Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Difference Between Inner Mongolia (China) and Mongolia (Republic Nation)

An excellent article explaining the difference between the two regions - one is a sovereign country (Mongolia) and one is an integral part of China (Inner Mongolia).
Many Chinese nationals still in fact regard all of Mongolia – including the sovereign nation to the north of Beijing – as being historically Chinese. Yet the reverse is true. While Mongolia was subsumed by the Han, it was the Mongols who were long the masters of the Steppes, creating under successive Khans an empire that stretched across Eastern Europe, Russia, most of Central Asia, China, Tibet and parts of India.

Faced also with the new, massive wealth that Mongolia’s numerous mining projects will bring, the GDP growth rate and per capita income will see Mongolia outstrip its southern neighbor in just a few years. Mongolia’s per capita income by 2015 is expected to reach US$10,000, higher than that of Inner Mongolia and even surpassing the Shanghainese. For a nation of “backward, dirty, unsophisticated peasants” (as was described to me by one Han Chinese recently) its seems that maybe after all, the nomadic lifestyle and attention to detail as regards natural sustainability may be the way forward.

Read the full article on 2point6billion.com

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Air Pollution Alerts - May 29th, 2011

News & Information; Every Sunday
(Last on May 22nd, 2011)

MIT Global Change Series, May, 2011
Health Damages from Air Pollution in China.

Reuters, May 29th, 2011
Stoves, seeds could save African forests.

The Press Enterprise, May 28th, 2011
Cleaner-engine trucks pledged at Temecula-area quarry.

Scientific American, May 27th, 2011
How Much Do Wildfires Cost in Terms of Property Damage?

Transport Politic, May 27th, 2011
Paris Region Moves Ahead with 125 Miles of New Metro Lines.

Daily Star, May 27th, 2011
Decentralization is a must in Dhaka to control pollution.

Circle of Blue, May 26th, 2011
China’s Other Looming Choke Point: Food Production.

Xinhua Net, May 27th, 2011
China's coal production up 11.1% in first four months.

Fuel Cell Markets, May 27th, 2011
Fuel Cell Hydrogen Buses in Europe.

Science Daily, May 27th, 2011
Human Impacts of Rising Oceans Will Extend Well Beyond Coast.

Science Daily, May 27th, 2011
A Visit to a Zoo Boosts Science and Environment Knowledge.

Science Daily, May 27th, 2011
Green and Lean: Secreting Bacteria Eliminate Cost Barriers for Renewable Biofuel Production.

Science Daily, May 26th, 2011
Estimating Landfill Gas Potential.

Bike Radar, May 26th, 2011
Bikes are the future, not cars.

NRDC Switch Board, May 26th, 2011
EPA Must Strengthen our Smog Standards or Risk the Health of Millions of Latinos.

The Guardian, May 25th, 2011
Wind forecast upgrade should mean big drop in fossil fuel use.

New York Times, May 25th, 2011
New Mileage Stickers Include Greenhouse Gas Data.

Science Daily, May 25th, 2011
Path to Sustainable Aviation Biofuels Industry in Northwest.

Times of India, May 25th, 2011
Mobile towers major air polluters.

Berita Jakarta, May 25th, 2011
Air Quality in Jakarta is Good.

Eco Geek, May 25th, 2011
Visualizing CO2 Emissions.

Philippine Information Agency, May 24th, 2011
EMB intensifies anti-smoke belching text campaign.

The Guardian, May 24th, 2011
Are tornadoes more common because of climate change?

Vietnam News, May 24th, 2011
80% of polluting firms taken off black list.

Financial Express, May 24th, 2011
Column: Untangling urban transport in Indian Cities.

Japan Corporation News, May 24th, 2011
Toyota Develops Tropospheric Ozone-concentration Simulator.

Inhabitat, May 24th, 2011
DOE Launches U.S. Drive To Plan Route To Vehicle Efficiency, Sustainable Energy.

Brookings Institute, May 23rd, 2011
Move It: How the U.S. Can Improve Transportation Policy.

Deccan Chronicle, May 23rd, 2011
City lax on imposing Euro IV fuel deadline.

Press Information Bureau, May 23rd, 2011
Government of the United Progressive Alliance, Report to the People 2010-11 Transforming Cities.

IEA, May 18th, 2011
Global investments must increase significantly to achieve universal access to energy.

Discover, May 3rd, 2011
Climate Change and the Problem of Well-Informed Denial.

Catalogue of Environmental Scenario Studies from EU

Published by the European Environmental Agency (EEA) in April, 2011
The report brings together a review of available scenarios studies relevant to environmental assessment and decision-making at the European (or sub-European) scale (263 studies), and facts sheets of selected 44 studies using common description categories, which enables the user to review existing scenario studies that may be of relevance to their particular interest and benefit from them. It is also a contribution to the evolving knowledge base for Forward-Looking Information and Services (FLIS).

Download the report here.

In USA, Mileage Stickers to Include Greenhouse Gas Data

Read the full article - New York Times, May 25th, 2011


From Scientific American on, "what does this sticker mean?"

How many miles will an electric car go on a gallon of gasoline? This is not a trick question. Federal law requires all new cars sold in the U.S. to feature a window sticker that lists fuel efficiency as measured in miles per gallon. Electric cars—which, of course, use no gasoline—are not exempt.

This was the dilemma faced by the Environmental Protection Agency as it redesigned the window sticker. The new designs calculate the efficiency of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles according to a figure called miles per gallon equivalent—a rough estimation of how much energy the vehicles consume. The EPA stickers feature a flood of new information, including ratings of greenhouse gas and smog emissions.

Still, many environmentalists howled at the choice of sticker design. The New York Times quoted Dan Becker, director of the Safe Climate Campaign, as saying that "the Obama administration has dashed consumers’ hopes for clear information to make educated choices about which cars are really clean." He was referring to an alternate sticker design—one not chosen by the EPA—that was dominated by a single letter grade. In this system, electric vehicles would get an A+, while the worst gas guzzlers would be saddled with a D (if it’s approved for use on the road, it’s not a failure, the thinking goes).

The problem with this system is that it blurs the distinction between similar vehicles. Want a mid-size sedan? Under the letter-grade system you’d be choosing between cars that get a B- and cars that get a B. (As we noted last year, 88 percent of all new vehicles would score somewhere between a B and a C.) In effect, the letter-grade system would tell consumers that electric vehicles are better than plug-in hybrids, which are better than regular hybrids, and so on down to the Ferrari/Suburban pit of pollution. This, the EPA wisely decided, is of little use to the average car-buyer.

Even though the new stickers are cluttered with numbers, they end up giving consumers a clearer idea of the true costs of ownership. The traditional miles-per-gallon metric is deeply flawed, as it doesn’t provide easily scalable view of the differences in gasoline consumption among vehicles. For example: The two miles per gallon separation between SUVs getting 16 mpg and 18 mpg will lead to a larger difference in total gasoline consumed than the 15 miles per gallon spread between 40 mpg and 55 mpg vehicles.

