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Environment and development AL-BIA WAL-TANMIA Leading Arabic Environment Magazine

313 - April 2024
Editorial
Forum
Najib Saab
Defying Nature Can Buy Time but Does not Save the Environment
Najib Saab
Can technology alone stop the collapse of natural systems, without addressing the root of the problem and changing production and consumption patterns
more...

Cheryl Leutjen
LOVE EARTH NOW
Cheryl Leutjen
How to Be Earth-Mindful: Book Guides Readers Toward Realistic Ways to Show a Little Love to the Planet
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Meet the
 Editor-in-Chief
Najib Saab
 
 
Selected articles News
High-precision diaphragm metering pump makes the “Electrolysis Made in Baden-Württemberg” system demonstrator fit for industrial application 14/4/2024
Effective decarbonization of German industry – and with it, the achievement of the climate targets with a secure energy supply at the same time – is unthinkable without the expansion of hydrogen technologies. Since they are a carbon-free energy source, they do not release any emissions during combustion. Hydrogen is also suitable as a storage medium to compensate for fluctuations in renewable energy production, since it can be produced via electrolysis using any power source. As part of the "Electrolysis Made in Baden-Württemberg" project, which was completed in 2023, the Baden-Württemberg Center for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research (ZSW) has now strengthened the region as a hydrogen location for the long term. With the participation of 40 companies, a scalable system demonstrator for alkaline pressure electrolysis with an output of 1 MWel was engineered. The pump specialist LEWA from Leonberg, Germany, also contributed to the success of the project: an ecoflow diaphragm metering pump with Ex motor feeds the water required for hydrogen production into the process. As of 2026, the system will continue to operate in the H2 GeNeSiS model region and feed hydrogen into the new pipeline along the Neckar River. ...more
 
Ammonia attracts the shipping industry, but researchers warn of its risks 5/2/2024
Switching to ammonia as a marine fuel, with the goal of decarbonisation, can instead create entirely new problems. This is shown in a study from Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden, where researchers carried out life cycle analyses for batteries and for three electrofuels including ammonia. Eutrophication and acidification are some of the environmental problems that can be traced to the use of ammonia – as well as emissions of laughing gas, which is a very potent greenhouse gas. ...more
 
Resource-efficient and climate-friendly with sodium-ion batteries 13/12/2023
The transition to a society without fossil fuels means that the need for batteries is increasing at a rapid pace. At the same time, the increase will mean a shortage of the metals lithium and cobalt, which are key components in the most common battery types. One option is a sodium-ion battery, where table salt and biomass from the forest industry make up the main raw materials. Now, researchers from Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, show that these sodium-ion batteries have an equivalent climate impact as their lithium-ion counterparts – without the risk of running out of raw materials. ...more
 
Benchmarks for Success for COP28 6/11/2023
Floods recently wreaked havoc in Libya, damaging critical infrastructure and killing more than 6,000 people. Wildfires in Canada burned 18.5 million hectares, an area the size of Syria. September 2023 set “gobsmackingly bananas” heat records that unsettled climate scientists. ...more
 
75 percent of exclusive hardwood may be illegally harvested 26/10/2023
The tropical wood type ipê is popular for building exclusive wooden decks, and in North America and Europe, the demand for the material has increased sharply. Now, a study from Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, shows that more than three-quarters of all ipê from the top producing region in Brazil could have been harvested illegally. "The study reveals where in the chain the greatest risks lie. It can be a tool to counteract illegal logging," says Caroline S.S. Franca, PhD student at Chalmers. ...more
 
How mercury emissions from industry can be greatly reduced 4/7/2023
Sulphuric acid is the world’s most used chemical. It is an important reagent used in many industries and it is used in the manufacture of everything from paper, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics to batteries, detergents and fertilisers. It is therefore a worldwide challenge that sulphuric acid often contains one of the most toxic substances – mercury. Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, have now developed a method that can reduce the levels of mercury in sulphuric acid by more than 90 per cent– even from low levels. ...more
 
Gentle method allows for eco-friendly recycling of solar cells 13/4/2023
By using a new method, precious metals can be efficiently recovered from thin-film solar cells. This is shown by new research from Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden. The method is also more environmentally friendly than previous methods of recycling and paves the way for more flexible and highly efficient solar cells. ...more
 
Stadium 974: What happens next to the first temporary World Cup stadium? 12/12/2022
The World Cup's first temporary stadium will soon be dismantled after hosting seven matches in two weeks at Qatar 2022. ...more
 
'Doomsday glacier,' which could raise sea level by several feet, is holding on 'by its fingernails,' scientists say 6/9/2022
Antarctica's so-called "doomsday glacier" -- nicknamed because of its high risk of collapse and threat to global sea level -- has the potential to rapidly retreat in the coming years, scientists say, amplifying concerns over the extreme sea level rise that would accompany its potential demise. ...more
 
