US scientists find black carbon's role in global warming is higher than previously estimated.
Black carbon, or soot, originates from diesel exhaust, cooking with solid fuels, the burning of biomass such as coal, wood or dung, all of which are prevalent in India and China, the world's most populous nations. Unlike CO2, which stays in the atmosphere for up to a century, black carbon is retained for only a few weeks. Thus, rapidly reducing its levels can have an immediate effect on slowing climate change. Vietnam Solar Serve, at www.vietnamsolarserve.org and Solar Cookers International, at www.solarcookers.org, are two NGOs that are working to improve this situation by providing Aulacese (Vietnamese) and African people with solar cookers and training.
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080323210225.htm, http://www.smh.com.au/news/environment/reducing-soot-could-help-slow-climate-change/2008/03/24/1206207010432.html, http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5jObvKCK9ZDHzMqfZ9wnE73NBwq5g, http://www.solarcookers.org/, http://www.vietnamsolarserve.org/
British small wind turbine market is about to expand.
The United Kingdom's Parliament has indicated that it will be lifting restrictions for small wind turbine installation in urban areas. As early as June, homeowners in the UK could begin using wind power to generate electricity for themselves and their neighbors. David Gordon, CEO of Wind Save, which is one company selling the small turbines, says that more than 22,000 people have expressed interest in purchasing the product once it is approved.
Japan will lower waste volume to protect the environment.
On Tuesday, the Japanese government approved a plan to reduce overall garbage waste to 60% of year 2000 levels by the year 2015, as part of the country's campaign to mitigate global warming. As part of this initiative, the government is encouraging the public to stop using disposables, lower household waste by 20% and use public transportation. Companies will also be encouraged to create more energy-saving products.
China increases national green funds by 78%.
The central government of China plans to allocate US$5.89 billion for improving the nation's energy efficiency and reducing energy consumption. In doing so, China is attempting to meet her self-imposed environmental goals for 2010, of reducing energy consumption by 20% from the year 2006 for every 10,000 Yuan in Gross Domestic Product (GDP).