Motivational speakers tend to say that if you’re going to aim for anything, aim high and think big. Alex Salmond, the first minister of Scotland, has done precisely that. Again.
Over the past five days, Salmond has doubled his government’s target for generating “green” electricity. Last Thursday he tore up the Scottish government’s goal of making half of Scotland’s electricity from renewable sources by 2020, and replaced it with a new target of 80%.
Today at an international low carbon investment conference in Edinburgh, he set a higher goal, claiming Scotland could actually generate all of its electricity – currently about 6.8GW – from green sources by 2025.
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In the heart of the bustling capital of Cairo, Egypt, a lone female taxi driver navigates her bright yellow cab through the unforgiving traffic.
“I wanted to take this adventure, as I consider it an adventure, rather than an experience. Thank God, I believe it is a nice adventure so far and I feel happy with it,” Inas Hassan Ali says.
Ali is one of only eight female cab drivers in a city where the profession is dominated by men.
Eleven new countries have added their names to a growing United Nations-backed list of States that have pledged to halt child recruitment, support the release of children from armed groups and help reintegrate them into civilian life.
Cape Verde, Gabon, Georgia, Iceland, Latvia, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Togo and Uruguay yesterday endorsed the Paris Commitments on Children Associated with Armed Forces or Armed Groups, raising the number of supporting countries from 84 to 95.
This from the BBC:-
US President Barack Obama is to install solar panels on the White House roof, a move lauded by climate activists as symbolic of the nation’s energy future.
The panels will heat the Obamas’ water and provide some electric power.
In 1979, President Jimmy Carter installed solar panels later removed by Ronald Reagan. George W Bush put panels elsewhere on the White House grounds.
Afghanistan: Peace council holds inaugural session:-
Calling the meeting a ‘source of hope’ for the Afghan people, President Hamid Karzai on Thursday hosted the inaugural session of a new peace council set up to guide efforts to reconcile with the Taliban and other insurgent groups.
Karzai has long called on insurgents to renounce violence, sever ties to terrorists and embrace the Afghan Constitution. Contacts are increasing between the government and insurgents to find a political resolution to the conflict, which is key to any U.S. exit strategy in Afghanistan.
The following is a personal appeal by Ambassador Akbar Ahmed to the Supreme Leader of Iran, Grand Ayatollah Ali Hoseyni Khāmene’i, to show Islamic compassion during Ramadan, the month of fasting, and free the three young American hikers who have been held in Iran for over a year. The appeal comes in advance of the Night of Power, which falls in the last days of the month. It is the time when Muslims are called to show special mercy and kindness. Ambassador Ahmed delivered this appeal, the first on behalf of the hikers by an Islamic scholar, to the senior most Iranian diplomat in Washington, D.C. last week.
The following is the text of the letter:
On October 10 of this year, known commonly as 10/10/10, people around the world rallied for the environment. In Afghanistan they planted trees, and in China university students engaged in a clean energy competition.
In Washington environmental activists, scientists and everyday citizens rallied outside the White House for climate action. They want the president to do more than just talk about environmental policy.
“Unchecked, climate change will pose unacceptable risks,” Mr. Obama said.
This from the UN:-
13 October 2010 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today outlined measures to strengthen the United Nations role in helping countries emerging from conflict to maintain peace and entrench stability, stressing the need for rapid deployment of trained staff, predictable financing, partnerships and ensuring the participation of women.
“Building peace may sound straightforward, but we know from painful experience that it is not. Success requires patient, long-term commitments and the involvement of a wide range of actors, working together,” said Mr. Ban, updating the Security Council on UN efforts to support post-conflict peacebuilding.
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.
WASHINGTON — Google and a New York financial firm have each agreed to invest heavily in a proposed $5 billion transmission backbone for future offshore wind farms along the Atlantic Seaboard that could ultimately transform the region’s electrical map.
The 350-mile underwater spine, which could remove some critical obstacles to wind power development, has stirred excitement among investors, government officials and environmentalists who have been briefed on it.
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.
Argentina enacted a new law that protects the country’s glaciers, in a global context where climate change threatens the large bodies of ice and there are risks of different polluting activities.
The law, enacted on September 30, aims to preserve the glaciers as “strategic reserves of water for human consumption, for agriculture and as suppliers of water to recharge basins, for the protection of biodiversity ; as a source of scientific and tourist attraction.”
The legislation also establishes the creation of the “National Inventory of Glaciers”. It will be updated every five years, and verify the changes on the surfaces of glaciers and periglacial.