• A Turtle Success Story in the Philipines

    In 2011, green sea turtles laid a staggering 1.44 million eggs on just one island in the Philippines thanks to conservation efforts, breaking all previous records. The graceful and enigmatic green turtle faces a variety of threats globally, and as a result is classified as Endangered on the IUCN Red List. Yet there is some good news for this marine reptile, as Conservation International (CI) announces that the species has laid a record number of eggs on a small island in the Philippines. >> Read the Full Article
  • The Super Green Bowl

    For the past 18 years, the NFL has been working to decrease the environmental footprint of the largest annual sporting event in the U.S. – the Super Bowl. Two years ago, we wrote about several initiatives aimed at reducing the events’ impacts. Last year, we covered how Super Bowl XLV was slated to be the greenest NFL championship game in history. This year, the NFL is trying to outdo itself yet again by working with the Green Mountain Energy Company and the Indianapolis community to make Super Bowl XLVI the greenest yet. I talked with Jack Groh, Director of the NFL’s Environmental Program, to get the details on this year’s efforts. >> Read the Full Article
  • UN Calls Sustainable Development a Top Priority

    The UN High-Level Panel Global Sustainability released its report in Addis Ababa yesterday entitled Resilient People, Resilient Planet: A Future Worth Choosing. The panel’s 99-page report, which will serve as an input to the UN Conference on Sustainable Development in June, (otherwise known as the Rio+20 Summit) is a call to action, "to address the sustainable development challenge in a fresh and operational way." This document is incredibly rich, beautifully written and filled with a tremendous amount of good thought, clear vision, careful analysis, sober assessment, and useful suggestions for ways to move sustainable development from an abstract concept to the core of mainstream economics. >> Read the Full Article
  • NASA Confirms Man's role in Global Warming

    A new NASA study confirms the fact that greenhouse gases generated by human activity - not changes in solar activity - are the primary force driving global warming. The study offers an updated calculation of the Earth's energy imbalance, the difference between the amount of solar energy absorbed by Earth's surface and the amount returned to space as heat. The researchers' calculations show that, despite unusually low solar activity between 2005 and 2010, the planet continued to absorb more energy than it returned to space. James Hansen, director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York City, led the research. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics recently published the study. >> Read the Full Article
  • Palm Oil Biodiesel and greenhouse gas emissions

    Greenhouse gas emissions from palm oil-based biodiesel are the highest among major biofuels when the effects of deforestation and peatlands degradation are considered, according to calculations by the European Commission. The emissions estimates, which haven't been officially released, have important implications for the biofuels industry in Europe. As reported by EurActiv, the data from the E.U. shows emissions from biofuels produced from palm oil (105g of carbon dioxide equivalent per megajoule of fuel), soybeans (103g CO2e/mj), and rapeseed (canola) (95g CO2e/mj) are higher than conventional gasoline (87.5g CO2e/mj). Sunflower (86g CO2e/mj) and biodiesel produced from palm oil with methane capture (83g CO2e/mj) are only slightly better than conventional crude oil, according to the data. >> Read the Full Article
  • Cooling Lagoons aim to reduce thermal discharges to marine ecosystems, improve efficiency

    Gulf countries that lack freshwater resources rely deeply on seawater desalination to meet their daily needs and cool down thermal generation plants. According to Gulf News, the United Arab Emirates alone uses four trillion litres of Gulf seawater each year to cool down its power plants, foundries and desalination plants. The byproduct of these operations produces a hot briny fluid that is then pumped back into the Gulf, seriously compromising coral reefs and the overall marine ecosystem. But Crystal Lagoons – the same people who were behind the worlds largest artificial lagoon planned for the Red Sea, is marketing a new closed-loop cooling system that would ensure that no more water would have to be extracted from the Gulf to cool down industrial plants! Thermal power plants require water for cooling, but disposing of that water back into the Gulf is not only harmful to the marine ecosystem, according to Crystal Lagoons, it is also a waste of thermal energy. >> Read the Full Article
  • UK tops global league table for sustainable corporations