The EPA accounts for this with a neat metric in bold, just to the right of the standard mpg figures: The total cost of gasoline, summed over five years. More than anything else, this is what the typical U.S. consumer wants to know—how much gas am I going to have to buy? By this metric, electric and plug-in hybrids look darn cheap. Environmentalists should be cheering.

A Visit to a Zoo Boosts Science and Environment Knowledge

From Science Daily (May 27, 2011)


Research from the University of Warwick shows a trip to the zoo can boost your child's science and conservation education more than books or classroom teaching alone.

In research conducted at ZSL London Zoo, more than 3,000 school children aged between seven and 14 were asked about their knowledge of animals, habitat and conservation and then tested again after their trip.

The results show that 53% had a positive change in educational or conservation-related knowledge areas, personal concern for endangered species or new empowerment to participate in conservation efforts. The study proves that their trip around the zoo provided a statistically significant increase in scientific learning about animals and habitats. When zoo visits were supplemented by an educational presentation by zoo staff this increase in learning almost doubled against self-guided visits.

Eric Jensen, a Professor of Sociology at the University of Warwick, who produced the report said: "Globally, more than a tenth of the world's population passes through zoos annually so the potential is there to reach a huge audience.

"In recent years zoos have come under criticism for failing to demonstrate educational impact with certain lobbying groups arguing that it's cruel to keep animals captive. But zoos have been changing for years now to offer more educational and conservation information; 'behind the scenes' access for visitors; learning about habitat conservation work -- all of which culminate in a better engagement experience for the visitor."

Children came away with a greater understanding of ideas such as conservation, habitat and extinction. Amongst those who had not previously registered a concern about species extinction, 39% switched to registering such a concern directly after a zoo trip.

The children were asked to draw their favourite animals and habitats before and after their trip to the zoo. The drawings were analysed and showed some remarkable improvements. Some 51% of ten-year-olds showed a real change in the drawings and the use of correct scientific terms such as 'canopy' and 'rainforest' and had a higher amount of animals placed in the correct habitat, e.g. a meerkat drawn in the desert.

Eric added: "The research clearly shows the valuable role that zoos can play in children's science learning. So with another Bank Holiday fast approaching, why not swap the theme park for a good zoo? Your kids and their favourite animals may thank you in years to come!"

Friday, May 27, 2011

India's Emissions in a Climate Constrained World (Energy Policy)

Paper published in Energy Policy, June, 2011


Scientific studies have repeatedly shown the need to prevent the increase in global emissions so that the planet's average temperature does not exceed 2 °C over pre-industrial levels. While the divisions between Annex 1 and non-Annex nations continue to prevent the realization of a comprehensive global climate treaty, all members of the G-20 (incidentally also major emitters) have agreed to prevent the rise in global temperatures above 2 °C. This requires that nations consider budgeting their carbon emissions. India presents a unique case study to examine how a major emitter facing a desperate need to increase energy consumption will meet this challenge. The Greenhouse Development Rights (GDR) framework, perhaps considered the most favorable with respect to the responsibility and capacity of India to reduce emissions, was used to explore India's emissions trajectory. India's emissions have been pegged to the pathway required to meet the 2 °C target by non-Annex countries. The results have been compared to the expected emissions from 11 energy fuel mix scenarios up to the year 2031 forecasted by the Planning Commission of India. Results reveal that none of the 11 energy scenarios would help India meet its emissions target if it were to follow the 2 °C pathway. A thought experiment is followed to explore how India may meet this target. This includes a sensitivity analysis targeting coal consumption, the biggest contributor to India's emissions.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Access to Data Still Barred (China Dialogue)

China Dialogue, May 13th, 2011
Access to Environmental Data Still Barred.


Three years after China passed green transparency legislation, getting hold of actual data remains a tough task.

Three years have passed since China introduced legislation confirming the public’s right to access environmental information. But both experts and members of the public who have requested the disclosure of pollution data – from both government and business – have found that the vague terms in which the regulations are couched are impeding their implementation.

“Although the regulations list 19 types of information that should be disclosed and only one short clause on exemptions, that one short clause has become a catch-all,” explained Wang Canfa, director of the Center for Legal Assistance to Victims of Pollution, speaking at a seminar on April 27 to mark the law’s three year anniversary. In many other countries, he said, exceptions are specifically listed and everything else must be disclosed, a system he believes China should also adopt.

Regulations on the disclosure of government information and a trial method for the disclosure of environmental information were officially implemented three years ago. The April seminar, organised by Chinese NGO Friends of Nature, brought together experts and environmental activists to examine how those regulations are being put into practice.

The eighth article of the regulations on disclosure of government information rules that any data that threatens national security, public security, economic security or social stability must not be disclosed. According to Wang, those exceptions are commonly used by officials to block disclosure and this one clause alone has greatly reduced the level of information released to the public.

In addition, said Wang, the boundary between state secrets and commercial secrets is fuzzy. He said that many firms go so far as to class the details of their pollution-treatment equipment and release of pollutants as commercial secrets – claiming that those requesting this information could use it to identify the raw materials and technologies being used.

Yong Rong, government and public affairs officer at Greenpeace, said that in 2009 his organisation asked Zhuzhou Environmental Protection Bureau to release the pollution record of two companies. Two months later, a reply came: as listed companies, both firms were sensitive to the release of information. In addition, there was no electronic version of the 200 items of information requested, and therefore no way to publish the data online.

Chen Liwen of Green Beagle, another Chinese environmental NGO, requested information on a garbage-incineration facility in Jiangsu province, eastern China, from the local authority – Hai’an county – and the Nantong Environmental Protection Bureau. Despite going in person to make her request, the data Chen received was useless. Her full request was refused due to commercial confidentiality and the fact that her organisation had no connection to the facility.

“When compared with government, businesses are doing pitifully on environmental disclosure,” said Hu Jing of the China University of Political Science and Law (CUPL). “Even disclosure by large firms is extremely limited.”

CUPL’s Environment and Resources Law Institute and UK-based campaign group Article 19 carried out an investigation into data-disclosure levels, making a series of requests to governments and businesses. Of five large companies approached in and around Beijing – Shougang Steel, Beijing Eastern Chemicals, China Huaneng, China National Petroleum Corporation and Beijing Hyundai – disclosed information on the release of pollutants or on voluntary agreements with environmental authorities to improve their environmental performance. In some cases, no reason was provided for refusing the request.

