COULD Pope Francis become the world's foremost campaigner on global warming? That is certainly the fondest hope (or in a few cases the darkest fear) of a lot of people who are closely involved in deliberations over the planet's future.Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary-general, met the pontiff today and shared his mounting concern over the outcome of the Paris summit on climate change in December which is widely seen as the last opportunity for a global deal to manage carbon emissions and set some limit to rising temperatures. Immediately afterwards, the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, an important part of the Vatican's intellectual armoury, convened a brainstorming session with the UN secretariat and a gaggle of NGOs, including the New-York based Earth Institute, a study centre which advises the UN on sustainable development: at the Vatican's behest, the agenda included not just climate change but forced migration and human trafficking, a scourge which has been exacerbated by desertification.Elsewhere in the Italian capital, some strident climate-change sceptics from the Heartland Institute, a right-wing American organisation devoted to spreading climate-change scepticism, were urging the Pope not to believe in man-made global warming; the institute insists that claims of a human ...<div class="og_rss_groups"></div>
TO PLACATE shareholders and shoppers, American companies are promising to use more recycled materials in their products. It’s a nice idea, but surprisingly hard to achieve. Coca-Cola committed to using at least 25% recycled plastic in its containers by 2015, but revised this downwards owing to scarce supply and high costs. Walmart is struggling to find the material to meet its goal to use 3 billion pounds of recycled plastic in its packaging and products by 2020. “The problem is supply,” explains Rob Kaplan of Walmart.Most recycled materials should be cheaper than virgin commodities, but America throws too much stuff away. Low landfill fees and a fragmented waste-management system have kept the country’s recycling rate at around 34% for two decades—far lower than most rich countries. This waste comes at a cost. Making cans from recycled aluminium, the most valuable container material, requires 95% less energy and creates 90% less greenhouse-gas emissions than virgin stock, yet more than 40 billion aluminium cans hit America's landfills every year. The country chucks away $11.4 billion worth of recyclable containers and packaging annually, according to As You Sow, an advocacy group.Part of the problem is that America’s approach to waste is a mess of incompatible local systems. Around 9,800 different municipal recycling plans operate around the country, and they all ...<div class="og_rss_groups"></div>
China is making concrete progress in fulfilling its pledge to peak carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 at the latest with its economy expanding at around 7 percent, experts on climate change said here Thursday.
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What does Hillary stand for?
To slash electricity use, both utilities and their customers must play their part
POWER consumption used to march in lockstep with economic growth. As the world recovers from financial crisis, that link is weakening. Though the average conceals wide variations, in 2014 advanced industrialised countries used 0.9% less electricity than in 2013, and slightly less even than in 2007, since when their combined economies have grown by 6.3%.
A new study for the UN Environment Programme concludes that two factors are at work. One is thrift. Faced with rising prices, consumers use less. British electricity prices increased by 44% over the period; consumption fell by 12%. The other is greater use of energy-saving technology. This includes better insulation, advanced heating and cooling systems, and energy-efficient device s, notably light-emitting diodes (LEDs), ...<div class="og_rss_groups"></div>