environment correspondent
Alister's Feed
Mar 6, 2011

Lead, asbestos in homes need tighter control: study

OSLO (Reuters) – The health risks from toxins such as lead in old paint or asbestos in walls are too often overlooked when homes are upgraded, according to a study on Sunday calling on governments to set tougher pollution rules.

The report, by Canadian experts, said that retrofits of old buildings, such as insulation meant to save energy and limit greenhouse gas emissions, often released poisons that can be especially damaging to children.

Mar 4, 2011

Norway says to widen carbon capture technology hunt

OSLO, March 4 (Reuters) – Norway will consider a wider range
of technologies for a long-delayed flagship carbon capture
project to avoid health worries from chemicals in the original
plan, the government said on Friday.
Environmentalists have strongly criticised Oslo for delays
in the project designed to limit greenhouse gas emissions from
the Mongstad oil refinery on the west coast, and have accused
its operator Statoil (STL.OL: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) of reluctance to invest.

A white paper presented to parliament said the government
now favoured looking at a wider range of technologies than in
the original plan to use amines, derivatives of ammonia meant to
separate carbon dioxide from exhaust gases at the plant.

Mar 3, 2011

Some Antarctic ice forms from the bottom up

OSLO (Reuters) – Some of Antarctica’s ice sheet is formed by water re-freezing from below not just by snow falling on top as was traditionally thought, findings showed on Thursday that will help scientists project effects of climate change.

Experts are seeking to understand the frozen continent since even a small thaw could swamp low-lying coastal areas and cities. Antarctica contains enough ice to raise world sea levels by about 57 meters (187 ft) if it ever all melted.

Mar 3, 2011

UN postpones “green fund” climate talks to April

OSLO (Reuters) – The United Nations postponed until April on Thursday a 40-nation meeting due to start designing a green fund to help poor nations fight climate change, missing a March deadline amid disagreements about who should attend.

Groups of Asian and Latin American and Caribbean nations have yet to decide their delegates for the first meeting of a so-called Transitional Committee, which had been due to meet in Mexico this month to work on a “Green Climate Fund”.

Mar 2, 2011

U.N. climate talks seen missing aid plan deadline

OSLO (Reuters) – A plan by almost 200 countries to step up efforts to fight climate change is set to miss a March deadline for starting work on a green fund to help developing nations, delegates said on Wednesday.

Groups of Asian, and Latin American and Caribbean countries have yet to decide who will gain early influence in designing the “Green Climate Fund” by attending 40-nation U.N.-led talks due in Mexico City on March 14 and 15.

Feb 23, 2011

U.N. “climate vulnerability” list urged to guide aid

OSLO (Reuters) – A climate “vulnerability index” to judge which developing countries are most at risk from global warming and in need of aid is among the proposals submitted to a U.N. body ahead of new climate talks in April.

The proposal is among submissions to the United Nations that also show a deep split between rich and poor countries about how to oversee billions of dollars to help developing nations adapt to impacts such as droughts, heatwaves, floods or rising seas.

Feb 22, 2011

Forest bugs seen aided by creeping climate change

AAS, Norway, Feb 22 (Reuters) – A spruce tree has smothered
a few beetles by oozing resin from its trunk, repelling an
attack by bugs that seem to be advancing northwards with climate
change in a threat to forests and timber companies.

Other sickly spruce trees scarred by bark beetles have been
less successful in the snow-covered forest near Oslo, where
scientists are seeking ways to halt insects whose relatives have
caused millions of dollars in damage in North America.

Feb 22, 2011

Scott’s Antarctic creatures may give climate clue

OSLO (Reuters) – Tiny Antarctic marine creatures first collected by British explorer Robert Falcon Scott in 1901 may help scientists understand future climate change, a study showed on Tuesday.

The century-long record of the seabed-dwelling animals, known as bryozoans and looking like branching twigs on the seabed, also hints that an Antarctic sea has started to absorb more carbon in recent decades.

Feb 21, 2011

Tougher EU climate goal could boost GDP: study

OSLO (Reuters) – A tougher European Union goal for cutting greenhouse gas emissions could create jobs and boost economic growth by 2020, rather than slow it down as many EU governments fear, a study said on Monday.

A shift to emissions cuts of 30 percent below 1990 levels by 2020, from the EU’s existing 20 percent target, would help spur innovation and investment in a low-carbon economy after the financial crisis, it said.

Feb 18, 2011

Curbing soot could slow climate change: U.N.

OSLO (Reuters) – Strict curbs on soot and ozone air pollution would limit global warming by 0.5 degree Celsius (0.9 F) in a step toward achieving tough world climate goals, a U.N.-backed study showed on Friday.

Stricter limits on “black carbon” soot and tropospheric ozone — a greenhouse gas that is a big component of smog — would also clear the air and so reduce human deaths and improve crop yields, especially in Asia, it said.