• Steinmeier: climate change growing threat to peace

    Climate change is a growing threat to world peace and has led to rival territorial claims in the Arctic that could turn into a Cold War, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said on Tuesday.

     

     

     

     

    >> Read the Full Article
  • UK says will not use carbon revenues for climate

    LONDON (Reuters) - Britain will not use money the government gets from auctioning carbon emissions permits to help it in the fight against climate change, it said on Monday.

    Selling carbon emissions permits to businesses participating in Europe's carbon trading scheme could raise 60 billion euros ($85.24 billion) a year for European Union governments from 2013, Deutsche Bank estimates, and businesses are already lobbying for a slice of the windfall.

    But Britain will pool any revenues into the general government budget, rather than earmark, or hypothecate, them to particular causes in advance.

    >> Read the Full Article
  • California wildfires force 250,000 to evacuate

    LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Fast-moving wildfires raged across Southern California on Monday, forcing at least 250,000 people to flee their homes and destroying hundreds of buildings as desperate fire officials called for help from other states.

    More than a dozen separate fires, driven by dry, gale-force Santa Ana winds, burned out of control across the drought-stricken southern half of the state, charring an estimated 200,000 acres, killing at least one person and injuring a number of others.

    "It's a tragic time for California," said Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who declared a state of emergency in seven California counties.

    The fires also forced closures of major state highways, schools and businesses and sent plumes of thick black smoke drifting across much of the state, blotting out the sun.

    >> Read the Full Article
  • Brazil Will Burn Sugarcane Fields Until 2017

    SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Almost 100 sugar and ethanol mills in Brazil's main sugar cane state Sao Paulo have agreed to stop the practice of burning cane fields by 2017, the Sugar Cane Industry Union (Unica) said on Monday.

    These mills crush more than 50 percent of the cane output in Sao Paulo, Brazil's No. 1 cane producing state that accounts for around 63 percent of the national crop.

    In June, Unica had signed an agreement with the state government in which mills were to ban cane burning in the state by 2017, well before 2031 target mandated by a state law.

    >> Read the Full Article
  • China Needs More Than Electric Cars: Toyota

    TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese carmaker Toyota is working to improve its hybrid cars and develop electric cars for the future, but an official said on Monday that these vehicles would not help reduce CO2 emissions in China.

    "In France, 80 percent of electricity is produced by nuclear stations so if electric cars replace fossil fuel cars then you have a clear reduction in the emission of CO2," said Tatehito Ueda, a managing officer at Toyota Motor Corp.

    "But in China they make electricity by burning coal, so China is not the place for electric cars," he told the Nikkei International Automotive Conference in Tokyo.

    >> Read the Full Article
  • Kansas Vetos Coal Power: Health Risks Cited

    LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Opponents of coal-fired power plants say they were given a new weapon last week when Kansas became the first state to reject a coal-fired power plant solely on the basis of the health risks created by carbon dioxide emissions.

    A dozen states have rejected plans for new coal-fired power, at least in part because of concerns over carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. However, Kansas does not regulate carbon emissions and is believed to be the first state to tie CO2 to health risks and use that as the only stated reason for denying a required air permit, said Bruce Nilles, head of the Sierra Club's national effort to stop new coal plants and retire the dirtiest of existing ones.

    >> Read the Full Article
  • NHC sees no tropical cyclones in Atlantic basin

    NEW YORK (Reuters) - The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Monday it did not expect tropical cyclone formation over the next 48 hours.

    The Miami-based agency said it was monitoring tropical waves in the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, but right now did not expect further development of any of the systems.

    >> Read the Full Article
  • Solar cars race from Australia's top to bottom

    SYDNEY (Reuters) - Sun-powered-car enthusiasts from around the world raced into the Australia outback on Sunday at speeds nearing 100 kilometres-per-hour at the start of the World Solar Challenge.

    Thousands of onlookers crowded the streets of Darwin in Australia's tropical north for the beginning of the 3,000-km (1,863 mile) race, a biennial event since 1987, gawking at the sleek foil-like vehicles resembling giant microchips.

    The only rule over the mostly straightaway course through Australia's "red centre" in temperatures that can exceed 50 degrees Celsius is that the custom-built vehicles run on nothing but the sun.

    "The drivers will be sitting on between 90 and 100 kilometres per hour as much as they can, though most are capable of going faster," said race coordinator Chris Selwood.

    "But this really is not just about who is the fastest, it's more about energy efficiency and management," he said.

    >> Read the Full Article
  • Solar cars race from Australia's top to bottom

    SYDNEY (Reuters) - Sun-powered-car enthusiasts from around the world raced into the Australia outback on Sunday at speeds nearing 100 kilometres-per-hour at the start of the World Solar Challenge.

    Thousands of onlookers crowded the streets of Darwin in Australia's tropical north for the beginning of the 3,000-km (1,863 mile) race, a biennial event since 1987, gawking at the sleek foil-like vehicles resembling giant microchips.

    >> Read the Full Article
  • Georgia declares state of emergency over drought

    ATLANTA (Reuters) - Georgia has declared a state of emergency over its worst drought in decades and appealed to President George W. Bush for federal aid, newspapers said on Sunday.

    Low rainfall in the Southeastern United States has caused a drought in several states, including swaths of Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee and North and South Carolina.

    Gov. Sonny Perdue asked Bush to issue a federal disaster designation for the drought-affected parts of the state that would empower him to order less water released from Lake Sidney Lanier and make federal funds available to state and local governments.

    It would also enable low interest loans to be offered to Georgia businesses hurt by the drought, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

    >> Read the Full Article