth in car ownership worldwide, an official at the Japanese automakers' lobby said. An estimated 700 million cars are on the road today and this is expected to double "in no time" given rapid motorization in China, India and other emerging markets, said Minoru Taniguchi, head of the environment department at the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association.
NEW YORK (Reuters) - China would soon follow the U.S. lead if Washington agrees to tackle its emissions in the next few years because China's government takes the threat of global warming more seriously than the United States does, a climate expert said on Tuesday.
"My impression is that the national government -- top level ministry officials -- in China regard the threats of global warming to their country with a much higher level of seriousness than their counterparts do here in the United States," said David Hawkins of the environmental group National Resources Defense Council.
Hawkins, head of the group's climate center, spoke by telephone to the Reuters Environment Summit in New York.
If the United States agrees to cut emissions deeply with a baseline that gets tougher over time, it would spur U.S. manufacturers to build low-emissions technologies like alternative energy and coal plants that store carbon dioxide underground.
CHICAGO (Reuters) - Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama said on Tuesday if elected president he would pursue a global ban on nuclear weapons as he sought to pick up ground on his front-running rival, Hillary Clinton.
"Here's what I'll say as president: America seeks a world in which there are no nuclear weapons," Obama said.
Obama marked the five-year anniversary of a speech he gave as a U.S. Senate candidate outlining his opposition to the Iraq war, noting it came just 10 days before his top rival for the party nomination, New York Sen. Clinton, voted to back the invasion of Iraq.
"Let's be clear: without that vote, there would be no war," Obama told DePaul University students. "This is not just a matter of debating the past. It's about who has the best judgment to make the critical decisions of the future."
SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea's president will hold formal talks with reclusive North Korean leader Kim Jong-il on Wednesday, after the second summit of two states technically still at war got off to a cool start.
Roh Moo-hyun has said he wants the summit to ease tensions between the foes along the Cold War's last frontier and help the economy of his northern neighbor, which is in international talks to give up its ambition to be a nuclear weapons power in exchange for massive aid and an end to its pariah status.
Kim barely spoke to Roh on his arrival in Pyongyang on Tuesday as only the second South Korean leader to visit the communist state.
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