It’s Gettin’ Hot In Here: ‘China Starts Televising The Sunrise On Giant TV Screens Because Beijing Is So Clouded In Smog’
From The Daily Mail:

The smog has become so thick in Beijing that the city’s natural light-starved masses have begun flocking to huge digital commercial television screens across the city to observe virtual sunrises.

The futuristic screens installed in the Chinese capital usually advertize tourist destinations, but as the season’s first wave of extremely dangerous smog hit - residents donned air masks and left their homes to watch the only place where the sun would hail over the horizon that morning.
…

Serious air pollution plagues most major Chinese cities, where environmental protection has been long sacrificed for the sake of economic development. 

Coal burning and car emissions are major sources of pollution. In recent years, China has beefed up regulations and pledged financial resources to fight pollution.


Check out the rest of the article here.

Related:
China to boost renewable energy to curb air pollution, CCTV says (Bloomberg) 
How West’s throwaway culture destroys basic freedoms in China (The Guardian) 

It’s Gettin’ Hot In Here: ‘China Starts Televising The Sunrise On Giant TV Screens Because Beijing Is So Clouded In Smog’

From The Daily Mail:

The smog has become so thick in Beijing that the city’s natural light-starved masses have begun flocking to huge digital commercial television screens across the city to observe virtual sunrises.

The futuristic screens installed in the Chinese capital usually advertize tourist destinations, but as the season’s first wave of extremely dangerous smog hit - residents donned air masks and left their homes to watch the only place where the sun would hail over the horizon that morning.

Serious air pollution plagues most major Chinese cities, where environmental protection has been long sacrificed for the sake of economic development. 

Coal burning and car emissions are major sources of pollution. In recent years, China has beefed up regulations and pledged financial resources to fight pollution.

Check out the rest of the article here.

Related:

It’s gettin’ hot in here | ‘Climate change: how a warming world is a threat to our food supplies’ (Infographic)
Source: The Guardian
Related:
'Millions face starvation as world warms, say scientists' (The Guardian)
'Climate change and rising food prices heightened Arab Spring' (Scientific American)
‘World Bank chief says global warming threatens the planet and the poorest’ (Washington Post)

It’s gettin’ hot in here | ‘Climate change: how a warming world is a threat to our food supplies’ (Infographic)

Source: The Guardian

Related:

From Xinhaunet:

China will proactively introduce a set of new taxation policies designed to preserve the environment, including a tax on carbon dioxide emissions, according to a senior official with the Ministry of Finance (MOF).


China is among the world’s largest emitters of greenhouse gas and has set goals for cutting emissions. The government has vowed to reduce carbon intensity, or the amount of carbon dioxide emitted per unit of economic output, by 40 to 45 percent by 2020 in comparison to 2005 levels.


Check out the rest of the article here.

Related:

• ‘China is getting serious about taming coal’ (Grist)

From Business Insider:

Figures from China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) regarding the impact the 4-year plastic bag ban came out earlier this week, and frankly they’re incredible.

China Daily cites a government official who says the ban has saved 4.8 million tonnes of oil (the equivalent of 6.8 million tonnes of standard coal), not to mention 800,000 tonnes of plastic.

If these figures are true, it’s not only a remarkable success for China’s environmental policy, but also a strike for international effort to ban plastic bags.

Check out the rest of the article here.

Related:

(Photo credit: Treehugger)

From CNN:

Singapore’s latest development will finally blossom later this month, with an imposing canopy of artificial trees up to 50 meters high towering over a vast urban oasis.

The colossal solar-powered supertrees are found in the Bay South garden, which opens to the public on June 29. It is part of a 250-acre landscaping project — Gardens by the Bay — that is an initiative from Singapore’s National Parks Board that will see the cultivation of flora and fauna from foreign lands.

The man-made mechanical forest consists of 18 supertrees that act as vertical gardens, generating solar power, acting as air venting ducts for nearby conservatories, and collecting rainwater. To generate electricity, 11 of the supertrees are fitted with solar photovoltaic systems that convert sunlight into energy, which provides lighting and aids water technology within the conservatories below.

Varying in height between 25 and 50 meters, each supertree features tropical flowers and various ferns climbing across its steel framework. The large canopies also operate as temperature moderators, absorbing and dispersing heat, as well as providing shelter from the hot temperatures of Singapore’s climate to visitors walking beneath.

The project is part of a redevelopment scheme to create a new downtown district in the Marina Bay area, on Singapore’s south side. Project organizers hope the completed Gardens by the Bay will become an eco-tourist destination showcasing sustainable practices and plants from across the globe.

The horticultural oasis will be a contrast to the country’s extremely dense urban environment, forming part of the government’s overall strategy to transform Singapore into a “city in a garden.”

Check out the rest of the article here.

From The Guardian:

Countries must take urgent steps to value their natural capital – such as forests, peatlands and coastal areas – as part of their economic development, the World Bank has urged.

