Legislative & Regulatory Update

Farms as sites for renewable energy

Climate Change News - ENN - November 21, 2014 - 7:00am
UK farms could be a major player in a shift towards a resilient, low-carbon energy system, according to a landmark report launched today by the Farm Power coalition. The coalition, which is made up of a growing number of farming bodies, businesses and NGOs, are now calling on policymakers and other key stakeholders, including supermarkets, to support the renewable energy vision.The research carried out by sustainability non-profit Forum for the Future, which leads the coalition, and Nottingham Trent University, found there was at least 10GW of untapped resource across UK farms – equivalent to more than three times the installed capacity of the proposed new nuclear power plant at Hinkley Point C.

Not so fast: Planting trees might cause warming?

Climate Change News - ENN - November 20, 2014 - 3:29pm
Afforestation (planting trees) to mitigate climate change could cause warming rather than cooling globally due to non-carbon effects of land use change, according to new research from the University of Bristol.Global land use change and its interaction with the climate system is recognised as an important component of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)’s future climate scenarios.

Abrupt rise in greenhouse gases at end of last ice age may be because of permafrost

Climate Change News - ENN - November 20, 2014 - 12:30pm
One of the most abrupt rises in the carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere at the end of the last ice age took place about 14,600 years ago. Ice core data show that the CO2 concentration at that time increased by more than 10 ppm (parts per million, unit of measure for the composition of gases) within 200 years. This CO2 increase, i.e. approx. 0.05 ppm per year, was significantly less than the current rise in atmospheric CO2 of 2-3 ppm in the last decade caused by fossil fuels. 

UK unveils first waste-fueled bus

The UK's first ever bus powered on human and food waste has taken to the road today which engineers believe could provide a sustainable way of fuelling public transport - cutting emissions in polluted towns and cities. The 40-seater Bio-Bus, which runs on gas generated through the treatment of sewage and food waste that's unfit for human consumption, helps to improve urban air quality as it produces fewer emissions than traditional diesel engines. Running on waste products that are both renewable and sustainable, the bus can travel up to 300km on a full tank of gas.

ACC Applauds House Passage of Bill to Improve Permitting Process for U.S. Factories

Environmental Regulations - November 20, 2014 - 7:22am
We commend House members for approving legislation that will improve the regulatory permitting process for factories and expedite investment and hiring in the U.S.

Children's rights and child labor in hazardous jobs around the world

Regulatory news - ENN - November 20, 2014 - 5:15am
Nearly half of the countries that ratified the U.N. agreement still allow children to work in jobs that endanger their health and safety.Twenty-five years ago this month, the countries that compose the United Nations reached a landmark agreement that laid the foundation for much-needed strengthening of children’s rights and protections in nearly every country around the world.Today, the Convention on the Rights of the Child remains the only formal global effort to improve children’s rights and the most widely ratified human rights treaty in history. Only three U.N. member nations have not ratified the treaty: Somalia, South Sudan and the United States. 

EU Court Rules Against UK For Failure to Tackle Air Pollution

Regulatory news - ENN - November 19, 2014 - 11:57am
A landmark judgment by the European Court of Justice compels the UK Government to act as soon as possible to reduce air pollution in British cities, writes Keith Taylor - and a good thing too for our health, safety and wellbeing. But it's not just the UK that benefits: every EU country must also comply with the ruling.

EU Court Rules Against UK For Failure to Tackle Air Pollution

Climate Change News - ENN - November 19, 2014 - 11:57am
A landmark judgment by the European Court of Justice compels the UK Government to act as soon as possible to reduce air pollution in British cities, writes Keith Taylor - and a good thing too for our health, safety and wellbeing. But it's not just the UK that benefits: every EU country must also comply with the ruling.

Climate history of western US is more complex than previously thought

Climate Change News - ENN - November 19, 2014 - 10:54am
The climate 150 million years ago of a large swath of the western United States was more complex than previously known, according to new research from Southern Methodist University, Dallas. It’s been held that the climate during the Jurassic was fairly dry in New Mexico, then gradually transitioned to a wetter climate northward to Montana. But based on new evidence, the theory of a gradual transition from a dry climate to a wetter one during the Jurassic doesn’t tell the whole story, says SMU paleontologist Timothy S. Myers, lead author on the study.

Researchers use social media to track air pollution

University of Wisconsin-Madison computer science researchers have developed a method for using social media posts to estimate air pollution levels with significant accuracy.

Researchers use social media to track air pollution

Climate Change News - ENN - November 18, 2014 - 11:13am
University of Wisconsin-Madison computer science researchers have developed a method for using social media posts to estimate air pollution levels with significant accuracy.

