Thematic Areas

Results: 1 - 10 of 121
  • Making our cities attractive and sustainable
    Author: European UnionCities make up only two percent of the earths surface, yet they are home to over half of the worlds population.In Europe, the proportion of urban dwellers is even higher. Today, nearly 75% of Europeans live in cities and urbanareas, and by 2020 this is expected to rise to 80%.People choose to live in urban areas so they can have a better quality of life. They want to be at the heart ofeconomic activity, and to have more job opportunities and other social and economic advantages. However, cityliving brings a range of challenges. While living in close proximity to our daily activities can lead to more resourceefficiency and so contribute to sustainability, other factors such as air pollution can be far more acute in cities.Overcrowding, traffic pollution and noise, and industrial emissions are just a few of the issues that have to beconstantly monitored and addressed to achieve a high quality of life without high environmental costs. But doingthis will also bring benefits beyond city borders.The European Union is committed to making Europes cities healthy, attractive and sustainable, and to improvingcitizens quality of life, now and for the future. Over the last 50 years, European cities have seen dramaticimprovements in terms of mobility, green areas and waste management, and this has contributed to a significantimprovement in living standards. However, Europes cities still face a number of environmental challenges whichinfluence the everyday lives of millions of Europeans and these often highly political issues need to be tackledthrough cooperation between local, national and EU authorities and their stakeholders.In line with the principle of subsidiarity, the EU works closely with Member States and local authorities to addressthese challenges and ensure a high level of protection for citizens who live and work in urban environments. Itpromotes best practices and fosters an ethic of sharing of experiences and information among local governmentsworking to make their cities sustainable.The EU also acts in several other important ways: setting policies, adopting legislation including minimum qualitystandards, encouraging cooperation, and providing financial resources to support initiatives, notably in lessadvantaged areas of Europe. A key feature of many of the EUs laws and policies in areas such as environmentalprotection, regional development and transport, are measures aimed specifically at protecting and managing theurban environment.This brochure reviews the many ways in which the EU supports citizens and local governments in their efforts tomake our cities and towns clean and healthy, green and pleasant, efficient and sustainable, well-managed anddemocratic.The EUs policies and measures in support of a quality urban environment for citizens are continuously evolving.As new issues come to the fore, additional policies and programmes are being developed to keep our urbanenvironments clean, green and healthy
  • Solid Waste Management in the World s Cities
    (Resource Based Waste Management)
    Author: UN-HABITATThis publication, Solid Waste Management in the World Cities, is the third edition in UN-HABITATs State of Water and Sanitation in the World Cities series. It aims to capture the worlds current waste management trends and draw attention to the importance of waste management, especially regarding its role in reaching the UN Millennium Development Goals. The publication acknowledges the escalating challenges in solid waste management across the globe. It seeks to showcase the good work that is being done on solid waste by cities around the world, large and small, rich and poor. It achieves this by looking at what drives change in solid waste management, how cities find local solutions and what seems to work best under different circumstances. The publication endeavours to help decision-makers, practitioners and ordinary citizens understand how a solid waste management system works and to inspire people everywhere to make their own decisions on the next steps in developing a solution appropriate to their own citys particular circumstances and needs. Most readers will never travel to all the 20 cities featured in this report, but through this publication they will have access to real experiences of people working on the ground. We hope it will provide a reference point for managing solid waste in the worlds cities and towns, and that many will follow in the footsteps of our authors, and we can move to an improved set of global reference data.
