The environment in the news



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THE ENVIRONMENT IN THE NEWS

Friday, 25 June, 2010

UNEP and the Executive Director in the News


  • Reuters: Green economy lags, G20 can be new spur: UNEP

  • STV (Scotland): Green economy lags, G20 can be new spur: UNEP

  • Interactive Investor (UK): Green economy lags, G20 can be new spur: UNEP

  • Green economy lags, G20 can be new spur-UNEP

  • Daily Champion (Nigeria): UN Moves for Global Partnership to Boost Tourism

  • Cnet News: GE to invest $10 billion in Ecomagination initiative

  • PR Web (UK): Climate change catastrophe for migratory species

  • Earth Times (Blog): Climate change catastrophe for migratory species

  • India Blooms: ‘Migratory species face climate change disaster’

  • Web News Wire: Migratory species face disaster from climate change, UN-backed report warns

  • Sify (India): UN announces environment education programme for students

  • India Edu News: UN announces environment education programme for students

  • Economist: The other oil spill

  • Environmental Expert: New laboratory to improve monitoring of hazardous waste in key West African port

  • Web Murcia (Spain): Economía verde: Instan al G-20 a asumir liderazgo

  • MiMorelia (Mexico): Se acerca México a países africanos para integrarlos a trabajos de la COP16

  • Ecoticias: Trece científicos españoles han sido seleccionados para la elaboración del quinto informe de evaluación del Grupo Intergubernamental de Expertos sobre Cambio Climático

  • Altonivel (Mexico): Basura electrónica en México suma tons

  • Developpement Durable: Soutenez la pêche durable avec le label MSC !

  • Touristic presse: ibis - mit Nachhaltigkeit in die Zukunft




Other Environment News


  • AFP: UN talks chief 'appalled' over climate change response

  • Daily Nation (Kenya): Girl on a mission to save habitat in Cancun

  • AP: More dirty evidence of Gulf oil spill wash ashore

  • Reuters: Government loses bid to keep oil drilling ban

  • LA Times (US) Gulf oil spill: Many sea turtles drowned since gusher began

  • Reuters: Whales face new threats deadlier than whaling

  • Independent (UK): Victory for anti-whaling campaigners

  • Whale watching worth billions and booming: study

  • BBC: Russia's oil exploration threatens gray whales

  • AFP: Angola seeks Brazilian aid on biofuels

  • Telegraph (UK): Japanese told to go to bed an hour early to cut carbon emissions


Environmental News from the UNEP Regions


  • RONA


Other UN News


  • Environment News from the UN Daily News of June 24th 2010

  • Environment News from the S.G.’s Spokesman Daily Press Briefing of June 25th 2010 (None)


