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

314 -May 2024
Editorial
Forum
Najib Saab
After ‘Arab Spring Floods’: Do Not Use Climate Change as Excuse
Najib Saab
Will the spring floods that hit some Arab countries serve as a reminder of the power of nature and the inevitability of respecting its rules
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WORLD RESOURCES INSTITUTE
Next-generation Climate Targets: A 5-Point Plan for NDCs
WORLD RESOURCES INSTITUTE
By early 2025, countries are due to unveil new national climate commitments under the Paris Agreement
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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
New Study: The price tag of phasing-out coal 15/5/2024
Coal phase-out is necessary to solve climate change, but can have negative impacts on workers and local communities dependent on coal for their livelihoods. Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden and Central European University in Austria have studied government plans for coal phase-out around the world and discovered that more than half of such plans include monetary compensation to affected parties. This planned compensation globally amounts to USD 200 billion, but it excludes China and India, the two largest users of coal that currently do not have phase-out plans. The study shows that if China and India decide to phase out coal as fast as needed to reach the Paris climate targets and pay similar compensation, it would cost upwards of USD 2 trillion. ...more
 
Toxic chemicals can be detected with new AI method 2/5/2024
Swedish researchers at Chalmers University of Technology and the University of Gothenburg have developed an AI method that improves the identification of toxic chemicals – based solely on knowledge of the molecular structure. The method can contribute to better control and understanding of the ever-growing number of chemicals used in society, and can also help reduce the amount of animal tests. ...more
 
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
 
UAE announces new long-term ‘Blue Residency’ visa 20/5/2024
UAE announced Wednesday a new long-term visa for professionals working in fields of sustainability and environment action, Emirates News Agency (WAM) reported. ...more
 
Economic damage from climate change six times worse than thought – report 20/5/2024
The economic damage wrought by climate change is six times worse than previously thought, with global heating set to shrink wealth at a rate consistent with the level of financial losses of a continuing permanent war, research has found. ...more
 
Cop29 at a crossroads in Azerbaijan with focus on climate finance 20/5/2024
Oil is inescapable in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan. The smell of it greets the visitor on arrival and from the shores of the Caspian Sea on which the city is built the tankers are eternally visible. Flares from refineries near the centre light up the night sky, and you do not have to travel far to see fields of “nodding donkeys”, small piston pump oil wells about 6 metres (20ft) tall, that look almost festive in their bright red and green livery. ...more
 
Britain eyes 2026 start for tougher company climate disclosures 20/5/2024
Britain said on Thursday it would decide in the second quarter of next year on whether to endorse a global set of climate disclosures that would be mandatory for listed companies from January 2026. ...more
 
More than 60% of world's coral reefs may have bleached in past year, NOAA says 20/5/2024
Nearly two-thirds of the world's coral reefs have been subjected to heat stress bad enough to trigger bleaching over the past year, the leading agency monitoring coral reefs said on Thursday. ...more
 
The Environment Agency–Abu Dhabi Starts the First Reintroduction Phase of Dama Gazelles in Chad 17/5/2024
As part of one of the largest large mammal reintroduction programmes in the world, the Environment Agency–Abu Dhabi (EAD) released for the first time six Dama Gazelles into the Ouadi Rimé – Ouadi Achim Wildlife Reserve (OROAWF) in Chad. One of the three most endangered gazelle species, this latest release is part of an ambitious initiative to increase Dama Gazelle numbers in the wild. ...more
 
How Europe reduced its greenhouse gas emissions last year 17/5/2024
The European Union's greenhouse gas emissions fell by 5% last year, official data published this week showed, continuing a trend of declining emissions in Europe. ...more
 
US must act to slash landfill methane emissions, report says 17/5/2024
Methane emissions at nearly two dozen U.S. landfills regularly exceeded federal limits and in some cases were higher than facility owners reported to the government, according to an analysis of inspection reports published on Thursday. ...more
 
Climate disruption to UK seasons causes problems for migratory birds 17/5/2024
Migratory birds, especially those long-distance travellers that winter in sub-Saharan Africa, are struggling with the effects of climate change. Specifically, the trend towards earlier springs is causing problems, because when they arrive at their usual time – between mid-April and early May – nature’s calendar has shifted forwards and spring is almost over. ...more
 
Herd of 170 bison could help store CO2 equivalent of 43,000 cars, researchers say 17/5/2024
A herd of 170 bison reintroduced to Romania’s Țarcu mountains could help store CO2 emissions equivalent to removing 43,000 US cars from the road for a year, research has found, demonstrating how the animals can help mitigate some effects of the climate crisis. ...more
 
