A message from Avaaz: The world is about to sign up to a 100% clean energy future! But the goal to completely cut carbon is at risk at the Lima climate talks. Let’s flood negotiators with messages now to make sure they know the world is watching, and to stand strong for climate action! Right now, Ministers from all over the world are on their way to Lima, Peru to hammer out the agreement. But oil, coal and fracking companies, and countries that want to keep polluting are lobbying hard to pull this crucial target from the text. That’s where we come in. People power forced through this crucial goal, now we have to protect it! If we don’t, scientists are clear — catastrophic and runaway climate change is inevitable. Our best chance of blocking back-room deals with polluters is bombarding our Ministers with thousands of messages. If enough of us act, they’ll know they’re being watched and expected to stand strong for the goal of 0 carbon, and 100% clean energy. Send your message now! https://secure.avaaz.org/en/lima_summit_100_clean_uk/?bWaAcdb&v=49819
Edie.net have done a marvellous job with updates from Lima – on Moday they reported that for the first time since 2009, the environmental assessor Climate Action Tracker has calculated a lower projected warming over the 21st century thanks to the new proposed post-2020 actions from China, the US and the EU. However, it warned this is still not enough to limit warming below 2˚C. If China, the United States and the European Union, who together comprise around 53% of global emissions, fully implement their post-2020 plans, they would limit global temperature rise to around 3˚C by 2100. On the preceding Thursday Japan prompted controversy at the conference by using $1bn of UN climate loans to fund coal power stations. Japan says these plants burn coal more efficiently and are therefore cleaner than old coal plants, but the transgression prompted a vociferous response from environmental groups. More than 250 NGO’s co-signed a letter to the Green Climate Fund – which will soon be the largest financier of green projects – warning that it cannot be used to fund fossil-fuel power generation. Leaders from Latin American countries are expected to announce a major new initiative to restore forests and agricultural lands on Sunday in Lima. Initiative 20×20 is a country-led effort to restore 20 million hectares of degraded land in Latin America and the Caribbean. The plan is part of the Bonn Challenege – a global commitment to restore 150 million hectares of land around the world by 2020. And the German Government injected some urgency into proceedings yesterday when it approved a broad new strategy designed to ensure it meets its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 40% by 2020. The savings will be driven by deep cuts in emissions-from-buildings, and the waste, energy and transport sectors. The key elements of the plans include tax incentives for energy-related building renovations, an electric car rollout, and a clampdown on oil-and-coal power stations. The UK Energy and Climate Change SecretaryEd Davey has called on countries at the UN climate talks in Lima to make carbon reduction pledges before the first quarter of next year. After his first day in Lima for COP 20, Davey said ambitious pledges were needed to created momentum for a deal at Paris 2015 and Davey said: “At home and abroad the UK has led the way – more than doubling renewable energy since 2010 and securing an ambitious target to reduce EU emissions by 2030. The World Meteorological Organisation underlined the importance of the conference, announcing that 2014 was due to be the hottest year ever recorded.
Also in Lima, More than 100 cities from around the world have signed up to the testing phase of a new protocol which claims to be the first standardised international agreement to measure and report city emissions. The Global Protocol for Community-Scale Greenhouse Gas Emission Inventories (GPC) aims to help cities set mitigation goals, create more targeted climate action plans and track progress over time. The GPC is already supported by 100 cities that are home to 107 million people; emitting more than 1.1 gigatonnes of greenhouse gases.
A coalition of UK businesses with turnover of more than £280bn have thrown their weight behind a new macro-economic roadmap for Britain that prioritises sustainability and equality over growth. The campaign, called An Economy That Works, is based around a recent report of the same name from the environmental lobbyist group Aldersgate Group. The report warns that growth alone is unsustainable and the UK should instead focus on low carbon, high employment, equality of opportunity and preserving natural resources. The coalition – which includes Aviva Investors, BT, Friends of the Earth, Interface, Kingfisher, M&S, National Grid, Nestlé and Sky – will work with the UK Government to identify key policy levers for change and encourage wider uptake of innovative business practices.