The audacious PR plot that seeded doubt about climate change 27/7/2022
Thirty years ago, a bold plan was cooked up to spread doubt and persuade the public that climate change was not a problem. The little-known meeting - between some of America's biggest industrial players and a PR genius - forged a devastatingly successful strategy that endured for years, and the consequences of which are all around us. ...more
 
Bottling the sun 14/6/2022
From a small hill in the southern French region of Provence, you can see two suns. One has been blazing for four-and-a-half billion years and is setting. The other is being built by thousands of human minds and hands, and is — far more slowly — rising. The last of the real sun’s evening rays cast a magical glow over the other — an enormous construction site that could solve the biggest existential crisis in human history. ...more
 
Ukraine's natural environment is another casualty of war. The damage could be felt for decades 23/5/2022
The pine forests around Irpin are Oleh Bondarenko's happy place. He discovered them as a child, when his mom sent him to the area for summer camp, and he has been coming back ever since. ...more
 
Forests Can Heal an Ailing Planet – But Champions Needed 10/5/2022
Humanity has been receiving warning signs for some time that our home, the Earth, is in peril. The concentration of greenhouse gases (GHGs) is increasing and the global average temperature is rising. Thousands of species are threatened with extinction. Vast areas of land have become degraded, ten million hectares of forest are being cleared each year, and more than 800 million people are malnourished. ...more
 
Building Materials – A Hidden Heavyweight for Climate Action 7/4/2022
An era of massive construction is currently underway, with a new area the size of Paris being built every week. The global building floor area is expected to double by 2060, which will have a massive impact on the climate. The production of building materials and construction activities are already responsible for 10% of global energy-related greenhouse gas emissions. ...more
 
More than Just SDG 12: How Circular Economy can Bring Holistic Wellbeing 7/4/2022
As it’s moved from the fringes of academia into the mainstream, the circular economy has been posited as a means to address ecological breakdown by cutting resource extraction and limiting warming to 1.5-degrees. Now, practitioners are also exploring how a circular economy with social and ethical concerns at its heart can create new jobs, ensure more equitable resource management and combat inequalities. ...more
 
Preventing Plastic Pollution with Partnership 10/3/2022
The world has a plastic problem. Since the 1950s, the rate of plastic production has grown exponentially and faster than that of any other material. This is a trend with severe environmental consequences. ...more
 
Debt-for-nature swaps could give $100 billion boost to climate fight, says report 16/4/2024
Debt-for-nature swaps, where poorer countries have debt written off in return for protecting ecosystems such as barrier reefs or rainforests, could provide $100 billion for the fight against climate change, a new report has calculated. ...more
 
Southeast Asia 'woefully off track' on green investment, Bain says 16/4/2024
South East Asia is "woefully off track" on green investments to reduce emissions and needs new policies and financial mechanisms to help bridge the gap, the global consultancy Bain & Company said on Monday. ...more
 
Greece to spend 780 mln euros to protect marine biodiversity, PM says 16/4/2024
Greece is pushing ahead with 21 initiatives worth 780 million euros ($830.9 million) to protect marine biodiversity and tackle coastal pollution, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Monday ahead of an international conference. ...more
 
Record number of river barriers removed across Europe in 2023 16/4/2024
Europe removed a record number of dams and other barriers from its rivers in 2023, a report has found, helping to restore its disturbed waterways to their natural states. ...more
 
‘We found 700 different species’: astonishing array of wildlife discovered in Cambodia mangroves 16/4/2024
One of the most comprehensive biodiversity surveys ever carried out in a mangrove forest has revealed that an astonishing array of wildlife makes its home in these key, threatened habitats. ...more
 
US surpasses renewable energy goal for public lands 15/4/2024
The Biden administration on Thursday said the U.S. had surpassed a goal of permitting more than 25 gigawatts of clean energy projects on public lands by 2025 and finalized a plan to slash project fees for wind and solar energy on federal acreage. ...more
 
Japan's greenhouse gas emissions fall 2.5% in FY22/23 to record low 15/4/2024
Japan's greenhouse gas emissions fell 2.5% to a record low in the fiscal year through March 2023, government data showed on Friday, helped by reduced emissions in the industrial and service sectors. ...more
 
Sweden will miss its climate goals without policy changes, environment agency says 15/4/2024
Sweden will not reach its climate targets without further political action to cut carbon emissions, the Environmental Protection Agency said on Friday. ...more
 
Network of ‘ghost roads’ paves the way for levelling Asia-Pacific rainforests 15/4/2024
A vast network of undocumented “ghost roads” is pushing into the world’s untouched rainforests and driving their destruction in the Asia-Pacific region, a new study has found. ...more
 
