Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Global Warming Exposes Resources but Arctic Meeting Leaves Some Out in the Cold

Yesterday March 29, prior to welcoming the G8 foreign ministers for a meeting on global security, Lawrence Cannon, Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs hosted a summit of five Arctic coastal countries (Canada, Russia, the U.S., Norway and Denmark). The talks addressed continental shelf delineation, resource development, national security, shipping routes and environmental protection.

Technically, the Arctic is the area within the Arctic Circle, but we can also think of the Arctic as the area north of the treeline, where there is only tundra and the Arctic Ocean, or the area where the average temperature for the warmest month is below 10°C (50°F).

In the last several years, Canada, the U.S., Denmark, Norway and Russia have all made competing claims to the Arctic. Under the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea, countries bordering the Arctic can assert ownership of natural resources up to 200 miles off their coasts.

The renewed interest in the Arctic is due to global warming which is causing the ice cover to disappear for several months a year (in 2007, for the first time in modern history the North-West Passage was free of ice). The warming of the Arctic will open up a new Atlantic-Pacific shipping channel and access to up to 90 billion barrels of oil and other resources.

New transport routes will further increase tensions in the far north as well as imperil the fragile Arctic ecosystem.

Many are concerned that the environment is not getting the attention it deserves at these talks. In the Arctic, the majority of biological activity is limited to a very short window of time. As a result, any interference, such as shipping activities, can have a huge impact on the natural ecological and biological patterns of the Arctic.

The Arctic meeting was also criticized for excluding aboriginal people and other Arctic nations (Sweden, Finland and Iceland), pompting Secretary of State Hilary Clinton to say,"significant international discussions on Arctic issues should include those who have legitimate interests in the region."

In Monday's Press conference Cannon responding to these criticisms, repeatedly mentioned ''cooperation and collaboration,'' adding, ''protecting the environment is a priority.''
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Monday, March 29, 2010

China Participates in Earth Hour

On Saturday March 22, China celebrated Earth Hour along with the rest of the world. Although China is amongst the world's worst emitters of CO2, in cities throughout the nation, people and businesses showed their support for Earth Hour by turning out the lights.

Last year approximately 20 Chinese cities participated in Earth Hour. This year there were 33 Chinese cities (representing a 65 percent increase), as well as many more businesses. In Shanghai alone, about 200 companies, 122 schools, 350 communities, 20 universities and more than 100 commercial buildings joined the event.

The three tallest landmarks in Shanghai, the Shanghai World Financial Center, Jinmao Tower and the Oriental Pearl TV Tower, went dark for an hour. So did City Hall, the Bund, Xintiandi and many other iconic structures in the city's downtown area.

As Earth Hour drew near, people gathered in the Chinese capital to watch darkness fall on the Forbidden City, the Bird's Nest, Water Cube and the Yintai Center.

In Chengdu, Earth Hour Global Panda Ambassador, Mei Lan, turned off her lights along with many of the city's 13 million citizens.

In Nanjing, the country's first Earth Hour branded subway train offered low-carbon lifestyle tips to passengers. Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum turned off their lights along with 400 other buildings in Nanjing.

In Xi'an, city icons went dark including the ancient Xi'an Bell Tower and Drum Tower as well as the old City Wall.

Although Earth Hour saved some electricity, the event is really about making a statement. On Saturday, one billion people around the world said in one voice that the time has come for the world to act on climate change.

The huge international success of Earth Hour is due to people like Li Wenzhu, a 22-year-old artist in Beijing. Like millions of others around the world, Li is putting digital technology to work for the environment. "I sent out a message proposing the event to 20 of my friends this morning. They were people of different ages, sexes and professions, who then forwarded the message to their friends so the information would reach the most people possible," Li told China Daily on Saturday.

She then said, with a broad smile, "I just wanted to offer what I can to our little Earth."
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Friday, March 26, 2010

The Business of Earth Hour and the Power of Social Media

Earth Hour is the world's largest event calling for action on climate change. This Saturday 27 March at 8.30 PM (local time), businesses will join people all around the world to turn off their lights for one hour to show that solutions to the threat of global warming are possible through collective action.

