11 December 2009

UK policy recommendations: cut meat and dairy consumption. And other company, industry and government news

Top Stories

Eat less meat and dairy: official recipe to help health of consumers--and the planet.reliability high.
The UK government's independent advisory body the Sustainable Development Commission, has issued a report saying major changes are needed in the food system to address climate change and diet-related health issues. "To fight climate change and tackle the growing crisis of diet-related diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer, British consumers must cut down on meat and dairy produce, reduce their intake of processed foods and curb waste." "The study acknowledges that cutting processed food and reducing consumption of intensively-produced meat and dairy foods could lead to a shrinking of the UK food and drink industry." With video. More highlights of report. See The Guardian. Access the report here. [The report makes specific official policy recommendations. Industry may not like them, and politicians will stall, but this is an official report of a body the government set up to provide policy guidance.  Like the early policy recommendations on smoking and health, it will eventually have impact. Let the chips (crisps in the UK) fall where they may.]

Companies, Industries, Markets and Supply Chains

China ups ante on carbon emissions with new Picarro contract.reliability high.
"Picarro, maker of a system that measures the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere to a surprisingly accurate degree, has landed a major contract to provide the China Meteorological Administration (CMA) with twice the number of systems as expected." More on implications. See GreenBeat.

Asarco Pays $1.79 Billion to Fix Sites.reliability high.
"After a four-year legal battle, a mining company has paid the government a record $1.79 billion to settle claims for hazardous waste pollution across 19 states, federal agencies announced Thursday. Officials said the payment on behalf of the company, the American Smelting and Refining Company, or Asarco, was the nation’s largest environmental bankruptcy settlement." See The New York Times. [You can run (out of money) but you can't hide, especially if you've "spewed lead over 27 square miles of surrounding water and soil" and other misdemeanors.]

SAP: All-in-One Carbon, Energy, Sustainability Software.reliability high.
SAP will "provide a single software platform to manage the tasks of certifying carbon emission reductions, saving energy, keeping tabs on pollution and keeping up good relations with employees and communities. The SAP Sustainability Performance Management application ties into SAP's Carbon Impact software to track energy use and carbon emissions, as well as SAP's environmental health and safety management and enterprise resource planning applications". From Greentech Media.

Australia launches green wine standard.reliability high.
"The voluntary EntWine environmental assurance scheme is being run by the Winemaker's Federation of Australia (WFA) and requires companies to report annually on their carbon footprint and submit to having their environmental practices independently audited." See Business Green. EntWine site. [Could be risky--certification scheme set up by the industry itself. Who is to say what they say is green is really green? Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?]

Government and Regulation

Government faces legal proceedings over London air quality.reliability high.
British taxpayers may have to shell out millions of pounds in fines as the UK failed to convince EC regulators to grant yet more time to fix air pollution problems. "The commission ruled that the proposals put forward to improve air quality in the Greater London Zone – the capital has among the worst air quality in Europe – did not meet the "minimum requirements" for a time extension." More on the political struggles in the UK to take action that the EC would recognize as adequately urgent to get an extension. From The Guardian.

Paris calls for bids to run electric car hire scheme.reliability high.
"The Paris city hall and local authorities in several surrounding districts on Thursday called for bids to run a self-service electric car hire scheme modeled on the "Velib" bike rental system. The "Autolib," which is scheduled to start in September 2011, would consist of 3,000 vehicles at 1,000 rental sites in Paris and neighboring communes, the city's town hall said on its website." From Reuters.

Texas first state to adopt new smart street rules.reliability medium.
The Texas Department of Transportation has adopted new rules incorporating street design guidelines written by the Congress for the New Urbanism and the Institute of Transportation Engineers. The standards are supposed to help achieve more walkable, transit- and bike-friendly streets by getting designers and permitting bodies to think "beyond the curb line". From NRDC blog.

Related: A Message From Copenhagen: Climate Plan Must Include Walkable Urbanism.reliability medium.
Highlights from a panel discussion at the Copenhagen climate summit on the potential of "walkable urbanism" to reduce greenhouse gas emissions substantially. "Without directing future development toward walkable urbanism, the climate impacts of sprawl will overwhelm other efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions, said Robert Cervero" of UC Berkeley. ""Urban development patterns have a significant role to play in carbon reduction," Cervero told the audience. "Otherwise we'll just get knocked back by land-use patterns. Sustainable urbanism has to be part of the equation."" More on how sustainable urban living reduces emissions. See Streetsblog.

[Crossposted from HaraBara.com courtesy of HaraBara, Inc. Copyright © 2009 HaraBara, Inc.]