A 600,000 year long continental archive revealed in Near East study

Climate Change News - ENN - November 18, 2014 - 10:25am
If you want to see into the future, you have to understand the past. An international consortium of researchers under the auspices of the University of Bonn has drilled deposits on the bed of Lake Van (Eastern Turkey) which provide unique insights into the last 600,000 years. The samples reveal that the climate has done its fair share of mischief-making in the past. Furthermore, there have been numerous earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. The results of the drilling project also provide a basis for assessing the risk of how dangerous natural hazards are for today's population. In a special edition of the highly regarded publication Quaternary Science Reviews, the scientists have now published their findings in a number of journal articles. In the sediments of Lake Van, the lighter-colored, lime-containing summer layers are clearly distinguishable from the darker, clay-rich winter layers — also called varves. In 2010, from a floating platform an international consortium of researchers drilled a 220 m deep sediment profile from the lake floor at a water depth of 360 m and analyzed the varves. The samples they recovered are a unique scientific treasure because the climate conditions, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions of the past 600,000 years can be read in outstanding quality from the cores. 

ACC Supports Legislation to Improve Transparency of Science Behind EPA Regulations

Chemical Safety - November 18, 2014 - 10:25am
ACC issued the following statement reiterating its support for H.R. 4012, the "Secret Science Reform Act of 2014."

ACC Supports Legislation to Improve Transparency of Science Behind EPA Regulations

Energy - November 18, 2014 - 10:25am
ACC issued the following statement reiterating its support for H.R. 4012, the "Secret Science Reform Act of 2014."

ACC Supports Legislation to Improve Transparency of Science Behind EPA Regulations

Environmental Regulations - November 18, 2014 - 10:25am
ACC issued the following statement reiterating its support for H.R. 4012, the "Secret Science Reform Act of 2014."

Study Tracks Southern Beaufort Sea Polar Bear Population Decline

Climate Change News - ENN - November 17, 2014 - 12:30pm
In a new polar bear study published today, scientists from the United States and Canada found that during the first decade of the 21st century, the number of polar bears in the southern Beaufort Sea experienced a sharp decline of approximately 40 percent. The scientists, led by researchers at the U.S. Geological Survey, found that survival of adult bears and cubs was especially low from 2004 to 2006, when most of the decline occurred. 

Obama Announces $3 Billion Pledge to U.N. Climate Fund

Climate Change News - ENN - November 17, 2014 - 8:00am
Right on the heels of his historic climate agreement with China, President Barack Obama announced a pledge of $3 billion to the United Nations’ thus far underfunded Green Climate Fund. The fund was formally established in 2010 at the U.N. Climate Change conference in Cancun. The purpose of the fund was to redistribute resources between the developed world and the developing world in order to assist developing countries in their effort to adapt to and mitigate the impacts of climate change.

Electric vehicles WILL go mass market. Here's why.

Climate Change News - ENN - November 16, 2014 - 8:09am
Over the last 100 years there have been a number of attempts from electric vehicle enthusiasts to push them into the mass market. Unfortunately the vast majority of these attempts have failed for a variety of reasons, often out of the control of the market itself, but today we stand in a very different place and electric vehicles will eventually go mass-market. We hereby list five reasons why electric vehicles are here to stay in the longer term: –TechnologyThere have been enormous leaps in electric vehicle technology over the last 10 years which not only offer greater efficiency but also give the driving public greater confidence. This technology continues to advance at breathtaking speed not only in the area of electric vehicles themselves but also battery technology. In many ways the development of new technologies is putting gasoline vehicles in the shadows and grabbing the headlines.

European Space Agency's Rosetta Makes Historic First Landing on a Comet

On Wednesday, Nov. 12, the European Space Agency's Rosetta mission successfully landed on the surface of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Descending at a speed of about 2 mph (3.2 kilometers per hour) the lander, called "Philae," first touched down and its signal was received at 8:03 a.m. PST (11:03 a.m. EST). Partially due to anchoring harpoons not firing, and the comet's low gravity (a hundred-thousand times less than that of Earth), Philae bounced off the surface and flew up to about six-tenths of a mile (1 kilometer) both above the comet's surface as well as downrange. At 9:53 a.m. PST (12:53 p.m. EST), almost two hours after first contact, Philae again touched down. A second, more modest bounce resulted, again sending it airborne. Philae's third contact with the comet's nucleus was the charm. At 10 a.m. PST (1 p.m. EST), the Rosetta mission's Philae lander became the first spacecraft to soft-land on a comet.

Want to Help Fight Wildlife Crimes? There's an App for that!

Regulatory news - ENN - November 13, 2014 - 3:43pm
We know wildlife trafficking has become a huge problem for wild animals and imperiled species, but making it illegal is only part of the solution. Without the ability to identify wildlife products moving through ports, authorities have less power to stop the trade. The good news, according to a recent report published in the journal Biological Conservation, is that conservationists are successfully developing mobile apps to help authorities working around the world with the identification of wildlife that they believe are helping crack down on the problem.

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