In 2008, pollution from the Gaoantun incinerator in Beijing led locals to take to the streets in protest, forcing the government to publicly apologise and promise to invest a further 90 million yuan (US$13.9 million) in improving the facility. Local resident Zhao Lei asked the government for information on how that money had been spent – and much later received a reply admitting there was a pollution problem, promising to improve the situation and thanking her for her concern, but saying nothing about the 90 million yuan.

In 2009, Beijing resident Yang Zi asked the Beijing Environmental Protection Bureau for data from tests at a medical-waste incineration site, and the explanation for granting the site its temporary license – only to be told that the government was supervising the site but did not have any information.

During CUPL and Article 19’s investigation, reasons offered by environmental authorities for refusing data requests included the information being “inconvenient to provide” and “not suitable for disclosure, as it could cause media speculation”.

Wang Canfa believes that the people who actually handle the data requests in the environmental protection bureaus have to consult their superiors in each case – and this is why the requests are often blocked.

Xia Jun, a lawyer at the Beijing Zhongzi Legal Practice, described the last three years as “one step forward, two steps back”. Wang explained that, in 2010, the State Council ruled that requests could be refused if the information was irrelevant to the applicant’s work, life, research or other particular needs, and that each request could only ask for one piece of information, greatly limiting the scope of information the public can demand.

According to CUPL and Article 19’s report, of 11 types of information tested, the easiest to obtain was general information such as planning for local environmental protection and environmental quality. Types of dangerous waste and how it was handled, amounts of waste released and lists of companies breaching local limits were hardest to come by.

Ma Jun, director of the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs, has argued that a lack of motivation and poor enforcement are the primary reasons environmental problems remain unresolved. Public participation is needed to make up for those failings – but obtaining environmental information is a precondition for that public participation. In 2009, Yang Chaofei, head of the department of policies, laws and regulations at the Ministry of Environmental Protection, said that “local environmental protection bureaus should support pollution lawsuits brought by the public and provide them with pollution-monitoring data.”

China’s disclosure failings are not solely caused by poor legislation, said Wang Canfa. The deeper problem is that institutional reform and social development are not yet sufficiently advanced. But there is hope: he used the example of Shanghai resident Xu Taisheng to encourage people to be more determined in pursuing information. Xu spent three years applying for the environmental impact assessment for a Baogang Steel project to be made public, receiving 13 judgements in the process. He applied, reapplied, sued, appealed, appealed again, appealed again, petitioned and then finally appealed to the Supreme People’s Court. In the end, he got the information he wanted – and financial compensation.

According to the Ministry of Environmental Protection’s working report, in 2010, 226 applications for disclosure of information were received – an increase of more than 200% on the previous year.

Meng Si is managing editor in chinadialogue’s Beijing office.

Air Pollution Alerts - May 22nd, 2011

News & Information; Every Sunday
(Last on May 15th, 2011)

Dawn, May 22nd, 2011
Motorbike transit survey in Karachi.

Science Daily, May 22nd, 2011
New Strategy Aims to Reduce Agricultural Ammonia.

Info Mongolia, May 22nd, 2011
Opening Ceremony of Efficient Fire Stove.

Philippines Star, May 22nd, 2011
Decongesting EDSA means lower air pollution.

Vietnam Net, May 21st, 2011
Vietnamese ignorant of air pollution sources.

CNN World, May 20th, 2011
What goes into the price of gas.

Independent, May 20th, 2011
Is this the end of the car?

Economic Times, May 20th, 2011
What's in a name? urban or rural?

NPR, May 20th, 2011
Pumped Up: Are Americans Addicted To Oil?

New York Times, May 20th, 2011
Who Will Reap the Dividends of Fuel Economy?

The Guardian, May 19th, 2011
Tougher carbon emission targets boost confidence in National Grid upgrade.

The Guardian, May 19th, 2011
The Middle East is running dry - and into the perfect storm?

Northwest Asian Weekly, May 19th, 2011
Bill Gates: Innovation, China, and the environment.

The Financial, May 18th, 2011
China: World Bank supports integrated district heating project to improve air quality.

Manila Bulletin, May 18th, 2011
Decongesting EDSA can lower pollution.

Science Daily, May 18th, 2011
What Electric Car Convenience Is Worth.

Science Daily, May 18th, 2011
Sun Protects Against Childhood Asthma.

Center for American Progress, May 18th, 2011
Why Oil Companies Don't Need Tax Subsidies.

New York Times, May 17th, 2011
White House Starts Review of EPA Air Pollution Rules for Coal Plants.

China.Org, May 17th, 2011
China may see worst energy crisis in years.

Science Daily, May 17th, 2011
Smoke-Related Chemical Discovered in the Atmosphere Could Have Health Implications.

Science Daily, May 16th, 2011
When Is It Worth Remanufacturing? Sometimes It Saves Energy, Sometimes It Doesn’t — And Sometimes It Makes Things Worse.

China Daily, May 16th, 2011
E-car buyers to 'skip license-plate draw'.

Xinhua Net, May 16th, 2011
China to upgrade power grids in rural areas in coming five years.

NPR, May 14th, 2011
Obama Announces Steps To Boost U.S. Oil Output.

China Dialogue, May 13th, 2011
Access to data still barred in China.

China Daily, May 12th, 2011
Vehicle prices fell in April.

Xinhua Net, May 11th, 2011
Beijing-Shanghai high-speed rail runs trial operation.

China.Org, May 4th, 2011
Air Quality Awareness Week.

CNN, April 21st, 2011
Just hot air? Justices debate lawsuit over global warming.

Environmental Health Perspectives, April 1st, 2011
Black Carbon: The Dark Horse of Climate Change Drivers.

The Economist, March 31st, 2011
Barack Obama's energy policy - Recycled.

Phys.Org, January 3rd, 2011
Have we reached peak travel?

Black Carbon: The Dark Horse of Climate Change Drivers

For decades, efforts to slow global warming have mostly aimed to limit heat-trapping emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2). Now scientists are pointing to a different class of warming agents they say also must be targeted to keep global temperatures in check. Dubbed “short-lived climate forcings” (SLCFs), these other emissions—namely, black carbon particles, methane, hydrofluorocarbons, and tropospheric ozone—are even more powerful than CO2 in terms of their warming potential. But they persist in the atmosphere for much shorter durations than CO2, which can linger airborne for hundreds to thousands of years.1

Steve Seidel, vice president for policy analysis at the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, says the recent emphasis on SLCFs represents new policy thinking on climate change. “We thought the Kyoto Protocol and its follow-on agreements would get us to where we need to be, but that’s not working out the way we hoped it would,” he says. “So, we’re broadening the discussion and opening up new pathways for going forward.”

Given the enormity of human emissions, many climate scientists believe CO2 will one day become the dominant force behind climate change. But for now, CO2 and the SLCFs are nearly on par in terms of their climate changing effects, according to Veerabhadran Ramanathan, a professor at The Scripps Institute of Oceanography.

