Daily Nation _Kenya_ War on mala by pengxiang

VIEWS: 9 PAGES: 40

									                        THE ENVIRONMENT IN THE NEWS
                              Friday, May 08 2009

                       UNEP and the Executive Director in the News

        Daily Nation (Kenya): War on malaria now takes a green turn
        Business Daily Africa (Kenya): Initiative to phase out DDT use is launched
        Sustainable Business (US): New Anti-Malaria Effort Avoids DDT
        eMaxHealth (US): Countries Move Toward To Roll Back Malaria
        Independent Online (South Africa): UN wants toxic pesticide gone by 2020
        UN News Centre: Leaders in climate disaster response honoured with UN-backed ‗green‘
         awards
        Cop15.dk (Denmark): UN warns the public not to be ‖sold the false story‖
        Asia One News (Singapore): 'Ghost fishing' major sea threat
        Pretoria News (South Africa): Ghost fishing a growing threat to marine stocks
        IRIN: DRC-RWANDA: Volcanic activity "threatens Goma"
        Actu-Environnement (France): 10% des déchets marins sont des équipements de pêche
         abandonnés ou perdus
        Notre-planete.info (France): Les filets "fantômes" affectent l'environnement marin sur de
         longues périodes
        Pioche (France): Home de Yann Arthus-Bertrand, l‘œuvre majeure du nouveau
         millénaire.

                             Other Environment News

       US won't drop cap-and-trade auctions: White House

                  Environmental News from the UNEP Regions

       ROA
       RONA

                                   Other UN News

       Environment News from the UN Daily News of May 7th 2009
       Environment News from the S.G.‘s Spokesman Daily Press Briefing of
        May 7th 2009 (None)




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                    UNEP and the Executive Director in the News

Daily Nation (Kenya): War on malaria now takes a green turn

Thursday, May 7 2009 at 21:44

The fight against malaria has taken a new turn with the adoption of a global plan to
promote non-chemical measures to control mosquitoes. The initiative is aimed at
gradually phasing out an anti-mosquito pesticide, dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT),
which has been said to have adverse health and environmental effects by the early
2020s.

Under the new initiative, alternatives will be developed for the pesticide, which was
banned in 2004, but retained to control malaria. These involve non-chemical methods
that range from eliminating potential mosquito breeding sites and securing homes with
mesh screens, to deploying mosquito-repellant trees and fish that eat mosquito larvae.

Global initiative

Dubbed ‗Demonstrating and Scaling-up of Sustainable Alternatives to DDT in Vector
Management‘, the new programme is an initiative of the Global Environment Facility
(GEF) and is spearheaded by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and United Nations
Environment Programme (Unep).

It includes 10 projects implemented in 40 countries in Africa, the Eastern Mediterranean
and Central Asia to the tune of Sh3.2 billion. A statement released on Wednesday stated
that the projects aim at achieving a 30 per cent cut in the application of DDT worldwide
by 2014 and its total phase-out by the early 2020s.

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Business Daily Africa (Kenya): Initiative to phase out DDT use is launched

May 08, 2009

A global initiative has been launched to phase out a synthetic pesticide used for
controlling mosquitoes that has also been blamed for adverse health and environmental
effects.

Under the initiative, alternatives will be developed to replace Dichloro-Diphenyl-
Trichloroethane (DDT) pesticide.

This involves non-chemical methods that range from eliminating potential mosquito
breeding sites and securing homes with mesh screens to deploying mosquito-repellant
trees and fish that eat mosquito larvae.

Dubbed ‗Demonstrating and Scaling-up of Sustainable Alternatives to DDT in Vector




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Management‘, it is an initiative of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) spearheaded by
World Health Organisation (WHO) and the UN Environment Programme (Unep).

Malaria targets
It includes 10 projects implemented in 40 countries in Africa, the Eastern Mediterranean
and Central Asia to the tune of Sh3.2 billion.

A joint statement released on Wednesday stated that the projects aim at achieving a 30
per cent cut in the application of DDT worldwide by 2014 and its total phase-out by the
early 2020s.

However, this is to be attained while staying on track to meet the malaria targets set by
WHO.

In the statement, the chief executive officer and chairperson of GEF, Monique Barbut,
says her organisation is investing in the projects to take decisive action toward ridding
the world of dangerous chemicals ―now and forever‖.

―The dividends from these investments will mean a cleaner, safer and sustainable
environment for future generations,‖ she adds.

Vector management

The new anti-malaria measures are to be used in combinations that are adapted to
differing local circumstances under the framework of the Integrated Vector Management
(IVM) strategy promoted by WHO.

A key element of IVM, according to the statement, is a solid evidence base for the
effectiveness of combinations of locally-adapted, cost-effective and sustainable vector-
control methods to facilitate a sustainable transition away from DDT.

Apart from ridding the world of the persistent organic pollutant DDT, the initiative is
hailed as having the potential to meet the twin aims of achieving health-related
Millennium Development Goals, monitoring and education.
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Sustainable Business (US): New Anti-Malaria Effort Avoids DDT

05/07/2009 11:59 AM

Nations Wednesday announced renewed efforts to combat malaria with a reduced
reliance on the controversial synthetic pesticide Dichloro-Diphenyl-Trichloroethane
(DDT).

A number of projects, involving some 40 countries in Africa, the Eastern Mediterranean
and Central Asia, are set to test non-chemical methods of eradicating the deadly
disease, ranging from eliminating potential mosquito breeding sites and securing homes
with mesh screens to deploying mosquito-repellent trees and fish that eat mosquito
larvae.


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The announcement was made at the Conference of the Parties of the Stockholm
Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants in Geneva, Switzerland.

The new projects follow a successful five-year pilot program using alternatives to DDT in
Mexico and Central America, where pesticide-free techniques and management
procedures have helped cut cases of malaria by over 60%.

The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Health Organization (WHO)
are spearheading the ten new projects, with close to $40 million in funding from the
Global Environment Facility (GEF).

The agencies aim to cut DDT use by 30% worldwide by 2014 and phase out the use of
the pesticide completely by the early 2020s while staying on track with WHO malaria
eradication targets.

―The new projects underline the determination of the international community to combat
malaria while realizing a low, indeed zero, DDT world,‖ said UNEP Executive Director
Achim Steiner. ―Today we are calling time on a chemical rooted in the scientific
knowledge and simplistic options of a previous age.‖

However, concern over DDT is matched by concern over the close to 250 million malaria
infections a year which result in over 880,000 deaths.

WHO Director-General Margaret Chan noted that the agency ―faces a double challenge,
a commitment to the goal of drastically and sustainably reducing the burden of vector-
borne diseases, in particular malaria, and at the same time a commitment to the goal of
reducing reliance on DDT in disease vector control.‖

Malaria is caused by a parasite, transmitted through infected mosquito bites. In the
human body, the parasites multiply in the liver and then infect red blood cells, causing
fever, headache, and vomiting between 10 and 15 days after the mosquito bite. If not
treated, malaria can quickly become life-threatening by disrupting the blood supply to
vital organs.

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eMaxHealth (US): Countries Move Toward To Roll Back Malaria

7 May 2009

The United Nations Environment Programme and the World Health Organization, in
partnership with the Global Environment Facility, today announced a rejuvenated
international effort to combat malaria with an incremental reduction of reliance on the
synthetic pesticide DDT.

Ten projects, all part of the global programme ―Demonstrating and Scaling-up of
sustainable Alternatives to DDT in Vector Management‖, involving some 40 countries in
Africa, the Eastern Mediterranean and Central Asia are set to test non-chemical
methods ranging from eliminating potential mosquito breeding sites and securing homes


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with mesh screens to deploying mosquito-repellent trees and fish that eat mosquito
larvae.

The new projects follow a successful demonstration of alternatives to DDT in Mexico and
Central America. Here pesticide-free techniques and management regimes have helped
cut cases of malaria by over 60 per cent.

The success of the five year-long pilot indicates that sustainable alternatives to Dichloro-
Diphenyl-Trichloroethane (DDT) are emerging as cost effective solutions that may be
applicable regionally and globally.

The Integrated Vector Management (IVM) strategy promoted by the World Health
Organization (WHO) provides the framework to include these measures in combinations
of interventions adapted to differing local circumstances.

Allied to measures such as improved health care, monitoring and education the findings
could set the stage for meeting the twin aims of achieving the health-related and
environmental Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015 while also ridding the
world of the persistent organic pollutant DDT.

The initiatives come amid long-standing and growing concern over the use of DDT and
evidence that in many countries there is increasing mosquito resistance to the pesticide.

However concern over DDT is matched by concern over the global malaria burden in
which close to 250 million cases a year result in over 880 000 deaths. Thus any
reduction in the use of DDT or other residual pesticides must ensure the level of
transmission interruption is, at least, maintained.

The international community has, under the Stockholm Convention, agreed to ban a
‗dirty dozen‘ of persistent organic pollutants including, ultimately, DDT on environmental
and health grounds.

However, a specific and limited exemption was made for the use of DDT to control
malaria, because it was recognized that in some situations adequate alternative control
methods were not currently available.

Aim of new projects

The aim of the new projects, a major initiative of the Global Environment Facility (GEF)
with close to $40 million funding, being spearheaded by WHO and the UN Environment
Programme (UNEP), is to achieve a 30% cut in the application of DDT world-wide by
2014 and its total phase-out by the early 2020s if not sooner, while staying on track to
meet the malaria targets set by WHO.

Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary General and UNEP Executive Director which hosts
the secretariat of the Stockholm Convention, said: ―The new projects underline the
determination of the international community to combat malaria while realizing a low,
indeed zero DDT world‖.




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―Today we are calling time on a chemical rooted in the scientific knowledge and
simplistic options of a previous age. In doing so, innovative solutions are being catalyzed
and sustainable choices brought forward that meet the genuine health and
environmental aspirations of a 21st century society‖.

―WHO faces a double challenge - a commitment to the goal of drastically and
sustainably reducing the burden of vector-borne diseases, in particular malaria, and at
the same time a commitment to the goal of reducing reliance on DDT in disease vector
control‖, said Dr Margaret Chan, WHO Director-General.

WHO sees these projects in the context of IVM which it promotes as the approach of
choice to control transmission of malaria and other vector-borne diseases. A key
element of IVM is a solid evidence base for the effectiveness of combinations of locally-
adapted, cost-effective and sustainable vector-control methods. This approach will
facilitate sustainable transition away from DDT.

