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Environment

  • Beijing carbon trading starts

    Beijing yesterday became the third Chinese city to launch a carbon trading scheme to regulate soaring CO2 emissions from its main power generators and manufacturers, with first trades reported to have gone through at 50 yuan (€6) per permit. The...

  • Seahorse ‘like Harry Potter’

    Seahorses are maritime Harry Potters, equipped with an almost magical ability to make themselves invisible to prey, research has shown. Their delicate heads are designed to prevent disturbances in the water that would otherwise be detected by the...

  • A fly to keep away pests

    The tachinids are flies belonging to a family known scientifically as Tachinidae, which consists of over 8,200 species. About 1,600 of these are found in the Palearctic region, which is the faunistic region in which we live. Just over 40 species...

  • Mushrooms create their own weather

    Mushrooms have an extraordinary ability to control the weather, scientists have learned. By altering the moisture of the air around them, they whip up winds that blow away their spores and help them disperse. Plants use a variety of methods to...

  • EU chief blasts UN failures

    Europe’s Climate Commissioner has said world talks must provide a “substantial answer” to global warming in two years to remain relevant, after another UN conference gave only modest results. Even if it succeeded, it was worth reconsidering...

  • Meeting the EU’s 2020 renewable energy target

    Last month, the Malta Resources Authority held a series of information sessions to spread public awareness on making the most efficient use of energy. EU target deadlines for renewables are only a few years down the line, so as a country we need...

  • Birkirkara joins Greenpak scheme

    Birkirkara, Malta’s largest town (population 22,319), will soon start using Greenpak waste recovery services, which now covers 55 per cent of local households. The scheme is operated by Greenpak Coop Society and authorised by the Malta Environment...

  • Singing for a greener tomorrow

    Qrendi Scout Group has launch­ed a version of Malta’s Song for Europe winner 2013 song To­morrow, with the lyrics promoting the principles of reduce, reuse, and recycle. The song is the scout group’s entry in a competition for NGOs forming part in...

  • UN climate talks bogged down over CO2 cuts, aid

    Disputes over when rich and poor nations will set greenhouse gas targets and over climate aid to the developing world threatened to sink UN climate talks on the final day yesterday. Negotiators from around 195 countries were working to lay the...

  • ‘People fearing wrath of a warming planet’

    People around the world are feeling the “wrath of a warming planet”, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said, urging almost 200 governments to take tougher action to reach a deal in 2015 on fighting global warming. Ban told environment ministers at...

  • The large white butterfly

    The large white is one of the most common butterflies to be found in the Maltese islands. The only other butterfly which might be more common is its close relative, the small white. This species is found throughout Europe, North Africa and many...

  • Kissing ODZ goodbye – 2

    This is the second in a series of articles highlighting the implications of the proposed amendments to Outside Development Zone policies. Policy 1.2B states that “any specific project… supported by an NGO and which is required for research and...

  • Water: a bank’s best investment

    Nature Trust Malta executive president Vincent Attard interviews Douglas Flint, chairman of the HSBC Group, during the latter’s recent visit in Malta to launch the HSBC water programme Catch the Drop. HSBC invests millions each year towards...

  • Japan slashes CO2 reduction target

    Japan drastically weakened its greenhouse-gas reduction target yesterday, bowing to the impact of a shuttered nuclear power industry but drawing international criticism at UN climate change talks. The Government decided to target a 3.8 per cent...

  • Deforestation in the Amazon up by 28%

    Deforestation in the Amazon increased by nearly a third over the past year, according to Brazilian government figures, confirming a feared reversal in what had been steady progress over the past decade against destruction of the world’s largest...

  • Hot, sour and breathless

    Greenhouse gases are making the world’s oceans hot, sour and breathless, and the way those changes work together is creating a grimmer outlook for global waters, according to a report from 540 international scientists. The world’s oceans are...

  • 2013 so far seventh hottest year

    This year is the seventh warmest since records began in 1850, with a trend to weather extremes and the impact of storms such as Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines aggravated by rising sea levels, the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) said. A...

  • ‘Plain’ but beautiful

    The past week was marked by the arrival in the Maltese islands of a non-resident butterfly – the plain tiger or, as it is sometimes known, the African monarch. The plain tiger is widespread and common in Africa and Asia, as well as on most of the...

  • Climate deal hopes fade

    World governments are likely to recoil from plans for an ambitious 2015 climate change deal at talks this week, as concern over economic growth is at least partially eclipsing scientists’ warnings of rising temperatures and water levels. “We are...

  • Disturbing new facts about noise

    Noise pollution is hardly an issue that can be described as unheard of in Malta. The summer months bring loud complaints from residents suffering a barrage of festa petards, which can go on week after week, depending on the locality. Add to this...

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