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Ship sewage will no longer be allowed to foul the Baltic Sea. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) on Friday agreed to ban the discharge of sewage from passenger ships and ferries in the Baltic Sea.

“This is an important milestone for the Baltic Sea. The responsibility now lies heavy on the Baltic Sea countries and their ports to provide the necessary port facilities.” Said Mattias Rust, a representative of the WWF

With thanks for the story to The Great News Nework

Silicon-based solar cells, by far the most prevalent type of solar cell available today, might provide clean, green energy but they are bulky, rigid and expensive to produce. Organic (carbon-based) semiconductors are seen as a promising way to enable flexible, lightweight solar cells that would also be much cheaper to produce as they could be “printed” in large plastic sheets at room temperature. New research from physicists at Rutgers University has strengthened hopes that solar cells based on organic semiconductors may one day overtake silicon solar cells in cost and performance, thereby increasing the practicality of solar-generated electricity as an alternative energy source to fossil fuels.

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Eben Bayer and Ecovative have created an all natural and low-energy alternative material to styrofoam packaging made from mycelium.

As plastic waste continues to pile up in landfills and natural ecosystems, innovation in material resources and alternatives are desperately needed. Eben Bayer of Ecovative hopes to push manufacturers away from using plastic, specifically Styrofoam, by offering a low-tech and environmentally benign material called EcoCradle.

Bayer presented the story behind his mycelium based material this past July at the TED conference in Oxford, England.

See more on this from crispgreen.com

Despite China’s hard line at the last few Climate Conferences, we hear this news from The Huffington Post and the Associated Foreign Press…

“BEIJING (AFP) – China’s wind power capacity will increase more than five-fold over the next decade from 2009, a report forecast on Wednesday, as the country steps up its drive to develop clean energy.

Total installed wind power capacity will reach at least 150 gigawatts by 2020 compared with 25.8 gigawatts at the end of 2009, according to the China Wind Power Outlook 2010 report.

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The solar industry is wrapping up its most successful year ever. Solar is now the fastest growing energy industry in the U.S., employing nearly 100,000 Americans and generating billions of dollars of economic growth for our economy.

While solar grew in 2010, fossil fuel companies continued to show why their dirty energy is no longer practical to power our nation. In April, at the Upper Big Branch mine in West Virginia, the coal industry suffered its worst mining accident in 40 years. Just one month later, the oil industry caused the worst spill in U.S. history, jeopardizing the ecosystem and economy of the entire Gulf region.

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Wind turbines are an increasingly popular way to generate clean energy with large-scale wind farms springing up all over the world. However, many residents near proposed wind farm sites have raised concerns over the aesthetics and the low frequency vibrations they claim are generated by wind turbines. An interesting Windstalk concept devised by New York design firm Atelier DNA could overcome both these problems while still allowing a comparable amount of electricity to be generated by the wind.

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Thanks to Voive of America for this story.

The United States and other nations say they are committed to a greener future. That’s been helped in recent years with millions of dollars of investment in cleaner fuels technology – and as VOA’s Rebecca Ward reports, the investment seems to be paying off.

The winner of a $5 million prize for the best production-capable vehicle that’s able to run the equivalent of 160 kilometers without recharging is – surprisingly – not electric.  The Very Light Car runs on ethanol based E85. It has an internal combustion engine, like a regular automobile.  But the VLC is anything but regular. Brad Jaeger, an engineer on the Edison 2 team, describes its features.

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JAKARTA, Oct 19 (Bernama) — Indonesia is ready to have talks with Malaysia on bilateral trade in timber amid increased allegations that the neigbouring state had been receiving Indonesian timber from illegal logging, Antara news agency cited Forestry Minister Zulkifli Hasan as saying.

“I have met with the Malaysian authorities and they said `zero tolerance’ to timbers from illegal logging and smuggling. Hopefully, we will sign a memorandum of understanding with them (on the issue),” said Minister Hasan.

He added that illegal logging had caused Indonesia huge financial losses as well as deforestation.

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PositiveTv would like to add it’s weight to the call to create this post too.

The UK government should create a new ministerial post for green economics, an international policy group that includes MPs past and present has said.

The minister would play a role similar to the Treasury chief secretary, but looking after “natural capital”.

The recommendation comes from Globe International, whose members include ex-Environment Secretary John Gummer – now Lord Deben – and Zac Goldsmith MP.

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South Africa is to unveil plans this week for what it claims will be the world’s biggest solar power plant – a radical step in a coal-dependent country where one in six people still lacks electricity.

The project, expected to cost up to 200bn rand (£18.42bn), would aim by the end of its first decade to achieve an annual output of five gigawatts (GW) of electricity – currently one-tenth of South Africa’s energy needs.

Giant mirrors and solar panels would be spread across the Northern Cape province, which the government says is among the sunniest 3% of regions in the world with minimal cloud or rain.

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The World Bank has launched a global partnership aimed at helping countries include the costs of destroying nature into their national accounts.

Ten nations will take part in the pilot phase, including India and Colombia.

The bank’s president Robert Zoellick said environmental destruction happens partly because governments do not account for the value of nature.

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This month, Stonyfield Farm announced they will begin using PLA, a plant-based plastic, for all multipacks in the YoBaby, Yo Toddler, Yokids, B-Well, B-Healthy, Probiotic & O’Soy product lines. PLA (polylactic acid) is made from corn and will cut packaging GHG emissions by 48% and reduce their overall GHG emissions by 9%.

Although originally skeptical about using a plant-based material, Stonyfield did an intensive LCA analysis with Dr. Ronaly Geyer from UC Santa Barbara, that showed over the entire life cycle of the product, PLA is preferable to polystyrene. PLA can be made from a variety of sugary plants, including beets, sugar cane and tapioca. In the US, the only maker of PLA uses corn as its sugar source. New technologies are currently in development to make PLA from agricultural by-products or perennial plants that grow near prime agricultural land.

Crispgreen.com