Monique Barbut, Chief Executive Officer and Chairperson of the Global Environment
Facility, the financial arm of the convention and which is funding over half of the
initiative, said: ―The GEF is investing in these projects to take decisive action toward
ridding the world of dangerous chemicals now and forever. The dividends from these
investments will mean a cleaner, safer and sustainable environment for future
generations. ―

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Independent Online (South Africa): UN wants toxic pesticide gone by 2020

May 07 2009 at 02:30PM

The United Nations announced a plan on Wednesday to rid the world by around 2020 of
DDT, an outlawed toxic crop pesticide still used to spray homes to fight malaria-
spreading mosquitoes.

Ten projects would be set up involving 40 nations in Africa, the Eastern Mediterranean
and Central Asia to fight malaria without DDT or other chemicals after a pilot project in
Mexico and Central America successfully cut malaria rates.

"The aim is to achieve a 30 percent cut in the application of DDT worldwide by 2014 and
its total phase-out by the early 2020s if not sooner," the United Nations Environment
Programme (UNEP) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) said in a statement.
They said the goals, in partnership with the Global Environmental Facility with $40-
million of funds, would have to be reached while maintaining WHO goals for curbing
malaria, which kills 880 000 people a year.

DDT is one of a "Dirty Dozen" chemicals banned by a UN 2001 Convention after it was
found to be a toxin that can suppress the immune system. It is infamous for threatening
bird populations by thinning eggshells.

But exemptions have been allowed in many developing nations because it so effective in



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killing mosquitoes. DDT's Swiss inventor Paul Hermann Muller won the 1948 Nobel
Prize for Medicine - before its wider toxic effects were known.

Developing countries have had an agonising choice between using a known poison to
spray their homes or risk greater exposure to malaria.

The five-year projects in Mexico and Central America found that non-DDT measures
such as wider use of mosquito screens in homes or draining stagnant pools where
mosquito larvae grow helped cut the number of malaria cases by 63 percent.

Other methods included planting mosquito-repelling trees such as neem or oak, better
health care or use of fish and bacteria to control mosquitoes and their larvae.

"The new projects underline the determination of the international community to combat
malaria while realising a low, indeed zero DDT world," said Achim Steiner, head of
UNEP.

The statement said that there was also growing concern that some mosquitoes were
gaining resistance to DDT, formally known as dichloro-diphenyl-trichloromethylmethane.

About 150 nations are meeting in Geneva this week to consider adding nine new
chemicals to the "Dirty Dozen" list.
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UN News Centre: Leaders in climate disaster response honoured with UN-backed
‘green’ awards

7 May 2009

Among the five winners of the first-ever Green Star Awards – honoured for work in
response to environmental emergencies – are a Brazilian scientific support centre and a
leading Swiss laboratory, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
announced today.

The 2009 inaugural award recipients are Mike Cowing of UNEP; the Center for Scientific
Support in Disaster Situations (CENACID) of Paraná Federal University in Brazil; Spiez
Laboratory of Switzerland; the Government of the Netherlands; and the Government of
Sweden.

―I hope that by improving awareness of the environmental consequences of such
emergencies, we can improve response to future disasters by having more actors
involved,‖ said John Holmes, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs.

The Green Star Awards are a joint initiative between UNEP, the Office for the
Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and Green Cross International (CGI) to
recognize those who have made remarkable efforts to prevent, prepare for, and respond
to environmental disasters around the world.




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―2009 needs to be a year when the world not only seals the deal on a transform ational
new climate agreement, but also begins delivering a Green Economy,‖ said UNEP
Executive Director Achim Steiner.

He underscored the need to accelerate the ―fundamental shift to a low carbon and
resource efficient future that fosters innovation, decent employment and equity between
countries and communities, especially in some of the poorest and most vulnerable parts
of the globe.‖

Also appeared in Scoop (New Zealand)

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Cop15.dk (Denmark): UN warns the public not to be ”sold the false story”

07/05/2009 13:05

Financial bailouts that neglect environment and climate would be ‖the greatest political
tragedy of the last five decades‖, says the UN‘s Head of Environment Achim Steiner.

Bailing out banks and selected industries while neglecting environment and climate is
heading down the wrong road, according to Achim Steiner, Director of UN Environment
Program (UNEP). In an interview on BBC One Planet, Mr. Steiner warns the public not
to be ‖sold the false story‖ of governments having to rescue financial institutions before
other issues can be addressed.

‖We waited perhaps a decade to get USD five billion to accelerate development of
renewable energy. W e now see USD 20 billion paid (to) a car company simply to keep it
alive,‖ Achim Steiner says, adding that neglecting environment and climate would be
‖the greatest political tragedy of the last five decades.‖

In the interview, the UNEP Director suggests a fee of five USD added to the price of
each barrel of oil by the world‘s richest countries. This would add up to more than USD
100 billion that should be spent on new technology to mitigate global warming.

‖Are you really that worried about paying three cents more per litre of oil in order to
reverse global warming?‖ Mr. Steiner asks, while admitting that no countries seem
prepared to honour the suggestion:‖Not a single one, right now.‖

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Asia One News (Singapore): 'Ghost fishing' major sea threat

Fri, May 08, 2009

Lost or discarded fishing nets can continue to catch fish for years and are a growing
threat to the planet's marine ecosystem, according to a United Nations report released
Wednesday.

"The report estimates that abandoned, lost or discarded fishing gear in the oceans
makes up around 10 percent, (640,000 tonnes) of all marine litter," said a statement from
the UN Environment Programme.

The study, co-authored by the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), said the
problem was getting worse due to the growing scale of global fishing and the use of
fishing gear made of increasingly durable materials.

Among the main culprits are bottom set gill nets, which are anchored to the sea floor and
fitted with floats, forming an undersea wall of netting that can stretch several thousand
metres.

"If a gill net is abandoned or lost, it can continue to fish on its own for months -- and
sometimes years -- indiscriminately killing fish and other animals," the UNEP statement
said.

The report also cited the case of devices such as crab traps, which in some regions are
lost by hundreds of thousands with each hurricane season.

The UN study listed a number of measures to curb the trend such as financial incentives
for fishermen to report lost gear, marking technology, improved disposal schemes and
the use of bio-degradable elements in fishing gear.

The report urged leaders gathering in Indonesia on May 11-15 for the World Oceans
Conference to address the problem urgently.

"The amount of fishing gear remaining in the marine environment will continue to
accumulate and the impacts on marine ecosystems will continue to get worse if the
international community doesn't take effective steps to deal with the problem of marine
debris as a whole," warned Ichiro Nomura, a senior FAO official for fisheries and
aquaculture.

UNEP executive director Achim Steiner said ghost fishing was just one of a myriad of the
other "ghosts" haunting the marine environment such as acidification linked to
greenhouse gases and rising de-oxygenated "dead zones" due to run-off and land-
based pollution.

"Abandoned and lost fishing is part of this suite of challenges that must be urgently
addressed collectively if the productivity of our oceans and seas is to be maintained for
this and future generations," said Steiner.



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Pretoria News (South Africa): Ghost fishing a growing threat to marine stocks

May 08, 2009 Edition 1

OSLO: Lost or abandoned nets in the oceans can keep on "ghost fishing" for years in a
growing threat to marine stocks, a UN report said on Wednesday.

About 640 000 tonnes of discarded fishing gear gets added to the oceans yearly, or 10
percent of the world total of marine debris, according to the study by the UN Food and
Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and UN Environment Programme (UNEP).

Fishing gear "will continue to accumulate and the impacts on marine ecosystems will
continue to get worse if the international community doesn't take effective steps to deal
with the problem of marine debris as a whole," Ichiro Nomura, an FAO assistant director-
general, said in a statement.

The report did not estimate overall damage to the oceans or economic losses to fishing
fleets from gear littering seabeds from the South China Sea to the Mediterranean.

A 1992 ban on drift nets helped curb some problems, the study said. But gill nets,
anchored to the seabed, can form a vertical wall between 600m and 10 000m long and
can start ghost fishing if they break loose.

UNEP chief Achim Steiner said discarded gear was one of many threats to the seas
along with over-fishing or acidification from greenhouse gases.

Among recommendations, the report said fishing crews could be paid to report losses of
nets or bring damaged gear to port.

Marking nets could help identify offenders and track reasons for accidents.

New technologies can help. In some countries pots and traps have a biodegradable top
that dissolves if it is in the water too long. Some nets for catching fish are designed to let
turtles swim out.

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IRIN: DRC-RWANDA: Volcanic activity "threatens Goma"

7 May 2009

Recent volcanic activity in the Nyiragongo and Nyamulagira peaks in North Kivu
Province of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has triggered fears that the
600,000 people in Goma could be under threat, according to specialists.




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Dieudonne Wafula, head of Goma‘s Volcanological Observatory, told IRIN on 7 May that
the two volcanoes had shown early warnings of eruption.

"The volcanoes could erupt any time; it could be in two days, or a week or two but not
later than two months from now," Wafula said, adding that the most at-risk areas were
villages east of Nyamulagira.

Wafula added that Goma, the provincial capital, could also be under threat if Nyiragongo
erupts. However, he said, the lava levels in Nyiragongo were low and would not be
expected to cause extensive damage to the city, whose population has been swelling in
the past few years, fuelled mainly by the mineral trade as well as renewed fighting in
rural areas of North Kivu.

Mt Nyiragongo last erupted in 2002, spilling lava into Goma and displacing at least
400,000 people. Infrastructure worth millions of dollars was also destroyed.

An estimated two million people who live around Lake Kivu, which straddles the DRC
and Rwanda, are also at risk of pollution from the airborne ash, which is usually
triggered by a volcanic eruption. Wafula said this was likely to contaminate drinking
water, poison livestock and disrupt air traffic.

According to the UN Environmental Programme (UNEP), there is a mass of methane
gas under the base of Lake Kivu and a volcanic eruption could release a lethal cloud of
carbon dioxide from the lake, which could be disastrous for surrounding communities.

UNEP has in the past warned that rising water temperatures could ignite the methane,
forcing it to explode. Methane can release deadly gases, which are a threat to human
life, fish and livestock.

Gas power

Rwanda has on several occasions tried to extract the gas to neutralise the ―killer lake‖.