UNEP and the Executive Director in the News

Reuters: Green economy lags, G20 can be new spur: UNEP
24th June 2010
World investments in a greener economy are lagging despite some success even in poor nations and the G20 summit this weekend is a chance to catch up, the head of the U.N. Environment Program (UNEP) said.
Green spending gives "a very real return for people and economies, north and south," Achim Steiner told Reuters on Thursday of investments such as in renewable energies or in protecting forests or fresh water.
He said the world had so far earmarked about $500 billion in green spending -- ranging from railways to solar power -- out of packages agreed in recent years to stimulate the sagging world economy worth more than $3 trillion.
In 2008, UNEP called for $750 billion, or 1 percent of gross domestic product, to be devoted to a "Global Green New Deal" to put the world onto a less polluting path. Current plans mean a $250 billion shortfall from UNEP's goal.
"The G20 particularly has huge potential in energy, mobility, buildings, agriculture, forestry, water," Steiner said ahead of the G20 summit in Toronto this weekend. "The G20 has to be seen to be active."
And he said that almost 40 percent of earmarked green funds so far were by China, meaning a shortfall by many developed economies. "Not one of them reach the one percent (of GDP) threshold that we identified as the critical mass," he said.
IMPERATIVE
"The green economy is not a luxury, but a 21st century imperative on a planet of six billion, rising to 9 billion in just 40 years," Steiner and Pavan Sukhdev, head of UNEP's Green Economy initiative, wrote in a pre-G20 comment.
"The G20 summit has the opportunity...to enable this transition by taking a leadership role in Toronto," they wrote in the commentary to be distributed on Friday by international non-profit group Project Syndicate.
Sukhdev told Reuters that many developing nations understood the value of a shift to greener economic growth, including a higher value on nature.
Examples included renewable energy in China -- a sector that now employs 1.5 million people with 300,000 new workers added in 2009 alone -- efforts by India to improve water security or by Uganda to boost organic agriculture in Uganda.
"The greening of economies...is actually a necessity for the developing world. And not only is it a necessity but they understand it and many are moving quite far, quite fast," Sukhdev said.
A leaked draft of a G20 final statement dropped a mention of past G20 plans to phase out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies, while reiterating "our commitment to a green recovery and to sustainable global growth."
Sukhdev said that fossil fuels were not the only barrier.
Estimates showed the fossil fuel industry got subsidies of $300-$500 billion a year, the fisheries industry $27 billion even though many fish stocks were in decline, and farmers got $275 billion, often in damaging pesticides, he said.
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STV (Scotland): Green economy lags, G20 can be new spur: UNEP
24th June 2010
World investments in a greener economy are lagging despite some success even in poor nations and the G20 summit this weekend is a chance to catch up, the head of the U.N. Environment Program (UNEP) said.
Green spending gives "a very real return for people and economies, north and south," Achim Steiner told Reuters on Thursday of investments such as in renewable energies or in protecting forests or fresh water.
He said the world had so far earmarked about $500 billion in green spending -- ranging from railways to solar power -- out of packages agreed in recent years to stimulate the sagging world economy worth more than $3 trillion.
In 2008, UNEP called for $750 billion, or 1 percent of gross domestic product, to be devoted to a "Global Green New Deal" to put the world onto a less polluting path. Current plans mean a $250 billion shortfall from UNEP's goal.
"The G20 particularly has huge potential in energy, mobility, buildings, agriculture, forestry, water," Steiner said ahead of the G20 summit in Toronto this weekend. "The G20 has to be seen to be active."
And he said that almost 40 percent of earmarked green funds so far were by China, meaning a shortfall by many developed economies. "Not one of them reach the one percent (of GDP) threshold that we identified as the critical mass," he said.
IMPERATIVE