Earth Hour started in 2007 in Sydney, Australia when 2.2 million homes and businesses turned their lights off for one hour to make their stand against climate change. In 2008, Earth Hour had become a global sustainability movement with more than 50 million people across 35 countries participating. Global landmarks, including the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, and the Colosseum in Rome, went dark, as a symbol of hope for a cause that grows more urgent by the hour.

In March 2009, hundreds of millions of people around the world took part in the third Earth Hour. Over 4000 cities in a record setting 88 countries switched off their lights for one hour to pledge their support for the planet.

This year, 92 countries have already made the pledge for Earth Hour to show the world what can be done to fight climate change. This year promises to be the biggest and best Earth Day in the event's short history, proving that environmental issues are able to unite people from all continents and every walk of life. The success of Earth Hour is not only due to the prescience of the climate change issue, it is also due to the power of social media.

Earth Hour has relied on social media to communicate its message to millions of people, businesses and organizations around the world. They employ all the major social networking sites including, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, and My Space. At the WWF Earth Hour site you will also find tools for blogs and webpages.

Earth Hour underscores the importance of socially responsible business and the growing importance of cause marketing. In the wake of the recession, the need for greater efficiency and the widespread consumer support for the environment make sustainability an unavoidable bottom line issue. Businesses that incorporate sustainable practices are afforded some priceless PR. Many businesses know this and consequently they are increasingly eager to get involved with environmental events.

The big brands participating in Earth Hour this year include IKEA, HSBC, Canon, Hilton. To get your business involved, register to join Earth Hour and download the Blueprint for Businesses and Corporations. Here are a few simple steps you can take to help reduce your business's impact on the environment:

Replace incandescent light bulbs with fluorescent ones.
Buy reusable dishware to reduce waste.
Start recycling and ask employees to participate.
Organize community service days for employees to clean a park or public space.
Subscribe to online newspapers to reduce paper waste.
Teleconference, instead of commuting to meetings.
Turn off the lights when they are not needed.

Earth Hour welcomes inquiries from businesses that would like to know more about how they can support Earth Hour. For more information email Earth Hour at contact@earthhour.org.

Earth Hour is also a good opportunity to call for comprehensive energy and climate legislation in the US. Because the US accounts for one quarter of the world's economy, American legislation is crucial to the welfare of the planet and it inhabitants. Despite President Obama's earnest support for climate and energy legislation, we have yet to see a vote in the Senate (although an early version of a climate and energy bill passed in the House last year).

Pledge your support and don't forget to turn off your lights for one hour, Earth Hour, 8.30 PM, Saturday March 27, 2010.
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Next: China Participates in Earth Hour

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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Extreme Weather

There is good evidence to indicate that we are experiencing the dramatic weather effects of climate change. This winter, global warming skeptics put their ignorance on display when they used the record setting snowfalls in Washington to mock those who accept the scientific evidence on human driven climate change.

As an homage to yesterday's World Meteorological Day, and as a rebuke to global warning deniers, here is a brief summary of some of the data on extreme weather events and trends.

Although there is a statistically significant increase in the number of severe weather events, they are also attributable to increased reporting due to an increasing and expanding population.

It is easy to point to isolated events like Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and a deadly heat wave in Europe in the summer of 2003, however to establish a trend, larger amounts of data must be factored over time.

Ferocious storms are consistent with forecasts that a heating planet will produce more frequent and more intense weather events. Thomas Knutson and Robert E. Tuleya of the NOAA stated in 2004 that warming induced by greenhouse gas may lead to increasing occurrences of highly destructive category-5 storms.

Planet wide, the weather has become remarkably unpredictable, however, it may be more accurate to refer to global weirding as opposed to global warming. Increasing temperature is likely to lead to increasing precipitation, but there will be differing effects depending on where you live.

One intrepid Fox news reporter tried to refute global warming by referencing the cold weather experienced in the Northern Hemisphere early this winter. He remarked that even India had experienced unprecedented cold that killed dozens of people.

Despite the Fox reporter's unsubstantiated theory, valid evidence of global climate change is culled from scientific investigation which include comparative studies of data sets over protracted periods of time.

