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Mongabay: A group of palm oil and timber companies that have pledged to eliminate deforestation from their supply chains have agreed to establish a standard for determining what constitutes "forest" in terms of carbon storage.
Asia Pulp and Paper (APP), Cargill, Golden Agri-Resources (GAR), Golden Veroleum Liberia, Wilmar, Agropalma and New Britain Palm Oil have agreed to establish a body that standardizes the High Carbon Stock (HCS) Approach, the methodology being used to implement zero deforestation commitments....
Posted: September 17, 2014, 9:47 am
Guardian: Natural disasters displaced three times as many people as war last year – even as 2013 was a horrific year for conflict – with 22 million people driven out of their homes by floods, hurricanes and other hazards, a new study has found.
Twice as many people now lose their homes to disaster as in the 1970s, and more people move into harm’s way each year, the study by the Norwegian Refugee Council found.
“Basically, the combination of mega natural disasters and hundreds of smaller natural disasters...
Posted: September 17, 2014, 9:45 am
BusinessGreen: The missing piece of the puzzle required to deliver reliable, low-cost, low-carbon power grids may have just been delivered in northern Germany.
Utility Wemag AG announced yesterday that it has flicked the switch on Europe's largest commercial battery energy storage system, bringing online its new 5MW facility.
The EUR6m (£4.7m) plant is the size of a school gymnasium and contains 25,600 lithium-manganoxid cells that have been supplied by Samsung SDI Co. It is designed to help Wemag balance...
Posted: September 17, 2014, 9:29 am
Guardian: The extent of sea ice in Antarctica is set to reach a record high, scientists said on Tuesday, as they announced that Arctic sea ice appeared to have shrunk to its sixth lowest level ever.
The NSIDC said that satellite data was expected to shortly confirm whether the maximum extent of sea ice at the opposite pole, in Antarctica, had set a new record.
“Antarctic sea ice is poised to set a record maximum this year, now at 19.7 million sq km (7.6m sq m) and continuing to increase,” the centre,...
Posted: September 17, 2014, 8:59 am
Mongabay: Activists have launched an urgent appeal calling upon outgoing Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to step up protection of the only ecosystem that houses Sumatran orangutans, rhinos, elephants and tigers.
End of Icons, an initiative led by the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme and PanEco-YEL, is urging Yudhoyono to elevate the protected status of the Leuser Ecosystem before he leaves office. End of Icons is targeting the president ahead of his UN Climate Summit speech next week....
Posted: September 17, 2014, 8:55 am
Ria Novosti: Over the next five years, India, China and Japan are expected to have the highest growth rates in cumulative photovoltaic (PV) panel installations, with China set to pass the 100 GW mark by 2018, Electronic Component News magazine reported.
At the same time, China, Thailand and the United Kingdom are forecast to have the highest 10-year compound annual growth rates.
China is now the only major solar market in the world that can service its own market purely through domestic supply, its installed...
Posted: September 17, 2014, 8:16 am
Guardian: Around the world, cities are taking the lead on addressing the challenge of climate change. While senior governments stall, urban leaders are responding to the urgent need to make our cities more resilient as climate change impacts intensify.
In Vancouver, we are aggressively pursuing our goal to be the greenest city in the world by 2020. It’s a bold goal, but in working toward it, we are protecting our environment and growing our economy. The successful cities of the future will be those making...
Posted: September 17, 2014, 7:59 am
Australian Broadcasting Corporation: EMMA ALBERICI, PRESENTER: A report on the effects of climate change on Australia's infrastructure calls coastal flooding the sleeping giant of risk to future prosperity.
And the Climate Council of Australia says so-called "once-in-a-lifetime natural disasters" could become regular occurrences.
Hamish Fitzsimmons reports.
HAMISH FITZSIMMONS, REPORTER: More than three-quarters of the population lives near the coast but Australia's love affair with the beach will come at a future cost.
Posted: September 17, 2014, 7:59 am
Guardian: The two major parties appear no closer to a compromise on the future of the renewable energy target, amid a push by Coalition backbenchers to strip away the mechanism for large-scale wind and solar projects. The government has repeatedly called on Labor to compromise over the RET, which requires that 41,000 gigawatt hours of Australia’s energy comes from renewable sources by 2020. The scheme is made up of the large-scale RET, aimed at wind and solar farms, and the small-scale renewable energy scheme,...
Posted: September 17, 2014, 7:36 am
BBC: The Hollywood actor, Leonardo DiCaprio, has been appointed as a United Nations representative on climate change. The UN secretary general Ban ki Moon said the actor's global stardom was the perfect match for the global challenge posed by climate change. Mr DiCaprio's first duty in his new role will be to address the opening of the climate summit later this month in New York.
