NYT: Shipping Industry Faces Increased Scrutiny

With globalization comes increasing shipping pollution. According to the International Maritime Agency, the shipping industry’s annual emissions might be as much as 1,260 million tons of carbon dioxide. That equates to 3.9 percent of the global output of carbon dioxide, an amount higher than the carbon footprint for aviation. Last month U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon convened a group that concluded that a levy on shipping should be one of the sources for a $100 billion fund for developing nations to address climate change. See DCBureau’s groundbreaking series:  No Safe Harbor.

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Reuters: Kyoto may encourage more pollution and spending

A Kyoto Protocol mechanism encourages developing nations to not improve factory efficiency, according to a United Nations methodology panel report released last week.

The $2.7 billion Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) allows companies and countries in the developed world to meet carbon caps by funding emissions cuts, called certified emissions reductions (CERs), in developing nations. The panel is concerned that this scheme would motivate factories to emit more greenhouse gases than necessary in order to earn more CERs.

“There is a strong incentive to … not improve the efficiency of the plant … during any refurbishment because of the CDM benefits,” said the report.

“Further investigation is required … to identify situations in which overestimation of CERs occurs and improve the methodology accordingly,” it added.

The U.N. methodology panel makes recommendations to the CDM executive board on the types of projects that should qualify for CERs. The methodology panel asked the board for guidance for its next meeting on July 26-30.


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Guardian: Rising food prices expected in the next decade

Food prices are expected to rise by as much as 40% in the next decade, according to a United Nations report released today.

The annual joint report from OECD, a thinktank based in Paris, and the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation warns that rising demand for farm commodities from emerging nations and the biofuels industry will drive up prices.

Although farm commodity prices have fallen from their peaks two years ago, prices are predicted to escalate and are unlikely to drop back to their average levels of the past decade.

Recent price spikes and the economic crisis have added to hunger and food insecurity.

Developing countries such as Brazil, China and Russia will play a larger role in boosting demand and production growth.


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ENS: INTERPOL, U.S. EPA and 20 Countries Target Illegal E-Waste Trade

A recent meeting of the INTERPOL Global E-Waste Crime Group focused on identifying and implementing a worldwide strategy to combat the illegal traffic in electronic waste.

Talks focused on developing a multi-national enforcement strategy to tackle the growing international problem of e-waste. The discarded electronic equipment exported to these countries contains hazardous materials, including lead, arsenic, mercury, cadmium, and other toxic metals. The waste poses environmental and health risks, particularly in developing countries in Africa and Asia.

The three-day meeting co-hosted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Criminal Enforcement provided a forum for more than 100 representatives and experts from 21 countries and 12 nongovernmental organizations.


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