MOL inaugurates the largest green hydrogen plant of the region 15/4/2024
MOL Group has handed over a 10 megawatt capacity green hydrogen plant in Százhalombatta which is the largest in Central and Eastern Europe. The €22 million investment makes fuel production more sustainable: the plant will reduce the Danube Refinery's carbon dioxide emissions by 25 000 tonnes. MOL will be able to produce 1,600 tonnes of clean, carbon-neutral green hydrogen per year which opens a new chapter in hydrogen economy. The investment is in line with the MOL Group's SHAPE TOMORROW corporate strategy to make the region more sustainable, competitive and self-sufficient. ...more
 
U.N. climate chief says two years to save the planet 12/4/2024
Governments, business leaders and development banks have two years to take action to avert far worse climate change, the U.N.'s climate chief said on Wednesday, in a speech that warned global warming is slipping down politicians' agendas. ...more
 
Global coal power grew 2% last year, the most since 2016, GEM survey says 12/4/2024
The world's coal-fired power capacity grew 2% last year, its highest annual increase since 2016, driven by new builds in China and decommissioning delays elsewhere, according to research published on Thursday. ...more
 
EU lawmakers adopt law to hit fossil fuel imports with methane emissions limit 12/4/2024
European Union lawmakers on Wednesday adopted a law to place methane emission limits on Europe's oil and gas imports from 2030, pressuring international suppliers to clamp down on leaks of the potent greenhouse gas. ...more
 
US Senate votes to reject rule to cut greenhouse gas emissions on highways 12/4/2024
The U.S. Senate on Wednesday passed a resolution that would overturn a federal agency's rule requiring states to measure and set declining targets for greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles using the national highway system. ...more
 
Deforestation in Brazil's Amazon down 40% in Q1, minister says 12/4/2024
Deforestation in Brazil's Amazon has decreased 40% in the first three months of 2024 from a year earlier, Environment Minister Marina Silva said on Tuesday, citing data from space research agency INPE. ...more
 
Morocco drought: Satellite images show vital Al Massira reservoir is shrinking 11/4/2024
Morocco's second-largest reservoir that serves some of its major cities and has been central to farm irrigation is drying up, according to satellite images analysed by the BBC. ...more
 
US sets first standard to curb 'forever chemicals' from drinking water 11/4/2024
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday announced its first-ever drinking water standard to protect people against toxic "forever chemicals" found in many household and everyday items, and offered $1 billion to states for public water system testing, the agency's first major move to curb the cancer-causing chemicals. ...more
 
World’s biggest economies pumping billions into fossil fuels in poor nations 11/4/2024
The world’s biggest economies have continued to finance the expansion of fossil fuels in poor countries to the tune of billions of dollars, despite their commitments on the climate. ...more
 
England could produce 13 times more renewable energy, using less than 3% of land – analysis 11/4/2024
England could produce 13 times more renewable energy than it does now, while using less than 3% of its land, analysis has found. ...more
 
Colombia Amazon deforestation forecast down 25% to 35% last year, ministry says 11/4/2024
Deforestation in Colombia's Amazon region is forecast to have declined by 25% to 35% in 2023, Environment Minister Susana Muhamad said on Monday, while warning that evidence shows that destruction has increased so far in 2024. ...more
 
Swiss women win landmark climate victory at human rights court 10/4/2024
The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) ruled on Tuesday in favour of a group of elderly Swiss women who had argued that their government's inadequate efforts to combat climate change put them at risk of dying during heatwaves. ...more
 
March marks yet another record in global heat 10/4/2024
The world just experienced its warmest March on record, capping a 10-month streak in which every month set a new temperature record, the European Union's climate change monitoring service said on Tuesday. ...more
 
Boom times for US green energy as federal cash flows in 10/4/2024
In February US company LanzaJet, which produces sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) from ethanol, announced that it intended to build a second, larger plant on US soil. ...more
 
Massive investment is needed in sustainable infrastructure to build climate change resilience 10/4/2024
Record global temperatures around 1.4 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial averages led to more heatwaves and floods, longer wildfire seasons and widespread droughts in 2023. A new OECD report details the growing pressure of such climatic events on infrastructure in all sectors, from electricity, communication and transport networks to water and waste treatment, with developing countries often particularly hard hit. ...more
 
Insurers are essential to rolling out the climate tech needed for industries to decarbonise, finds Geneva Association report 10/4/2024
As the world races to meet global climate targets, industries worldwide are under increasing pressure to adopt new technologies and processes to expedite their decarbonisation efforts. To cap global warming at 1.5°C, heavy industries like steel, aluminium and aviation, responsible for over 30% of global carbon emissions, need to deploy climate technologies on a wide scale. ...more
 
 
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