In March, Rwanda signed a US$325 million agreement with the US-based energy firm
Contour Global to extract the gas and generate up to 100 megawatts of power for itself
as well as neighbouring countries.

According to Wafula, the Goma Observatory has already informed aid agencies to
prepare for possible evacuation and to provide assistance for people likely to be
affected.

Zebe Kitabingo, head of the local chapter of the Congolese Red Cross, said in a
statement in April that volunteers were on alert to help the population.

However, according to Wafula, no evacuation has so far taken place.

Cheikh Diouf, the UN security adviser in the region, could not give an immediate
comment on the possible volcanic eruption.

Also appeared in ReliefWeb



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Actu-Environnement (France): 10% des déchets marins sont des équipements de
pêche abandonnés ou perdus

07/05/2009

Selon un rapport de l'Organisation des Nations unies pour l'alimentation et l'agriculture
(FAO) et du Programme des Nations-Unies pour l'environnement (PNUE), un nombre
considérable d'équipements de pêche perdus ou abandonnés par les pêcheurs causent
des préjudices à l'environnement marin.

La plupart des équipements de pêche ne sont pas abandonnés volontairement, mais
sont perdus lors des tempêtes. Laissés en mer ces équipements peuvent continuer à
pêcher « tout seul ». Selon le rapport, cette pêche « fantôme » prend de l'ampleur à
cause de l'augmentation des opérations de pêche et de l'introduction d'équipements de
pêche faits à partir de matières synthétiques résistantes. Dans la baie de Chesapeake
aux Etats-Unis, environ 150.000 pièges à crabes sont perdus chaque année sur les
500.000 déployés. En Guadeloupe, les 20.000 pièges qui sont posés chaque année se
perdent lors de la saison des ouragans. Les poissons et les autres animaux comme les
tortues, les oiseaux de mer ou les mammifères marins se font piéger et meurent.

Le problème doit être attaqué sur plusieurs fronts : les stratégies doivent inclure la
prévention, l'atténuation et les mesures curatives, a affirmé Ichiro Nomura, le directeur
général adjoint de la FAO pour les pêcheries et l'aquaculture lors de la présentation du
rapport.

Ce document liste des recommandations pour endiguer le problème des filets «
fantômes » : encourager les pêcheurs à signaler ou à ramener les équipements perdus
par des incitations financières, estampiller l'équipement, développer de nouvelles
technologies pour les retrouver car ils sont parfois très coûteux ou en créer de nouveaux
qui limitent leur impact en cas de perte. Dans certains pays par exemple, les pièges à
poissons et les nasses sont construits avec une « issue de secours » biodégradable qui
se désintègre lorsqu'elle reste sous l'eau trop longtemps, rendant ainsi le piège
inoffensif.

Ce rapport sort alors que les nations s'apprêtent à se réunir en Indonésie, à Manado,
pour la Conférence internationale sur les océans qui se déroulera du 11 au 15 mai 2009.
La santé du milieu marin sera une priorité à l'ordre du jour.


Un nombre considérable d'équipements de pêche perdus ou abandonnés par les
pêcheurs causent des préjudices à l'environnement marin, selon un rapport de
l'Organisation la FAO et du Programme des Nations Unies pour l'environnement
(PNUE). Ces équipements ont, à travers la "pêche fantôme", des répercussions
néfastes sur les stocks de poissons et posent une menace pour les bateaux.

Selon le rapport, le problème posé par ces équipements abandonnés ou perdus prend
de l'ampleur à cause de l'augmentation des opérations de pêche et de l'introduction
d'équipements de pêche durables faits à partir de matières synthétiques résistantes.


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Le rapport affirme que les équipements abandonnés dans les océans représentent 10%
(soit 640 000 tonnes) des déchets marins. Le transport maritime est la première source
de déchets en pleine mer et les sources terrestres sont les causes principales de débris
marins dans les zones côtières.

La plupart des équipements de pêche ne sont pas abandonnés volontairement, mais
sont perdus lors des tempêtes ou des forts courants ou sont le résultat de "conflits", en
ce sens que les équipements et les filets s'emmêlent parfois.

Les principales répercussions engendrées par la perte ou l'abandon des équipements
de pêche sont :
- la capture continuelle (pêche fantôme) des poissons ou d'autres animaux comme les
tortues, les oiseaux de mer, les mammifères marins qui sont piégés et meurent;
- les altérations du sol sous-marin;
- les dangers à la navigation : ils peuvent causer des accidents en mer et endommager
les bateaux.

Les filets à mailles, les nasses et les pièges à poissons contribuent à la pêche fantôme,
alors que les palangres sont susceptibles de piéger les autres organismes marins et
d'endommager l'habitat sous-marin.

La pêche fantôme
Dans le passé, les filets dérivants étaient les principaux coupables, mais l'interdiction en
1992 d'utiliser ces filets de mauvaise qualité a réduit leur contribution à la pêche
fantôme.

Aujourd'hui, les filets maillants sont sur le banc des accusés. L'extrémité de ces filets est
ancrée dans la mer alors que les bouchons sont attachés au sommet. Ainsi, ils forment
un mur vertical sous la mer qui peut être de 600 à 10 000 mètres. Si un filet maillant est
abandonné ou perdu, il peut continuer à pêcher tout seul pendant des mois - parfois,
pendant des années - et tuer sans distinction poissons et autres animaux.

Les pièges et les nasses sont un danger permanent. Dans la baie de Chesapeake aux
Etats-Unis, environ 150 000 pièges à crabes sont perdus chaque année et environ 500
000 sont déployés. Dans l'île des Caraïbes, en Guadeloupe, les 20 000 pièges posés
chaque année se perdent lors de la saison des ouragans. Comme les filets à mailles, les
pièges peuvent continuer à pêcher tout seuls pendant de longues périodes.

Solutions
"La quantité d'équipements de pêche dans l'environnement marin va continuer à
s'accroître et les répercussions sur les écosystèmes marins vont continuer à empirer si
la communauté internationale ne prend pas des mesures efficaces pour éradiquer le
problème des débris marins.

Le problème doit être attaqué sur plusieurs fronts : les stratégies doivent inclure la
prévention, l'atténuation et les mesures curatives, selon M. Ichiro Nomura, Sous-
Directeur général de la FAO responsable du Département des pêches et de
l'aquaculture. Il ajoute que la FAO travaille conjointement avec l'Organisation maritime
internationale (OMI) dans sa revue de l'annexe V de la Convention internationale pour la



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prévention de la pollution des bâteaux en ce qui concerne les équipements de pêche et
les installations côtières de récupération.

M. Achim Steiner, Secrétaire général adjoint de l'ONU et Directeur exécutif du PNUE,
affirme: "Il y a beaucoup de "fantômes" dans l'environnement marin en raison de la
pêche intensive et de l'acidification liée aux gaz à effet de serre. Le nombre de "zones
mortes" sans oxygène ne cesse de s'accroître à cause du ruissellement et des sources
de pollution terrestres.

Les équipements de pêche perdus ou abandonnés font partie des problèmes qui doivent
être résolus le plus rapidement possible si on veut préserver la productivité de nos
océans et de nos mers pour les prochaines générations, et si on veut atteindre les
Objectifs du Millénaire pour le développement de l'ONU, selon M. Steiner.

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_________________________________________________________________

Notre-planete.info (France): Les filets "fantômes" affectent l'environnement marin
sur de longues périodes

07/05/2009, 15:56

Le rapport de la FAO et du PNUE offre des pistes pour endiguer le problème des filets
"fantômes"

Les incitations financières : Les primes peuvent encourager les pêcheurs à récupérer les
équipements perdus et à les rapporter au port. Les pêcheurs peuvent également
ramener les filets fantômes qu'ils trouvent accidentellement lorsqu'ils sont en train de
pêcher.

L'estampillage des équipements : Tous les équipements ne sont pas jetés
volontairement. L'estampillage ne doit donc pas consister à "identifier les criminels" mais
plutôt à essayer de mieux comprendre les raisons qui justifient la perte des équipements
et à identifier des mesures préventives appropriées pour contrer le fléau.

Les nouvelles technologies : Les nouvelles technologies offrent de nouvelles possibilités
pour contrer la pêche fantôme. L'imagerie sous-marine peut être utilisée pour éviter les
écueils et les obstacles. Les équipements de pêche peuvent être coûteux, et de
nombreux pêcheurs font des efforts considérables pour retrouver les équipements
perdus. Une technologie qui les aiderait dans leur quête serait utile, par exemple
l'utilisation de GPS et de vaisseaux pouvant identifier le lieu où l'équipement a été perdu
et en faciliter la récupération. Les transpondeurs peuvent leur emboîter le pas. Les
progrès effectués dans le domaine de la météo peuvent aider les pêcheurs qui éviteront
ainsi de déployer leurs filets quand de mauvaises conditions météorologiques sont
annoncées.

Les nouveaux matériaux synthétiques utilisés pour la conception des équipements de
pêche sont la source du problème, mais ils peuvent également en être la solution. Des
efforts sont déployés pour accélérer l'adoption commerciale d'équipements durables
faits à partir d'éléments biodégradables. Par exemple, dans certains pays, les pièges à



                                                                                         14
poissons et les nasses sont construits avec des matières biodégradables qui se
désintègrent lorsqu'elles restent sous l'eau trop longtemps, rendant ainsi le piège
inoffensif. Etant donné que ce dispositif ne réduit pas le niveau de débris, un système de
ramassage doit aussi être adopté.

L‘usage des dispositifs sonores sur les filets peut empêcher l‘enchevêtrement des
cétacés lorsqu‘on pêche et peut rester actif lorsque l'équipement est perdu. Des
expériences sont également effectuées pour ajouter aux équipements de pêche des
substances qui reflètent le son et ce, dans le même but. Des mécanismes ingénieux
sont développés pour incorporer des pièces de cordons aux filets qui fonctionnent
normalement pendant la pêche mais qui se cassent lorsque des animaux trop lourds
sont attrapés.
L‘addition d'aimants aux équipements peut dissuader les requins de s‘approcher trop
près de ceux-ci.

L'amélioration de la collecte, de l'élimination des déchets et des schémas de recyclage.
Selon le rapport, il est nécessaire de faciliter l'élimination appropriée de tous les
équipements de pêche vieux et endommagés. La plupart des ports n'ont pas les
installations nécessaires. Des poubelles sur les docks et la fourniture aux bateaux de
sacs de très grandes dimensions et résistants pour mettre les vieux équipements
peuvent contribuer à remédier au problème.

