Force will patrol streets looking for rules violations including open-air barbecues, rubbish burning and dusty roads
Beijing will create an environmental police force aimed at tackling deadly smog, after the Chinese capital spent the first week of 2017 mostly shrouded in a thick haze of pollution.
The new law enforcement outfit will patrol the streets, eyes peeled for open-air barbecues, trash burning and dusty roads that violate regulations, the city’s acting mayor Cai Qi said at the weekend.
Beijing will also shut its last coal-fired power plant and reduce coal consumption by 30% this year, Cai said according to state media. Officials will shut 500 factories and 300,000 older vehicles will be taken off the road.
“There is still a long way to go to meet the expectation of the public,” he added, admitting he wakes up every morning and checks the air quality, along with the weather report.
The capital is frequently beset with toxic smog and levels of harmful air pollution in 2015 were more than eight times those recommended by the World Health Organization.
China declared a “war on pollution” in 2014, but has struggled to deliver the sweeping change many had hoped to see and government inspections routinely find pollutions flouting the law.
Last week, inspection teams from the environment ministry found some companies resuming operations despite a government ban, known as a “red alert”, aimed at curbing smog. More than 500 construction sites and businesses and 10,000 vehicles violated measures to reduce air pollution.
But Beijing’s new police squad may do little to help residents breathe easy.
Scotland has just proposed a draft climate change plan to cut its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 66% by 2032, setting one of the world’s most ambitious reduction plans to tackle climate change.
The ambitious goal follows the target of reducing GHG emissions by 42% by 2020 compared to 1990, a target already met in 2014. Scotland also has a long-term target of cutting GHG by 80% by 2050.
“We are proud of the progress made by Scotland, one of the most ambitious members of the States & Regions Alliance,” says Libby Ferguson, States & Regions Director, The Climate Group. “The Scottish government has shown how climate leadership can improve both business prosperity and citizens’ wellbeing.
The report marks the first step in bridging the gap between the way companies consider sustainability issues in their risk management processes, and the way they disclose these risks to investors.
For example, in one of the report surveys:
89% of companies indicate that sustainability issues could have a financial impact on their business. Yet, 70% don’t believe their risk management practices are adequately addressing those risks. Further, only 29% of the companies who outline material sustainability risks in sustainability reporting reflect the same information in their legal filings or disclosures.
Researchers at Washington State University have discovered a new type of cooperative photosynthesis that could be used in engineering microbial communities for waste treatment and bioenergy production.
EcoVadis hosted an insightful Panel discussion at Le Bourget in Paris last Friday, December 4, for Day 5 of COP21 with close to 200 attendees. In case you weren't able to make it to Paris, here's a summary of the insights and discussion from this excellent panel procurement and sustainability leaders...
The private sector is largely absent from the negotiations despite the fact that it is responsible for the majority of both GDP and emissions. Here are four reasons to pay attention to the private sector at COP21.
Suppose you could replace "Made in China" with "Made in my garage." Suppose also that every time you polished off a jug of two percent, you would be stocking up on raw material to make anything from a cell phone case and golf tees to a toy castle...
WATER POLLUTION - CANADA TAKES CRAP FOR FLUSHING RAW SEWAGE INTO THE OCEAN - According to Macleans, Canada’s leading news magazine, the sewage is a mixture of water, human waste, microorganisms, toxic chemicals, heavy metals, EXCRETED PHARMACEUTICALS and, potentially, pathogens such as cholera, typhoid and hepatitis B. http://environment.about.com/od/waterpollution/a/canadasewage.htm
In an amazing sustainability quadruple play, researchers at the University of Colorado Denver are working on a fuel cell that can desalinate water, treat wastewater and generate electricity in a single process, while producing hydrogen gas that is re-used to make the treatment process run efficiently. What’s amazing about it is that the operation is run by microscopic living organisms that exist all around us and even inside of us, otherwise known as microbes – yes, microbes
As climate mitigation strategies focus on Co2 emission reductions, much needed support for the lungs of our planet arrives as Norway pledges $400 million for rainforests with the assistance of the private sector. As the Green Climate Fund is being rounded out amongst members of the PCA, this particular funding focuses on small scale farmers and strives to find a balance between supporting future food security and preserving irreplaceable ecosystems.
he world’s airline industry adds to climate change. It burns the equivalent of more than 5m barrels of oil a day, adding up to around 2.5% of all carbon dioxide pollution, in addition to nitrogen oxides, soot and water vapour, which place an even bigger burden on the world’s climate.
Aircraft are gradually becoming more fuel efficient, but that’s not happening fast enough to keep up with the huge boom in flying – since the 1970s, global air traffic has doubled in size roughly every 15 years. Flying is still cheap and budget airlines make it even more attractive, partly thanks to an international agreement reached in 1944 that prohibits tax on aviation fuel for international flights.
Last Tuesday, the UN’s climate talks have opened in Marrakech, with representatives from 196 countries focusing on the implementation of the Paris Agreement, under the stewardship of the Moroccan Foreign Minister, Salaheddine Mezouar
Our society needs a new story to belong to. The old story of empire and dominion over the earth has to be looked at in the full light of day - all of our ambient cultural stories and values that we take for granted and which remain invisible must become visible.
But most of all, we need to see the promise of the alternatives - we need to be able to imagine new exciting ways that people could live, better than anything that the old paradigm could ever dream of providing.
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