Top 10 lists are big at this time of year. As the holidays approach, it’s a good time to reflect on the year that was and think about the year ahead. Somehow, wrapping it up into a top 10 seems to make sense.

My last post was about things that haven’t gone so well for planet Earth this year and there’s been a lot of bad news about climate change over the last month. Today, I want to end my blogging year on a positive note by giving my top 10 reasons to be hopeful about the future of our planet. So here they are. Feel free to add your own to the list in the comments.

1. Solar power is booming

The price of solar panels continued to fall rapidly in 2012 and Australia is now the largest residential solar PV market in the world. Australia has more…

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Rivers of Hope

ABUJA (Reuters) – Nigeria‘s House of Representatives said on Wednesday it had approved a 161.6 billion naira supplementary budget for 2012 to cover fuel subsidy debts owed to importers and distributors.

The extra budget pushes Nigeria’s spending this year over 5 trillion naira, more than Jonathan’s proposed 4.9 trillion naira budget for 2013.

Jonathan attempted to remove the costly subsidy in January, but was forced to partially reinstate it after a week of strikes and protests brought the country to a standstill.

The subsidy, under which the state buys imported motor fuel at market rates and sells it at a much cheaper fixed rate, is often the single biggest component of the budget. It is also the main cause of cost overruns.

The 2012…

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ECOS Environmental Consultants Limited

Ireland has been fined €3.5m by the European Court of Justice for failing to comply with environmental law.

  • In two judgements the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled that Ireland has to pay financial penalties for failure to comply with earlier Court judgments that established a breach of EU environmental law.
  • This is the first time such penalties have been imposed on Ireland
  • The cases relate to Ireland’s failure to regulate septic tanks, and to correctly transpose an EU Directive on environmental impact assessments.

Case C-374/11 Septic Tanks 

The first ruling relates to Ireland’s failure to properly regulate the installation and use of septic tanks.

  • Discharges from septic tanks, of which there are close to 500,000 in Ireland, have contributed to micro-biological pollution of groundwater and nutrient pollution of surface waters.
  • Human health is put at risk because pathogens can enter drinking water sources via septic tanks that…

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Christmas is here and it’s time for presents. Have you considered giving healthy, handmade and eco-friendly gifts for a change?
My suggestion is to make these delicious homemade herbal teas and to give them to your friends and relatives as Christmas presents, maybe along with a nice tea filter, a teapot infuser or a mug.

Apple skin and cinnamon herbal tea
Properties: relaxing and digestive

1kg organic apple skins
4 cinnamon sticks

Wash the apples thoroughly and remove the skins. Use the apples as you prefer, then julienne the skins, lay them on a metal plate and dry them (on the radiator, in the oven or in the dehydrator). Mix the dehydrated apple skins and the cinnamon sticks and put your herbal tea into small glass jars. Decorate the jars to taste. To make the infusion, put one teaspoon of mixture for every cup in your teapot and…

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Groupe Intellex

Those who doubted the findings in 2009 of Wilkinson and Pickett’s ‘The Spirit Level’ may care to revisit the subject of equality in the light of the recent report from Boston Consulting Group.

In BCG’s ‘Sustainable Economic Development Assessment’ we have new methodologies and data for assessing the quality of GDP growth – the extent to which wealth is converted into well-being.

It turns out that countries with high rates of growth are not necessarily able to convert that into societal development whereas other less-GDP-impressive countries seem to have far better mechanisms for raising living standards.

Why should this matter when we seem to have little or no growth?  This study arrives at a time when people are drawing lessons from recessionary times and, in facing up to the creative disruptions of the digital economy, are more than ever beginning to appreciate the real role of infrastructure in enabling both…

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Greece: Thessaloniki do it like Vienna!

αρχείο λήψης (1)In 2013 the process of expressining interest for setting up a thermal waste treatment plant in Thessaloniki (in the area of Sindos) via Public-Private Partnerships, will start. It was announced by the  the mayor Yiannis Boutaris of the city on the sidelines of the symposium, hosted by the Council of the Federation for Sustainable Development.
Continue reading “Greece: Thessaloniki do it like Vienna!”

Renewable energy country attractiveness indices

Ernst & Young have conducted a very interesting report containing Country Attractiveness Indices (CAI ) score for 40 countries around the world regarding their attractiveness of their renewable energy markets, energy infrastructure and the suitability for individual technologies. China is the winner as it remains the  best place to undertake renewable energy projects like solar or wind, while Germany and U.S. hold the second and the third place respectively. The top five is completed with India holding the 4th place and France the 5th. Grid issues, strong partisan views, mixed policy signals and austerity measures are just some of the tensions that are slowing the pace of expansion across the top five countries.

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Is your favorite electronic gadget green?Greenpeace has the answer!

GG_1012_bgEvery day, more people around the world rely on laptops, phones and tablets to make their lives more productive and fun. Electronic gadgets can make our lives better, but the rate at which we purchase and discard these devices is having a serious impact on our planet.
Continue reading “Is your favorite electronic gadget green?Greenpeace has the answer!”