Un meilleur compte-rendu des équipements perdus. Une des recommandations clés du
rapport est que les vaisseaux doivent consigner tous les équipements perdus.
Cependant, une approche plus tolérante doit être mise en place et respecter les pertes,
leur impact et tous les efforts de récupération, selon le rapport. Le but est de sensibiliser
les gens aux dangers potentiels et augmenter les chances de récupérer les
équipements.

Ce rapport est publié alors que les nations s'apprêtent à se réunir en Indonésie, à
Manado, pour la Conférence internationale sur les océans (11-15 mai 2009).
L'assainissement du milieu marin, qui est devenu une priorité, sera à l'ordre du jour.

En savoir plus
Notes

L‘arrivée totale de détritus marins dans les océans s‘élève à 6,4 millions de tonnes
chaque année, selon les estimations. Environ 88% des déchets (soit 5,6 millions de
tonnes) viennent du transport maritime.

Environ 8 millions de détritus sont jetés dans les mers et les océans chaque jour.
Environ 5 millions (63%) des objets jetés sont des déchets solides.

Selon les estimations, il y a environ 13 000 déchets plastiques qui flottent sur chaque
kilomètre carré de l‘océan. En 2002, 6 kg de plastique ont été trouvés pour chaque
kilogramme de plancton près de la plaque de déchets du Pacifique centre, ou les débris
sont collectés.

La concentration de débris marins en haute mer, comme dans la zone de convergence
équatoriale, est source d‘inquiétude. Dans certains endroits, des radeaux de débris,
incluant différents plastiques ; cordes ; filets de pêchen; et des déchets associés aux


                                                                                           15
cargos comme le fardage, les palettes, les fils et les couvertures en plastique, les
conteneurs, avec différents types d‘huiles, qui s‘étendent souvent sur plusieurs
kilomètres.

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_________________________________________________________________

Pioche (France): Home de Yann Arthus-Bertrand, l’œuvre majeure du nouveau
millénaire.

08.05.2009

« Home » le dernier film de l‘académicien français et ambassadeur de l‘ONU Yann
Arthus-Bertrand sortira, sur et avec tous les supports, le 5 juin 2009 avec des
spécificités inédites en matière de diffusion. 73 pays et 23 langues se joindront au
Mexico où sera commémorée la journée mondiale du PNUE : Programme des Nations
Unies pour l‘Environnement.

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                                                                                       16
                              Other Environment News

US won't drop cap-and-trade auctions: White House
Thu May 7, 1:32 pm ET

WASHINGTON (AFP) – The White House is committed to auctioning off polluter permits
under a "cap-and-trade" system to fight climate change, a top official said Thursday in
remarks likely to anger US industry.

"You should anticipate no changes in our climate proposals," Office of Management and
Budget chief Peter Orszag told reporters, despite reported hints that President Barack
Obama might now compromise about the auctions.

US industrial concerns including utility companies have been pushing for the
government to give away some of the permits, rather than charging for them in an
auction, so as to ease the transition to cap-and-trade.

Congress is now debating that system, under which companies would buy rights to emit
greenhouse gases from firms that use less energy and pollute less.

Obama argues that with the future of the planet at stake, the United States must now
take the lead on global warming after years of denial under the former administration of
George W. Bush.

Meanwhile the head of the Congressional Budget office told a Senate panel that cap-
and-trade would adversely affect both consumers and producers at a time of national
economic distress.

"Under a cap-and-trade program, consumers would ultimately bear most of the costs of
emission reductions," said CBO director Douglas Elmendorf in testimony to the Senate
Finance Committee.

"Higher prices for energy-intensive goods and services would lead to a variety of
consequences for different industries, regions of the country, and income groups," he
said.

Nevertheless, "policymakers can significantly affect the distribution of costs associated
with a cap-and-trade program, depending on how they decide to distribute the value of
the allowance," he said.

The non-partisan CBO, which provides federal economic and budgetary analysis to
Congress, estimated that a 15 percent reduction in carbon emissions would cost the
average US household roughly 1,600 dollars.

The Democratic-led bill in Congress aims to cut US carbon emissions by 20 percent
from their 2005 levels by 2020, and dramatically boost reliance on renewable energy.




                                                                                            17
The Obama administration says it is committed to offsetting higher energy prices
associated with cap-and-trade through subsidies and tax breaks, especially for lower-
income people.

And a study on Wednesday from the independent Pew Center on Global Climate
Change said that cap and trade would have only a modest impact on the
competitiveness of energy-hungry US industries.

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                                                                                        18
                             ROA MEDIA UPDATE
                        THE ENVIRONMENT IN THE NEWS
                              Friday, May 08, 2009

                              General Environment News

Nigeria: Rainstorm Kills One, Destroys 100 Houses in Katsina

Vanguard (Lagos): A downpour accompanied by strong wind killed one person and
destroyed about 100 houses in Malumfashi Local Government Area of Katsina State.
According to reports, the rain which started at about 2.30 p.m. on Monday and lasted for
about six hours affected Dam-site, Gwamutsawa, Gangarawa, Unguwar-Mata, Kofar-
Kudu and Kofargardi. Some buildings affected included Intercontinental Bank, Oceanic
Bank under construction and a parking lot for trucks. Speaking, Chairman of the local
government area, Alhaji Abdulaziz Danyari, confirmed the incident, saying he was
involved in conveying the corpse of 18-year-old Aliyu Muntari of Unguwar Liman to
hospital. Danyari said most of the houses built with mud collapsed due to the intensity of
the rain and resulting flood. Meanwhile, the chairman has inaugurated a committee to
investigate the extent of damage and ordered immediate release of grains to the victims.
He also said the state government had been informed of the incident.
http://allafrica.com/stories/200905070033.html

Uganda: 'Wetlands Can Earn Uganda Sh18 Trillion Annually'

New Vision (Kampala): Wetlands in Uganda are estimated to have an annual productive
value of between sh9 trillion and sh18 trillion, according to a new report by the World
Resources Institute and the Wetlands Management Department. The wetlands provide
subsistence employment for over 2.4 million people. Another 320,000 are directly
employed in wetlands related fields, according to the report. In addition, five million
people in rural areas, get their daily freshwater supply from wetlands. "The economic
value of this service alone has been estimated at $25m (about sh50b) per year in
Uganda.‖Wetlands are a powerful wall of protection for Uganda's economic
development," said Paul Mafabi, the Wetlands Management Department commissioner,
at the release of the report at the Statistics House in Kampala on Tuesday.

There are about 20m hectares of wetlands in Uganda, which is 15% of Uganda's land
area. There are wetlands in almost every sub-county in the country. Over 70% of all
wetlands are used for three simultaneous purposes; water collection, livestock grazing,
and natural tree harvesting. The report shows that both poor and developed areas in
Uganda have experienced wetlands degradation, dispelling the myth that wetlands' loss
only occurs in poorer areas. The maps accompanying the study identify the economic
value of the nation's wetlands. http://allafrica.com/stories/200905070554.html

Nigeria: Oil Spill Devastates Community's Farmland

This Day (Lagos): A massive oil spill has occurred from one of the pipelines belonging to
Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) in Oloibiri area of Bayelsa State,
devastating farm lands and communities. The spill, which occurred at an area near
where oil was first struck in Nigeria, also impacted on Otueke, in Ogbia Local



                                                                                        19
Government, the native community of the Vice-President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan.
Although it has not been ascertained if the spill was as a result of sabotage, the spread
was aided by yesterday's heavy downpour. This Day gathered that the spill occurred at a
pipeline point at Otuogidi community. The well from which the spill came was said to be
the second oil well discovered after the popular Oloibiri, a situation which suggests that
the pipeline may be old and rusted. A community leader, Mr Bright Ogbuku, said as soon
as the spill was noticed, efforts were made to inform management of Shell, who were
alleged of showing indifference. http://allafrica.com/stories/200905070172.html

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________________________________________________________________

                             RONA MEDIA UPDATE
                        THE ENVIRONMENT IN THE NEWS
                           Thursday, May 07, 2009

                               UNEP or UN in the News

   New York Times: Green New Deal May Be Delayed in Australia


Green New Deal May Be Delayed in Australia
By James Kanter May 4, 2009, 10:52 am

The latest sign the global slowdown may be slowing a move to greener energy systems
comes from Australia.

Pool photo by Dean Lewins/European Pressphoto Agency Kevin Rudd

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said on Monday that introduction of a cap-and-trade system
would be delayed by a year, until mid-2011, after industries protested the introduction of
regulations during an economic crisis, and amid signs that the bill would not be approved
by the Australian Senate.

Mr. Rudd also outlined other concessions, which included keeping a cap on carbon
prices for the first year of the system and offering some industries almost all of their
permits free. He said the delay was justified because he would introduce more ambitious
targets next year.

In the United States, the administration of President Barack Obama has underlined in
recent weeks that passage of climate legislation in the United States may come only
next year, after a major United Nations conference in Copenhagen in December.

Many environmentalists had been pushing important rich-world nations like the United
States and Australia to pass legislation ahead of the conference, which they say requires
commitments by the developed world to force developing countries to join a new global
agreement.




                                                                                       20
The delay in Australia, and the timetable for legislation in the United States, also seems
to underline how calls for a so-called Green New Deal as a way out of the economic
crisis have only limited appeal for political leaders.

Last fall, as the economic crisis began to bite, Achim Steiner, the executive secretary of
the United Nations Environment Program, introduced an initiative in London called the
Global Green New Deal in a deliberate echo of President Franklin D. Roosevelt‘s plan to
tackle the Great Depression.

The message was that vast government investment into industries creating jobs to tackle
climate change is the same medicine that could help prevent a prolonged descent into
economic misery and reduce bills for imported energy.

While governments have poured significant amounts of money into clean energy
systems, many analysts say the most efficient way to drive out polluting fossil fuel-based
systems is a price on carbon emissions through cap-and-trade systems — but legislation
creating those systems now looks likely to languish in a number of legislatures for some
time.

