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UN News Centre - -- United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP

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UN News Centre - -- United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP ...

    THE ENVIRONMENT IN THE NEWS

    Monday, 12 January 2009

     UNEP and the Executive Director in the News

? UN News Centre: ‗Green‘ stimulus plans by Japan and Republic of Korea hailed by UN

    environment chief

    ? The Hindu (India): Japan, S Korea to invest in UN's 'Green New Deal'

    ? States News Service (Belgium): Japan and Republic of Korea Launch Green New Deals

     ? States News Service (Belgium): Prince Albert II Visits Antarctica to Assess Effects of

     Global Warming

     ? The Guardian (UK): Get the message

     ? The Tripoli Post: ISESCO to hold workshop in Damascus on fostering environmental

     tourism in the Arab world

     ? Guelph Mercury (Canada): Youth action in; Severn Cullis-Suzuki speaks with local high school students ? Afrol News Norway: África Austral apuesta por la energía geotérmica ? Periódico Mediterráneo - Castellón,Valencia, Spain: Fuente que se abre paso ? AgroInformación (Comunicado de prensa) Spain: La caída del precio del petróleo, obstáculo para la energía alternativa

    Other Environment News

    ? The Guardian: International Energy Agency 'blocking global switch to

    renewables'

    ? Reuters: How "green" are your gadgets?

    ? Reuters: "Green" billboard ready to light up Times Square ? The Guardian (UK): Disney film spotlights threat to spectacular flamingo lake

    ? BBC: Carbon cost of Googling revealed

    ? Reuters: Protecting Seychelles environment tough challenge

    Environmental News from the UNEP Regions

? ROAP

    ? RONA

    ? ROWA

    Other UN News

    ? Environment News from the UN Daily News of 9 January 2009

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? Environment News from the S.G.‘s Spokesman Daily Press Briefing of

9 January 2009 (None)

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    UNEP and the Executive Director in the News

    UN News Centre: ‘Green’ stimulus plans by Japan and Republic of Korea hailed by

    UN environment chief

    9 January 2009 The announcement that Japan and the Republic of Korea will invest billions of dollars in environmentally smart projects to create jobs and spur economic

    growth is the latest sign that the Green New Deal advocated by the United Nations is

    gaining momentum, the head of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) said today.

    ―UNEP‘s Global Green New Deal and Green Economy initiative are clearly two ideas

    whose time has come, as evidenced by the Republic of Korea and Japan‘s stimulus

    package announcements alongside those of other key economies and leaders from

    China to the President-elect of thUNEP‘s Global Green New Deal and Green Economy

    initiative are clearly two ideas whose time has comee United States,‖ Executive Director

    Achim Steiner said.

    UNEP launched the Global Green New Deal and Green Economy Initiative as an

    antidote to current economic woes and as a springboard to a low-carbon, low-impact,

    high-job and better-managed global economy.

    Japan has announced that it aims to expand the ‗green business‘ market and create up

    to one million new jobs, through measures that include zero-interest rate loans for

    environmentally-friendly companies.

    The Republic of Korea, meanwhile, will invest $38 billion over the next four years in a

    series of eco-friendly projects to create 960,000 new jobs and lay the groundwork for

    future economic growth.

    The 36 projects include the creation of green transport networks, the provision of two

    million energy-saving homes and the clean-up of the country‘s four main rivers.

    ―Investments in clean-tech and renewable energy; infrastructure such as railways and cycle tracks and nature-based services like river systems and forests, can not only

    counter recession and unemployment but can also set the stage for more sustainable

    economic recovery and growth in the 21st century,‖ Mr. Steiner said.

    In other news, UNEP announced today that Prince Albert II of Monaco has begun a

    month-long expedition to Antarctica to asses the impact of global warming on the South

    Pole.

    The Prince, who is a UNEP Champion of the Earth and a patron of the Billion Tree

    Campaign, will visit scientific outposts and meet with climate change experts from 18

    countries to get an overview of the latest research.

    UNEP hopes that the trip will also raise worldwide public awareness of the effect of

    global warming and other environmental change on the Poles.

