China to take lead on Climate Change

The mighty China will unveil measures at a high-powered summit in New York today that could help to unlock global talks on climate change, according to the UN climate chief.

The executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, predicted that China would become a world leader in fighting global warming.

President Hu Jintao of China and President Obama are due to address a gathering of more than a hundred world leaders at UN headquarters in New York today in an effort to agree on cuts in global emissions at a crucial Copenhagen conference in December.

Mr de Boer said that Chinese officials promised to unveil an “impressive suite of actions [that] will take China into a leadership position”.

Rare Bat found in Britain


One of Europe’s rarest bats has been found at a site in Wales further west than ever before recorded.

The Bechstein’s bat is an elusive creature that likes to hide in the undergrowth of ancient woodland.

It lives in a number of countries in western, central and southern Europe, but is rare throughout its range.

Now a researcher from the University of Bristol has identified a solitary male specimen in Pembrokeshire, 100km west of earlier recorded sites.

University of Bristol researcher Matt Zeale found the bat while pursuing another species in woodland owned by The National Trust at Colby in southern Pembrokeshire.

Fair Play to Cadbury as More Countries Go Fairtrade

cadbury-launches-fairtrade-dairy-milk-4551541Cadbury has announced that its Dairy Milk chocolate brand will be sold under the Fairtrade logo in New Zealand and Australia by next Easter.

The move follows British Cadbury’s ensuring that all Dairy Milk in Britain and Ireland is sold under the Fairtrade logo by the end of the 2009 summer, which is now in process.

The move to Fairtrade produce comes at no extra cost to the consumer, and the expansion of this policy to Australia and New Zealand means that about a quarter of Cadbury Dairy Milk global sales will be Fairtrade certified in 2010.

Cadbury’s increasing international commitment to Fairtrade, securing fair minimum prices for developing world producers on a range of products such as coffee and chocolate, transforms Fairtrade chocolate from a niche product to a mainstream staple, making the decisons landmark steps.

Could Shrimp Save the Planet?

Scientists in China have reportedly found a new use for shrimp – developing a catalyst from shrimp shells which could aid production of biodiesel fuel.

In a world increasingly concerned with global warming, there is a growing turn towards more renewable sources of energy. Xinsheng Zheng and colleagues in China have noticed the importance of renewable fuels like biodiesel.

Current biodiesel production processes produce large amounts of waste water, and the catalysts required to speed up the chemical reactions that transform plant oils into diesel fuel cannot be reused. This new research suggests that a catalyst derived from shrimp shells converted canola oil to biodiesel more efficiently, and quickly than some traditional catalysts, and additionally can be reused.

Their study is scheduled for release in the Aug. 20 issue of ACS’ Energy & Fuels.

Costa Rica the ‘happiest’ country in the world

Costa Rica has topped the 2009 Happy Planet Index to earn the title of the ‘happiest’ nation.

Unlike traditional development indices, such as Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the Happy Planet Index takes sustainability into account – looking at life expectancy along with a country’s ecological footprint. Evaluating human well-being along with environmental impact determines where people live long and happy lives.

Out of the 143 nations included, Latin American countries filled nine of the top ten places, with developed nations such as Britain and the US ranked much lower, 74th and 114th respectively.

If you are heading to Costa Rica then make sure you take out travel insurance in case of any emergency situations you may find yourself in as health can be expensive.