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Journey chronicles on the planet

China passes the US: the production of 500 car models stopped for environmental reasons

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It seemed impossible until a few years ago, but now the situation of environmental standards for cars in the two countries has reversed. A car produced in the USA according to Trump’s environmental standards may not find an end market in China due to its poor environmental performance. And that China is not joking is evident, not only for the strong incentive action for electric vehicles, but also seen the stop in the production of over 500 models of cars. The decision, communicated by the China Vehicle Technology Service Center, is  effective from 1st January and concerns national and foreign producers. BMW’s Rebecca Kiehne, who heads the BWM Brilliance joint venture, says that the company is not ready to comment…

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Norway is confirmed to be the first country in the electrification of its car fleet.

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In 2017, for the first time, the new registrations of electric and hybrid cars have exceeded those with internal combustion engines. In 2016, the electric and hybrid cars registered during the year were 40% of the total, a percentage that rose to 52% last year. The strong Norwegian leadership in the sector at international level is supported by a strong system of subsidies, which includes reduced taxation, use of parking lots, electric recharging and payment of motorways, ferries and tunnels. It is interesting to observe how the strong system of incentives, difficult to replicate in terms of volumes by other countries, was fueled by the revenues generated by oil and gas production at the national level. The 2017 figure is…

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2017 was the second hottest year ever recorded and the first without an El Niño

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As is well known El Niño is a cyclic phenomenon that originates from the interaction between a circulation of warmer waters in the Pacific Ocean and the atmosphere. Its influence is so significant on a planetary level that it causes an increase in average annual temperatures. La Niña, the phenomenon cyclically opposed to El Niño, tends to cause a reduction in average global temperatures. For this reason, when analyzing the trends of annual variation of world average temperatures, it is important to take into account the occurrence or not of these phenomena, a bit like, when analyzing the world swimming records, the different styles with which they were achieved are taken into account. The 2017 was a "neutral" year in...
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Northern Alaska is warming so fast, it’s faking out computers

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Northern Alaska is warming so fast, it’s faking out computers. The loss of near-shore sea ice near Utqiaġvik (Barrow) has been so abrupt, it’s transformed the local climate. Open water in the Arctic causes a compounding warming effect and rapidly elevates temperatures — water is darker than ice and absorbs heat quicker. The effect is particularly strong between October and December, the time of the year that used to have sea ice, but often doesn’t anymore. Octobers in Utqiaġvik are now nearly 8 degrees warmer than Octobers in the 1980s and ’90s. Apparently, the computers tracking temperatures there have finally had enough. Deke Arndt, chief of NOAA’s Climate Monitoring Branch, explains: “In an ironic exclamation point to swift regional climate…

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USA increasingly isolated: signed the Canada-China bilateral agreement on climate

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At the time of Obama, China found in the USA a privileged partner in North America on climate change and had no doubts with whom to sign their bilateral agreements. With the advent of Trump, the situation has changed and there seems to be an act of significant political isolation of the US by the Asian giant. The China-Canada bilateral agreement signed on December 4 in Bejing seems to have been read in this perspective. It is no coincidence that it has been repeated that “the Paris Agreement is irreversible and will not be renegotiated”, a recurring mantra at COP23 in Bonn, but which assumes an even greater value when it is reiterated at the northern borders of the USA….

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The solution is not just technological, but a combination with behaviors is necessary: the case of LEDs

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To address climate change, we often tend to overestimate the fundamental role of technology. The reality is that technology puts in our hands increasingly powerful and refined tools, but their effectiveness always depends first of all on how we move our hands. The diffusion of LED lighting is a relevant example in this regard. The extraordinary range of this lighting system is evident in terms of reducing energy consumption and CO2 emissions. Data recorded by the first satellite developed to record nighttime lighting on the planet, however, showed that, from 2012 to 2016, outdoor lighting grew by 2.2% per year. The situation clearly varies from countries to countries, but it seems to be linked to the lower energy cost of…

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Still few months to adapt to the new standard ISO 14001:2015

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The IAF (International Accreditation Forum) has recently confirmed that from March 15th, 2018, certification bodies will have to carry out all the verification for the initial, surveillance or recertification audits of environmental management systems, in accordance with the new edition of ISO 14001:2015. The new standard was developed in accordance with the new HLS structure to facilitate the integration of the management system with the business processes and company’s strategies – says Daniele Pernigotti, GL1 coordinator and vice president of the UNI Environment Commission, as well as delegate who has followed the whole development process of the standard in UNI for Italy. Delaying the adaptation process increases the risk of not fully exploiting the potential associated with this new vision…

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The COP 23 of the words has ended. What are the facts of the planet?

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The COP 23 in Bonn closed on Saturday morning at 7:00 A.M., presided over by the Fiji islands. Very interesting signals from the Bonn zone (area dedicated to conferences, exhibitions and exchanges of experiences), where the actions already implemented by the various stakeholders were illustrated. It is worth highlighting, for example, the innovative Norwegian experience of electrical mobility in the naval sector (with already in-use ferries and container carrier vessels in an advanced level of development), the discussion opened on carbon pricing or the reform of subsidies to fossil fuels. On the negotiating side (Bula zone), it is interesting to note the creation of new tools to better recognize the role of both women and indigenous peoples in combating climate...
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