environment correspondent
Alister's Feed
May 30, 2011

German nuclear exit plan won’t draw many imitators

OSLO (Reuters) – A German plan to shut all nuclear reactors by 2022 is unlikely to inspire many imitators abroad even though safety worries after Japan’s Fukushima accident have dimmed nuclear industry hopes of a renaissance, experts say.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s phase-out plan risks boosting greenhouse gas emissions by aiding fossil fuel producers despite her assurances of a renewed drive to promote greener energies such as wind and solar power, they said.

May 26, 2011

Venice may be less at risk from seas than feared

OSLO (Reuters) – Venice may be less at risk than feared from rising sea levels because damaging storm surges are likely to get less frequent this century as a side-effect of climate change, an expert said on Thursday.

Shifts in storm patterns in the Adriatic Sea could be a local impact of global warming, and this could offset higher sea levels in a city whose St Mark’s Square and other historic areas are often flooded.

May 25, 2011

U.N. climate panel sets one-week deadline to fix errors

OSLO (Reuters) – The U.N. committee of climate scientists will fix any future errors “within a week or so,” its head said on Wednesday, after coming under fire last year for bungling a forecast of when Himalayan glaciers would thaw.

“I think we now have a firm procedure by which we are going to deal with errors, or alleged errors,” Rajendra Pachauri told Reuters during a visit to Oslo, referring to a set of reforms agreed at a meeting in Abu Dhabi on May 17.

May 25, 2011

Bonds could aid shift to green economy: OECD

OSLO (Reuters) – Green bonds could raise hundreds of billions of dollars a year to spur a shift to cleaner economic growth if governments set strong environmental goals such as for slowing climate change, the OECD said on Wednesday.

In a review of efforts to promote greener growth, it urged more innovation to favor investments in clean energies such as wind or solar power and a drive to place more value on everything from public health to clean water.

May 24, 2011

Norway plans billion-dollar clean energy for poor

OSLO (Reuters) – Norway wants to channel billions of dollars to renewable energies in developing nations, building on a scheme to protect tropical forests to which Oslo has been the biggest donor, officials said.

With cash to spare as the world’s number six oil exporter, Norway wants governments and private investors to join a plan it calls Energy+ to promote green energies such as solar or wind power to combat climate change.

May 24, 2011

Norway plans billion-dollar clean energy initiative for poor

OSLO (Reuters) – Norway wants to channel billions of dollars to renewable energies in developing nations, building on a scheme to protect tropical forests to which Oslo has been the biggest donor, officials said.

With cash to spare as the world’s number six oil exporter, Norway wants governments and private investors to join a plan it calls Energy+ to promote green energies such as solar or wind power to combat climate change.

May 23, 2011

Electricity from microbes a step closer: study

OSLO (Reuters) – Microbes may be harnessed more easily to generate energy after a finding about how they naturally let off tiny electrical charges, scientists said on Monday.

The bacteria, found to have microscopic “wires” sticking through their cell walls, might also be used to clean up oil spills or uranium pollution, according to the report in the U.S. journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

May 18, 2011

Plant, animal extinctions often exaggerated: study

OSLO (Reuters) – A projected spate of extinctions of animals and plants this century may be less drastic than feared because the most widely used scientific method can exaggerate losses by more than 160 percent, a study said on Wednesday.

“Extinctions caused by habitat loss require greater loss of habitat than previously thought,” two experts, based in China and the United States, wrote in the journal Nature.

May 18, 2011

EU 2020 energy cuts may raise import share: Lomborg

OSLO (Reuters) – EU plans to cut energy use by 2020 risk raising the proportion imported from outside the bloc, partly due to domestic nuclear power curbs, Danish academic and environmental writer Bjorn Lomborg said on Wednesday.

The European Union, which imports half its energy, set a goal in 2009 of reducing consumption by 20 percent below projected levels by 2020 as part of a package to fight climate change that is also intended to boost security of supplies.

May 18, 2011

Third of amphibians said unknown; lurk in forests

OSLO (Reuters) – One in three of all types of amphibians may yet to be found by scientists and remote tropical forests should get extra protection as the likely homes of such “unknown” creatures, a study said on Wednesday.

Despite centuries of research by biologists, the report estimated that 3,050 types of amphibians — a group that includes frogs, toads, salamanders and newts — were still to be described, compared to 6,296 species known to science.