  • The New Plastics Economy Rethinking the future of plastics
    (Resource Based Waste Management)
    Author: World Economic Forum, 2016Plastics have become the ubiquitous workhorse material of the modern economy combining unrivalled functional properties with low cost. Their use has increased twentyfold in the past half-century and is expected to double again in the next 20 years. Today nearly everyone, everywhere, every day comes into contact with plastics especially plastic packaging, the focus of this report. While delivering many benefits, the current plastics economy has drawbacks that are becoming more apparent by the day. After a short first-use cycle, 95% of plastic packaging material value, or $80120 billion annually, is lost to the economy. A staggering 32% of plastic packaging escapes collection systems, generating significant economic costs by reducing the productivity of vital natural systems such as the ocean and clogging urban infrastructure. The cost of such after-use externalities for plastic packaging, plus the cost associated with greenhouse gas emissions from its production, is conservatively estimated at $40 billion annually exceeding the plastic packaging industrys profit pool. In future, these costs will have to be covered. In overcoming these drawbacks, an opportunity beckons: enhancing system effectiveness to achieve better economic and environmental outcomes while continuing to harness the many benefits of plastic packaging. The New Plastics Economy offers a new vision, aligned with the principles of the circular economy, to capture these opportunities. With an explicitly systemic and collaborative approach, the New Plastics Economy aims to overcome the limitations of todays incremental improvements and fragmented initiatives, to create a shared sense of direction, to spark a wave of innovation and to move the plastics value chain into a positive spiral of value capture, stronger economics, and better environmental outcomes. This report outlines a fundamental rethink for plastic packaging and plastics in general; it offers a new approach with the potential to transform global plastic packaging material flows and thereby usher in the New Plastics Economy
    (Resource Based Waste Management)
    Author: Association of Cities and Regions for Recycling(ACRR)This guide seeks to bring together information from many sources to help L/RAs identify the practical issues associated with collecting and processing waste plastics, while identifying the approaches needed to manage and exploit these wastes in ways which best suit their individual characteristics. The objective of this Guide is to offer L/RAs an insight into the socio-political, environmental, economic and technical aspects of waste plastics management, with reference to practical examples and case studies. This Guide will: explain the environmental, economic and social dimensions of waste plastics collection, sorting and recovery help bring about an improvement in the recycling performance of waste plastics in those L/RAs where schemes already exist encourage the development of a broader commitment by L/RAs to plastics recovery and recycling. This Guide has a three-fold structure. The first element gives a general description of waste plastics management in Europe. The second develops more specific information focusing on specific flows or techniques. The third provides illustrations through descriptions of local experiences.
  • Waste Management Options and Climate Change: Final Report
    (Resource Based Waste Management)
    Author: Alison Smith, Keith Brown, Steve Ogilvie, Kathryn Rushton and Judith BatesThis document is the final report of a study undertaken for the European Commission Environment Directorate General by AEA Technology to assess the climate change impacts of options for municipal solid waste (MSW) management in the EU. The study covers the fifteen member states of the European Union and the time horizon 2000 to 2020. The study is intended to inform developing EU-level waste policy, in terms of climate change impacts only. Climate change impacts are only one of a number of environmental impacts that derive from solid waste management options. Other impacts include health effects attributable to air pollutants such as NOx , SO2 , dioxins and fine particles, emissions of ozone depleting substances, contamination of water bodies, depletion of non-renewable resources, disamenity effects, noise, accidents etc. These environmental impacts are in addition to the socio-economic aspects of alternative ways of managing waste. All of these factors need to be properly considered in the determination of a balanced policy for sustainable waste management, of which the climate change elements are but one aspect. The study is not intended as a tool for municipal or regional waste planning, where local factors, such as the availability of existing waste management facilities and duration of waste management contracts, markets for recyclables, geographic and socio-economic factors, will exert the dominant influence. The study assesses climate change impacts in terms of net fluxes of greenhouse gases from various combinations of options used for the management of MSW. The waste management options considered are: Landfill of untreated waste, Incineration, Mechanical biological treatment (MBT), Composting, Anaerobic Digestion (AD) and Recycling.
    (Resource Based Waste Management)
    Author: Luis Fernando Marmolejo RebellónThe significant increase of waste generation, the high variability in terms of the composition of the waste and very important sanitary, environmental, economical and social impacts associated with solid waste management suggest the worldwide population that the proper management of the waste should be the very first priority for the community in general. Although the most adequate option is to avoid the generation of waste, it is necessary to evaluate options to handle the waste already generated. To this effect, depending on local and regional contexts, different hierarchies, policies and handling strategies have been established, ratifying the priority of generation reduction in waste generation and furthermore, placing material recovery as the most adequate option to handle the generated waste, and treatment and disposal in controlled sanitary landfills as alternatives to reduce risks associated with final disposal. Along these lines, this book summarizes the results of investigations and experiences carried out around the world, which were conducted to demonstrate the conditions of waste management and analyze alternatives to avoid generation or to facilitate the management of those already generated; consequently, the book has been divided in three sections. The first section, called Solid Waste Management in different regions of the World. Sustainability strategies, includes six chapters. The first two chapters summarize solid waste management and its sanitary and environmental impacts in regions of the African continent. Chapter 3 includes strategies formulated in Malaysia seeking sustainable solid waste management. The next two chapters show how performances and perceptions of users are fundamental to orient intervention strategies aiming to their success. For the same reason, chapter 6 states experiences and strategies based on conscientization of the public of people to attain methods of waste management that reduce practices that threaten peoples well-being and put pressure for raw materials. The second section contains five chapters and is called Strategies and Applications on material recovery and final solid waste disposition. Keeping in mind the high acknowledgement of composting and recycling as priority options for the use and valorization of recovered materials from waste, chapter 7 presents a global vision of the application of these alternatives in developing countries. Regarding the high degree of application of biological transformation processes for the use of biowaste, X Preface chapter 8 shows a case study developed in Spain evaluating the effect of application of biodegradable transformation products on the soil fauna. Chapters 9 and 10 approach the use of recycled materials; the first one shows the results of recycling material application at a Malaysian university campus and the second shows a review of technologies and business for plastic recycling in Japan. Chapter 11 proposes and evaluates different treatment scenarios and final disposal of wastes in a developing country. The final section Handling of Special and Dangerous Solid Waste consists of four chapters. Chapter 12 evaluates the greenhouse effect of gas emissions from confined livestock operations. The following chapter (chapter 13) shows and evaluates software tools to model agricultural waste. Chapter 14 approaches the management of construction and demolition wastes in Turkey, analyzing generation impacts and evaluating or proposing different handling alternatives. Finally, chapter 15 analyzes handling and impacts on local conditions or electronic wastes in Tanzania.