                              General Environment News

 Reuters: California Says Corn Ethanol Needs to go on Carbon Diet
 Reuters: Some Americans Clamor to try wind power at home
 Reuters: Rainforest Alliance sees boom in certified farms
 New York Times: Obama‘s Emissions Plan Needs Tweaking, E.U. Climate Chief
 says.
 New York Times: Don‘t Single Out Ethanol on Land-Use Changes, Says Trade
 Group Chief
 New York Times: Obama not seeking quick Climate Action Under Ozone Treaty
 San Francisco Chronicle: EPA fines firm $10,000 over lead paint
 San Francisco Chronicle: Berkeley unanimously approves climate plan
 Globe and Mail: Scientists weigh in, urging strategic voting
 Globe and Mail: Green roof proposal faces withering criticism
 The Toronto Star: Plucking `low hanging fruit' on energy tree
 The Ottawa Citizen: The wrong direction
 The Edmonton Journal: $122M available for greenhouse gas research
 The Vancouver Sun: Moving beyond the carbon tax in B.C.'s election


California Says Corn Ethanol Needs to Go On Carbon Diet
Fri Apr 24, 2009 12:54pm EDT

Corn-based ethanol may not impact the price of food as much as thought, but a
controversial decision in California questions its ability to curb greenhouse gas
emissions from transportation. A new report entitled "The Impact of Ethanol Use on Food
Prices and Greenhouse-Gas Emissions" concluded that increased use of the fuel did not
contribute as much as expected to last year's rise in corn prices.

From April 2007 to April 2008 ethanol impacted rising food costs to a smaller degree
than had previously been anticipated. According to the Congressional Budget Office



                                                                                         21
report, the increased use of ethanol accounted for about 10 percent to 15 percent of the
rise in food prices. Studies have found that the current use of ethanol reduces
greenhouse-gas emissions versus gasoline; but gauging its emissions depends on
changes in land use that might offset the potential reduction of ethanol use.

On Thursday the California Air Resource Board voted to enact a Low Carbon Fuel
Standard, which aims to lower the carbon intensity of fuels sold in the state by 10
percent by 2020. CARB will incorporate an estimation of the carbon footprint of land use
and other indirect effects of all transportation fuels. Based on CARB's studies to date,
corn-based ethanol "may not substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions when
compared to petroleum." The board has requested input from outside expert groups on
the impact of land use and expects to complete a study by the end of 2009.

 Depending on the results of the study, corn-based ethanol may not provide the GHG
reductions necessary to qualify corn-based ethanol/gasoline blends as low carbon fuels.
The ethanol industry disputes the methodology used to estimate carbon intensity, and
touts another study from Air Improvement Resource (AIR) which concludes that
calculating land use would not impact greenhouse gas emissions. A 2009 CARB study
estimates that sugar cane ethanol from Brazil has a much lower carbon footprint than
gasoline or corn based ethanol, but the high U.S. tariff on ethanol imports has kept the
product out of the market. Ethanol production grew from less than three billion gallons in
2003 to more than nine billion in 2008.
The report also forecasted that corn-ethanol use will continue to grow over the next
decade, however at a slower pace, and expects corn based ethanol will exceed nine
percent of annual American gas consumption by 2020. Additionally, it is expected that
changing dietary concerns about human weight gain and food preferences will limit any
increases in the use corn of produce High Fructose Corn Syrup, glucose and dextrose.
Potentially this would enable the corn market to accommodate growing corn-ethanol
needs. Higher energy costs were in fact the compounding force in rising food prices,
according to the report, as significantly higher capital was required to maintain farm
inputs, transportation and food processing.

Studies have found that the current use of ethanol reduces greenhouse-gas emissions
versus gasoline; but as ethanol production increases, properly gauging its emissions
depends on changes in land use that might offset the potential reduction of ethanol use.
Corn-ethanol, unlike the developing cellulosic ethanol processing, does not make use of
agricultural waste, which has a land use impact. Ethanol has also been cited as having
its impact on emissions diluted by its energy-demanding production. Another regulatory
action that will impact corn-ethanol is the Renewable Fuel Standard, proposed in 2007,
which calls for 36 billion gallons of biofuels blended per year by 2022.

The EPA will be taking into consideration indirect land use factors; which is strongly
opposed by the American Soybean Association. The ASA continues to pressure the
EPA against taking these "premature calculations resulting from indirect land use
assumptions and factors that are significantly flawed" into the Proposed Rule.
Supporters of biofuel are skeptical about the decisions that will be made by the EPA and
the State of California. Though the recent CBO report appears to be leaning towards
ethanol support, possibly reflecting findings at the Argonne National Laboratory that
when compared with gasoline, corn-ethanol amounts to a 20% reduction in lifecycle
greenhouse-gas emissions. Corn-ethanol, although cleaner than gasoline, should



                                                                                       22
perhaps be considered more of a stepping-stone as it still requires a non-waste product,
making it less sustainable. John Gartner contributed to this article.


Some Americans clamor to try wind power at home
Wed May 6, 2009 11:28pm BST
By Andrew Stern

CHICAGO (Reuters) - The idea of wind turbines churning out free electricity alongside
every home and office building has appeal, judging by the throngs around "community
wind" purveyors at a Chicago wind power convention this week.

Darrin Russell of Southwest Windpower was inundated with questions during the
Windpower 2009 convention where he explained the economics of the company's
workhorse 2.4 kilowatt Skystream turbine, which plugs into the local electrical grid.
"It's nice watching the (electricity) meter go backward. Sometimes it gets going pretty
fast when the wind blows hard" which it does often at the company's headquarters in
Flagstaff, Arizona, he said.
Russell paid practically nothing for his own turbine, which costs roughly $14,000 to buy
and install, thanks to a newly enacted 30 percent federal tax credit for wind projects
large and small, state tax credits and rebates of up to $9,000 from many utilities eager to
promote renewable energy. The first month his electricity bill was zero.

The company sells to business, homeowners and developers. "Some companies like to
line them up outside instead of flags" to promote their green credentials, he said. "Helps
keep their offices cool at least."

Retailers can draw in environmentally conscious customers if they have a wind turbine
outside, experts say.

Potential buyers from Chile, South Korea and the state of Michigan flocked around
Southwest Windpower's olive-green machine with three distinctively curved blades,
designed to cut noise. Russell said the company has sold 5,000 small turbines in the
past two years, and 150,000 in total.

There are hurdles to local wind systems, of course. Cost is one, since the turbines are
not inexpensive and installing a tower adds considerably to the expense. Putting it
directly atop a rooftop is not feasible because wind currents are too turbulent.

SKEPTICAL NEIGHBORS
Another problem is skeptical neighbors who may not want to see or hear a whirring
turbine in the yard next door without sharing in the benefits. Think of the highly public
protests to a proposed offshore wind farm near Cape Cod.

Municipal laws can also restrict the height of structures and carry safety requirements.
Russell said one-half acre (0.2 hectare) of land is often required to erect a wind turbine.
Finally, there is the question of commitment to green energy and whether a $15,000
investment or more is really worth the trouble. It can take many years for a wind turbine
to pay for itself, and maintenance problems occasionally arise.




                                                                                            23
Duncan McMillan of Gusto Energy Ltd in New Zealand said he has been perfecting his
home turbine-solar-battery system for a dozen years but has sold only 20 in that time.
"We have a windy nation ... If the New Zealand government did half of what the U.S.
government does, we'd be selling a lot of these," he said.

The largest wind turbine producers such as General Electric build only the much larger
machines for the wind farm market.

"There is certainly a market there (for small wind turbines), but I'm not sure how big it is,"
said Jon Wellinghoff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in an interview at the
convention. "Right now, most of the wind is primarily large systems, a megawatt or more,
but there's a lot of opportunity for it."

Bergey Windpower Co have been selling small wind turbines for 30 years and it lists a 1-
kilowatt machine for $2,800 -- plus the tower.

Investment in private wind turbine companies has arrived in the form of venture capital.
RockPort Capital Partners helped Northern Power Systems of Warren, Vermont, raise
$50 million. It has sold 100 of its mid-sized 100-kilowatt turbines that can save
thousands of dollars annually for a school, office building or town. It costs roughly
$500,000 to own and install.

"You can be green-minded to own this. You also can be cost-minded," vice president of
sales James Lund said. "There are incentives that are available, not only in this country
but in other countries, that make the numbers work."
(Editing by Michael Conlon and Cynthia Osterman)


Rainforest Alliance sees boom in certified farms
Wed May 6, 2009 7:08pm EDT
By Marcy Nicholson

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The amount of forest and farmland certified by Rainforest
Alliance will continue to soar along with demand for products that meet standards for
social and environmental sustainability, a spokesman said Wednesday.

"The amount of Rainforest Alliance certified farmland will increase dramatically over the
next few years because it has to. We already have the demand so that sets everything in
motion," said Chris Wille, Rainforest Alliance chief of Sustainable Agriculture.

Costa Rica-based Wille spoke to Reuters on the sidelines of a Rainforest Alliance event
in New York.

New York-based Rainforest Alliance, an international nonprofit conservation group,
certifies farms that meet its criteria for sustainability: preservation of the local
environment, farmers and communities.

In 2008, farm and forest land certified by Rainforest Alliance grew by 23 percent to more
than 131 million acres (52 million hectares), from 107 million acres in 2007, Rainforest
said last month.



                                                                                           24
"The drive is coming from all along the value chain and especially companies. We've
never seen more interest from companies, from consumers and from producers," Wille
said, adding this was a welcome move amid the current global financial crisis.

Although Rainforest Alliance does not set a premium, the seal gives producers
negotiating leverage as the buyers typically pay a premium for goods it has certified.

Companies want to ensure the long-term supply of the high-quality products, Wille said.

"We have more demand than supply. There's competition for the certified goods," he
said.

"So now farmers are lining up outside the doors of our partner NGOs (non-governmental
organizations) and eager to get involved," Wille said.

For years, Rainforest Alliance has certified farms that produce coffee, bananas, tea and
cocoa. Recent additions include grapes, acai, chestnuts, apples and pears.

"We are very much committed to seeing this world as a better place and to help both the
farmers and the growers, but also the environment. And be socially responsible in every
which way," said Nabi Saleh, executive chairman of Gloria Jean's Coffees International.

The Sydney, Australia-based company has nearly reached its 2010 target selling 85
percent Rainforest Alliance certified coffee, Saleh said.

"Sourcing certified coffees has not been as easy as we thought it was going to be. The
demand is greater than supply for certified coffee," he said.

