Archive

Archive for the ‘environment’ Category

The future of the global power sector: Preparing for emerging opportunities and threats

April 14, 2015 Comments off

The future of the global power sector: Preparing for emerging opportunities and threats
Source: Deloitte

Power companies need to modify their management models to adapt to shifting realities, including price reductions that are leading to narrower margins, improvements in the quality of supply, demand for new services, a sharper focus on environmental protection, new technologies that modify traditional business scope by focusing on the technical management of assets, and many more.

Facts for Features — Earth Day: April 22, 2015

April 10, 2015 Comments off

Facts for Features — Earth Day: April 22, 2015
Source: U.S. Census Bureau

April 22, 2015, marks the 45th anniversary of Earth Day ― a day intended to inspire awareness and appreciation for the Earth’s natural environment. The day came from reaction to a massive oil spill in waters near Santa Barbara, Calif., in 1969. In honor of Earth Day ― and Earth Week (April 16-22) ― this edition of Profile America Facts for Features includes examples of Census Bureau statistics pertaining to energy and the environment.

US protected lands mismatch biodiversity priorities

April 8, 2015 Comments off

US protected lands mismatch biodiversity priorities
Source: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Because habitat loss is the main cause of extinction, where and how much society chooses to protect is vital for saving species. The United States is well positioned economically and politically to pursue habitat conservation should it be a societal goal. We assessed the US protected area portfolio with respect to biodiversity in the country. New synthesis maps for terrestrial vertebrates, freshwater fish, and trees permit comparison with protected areas to identify priorities for future conservation investment. Although the total area protected is substantial, its geographic configuration is nearly the opposite of patterns of endemism within the country. Most protected lands are in the West, whereas the vulnerable species are largely in the Southeast. Private land protections are significant, but they are not concentrated where the priorities are. To adequately protect the nation’s unique biodiversity, we recommend specific areas deserving additional protection, some of them including public lands, but many others requiring private investment.

New report brings pre-2020 actions into sharp focus

April 7, 2015 Comments off

New report brings pre-2020 actions into sharp focus
Source: World Wildlife Fund

As UN climate negotiators in Geneva today focus on emissions reductions in the pre-2020 period, a new WWF report outlines the immediate mitigation measures that can be taken in 10 countries.

The WWF report, Crossing the Divide: How to Close the Emissions Abyss, shows how key countries can begin work now to close the ‘gigatonne gap’.

Tasneem Essop, WWF’s head of delegation to the UN climate negotiations says there are plenty of ways governments around the world can limit their pre-2020 emissions. “These range from scrapping coal-fired power stations and increasing renewables to improving energy efficiency, strengthening emissions targets and addressing deforestation.”

The urgency to act is highlighted by the scientific evidence outlined in the latest IPCC report that made it clear that emissions have to peak within the pre-2020 period and sharply decline after that.

The WWF report aims to keep focus on the critical period leading to when a new climate agreement would take hold in 2020.

‘Shift To Rail’ – Research For EU Rail Transport

April 7, 2015 Comments off

‘Shift To Rail’ – Research For EU Rail Transport
Source: European Parliamentary Research Service

The EU is faced with major societal issues such as rising transport demand, traffic and road congestion, security of energy supply and cutting CO2 emissions. Greater reliance on rail transport and improvements to the sector’s competitiveness and resource-efficiency could help tackle these problems. To this end, a new EU initiative for a public-private partnership, the ‘Shift to Rail Joint Undertaking’ (S2R JU), was established in 2014 under the Horizon 2020 programme, in order to boost and coordinate research and innovation in rail products, processes and services.

Hidden Benefits of Electric Vehicles for Addressing Climate Change

April 4, 2015 Comments off

Hidden Benefits of Electric Vehicles for Addressing Climate Change
Source: Scientific Reports

There is an increasingly hot debate on whether the replacement of conventional vehicles (CVs) by electric vehicles (EVs) should be delayed or accelerated since EVs require higher cost and cause more pollution than CVs in the manufacturing process. Here we reveal two hidden benefits of EVs for addressing climate change to support the imperative acceleration of replacing CVs with EVs. As EVs emit much less heat than CVs within the same mileage, the replacement can mitigate urban heat island effect (UHIE) to reduce the energy consumption of air conditioners, benefitting local and global climates. To demonstrate these effects brought by the replacement of CVs by EVs, we take Beijing, China, as an example. EVs emit only 19.8% of the total heat emitted by CVs per mile. The replacement of CVs by EVs in 2012 could have mitigated the summer heat island intensity (HII) by about 0.94°C, reduced the amount of electricity consumed daily by air conditioners in buildings by 14.44 million kilowatt-hours (kWh), and reduced daily CO2 emissions by 10,686 tonnes.

Securing Livelihoods for All

April 3, 2015 Comments off

Securing Livelihoods for All
Source: OECD

The world has made good progress in improving global livelihoods. More than two billion people have emerged from extreme poverty over the last four decades. Other notable improvements include real increases in wages for unskilled workers, better life expectancy, greater gender equality and more widespread literacy. However, a number of daunting challenges threaten to undo this progress, particularly on the demographic and environmental fronts. While outlining the status of livelihoods today, this fascinating report enumerates the main emerging trends which will have a significant impact on livelihoods in the near future. It looks at a whole range of issues: economy, technology, demography, environment, security and governance. This book presents five possible future scenarios for livelihoods, whose positive or negative outcomes depend on how several emerging challenges are dealt with. It concludes with ideas for global, national and local action that hold significant promise for securing resilient livelihoods for all.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,030 other followers