Posted: September 17, 2014, 5:40 am
ScienceDaily: A recent study of the global carbon cycle offers a new perspective of Earth's climate records through time. Scientists at the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science suggest that one of the current methods for interpreting ancient changes in the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and oceans may need to be re-evaluated.
The UM Rosenstiel School researchers measured the abundance of carbon-12 and carbon-13 isotopes in both the organic matter and...
Posted: September 17, 2014, 5:32 am
BusinessGreen: The company behind Dunkin' Donuts and Baskin-Robbins ice cream has pledged to stop frying its doughnuts in unsustainable palm oil, which contributes to deforestation and destroys habitats of endangered species such as tigers and orangutans. Dunkin Brands Group yesterday unveiled a commitment to use 100 per cent sustainable palm oil at its United States stores. The copany said that by the end of 2015 it will be able to trace all of the palm oil it buys back to the mill and by the following year will...
Posted: September 17, 2014, 5:00 am
Agence France-Presse: The Netherlands on Tuesday unveiled a multi-billion-euro, multi-decade plan to counter the biggest environmental threat to the low-lying European nation: surging seawater caused by global climate change.
The project, expected to span 30 years and cost 20 billion euros ($25 billion), will see new sea barriers built and existing dykes strengthened in the country, much of which lies below sea-level.
Environmental Minister Melanie Schultz van Haegen, presenting the plan to parliament, called it...
Posted: September 17, 2014, 12:10 am
Guardian: Actor and activist Mark Ruffalo called on US president Barack Obama to ban fracking and make the US the renewable energy capital of the world on Tuesday.
Ruffalo made the plea in a press call hosted by Food & Water Watch, which released a report on Tuesday tying the controversial practice of fracking to climate change. The report comes days ahead of next week’s UN climate summit in New York.
“By stopping this fracking, it doesn’t mean that we have to go backwards – we don’t have to take an...
Posted: September 16, 2014, 11:17 pm
Nature World: Climate change is affecting all sorts of animals, from sharks to polar bears to birds, but new research has focused on tropical lizards, which have learned to swiftly adapt in order to survive.
Previous research has found that tropical species, because they're already tolerating extreme heat, are most vulnerable to changing ecosystems as a result of climate change. But scientists from Dartmouth University in New Hampshire and the University of Virginia believe some reptiles might be able to evolve...
Posted: September 16, 2014, 10:04 pm
Climate Central: Say bye, bye, to chemicals that chill your frozen pie. The U.S. is making it clear as ice that it intends to continue moving forward with efforts to clamp down on the use of hydrofluorocarbons, known as HFCs, which are chemicals that helped save the ozone layer — but have put the climate in jeopardy. The chemicals were developed for use in fridges, air conditioning systems and other products after ozone-damaging chemicals used for cooling were effectively banned in the 1980s under the Montreal...
Posted: September 16, 2014, 10:02 pm
Guardian: Rising sea levels are a “sleeping giant” issue that will put at risk coastal infrastructure worth up to $226bn, a new report has found.
Analysis by the Climate Council found Australia was likely to experience a sea level rise of 0.4m to 1m by the end of the century, with a “high end” scenario of 1.1m possible if the world warmed by about 4C compared with pre-industrial temperatures.
In this worst-case scenario, $226bn in property, including houses, schools, hospitals and ports, would be exposed...
Posted: September 16, 2014, 9:17 pm
Reuters: Fire crews in California battled on Tuesday to halt the advance of a day-old wildfire that has already destroyed about 150 homes, lapped at rural schools and caused power outages that left an evacuation shelter without electricity, authorities said. The blaze, one of about a dozen major fires raging across the drought-parched state, prompted authorities to order the evacuation of about 1,000 households in and around the Northern California town of Weed, which has a population of about 3,000. "Weed...
Posted: September 16, 2014, 9:09 pm
Gawker: Much of the discussion about cutting the carbon emissions that are slowly destroying our planet centers on the supposed cost of all these new forms of clean energy. A new report suggests: what costs?
Yes, changing over our planet's dominant power supply from one powered by fossil fuels to one powered by cleaner forms of energy will be enormously expensive. And yes, the tax on carbon emissions that it will likely take to spur companies towards clean energy will be enormously expensive, to polluters....
Posted: September 16, 2014, 9:02 pm
Agence France-Presse: Leonardo DiCaprio will address world leaders at a UN climate summit next week as the new "UN messenger of peace" with focus on climate change, the UN chief said Tuesday.
The star of the hit films "Titanic" and "The Wolf of Wall Street" has been vocal on the need for action on global warming through his "Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation."
"I feel a moral obligation to speak out at this key moment in human history -- it is a moment for action," DiCaprio said in a statement.
"How we respond to...
Posted: September 16, 2014, 8:51 pm