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ANOTHER PLANET?

drax-powerThe world must cut CO2 emissions to zero by 2070 at the latest to keep global warming below dangerous levels and prevent a global catastrophe, the UN has again warned. By 2100, all greenhouse gas emissions – including methane, nitrous oxide and ozone, as well as CO2 – must fall to zero, the United Nationals Environment Programme (Unep) report says, or the world will face what Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change scientists have described as “severe, widespread and irreversible” effects from climate change.

Britain will face a disaster if it adopts an “isolationist approach” to the environment, the energy secretary, Ed Davey, has warned as he announced the UK is to give £720m to an international fund to help poor countries cope with climate change. In remarks aimed at rightwing Tories and Ukip supporters, as voters go to the polls in the Rochester and Strood byelection, Davey said a “little Englander approach” would be self defeating as climate change does not recognise borders. Davey was speaking to the Guardian on the eve of an announcement that Britain is to donate more than France and Germany to the UN’s Green Climate Fund. which has a target of $10bn (£8bn) – the UK will contribute up to 12%. Nearly three-quarters of Britons want to see international leaders agree a deal to tackle climate change ahead of the Paris 2015 conference.  The Populous poll of 2000 people also revealed that the demand for action is immediate, with only 20% saying action can ‘wait a few years’. Likewise 72% said they are aware of the benefits of tackling climate chang

A “historic” deal to cut Europe’s throwaway plastic bag culture is expected to be approved, which would cut the number of bags Europeans use each year by more than three quarters in just over a decade’s time. After fractious negotiations that pitted the UK against most of the EU, the European commission has agreed to accept a compromise which should see the new regulation sent to MEPs on Friday for a rubber-stamping vote in Strasbourg early next week. Under the new proposal, EU states can opt for mandatory pricing of bags by 2019, or binding targets to reduce the number of plastic bags used annually per person from 191 now to 90 by 2019 and 40 in 2025. Measures such as bag taxes could also be considered as equivalent.

edison-LED.jpg.650x0_q85_crop-smartAustralian lighting company Edison Light Globes has introduced a line of LED bulbs that look like an old-fashioned Edison incandescent, burning 5 watts instead of 45. whilst at 375 lumens these are decorative rather than effective light sources, they have a color rendition index of a  high 94.9. The shaped glass is exactly like a traditional standard round and fits regular light fittings with good representation of colors. Therefore the bulb is fantastic for atmospheric lighting, in a multi-bulb pendant light, as well as discreet lighting.

The Times reports (22.11.14) that US oil and gas company Camac Energy has abandoned plans to cause widespread environmental damage in the Arabuko Sokoke coastal forest in Kenya in a mission to find fossil fuels. The forest is home to rare wildlife including forest elephants – three endangered mammals and six endangered bird species including the Sokoke Scops Owl. It is a UNESCO biodiversity  hotspot. The seismic survey would have involved laying charges every 60m to send shockwaves 4km underground. The Times says that an impact survey for the seismic survey , written by Earthview Consultants, was now doubted as ‘large tracts of text appear to have been copied from the internet’ and it contained important factual inaccuracies. Kenya’s National Environmental Management Agency, which issued Camac’s licence and Earthview declined to comment to the Times.

Spanish navy boats protecting an oil drilling ship rammed Greenpeace boats during a protest, leaving one activist with a broken leg and another with minor cuts. Dramatic footage filmed off the Canary Islands of Lanzarote and Fuerteventura on Saturday shows the moment when a navy rhib – a fast rigid hull inflatable boat – appeared to deliberately collide with a Greenpeace rhib which was approaching the oil ship Rowan Renaissance.

elephantA record 1,020 rhinos have been poached in South Africa this year, the government said Thursday, undermining multiple efforts by authorities to curb the slaughter of the endangered species. The vast Kruger National Park, has been hit the hardest by poachers, with 672 killed inside the park, which is roughly the size of Wales. “To date, a total of 1,020 rhino have been killed for their horn since 1 January 2014,” the department of environmental affairs said in a statement. The poaching crisis has forced the authorities to move a number of rhinos to “safety zones,” some in neighbouring countries. The slaughter of elephants across Africa has been similarly catastrophic – 95% down on the beginning of the 1900s.

Reindeer living in the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard are suffering from the increase in winter rain – which then freezes and forms an impenetrable barrier between the reindeer and its food.  whilst used to permanently frozen ground, they cannot graze through ice and November and December rainfall replacing snowfall causes significant problems with the ice formed lasting for many months according to the Norwegian Institute of Science and Technology in Trondheim.