Algeria to produce 3.7 million cubic meters of desalinated water per day by end of 2024 16/5/2024
Algeria will produce 3.7 million cubic meters per day of desalinated water by the end of 2024, which will cover 42% of the needs of the population estimated at 47 million, the CEO of Algerian Energy Company (AEC) Mohamed Boutabba told Reuters. ...more
 
Germany solar power output jumps to record highs 16/5/2024
Solar farms produced over 60% of Germany's electricity for several hours a day over the past week as bright sunshine combined with new solar generation capacity helped accelerate the country's energy transition away from fossil fuels. ...more
 
Summer 2023 was the hottest in 2,000 years, study says 16/5/2024
The intense northern hemisphere summer heat that drove wildfires across the Mediterranean, buckled roads in Texas and strained power grids in China last year made it not just the warmest summer on record - but the warmest in some 2,000 years, new research suggests. ...more
 
China calls for stepped-up energy-efficiency plans to meet targets 16/5/2024
China's state planner has ordered provinces to develop energy-efficiency plans for entities accounting for about 70% of consumption and carbon emissions by 2025-end, according to a notice, to meet targets that have been falling short. ...more
 
Heat exposure of older people across world to double by 2050, finds study 16/5/2024
The heat exposure of older people will at least double in all continents by 2050, according to a study that highlights the combined risk posed by a heating world and an ageing population. ...more
 
EU finalises investment fund labels to combat greenwashing 15/5/2024
The European Union's securities watchdog confirmed on Tuesday final guidelines on when investment funds can label themselves as being 'sustainable' without being accused of greenwashing. ...more
 
Countries make late bid to salvage EU's nature law 15/5/2024
A group of 11 countries, led by Ireland, has made a last-ditch attempt to approve the EU's flagship policy to restore damaged nature, amid concerns the law could be shelved following EU elections in June. ...more
 
Illegal wildlife trafficking is stubbornly prevalent, U.N. report says 15/5/2024
Illegal trafficking of plant and animal wildlife remains stubbornly prevalent, according to a U.N. report on Monday, and it is critical governments focus on more than just "iconic" species like elephants, where progress had been made. ...more
 
UK ‘net zero’ project will produce 20m tonnes of carbon pollution, say experts 15/5/2024
A multibillion-pound “net zero” project backed by two of the world’s biggest fossil fuel firms will be responsible for more than 20m tonnes of planet-heating carbon over its lifetime, according to research submitted to the UK government. ...more
 
NEW REPORT SHOWS MOVE FROM PLASTIC TO PACKAGING SOLUTIONS WITH BETTER END OF LIFE OUTCOMES IN THE FMCG SECTOR IS TOO SLOW 15/5/2024
A comprehensive new study1 by Aquapak, ‘FMCG flexible packaging: accelerating the move from plastic to paper’, based on research with 100 UK packaging experts responsible for packaging R&D, technology, design and sustainability for FMCG brands, reveals that the majority (92%) plan to stop using plastic in their consumer packaging altogether.  The report, launched today at the Rethinking Materials Innovation and Investment Summit in London, shows that paper and paperboard are the replacement materials of choice, followed by new polymers, bioplastics, and multi-materials.   ...more
 
Watch: 8 endangered migratory bird species in Dubai 14/5/2024
A Wildlife Tracking System that includes satellite tracking is being used to protect endangered migratory bird species that visit Dubai. ...more
 
EU countries approve law to slash trucks' CO2 emissions 14/5/2024
European Union countries gave their final approval on Monday to a law to cut carbon dioxide emissions from trucks, which will require most new heavy-duty vehicles sold in the EU from 2040 to be emissions-free. ...more
 
Banks have given almost $7tn to fossil fuel firms since Paris deal, report reveals 14/5/2024
The world’s big banks have handed nearly $7tn (£5.6tn) in funding to the fossil fuel industry since the Paris agreement to limit carbon emissions, according to research. ...more
 
Japan to craft 2040 strategy of decarbonisation and industrial policy 14/5/2024
The Japanese government will map out by the end of March next year a new national strategy encompassing decarbonisation and industrial policy targeting 2040, industry ministry officials said on Monday. ...more
 
TG Lynes brings electric truck to London streets 14/5/2024
Heating, plumbing and air movement materials supplier TG Lynes has become one of the first businesses to operate a 7.5 tonne electric truck on the streets of London. ...more
 
 
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