A UN climate negotiator tries to deflate our hope for Copenhagen. The government of the Maldives holds a meeting underwater, practicing for the day when the archipelago nation might actually be underwater. Oh, and remember air pollution? Yeah, it’s still a huge problem, and it’s costing Americans a lot of money, and for some, their lives. Sorry to be such a downer this morning, readers, but keep your chins up, and read on for your daily dose of today’s green news:
- The Financial Times (via Treehugger) claims that a new climate treaty is probably not going to happen in Copenhagen at this December’s COP 15, at least according to a top UN climate negotiator. Well, that’s discouraging, but what does this guy know anyway? Oh…right.
- The world’s first underwater cabinet meeting was held in the Maldives last week, during which government officials signed a document calling on all nations to reduce carbon emissions, reports Bright Green Blog. If the world keeps getting warmer, in a few years, ALL cabinet meetings in the Maldives might be held underwater, which is not nearly as awesome as it sounds.
- Tony Hayward, the chief executive of BP, announced that his company’s forecasts suggest that fossil fuels will still fulfill about 80 percent of the world’s energy needs 20 years from now, explaining that “the carbon price could never be set high enough to change some aspects of consumer behavior,” says Green Inc. Hayward’s not feeling too confident about Copenhagen either, calling it “just one step on what will be a long journey to a lower carbon world.”
- A National Academies of Science report estimates that each year, the U.S. spends $120 billion a year in health costs as a result of pollution associated with burning fossil fuels. According to the study, 20,000 Americans die prematurely just from the effects of these pollutants–that’s not even factoring in the impacts of climate change. (Hat tip: Yale e360, New York Times.)
- Finally, some good news! The 10 sustainable cities and counties behind Green Cities California just launched a website that will teach other communities how to go green, reports GreenBiz. *insert relieved sigh here* I love ending on a positive note.
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Tags: air pollution, Bright Green Blog, California, Copenhagen, Financial Times, fossil fuel, Green Inc., GreenBiz, Maldives, National Academy of Science, New York Times, Treehugger, United nations Climate Negotiations, United States, Yale Environment 360