In a report published in February 2011, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) called attention to SLCFs, claiming their emissions must be cut together with CO2 in order to prevent global temperatures from crossing a dangerous threshold.2 Doing that would offer health benefits too, UNEP stated, because SLFCs are also toxic air pollutants. Particulate emissions from diesel exhaust—a major source of black carbon—have been linked to lung and heart disease as well as cancer.3 But where it would take a transformation of the energy sector (at a cost of trillions of dollars over multiple decades1) to drop CO2 emissions enough to influence the climate, cutting SLCFs to achieve a similar goal could be achieved with current technologies under policy frameworks that are already in place, such as clean air regulations, according to Seidel.

Read the full article in "Environmental Health Perspectives", April 1st, 2011

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Kirit Parikh: Replacing Wood by Subsidized LPG is a Low Carbon Strategy

From Tehelka Magazine, "30 billion hours go in collecting fuel"
May 12th, 2011

Kirit Parikh is 75 and chair of the planning commission’s expert group on low carbon growth strategy. He spoke to Vijay Kumar on how to go green with our fuels and prosper. Edited excerpts:


Energy security has been an issue in the public discourse. How can low carbon strategy for inclusive growth provide a solution to our energy security problems?
Low carbon growth has two dimensions, one is to try and reduce the energy needs and the other is to increase energy efficiency. Once the energy needs are minimized, without compromising the final services that one wants, then it obviously increases energy efficiency. The second dimension is to try to promote renewable energy, which is carbon neutral. It will depend on the extent to which we produce renewables based hydel, nuclear, solar, and wind resources, which are all low carbon strategies. An important strategy is to reduce use of coal. To reduce it, we need to have other forms of energy sources. What is interesting in cutting down coal consumption is that we can also increase coal burning efficiency of our power plants. Our power plants on an average have an efficiency of around 30.5 per cent whereas state-of-the art coal-based power plants with super critical boilers can easily give us 38 per cent efficiency. If we have 38 per cent efficiency, then we have reduced the carbon needs for power generation by some 25 per cent. So we can have low carbon development and not compromise on energy security issues.

How cost intensive will be this low carbon strategy?
We have not looked at the cost intensity of the low carbon strategy at this point. If we can think of the carbon price, one can say that every ton of carbon dioxide that we save can be priced and sold internationally at €20 or €30. Then we can say we are not paying too much for low carbon development. If we use coal, which causes pollution, the more important thing is it also leads to degradation of forests because we have more coal under our forests. We can mine coal through underground mining and not disturb forests but much of our mining happens through open cast mining. Coal India would say we are restoring many of the mined areas but those are not natural forests. It is possible to mine coal in a way that is environmentally benign.

How do we keep a tab on carbon emission, mainly in the thermal power plants?
Carbon dioxide emission may be estimated by knowing the amount of carbon to be burnt, so we can measure how much carbon a power plant uses. For a thousand megawatt plant, with the existing efficiency, we are burning 5 million tonnes of Indian coal a year. With super critical boilers, they would 4 million tonnes. So there will be 25 per cent reduction in emission. If we save electricity at the user end, we can reduce emission. With a determined effort, by 2020, we can save 10,000 MW of installed capacity. There would be a corresponding reduction in carbon dioxide emission as well.

In which sectors would you recommend policy changes to achieve low carbon use without hindering growth?
We have not really outlined the specific policies. One can judge and say the most important is energy efficiency. Major options are available for energy efficiency in industries, households, buildings and transport. Power companies can install compact florescent bulbs in households so you can save `20 in the electricity bill and the company can collect its costs back. This would work where people are paying the right cost for electricity. If they are paying subsidised costs, then the saving would be just `5 a month. As part of the Bachat Lamp Yojana households have been issued free CFL bulbs. Distribution companies have randomly sampled bulbs and installed chips to measure the hours a bulb is used. On that basis, we estimate the emission saved. The companies get carbon credits based on the protocol. In industries, we have introduced the PAT (Perform Achieve and Trade) where the Bureau of Energy Efficiency will set standards for each firm. They have identified 714 large energy consumers. There are set targets that measure energy consumption in terms of oil. If a firm doesn’t save energy, there will be trade-off and this could help reduce energy consumption. This should be made mandatory and there should be a proper monitoring mechanism. In transport, sector we encourage use of public transport. There is less gain in emission reduction when people switch from bus to metro. The main gain is by making our automobiles more fuel efficient. If automobile makers are unable to achieve the standards, they have to buy enough certificates. Once this kind of trade is permissible, we can have energy efficient automobiles. If the use of public transport should be increased, there has to be an increase in their frequency.

What are the desirable impacts of adopting low carbon technology?
India is extremely vulnerable to global warming. We have about 4 per cent of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions. Our per capita emission is 120th of the United States. We have great interest in a fair, clear global contract that everybody agrees on and obeys so that climate change threats are minimised. That is why we are taking proactive action even before the others have agreed. Maybe we will shame the others to act.

How do we bring in low carbon technology without affecting the poor too much?
It is clear that we must have inclusive growth as our theme. A study on 80,000 women in villages across the country shows that the amount of time spent in gathering fuel and water is 30 billion hours a year. The estimated number of premature deaths is about half a million a year as a result of using firewood and dung. Such people should be given subsidised clean cooking fuel like LPG. Replacing wood by LPG is a low carbon strategy. We have also strongly argued that all the villages should be provided electricity. Providing solar lamps is just a beginning; they should have electricity for productivity purposes.

Vijay Kumar is a Correspondent with Tehelka.com.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Air Quality Awareness Week in China

China.Org, May 4th, 2011
Air Quality Awareness Week.

Air Quality Awareness Week, a cooperative effort among Environmental Protection Agency, state environmental agencies and the National Weather Service of the United States to remind the public to protect their health by paying attention to local air quality.

With the onset of warmer weather, the EPA urges citizens to be aware of the increased risk of ground-level ozone air pollution and fine particle air pollution (when combined, often referred to as smog), and take health precautions when poor air quality is predicted.

Air quality is defined as a measure of the condition of air relative to the requirements of one or more biotic species and or to any human need or purpose.

Air quality indices (AQI) are numbers used by government agencies to characterize the quality of the air at a given location. As the AQI increases, an increasingly large percentage of the population is likely to experience increasingly severe adverse health effects.

To compute the AQI requires an air pollutant concentration from a monitor or model. The function used to convert from air pollutant concentration to AQI varies by pollutant, and is different in different countries.

Air quality index values are divided into ranges, and each range is assigned a descriptor and a color code. Standardized public health advisories are associated with each AQI range. An agency might also encourage members of the public to take public transportation or work from home when AQI levels are high.

Air quality forecasts are issued daily by the state air agencies. Current air quality conditions and next day forecasts are available each day at the state's web site. People can also sign up to receive air quality alerts. The alert system automatically notifies participants by e-mail or text message when poor air quality is predicted in their area.