Supermarket giant Morrisons binned of 10,000 Cornish pasties after their delivery driver arrived 17 minutes late for collection, according to a report on hunger in the UK. The report also found that 4.3 million tons of edible food is discarded annually. Only 2 percent of the waste food generated by supermarkets, restaurants and food manufacturers is given to the poor. The rest is left to rot in landfill sites. In extreme cases, like the Morrisons pasty incident, huge amounts of food is thrown away because it is misshapen or does not fit supermarket requirements. Don Gardner, a food bank manager from Cornwall, said he was offered 10 tons of tomatoes because they were “too big” for Tesco. The non-profit social enterprise Food Aware, which campaigns for the fair distribution of resources, estimates the annual value of food thrown away in the UK is £23 billion, two thirds of which comes from retail and producers. Speaking to RT, Sean Gibbons, the Director of Food Aware said “The current supermarket food waste problem is significant, sensitive and literally ‘a hidden world’. Although, there are some great examples of some supermarkets doing the right thing and donating surplus food to charities/community organisations, there is still much work to be done” adding “Our issue at Food AWARE is that the food industry do no want to redistribute any food which is near or past its ‘Best Before’ date as this would affect them financially” he added. A cross-party group of MPs has urged the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) to set food retailers and manufacturers a target of doubling the proportion of surplus food they redistribute to food assistance providers and other voluntary organisations to help eliminate hunger. The cross-party group of MPs published a report, funded by the Church of England, entitled ‘Feeding Britain‘ , as part of a parliamentary inquiry into hunger and food poverty. It reiterates that more than 4 million tonnes of edible food is binned every year by the UK food industry – with just 2% donated to charity.
In the UK, three conservative MPs are blocking a private members bill to ban wild animals from circuses. Yes, stept forward Andrew Rosindale, Christopher Chope and Philip Davies who seem to think keeping wild animals in cramped quarters and vehicles and using them in shows is just fine and dandy. 90% of the British public think the practice is at best ‘outdated’ – and the bill has cross party support. But hasn’t passed into law yet. If you want to see how HAPPY two bears are after being released from the hell of living in a circus truck ….. watch this https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=720899734649546&fref=nf
The Double Pyramid is an innovative way of portraying how the ecological footprints of our food compare to their nutritional value. The “Double Food-Environmental Pyramid” was designed and launched by the Barilla Center for Food and Nutrition in 2010. Researchers from Italy wanted to combine nutritional guidelines with environmental issues, such as greenhouse gas emissions, water usage, and ecological footprints. The result is the Double Pyramid, which reveals an interesting fact: the most environmentally friendly foods are often the healthiest ones for human consumption, and many foods that are damaging to our bodies are also damaging to the environment. The inverted environmental pyramid shows ecologically-intensive foods at the very top, such as meat and cheese. As you look down the pyramid, you’ll find fish, olive oil, other dairy products, and legumes. At the bottom are the least ecologically-damaging fruits and vegetables. More on Treehugger here.
A couple of years ago, Microsoft revealed its plans to build a data center powered by biogas in Wyoming and now that plan has become a reality. The small data center is connected to the Supercomputing Center of the University of Wyoming and is not connected to the local power grid at all; it’s completely autonomous and powered by renewable energy. The data center holds 200 servers and is powered by methane that comes from biogas harvested from an on-site sewage treatment plant’s digestion tanks. A 300-kilowatt fuel cell converts the gas into electricity through an electrochemical process. The data center uses about 100 kW of that energy while the sewage treatment plant uses the other 150 kW to off-set its energy needs.
The Española giant Galapagos tortoise, which can weight 250 kg (550 lbs) and live a century, was really in bad shape in the 1960s. The island of Española, which is part of the Galapagos ( only had 15 individual – 12 females and 3 males after the introduction of non native goats that went wild and competed for the tortoises’food. Now and thanks to a 5-decade conservation effort, the species now seems to have made a ‘miraculous’ and, most importantly, stable recovery with over 1,000 tortoises on the island.
2,400 hybrid buses, zero-emission taxis and 10,000 street trees will all be coming to London as part of new plans announced by Boris Johnson in a bid to tackle the capital’s air pollution problems. The Mayor of London confirmed around £330m of new funding – the majority of which will be spent on green buses and taxis – to assist with plans to create the world’s first ‘Ultra Low Emission Zone’ in central London in 2020.
And finally back to Peru – where the Guardian reports that ther is a disaster being hidden from the environmental leaders gathered inside the walls of a military compound in Lima on their mission to fight climate change. Over the last few months – as Peru helped guide the United Nations climate negotiations – five separate oil spills along a main oil pipeline through the Amazon have spewed thick black clots of crude across jungle and swamp and carpeted local fishing lagoons with dead fish. For the indigenous peoples living downstream in clusters of tin-roofed and thatched houses on the banks of the Marañón river, it’s been a season of sickness and fear – on a good day, in the village of San Pedro, a Kukama Indian community, the villagers say they can find up to 30 species of fish in the lagoon. But what Bela and Castillo saw on that day left them shaken: a dead capybara (the world’s largest rodent), coated in crude and floating belly-up in the fishing ground that had been the villagers’ main source of food qwith one villager saying “You could smell oil, and the leaves on the bank were black”. The state owned oil company blames te leaks on sabotage. Indigenous peoples and campaigners reject the charge. They say the Peruvian regulators and the state-owned oil and gas company have not done enough to maintain the pipeline, which dates from the early 1970s. Peruvian officials estimated the first spill at 2,000 barrels. The most recent spill was several times larger, the villagers say.