Scientific evidence for global warming comes from several diverse sources. The instrumental temperature record, melting glaciers, rising sea levels, and decreased snow cover in the Northern Hemisphere all offer hard data supporting global warming. Aggregate data focused on night-time temperatures and winter warming offer some of the best evidence of the global warming trend.

It is clear that 2009 was the hottest year in recorded history in most parts of South Asia and Central Africa. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported in September that the world's ocean surface temperature was the warmest for any August on record, according to a preliminary analysis based on records dating back to 1880.

The United Nations' weather agency, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), reported that the last decade was on track to become the warmest since records began in 1850 and 2009 could rank among the top-five warmest years.

Guo Hu, the head of the Beijing Meteorological Bureau, linked extreme weather conditions to unusual atmospheric patterns caused by global warming. "In the context of global warming, extreme atmospheric flows are causing extreme climate incidents to appear more frequently.

In October 2005, The New England Journal of Medicine studied the wide-ranging health effects of extreme weather. Variations in climate, including floods, droughts, and other extreme weather events, influence the range and transmission dynamics of infectious diseases.

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have linked increasing extreme weather events to global warming.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) shares the WMO's assessment. According to IPCC (2007a:10), "[most] of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in [human greenhouse gas] concentrations".

IPCC (2007a:8) has also predicted that in the future, over most land areas, the frequency of warm spells or heat waves will increase. They also predict other changes including increasing areas of drought, increasingly intense tropical cyclone activity and increasing incidences of extreme high sea level.

The WMO has indicated that future climate changes will include further global warming and a probable increase in the frequency of some extreme weather events.

The evidence supports the contention that human activity is contributing to increasing incidences of extreme weather and this is likely to worsen. The question is, what are we going to do about it?
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Monday, March 22, 2010

The Passage of Health Care Legislation and Implications for the Environment

President Obama was elected on a platform that promised health care and renewable energy. Despite the Republicans’ best efforts to misinform, derail and delay, the President was able to deliver on the first of these two promises. On Sunday March 21, by a vote of 219 to 212, the House approved the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

This is one of the most important pieces of American legislation in more than 40 years. The legislation will give 32 million Americans access to health care while saving over $1 trillion and providing millions of jobs. Small businesses will receive tax credits to help pay for mounting insurance costs.

The legislation also reduces fraud and waste in Medicare and pre-existing conditions will no longer be grounds for insurance companies to deny coverage to millions of Americans. Despite the momentous victory for the American people, the fight over health care has ominous implications for climate change legislation. We can expect more misinformation and the same obstructionist tactics from Republicans and special interests on the environment.

Those who think they can continue to foil honest efforts to improve America without consequences are sadly and dangerously mistaken. This legislation is a clarion call for the armies of lobbyists who have far too often dictated legislation.

Although President Obama's popularity has declined, according to a new McClatchy-Ipsos poll, 80 percent of Americans think Washington is broken, the majority of which blame Republicans.

Republican resistance to climate change may have dire consequences for the environment and the American economy. Besides compromising America's competitive positioning in cleantech and renewables, Republican resistance to clean energy legislation will further polarize Americans.

Environmental degradation is already taking its toll and rising frustrations could enfranchise radical views. On March 9, an environmental group known as Friends of the Earth weighed in on the health care debate by participating in a march for health care reform in Washington, DC. Although their support for the environment is unequivocal, their anger and frustration has also led them to some extreme positions including opposition to free markets.

Special interests tried to hijack the health care debate with a well rehearsed strategy of misinformation and the same can be expected for climate change legislation. However, businesses on the wrong side of this issue risk alienating consumers, and politicians are risking their political futures.

Despite the vitriol from those opposed health care, once the dust settles, it may be the Republicans who fail to find favor with American voters. Americans may not abide the cabal of special interests and Republicans who tried to sabotage health care reform.

Republican fear mongering did not dissuade Democrats from succeeding where many before them have failed. Through inspired leadership, America has made a bold step forward.

"This is the face of Change" President Obama said late Sunday night, "We did not fear our future we shaped it."

