Tiempo Climate Newswatch
Week ending August 10th 2008
The Blue Carbon Portal brings together the latest knowledge and resources on the role of oceans as carbon sinks.
WalkIt provides walking routes between user-defined points in selected British cities, with an estimate of the carbon savings.
Joto Afrika is a series of printed briefings and online resources about adapting to climate change in sub-Saharan Africa.
The CoolClimate Art Contest presents iconic images that address the impact of climate change.
About the Cyberlibrary
The Tiempo Climate Cyberlibrary was developed by Mick Kelly and Sarah Granich on behalf of the Stockholm Environment Institute and the International Institute for Environment and Development, with sponsorship from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency.
While every effort is made to ensure that information on this site, and on other sites that are referenced here, is accurate, no liability for loss or damage resulting from use of this information can be accepted.
South Africa will require all new coal-fired power stations and coal-to-liquid plants to have carbon capture facilities. "We have to move away from dirty coal as the dominant source of energy... Where we continue to rely on coal we want to make sure that it is cleaner coal," said Marthinus van Schalkwyk, environmental affairs minister. The announcement came as the South African government agreed on a "progressive policy" on climate change, the latest development of the 2006 Long Term Mitigation Strategy. The policy includes a commitment to curb national emissions from the year 2020 onwards. A further carbon tax, on business, is under consideration. The government is committed to a shift away from energy-intensive and towards carbon-neutral industries.
The Japanese government plans to cut national carbon emissions by up to 80 per cent by the year 2050. It will start carbon trading on an experimental basis later this year and boost research into carbon capture technologies. Solar power production will increase tenfold by 2020 and nine more nuclear reactors will be built by 2018. "Japan must continue showing leadership on the issue of environment," Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda said. "To lead the world, Japan must take the initiative by achieving a low-carbon society." It is intended that the price of a solar power system will halve in three to five years and that, by 2020, every other new vehicle will be "next generation" cars, such as electric cars.
"If we cannot even manage trade, how should we then find ourselves in a position to manage the new challenges lying ahead of us" such as climate change, said European Union agriculture commissioner Mariann Fischer-Boel as the latest Doha round of world trade talks broke down. "The bottom-line of the disagreement between the rich and developing countries arises from the fact that the developed do not want to remove agricultural subsidies and the developing nations like China and India also want to start giving their farmers support by controlling dumping from Europe and the United States," said Rwandan delegate Antoine Ruvebana. Ruvebana described the failure of the talks as a "missed opportunity" to uplift millions from poverty.
"It's a good thing that there was no agreement," said Daniel Mittler from Greenpeace International. "What was on the table was unacceptable, therefore it's no loss that negotiations have failed," he continued. He reckoned it would be "disastrous" to liberalize, as proposed, sectors such as fisheries, forestry and electrical waste products, where proper regulation is required. Lori Wallach of Public Citizen wants to see a new agenda focused on fixing existing World Trade Organization rules. "Thank God no deal was reached," she said, "because the proposal under consideration would have exacerbated the serious economic, food security and social problems now rocking numerous countries."
The United Nations (UN) is cutting the use of air conditioning in its New York offices under the new Cool UN initiative. During a one month trial, the air conditioning will be switched off at weekends and, during the week, office temperatures will be set at 77°F, five degrees higher than previously. If the trial is successful, office temperatures will be set five degrees lower than usual during winter. The one month trial should cut energy use by ten per cent. Over a year, the financial savings could amount to one million US dollars.
"We have succeeded in moving climate change to the top of the international agenda for action, and this means that the UN must take action itself," said Ban Ki-moon, UN executive secretary. "We must lead by example and if we are to ask others to take action, we must do so as well." As office temperatures rise on August 1st, staff, delegates and diplomats are being invited to relax clothing protocols and wear lighter attire or don their national dress rather than wear business suits. Men can leave their ties off.
General Electric plans to cut solar installation costs by half
Project 90 by 2030 supports South African school children and managers reduce their carbon footprint through its Club programme
Bath & North East Somerset Council in the United Kingdom has installed smart LED carriageway lighting that automatically adjusts to light and traffic levels
The United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the American Public Gardens Association are mounting an educational exhibit at Longwood Gardens showing the link between temperature and planting zones
The energy-efficient Crowne Plaza Copenhagen Towers hotel is powered by renewable and sustainable sources, including integrated solar photovoltaics and guest-powered bicycles
El Hierro, one of the Canary Islands, plans to generate 80 per cent of its energy from renewable sources
The green roof on the Remarkables Primary School in New Zealand reduces stormwater runoff, provides insulation and doubles as an outdoor classroom
The Weather Info for All project aims to roll out up to five thousand automatic weather observation stations throughout Africa
SolSource turns its own waste heat into electricity or stores it in thermal fabrics, harnessing the sun's energy for cooking and electricity for low-income families
The Wave House uses vegetation for its architectural and environmental qualities, and especially in terms of thermal insulation
The Mbale compost-processing plant in Uganda produces cheaper fertilizer and reduces greenhouse gas emissions
At Casa Grande, Frito-Lay has reduced energy consumption by nearly a fifth since 2006 by, amongst other things, installing a heat recovery system to preheat cooking oil
Tiempo Climate Newswatch