Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Climate change threatens human rights of millions

GENEVA, Feb 19 (Reuters) - Climate change threatens the human rights of millions of people who are at risk of losing access to housing, food and clean water unless governments intervene early to counter its effects, experts said on Tuesday.

At a conference on climate change and migration, United Nations officials said rising sea levels and intense storms, droughts and floods could force scores of people from their homes and off their lands -- some permanently.

"Global warming and extreme weather conditions may have calamitous consequences for the human rights of millions of people," said Kyung-wha Kang, the U.N. deputy high commissioner for human rights. More >>>

Benn announces review of climate change target in UK

Benn announces statutory review of climate change target.

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

A review of the target to reduce the UK's CO2 emissions by at least 60 per cent by 2050 will become a statutory duty under the Climate Change Bill, Environment Secretary Hilary Benn said today.
Mr Benn announced the decision alongside other amendments to strengthen the Bill as it moves towards completing its passage through the House of Lords.
The Government has committed to ask the independent Committee on Climate Change, headed by Adair Turner, to consider whether the 2050 target should be tightened up to 80 per cent, as the Committee considers its advice on the first three five-year carbon budgets.

Mr Benn said: "The Climate Change Bill is groundbreaking legislation, and will provide the foundations for building a low carbon Britain. We need it to be as strong as possible.

"The scientific evidence has moved rapidly, and as part of a new global climate deal, developed countries may have to cut their emissions by as much as 80 per cent by 2050. That's why we announced a review of the UK target last year. More >>>

Saturday, February 16, 2008

IEA urges US to fight global warming

The IEA said the US should change its energy policy.
Sat, 16 Feb 2008

The IEA said the US should change its energy policy.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) has urged the United States to increase efforts to control energy use and fight global warming. An IEA report suggests the US needs to do more to boost automobile fuel efficiency standards, improve the efficiency of power plants and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The report says the US has made progress toward a more sustainable energy system but is lagging behind other industrialized countries and even developing countries such as India and China in some areas.

"To address the multiple challenges that United States energy policy is facing, the price mechanism is the most important tool," the report said. More >>>

Monday, February 11, 2008

Turks and Caicos Islands to create region's first 'green island'

Monday, February 11, 2008

PROVIDENCIALES, Turks and Caicos Islands: The Turks and Caicos Islands is to give the Caribbean region its first “green island” in the near future as part of the government’s sustainable tourism programme, Premier, Dr. Michael Misick has said.

The 2.5 mile island of Salt Cay, once the centre of the Bermudan salt industry and the mainstay of the Turks and Caicos economy from the late 1600’s until the early 1960’s, has been chosen to be transformed into the “green island,” Premier Misick said at a news conference here.

“Any new development will be consistent with that philosophy (of sustainable development),” the Premier told journalists.

The news conference was being held to launch a public awareness campaign for the 10th Annual Caribbean Conference on Sustainable Tourism Development (STC-10) to be held here from April 28- May 1. More >>>

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

EU 'should ban inefficient cars'

Markets need to be pointed in the right direction, Sir Mark says
The EU should ban the sale of cars that do under 35 miles to the gallon, the ex-chairman of oil giant Shell says.

Sir Mark Moody-Stuart told BBC News the motor industry would adapt to cope with stricter environmental rules.

The UK Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders opposes the idea, saying drivers of the most polluting cars pay extra through road tax and petrol duty.

But Sir Mark said this simply let rich people avoid taking responsibility for tackling climate change.

Expanding on the views he expressed in a BBC News website Green Room opinion column, Sir Mark said: "Nobody needs a car that does 10-15mpg.

"We need very tough regulation saying that you can't drive or build something less than a certain standard. You would be allowed to drive an Aston Martin - but only if it did 50-60mpg." [The Cayman Islands should also explore this initiative. Editor] More >>>

Monday, February 4, 2008

UN: Mangrove Forests Vanishing at an "Alarming" Rate

ROME, Italy, February 3, 2008 (ENS) - The world has lost about 20 percent of its wetland mangrove forests since 1980, the United Nations said Thursday in a new report to mark World Wetlands Day, February 2. Mangroves are salt tolerant evergreen forests found along coastlines, lagoons, rivers or deltas in 124 tropical and subtropical countries and areas.

Environmental and economic damages caused by the "alarming" loss of mangroves in many countries should be urgently addressed, said the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, FAO, calling for better mangrove protection and management programs.
Heron rests in a mangrove forest in South Florida. (Photo courtesy USGS)
"Mangroves are important forested wetlands," said Wulf Killmann, director of FAO's Forest Products and Industry Division. "If deforestation of mangroves continues, it can lead to severe losses of biodiversity and livelihoods, in addition to salt intrusion in coastal areas and siltation of coral reefs, ports and shipping lanes. Tourism would also suffer."

"Countries need to engage in a more effective conservation and sustainable management of the world's mangroves and other wetland ecosystems," Killmann said. More >>>

Sunday, February 3, 2008

US reassures on Global Climate Change Commitment in Honolulu

February 2 2008

With the curtain closed on 31 January 2008 at the end of the two day meting in Honolulu on global climate change, the participants from 16 major global economies plus the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) seemed to agree that the U.S. had taken new initiatives to improve its image and convey the right facts on global climate change based on past US commitments.

The Hawaii meeting proved to be a constructive opportunity particularly as the United Nations was also present to express its views for the first time after the historic UN climate conference in Bali, Indonesia. Although this second Major Economies Meeting on Energy Security and Climate Change ended without reaching any formal agreement, participants did agree to move forward on the Bali Action Plan on Climate Change. More >>>