The international body in charge of sea safety adopted measures on Friday to protect people and the environment during a predicted shipping rush in the Arctic. But environment groups and insurers said the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) Maritime Safety Committee had failed to address key issues including a proposed ban on heavy fuel oil and how to safeguard against cowboy operators. The committee, which met in London this week, signed off on the Polar Code and various amendments to the Safety of Life at Sea (Solas) convention. These changes, which include mandatory requirements for ship design, crew training and search and rescue protocols, are expected to be ratified by the full IMO next year and come into force in 2017.

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sea ice
sea ice

Last weekend’s Observer newspaper had a four page spread headed up “Climate change is not just about science – it’s about the future we want to create Climate scientist Chris Rapley and his co-author of the acclaimed play 2071 explain why the 2015 Paris climate summit cannot be allowed to fail – for all our sakes”.   Chris Rapley CBE is professor of climate science at University College London and previously director of the Science Museum, London, and director of the British Antarctic Surve

Next December, 196 nations will meet in Paris to agree a course of action to respond to climate change. They will do so under the auspices of the UN framework convention on climate change. This is an international treaty negotiated at the Earth summit in Rio in 1992 with the objective to “stabilise greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that will prevent dangerous human interference with the climate system”. The discussions in Paris in 2015 will be informed by the latest climate science. In our play 2071, which recently completed its inaugural run at the Royal Court theatre in London, directed by Katie Mitchell, we explore the science, its implications and the options before us. A key aim is to leave the audience better placed to participate in the public discourse, in which we all need to play a part. MORE HERE – IT’S WELL WORTH A READ!

Even ambitious mitigation action taken today will not change the fact that the Earth is locked into warming 1.5C above pre-industrial levels by mid-century, meaning climate change impacts such as extreme heat events may now be unavoidable. That’s according to a new report commissioned by The World Bank Group – Turn Down the Heat: Confronting the New Climate Normal – carried out by scientists at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and Climate Analytics.

Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey has fended off criticism of the Government’s impending Energy Saving Opportunity Scheme (ESOS), insisting that a regulatory approach to improving the nation’s energy efficiency is the right one. Speaking to edie.net  at an ESOS business event in London, Davey said the implementation of the mandatory scheme for all large businesses is ‘completely necessary’ and will have an ‘important impact’ on the UK’s energy future, despite some aspects of the scheme overlapping with similar efficiency regulations.

Michael Eavis and the solar panels at Worthy FarmUK farms offer 10GW of untapped renewable energy potential, and could be pivotal in creating a secure low-carbon energy system, according to a new report commissioned by the Farm Power coalition. The bulk of this predicted energy output – three times that of the planned Hinkley Point nuclear plant – will come from ground-based solar and wind, with a smaller proportion from anaerobic digestion. The report, carried out by non-profit Forum for the Future, claimed that new energy installations would complement food production, benefit farmers financially and help biodiversity.

British industry squanders a staggering £3.2bn and emits almost 58 million tonnes of CO2 every year by using out of date off-mains energy sources.  That’s according to a report from LPG supplier Flogas – the Flogas Energy Expenditure Report – which reveals that, despite falling oil prices, the £12bn per year currently spent on oil can be cut to £8.7bn. Edie.net reports that oil is expensive, inefficient and dirty to burn. By switching to energy sources such as liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), Flogas suggests that companies could cut CO2 emissions by 13.2 million tonnes per year, saving up to £2.6bn in energy costs. When oil burning equipment is replaced by more fuel efficient LPG burners, this saving rises to over £3.2bn.

Orangutan3Pepsi True was temporarily removed from Amazon last night after environmentalists left thousands of bad reviews because of PepsiCo’s palm oil policies which “encourage deforestation and modern slavery”. The new soft drink, which is sold exclusively on Amazon.com, has been reinstated on the website but the product now has more than 3,000 one-star ratings – making up 96% of all product reviews.  By 2020, ‘the palm oil market will be transformed and the entire industry will move to 100% sustainable palm oil’. well that’s the vision expressed by Unilever in its Sustainable Palm Oil Progress Report 2014, which states that all palm oil directly sourced for its European Foods business will be 100% traceable and certified sustainable by the end of 2014. And whilst we are with consumer goods – and fizzy drinks – The Indian government authorities have declared that Coca-Cola is ‘over-exploiting’ the groundwater around its controversial bottling factory in Mehdiganj, Northern India. More water is being extracted from the underground water source than is being replenished. The area around the factory is the most water stressed area in the entire district.  A fully-built $25m expansion to the plant will never be operated, following activist and government opposition.

Air pollution from Europe’s largest industrial facilities cost society €189bn in 2012, with half the damage costs caused by air pollutants and CO2 emitted from 1% of plants. That’s according to an assessment by the European Environment Agency (EEA) – Costs of air pollution from European industrial facilities – published today (25 November) which suggests that, between 2008 and 2012, the cost of air pollution may have been as high as €1,053bn.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]