The privately held company, which now has more than 1,000 coffee shops in 36
countries, recently transformed its espresso blend into fully certified coffee. This move
bumped the amount of Gloria Jean's Rainforest Alliance coffee to 85 percent certified.

Of the certified coffee, 80 percent comes from certified farms. The Rainforest logo can
be put on an agricultural product that contains a minimum of 30 percent certified coffee.

(Reporting by Marcy Nicholson; Editing by David Gregorio)


Obama’s Emissions Plan Needs Tweaking, E.U. Climate Chief Says
By James Kanter, May 7, 2009, 7:13 am

EPA Stavros Dimas, the E.U.‘s environment commissioner, says the United States
needs to be more aggressive on emissions.

Stavros Dimas, the European Union commissioner for the environment, warned on
Thursday that President Barack Obama‘s goals to cut emissions over the next decade
may not be ambitious enough to meet long term targets.




                                                                                            25
Under Mr. Obama‘s plan, the United States would cut emissions by 1.5 percent each
year until the end of the next decade.

But Mr. Dimas warned the United States that small annual reductions now would require
much larger annual reductions — as much as 5 percent a year — after 2020, if Mr.
Obama‘s long term goal of reducing planet warming gases 80 percent by mid-century is
to be reached.

―How they can achieve this is difficult,‖ Mr. Dimas said, who was speaking at an event in
Brussels hosted by the European Policy Center, a policy research organization.

Hans Martens, the chief executive of the E.P.C., reinforced the point, noting that
―politicians do have this extraordinary ability to set ambitious targets for their
successors.‖

The European Union has set significantly more ambitious short-term targets to cut
emissions than the United States.

In December, the 27 member states of the E.U. agreed to bring emissions down to 20
percent below 1990 levels by 2020. They pledged to make it 30 percent if developed
countries, including the United States, took measures to reduce emissions that are
roughly in line with European efforts.

So far, E.U. officials say, Mr. Obama has only pledged to bring emissions down to match
1990 levels by 2020. Meanwhile E.U. officials estimate that the Waxman-Markey climate
and energy bill currently circulating in Congress would reduce emissions to just 5 or 6
percent below 1990 levels by 2020.


Don‘t Single Out Ethanol on Land-Use Changes, Says Trade Group Chief
By Kate Galbraith, May 7, 2009, 7:45 am

Bob Dinneen, the president of the Renewable Fuels Association, said ethanol is uniquely
saddled with measuring the indirect land use changes associated with its production.

Bob Dinneen, the president of the Renewable Fuels Association, an ethanol trade group,
stopped by our New York offices today to discuss recent moves by the Obama
administration that offer both good and bad news for the industry.

On Tuesday, the administration moved to provide loan guarantees and other financial
help to struggling ethanol producers. At the same time, the Environmental Protection
Agency proposed a more comprehensive way of measuring the carbon impact of ethanol
that that puts the industry in a lesser light.

According to Lisa Jackson, the E.P.A. Administrator, the ethanol industry currently
produces 16 percent fewer emissions than gasoline — short of a requirement of 20
percent. This 16 percent tally factors in ―indirect land use,‖ in accordance with the 2007
Energy Independence and Security Act.




                                                                                         26
That means that in addition to weighing the carbon emissions from fertilizer and tractor
fuel, the E.P.A. accounted for the idea that corn grown for ethanol in this country
displaces food crops, driving the expansion of agriculture — and the loss of precious,
carbon capturing forest land — elsewhere on the planet to compensate for the lost food
and feed supply.

Mr. Dinneen emphasized that his group was perfectly willing to factor in such indirect
land-use changes. But he expressed concern that biofuels are the only industry for
which this calculation is made. Petroleum, for example, does not factor in land use
changes — and besides, he said, ―Where‘s the carbon impact associated with
development in suburbia?‖

―They can‘t just do it to us and not to everyone else,‖ he argued.

Mr. Dinneen welcomed the comment period that will follow the E.P.A.‘s proposals, and
said that the ethanol industry believed that adjustments on the land-use front are
needed.

―Right now, I think the model is too uncertain, the assumptions are out of whack and it
needs to be promulgated more fairly,‖ he said.

On the subject of cellulosic ethanol — a fledgling but more climate-friendly type of
ethanol made from non-food sources like stalks or switchgrass — Mr. Dinneen
expressed doubts that federal requirements for the country to use 100 million gallons of
the fuel next year would be met. No commercial-scale plants are currently operational in
this country, although a few are being built, with a Range Fuels plant in Georgia being
perhaps the furthest along.

―One hundred million gallons in 2010 is going to be a challenge,‖ Mr. Dinneen conceded.
The 2011 target of 250 million gallons, he said, is ―probably also going to be hard to
meet.‖

Obama Not Seeking Quick Climate Action Under Ozone Treaty
By John M. Broder May 4, 2009, 3:12 pm

WASHINGTON - After a brief but lively internal debate, the Obama administration has
decided not to seek an immediate phase-out of hydrofluorocarbons (HFC‘s), a potent
group of climate-warming gases, under a treaty aimed at protecting the ozone layer.

A number of lawmakers, foreign governments and environmental advocates had urged
the administration to offer an amendment to the Montreal Protocol, the international
treaty on ozone-depleting substances, calling for the rapid elimination of HFC‘s. Some
officials at the State Department and the Environmental Protection Agency had pushed
for such a course, but the White House decided on a more moderate approach to give it
negotiating room in upcoming rounds of climate and environmental talks.

HFC‘s are used as refrigerants in air conditioners, refrigerators and freezers, as well as
in some fire-fighting foams. They are sometimes referred to as ―super-greenhouse
gases‖ because they are hundreds or even thousands of times more powerful than
carbon dioxide, molecule for molecule, in heating the atmosphere. HFC‘s are cousins to


                                                                                          27
chlorofluorocarbons (CFC‘s) and hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFC‘s), two other classes
of refrigerants which are being eliminated under the Montreal Protocol, a 21-year old
treaty signed by 195 nations to control the gases that opened up a hole in the earth-
protecting ozone layer of the atmosphere.

The treaty is considered a model of international comity and scientific success. Some
within the administration, as well as several Democratic committee chairs on Capitol Hill,
urged that the United States take the lead in calling for the elimination of HFC‘s under
the treaty. But White House officials blocked the move, saying they needed m ore time to
study the issue and instructing the State Department to stall.

A White House official said that the climate and energy bill now before the House of
Representatives provides for a phase-out of HFC‘s. In addition, the chemical is among
the six greenhouse gases that the E.P.A. is proposing to regulate under its recent finding
that carbon dioxide and other substances pose a risk to human health and the
environment.

In a letter to the United Nations body overseeing the Montreal Protocol, Daniel A.
Reifsnyder, a senior environmental official at the State Department, said the
administration believed the chemicals were not a direct threat to the ozone layer but
―pose a very significant further threat to the climate system because of their high global
warming potential.‖ Mr. Reifsynder noted that most of the same nations that belong to
the Montreal Protocol will also be meeting later this year in Copenhagen under United
Nations auspices to discuss climate change. He said the administration was studying
whether that might be the more proper venue for addressing HFC‘s.

He also noted that the island nations of Mauritius and Micronesia had already proposed
an amendment to the ozone treaty calling for a phase-out of HFC‘s and that the United
States was deciding whether to support it. He said that the E.P.A. was analyzing an HFC
phase-out on a slightly different timetable than that proposed by Mauritius and
Micronesia.

Advocates for tackling the issue under the Montreal treaty expressed disappointment
that the Obama administration was taking such a cautious approach to a chemical that
could, by some estimates, account for as much as 30 percent of all atmospheric
warming by 2040.

―This should be an easy lay-up,‖ said Alexander von Bismarck, executive director of the
Environmental Investigation Agency, a non-governmental group that has monitored the
ozone treaty for years. ―We have unprecedented consensus between industry,
government and environmental groups and a chance to solve a third of the near-term
climate problem. Now we need U.S. leadership.‖ [UPDATE, 8:15 p.m.: Some details
from David Sassoon at SolveClimate.com, who's been following this closely.]



EPA fines firm $10,000 over lead paint
Jane Kay, Chronicle Environment Writer
Thursday, May 7, 2009



                                                                                         28
A South San Francisco painting contractor has been fined $10,000 by the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency for failing to warn residents in a three-unit building in
San Francisco that it was removing hazardous exterior paint containing lead.

Under the federal Toxic Substances Control Act, anyone doing renovation or painting for
hire on multi-family housing built before 1978, when some leaded paint was legal, must
provide the owner and all occupants with information about the dangers before starting
work.

The penalty, announced Tuesday, was part of a settlement agreement between the EPA
and Fine Custom Painting Inc., which negotiated down the original fine of $100,000.

Fine Custom Painting began scraping, sanding and stripping paint from the building at
129-131 Ord St. in the Corona Heights neighborhood in July 2005, triggering a complaint
from a tenant with a small child, EPA officials said.

Painting company owner Evan Auchard said his business was called in to take over for a
contractor who was the subject of the tenant's complaint, which resulted in the city
shutting down the job before Auchard was hired.

Auchard said he didn't know that the law required that all residents be given a pamphlet
or sign a statement that they had seen information on hazards.

He said he assumed residents of the building had been informed of lead hazards
because they had materials and appeared familiar with the dangers.

Auchard criticized the EPA for not informing him of the law and suggested that the EPA
do a better job of informing contractors about the rule.

EPA officials said they routinely inform contractors of their legal obligation to warn
building tenants and owners of hazards.

Breathing dust from lead paint and debris can lead to neurological damage that impairs
mental and physical development, including learning disabilities, hyperactivity and
hearing loss. Even trace amounts can cause serious health consequences, EPA officials
say.


Berkeley unanimously approves climate plan
Carolyn Jones, Chronicle Staff Writer
Thursday, May 7, 2009

They were feasting on organic endive and popping open the herb tea Wednesday at
Berkeley City Hall, as staff celebrated the City Council's unanimous approval of an
ambitious, painstakingly researched plan to fight global warming.

"After two years pouring your soul into something, to see it passed 9-0 is just
intoxicating," said the city's planning director, Dan Marks. "This plan is a model for cities
everywhere. As usual, Berkeley is a leader."



                                                                                           29
The City Council on Tuesday night voted to move ahead with its 145-page Climate
Action Plan, approving a host of last-minute amendments and striking mandates from
most of the proposal.

