Tiempo Climate Newswatch
Week ending October 25th 2009
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.
The Brazilian government is considering capping its greenhouse gas emissions at 2005 levels. "We can reach 2020 with levels similar to those of 2005, even with [economic] growth of four per cent annually," said environment minister Carlos Minc. Brazil has recently extended its deforestation target from a 70 per cent reduction in the rate by 2017 to an 80 per cent reduction by 2010. "Brazil is one of the world's largest economies and greenhouse gas emitters. It's time it adopted targets in line with its size and responsibility," said João Talocchi from Greenpeace.
India plans to include the use of natural resources in economic growth accounts by the year 2015, reports environment minister Jairam Ramesh. "I'm sure that in the next two years, more and more economists will focus their time and energies upon social investment accounting or green accounting... so that GDP really becomes not gross domestic product but green domestic product," he said. Alongside increased use of renewable energy and more efficient use of energy, the move is seen as evidence of India's commitment to the international fight against climate change. The United States Congress is considering the imposition of tariffs on goods from countries that do not have emissions targets in order to protect local industries.
The number of hungry people in the world is likely to top one billion this year as a result of the food and economic crises, according to a new report from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP). "World leaders have reacted forcefully to the financial and economic crisis and succeeded in mobilizing billions of dollars in a short time period. The same strong action is needed now to combat hunger and poverty," said Jacques Diouf, FAO director-general. "At a time when there are more hungry people in the world than ever before, there is less food aid than we have seen in living memory. We know what is needed to meet urgent hunger needs - we just need the resources and the international commitment to do the job," commented Josette Sheeran, WFP executive director.
The State of Food Insecurity identifies three factors that are making the current financial crisis particularly devastating for poor households in developing countries. First, the crisis is affecting large parts of the world simultaneously, reducing the scope for traditional coping mechanisms such as currency devaluation, borrowing or increased use of official development assistance or migrant remittances. Second, the food crisis has already strained coping strategies so poor families risk falling deeper into destitution and the hunger-poverty trap. Finally, developing countries have become more integrated, both financially and commercially, into the world economy, making them more vulnerable to changes in international markets.
"We already know that marine ecosystems are multi-trillion dollar assets linked to sectors such as tourism, coastal defense, fisheries and water purification services – now it is emerging that they are natural allies against climate change," said Achim Steiner, head of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Blue Carbon, a new report from UNEP, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, estimates that halting losses and catalyzing the recovery of marine ecosystems might contribute to offsetting up to seven per cent of current fossil-fuel emissions and at a fraction of the costs of technologies to capture and store carbon at power stations.
Carbon emissions, equal to half the annual emissions of the global transport sector, are being captured and stored by marine ecosystems such as mangroves, salt marshes and seagrasses, which represent a "blue carbon sink". "An ecosystem approach to the management of ocean and coastal ecosystems cannot only enhance their natural carbon sink capacity, but also offers a way to safeguard and strengthen food and livelihood security for fisheries-dependent communities," observed Ichiro Nomura of FAO. The report recommends the establishment of a Blue Carbon fund for the maintenance and rehabilitation of key marine ecosystems.
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