• Scotland on the High Road to Sustainable Energy

    Scotland is on course to smash its renewable energy targets after official figures revealed record-high levels of green power generation. The Scottish Government's Energy Minister Fergus Ewing welcomed the publication of the statistics that confirms Scotland will beat the 2011 renewables target. Statistics published today show that the amount of renewable electricity generated in 2011 rose 45 per cent on 2010 to 13,750 Gigawatt hours. >> Read the Full Article
  • Rio+20 zero draft accepts 'planetary boundaries'

    The latest draft of the so-called 'zero draft' document, which will be presented to heads of government at the Rio+20 Summit in June, has been amended to include an acknowledgement that there are scientifically assessed 'planetary boundaries' which, if overstepped, could result in irreversible damage to the Earth's sytems. The draft is being prepared by national delegates to the United Nations, and will ultimately be presented to heads of government at the Summit for their endorsement. >> Read the Full Article
  • IPCC predicts rise in extreme climate events

    Climate change could mean unusually high temperatures occurring much more often in most parts of the world by the end of the century, according to a special report on extreme weather events from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). "A hottest day that occurs once in 20 years is likely to become a one-in-two year event, except in the high latitudes of the northern hemisphere, where it is likely to be one-in-five years," according to Sonia Seneviratne, a climate expert at ETH Zurich, which is part of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. Seneviratne was speaking at the Planet Under Pressure conference, which is being held in London this week (26–29 March). She was a member of an IPCC group set up in 2009 to compile the Special report on managing the risks of extreme events and disasters to advance climate change adaptation (SREX), which was published today (28 March). Contributors to the report include experts on disaster recovery and risk management, together with members of the physical sciences and climate change mitigation and adaptation disciplines. The report marks the first time that the scientific literature on extreme events has been synthesised by a single team, Seneviratne told the conference. It assesses observations and predicts changes in temperature extremes, heavy rainfall and drought for 26 regions. According to the IPCC, it offers "an unprecedented level of detail regarding observed and expected changes in weather and climate extremes, based on a comprehensive assessment of over 1,000 scientific publications." >> Read the Full Article
  • Sustainable Cities: Meeting the Challenge of Rapid Urbanization the Focus of "Planet Under Pressure 2012"

    Addressing the social, environmental and economic challenges associated with rapid and growing urbanization is bringing some 3,000 experts from around the world together in London this week for the "Planet Under Pressure 2012" conference. With world population forecast to increase from 7 billion today to more than 9 billion by 2050, humanity's urban footprint will take up 1.5 million more square kilometers of land by 2030 at current rates, an area comparable to that of France, Germany and Spain combined. That translates into an average 1 million more city dwellers every week for the next 38 years... >> Read the Full Article
  • GM Investing in Car-Sharing

    Corporate America is joining the access economy. You can already see signs of this trend with companies like Hertz, BMW, Ford and GM partnering with collaborative consumption companies, or even start a sharing service of their own. BMW, as we learned at SXSW has partnered ParkAtMyHouse.com, Ford partners with Zipcar, Hertz started its own car sharing service – Hertz on Demand, and GM has invested in RelayRides. It’s interesting to see the growing level of interest of large corporations in the sharing space, which sometimes seems to be at odds with the economic model their sales are based on. Take for example the case of GM. >> Read the Full Article
  • London to ban old black cabs!

    London's taxi regulators are to withdraw 2,600 ageing black cabs in an attempt to reduce air pollution in the capital. No black cab over 15-years-old will be licensed by the Taxi and Private Hire Office – taking off the road 2,600 taxis this year. Now Mercedes-Benz has launched an initiative to help London cabbies keep the city moving and at the same time delivering cleaner air. >> Read the Full Article
  • Global aviation sector commits to support a sustainable future

    Leaders of the aviation industry have sent a reminder to governments of the vital role the sector plays in economic growth, providing jobs whilst taking its environmental responsibilities seriously. At a meeting in Geneva today, chief executives and directors from 16 global aviation companies and organisations signed the Aviation & Environment Summit's Declaration as a joint message to world governments due to meet at Rio de Janeiro for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in June. The industry leaders, representing airports, airlines, air navigation service providers and the makers of aircraft and engines, signed the declaration in a show of unity on the issue of sustainable development. Paul Steele, Executive Director of the Air Transport Action Group (ATAG), the organisation coordinating the Summit, said that the declaration shows that aviation takes its role in sustainable development seriously. "Sustainable development – and the Rio+20 process – is about finding ways to balance the needs of growing economies and higher standards of living across society with the need to more carefully manage the resources we are using and the impact that we have on the world. I am pleased to say that aviation is committed to doing just that. In 2008, we were the first global sector to commit to global cross-industry action on climate change. That declaration set the agenda for cooperative action across the aviation industry to reduce fuel use and emissions. The cooperation between industry partners and the projects underway are impressive." >> Read the Full Article
  • Happy Water Day, World!

    A huge amount of water goes into the food we eat — much more than most people think. Indeed, it takes a thousand times more water to feed the human population than it does to satisfy its thirst. This remarkable relationship between water and food security is exactly what the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) wants us all to contemplate today, World Water Day 2012. >> Read the Full Article
  • McDonald’s to test Paper Cups for hot drinks

    McDonald’s announced it would test paper coffee cups instead of the current foam cups in 2,000 of its U.S. locations. Part of McDonald’s resurgence in recent years was because of their new McCafe drinks and improved roasted coffee. But in addition to giving coffee chains like Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts a run for their money, all those polystyrene foam cups create massive amounts of waste. >> Read the Full Article
  • Climate Leadership Continues in the European Union

    The European Union might be going through a lot of financial turmoil at the moment, however they are still leading the way when it comes to environmental policy. Their carbon targets have consistently been higher than any other country in the world and they have also actually met and exceeded them. At the Durban Climate Summit last year, the EU environment ministers were noted for their progressive and constructive role they played in coming up with a new international agreement. The EU strategy has always been to lead with vision and to generate economic and environmental benefits. Since the EU has set binding emissions and renewable energy targets, many countries have followed suit. >> Read the Full Article