The plan outlines how the city will reduce its greenhouse gases by 80 percent by 2050
and will now undergo an environmental review and return to the council for final approval
on June 2.

Some of the first tasks call for improving bicycle and pedestrian paths and beefing up
energy requirements for homes that are for sale.

Implementing the plan will cost $3 million in its first year. The money, which has already
been allotted from the general fund, will cover five full-time positions in city hall's
sustainability office and the cost of upgrading bike and pedestrian routes.

The plan will return to the City Council every year for revisions based on advances in
science, updated energy data and progress on current projects.

In addition, the public will be able to sound off on the plan via the city Web site,
berkeleycli mateaction.org.

Any new laws or requirements that spring from the plan, such as mandatory home
upgrades or expansion of permit parking, will have to be approved by the City Council,
according to City Attorney Zach Cowen.

The community appeared divided on the plan, with half supporting it and half opposed,
especially to its promotion of high-density development and strict mandates for
homeowners.

After an uproar from residents, the council eliminated the mandates on homeowners and
recast them as goals or recommendations.

That seemed to satisfy most on the council.

"We're going to get a lot more goodwill from residents with incentives, rather than
mandates," said City Councilman Gordon Wozniak. "Most people really want to do the
right thing, but they're retired, or they're students, or low-income, and can't do more than
they're already doing."

Wozniak said he'd like to see staff give priority to his amendment, which would offer
residents tax incentives to buy electric or hybrid cars and improve their homes' energy
efficiency.

The challenge, he said, will be to implement the plan without overly downgrading
residents' quality of life.

"We shouldn't require everyone to go live in the desert, in a yoga pose, using no energy
at all," he said. "People should still be able to enjoy life and have a reasonable standard
of living."



                                                                                          30
Mayor Tom Bates said the countless public meetings, council arguments and staff hours
have been worth it.

"I think it's the best climate action plan in the U.S.," he said. "But it's a living document. It
will be changed and adjusted and tightened up as we go along."


Scientists weigh in, urging strategic voting
MARK HUME , May 7, 2009

VANCOUVER -- Five leading conservationists and environmental scientists said
yesterday that British Columbia watersheds are threatened by provincial government
policies, and they urged the public to "vote strategically" in next week's election.

They were reluctant to endorse any specific party, but their pointed criticisms of policies
introduced by the Liberals indicated they think a vote for the NDP would be in the best
interest of the environment.

"When you see five people of this calibre gathered together to raise the alarm, you have
to pay attention," said Craig Orr, who moderated a group news conference.

Making statements were Mark Angelo, chairman of the Rivers Institute at B.C. Institute
of Technology; Elaine Golds, a biochemist; William Rees, a professor at the University of
British Columbia; Alexandra Morton, a leading salmon researcher who has been
campaigning against salmon farms; and Vicky Husband, a senior environmental
advocate.

Three of the people present - Dr. Orr, Dr. Rees and Ms. Morton - are on the board of a
non-profit group, the Save Our Rivers Society, which sprang into existence because of
concerns over the government's promotion of private power projects in B.C. watersheds.

Ms. Husband said the environment is a non-partisan issue, and offered criticism of not
only the NDP and Liberal platforms, but also of the Green Party. "I wouldn't say who to
vote for," she said, but then ran through a list of concerns that showed she thinks the
Liberal government has put B.C.'s environment at risk. "We have the best place on
earth," she said, echoing a government advertising slogan. "Then why the hell aren't we
protecting it?"

Mr. Angelo said he is concerned about the lack of an overall plan for developing run-of-
river power projects in the province and a lack of public consultation. "Whoever wins has
to address those concerns," he said.

Ms. Morton accused the government of putting wild salmon at risk by allowing fish-farm
expansion and by promoting power developments on numerous rivers. "I personally
have always voted Green, but I feel personally responsible for [Liberal Leader] Gordon
Campbell getting in, so I'm voting NDP," she said.

Dr. Rees indicated he is doing the same thing, saying he has an affinity for Green
policies, "but I probably will vote strategically to try and avoid having the Campbell
government return."


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Green roof proposal faces withering criticism
JEFF GRAY
May 7, 2009

Condo developers, factory owners and even the Roman Catholic church showed up at
city hall yesterday to thunder against a revised proposal that would force more new
buildings to have eco-friendly green roofs.

Despite previous alarm bells from developers, the proposed green roof bylaw was
revised to increase the number of buildings that would be forced to include rooftop
gardens - said to reduce greenhouses gases and summer temperatures - and removed
exemptions for industry, schools and affordable housing.

The revised bylaw also lowers the minimum square footage that would require a green
roof (to 2,000 square metres from 5,000). It also makes green roofs mandatory for
residential buildings that are 20 metres high (six storeys) or taller, down from a minimum
of 23 metres as originally proposed. The larger the square footage, the higher the
percentage of roof space that must be covered with greenery.

The industrial sector was to face a new requirement to green 10 per cent of new
buildings' roofs, but only up to a maximum of 2,000 square metres, which would help
keep the minimum cost to about $200,000. But the revisions would give industrial
buildings a reprieve until Jan. 31, 2011, while city officials explore "alternative options,"
such as reflective "white roofs," that might achieve some of the bylaw's environmental
goals.

The new proposal heads to council for debate later this month, after councillors on the
planning and growth committee endorsed it yesterday.

The biggest condo builders said the current version of the bylaw is simply unworkable,
as it appears to conflict with zoning rules that require outdoor amenity space such as
barbecue areas or swimming pools on their roofs. (City officials said they could address
the concern as they revise the zoning bylaw.)

Industry representatives said forcing new factories to include costly green roofs would
drive investors away from Toronto and hurt the city's struggling manufacturing sector.

Al Brezina, director of engineering for Campbell Co. of Canada, warned that green roofs
might violate rules that prohibit anything that could draw pests, such as rats or birds, into
his firm's Etobicoke soup plant.

A lawyer for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Toronto, Michael Wren, warned that the
move to lower the minimum square footage could affect new churches or additions to
existing ones.

"It's not just the cost of the technology, but it's also a factor in the design," Mr. Wren told
the committee. "Traditionally, the architecture in places of worship, whether it's a church




                                                                                                32
or a mosque or a synagogue, doesn't lend itself to flat roofs. It's not typical, or generally
suitable for the use of the sacred space."

Deputy mayor Joe Pantalone, championing the bylaw as part of Mayor David Miller's
green agenda, said if green roofs spread across the city, the average temperature in
August could be reduced by two degrees, meaning less energy would be needed to cool
the city.

"I believe that, environmentally, we have no choice but to move in this direction," he
said.

Paul Scrivener of the Toronto Industry Network, a business lobby group, welcomed the
reprieve for new industrial buildings.

Steve Daniels, a development planner with Tridel Group, said the condo industry is not
opposed to green roofs, but that condo builders cannot implement the new rules as they
stand. He said his request for more meetings with bureaucrats to fix the bylaw was
rebuffed.

***

WEIGHING COSTS

Much of the debate over environmentally friendly green roofs revolves around cost.

Proponents say they pay for themselves with savings on energy and other costs, but
officials of some industries warn the concept carries capital and maintenance costs with
little payback.

Steve Daniels, a development planner with the Tridel Group, said a green roof can cost
$18 to $28 a square foot on a typical tall condominium building, meaning an extra
$200,000 to $400,000, plus maintenance costs.

But Steven Peck, president of Green Roofs for Healthy Cities, a Toronto-based industry
association, said opponents of a mandatory green roof bylaw are exaggerating the costs
and minimizing the benefits.

He said a green roof on a factory, for example, could cost as little as $10 to $12 a
square foot (not including another $4 to $10 for waterproofing. Maintenance can be done
for as little as 10 to 25 cents a square foot extra, compared with the maintenance costs
of a regular roof. Jeff Gray


Plucking `low hanging fruit' on energy tree
May 07, 2009
Alex Newman
SPECIAL TO THE STAR

The groundswell of geothermal interest among builders, developers and individual



                                                                                            33
homeowners all over the GTA is mainly because it's what "green" venture capitalist Tom
Rand calls "low hanging fruit" on the energy tree – easy to pluck and very cheap in the
long run.

At Ironstone, a recently built Mississauga condo, geothermal is actively marketed as an
energy-savings incentive for prospective buyers. Direct Energy put together a financial
package so the builder was able to afford the geothermal system construction, says the
condo's architect Roland Rom Colthoff.

Geothermal costs are incorporated into the condo fees, which are 39 cents per square
foot (Hydro is separately metered). The long-term savings to heating and cooling costs
are expected to be considerable.

Even with large luxury suburban homes, geothermal is attracting interest for its financial
savings – as well as the health of the planet – says Gary Peck, marketing manager of
Oshawa-based Marshall Homes. The added cost isn't that much to swallow, and the
installation – three holes three metres apart in the back corner of the yard – doesn't
interfere with landscaping or enjoying the yard.

But Peck says the return is only "calculable" on homes at least 2,500 square feet, where
energy saved can be up to 76 per cent. Anything smaller doesn't offer enough reduction
to compensate for the upfront costs, although energy will only go up in price, he notes.

The standard Marshall Home package has some upgraded energy savings and the
Energy Star version costs an extra $6,300; the extra costs of the geothermal home is
close to $30,000.

In the country, however, price and footprint/size is less a factor than convenience, with
access to natural gas lines limited, electricity prohibitively expensive and oil messy.

It has special appeal in large-scale operations, something Rand covers in a book he is
working on. "I didn't think it was possible to go 100 per cent renewable but the studies
support it.''

He claims that "if you drill 10 kilometres down to the really high temperatures, you can
make enough energy to supply the whole U.S. with between three and 30,000 times
more energy than it needs."

It might be said that the Planet Traveler hotel in Kensington Market, in which Rand is a
partner, is a bit of a test case. Although it appeared initially that geothermal wouldn't be
possible on such a tight city lot, Rand approached the city about using the lane behind
the hotel to sink his geothermal pipes.

In spite of his best arguments – that geothermal could reduce emissions by 80 per cent
– he was prepared to get mired in red tape. But the city was quick to respond with a draft
bylaw proposal permitting use of lanes and parkettes for geothermal pipelines.

"It's probably a first in the world," Rand says.




                                                                                            34
Even the provinces are getting into geothermal. Power plants, which must build to
maximum peak period capacity, are expensive, so many are looking at ways to lower
peak period capacity.