The higher the air quality index and the higher the related risk. Good or low corresponds to acceptable or low risk situations. High values present an unhealthy high risk for respiratory ailments.

Ozone, particulates, NOx, and SO2 are common sources of poor air quality. To protect one's health, citizens should limit their strenuous outdoor activity on air quality alert days, and help take steps to reduce emissions when air quality is unhealthy.

Warm summer temperatures aid in the formation of ground-level ozone and fine particle pollution. In 2008, EPA strengthened the ozone air quality health standard. The new ozone standard is set at 0.075 parts per million on an 8-hour average basis. Air quality alerts (for example) are issued when ozone concentrations exceed, or are predicted to exceed, this level.

Poor air quality affects everyone, but some people are particularly sensitive to air pollutants, including children and adults who are active outdoors, and people with respiratory diseases, such as asthma. When air quality is predicted to be unhealthy, EPA and the states will announce an air quality alerts for the affected areas.

It is recommended that people in these areas limit strenuous outdoor activity, and reduce certain usages as follows:

-Use public transportation or walk whenever possible;

-Combine errands and car-pool to reduce driving time and mileage;

-Use less electricity by turning air conditioning to a higher temperature setting, and turning off lights, TVs and computers when they are not being used;

-Avoid using small gasoline-powered engines, such as lawn mowers, chain saws and leaf blowers on unhealthy air days.

Cars, motorcycles, trucks, and buses are a primary source of the pollutants that make smog. Fossil-fuel burning at electric-generating stations, particularly on hot days, also generates significant smog-forming pollution. Other industries, as well as smaller sources, such as gasoline stations and print shops, also contribute to smog. In addition, household products like paints and cleaners, as well as gasoline-powered lawn and garden equipment, also contribute to smog formation.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Air Pollution Alerts - May 15th, 2011

News & Information; Every Sunday
(Last on May 8th, 2011)

The Lancet, May, 2011
Burning issues: tackling indoor air pollution.

CBS News, May 14th, 2011
Obama to speed up U.S. oil production.

Bloomberg, May 12th, 2011
China's Power Outages Come Early and Often.

The Times of India, May 12th, 2011
Ozone can be a harmful agent too.

Tehelka, May 12th, 2011
‘30 billion hours go in collecting fuel’ in India.

Climate Spectator, May 12th, 2011
Fast and the furious.

TIME, May 11th, 2011
Why Can't We Turn Away From Coal As Japan Has Turned Away From Nuclear?

Washington Post, May 11th, 2011
Arctic Council to address role of soot in global warming.

China.Org, May 11th, 2011
Sea breeze, rain to help clear Shanghai's air.

Mid-Day, May 11th, 2011
Pollution check on the go.

Climate-L, May 10th, 2011
FAO Releases Report on Mega-Fires and Climate Change.

Common Dreams, May 10th, 2011
Climate Change and the Flood This Time.

ASNS News, May 10th, 2011
Climate innovation center mooted as report calls on the world to focus on renewable energy.

The Hindu Business Line, May 10th, 2011
Kitchen alert for gas leaks.

Economic Times, May 10th, 2011
India's towns need big money.

DNA India, May 10th, 2011
Heavy vehicle sales lose steam in April in India.

Times of India, May 10th, 2011
Panel moots higher tax on diesel cars in India.

Times of India, May 10th, 2011
Metro III eyes less pollution from Day 1 in Delhi, India.

All Africa, May 10th, 2011
Urbanization in Africa - A Megatrend for Business to Watch.

San Diego Tribune, May 10th, 2011
Lung Association backs tough rules on vehicle pollution.

Xinhua Net, May 10th, 2011
China's April auto sales report first negative growth in 27 months.

Xinhua Net, May 9th, 2011
World's longest cross-sea bridge to open to traffic in June.

Shanghai Daily, May 9th, 2011
China leading the world in climate change battle.

Wall Street Journal, May 9th, 2011
Remedies for the Road.

The Guardian, May 9th, 2011
Renewable energy can power the world, says landmark IPCC study.

The Project Syndicate, May 9th, 2011
The Renewable Future in Africa.

Climate-L, May 9th, 2011
Ozone2Climate Technology Road Show Begins in the Maldives.

Phys.Org, May 9th, 2011
Consumption, carbon emissions and international trade.

Xinhua Net, May 6th, 2011
"Green traffic" initiative cuts carbon emissions by 830,000 tonnes during Shanghai Expo.

CNTV, May 5th, 2011
Traffic control boosts bike sales in China.

Xinhua Net, May 5th, 2011
China fires up world's largest coal-based olefin plant.

Daily Nation, Africa, April 17th, 2011
Rising fuel prices to cut forest cover.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Burning issues: Tackling Indoor Air Pollution (Lancet)

From Mr. Lalloobhoy Battliwala

Quite well-written. I don't much care for Nine Working Groups or the WHO view, "“This is potentially one of the most affordable public health issues, ...because we can link it to the energy and climate change agenda—there's an exciting mix of benefits”.

This is an energy issue - supply chains for fuel/device combinations that give clean and convenient cooking - plain and simple. But the energy folks lost their way for over 30 years - obsessing over "efficient woodstoves for the rural poor", determined to save not people but twigs and manure, leaving people no option but a partial affordable shift to unduly expensive charcoal, LPG and electricity (yes; there's a nice picture story from Afghanistan in a GTZ report; even the poor use electricity if only to boil water for beverages). Or buy prepared foods.

The customer doesn't much care about efficiency, and who knows what the actual efficiencies for traditional fuels and devices are? Cleanliness and convenience matter; one doesn't need academic surveys, just look the market data.

I am waiting to see how many public health ministries and hospitals pick up the challenge of promoting/subsidizing healthier cooking (fuels and foods!). Otherwise, oil companies would be a good fit for modern biomass fuels and stoves. They could also sell solar lanterns. :-) And nobody would hold health ministries responsible for preventing x thousand deaths at y emission factors and z exposure rates.


Read the full report Burning issues: Tackling Indoor Air Pollution on Lancet, published May 7th, 2011

and more on indoor air pollution in this blog.

and more from Mr. Lalloobhoy Battliwala on stoves, indoor, and other topics.

Safety Check for Stoves

From Mr. Lalloobhoy Battliwala

A Hindu Business Line story on a product that senses gas leaks and fires. Currently in testing phase, said to cost around $70-90.

Couldn't there be something about excessive smoke and fire from other stoves? Of course, not for the $10 gadgets to save twigs and manure for the rural poor, the mindless obsession we will be rid of with modern biomass stoves (waiting, waiting). Some of these stoves have battery operated fans and I think even a SIM card.

In Mumbai, LPG is going to be prohibited from multi-storey apartments.