    ―The growing environmental efforts of prominent state leaders, like that of Prince Albert II,

    are very important in raising the understanding in society and among politicians, of the

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huge risks we are facing with climate change,‖ said Christian Nellemann, senior officer

    for UNEP‘s GLOBIO Programme to map human effects on the environment.

    UNEP‘s Polar Programme, based at the Grid-Arendal research centre in Norway, works

    on early warning assessment of the polar environment and focuses on communicating

    the key role of the polar regions for the global climate.

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    The Hindu (India): Japan, S Korea to invest in UN's 'Green New Deal'

    Saturday, January 10, 2009

    New York (PTI): Japan and South Korea will invest billions of dollars in environmentally smart projects like 'Green New Deal' to create jobs and spur growth in recession infested global economy, a UN agency said.

    "UNEP's Global Green New Deal and Green Economy initiative are clearly two ideas

    whose time has come, as evidenced by the Republic of Korea and Japan's stimulus

    package announcements alongside those of other key economies and leaders from

    China to the President-elect of the United States," United Nations Environment

    Programme (UNEP) Executive Director Achim Steiner said.

    UNEP launched the Global Green New Deal and Green Economy Initiative as an

    antidote to current economic woes and as a springboard to a low-carbon, low-impact,

    high-job and better-managed global economy.

    Japan has announced that it aims to expand the 'green business 'market and create up

    to one million new jobs, through measures that include zero-interest rate loans for

    environmentally-friendly companies.

    South Korea, meanwhile, will invest USD 38 billion over the next four years in a series of eco-friendly projects to create 960,000 new jobs and lay the groundwork for future

    economic growth.

    The 36 projects include the creation of green transport networks, the provision of two

    million energy-saving homes and the clean-up of the country's four main rivers.

    "Investments in clean-tech and renewable energy; infrastructure such as railways and

    cycle tracks and nature-based services like river systems and forests, can not only

    counter recession and unemployment but can also set the stage for more sustainable

    economic recovery and growth in the 21st century," Steiner said.

    Back to Menu _________________________________________________________________

    States News Service (Belgium): Japan and Republic of Korea Launch Green New

    Deals

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    Green Stimulus Packages Gaining Momentum as a Key Solution to Economic Crisis BRUSSELS, Belgium

    The following information was released by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP):

    Japan and the Republic of Korea have announced that they will invest billions of dollars in green projects to create jobs and spur economic growth, in the latest sign that the Green New Deal advocated by the United Nations is gaining momentum.

    Japan has announced that it aims to expand the green business market and create up to 1 million new jobs, with measures including zero-interest rate loans for environmentally-friendly companies.

    South Korea, meanwhile, will invest 38 billion dollars over the next four years in a series of eco-friendly projects to create 960,000 new jobs and lay the groundwork for economic growth. The 36 projects include the creation of green transport networks, the provision of two million energy-saving green homes and the clean-up of the countrys four main rivers. Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary General and UNEP Executive Director, said: Investments in clean-tech and renewable energy; infrastructure such as railways and cycle tracks and nature-based services like river systems and forests, can not only counter recession and unemployment but can also set the stage for more sustainable economic recovery and growth in the 21st century.

    UNEPs Global Green New Deal and Green Economy initiative are clearly two ideas whose time has come, as evidenced by the Republic of Korea and Japans stimulus package announcements alongside those of other key economies and leaders from China to the President-elect of the United States, he added.

    Mr Steiner said the announcements also echoed the call by the UN Secretary-General in Poznan last month where he outlined a Global Green New Deal as the best chance for securing a sound and solid climate agreement in Copenhagen in late 2009. The move by two of Asias major economies comes on the heels of US President-elect Barack Obamas plans to implement a $150US billion clean energy programme during his presidency in a bid to create 5 million jobs.

    In October, the UN Environment Programme launched the Global Green New Deal and Green Economy Initiative as both an antidote to current economic woes and as a springboard to a low carbon, low impact, high job generating and better-managed global economy.