Placing a monetary value on natural ecosystems is a key step on the road to “green” economic growth, according to the World Bank, which published a report on green growth on Wednesday at a conference in Seoul, Korea.

By making such estimates, countries can develop policies that ensure the pursuit of economic growth does not occur at the expense of future growth potential, by destroying natural assets such as water sources or polluting air, rivers and soil.

Rachel Kyte, vice president for sustainable development at the bank, said that the patterns on which economic growth had been achieved in recent decades were unsustainable, because of the amount of environmental degradation involved.

She said: "At current rates, we are in danger of undermining the basis on which growth has been achieved in the last decades. We do not believe that current growth patterns are sustainable."

She gave the example of the government of Thailand, which has moved towards more environmentally sustainable growth by attempting to place a value on its mangrove swamps. The exercise has been illuminating – chopping down mangrove for wood gives a return of less than $1,000 per hectare; removing the mangroves to make room for a shrimp farm might generate nearly $10,000 per hectare; but if the mangrove swamps were retained and their importance in providing a barrier against floods was taken into account, they could be valued at more than $16,000 per hectare.

Kyte acknowledged that few countries had so far taken steps to evaluate their natural systems in this way, and said the failure to do so had contributed to countries allowing their environment to be degraded in the pursuit of short term economic growth.

In 2010, India said it would become the first country in the world to publish accounts of its natural wealth as well as financial measurements such as GDP.

Check out the rest of the article here.

(Infographic credits: Metro VancouverFAO)

From Sustainable Business:

South Korea passed legislation to begin a national cap-and-trade program with a near unanimous vote of 148-0, with three abstentions. 

The fourth largest economy in Asia, South Korea is the fastest growing source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions among industrialized countries, doubling since 1990. It is the 8th biggest source of GHG emissions in the world and has a national target of cutting them 30% by 2020.

POSCO, the world’s third largest steelmaker, and Samsung Electronics, the largest electronics manufacturer, are among South Korea’s biggest polluters.

Emissions trading is scheduled to begin in Korea in 2015, the same year as those in Australia and China. New Zealand started emissions trading in 2009, and the EU’s went into effect in 2005. South Africa has plans for a program. In the US, the northeastern states have a cap-and-trade program, California's begins in 2013. 

In April, both Mexico and Peru passed national climate change legislation.

This opens the possibility of linking country cap-and-trade programs - allowing participants to trade regionallly and eventually worldwide - which would raise the value of carbon markets substantially.

Check out the rest of the article here.

(Photo credit: Energy Korea)

From Business Green:

Businesses have been urged to accelerate their environmental footprinting strategies to include emerging economies, after new research by the Carbon Trust revealed young people in China could hold the key to unlocking mass demand for greener products.

The survey of 2,800 young people across six countries carried out by TNS found 83 per cent of 18-25 year-olds in China would be more loyal to a brand if they could see it was reducing its carbon footprint. In contrast, just 57 per cent of US respondents and 55 per cent of young people in the UK made the same claim.

Globally, 78 per cent of young people said they want their favourite brands to reduce their carbon footprint, but again those in Chinese showed the highest demand for emission reductions with 88 per cent calling on firms to cut their footprint.

South Africa came in second place with 86 per cent of respondents calling on blue chips to reduce their impact, followed by Brazil at 84 per cent. Again the US and UK lagged far behind with only two thirds of respondents demanding more action from big brands.

Check out the rest of the article here. You can also check out an infographic of the study here.

(Image credit: Carbon Trust

From CSR Wire:

Ethical Markets Media, LLC (USA and Brazil), released their 2012 Green Transition Scoreboard® tracking private sector investments since 2007 in green companies and technologies globally, now totaling more than $3.3 trillion.

The 2012 Green Transition Scoreboard® (GTS) report finds Asia, Europe and Latin America catching up with the USA in total non-government investments and commitments for all facets of green markets.  2011 ended with a GTS total of $3,306,051,439,680, starting from 2007.  Given the many studies indicating that investing $1 trillion annually until 2020 will accelerate the Green Transition worldwide and the over 100 research reports and articles referenced in this years’ update, the”Green Transition Scoreboard® 2012: From Expanding Cleantech Sectors to Emerging Trends in Biomimicry” definitively shows green investments are becoming the norm.

More here.

(Graphic credit: Green Transition Scoreboard)

From e360:

A panel formed to study solutions to increased flooding in Singapore has urged the government to require green roofs on new and retrofitted buildings. The 12-member panel, which was created after torrential rains caused flash flooding across eastern and central Singapore last year, said improved weather modeling and infrastructure improvements are needed to handle a surge in stormwater runoff caused by urbanization in Singapore. In the meantime, however, the panel urged simpler steps to reduce and delay flooding, including better storage tanks, porous pavements, and rain gardens. Such rooftop gardens, which are often added to reduce heat or for aesthetic reasons, can also absorb six to 34 liters of water per square meter and limit the spread of water flow, local contractors said. 

Check out the rest of the article here.

(Photo credit: Buildipedia)