Daily Media Briefing 13th August

Daily Media Briefing


Posted in: Daily Media Briefing, Environment, Policy & Research

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August 13, 2012

Policy & Research

New UN initiative for ocean sustainability

United Nations (UN) Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has launched a new initiative to promote the sustainable development of the oceans, urging the world to achieve "healthy oceans for prosperity." The new ‘Oceans Compact’ aims to bring all UN-linked organisations together to improve the coordination and effectiveness of their work on oceans. It also promotes the engagement of non-governmental organisations, businesses and academics to tackle challenges in protecting and restoring the health and productivity of the oceans. Ban cited piracy, pollution, irregular migration by sea, over-exploitation of marine living resources and climate change as some of the threats the world now faces. To come up with ideas for the initiative and facilitate talks among stakeholders, Ban proposed creating an ‘Ocean Advisory Group’ of high-level policymakers, scientists and leading ocean experts, representatives from the private sector. (Korea Times)

Too many eco-labels ‘overwhelming,’ companies Say

Consumers and companies alike are becoming “confused” and “overwhelmed” by eco-labelling, according to a survey of more than 1,000 international companies including Hewlett-Packard, Nestlé, Canon, Sara Lee and E.On. The study found that only a minority of buyers spend time looking at eco-labels. The research found continuing fragmentation, consumer confusion and lack of consensus on qualifying criteria as the greatest challenges to eco-labelling continuing in its current form. (Environmental Leader)


Large shipping companies join green programme

Major shipping carriers Evergreen, Hamburg Sud North America, Hapag-Lloyd, Maersk Line, Nippon Yusen Kaisha and Yang Ming are the inaugural participants in the ‘Port of Los Angeles’ Environmental Ship Index’, an international clean air incentives programme that rewards ocean carriers for bringing their newest and cleanest vessels to port. Vessel operators will be rewarded for voluntary engine, fuel and technology enhancements that reduce emissions from ships beyond the regulatory environmental standards set by the International Maritime Organization. (Environmental Leader)

Japanese firms develop rare earth recycling

The Nikkei, a stock market index for the Tokyo Stock Exchange, reports that Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry is teaming up with Toyota and other major Japanese manufacturers to develop technology for recovering and recycling rare-earth metals. It could eventually allow Japan to reduce its rare earth imports by at least 10% by 2025. Currently, Japan relies on China for approximately 80% of its rare earth elements. Those elements are commonly used in motors found in electric vehicles and the nickel-metal hydride batteries used in many hybrids. By recovering and recycling rare earths, Japan hopes to slash that 80% figure. (Eco Business)