Egypt Independent: Environment-Main news http://www.egyptindependent.com//enhome_channel/Environment/rss.xml en Germany eyes capping coal use to meet emissions target http://www.egyptindependent.com//node/2440423 <img src="http://www.egyptindependent.com///sites/default/files/imagecache/media_thumbnail/photo/2014/11/24/499612/coal_use.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p>Germany aims to limit coal use in electricity production to meet the country&#39;s target in cutting Earth-warming carbon emissions, according to a document seen by AFP Monday.</p><p>Sigmar Gabriel, minister for the economy and energy, will propose that electricity producers reduce emissions of carbon dioxide by 4.4 million tonnes a year between 2016 and 2020.</p><p>Germany, which generates 46 percent of its electricity from coal, aims by 2020 to curb its carbon emissions by 40 percent from three decades earlier.</p><p>Until last week, Gabriel had argued that Germany could not limit its coal use while also phasing out nuclear power following a groundbreaking decision taken after Japan&#39;s 2011 Fukushima disaster.</p><p>His view had put him at odds with Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks, who has said that if Europe&#39;s largest economy does not reduce its coal use it has no chance of meeting the 2020 target.</p><p>Chancellor Angela Merkel&#39;s cabinet plans to consider the left-right coalition government&#39;s climate action plan on December 3.</p><p>By mid-century Germany aims to meet 80 percent of its power needs with renewables such as wind, solar and biogas, which now generate around a quarter.</p><p>But an unintended consequence of the &quot;Energiewende&quot;, or energy transition, has been a rise in the use of coal.</p> Mon, 24 Nov 2014 20:13:00 +0000 AFP 2440423 at http://www.egyptindependent.com sites/default/files/photo/2014/11/24/499612/coal_use.jpg World Bank: Global warming could undermine poverty fight http://www.egyptindependent.com//node/2440393 <img src="http://www.egyptindependent.com///sites/default/files/imagecache/media_thumbnail/photo/2014/11/24/499612/global_warming.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p>Climate change could undermine efforts to defeat extreme poverty around the globe, the World Bank warned Sunday.</p><p>In a new report on the impact of global warming, the bank said sharp temperature rises would cut deeply into crop yields and water supplies in many areas and possibly set back efforts to bring populations out of poverty.</p><p>&quot;Climate change poses a substantial and escalating risk to development progress that could undermine global efforts to eliminate extreme poverty and promote shared prosperity,&quot; the report said.</p><p>&quot;Without strong, early action, warming could exceed 1.5?2 degrees Celsius and the resulting impacts could significantly worsen intra- and intergenerational poverty in multiple regions across the globe.&quot;</p><p>The bank said it is already likely that average temperatures will rise 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) from pre-industrial levels, based on the built-in impact of past and current greenhouse gas emissions.</p><p>That means that extreme heat events, sea level rise and more frequent tropical cyclones may now be unavoidable.</p><p>But without concerted action, the real danger is that the average global temperature increase could go to 4.0 degrees Celsius by the end of the century.</p><p>The bank called that &quot;a frightening world of increased risks and global instability.&quot;</p><p>&quot;Ending poverty, increasing global prosperity and reducing global inequality, already difficult, will be much harder with warming of two degrees Celsius, said World Bank President Jim Yong Kim.</p><p>&quot;But at four degrees, there is serious doubt whether these goals can be achieved at all.&quot;</p><p>- Shrinking crop yields -</p><p>The new report, &quot;Turn Down the Heat: Confronting the New Climate Normal&quot; focuses on the specific regional impacts of warming.</p><p>Warming of two degrees could lower the yield of Brazil&#39;s soybean crop by 70 percent. Andean cities would be threatened by melting glaciers, and Caribbean and West Indian coastal communities could see their fish supplies dwindle.</p><p>Two-degree warming could reduce yields of maize, wheat and grape crops in Macedonia by 50 percent. In northern Russia, it would mean substantial melting of the permafrost, causing a surge in damaging methane emissions, which would amplify the warming trend.</p><p>The World Bank has set an ambitious target of eliminating extreme poverty around the world by 2030, and Kim says that can still be done if warming is limited to just two degrees.</p><p>But temperatures have already increased 0.8 degree from the pre-industrial mean, and the new study says it is likely already too late to forestall a 1.5-degree gain.</p><p>The impacts of poverty exacerbated by climate change are wide and complex, the report shows. It will increase migration, though some people without means will be stuck with worse prospects in life.</p><p>In the Middle East and North Africa, water resources and agriculture will be under severe threat from warming.</p><p>And in turn, the impact could be political. The report cited two studies that linked the Arab Spring uprising to the drought impact of warming on food prices.</p><p>Further climate change could add to security problems &quot;by placing additional pressures on already scarce resources and by reinforcing such preexisting threats as political instability, poverty, and unemployment,&quot; it said.</p><p>&quot;This creates the potential for social uprising and violent conflict.&quot;</p> Mon, 24 Nov 2014 10:39:00 +0000 AFP 2440393 at http://www.egyptindependent.com sites/default/files/photo/2014/11/24/499612/global_warming.jpg UN and the League of Arab States signs a memorandum for efficient environmental pathways http://www.egyptindependent.com//node/2439766 <img src="http://www.egyptindependent.com///sites/default/files/imagecache/media_thumbnail/photo/2013/01/10/54605/minister.