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France’s Macron announces 12 non-binding commitments towards a decarbonized economy

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Thursday, December 14th, 2017

 

At the end of a climate summit organized by France two years after the Paris accord was signed, French President Emmanuel Macron announced 12 non-binding commitments, from a $300 million pledge to fight desertification to accelerating the transition towards a decarbonized economy.

“Today, we have begun to recapture the ground a bit in this battlefield, because concrete decisions were taken, because we were rightly pushed to take these commitments,” said Macron.

Public and private financial institutions pledged to channel more funds to spur the transition to a green economy and investors said they would pressure corporate giants to shift towards more ecologically friendly strategies. Macron said companies who were not “in the club” must be “named and shamed.

Among the commitments, more than 200 institutional investors with $26 trillion in assets under management said on Tuesday they would step up pressure on the world’s biggest corporate greenhouse gas emitters to combat climate change.

“This is not a choice between our planet and prosperity. We choose both. Actually, we can ensure that we are protecting the planet, by investing in the technology of the future,” said UK Prime Minister Theresa May.

“Let’s be aware and take concrete actions. We all have our own way of stopping climate change, but only if we unite our actions, there will be a better place for all, for the polar bears and for us. Let’s make the planet great again. Thank you,” said Eva, an American girl living in Paris.

Meanwhile, the World Bank announced that it would no longer finance upstream oil and gas projects after 2019, apart from certain gas projects in the poorest countries in exceptional circumstances, drawing praise from environmental groups.

“To ensure that we are aligned with our support to their countries to meet their Paris goals, today we are announcing that the World Bank group will no longer finance upstream oil and gas after 2019,” said World Bank President Jim Yong Kim.

However, the summit leaves no headline promise that will likely reassure poor nations on the sharp end of climate change that they will be better able to cope. — Reuters

 

 

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Mini defibrillator batteries and super strength glue win at European Inventor Awards

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Friday, June 8th, 2018

Shot of Dhulchaointigh playing with Mouldable glue and shot of hands working with battery for implantable defibrillators. Photo from Reuters video

 

Batteries that can last for five years inside the body and glue that resembles play-dough but can hold up to 400 times its own weight were among the winners at the European Inventor Awards that took place in France on Thursday (June 7).

The competition, organized by the European Patent Office, celebrates recent inventions that have made a marked impact on both the public’s needs and the scientific research community.

American inventor Esther Sans Takeuchi came up with batteries that can be placed in implantable defibrillators for up to five years, preventing the need for major surgery on the patient every year, as was needed with previous weaker batteries.

Using a special mixture of the metals lithium and silver vanadium, the batteries ensure that the heart keeps beating regularly in cardiac patients.

Another winner, Jane ni Dhulchaointigh, came across her winning product by accident when she left sawdust and silicone mixed together on a work desk. The resulting combination was a mouldable substance that could stick things together and then harden into a flexible rubber that can bear weights of up to two kilograms (4.4 pounds).

Medical innovations proved popular with an improved magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) system, that can take 100 frames per second, bagging first place in the research category.

The winners, who go home with a trophy, do not receive monetary awards.

Patent examiners, as well as members of the public, weigh in on selected nominees in the annual European Inventor Awards. — Reuters

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Bigger wildfires seen to hit California due to climate change

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Wednesday, April 25th, 2018

 

With Thomas wildfire flames burning behind it, a Christmas Tree stands as a lone sentinel in the front yard of an evacuated home in this social media photo by Santa Barbara County Fire Department in Carpinteria, California, U.S. on December 11, 2017. Courtesy Mike Eliason/Santa Barbara County Fire Department/Handout via REUTERS

The Center for Climate Science at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) has warned of larger and more destructive wildfires to hit the state in the coming years due to climate change.

A bio-science journal in February revealed that the continuing increase of tree mortality rates in California could cause mass fires on the same scale as the “Ventura Fire” in 2017 which is considered as the largest wildfire ever recorded in the state’s history so far.

According to environmental group, Sierra Club, record shows that since 2014, a total of 129 million trees have died across 8.9 million acres of what used to be lush, green forest.

Environmentalists blame the phenomenon on effects of climate change; unusual high temperatures; years of severe drought and overgrowth of plants due to fire suppression in previous wildfires.

Though the state government is now working on removing the dead trees from forest lands to prevent more wild fires, authorities remind residents to be vigilant and to help with the removal of dead trees in their areas.

However, some residents are complaining against the high cost of these efforts which could reach USD1,000 in professional fees.  — UNTV News & Rescue

 

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PH switches off for Earth Hour 2018

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Monday, March 26th, 2018

LIGHTS OFF. Philippines take part in Earth Hour 2018 held at the Cultural Center of the Philippines.

MANILA, Philippines — For 11 consecutive years, the Philippines has once again participated in the symbolic Earth Hour.

It is an annual event that encourages millions of people across the globe to turn off their electric lights for one hour  to lessen the carbon dioxide emission which is said to be the cause of climate change.

In a message, President Rodrigo Duterte encouraged the public and business owners to participate in the one-hour lights-off event at exactly 8:30 Saturday evening.

“Let this event foster cooperation among communities so we may all realize our noble duty as stewards and protectors of the earth. As we switch off our lights, I encourage everyone to reflect on the brighter outcome that this simple gesture will bring to our future generations,” said the president.

The main venue of Earth Hour this year was at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CPP).  At exactly 8:30 p.m. All the lights in the building were turned off followed by a small program.

This year, the Boy Scouts of the Philippines (BSP) participated in the event to encourage the youth to care for the environment.

Different activities and games were conducted for them during the Earth Hour.

“We would like to ask the youth to be more involved. Maganda na rin iyong alam nila kung ano ang ginagawa natin, kung bakit, para makinabang na rin sila at para hindi nila ulitin iyong pagkakamali na nagawa na natin noong nakaraan,” said Filipina equestrienne and World Wildlife Fund (WWF) ambassador Mikee Cojuangco-Jaworksi.

(We would like to ask the youth to be more involved. It is good for them to know what we are doing and why, so that they can benefit from it and not repeat the same mistakes we did in the past.)

According to WWF Philippines, during the Earth Hour last 2012, the country was able to save 362-megawatt hours of energy load.

This is the highest that the Philippines has saved in its 11 years of participating in the activity. — Asher Cadapan Jr. | UNTV News & Rescue

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