Perhaps the passage of health care legislation will inspire Americans to support the change they voted for.
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Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Green Market Makes EvanCarmichael's List of Top 50 Social Entrepreneurship Blogs

Since its inception in 2008, The Green Market has received many accolades in the areas of sustainability and green investing. This year, EvanCarmichael named The Green Market one of the Top 50 Social Entrepreneurship Blogs To Watch in 2010.

EvanCarmichael.com is the Internet's number one resource for small business motivation and strategies. With over 450,000 monthly visitors, 4,750 contributing authors, and 83,000 pages of content, no website shares more profiles of famous entrepreneurs and inspires more small business owners than EvanCarmichael.com.

In recognizing social entrepreneurship EvanCarmichael.com indicated that these individuals and organizations, "seem to have found the best of both worlds: they are making a profit in their business while also giving back to their communities....They're the social entrepreneurs who are carving out unique niches in the business world by responding to the social, economic, and environmental problems that affect us all."

The Green Market is part of a growing movement that puts digital technologies to work for social change. Here are EvanCarmichael's top environmentally themed social entrpreneurship blogs to watch for 2010.

1. Inhabitat : This site is devoted to the future of design, tracking the innovations in technology, practices and materials that are pushing architecture and home design towards a smarter and more sustainable future.

2. Green Inc.: The ways in which society is being reshaped by the pressures of climate change, limited fossil fuel resources and the mainstreaming of “green” consciousness. This site covers topics like renewable energy policy, carbon markets and dubious eco-advertising.

3. Environmental Leader: The leading daily trade publication keeping corporate executives fully informed about energy, environmental and sustainability news.

4. Greenbang: This site tracks the explosion of developments affecting global business leaders working toward a low-carbon future. They report on winning sustainability strategies, technological breakthroughs, leading-edge thinkers and cutting-edge discoveries.

5. EcoGeek: Devoted to exploring the symbiosis between nature and technology.

6. Cleantech Blog: The premier cleantech site for commentary on news and technology relating to clean tech, greentech, energy, climate change and carbon, and the environment.

7. Ecopreneurist: News and advice on sustainable and social entrepreneurship. Learn about new green products and services, and get marketing and branding assistance for your green start-up business.

8. EcoStreet: This site focuses on going green. A less complicated and more accessible approach to going green.

9. Green VC: Dedicated to supporting green and social entrepreneurs as well as those working in established organizations who are interested in environmental and social responsibility.

10. Sustainable Business Design: N. E. Landrum teaches, researches, publishes, and consults on topics related to strategic management, corporate social responsibility, and sustainable business.

11. World is Green: This site concentrates on business strategy and sustainability as well as the harmonious functioning of the three components of the triple bottom line.

12. Echoing Green: Documents news, trends, and the true life of social entrepreneurs. The sites goal is to seed social entrepreneurs and their innovative ideas for positive change.

13. The Green Market: Richard Matthews is a consultant, eco-entrepreneur, sustainable investor and writer. He is the author of numerous articles on sustainable positioning, green investing, environmental politics and eco-economics. This blog covers the convergence of sustainable capitalism and the global environment.

14. Green Marketing 2.0: This site provides technics for using Internet technology and online marketing for social change. It covers search engine marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), pay per click advertising (PPC), social media, online branding, and more.

15. Ecology and Economics: This site is intended to refine economists’ and ecologists' views, agreements, and disagreements on current environmental and natural resource issues. Its authors hope that ecological economics will gain traction in social and political discussion and policy making.

16. Eco-Office Gals: Ways of building businesses green and paperless. Includes information about sites and products that its authors find safe and useful for our environment.

17. OppGreen Insights: This site supports the movement to transform business for good, through advancing change and market transformation by providing open-minded professionals unprecedented approaches to sustainability that are bankable and exciting.

18. BusinessGreen Blog: A business website that offers companies the latest news and best-practice advice on how to become more environmentally responsible, while still growing the bottom line.

19. Future of Business: Commentary and information about green business: articles, discussions, news, interviews, and even green jobs.

20. Global Voices Online: A community of more than 200 bloggers around the world who work together to bring you translations and reports from blogs and citizen media everywhere, with emphasis on voices that are not ordinarily heard in international mainstream media.

