environment correspondent
Alister's Feed
May 11, 2011

New Arctic naval challenges seen as ice thaws

OSLO (Reuters) – The navies of Arctic nations will face big challenges under a treaty due to be agreed Thursday to carve up responsibility for search and rescue in the fast-thawing region, Norway’s foreign minister said.

Jonas Gahr Stoere also told Reuters foreign ministers of the eight-nation Arctic Council, set to meet in Greenland, looked unlikely to resolve a dispute about whether to give outsiders such as China or Italy seats as permanent observers.

May 6, 2011

Except in China, coal loses in new power plants

OSLO (Reuters) – China is the big exception to a clear global shift away from the use of high-polluting coal in new power plants toward natural gas and renewable energies, a leading environmentalist said on Friday.

China has overtaken the United States as the top emitter of greenhouse gases in recent years, partly as it opens ever more coal-fired power plants to underpin fast economic growth. Coal emits large amounts of carbon dioxide when burned.

May 6, 2011

Rich nations miss U.N. climate finance deadline

OSLO (Reuters) – Rich countries have missed a U.N. deadline for outlining aid to help developing nations combat climate change.

Among industrialized nations, only Russia and Ukraine sent letters to the United Nations by the May 1 deadline — only to say they did not feel obliged to contribute under a deal to provide almost $30 billion in initial “fast-start” climate funds from 2010-12.

May 4, 2011

Exclusive: Renewable energies to leap, costs fall: UN

OSLO (Reuters) – Renewable energies such as wind or solar power are set to surge by 2050, and expected advances in technology will bring significant cost cuts, a draft United Nations report showed on Wednesday.

The most comprehensive U.N. overview of the sector to date said renewables excluding bioenergy, which is mainly firewood burned in developing nations for cooking and heating, could expand by three to 20 times by mid-century.

May 3, 2011

Seas could rise up to 1.6 metres by 2100: study

OSLO (Reuters) – Quickening climate change in the Arctic including a thaw of Greenland’s ice could raise world sea levels by up to 1.6 meters by 2100, an international report showed on Tuesday.

Such a rise — above most past scientific estimates — would add to threats to coasts from Bangladesh to Florida, low-lying Pacific islands and cities from London to Shanghai. It would also, for instance, raise costs of building tsunami barriers in Japan.

May 1, 2011

Project to track U.S. cellphones and TVs for recycling

OSLO (Reuters) – A new international project will try to track discarded U.S. cellphones, TVs and other electronic waste to help recycle everything from gold to rare earths and protect human health, U.S. and U.N. officials said on Sunday.

Many electronic items end up at the bottom of drawers at home when they break or get outdated. Many are shipped abroad for recycling. Others get dumped in normal trash bins and vanish into landfills or are incinerated, releasing toxins.

May 1, 2011

Project to track US cellphones, TVs for recycling

OSLO, May 1 (Reuters) – A new international project will try
to track discarded U.S. cellphones, TVs and other electronic
waste to help recycle everything from gold to rare earths and
protect human health, U.S. and U.N. officials said on Sunday.

Many electronic items end up at the bottom of drawers at
home when they break or get outdated. Many are shipped abroad
for recycling. Others get dumped in normal trash bins and vanish
into landfills or are incinerated, releasing toxins.

Apr 28, 2011

Oslo urges more forest aid despite corruption risk

OSLO (Reuters) – Norway urged rich nations on Thursday to take risks and pay to slow deforestation in poor countries, saying there would hardly be a tree left in Congo if donors first wait for corruption to be eradicated.

Environment Minister Erik Solheim also reiterated calls for Jakarta to impose a strict two-year moratorium on new forest clearing to help implement a delayed $1 billion deal to slow deforestation agreed with Oslo in 2010.

Apr 27, 2011

Recession briefly axed greenhouse gases in 2009

OSLO (Reuters) – Recession drove industrialized nations’ greenhouse gas emissions down 5.6 percent in 2009 but analysts said the plunge may be a brief, misleading sign of progress in slowing climate change.

Emissions by about 40 nations fell to the equivalent of 16.5 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide in 2009 from 17.4 billion in 2008, and were a record 11.6 percent below the benchmark year of 1990, a Reuters compilation showed.

Apr 26, 2011

Rising seas scariest climate impact: Nauru’s Moses

OSLO (Reuters) – Sea level rise is the “most terrifying” impact of climate change and rich countries are showing scant leadership in addressing the threats, the incoming chair of a U.N. alliance of small island states said on Tuesday.

Marlene Moses, the U.N. ambassador of the Pacific island state of Nauru, the world’s smallest republic, urged developed countries to do far more to cut their greenhouse gas emissions and to provide climate aid to developing states.