  • Energy, Climate Change & Environment
    Author: International Energy AgencyThe historic Paris Agreement on climate change sets the course for a fundamental transformation of the global economy over the next decades. The Agreements overarching goal of limiting global average temperature rise to well below 2 °C will entail profound changes in the global energy system. Achieving the deep cuts in global carbon emissions that this vision requires is no small task given the enormous challenge of implementing and eventually exceeding current country climate pledges. This publication examines key sectors, technologies, and policy measures that will be central in the transition to a lowcarbon energy system. It addresses the following questions: n What are the roles of coal and gas in meeting the stringent decarbonisation requirements for the power sector consistent with IEA modelling of global climate goals? n What are moderate carbon prices accomplishing in the electricity sector, and how can they be helpful as part of a package of other policies? n Where are the opportunities for expanding renewables and energy efficiency, and what policies and regulatory frameworks are needed to boost these low-carbon energy sources? n How can state-owned companies, which produce a large share of global GHG emissions but are also major developers of clean energy, be encouraged to play a more effective role in the energy transition? This report also looks at building climate resilience in the energy sector, and the use of tracking tools and metrics to monitor the progress of energy sector decarbonisation. Finally, it provides global energy and emissions data, including interregional comparisons and in-depth analysis for ten regions.
  • A guidebook to the Green Economy
    Author: Cameron Allen and Stuart Clouth, UN Division for Sustainable Development,This document aims to provide an overview of recent literature on Green Economy and the related concepts of Green Growth and LowCarbon Development (and other variations such as lowemissions development or lowcarbon growth). The overview provides a brief history of these concepts and brings together recent publications from international organisations, thinktanks, experts, political groups, governments, nongovernment organisations and others, most of which are freely available on the Internet. Recent national green economy, green growth and lowcarbon development strategies are also provided. In most cases, a web link and citation have been provided so that the reader can find out more information or reference the document as necessary.
  • Climate change and water
    Author: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change(IPCC Technical Paper VI) Bryson Bates ,Zbyszek Kundzewicz ,Shaohong Wu, Jean PalutikofObservational records and climate projections provide abundant evidence that freshwater resources are vulnerable and have the potential to be strongly impacted by climate change, with wide-ranging consequences for human societies and ecosystems. 1 See Box 1.1. 2 Numbers inside square brackets relate to sections in the main body of the Technical Paper. 3 Projections considered are based on the range of non-mitigation scenarios developed by the IPCC Special Report on Emissions Scenarios (SRES). 4 This statement excludes changes in non-climatic factors, such as irrigation. 5 These projections are based on an ensemble of climate models using the mid-range SRES A1B non-mitigation emissions scenario. Consideration of the range of climate responses across SRES scenarios in the mid-21st century suggests that this conclusion is applicable across a wider range of scenarios. Observed warming over several decades has been linked to changes in the large-scale hydrological cycleClimate model simulations for the 21st century are consistent in projecting precipitation increases in high latitudes (very likely) and parts of the tropics, and decreases in some subtropical and lower mid-latitude regions
    Author: United Nations Framework Convention on Climate ChangeThe United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) secretariat has produced this book to highlight the concerns and needs of developing countries in adapting to the effects of climate change. This book outlines the impact of climate change in four developing country regions: Africa, Asia, Latin America and small island developing States; the vulnerability of these regions to future climate change; current adaptation plans, strategies and actions; and future adaptation options and needs. The book draws heavily on information provided by Parties to the UNFCCC, particularly that provided at three regional workshops held in Africa, Asia and Latin America and one expert meeting held in small island developing States during 2006 20071 , as mandated by the Buenos Aires programme of work on adaptation and response measures (decision 1/CP.10 of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC)2 , as well as information in national communications3 and national adaptation programmes of action4 submitted to the UNFCCC, reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC 2007) and other sources, as referenced


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