21. GreenBiz: The leading source for news, opinion, best practices, and other resources on the greening of mainstream business. Its mission is to provide learning opportunities to help companies of all sizes and sectors integrate environmental responsibility into their operations in a manner that supports profitable business practices.

22. TreeHugger: The leading eco-lifestyle website dedicated to driving sustainability mainstream. The latest in green news, opinions, interviews, and trends. With more than 60 contributors from around the globe, they deliver the cutting-edge scoop on green architecture, design, gadgets, technology, fashion, health, politics, science, and more to more than 2 million visitors each month.

23. CSRwire: The leading source of corporate social responsibility and sustainability news, reports, events and information. Members are interested in communicating their corporate citizenship, sustainability, and socially responsible initiatives to a global audience.
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Thursday, March 18, 2010

A Green Jobs Bill Will Have to Wait

Health care may be dominating headlines in the US, but yesterday the Democrats passed their first major piece of legislation this year. On 17 March 2010, the Senate passed a jobs bill known as the Hire Act, today President Obama signed it into law.

HIRE stands for Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment Act. The Senate first passed the legislation in February, but minor changes by the House forced a second vote.

Small businesses in particular will benefit from the Hire Act. The $17.6 billion bill includes tax incentives to encourage the private sector to start hiring again. The bill could generate up to 300,000 jobs through the end of the year. The legislation also extends a tax break for small businesses buying new equipment.

The HIRE Act extends the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users. The transportation infrastructure items in the bill focus on bus programs. More specifically the Hire Act would extend funding for metropolitan and statewide planning including a Clean Fuels Grant Program and Alternatives Analysis.

Although the bill expands the Build America Bonds direct payment option to include clean renewable energy bonds and qualified energy conservation bonds, a green jobs focused bill will have to wait.

This is only a small first step on the broad effort to rebuild the economy. As the President said in a ceremony at the White House Rose Garden, the bill is necessary "but by no means enough."
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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Consumers Continue to Embrace the Burgeoning Green Market

The market for environmentally-friendly products has never been better and the demand has never been stronger. According to Mintel International,“the green marketplace is one of the fastest growing, most dynamic sectors of the US economy."

The market is huge and getting bigger. In 2007 there were already 36 million Americans spending more than a quarter trillion dollars per year on green products and services. The Chicago Tribune reported that 36 million consumers, or 12 percent of the US population, "happily" embraced the green market in 2007. That same year, the green market was estimated at 230 billion,

The number of Americans who say they “almost always” or “regularly” buy green tripled from 12% in 2007 to 36% in 2008.

Prior to the recession, a survey conducted by Cohn & Wolfe, Landor Associates, and Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates, anticipated that consumers would spend an estimated $500 billion in 2008.

When the recession began in 2008, many predicted that green spending would slow, however, according to recent Mintel consumer data and contrary to the expectations of many, consumer interest in green was not diminished by the recession.

Last March, at the height of the recession, four out of five people said they were still buying green products and services, according to a study commissioned by Green Seal and EnviroMedia Social Marketing. A 2009 Cone Consumer Environmental Survey indicated that 44 percent of Americans have not changed their environmental buying habits as a result of the economy.

In the next ten years sustainable consumer spending could exceed $1 trillion dollars per year. Greentech industries are poised to grow exponentially (Chinese greentech alone is expected to be between $500 billion and $1 trillion annually in the next couple of years).

According to the results of the 2009 Cone Consumer Environmental Survey, roughly 34 percent of American consumers indicated they are more likely to buy environmentally responsible products.

DoubleClick Performics' research indicates that, “When choosing between two similar products, 83 percent of consumers are extremely or very likely to choose the environmentally friendly option. The vast majority of Americans who make online purchases say it is important to them that an online company is environmentally-conscious, including 60 percent who say it is extremely or very important.”

Ethical products are not only doing well, they are outperforming conventional products. Packaged Fact states that, between 2003 and 2008, the ethical products business experienced double-digit annual growth compared with low-single-digit growth in conventional products.

