Sustainability Reads: November 2- November 8

Good news came this week for us environmentalists as President Obama rejected TransCanada’s permit request to build the Keystone Pipeline, which has been debated for over seven years. Now focus can be on upcoming international negotiations…

What the World Thinks About Climate Change in 7 Charts
Here is summary of public opinion surveys from Pew Research Center:

  • Majorities in all 40 nations polled say climate change is a serious problem, and a global median of 54% believe it is a very serious problem.
  • People in countries with high per-capita levels of carbon emissions are less intensely concerned about climate change.
  • A global median of 51% say climate change is already harming people around the world, while another 28% believe it will do so in the next few years.
  • Drought tops the list of climate change concerns.
  • Most people in the countries we surveyed say rich nations should do more than developing nations to address climate change.
  • To deal with climate change, most think changes in both policy and lifestyle will be necessary.
  • Americans’ views about climate issues divide sharply along partisan lines.

The Claims Are Rosy, But Brazil’s Rain Forest Is Still Disappearing
Despite the claims that illegal deforestation is being reduced in Brazil, 2,000 square-miles are lost each year in Brazil’s Amazon. Brazilian scientists and biologists are saying that the statistics the Brazilian government is providing the international community are misleading; although the rate of deforestation reported is slowing, the amount of forest is also decreasing, so that there is less forest to cut down. Environmental police in the Brazilian state of Rondonia just had their only helicopter taken away in budget cuts, while people on the ground tell NPR’s journalists that deforestation is “out of control” and that the outside world doesn’t know the extent to which deforestation is really occurring in the Amazon. Seven-minute story by Lourdes Garcia-Navarro at NPR.

Raising Energy Efficiency Standards to the Global Best
A new report presents the benefits of energy efficiency across regions, sectors, and various energy consuming products. It reinforces that energy efficiency is key element of staying below a 2 degree Celsius warming. The report discuss the barriers to energy efficiency in buildings, transport, and energy-intensive industries and how to overcome them. Energy efficiency standards are a key strategy to achieve the benefits and international convergence is the gold standard. See the whole report for some interesting statistics and to be convinced that energy efficiency needs more attention (and action). Study by the New Climate Economy – The Global Commission on the Economy and Climate.

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