The Hindu, May 10th, 2011

A device that ‘smells' a leakage and sends a mobile alert — a Bhubaneswar entrepreneur's life-saving innovation.

A tragic incident of an LPG (liquid petroleum gas) leakage changed the course of Gautam Kumar's career. His was a sensitive reaction and the outcome was equally sensitive — a technological solution, appropriately named Suraksha, designed to improve safety levels in Indian kitchens.

The device has sensors that can detect the smell of leaked gas and immediately send alerts to five mobile phones registered with it through a SIM card and network connectivity. The buzzer or SMS alerts continue until the LPG quantity in the air reduces to a safe level.

“Suraksha has two variants tailored for individual and commercial use. For the commercial purpose device, SMS alerts go through a CPU (central processing unit) and get decoded during a leakage before sending out an alert,” says Kumar.

As kitchen accidents are common and even fatal at times, the 26-year-old IIT graduate's life-saving creation catapulted him into the list of the hottest technology innovators from India recognised by Technology Review, MIT's 112-year-old publication. Kumar received the Social Innovator of the Year award at their conference EmTech India, held in Bangalore last month.

The idea for Suraksha came to Kumar even as he was involved with manufacturing robots — “an exciting but not lucrative proposition” — at a company he cofounded called RoboticWares in Bhubaneswar. Describing the development of his life-saving device, Kumar has some interesting anecdotes to share. Such as the 13-year-old girl from Mumbai who knocked on his door frantically as her grandmother invariably forgets to switch off the gas stove after cooking. These inputs helped him fine-tune his product.

“Suraksha is a 10x8 inch product, which was launched last May with an LCD and keyboard. The telephone numbers could be keyed in by following instructions. The product was simplified to eliminate the LCD and keyboard. The SMS alerts were retained and users could key in numbers through the mobile,” he explains.

With several upgradations, Suraksha is in the R&D stage and undergoing tests in commercial kitchens. Kumar's home doubles as the beta testing pad; the kitchen is where all the action happens, giving anxious moments to his mother, who is nevertheless happy at all the successes achieved by him.

Kumar hopes that Suraksha will morph into a handy tool for diverse users such as LPG gas storage godowns, oil installations, hotels and hospitals, in addition to homes. The entrepreneur intends to tie up with stove manufacturers, besides approaching high-end commercial users. As Suraksha also has an in-built fire alert, he hopes to attract the attention of State forest departments.

Currently he has a small-scale facility manufacturing 4,000 units every month catering to the Bhubaneswar-Cuttack-Puri region. He is still undecided on whether to scale up the manufacturing facility or opt for the franchise mode to expand across the country. A retail outlet in Bhubaneswar is also on the cards. The product costs around Rs 3,000 to Rs 4,000 and the company is seeking government subsidy to lower the cost for the common man.

“The product is being augmented, with the logistics of a supply chain and pricing being worked out,” says Arindam Dutta of the HDF School of Management, Cuttack, who has mentored many start-ups. Dutta has watched Kumar and his team grow from college students to full-fledged entrepreneurs.

Like many teenagers, Kumar spent his spare time making robots that were presented at science fairs. The interest in robots continued into college and Kumar teamed up with likeminded friends Kushal Nahata and Gaurav Srivastava to set up RoboticWares.

With Suraksha, the company has reoriented its business. Today it has evolved into an embedded and Web services organisation.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Measured Exposure to Air Pollution in Delhi, India


On similar lines,

if managing the air pollution for better health is our primary goal, then we should monitor what we want to manage. Among the many pollutants, PM pollution is prevalent in most of the cities, and yet the data available on the ambient PM levels is limited for many reasons (read "hazy data").

The SIM-air working paper No.29 titled "Monitoring and Mapping Urban Air Pollution" presents a proposal (discussed earlier in September, 2009) to monitor PM pollution cheaply and effectively and a methodology to map the pollution over city for understanding the hot spots and studying exposure levels.

A pilot study was conducted in Delhi, India on October 3rd, 2009, covering ~160 km on road over 10 hours, recording PM10 and PM2.5 measurements at 1 min/1 sec intervals. During the experiment, the average PM10 pollution over the 8 hour period = 206 micro-gm/m3; PM2.5 pollution over the 8 hour period = 163 micro-gm/m3; Black Carbon pollution over the 8 hour period = 36 micro-gm/m3. The collected data was interpolated over the Delhi map to visualize the extent of exposure to pollution on delhi roads on a daily basis (shown below).

In the Northwest and West sections, traffic movement was slow, especially along the major corridors, along with construction activities, which contributed to higher ambient pollution levels. The Northwest and East sections also home for industrial areas. The South Delhi , which is more residential, tends to experience on average 100 to 200 mg/m3, which is well above the national standards and WHO health guidelines. See animated monitoring route.

For the current observations, utilizing the average concentrations over Delhi, assuming at least 30% of the population (~5,000,000) is constantly exposed to these levels, and a dose-response function from premature mortality (0.000014 cases/mg/m3/percapita), a back-of-the-envelope calculation yields an annual mortality rate of ~10,900.

This at willingness-to-pay rate of ~US$50,000.00 (~25,00,000.00 Indian Rupees) translates to US$545 millions in health damages due to premature mortality annually.

Renewable Energy to Power the World (IPCC)

From Guardian, May 9th, 2011


Renewable energy could account for almost 80% of the world's energy supply within four decades - but only if governments pursue the policies needed to promote green power, according to a landmark report published on Monday.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the body of the world's leading climate scientists convened by the United Nations, said that if the full range of renewable technologies were deployed, the world could keep greenhouse gas concentrations to less than 450 parts per million, the level scientists have predicted will be the limit of safety beyond which climate change becomes catastrophic and irreversible.

Investing in renewables to the extent needed would cost only about 1% of global GDP annually, said Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the IPCC.

Renewable energy is already growing fast – of the 300 gigawatts of new electricity generation capacity added globally between 2008 and 2009, about 140GW came from renewable sources, such as wind and solar power, according to the report.

The investment that will be needed to meet the greenhouse gas emissions targets demanded by scientists is likely to amount to about $5trn in the next decade, rising to $7trn from 2021 to 2030.

Ramon Pichs, co-chair of one of the key IPCC working groups, said: "The report shows that it is not the availability of [renewable] resources but the public policies that will either expand or constrain renewable energy development over the coming decades. Developing countries have an important stake in the future – this is where most of the 1.4 billion people without access to electricity live yet also where some of the best conditions exist for renewable energy deployment."

Sven Teske, renewable energy director at Greenpeace International, and a lead author of the report, said: "This is an invitation to governments to initiate a radical overhaul of their policies and place renewable energy centre stage. On the run up to the next major climate conference, COP17 in South Africa in December, the onus is clearly on governments to step up to the mark."