Despite a global recession, the sustainable business movement did not retreat and in the coming years it is destined to grow as it tries to keep pace with the explosive demand for greener products and services.
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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Business Community's Silence on United Nations Climate Change Negotiations

The business community must assume some of the responsibility for the lack of results at the UN climate talks last year in Copenhagen (COP15). However, the failure to produce a binding agreement at COP15 has not derailed UN efforts to secure a global agreement on climate change.

UN sponsored climate change talks will resume in Bonn on May 31, 2010. These talks are a precursor to a second round of UN Climate Talks convening on November 8, which culminate in COP16, scheduled to take place between November 29 and December 10 in Cancun, Mexico.

COP16 will be the sixteenth Conference of the Parties (COP) under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). However, there are several issues thwarting progress on a global climate change agreement.

Yvo de Boer, whose resignation as the executive secretary of the UNFCCC, takes effect on July 1 of this year, said, "It is incredibly important for my successor to tackle trust building and be sensitive when creating the implementation architecture to the needs and concerns of developing countries," said de Boer. "However, to mainly get the developing countries on board, the developed world needs to push through short-term financing to provide more confidence for countries such as India and China and that they are not shifting economic imbalances to them," De Boer said.

Even though a legally binding agreement may have to wait until COP17 in South Africa, De Boer expects to see crucial progress at COP16 this year. "The idea for the meeting in Cancun is to reach what I expected for Copenhagen," said De Boer. "The meeting will create an international architecture in adaptation, mitigation, technology and finance that will create in the medium and long term a broader framework for sustainable development," he said. A formal treaty would follow.

One of the most troubling issues concerns the conspicuous absence of the business community. "Business is not involved enough and there is insufficient public/private dialogue. What I want to see is the private sector entering a dialogue with the public sector to draft a policy, rather than just follow a policy the public sector decides on alone," said De Boer, adding it was the private sector that will ultimately deliver the deep cuts in carbon emissions that are required.

The business community's silence is not only detrimental to the planet, it effectively excludes critical expertise vital to crafting climate change solutions. Avoiding the issue is not a viable option. It is time for the business community to step out of the shadows and participate in the construction of a new greener economy.
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Sunday, March 14, 2010

EC Climate Change Action Strategy

On March 9, 2010, the European Commission (EC) released a strategy to address climate change. The strategy was revealed in a Commission Communication titled “International climate change policy post-Copenhagen: Acting now to reinvigorate global action on climate change.”

The strategy supports the swift implementation of the Copenhagen Accord, particularly the fast-start funding. According to the Communication, the EU should continue to advocate for a robust and legally binding global agreement that involves all countries, integrating the Copenhagen Accord into the UN negotiations.

The Commission notes that the Kyoto Protocol will remain the central building block of the UN process but recommends addressing its many weaknesses.
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Saturday, March 13, 2010

Calendar of Global Environmental Events - Fall 2010

September

World Carfree Day - (September 22): People from around the world get together in the streets, intersections, and neighborhood blocks to remind the world that we don't have to accept our car-dominated society. The day is a showcase for just how our cities might look like, feel like, and sound like without cars, 365 days a year. The day also encourages city planners and politicians to give priority to cycling, walking and public transport, instead of to the automobile. Many events take place all around the world.

October

World Animal Day - (October 4): This day is a celebration of animal life in all its forms and humankind’s relationship with the animal kingdom. Originally focused on endangered species, the day now seeks to acknowledge the diverse roles that animals play in our lives.

World Habitat Day - (October 4): This day offers an opportunity to reflect on the state of our towns and cities and the basic right of all to adequate shelter. It is also intended to remind the world of its collective responsibility for the future of the human habitat. In both developed and developing countries, cities and towns are increasingly feeling the effects of climate change, resource depletion, food insecurity, population growth and economic instability. This is why urban planning needs to be given a fresh focus starting on World Habitat Day. We know the problems, but we need to share the best solutions as efficiently and widely as possible by planning better and more sensitively for ourselves and our environment.

10/10/10 Global Work Party - (October 10): The 350.org event, 10/10/10: The Global Work Party for Climate Justice, takes place on October 10, 2010. On this day thousands of environmentally oriented events will take place around the world. Organizers are calling it "A Day to Celebrate Climate Solutions--working together in our communities on projects that can cut carbon and build a clean energy future."