LOAD-DATE: January 9, 2009

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    States News Service (Belgium): Prince Albert II Visits Antarctica to Assess Effects of Global Warming

January 9, 2009 Friday

    BRUSSELS, Belgium

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    The following information was released by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP):

    Billion Tree Campaign Patron and UNEP Champion of the Earth Prince Albert II of Monaco has begun a month-long expedition to Antarctica to assess the impact of global warming on the South Pole.

    "This is one of the most sensitive regions in the world," Prince Albert said. "Everything happening at the South Pole, like the North Pole, has repercussions everywhere on the planet." The Prince will pay to offset the greenhouse gas emissions from his own visit by investing in renewable energies.

    Since acceding to the throne in 2005, the Prince has made environmental awareness a key goal of his principality. He has thrown his support behind a wide range of green causes, including the UNEP Billion Tree Campaign alongside Nobel laureate Wangari Maathai. The Campaign is catalyzing a massive tree-planting movement around the globe, with the goal to plant 7 billion trees - one per every person on the planet - by the end of 2009. For this and other efforts to safeguard the planet, Prince Albert received UNEP's prestigious Champion of the Earth Award in 2008.

    The Prince's South Pole itinerary includes visits to scientific outposts and meetings with climate change experts from 18 countries to get an overview of the latest research. He will visit a range of scientific stations including the US research bases at Patriot Hill and Amundsen-Scott, the French-Italian base Concordia, Russia's Vostok and

    Novolazarevskaya, Australia's Davis station, the Belgian base Princess Elisabeth and Norway's Troll.

    The trip's other objective is to raise worldwide public awareness of the effect of global warming and other environmental change on the Poles.

    Christian Nellemann, senior officer for UNEP's GLOBIO Programme, said: "The growing environmental efforts of prominent state leaders, like that of Prince Albert II, are very important in raising the understanding in society and among politicians, of the huge risks we are facing with climate change."

    UNEP's Polar Programme, based at the Grid-Arendal research centre in Norway, works on early warning and assessment of the polar environments. The Programme also focuses on communicating the key role of the polar regions for the global climate.

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    _________________________________________________________________

The Guardian (UK): Get the message

January 9, 2009

    A hard-hitting TV campaign is needed to bring climate change to public attention as the Aids adverts did in the 1980s, writes Leo Hickman

    Did you know that 2009 has been designated the "Year of the Gorilla" by the United Nations Environment Programme, in partnership with some conservation groups? No, neither did I until I stumbled across a reference to it yesterday. But, then again, did you know 2008 was the UN's "Year of the Potato"?

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    I'm not really a great fan of the "year of" concept for the simple reason that most of us never notice, no matter how worthy the cause. It raises the question about just what exactly is the most effective method of getting your message across. I was thinking about this while watching the government's new Change4Life obesity awareness adverts that have been created by Nick Park and are currently running on television. I love the animation and all that, but remain totally unconvinced that they will have any effect. Will they really inspire anyone to eat well and exercise?

    I feel much the same way about the government's Act on CO2 campaign. The accompanying adverts just lack any penetrative impact. Do they linger in your brain for more than a few seconds after viewing them?

    The only campaigning adverts that have any lasting impact in my mind are the really hard-hitting ones. Twenty years I still vividly remember the Aids adverts and health professionals say they really did their job. It's also hard not to be moved by the "dripping fat" quit-smoking ads, nor the various drink-driving/speed limit adverts. The days of "Charlie Says"-style messages are long gone. If we seriously want to encourage people to change their behaviour then, sadly, it seems the sledge-hammer approach is the only way to reach our much-in-demand and over-stretched attention spans. But there's also presumably a risk of crying wolf if it's over-done. So, what style of campaigning advert do you think would have more impact than, for example, the Act on CO2 ads? And which campaigning adverts have had the most impact on you over the years?

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    _________________________________________________________________

The Tripoli Post: ISESCO to hold workshop in Damascus on fostering

    environmental tourism in the Arab world

09/01/2009 17:43:00

    The Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization -ISESCO-, jointly with Cairo-based UNESCO Regional Office and Manama-based UNEP Regional Office for West Asia, will hold a regional workshop in Damascus from 7 to 9 January on fostering environmental tourism in the Arab world.

