Environment Forum

How many jobs does it create to screw in a lightbulb?

October 21, 2008

Change to an energy-saving lightbulb – create a job? lightbulb.jpg

Energy efficiency efforts in California over the past three decades have created or saved 1.5 million jobs and added $45 billion to payrolls in the state, according to a report from David Roland-Holst of the Center for Energy, Resources and Economic Sustainability at the University of California, Berkeley.

Life greener in cities than in the countryside?

September 26, 2008

A man wearing a bowler hat cycles during the morning rush-hour in central London July 17, 2008. REUTERS/Toby Melville (BRITAIN)City-dwelling, bike-riding recyclers are finally getting the recognition they deserve for their environmentally friendly lifestyles.
 
A researcher at the London-based International Institute for Environment and Development argues in a journal article published on Friday that many city residents actually pollute less than families in rural areas.
 
“People who live in the suburbs or commute actually have much higher greenhouse gas emissions per person than people living in (the London district of) Chelsea for the same income level,” David Satterthwaite told Reuters.
 
That’s because country-dwellers tend to have larger homes that need to be heated or cooled and higher car use per household.
 
The study in the journal  Environment and Urbanization says cities are often blamed for producing most of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions but actually generate just two-fifths or less.
 
Satterthwaite argues that cities in wealthy nations can set an example for low carbon living by providing good public transport and energy-efficient buildings. He singles out Barcelona – which has a third of Spain’s average emissions per person – and other historic compact cities like Amsterdam which are easy to walk around. 
 
Culture is also an ally in the fight against climate change. “There’s so much in London or Paris that isn’t high greenhouse gas-emitting: the culture, the art, the buildings, the theatre, the music, the museums, the libraries,” Satterthwaite said.
 
But while cities are often unfairly blamed for producing 75 to 80 percent of the world’s greenhous gas emissions, their responsibility creeps back up when you look at it from a consumption perspective.  Vehicles drive past Dharavi, Asia’s largest slum area in Mumbai April 9, 2008. With one of Asia’s largest slums, congested streets and sometimes startling whiffs of human waste, Mumbai may not be everyone’s first choice for a world-class financial centre. Yet that is exactly what India hopes it will become in the next decade as it rises to the challenge of financing one of the world’s fastest growing major economies after China. To match feature INDIA-MUMBAI/ REUTERS/Punit Paranjpe (INDIA)
 
Satterthwaite believes it would be fairer to allocate greenhouse gas emissions according to the location of the people who consume the goods and services responsible for the emissions rather than to the place they are produced. 

A Silver Bullet or just ‘Greenwash’?

September 9, 2008

A truck with a CO2 tank stands in front of the mini plant “Schwarze Pumpe” before the first official run in Spremberg SeptemberCan carbon capture and storage (CCS) save the world?

Is this the silver bullet everyone’s been waiting for? Or just pie in the sky? Is capturing and storing carbon dioxide the technology breakthrough to cut greenhouse gas emissions without getting in the way of economic growth and industry’s “addiction” to fossil fuels? Or is it just a “greenwash” — a token gesture by some of the utilities responsible for so much of the world’s CO2 to try to persuade an increasingly green public that the great emitters are doing something to fight climate change?

Climate change, it’s snow joke

July 6, 2008

snowshow1.JPGIt’s summer at the G8 media centre in Hokkaido. Yet underneath the building are tonnes of snow to keep journalists cool as they write about global warming.

Coal growth forecast to reign for decades

June 25, 2008

eia.jpgRenewable power sources like wind and solar are some of the fastest growing sectors in the energy business.

Carbon credits to rescue a Madagascar forest?

June 12, 2008

lemur1.jpgCan credits traded in the world’s financial centers stop local farmers in Madagascar from burning up a rain forest filled with lemurs and other life found nowhere else in the world?    

Coaly smoke! Green ire over huge India coal plant

April 11, 2008

coal2.jpgGreens are seeing red this week after the World Bank approved partial financing for a $4.2 billion coal-fired power station in India.