World Food Day - (October 16): This day reminds the world that there is a crisis is stalking the small-scale farms and rural areas of the world, where 70 percent of the world's hungry live and work. With an estimated increase of 105 million hungry people in 2009, there are now 1.02 billion malnourished people in the world, meaning that almost one sixth of all humanity is suffering from hunger. The day is meant to raise awareness about the need for public and private investments.


November

International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict - (Novemeber 6). This day is meant to draw attention to the damage to the environment in times of armed conflict. The damage impairs ecosystems and natural resources long after the period of conflict, often extending beyond the limits of national territories and the present generation. The day also recalls the United Nations Millennium Declaration, which emphasized the necessity of working to protect our common environment.

World Fisheries Day - (November 21): World Fisheries day is celebrated every year on November 21 throughout the world by the fisherfolk communities. Fishing communities worldwide celebrate this day through a variety of events meant to highlight the importance of maintaining the world's fisheries. The World Fisheries Day helps in highlighting the critical importance to human lives, of water and the lives it sustains, both in and out of water. This day seeks to address dwindling fish stock by finding solutions to the increasingly inter-connected problems we are facing, and in the longer term, to sustainable means of maintaining fish stocks. World Fisheries Day celebrations serve as an important reminder that we must focus on changing the way the world manages global fisheries to ensure sustainable stocks and healthy oceans ecosystems.

December

Global Day of Action - (December 4): The day is timed to coincide with the United Nations Talks on climate change(COP16/MOP6) in Cancun, Mexico. The Global Day of Action on climate 2009 was a huge success with marches, demonstrations and protests taking place around the world. The purpose of this day is meant to demand action to address the threats we face from the catastrophic destabilization of global climate. In 2010 these synchronised demonstrations will take place around the world to call on world leaders to take urgent action on climate change.

International Mountain Day - (December 11): This day is an opportunity to foster awareness about the importance of mountains to life, to highlight the opportunities and constraints in mountain development and to build partnerships that will bring positive change to the world's mountains and highlands. and more sensitively for ourselves and our environment.
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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Calendar of Global Environmental Events Summer 2010

July

International Day of Cooperatives - (July 3): This day recognizes the indispensable role cooperatives play in economic and social development. The aim of the day is to highlight the complementarity of the goals and objectives of the United Nations and the international co-operative movement. The International Day also aims to strengthen and extend partnerships between the international cooperative movement and other actors, including governments at local, national and international levels. This year World Population Day highlights the importance of data for development. The focus is on the 2010 round of the population and housing census, data analysis for development and UNFPA’s lead role in population and development.

World Population Day - (July 11th): This event draws attention to the earth's rapidly growing population. The day seeks to raise awareness that can save lives and empower societies to achieve a better future. The theme for 2010 is "fight poverty educate girls."

August

International Day for World Indigenous People - (August 9): This day seeks to recognize the history and culture of the millions of indigenous people all around the world as well as raise awareness about indiginous people's knowledge and collective rights. Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.

September

International Ozone Day - (September 16): This is a day dedicated to the preservation of the ozone layer. States are invited to promote, at the national level, activities in accordance with the objectives of the Montreal Protocol and its amendments. There are many different ways to celebrate "Ozone Day" in countries, organizations and schools around the world.

World Water Monitoring Day - (September 18): A day that includes an international education and outreach program to build public awareness and involvement in protecting water resources around the world. The emphasis is on engaging citizens to conduct basic monitoring of their local water bodies. The day includes water monitoring events.
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Next: Calendar of Global Environmental Events - Fall 2010

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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Calendar of Global Environmental Events Spring 2010

Efforts to raise environmental awareness take place throughout the year. The United Nations declared 2010 to be the International Year of Biodiversity. It is a celebration of life on earth and of the value of biodiversity. This year the world is invited to participate in dozens of global events intended to help protect life on earth. The following is a summary of the major environmental events for Spring 2010.

March

World Water Day (March 22): The overall goal of this campaign is to raise the profile of water quality at the political level so that water quality considerations are made alongside those of water quantity. Human and environmental health, drinking and agricultural water supplies for the present and future are at stake. UN-Water has chosen Clean Water for a Healthy World as theme for World Water Day 2010.