    The workshop will gather experts from Morocco, Algeria, Sudan, Jordan, United Arab Emirates, Sultanate of Oman, Tunisia, Egypt, Lebanon, Bahrain, Qatar, Yemen, Syria and Libya, to discuss basic principles of environmental tourism in the Arab world and ways to develop it with the involvement of local stakeholders, as well as to propose ways to reduce negative impacts on natural and cultural resources in tourist areas.

    ISESCO will be represented in the workshop by Mr Mustapha Eid, Programme Specialist from the Culture and Communication Directorate.

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    Guelph Mercury (Canada): Youth action in; Severn Cullis-Suzuki speaks with local high school students

January 9, 2009 Friday

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Nicole O'Reilly, Mercury staff

Her message boiled down to youth power.

    "Our parents and grandparents are not going to see our future," Severn Cullis-Suzuki said. "Really, it's about the future of our planet."

    The environmental activist, writer and speaker shared her story about growing up as the eldest daughter of David Suzuki and writer Tara Cullis with hundreds of high school students yesterday.

    "I've been speaking out for young people since I was nine, it's part of my identity," the 29-year-old said.

    "Young people have an amazing understanding of environmental issues . . . they are not clouded."

    The event took place at John F. Ross CVI's E.L. Fox Auditorium in front of students from that school, along with St. James and Bishop Macdonell high schools.

    In an interactive presentation, Cullis-Suzuki engaged the audience by asking them to shout out answers to questions: What is environment? What are environmental problems? What is climate change?

    While 80 per cent of Canadians say they are concerned about climate change issues, only 20 per cent actually know what climate change is, she said.

    The answer -- which audience members got only partly correct -- is that more carbon dioxide is being emitted into the atmosphere than plants can absorb. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas, and as greenhouse gases increase they insulate the earth and it gets hotter.

    "You can go on many websites and get 10 tips for ways you can change your life," Cullis-Suzuki said. "I want to give you six ideas for thinking differently." Her first tip was to identify the First Nations community who live or have lived in the area. As a child, Cullis-Suzuki and her family spent a lot of time with First Nations communities in British Columbia. It was through these interactions that she learned humans haven't always depleted their surrounding natural resources.

    "There have been other ways of living," she said.

    Her second tip is to start asking questions about food.

    Next, get political, she said. Young people are under-represented in politics. Explain climate change to others. And learn about campaigns that you can get involved in, such as the Sierra Youth Coalition.

    Her final tip was to have an experience.

    "Don't take it from someone else, once you see it yourself you become an authority," Cullis-Suzuki said, adding it was an experience she had at age nine that spurred her into action.

    Her family visited an indigenous community in Brazil's Amazon rainforest. With her parents' support, the community's leader had successfully fought against the development of a dam that would have flooded his and other villages.

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    Taking the audience through her trip with a slide show of pictures, Cullis-Suzuki said this was a changing point in her life.

    On the plane out of the area, she saw a section of the rainforest on fire. She later learned the fire was set intentionally, to create an area to raise cattle. "I just knew it was wrong," she said.

    When Cullis-Suzuki returned home she formed an environmental group with her friends. The group eventually raised enough money to send Cullis-Suzuki and four friends to the 1992 Rio Earth Summit, where she addressed world leaders.

    "I told them I was 12, I told them that I was scared about what I was hearing," she said. This led to her being honoured in the United Nations Environment Programme's Global 500 Roll of Honour at a ceremony in Beijing.

    Cullis-Suzuki is also speaking at the University of Guelph's 15th Annual Environmental Sciences Symposium tomorrow, and the Grand River Conservation Foundation's 2009 President's Gala at the River Run Centre in March.

    noreilly@guelphmercury.com

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    _________________________________________________________________

    Afrol News Norway: África Austral apuesta por la energía geotérmica

    afrol News, 9 de Enero - Un nuevo proyecto en Kenia ha comenzado con la intención de aprovechar la energía geotérmica para producir electricidad para toda la región comprendida entre Mozambique y Yibuti.