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><div>The United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and the Arab League joined efforts to draw up an action plan targeted specifically at boosting the ability of managing natural resources in sustainable manner as well as tackling environmental challenges across the 22 countries of the Arab region.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>A new memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed by UNEP Deputy Executive Director Ibrahim Thiaw and the Head of Department of Environment, Housing and Water Ressources and Sustainable Development in the Arab League Jamaleddine Jaballah, at the 51st Meeting of the Council of Arab Ministers Responsible for the Environment (CAMRE), held in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 9 November.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The MOU, which builds upon a previous agreement signed in 1986, has been the milestone of continuing years-long strong cooperation between UNEP and the Arab League.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>It mirrors the two organizations&rsquo; parallel priorities and responds to the outcomes of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development in June 2012, in which the UNEP played an indispensable role in safeguarding the environment at a global level.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>UNEP and the&nbsp;Arab League agreed upon effective, precise mechanisms in a bid to reinforce the planning and implementation of global and regional programs in the region.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The action plan takes into account a slew of crucial environmental concerns in all levels covering the green economy, post conflict assessments and recovery, climate change, water resources, biodiversity, sustainable consumption and production and environmental governance.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The terms of the new MOU set out on the basis of the joint UN-Arab League&nbsp;strategic priorities for economic, social and environmental clusters for the period 2013-2017.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The memorandum also implements the outcomes and decisions reached by the relevant specialized Arab Ministerial Councils and their subsidiaries committees/groups that intersects with UNEP mandate and Program of Work in particular the Council of Arab Ministers Responsible for Environment (CAMRE) and the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN).&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The Arab Ministerial Council had just wrapped up its 26th session in 10 November in Jeddah maintaining an active dialogue on the Sustainable Development Initiative in the Arab Region in addition to in-depth discussions about the annual UN Conference on Sustainable Development.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div> Mon, 10 Nov 2014 14:21:00 +0000 Heba Helmy 2439766 at http://www.egyptindependent.com sites/default/files/photo/2013/01/10/54605/minister.jpg Arab environment Ministerial to meet in Jeddah 8 November http://www.egyptindependent.com//node/2439633 <img src="http://www.egyptindependent.com///sites/default/files/imagecache/media_thumbnail/photo/2014/11/07/484151/khld-fhmy.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p><span style="line-height: normal;">The Council of Arab Environment&nbsp;</span>Ministerial<span style="line-height: normal;">&nbsp;will hold its 26th session in Jeddah from 8 to 10 November to discuss updating the Sustainable Development Initiative in the Arab Region as well as to discuss the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio +20), according to a statement by the Egyptian Ministry of Environment.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: normal;">The session will be preceded by a meeting for the Joint Commission on Environment and Development in the Arab World during the period from 3 to 6 November to discuss the implementation of the decisions of the 25th session, Egyptian Minister of Environment Khaled Fahmy said Thursday.</span></p><div><p style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="line-height: normal;">The green belts project in the Arab world, which was approved by the Arab summit, is one of the most important topics to be discussed by the council.</span></p></div><div>Fahmy added that the meeting would also discuss the implementation of the decisions of the Arab Executive Economic and Social Summit, the decisions of the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD), updating the Sustainable Development Initiative in the Arab Region, and the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio +20).</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The meeting will address international conventions and meetings on environment, desertification, biodiversity, and chemical and hazardous waste in addition to other topics, including environmental education for sustainable development and how to set up a unified Arab attitude towards climate change, said Fahmy.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The Council of Arab Environment Ministers will discuss shift to a green economy in the Arab countries, the theme of the 2015 Arab Environment Day, mechanisms of implementing the Arab Strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction, as well as environmental conditions in many countries, including Palestine, the Syrian Golan, Sudan, Somalia, Comoros and others.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div> Thu, 06 Nov 2014 23:49:00 +0000 Al-Masry Al-Youm,Egypt Independent 2439633 at http://www.egyptindependent.com sites/default/files/photo/2014/11/07/484151/khld-fhmy.jpg