"The green economy is not a luxury, but a 21st century imperative on a planet of six billion, rising to 9 billion in just 40 years," Steiner and Pavan Sukhdev, head of UNEP's Green Economy initiative, wrote in a pre-G20 comment.
"The G20 summit has the opportunity...to enable this transition by taking a leadership role in Toronto," they wrote in the commentary to be distributed on Friday by international non-profit group Project Syndicate.
Sukhdev told Reuters that many developing nations understood the value of a shift to greener economic growth, including a higher value on nature.
Examples included renewable energy in China -- a sector that now employs 1.5 million people with 300,000 new workers added in 2009 alone -- efforts by India to improve water security or by Uganda to boost organic agriculture in Uganda.
"The greening of economies...is actually a necessity for the developing world. And not only is it a necessity but they understand it and many are moving quite far, quite fast," Sukhdev said.
A leaked draft of a G20 final statement dropped a mention of past G20 plans to phase out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies, while reiterating "our commitment to a green recovery and to sustainable global growth."
Sukhdev said that fossil fuels were not the only barrier.
Estimates showed the fossil fuel industry got subsidies of $300-$500 billion a year, the fisheries industry $27 billion even though many fish stocks were in decline, and farmers got $275 billion, often in damaging pesticides, he said.
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Interactive Investor (UK): Green economy lags, G20 can be new spur: UNEP
24th June 2010
World investments in a greener economy are lagging despite some success even in poor nations and the G20 summit this weekend is a chance to catch up, the head of the U.N. Environment Program (UNEP) said.
Green spending gives "a very real return for people and economies, north and south," Achim Steiner told Reuters on Thursday of investments such as in renewable energies or in protecting forests or fresh water.
He said the world had so far earmarked about $500 billion in green spending -- ranging from railways to solar power -- out of packages agreed in recent years to stimulate the sagging world economy worth more than $3 trillion.
In 2008, UNEP called for $750 billion, or 1 percent of gross domestic product, to be devoted to a "Global Green New Deal" to put the world onto a less polluting path. Current plans mean a $250 billion shortfall from UNEP's goal.
"The G20 particularly has huge potential in energy, mobility, buildings, agriculture, forestry, water," Steiner said ahead of the G20 summit in Toronto this weekend. "The G20 has to be seen to be active."
And he said that almost 40 percent of earmarked green funds so far were by China, meaning a shortfall by many developed economies. "Not one of them reach the one percent (of GDP) threshold that we identified as the critical mass," he said.
IMPERATIVE
"The green economy is not a luxury, but a 21st century imperative on a planet of six billion, rising to 9 billion in just 40 years," Steiner and Pavan Sukhdev, head of UNEP's Green Economy initiative, wrote in a pre-G20 comment.
"The G20 summit has the opportunity...to enable this transition by taking a leadership role in Toronto," they wrote in the commentary to be distributed on Friday by international non-profit group Project Syndicate.
Sukhdev told Reuters that many developing nations understood the value of a shift to greener economic growth, including a higher value on nature.
Examples included renewable energy in China -- a sector that now employs 1.5 million people with 300,000 new workers added in 2009 alone -- efforts by India to improve water security or by Uganda to boost organic agriculture in Uganda.
"The greening of economies...is actually a necessity for the developing world. And not only is it a necessity but they understand it and many are moving quite far, quite fast," Sukhdev said.
A leaked draft of a G20 final statement dropped a mention of past G20 plans to phase out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies, while reiterating "our commitment to a green recovery and to sustainable global growth."
Sukhdev said that fossil fuels were not the only barrier.
Estimates showed the fossil fuel industry got subsidies of $300-$500 billion a year, the fisheries industry $27 billion even though many fish stocks were in decline, and farmers got $275 billion, often in damaging pesticides, he said.
Back to Menu

