Archive for the ‘Environment’ Category

The US President Barack Obama. Photo: Yahoo News

The US President Barack Obama. Photo: Yahoo News

I don’t have much patience for people who deny climate change, but if you’ve got creative approaches, market-based approaches, tell me about them. […] We also know that the climate is warming faster than anybody anticipated five or 10 years ago, and that the future…in part, is going to depend on our willingness to deal with something that we may not be able to see or smell the way you could when the Chicago River was on fire, or at least could have caught on fire, but is in some ways more serious, more fundamental.”

said the US President Barack Obama, last week, at the Democratic fundraiser, in Chicago, in the United States.


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If you have ever wondered how much greenhouse gas (GHG) the world produces annually, you may now have a close estimation. The World Resources Institute, in partnership with the ASN Bank, Ecofys and DuurzaamBedrijfsleven.nl, published this week an updated flow chart detailing the global GHG emissions for the year 2010, when approximately 48,629 million tons of CO2-eq were released to the atmosphere.

The infographic shows that the human activities alone are responsible for 76% of the CO2 emissions, the main driver of global warming. It still points out the sectors that contribute the most to the world’s GHG emissions and identifies what kind of natural resources they use. Overall, the Industry sector accounts for 29% of these emissions, followed by the Transport and the Land Use Change sectors with 15% each.

Click on the image below to see the full infographic.

GHG emissions Flow Chart

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2013 Supplement to the 2006 IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories: Wetlands. Photo: A Critica

2013 Supplement to the 2006 IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories: Wetlands. Photo: A Critica

Scientists and members of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) gathered throughout last week in Manaus with the objective to create a methodology to measure greenhouse gas emissions from wetlands. The team produced a document that should be finalised by July this year and posteriorly sent to the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) for approval.

The Wetlands Supplement seeks to expand the methodological guidance on wetlands emissions covered in the 2006 IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories, as it contains gaps in relation to wetlands management. According to the IPCC, the final document will be available to the public at the end of October 2013, when the 37th Session of the IPCC takes place, in Georgia, in the United States.

Nadja da Cunha, member of the National Institute for Amazonian Research (Inpa) who participated in the meetings, says that the developments of this event is particularly important for the entire Amazon Region, as at least 30% of the region is flooded most of the year.

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As I’m sure you would know it’s not the easiest to grow your own food in some climates due to lack of rain or not enough sunlight but that wasn’t the situation for the McClung family

In 2007, the McClungs decided they wanted to change how they lived. “Our goal sounded simple,” McClung wrote on his blog, “to live as self-sufficient as possible by January 2012.” They achieved that and then some. They began to build what they soon would call “The Garden Pool.”

By doing this they save money on food every week and it’s more environmental friendly. It took them only two days to set up and cost around $1,5000 and the Garden Pool has an an aquaponic farming system using a tilapia pond, which uses 80 percent less water than traditional farming and the resulting vegetables and herbs get grown in reusable clay pellets, which require no tilling.

This idea has spread very quickly around the world with thousands of families looking to cut their costs on food every week and become more self-sufficient. In 2012, The Garden Pool became an official nonprofit, tasked with teaching people the ways of sustainable backyard agriculture.

“The Garden Pool has evolved from an empty swimming pool into a movement,” McClure says. Their main objective will continue to be about feeding the family self-sufficiently, but what started off as a simple idea has now grown well beyond its original scope. This is an inspiring story of choosing to live a more self-sufficient lifestyle.

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As cars are one of the biggest air polluters and greenhouse gas producers, the law appears as an initiative to help compensate the damages caused to by these vehicles to the environment. Photo: The Guardian

The law appears as an initiative to help compensate the damages caused by these vehicles to the environment. Photo: The Guardian

A new law approved in Manaus, capital of the Brazilian State of Amazonas, aims to turn the city greener and less polluted. Local car dealerships will have to plant a tree for every brand new car sold, under the penalty of a fine and other binding measures, as determined by the Law 1730, sanctioned on the 15th May this year by the Mayor Arthur Virgilio Neto.

As cars are one of the biggest air polluters and greenhouse gas producers, the law appears as an initiative to help compensate the damages caused to the environment by these vehicles. The new legislation is expected to come into force within 90 days, while the local City Council studies how it must be correctly executed in relation to inspection, monitoring, fines and other measures.

According to the law, the local City Council will be responsible to map and define the areas to receive the trees, but the car dealerships must cover the expenses with the purchase of the seedlings and the planting. Whoever fails to comply with this legislation may be fined with R$ 39, 800 (around € 15,000). In case of repeated violation, the infractors may pay twice this amount and have their activities suspended.

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A bleak global reality is painted in this introduction to REDD+ Talks video, which explains the multitude of climate change related issues which we are now facing. They describe themselves as America’s first symposium on Global Warming and the vital role of REDD+. They believe that “it is essential to provide fundamental information on REDD+ as a viable climate change mitigation strategy, and this is the reason for having organized REDD+ Talks.”

They also explain that they hope that “after hearing from corporate leaders and experts on global warming, REDD+ and climate change policy, you will be inspired to accelerate your emissions reduction programs by supporting REDD+ projects that serve to protect the world’s vital forests and biodiversity while uplifting impoverished communities.”

While these may seem like lofty ambitions, which are difficult to achieve; here at Celestial Green Ventures we have the same ambitions with our own REDD+ Forest Conservation and Community Development Projects. You can find out more about our REDD+ projects here.

You can see their introductory video here…..

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WAVES Natural Capital Accounting Logo

This is an initiative of the World Bank that recognises the value of the planet’s natural resources. Natural Capital Accounting basically means incorporating a country’s natural wealth into its national accounts. In simple words, traditional economic indicators, like GDP, account for how much money a country is making without considering how its natural capital stocks have been affected or lost.

With this project, the World Bank wants to stress the important role played by natural capital assets on the socioeconomic development of nations. The project idea aims to encourage sustainability and avoid the depletion of these vital natural resources, like clean air and water, forests, minerals and other goods and services provided by the environment.

At the 2012 Rio+ 20, the latest United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, in Brazil, the World Bank started a discussion on a Natural Capital Accounting project implementation and its potential advantages to the planet and the next generations. By the end of the conference, 55 countries and 86 private companies committed to move forward to protect their natural wealth.

Despite the fact that this project appears to be beneficial to everyone, this idea does not seem to be unanimous. Those who speak out against it say that businesses would not profit as much as they do nowadays if environmental costs were fully integrated. However, what is the point of using up those natural assets now and not having them available later?

The most environment-impacting industries, such as the coal power generation and the cattle ranching and farming, cause substantial damage to nature and make use of exhaustible and generally non-renewable resources, which may become exhausted if not sustainably managed. As our well-being is directly affected by the ecosystems’, it suggests, therefore, it is time to take action.

The Great Barrier Reef case

This video, by the World Bank, explains how Australia is using Natural Capital Accounting to manage the Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest coral reef system, particularly threatened by human activities and the consequences of climate change.

Let us know what you think about Natural Capital Accounting. Share it with us in the comment section below.

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