    El Programa de Naciones Unidas para el Medio Ambiente (PNUMA), participa en el proyecto, tratándose de una fuente de energía no contaminante y abundante en el Valle del Rift, que va de Mozambique a Yibuti; PNUMA dice que su explotación puede significar electricidad a bajo precio para dos millones de africanos.

    El organismo de Naciones Unidas anunció que los resultados de los primeros tests sísmicos y de perforación de los suelos superaron todas las expectativas.

    La experiencia confirmó que el vapor liberado del interior del suelo en algunas regiones del Valle del Rift puede generar entre 4 y 5 MW de electricidad y sólo una de las fuentes tiene capacidad para generar 8 MW que, transformados en energía eléctrica, son suficientes para iluminar cerca de 5.700 hogares.

    La agencia de la ONU cree que la explotación de la energía geo-térmica puede significar un ahorro de hasta 75 millones de dólares en la construcción de una unidad transformadora de energía capaz de cargar 70 MW, a la vez que puede reducir los costes de la electricidad para los consumidores.

    Achim Steiner, director ejecutivo del PNUMA, declaró que la explotación de las fuentes geotérmicas "es una forma de combatir los cambios climáticos a la vez que se puede suministrar electricidad a dos millones de personas".

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    El PNUMA espera reunir a lo largo de 2009 inversores interesados en explorar las fuentes de energía geotérmica del Valle del Rift, que se extiende, de norte para sur, desde Mozambique hasta Yibuti.

    La energía geotérmica es una fuente no contaminante, aprovecha el vapor de agua liberado del interior del suelo a altas temperaturas para su transformación en electricidad.

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    Periódico Mediterráneo - Castellón,Valencia, Spain: Fuente que se abre paso

09/01/2009

    HASTA 10 MEGAVATIOS. Raúl Hidalgo, responsable de Petratherm-España, explica que la tecnología geotérmica de inyección ya está dando sus primeros pasos. En cuanto a Europa, hay cuatro plantas experimentales en Alemania y una, recién inaugurada, en Francia. Los responsables son consorcios privados con apoyo gubernamental. La planta de Landau (Alemania), la más ambiciosa, tiene una potencia continua de tres megavatios (MW) y produce otros seis megavatios térmicos como calor residual para calefacciones. "Ahora ya estamos hablando de hacerlas de 10 MW", añade.

    LA FALLA DEL RIFT. El Programa de las Naciones Unidas para el Medio Ambiente (UNEP) considera que la energía geotérmica es una prometedora alternativa al uso de carbón y petróleo. Durante la cumbre del clima en Poznan (Polonia), el UNEP presentó un estudio sobre la viabilidad de instalar una serie de plantas geotérmicas convencionales a lo largo del valle del Rift, la enorme falla geológica que atraviesa África oriental desde Yibuti hasta Mozambique. Según Achim Steiner, director ejecutivo del UNEP, "hay al menos 4.000 megavatios de electricidad dispuestos a ser explotados". En Kenia, por ejemplo, ya funciona una central de 70 MW. Y el objetivo es llegar en el 2015 a un total de 1.200 MW, la misma electricidad que hoy se consume en todo el país.

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    AgroInformación (Comunicado de prensa) Spain: La caída del precio del petróleo,

    obstáculo para la energía alternativa

    La caída del precio del petróleo es una mala noticia para las energías renovables y para los biocombustibles, cuyo desarrollo es más necesario que nunca para proteger el clima.

08/01/2009 (Noticia leida 443 veces)

    Agroinformación- El precio actual del crudo, que continua en caída libre desde los récords alcanzados en julio, no debe frenar los esfuerzos para desarrollar las energías renovables, advirtió la Agencia Internacional de Energía (AIE). 'Innegablemente, los precios actuales son una traba (...) para las energías renovables', declaró su director general, Nobuo Tanaka.

    El precio del petróleo compromete también la expansión de los biocombutibles, señaló por su parte Guarany Osorio, de la campaña climática de Greenpeace Brasil, país líder en la producción de etanol de caña de azúcar, 'que no compite con la producción de alimentos', según recuerda. 'Cuando cae el precio del petróleo cae también el interés por

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