_________________________________________________________________
Green economy lags, G20 can be new spur-UNEP
World investments in a greener economy are lagging despite some success even in poor nations and the G20 summit this weekend is a chance to catch up, the head of the U.N. Environment Programme (UNEP) said.
Green spending gives 'a very real return for people and economies, north and south,' Achim Steiner told Reuters on Thursday of investments such as in renewable energies or in protecting forests or fresh water.
He said the world had so far earmarked about $500 billion in green spending -- ranging from railways to solar power -- out of packages agreed in recent years to stimulate the sagging world economy worth more than $3 trillion.

In 2008, UNEP called for $750 billion, or 1 percent of gross domestic product, to be devoted to a 'Global Green New Deal' to put the world onto a less polluting path. Current plans mean a $250 billion shortfall from UNEP's goal.


'The G20 particularly has huge potential in energy, mobility, buildings, agriculture, forestry, water,' Steiner said ahead of the G20 summit in Toronto this weekend. 'The G20 has to be seen to be active.'
And he said that almost 40 percent of earmarked green funds so far were by China, meaning a shortfall by many developed economies. 'Not one of them reach the one percent (of GDP) threshold that we identified as the critical mass,' he said.
IMPERATIVE
'The green economy is not a luxury, but a 21st century imperative on a planet of six billion, rising to 9 billion in just 40 years,' Steiner and Pavan Sukhdev, head of UNEP's Green Economy initiative, wrote in a pre-G20 comment.
'The G20 summit has the opportunity...to enable this transition by taking a leadership role in Toronto,' they wrote in the commentary to be distributed on Friday by international non-profit group Project Syndicate.
Sukhdev told Reuters that many developing nations understood the value of a shift to greener economic growth, including a higher value on nature.
Examples included renewable energy in China -- a sector that now employs 1.5 million people with 300,000 new workers added in 2009 alone -- efforts by India to improve water security or by Uganda to boost organic agriculture in Uganda.
'The greening of economies...is actually a necessity for the developing world. And not only is it a necessity but they understand it and many are moving quite far, quite fast,' Sukhdev said.
A leaked draft of a G20 final statement dropped a mention of past G20 plans to phase out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies, while reiterating 'our commitment to a green recovery and to sustainable global growth'.
Sukhdev said that fossil fuels were not the only barrier. Estimates showed the fossil fuel industry got subsidies of $300-$500 billion a year, the fisheries industry $27 billion even though many fish stocks were in decline, and farmers got $275 billion, often in damaging pesticides, he said.
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Daily Champion (Nigeria): UN Moves for Global Partnership to Boost Tourism
24th June 2010
A global initiative to make global tourism environmentally, socially and economically sustainable has been canvassed by the United Nations Development hosted by the UN.According to the plan, the Global Partnership for Sustainable Tourism will be anchored initially by the French Government, and will be hosted by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
"The partnership is aiming high. The goal is to transform the way tourism operates around the world by seeking out and replicating successful, sustainable policies, projects, and investments," said Achim Steiner, Under-Secretary General for the UN and Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). "The impacts of poorly managed tourism can be profound, damaging perhaps even destroying the natural and cultural attractions that tourists come to experience in the first place while contributing to global and regional challenges such as climate change and water scarcity.
"However, there are many potential, positive impacts. Well-managed ventures can play a key role in assisting countries towards the low-carbon, resource-efficient, Green Economy urgently needed in the 21st century. In doing so they can deliver not only environmental, but significant social and economic benefits," added Mr. Steiner.
The tourism sector is a massive job creator and one of the world’s biggest industries representing some five percent of the global GDP as well as accounting for over 10 per cent of current annual investment worldwide, and as much as 50 per cent in some developing countries. Due to its strong economic multiplier effect tourism can play a key role in the shift to a green economy.
The Global Partnership for Sustainable Tourism, presented at the Commission for Sustainable Development meeting in New York, is designed to identify and disseminate successful initiatives from anywhere in the world and make them applicable elsewhere. The partnership will support implementation of policy recommendations and lessons learned in integrating sustainability in tourism, and develop new tools and projects where no existing solution has been found.
It is expected to have worldwide reach, as its members are governments, industry associations, and environmental and social organizations, as well as UN agencies. The future partnership initially will be led by France, until a vote is held at the inaugural annual meeting in Costa Rica later this year. The partnership will be housed at UNEP’s Paris-based Division of Technology, Industry and Economics. Other partners include 35 other countries, organizations, UN programmes and agencies and professionals, among them the United Kingdom and the UN World Tourism Organization.
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Cnet News: GE to invest $10 billion in Ecomagination initiative
24th June 2010
General Electric announced Thursday plans to invest $10 billion over the next five years in Ecomagination, the green-focused research and development program it began in 2005.
Since Ecomagination began, GE has invested a total of $5 billion in its research and development as of the end of 2009. The technology and products to come out of that program have generated $70 billion in revenue over the past five years, according to GE statistics released Thursday.
