After more than 36 hours of continuous negotiations, delegates at the U.N. climate talks in Warsaw agreed to two last-minute deals that kept alive hopes for staving off climate change. At talks that ended Saturday, delegates agreed to a proposed system for pledging cuts in greenhouse gas emissions. (more…)
The world’s poorest countries are investing more in LED lighting, energy storage, and other off-grid electricity technologies, according to a report by Larry West.
(Reuters) – EDF Trading, subsidiary of French utility EDF, said on Thursday it has ended its involvement in a biogas project in Honduras which an environmental group claims is linked to human rights abuses.
“We have taken the situation in Honduras very seriously and have spent the past few months looking at our options in respect to (more…)
(Reuters) – Developing countries accused Japan on Wednesday of breaking a pledge to extend a U.N. pact for fighting global warming beyond 2012 and said that climate talks in Mexico would fail unless Tokyo backed down.
Chinese officials say international climate talks next week in Mexico will succeed only if wealthy countries are willing to share technologies and funds to help developing nations reduce greenhouse gas emissions. While Western nations had pledged at last year’s climate summit in Copenhagen to pay into a $30 billion fund to help developing countries deal with the effects (more…)
The “trees” feature a unique, low-energy design that increases safety and attracts tourists to local businesses after dark.
The United States and a coalition of the world’s island nations and least developed countries are placing growing pressure on swiftly developing countries — most notably China — to commit to firm CO2 emissions reductions targets at the Copenhagen summit. As the U.S.’s chief climate negotiator, Todd Stern, told reporters there’s “no way” to solve the global warming problem “by giving the major developing countries a pass,” poor states and island nations proposed that all countries sign an agreement with legally binding CO2 reductions targets. China rejected that idea.
The Alliance of Small Island States — composed of 43 nations highly vulnerable to global warming and sea level rise — was joined by 48 of the world’s poorest countries in proposing that the Copenhagen summit set a goal of holding global temperature increases to 1.5 C (2.7 F) above pre-industrial levels. But as the small nations were making that plea, the UK’s Met Office said that given rapidly rising concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere, meeting a 1.5 C goal was virtually impossible and that holding global temperature increases to 2 C (3.6 F) will be difficult, even in the highly unlikely event that global greenhouse gas emissions peak in 2020.
The developing world, where 44 percent of people lack access to electricity, could soon be one of the biggest markets for solar power, according to participants at the Solar Power International conference in California.
To date, just 1 percent of solar panel production has been installed in poor nations in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, a situation that Michael Eckhart, president of the American Council on Renewable Energy, called “a scandal for our industry.”
Since I just posted about my thoughts on sustainable energy in Africa, I might as well follow up with more musings on sustainable development there. Although most of my time in Kenya was spent in Nairobi, I also had a chance to explore Lake Naivasha’s industry and ecosystem. I met, for example, with the VP of Finance and Administration of Homegrown Ltd, a huge floriculture company specializing in roses, exporting hundreds of millions each year. A few things struck me from the encounter.
First, Lake Naivasha, the source of water for the entire local flower industry, is changing. It is drying up and its water is becoming more polluted. While this is partially due to natural cycles, it is mostly attributed to man. Homegrown and other florists in the Lake Naivasha Growers Group surprised me with their recognition of culpability and their proactivity in addressing the issue despite no government requirement to do so. For example, they have planted local shrubs along the banks to slow runoff and filter the water that enters the lake.
Second, Homegrown is committed to reducing its environmental impact through elimination of chemical-based pesticides. However, the need to reduce rose-eating pests remains. To strike this balance, Homegrown founded another company, DuduTech (“Dudu” means “insect” in Swahili.), which develops “pesticides” by using naturally occurring insects that prey on the pests. This includes predatory insects, parasitic bugs, and a host of other approaches that all have the same objective: neutralize the pests without introducing chemicals into the environment. Cool stuff.