He added: "The IPCC report shows overwhelming scientific evidence that renewable energy can also meet the growing demand of developing countries, where over 2 billion people lack access to basic energy services and can do so at a more cost-competitive and faster rate than conventional energy sources. Governments have to kick start the energy revolution by implementing renewable energy laws across the globe."

The 1,000-page Special Report on Renewable Energy Sources and Climate Change Mitigation (SRREN) marks the first time the IPCC has examined low-carbon energy in depth, and the first interim report since the body's comprehensive 2007 review of the science of climate change.

Although the authors are optimistic about the future of renewable energy, they note that many forms of the technology are still more expensive than fossil fuels, and find that the production of renewable energy will have to increase by as much as 20 times in order to avoid dangerous levels of global warming. Renewables will play a greater role than either nuclear or carbon capture and storage by 2050, the scientists predict.

Investing in renewables can also help poor countries to develop, particularly where large numbers of people lack access to an electricity grid.

About 13% of the world's energy came from renewable sources in 2008, a proportion likely to have risen as countries have built up their capacity since then, with China leading the investment surge, particularly in wind energy. But by far the greatest source of renewable energy used globally at present is burning biomass (about 10% of the total global energy supply), which is problematic because it can cause deforestation, leads to deposits of soot that accelerate global warming, and cooking fires cause indoor air pollution that harms health.

There was disappointment for enthusiasts of marine energy, however, as the report found that wave and tidal power were "unlikely to significantly contribute to global energy supply before 2020". Wind power, by contrast, met about 2% of global electricity demand in 2009, and could increase to more than 20% by 2050.

As with all IPCC reports, the summary for policymakers – the synopsis of the report that will be presented to governments and is likely to impact renewable energy policy – had to be agreed line by line and word by word unanimously by all countries. This was done at Monday's meeting in Abu Dhabi. This makes the process lengthy, but means that afterwards no government or scientist represented can say that they disagree with the finished findings, which the IPCC sees as a key strength of its operations.

The launch of the report is streamed on the IPCC web site.

Cities and Climate Change - Special Issue from "Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability"

New Cities and Climate Change special issue of Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, edited by Patricia Romero-Lankao and David Dodman, which just went on line.

Urban centres of different sizes play a crucial role in managing global carbon emissions and reducing vulnerability to climate change.

The papers in this issue provide an analytical review of the carbon and climate relevance of urbanization and of some of the interactions between urbanization and global environmental change. The authors' insights are used to inform a more general set of reflections on the nature of urban and global environmental change, and the linkages between the two.

Three over-arching themes are identified:
  • vulnerability and resilience as the central concepts shaping urban responses to climate change;
  • the growing role of specific governance mechanisms and systems at different scales in shaping the design and implementation of responses; and
  • the particularities, cross-cutting issues and connections between cities from different regions (e.g., Europe, East Africa) in addressing this challenge.
Notwithstanding the rapidly growing volume of information on this area of research, the challenge will be to develop frameworks to understand and effectively respond to the complex interactions between urban development, the carbon cycle and the climate system, and to turn the hazards resulting from human pressures on the environment into sources of opportunities and innovations aimed at building more resilient and sustainable cities.

**** Forwarded from PERN

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Air Pollution Alerts - May 8th, 2011

News & Information; Every Sunday
(Last on May 1st, 2011)

Sunday Times, May 8th, 2011
Sri Lankans may carry ‘clean air’ just like bottled water.

New York Times, May 8th, 2011
Barring Cars to Clear the Air.

AFP, May 8th, 2011
Hong Kong told to revamp air pollution rules.

Times of India, May 8th, 2011
Exhibition to create awareness on BRT in India.

Mongolia News, May 7th, 2011
Air Pollution Matters in Mongolia.

Huffington Post, May 6th, 2011
'Clean Stoves' Would Save Lives, Cut Pollution.

The Telegraph, May 6th, 2011
Forest fires: Britain bursts into flames.

The Sun Star, May 5th, 2011
Bus rapid transport eyed in Davao, Philippines.

Bangkok Post, May 5th, 2011
Controversial power plant gets go ahead from board.

Business Standard, May 5th, 2011
Haryana gears up for pollution control.

Mongolia News, May 5th, 2011
Anti-air pollution work in Mongolia.

TIME, May 5th, 2011
The Arctic Meltdown Accelerates.

The Independent, May 5th, 2011
Shanghai air pollution reaches record levels – how to track air quality around the world.

Digital Journal, May 4th, 2011
Over half of Americans live in dangerous levels of air pollution.

Nigerian Tribune, May 4th, 2011
Havoc cooking with firewood does to your health.

Economy Watch, May 4th, 2011
Biggest Share of Auto Sales Now in Emerging Markets.

People's Daily Online, May 4th, 2011
Shanghai encounters worst dusty pollution.

The Tribune, May 4th, 2011
Kalma Chowk flyover: Environmental groups to continue campaign in Lahore.

Bangladesh News, May 4th, 2011
'Insensitivity, prejudices add asthma woes'.

Global Times, May 4th, 2011
Sandstorm covers Shanghai in dust.

Globe and Mail, May 4th, 2011
Where will China find the oil to power its economy?

Google, May 3rd, 2011
Public will push China on environment: EU climate chief.

TIME, May 3rd, 2011
America's Environmental Garden Spot: Would You Believe Manhattan?

People's Daily Online, May 3rd, 2011
Sand, dust may turn Shanghai to most polluted city in China.

Shanghai Daily, May 3rd, 2011
Shanghai City air quality worst in 4 years.

Energy Daily, May 2nd, 2011
China Energy Consumption Will Stabilize.

Manila Bulletin, May 2nd, 2011
Poor air quality threatens health and environment.

People's Daily Online, April 30th, 2011
Wen: China to speed up transport links with SE Asia.

Reuters, April 29th, 2011
U.S., China Energy Use Predicted to Flatten in Coming Decades.

China Daily, April 26th, 2011
Domestic energy supplies addressed.

China Daily, April 26th, 2011
Power rages hit many places around China.

D-Sector, April 23rd, 2011
Cities too need 'nirmal' push in India.

Clean Stoves or Clean Fuel?

From Mr. Lalloobhoy Battliwala

GACC goal: "100 million homes to adopt clean and efficient stoves and fuels by 2020."

Clean is efficient, efficient isn't necessarily clean. Besides, who is really going to bother what the efficiencies are?Fossil fuels the real competition and the modern biomass stoves could come just at the right time to win the competition.

Liquid/gaseous fuels (fossil or otherwise) and electricity constitute the vast majority of probably "clean and efficient stoves and fuels" to date.

I am willing to bet $1,000 that by 2015, more people would have solved their cooking (and indoor air pollution) problem by switching from "dirty solid fuels" to LPG, gas or electricity than any other (or ALL other) "low pollution" stoves promoted by GACC.