In view of that revenue success, GE has decided to double investment for the program between now and 2015. The announcement is not entirely surprising, as GE has said since 2007 that its Ecomagination initiative has been making it a healthy profit.
In addition to the $10 billion directed at Ecomagination, GE also announced Thursday it has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 22 percent since 2004, and reduced water usage by 30 percent since 2006.
But GE has toned down its ebullient growth predictions. In its 2008 Ecomagination report (PDF), GE had said it planned to "strive toward a revenue target of $25 billion and an increase in R&D to $1.5 billion in 2010." While GE reports that it has reached the goal of a $1.5 billion increase in R&D investment early by hitting it in 2009 instead of 2010, the 2009 Ecomagination report (PDF) now sets "a stretch goal of $20 billion in ecomagination sales in 2010."
The Ecomagination program includes development of compact fluorescent lighting, smart appliances, battery technology, wind turbine manufacturing, a hybrid-powered water heater, and a GEnx aircraft engine that promises 15 percent lower fuel burn than its predecessor.
While GE employs about 300,000 people in over 100 countries, the company specifically identified China and South Korea in Thursday's announcement as countries where the company sees green technology poised to thrive.
"Countries like China and Korea, which prioritize and execute clean energy plans on a massive scale, encourage us. Countries that embrace this opportunity will lead and win. As a global company, we are positioned to win with them. We also know the United States and other countries can do the same, but they must prioritize, decide, and then act," CEO Jeffrey Immelt and Vice President of Ecomagination Steven Fludder said in a joint statement.
While the U.S. has invested a tremendous amount of money in green technology over the last few years, GE is dead right as to where green-tech investment and leadership can be found. The Immelt and Fludder statement alludes to hard statistics released earlier this year, and echoes the sentiment Immelt expressed in March at the ARPA-E Summit.
In May, the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) book "A Global Green New Deal: Rethinking the Economic Recovery" revealed shocking statistics on which countries were investing most heavily in green technology. While the U.S. and Europe have publicly praised green-tech jobs and investment, and China may be the world's biggest polluter, the UNEP found that it's actually China and Korea that are the most serious investors in green tech.
In 2009, China invested a third of its economic recovery package, which equated to 3 percent of its gross domestic product in green-tech investment. The U.S. in comparison directed 12 percent of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to green-tech investment, which equated to 0.7 percent of its GDP. While some individual European nations have made it a priority, the European Union as a whole only invested 0.2 percent of its GDP in green tech in 2009. And Korea, a small country compared to an investor like the U.S., invested the equivalent of 3 percent of its GDP in green tech, according to the UNEP statistics.
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PR Web (UK): Climate change catastrophe for migratory species
24th June 2010
Migratory species such as turtles and whales are exceptionally vulnerable to climate change, according to preliminary findings from a forthcoming report. CMS Executive Secretary Elizabeth Maruma Mrema said: “Migratory species are particularly threatened by climate change as they depend on different habitats to breed, feed and rest. The findings from the report will facilitate the Convention’s response to assist migratory species in adapting to climate change at a global level.”
Among those species that could be affected are loggerhead turtles, which frequently migrate through British waters. Risks to them include the loss of suitable beaches for nesting due to sea level rise, and a rise in temperature that could cause whole populations to be feminized, eradicating males from the species. Green turtles, hawksbill turtles and leatherback turtles are also identified as species at high risk from climate change, along with the blue whale, West African manatee and giant catfish.
ZSL Project Manager, Aylin McNamara, who led the research for UNEP/CMS, says: “Increasing temperatures, changes in precipitation, sea level rise, ocean acidification, changes in ocean currents and extreme weather events will all affect migratory species populations. “The need for international efforts is imperative to support species conservation across national borders and mitigate climate change.” She added: “These vulnerability assessments show us the likely order in which these species will become extinct.
This is because under the current business as usual emissions path it’s hard to see how any of these species will be able to survive. I’m afraid that’s how serious the situation is” These preliminary findings and the actions that need to be taken to avert disaster for migratory species will be discussed today (June 24th) in a series of talks launching a new book by journalist, environmentalist and CMS ambassador Stanley Johnson and co-author Robert Vagg.
Survival: Saving Endangered Migratory Species, published by Stacy International, is an account of the status of the world’s migratory species and the threats faced by them. Mr Johnson said: "I have been privileged to have been able to serve as an honorary Ambassador for the CMS for the last five years.
The CMS does vital work to protect endangered migratory species. Robert Vagg, co-author, and I are donating all our authors' royalties to the UNEP-CMS to help in this important task." They will be joined by Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, and Paul Pearce-Kelly, the senior curator at the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) leading on climate change issues for the Society.
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