World Meteorological Day (March 23): This day is meant to draw attention to what can be done to provide information that allows people to take advantage of the weather and minimize its harmful effects. This year, the theme is “60 years of service for your safety and well-being”.

Climate Care Day - (March 26): This day is an initiative to encourage global businesses to replace all corporate travel with remote meetings for the day. This is intended to demonstrate how simple choices can make a significant difference to the environment. It recognises the importance of the planet to both the business community and our personal wellbeing. A global sustainability movement that supports both responsible and profitable business operations.

Earth Hour - (March 27): This event offers an opportunity to participate in a global demonstration of support for the environment by turning off your lights between 8:30 and 9:30 PM. A call to stand up, to show leadership and be responsible for our future. Earth Hour 2010 will continue to be a global call to action to every individual, every business and every community.

April

World Heritage Day - (April 18): Also known as the International Day for Monuments and Sites this day offers an opportunity to raise public awareness concerning the diversity of the world’s heritage and the efforts that are required to protect and conserve it, as well as to draw attention to its vulnerability. The theme for 2010 is agricultural heritage.

Earth Day - (April 22): The mission of this event is to broaden and diversify the environmental movement worldwide, and to promote a healthy, sustainable environment. Their mission is achieved through a combination of education, public policy, and consumer activism campaigns. This years campaigns include: Help create A Billion Acts of Green, Environmental Education Now, Key Earth Day Event in Morocco, and Help strengthen Global Warming bill.

May

International Day for Biological Diversity (IBD) - (May 22): This day seeks to promote the understanding and awareness of biodiversity issues. The theme for 2010 is Biodiversity, Development and Poverty Alleviation.

Bonn Climate Change Talks - (May 31) – Start of the first round of UN sponsored climate change talks for 2010. This round of talks will be held between May 31 and June 11, as a precursor to the COP16 conference to be held in Mexico in December 2010.

June

World Environment Day - (June 5): This daylong event aims to be the biggest global celebration for positive environmental action. This year’s theme is ‘Many Species. One Planet. One Future.’ – a message focusing on the central importance to humanity of the globe’s wealth of species and ecosystems.

World Ocean Day - (June 8): This day is an opportunity to celebrate our world ocean and our personal connection to the sea. Events and activities take place at aquariums, zoos, museums, conservation organizations, universities, schools, and businesses.

Global Wind Day - (June 15): This day celebrates the enormous benefits of wind power and spread a positive message about wind power. The day incorparates a wide array of activities including wind farm open days, conferences, exhibitions, workshops, regattas, sporting contests and theatre shows.

World Day to Combat Desertification - (June 17): The aim of this event is to sensitize the public to the fact that desertification, land degradation and drought dramatically affect the biodiversity resident in the soil and soil health depends on land use. This year the theme is "Enhancing soils anywhere enhances life everywhere"
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Next: Calendar of World Environmental Events - Summer 2010 / Calendar of Global Environmental Events - Fall 2010

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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The 2010 World Energy Technologies Summit

On Thursday March 18, the 2010 World Energy Technology Summit will convene in New York city. The summit will explore technologies that can help save the planet and shape the future. Some of the world's brightest minds and innovators in energy-tech will lead a daylong summit on game-changing green technologies. Core subjects will include power, food, heat and light.

TIME Magazine and the World Technology Network are partners in this daylong gathering of influential energy technology experts and stakeholders. The Summit will bring together leading experts – technologists, scientists, business leaders, policy makers, entrepreneurs, investors, government and NGO representatives, and more – each working in or deeply tied to the fields of energy, alternative energy and environmental technologies.

Throughout a day of discussions, panels and demonstrations, the Summit will explore the role and influence of emerging energy technologies on climate change, business, infrastructure and the environment. Speakers include Peter Goldmark, Program Director, Climate and Air, Environmental Defense Fund, and Mindy S. Lubber, President of CERES.

Guided by the theme, REALITY CHECK: Technologies Putting us on the Path to Sustainability, programming will explore long and short term technologies and strategies that can re-shape our lives, our businesses, our policies, our planet and our future.
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