Of course, I would be happier to lose the bet.

India has announced the world's largest clean stoves and fuels program already - subsidized and rationed LPG to some 60 million households by now, and additional 55 million households by 2015. Or rising from roughly 12 mt to 18 mt. Currently under-recovery to oil companies at around $10 b, so clearly not sustainable. But liberalizing the price and granting cash-entitlement subsidy to Rs 2 (roughly a US nickel) per day per capita to "below poverty line" customers could make it work. And could also give fair competition for the modern biomass stoves (which too should qualify for the subsidy purchases.


Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves (GACC)
WASHINGTON (May 6, 2011) – The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves today announced that Academy Award winning actor Julia Roberts will serve as Global Ambassador, helping to bring attention to one of the most urgent health problems facing women and families around the world: deadly smoke from unsafe and inefficient cookstoves.
Ms. Roberts first learned about the Alliance earlier this year while interviewing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for a special to be broadcast on the Oprah Winfrey Network. “Extraordinary Moms,” presented and executive produced by Ms. Roberts, airs Saturday, May 7 from 8–9:30 p.m. (EDT/PDT).
As Global Ambassador, Roberts will help raise awareness about the millions of people who face health effects, accidents or death in developing countries due to the reliance on traditional cookstoves and open fires that use wood, coal, charcoal, or animal waste for fuel.
“Nearly 2 million people around the world – mostly women and children – die each year from an activity that many of us take for granted: cooking for our families,” Roberts said. “I am proud to stand with Secretary Clinton to work to reduce the senseless and preventable deaths from unsafe cooking conditions in developing countries and I look forward to contributing to the important work of the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves.”
Launched in 2010 at the Clinton Global Initiative forum, the Alliance is a public-private partnership led by the UN Foundation that seeks to mobilize $250 million to save lives, improve livelihoods, empower women and combat climate change by creating a thriving global market for clean and efficient household cooking solutions.
Exposure to smoke from traditional stoves and open fires – the primary means of cooking and heating for 3 billion people in developing countries – causes nearly 2 million deaths annually, with women and young children affected most. That is a life lost every 16 seconds.
Cookstove smoke contributes to a range of chronic illnesses and acute health impacts such as early childhood pneumonia, emphysema, lung cancer, bronchitis, cardiovascular disease and low birth weight. The smoke from inefficient stoves continues to contribute to global climate change by producing harmful greenhouse gas emissions such as carbon dioxide and methane, and aero¬sols such as black carbon. Reliance on biomass for cooking and heating also increases pressure on local natural resources and forces women and children to spend many hours each week collecting fire wood – an especially dangerous task for women and girls in refugee camps and conflict zones.
“Today, nearly half the world’s population – close to 3 billion people – will eat meals cooked over fires that use charcoal, wood, or even animal waste for fuel,” said United Nations Foundation President Timothy E. Wirth. “A year from now, 1.9 million of those people will be dead. Their death certificates will cite pneumonia or lung cancer, but the underlying cause is exposure to cooking smoke. Unsafe cooking conditions are the fifth greatest threat to health in poor developing countries, yet nobody knows about it. The needed resources cannot be mobilized to confront this crisis if the world community doesn’t recognize it as such. Thanks to Julia Roberts, and others who will follow her lead, that task just got a little easier.”
The Alliance’s goal is for 100 million homes to adopt clean and efficient stoves and fuels by 2020, as a first step toward universal adoption. To achieve its ‘100 by 20’ goal, the Alliance will promote stove standards; spur innovative financing mechanisms; champion the cause across the donor and development communities; develop indoor air quality guidelines; tackle global tax and tariff barriers; field test clean stoves and fuels; and develop a research agenda for key issues such as health, climate, technology, and fuels.
The Alliance is a public-private partnership of more than 60 national governments, UN agencies, private companies and non-governmental organizations.
Individuals who wish to join the movement for clean cookstoves are asked to visit www.cookingshouldntkill.org. To learn more about the Alliance please visit www.cleancookstoves.org. For more information contact John Anthony at janthony@unfoundation.org or by phone at 202.778.1639.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Air Pollution Alerts - May 1st, 2011

News & Information; Every Sunday
(Last on April 24th, 2011)

PNNL, April, 2011
A Sooty Tale - Black carbon from combustion processes accelerates climate change effects.

Express Buzz, April 30th, 2011
Bangalore air unsafe to breathe.

Web Wire, April 28th, 2011
Boosting advanced biofuels in China.

Sydney Morning Herald, April 28th, 2011
'Green' China is a myth.

Filtration and Separation, April 28th, 2011
Positive outlook for air pollution control.

Manila Standard, April 28th, 2011
Smoke-belching cars worsen air pollution.

Forbes, April 28th, 2011
America's Most Polluted Cities.

Trail Gazette, April 27th, 2011
What`s wrong with acting like a citizen?

The Island, April 27th, 2011
Colombo should learn from mistakes of Delhi, avoid pro-car policies.

The City Fix, April 27th, 2011
Can Pod Cars Transform Traffic in Delhi?

Circle of Blue, April 27th, 2011
Water Needs Curtail China’s Coal Gasification For Fuel, Yet Conversion To Chemicals Pushes Ahead.

Express Buzz, April 26th, 2011
Petrol cost to go up further in Hyderabad city.

UB Post, April 26th, 2011
The Chairman of the Dept. of Construction Discusses the 100,000 Apartment Project.

NDTV, April 26th, 2011
After Metro, now Pod Cars for Delhi?

Times of India, April 25th, 2011
Civic body to make cycle tracks user-friendly in Pune.

The Mark, April 25th, 2011
Europe mulls a radical idea to reduce emissions. Can we learn something from its example?

Money Life, April 25th, 2011
Are skywalks a blessing or a bane?

Manila Bulletin, April 25th, 2011
UN targets black carbon emissions.

MAD Mongolia, April 24th, 2011
Mongolian Government maintains that apartment prices will decrease.

China Daily, April 23rd, 2011
On Earth Day, ministry unveils geothermal power plan for China.

China Daily, April 22nd, 2011
Study lays out roadmap for environment for China.

World Bank, April 22nd, 2011
Climate Change: Sector Lending Profile.

Xinhua Net, April 21st, 2011
China sets long-term timetable to guide pollution fight.

Climate-L, April 21st, 2011
CITES Plants Committee Discusses Climate Change Impacts on Decision-making.

Alter Net, April 21st, 2011
5 Reasons to Be Hopeful We Haven't Totally Screwed Ourselves and the Planet ... Yet.

Council of Foreign Relations, April 21st, 2011
Truth and Nonsense on Chinese Clean Energy.

China Daily, April 20th, 2011
Clunkers kicked to the curb in China.

China Daily, April 19th, 2011
Beijing releases action plan for cleaner air.