    The UK has topped the annual global league table that measures and ranks the world's largest sustainable corporations. The Global 100 is an extensive data-driven corporate sustainability assessment and inclusion is limited to a select group of the top 100 large-cap companies in the world. Companies are selected based on their performance against 11 indicators covering environmental performance and corporate citizenship such as leadership diversity, greenhouse gas emissions and payment of corporate taxes. The list includes companies from 22 countries encompassing all sectors of the economy, with collective annual sales in excess of $3.02 trillion, and 5,285,645 million employees. Among the 22 countries, the United Kingdom led the way with 16 Global 100 companies, an increase of five from the year before. Japan followed with 11 (down from 19 in 2011).France and the United States tied for third place with each claiming the headquarters of eight Global 100 companies. Rounding out the top ten scoring countries with at least three Global 100 companies were: Australia (seven), Canada (six), Germany (five) Switzerland (five), Denmark (four), Netherlands (four), Norway (four), Sweden (four), and Brazil (three). Sixty-eight per cent of the 2011 companies remained on the list in 2012. >> Read the Full Article
  • Why Biodiversity Loss Deserves as Much Attention as Climate Change

    Biodiversity loss is probably a challenge that is often ignored as climate change looms. Currently the world is losing species at a rate that is 100 to 1000 times faster than the natural extinction rate, further, it is currently seeing the sixth mass extinction. The previous mass extinction occured 65 million years ago, and was caused by ecosystem changes, changes in atmospheric chemistry, impacts of asteroids and volcanoes. For the first time in history, the current extinction is caused by the competition for resources between a single species Homo sapiens and all others. A recent conference arranged by the Danish Ministry of Environment in the University of Copenhagen, provided an opportunity to influence the process of organizing a UN Biodiversity Panel. More than 100 scientists and decision makers from the EU countries gathered and came to the conclusion that drastic measures should be taken to decelerate current loss of biodiversity. >> Read the Full Article
  • The Era Of Cheap Water Is Over: Deloitte

    Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (DTTL) today launched the Water Tight 2012 report, which explores the future of the global water sector in the year ahead. The report examines how major global trends such as population growth, increasing economic development, and urbanization, coupled with the changes in climate patterns, underscore the importance of effective public policy and private sector water stewardship in managing this finite and shared resource. The growing demand for water is making conservation and efficient use central issues, particularly as governments, utilities, and the private sector come under increasing pressure to be stewards of this precious and shared resource. The report states that a clearer water pricing will play an important role in how customers better manage their water usage. "There is a compelling case for utilities either to increase water prices or create a better pricing system that addresses scarcity issues, allows them to invest in the replacement of ageing infrastructure, and provides them with a satisfactory financial return," says James Leigh, Global Leader for Water, DTTL. "Increasing water prices, however, is a difficult political decision, as domestic water usage is considered a basic human right. As such, raising awareness of water related issues and educating the public about the necessity of more effective water pricing is crucial." >> Read the Full Article
  • U.S. CO2 emissions to stay below 2005 levels

    U.S. energy-related CO2 emissions will be 7 percent lower than their 2005 level of nearly 6 billion metric tons in 2020 as coal's share of electricity production continues a steady descent over the next two decades, according to new government data. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) released an early version of its annual energy outlook on Monday, which predicted a slowdown in growth of energy use over the next two decades amid economic recovery and improved energy efficiency. The report highlights the fact that carbon-intensive coal generation will see a major decline in the power sector in the coming decades, which will ensure energy-related CO2 emissions will not exceed 2005 levels at any point before 2035. The report also showed that emissions per capita would fall an average of 1 percent per year from 2005 to 2035 as the new federal standards, state renewable energy mandates and higher energy prices would temper the growth of demand for transportation fuels. >> Read the Full Article