Manitoba is leading the pack, Rand says, by taking on some upfront geothermal costs as
an incentive to individuals.

Utilities should take a good look at converting power plants into geothermal producers,
he says.

Technically, it's possible, Rand says. It would only take a trillion dollars to supply the
energy needs of the U.S. and convincing "the power plant owners to do it."


The wrong direction
The Ottawa Citizen, May 7, 2009 7:55 AM

For years, a succession of Canadian governments have dithered on the climate-change
file. The results are in: Canada's greenhouse-gas emissions are growing faster than
ever.

In 2007, according to new data released from Environment Canada, Canada hit a record
high: 747 megatonnes of carbon-dioxide equivalent. That was up four per cent over
2006. The sudden increase can be explained, in part, by the fact that the winter was
milder in 2006 than in 2007. But that doesn't explain the fact that since 1990, Canada's
emissions have been climbing steadily.

This country promised, in the Kyoto agreement, to cut its emissions to six per cent below
1990 levels. Instead, it raised them to 26 per cent above 1990 levels. If this is what it
looks like when Canada makes an effort, it's scary to imagine what our emissions might
be today if we hadn't tried at all.

Indeed, in some sectors, emissions have declined, proving the efficacy of technological
and cultural innovation. Residential emissions have stayed at 1990 levels, largely
because of more efficient furnaces and buildings. There have been great successes in
industrial processes, and emissions from the whole industrial sector decreased.
Emissions from cars have decreased by about six megatonnes since 1990.

But emissions from SUVs and trucks increased by a whopping 44 megatonnes over the
same period.

Agriculture has been another major contributor to Canada's greenhouse gases,
accounting for seven percentage points of the overall increase since 1990. Environment
Canada blames the growing market for meat, and the increase in the use of synthetic
nitrogen fertilizer.

And then there are the tar sands. Mining, fossil-fuel production and electricity production
were all major contributors to the increase in emissions since 1990. Even "fugitive
releases" (pipeline leaks, etc) increased by 22 megatonnes between 1990 and 2007.



                                                                                             35
Taken as a whole, the successes of the last two decades are far outweighed by the
failures. The consequences of that will appear in our lifetimes. It is, already, no longer a
matter of preventing climate change, but of preventing severe climate change. According
to recent research published in the journal Nature, it's unlikely we'll be able to prevent a
warming of more than 2 C before 2100 unless we leave most of the economically
recoverable oil, gas and coal reserves in the ground.

There's no doubting that the 21st century will be difficult. The longer we sit and watch as
Canada's emissions climb higher, the more difficult it will become. As the Nature reports
point out, cumulative emissions are what count. The more we pump into the atmosphere
today, the less we can get away with tomorrow.

Meanwhile, climate change seems to have dropped off the agenda of federal politics.
Most Conservatives seem to prefer not to talk about it at all, unless forced to by an
election campaign. And Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff has said nothing of substance
about the vital question of how Canada should put a price on carbon.

Canadians can't afford to wait for the big political parties to find a way to fit climate
change into their ideologies. Either we implement a major shift to the way our economy
functions, now, or we bequeath a major economic and environmental shock to our
children.


$122M available for greenhouse gas research
By Alexandra Zabjek, The Edmonton JournalMay 7, 2009

Former Syncrude CEO Eric Newell will chair the organization managing Alberta's climate
change fund, which could begin delivering grants by the end of this year.

"He understands how industry operates in Alberta and where some projects could have
significant impact," said Chris Bourdeau, spokesman for Alberta Environment.

After being established in 2007, the Climate Change and Emissions Management Fund
now holds $122.4 million. The money is to be used by Alberta companies to research
and implement technology to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate
change.

The fund is paid for by companies that emit substantial amounts of carbon dioxide.
Those that did not reduce their emissions intensity by 12 per cent from baseline levels
had until last year start paying $15 per tonne for emissions over their limit.

Bourdeau said companies from a variety of sectors can apply for grants, including oil
and gas companies, power companies, and those working on major infrastructure
projects.

"It will be up to the board of directors to decide. It's which project proposals that come in
will have the biggest bang for the buck. And the board of directors will judge that based
on things like, what are the actual emissions reductions being proposed, how soon will
they happen, and how much private money could a grant possibly leverage," Bourdeau
said.


                                                                                           36
Organizations such as the Sierra Club have criticized the fund, saying it will only give
money back to high-emitting companies.

Companies which don't meet their emissions targets can also buy offset credits
generated by other Alberta companies that have reduced their emissions beyond their
targets.

The other board members for the Climate Change and Emissions Management Corp.
have yet to be selected.

Money for the climate change fund is collected by Alberta Environment, but the
organization Newell will chair will operate at arm's-length from the government.




Moving beyond the carbon tax in B.C.'s election
By By Peter Robinson, Special to the Sun

B.C. voters can take heart that the environment is a key issue in this election. That all
three major parties have made the environment central to their platforms gives citizens
the opportunity to push whichever party forms government to follow through with its
promises.

Inevitably, though, campaigns tend to boil issues down to either-or, black or white, left or
right. When it comes to protecting the planet that sustains us, things aren¹t always that
simple. In this election, much of the debate has been about the carbon tax, or about
carbon tax versus cap-and-trade. But it isn't an either-or proposition, and climate policy
shouldn¹t be the only focus.

The reasons for this focus are easy to understand: Global warming is one of the most
critical issues facing humanity today. Most climate scientists, environmentalists and
economists believe that putting a price on carbon, through a carbon tax or cap-and-trade
 or better yet, both is a highly effective tool in the fight against climate change. A think
tank at the University of Ottawa, Sustainable Prosperity, recently said that B.C., with its
carbon tax and developing cap-and-trade system under the Western Climate Initiative,
has the best climate policy in Canada.

That doesn't mean our province's climate plan is perfect a point made clear by
Sustainable Prosperity. To fully realize the benefits from transforming our economy to
one that is greener and more productive, the price on carbon will need to go higher.
Furthermore, much of the good that comes from carbon-pricing could be undone by
things such as unnecessary highway expansion and increased oil and gas production.

There's also important work to be done on issues such as endangered-wildlife and
habitat protection, pesticide use, salmon-farming, run-of-river power, and oil and gas
exploration. The three main parties agree on some of these issues, but are far apart on
others.



                                                                                            37
All three agree on the need to protect endangered wildlife and habitat, although their
approaches vary. B.C. has a rich biological legacy, yet experts tell us that hundreds of
plants and animals are at risk of disappearing, including rare desert flowers, grizzly
bears, orcas, great blue herons and many songbirds.

The province needs a Species and Ecosystem Protection Act to ensure our biological
richness flourishes in the face of climate change and other threats. This includes
protection for the places where plants and animals live, in order to maintain biodiversity
and help keep ecosystems resilient

to the impacts of climate change. Whoever wins this election will need to move quickly to
increase protection for species at risk, as many of B.C.'s plants and animals are in
imminent danger.

One area that has been the subject intense debate in this election is of run-of-river
power. Run-of-river power could be an important part of the clean-energy mix needed to
help British Columbia address the issue of climate change, and a key aspect of the
provincial government's environmental agenda.

But before going further, B.C. needs an overarching strategy to make sure enough water
continues to flow in our rivers to support basic ecosystem functions, including wildlife
and habitat needs such as salmon spawning, and to prevent wild spaces from being
fragmented by access roads and power lines. So far, the parties have been unable to
agree on the right approach, which is unfortunate, as each party¹s platform contains
important elements for a comprehensive energy plan.

Oil and gas is another divisive issue. We believe the current moratorium on drilling for oil
and gas on the B.C coast must be maintained and oil tankers must be prevented from
threatening the B.C. coastline. The risks are just too high compared to the alleged
benefits. It¹s time to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and invest instead in energy
conservation and renewable energy.

Fish farms pose additional threats to our coast. Scientific studies show that sea lice from
salmon farms are putting wild salmon at risk of extinction. B.C. must not allow any new
farms, and must enforce protection for wild fish and invest in a closed-tank industry that
can provide jobs and protect the environment.

Two of the top election issues, health and the environment, intersect when it comes to
the use of pesticides that can be toxic to humans. Several provinces, including Ontario
and Quebec, have banned or proposed banning the use of unnecessary pesticides used
to keep lawns and gardens looking good.

And close to 20 towns and cities in B.C. have passed bylaws restricting the use of these
pesticides, but the province has not yet followed suit.

These aren't the only environmental issues in this campaign, but they are among the
most urgent. Voters should look at the records and the platforms of the parties on these
issues and encourage their candidates to address all the significant environmental
issues facing British Columbia.



                                                                                           38
Let's deliver a mandate to those elected to represent our interests on May 12: Continue
to make B.C. not just the "best place on Earth" but the greenest as well.

Peter Robinson is CEO of the David Suzuki Foundation.

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________________________________________________________________

                            ENVIRONMENT NEWS FROM THE
                                  UN DAILY NEWS

07 May 2009

Leaders in climate disaster response honoured with UN-backed ‘green’ awards

Among the five winners of the first-ever Green Star Awards – honoured for work in
response to environmental emergencies – are a Brazilian scientific support centre and a
leading Swiss laboratory, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
announced today.

The 2009 inaugural award recipients are Mike Cowing of UNEP; the Center for Scientific
Support in Disaster Situations (CENACID) of Paraná Federal University in Brazil; Spiez
Laboratory of Switzerland; the Government of the Netherlands; and the Government of
Sweden.

―I hope that by improving awareness of the environmental consequences of such
emergencies, we can improve response to future disasters by having more actors
involved,‖ said John Holmes, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs.

The Green Star Awards are a joint initiative between UNEP, the Office for the
Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and Green Cross International (CGI) to
recognize those who have made remarkable efforts to prevent, prepare for, and respond
to environmental disasters around the world.

―2009 needs to be a year when the world not only seals the deal on a transformational
new climate agreement, but also begins delivering a Green Economy,‖ said UNEP
Executive Director Achim Steiner.

He underscored the need to accelerate the ―fundamental shift to a low carbon and
resource efficient future that fosters innovation, decent employment and equity between
countries and communities, especially in some of the poorest and most vulnerable parts
of the globe.‖

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                          ENVIRONMENT NEWS FROM THE
                     S.G’s SPOKESMAN DAILY PRESS BRIEFING

07 May 2009 (None)

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