Archive for the ‘Environment’ Category

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addresses the plenary session of the UN Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (© UN Photo/Maria Elisa Franco)

Although the Rio+20 sustainability summit ended without delivering the vision or commitment needed for the future, Switzerland says the process is not dead.

It is a view shared by the Swiss media following the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development – which closed on Friday after 193 nations agreed on a lackluster accord that largely reaffirms the goals of its predecessor, the 1992 Earth Summit.

“Based on its ambitions, the results of Rio+20 are very modest. But there were still some small successes,” stated the Saturday edition of the Tages-Anzeiger newspaper. These successes included sustainability goals and the introduction of a so-called green economy, defined as creating “well-being” and jobs without damaging ecosystems.

Click here for the whole story on swissinfo.ch.

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The nuclear power plant in Mühleberg near Bern opened in 1972.

The people of canton Bern in Switzerland have voted in favor of building a new nuclear power plant in Mühleberg to replace the old one there. Meanwhile, voters in canton Nidwalden reiterated their lack of interest in hosting a nuclear waste repository in Wellenberg. Though non-binding, the recent ballot box results show that nuclear technology remains controversial in Switzerland.

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He's awfully cute, but not so welcome in Europe. © André Künzelmann/UFZ

Globalization carries a hidden price tag that may not appear until decades after a trip was made or goods were exchanged.

It comes in the form of invasive species – non-native plants, insects and animals – that wreak havoc on the local flora and fauna while forcing the host country to fork out eradication funds.

Results of a European study show that socio-economic factors have a direct influence on the number of biological invaders in a given country.

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Plastic bottles are convenient to recycle. © PET-Recycling Schweiz

Switzerland’s recycling figures for plastic drink bottles are at an all-time high, but there is no nationwide system for recycling other types of plastic. Packaging for food, cosmetics and other everyday products generally lands in the incinerator.

Read the whole story here: http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/swiss_news/Room_to_grow_in_Swiss_plastic_recycling.html?cid=18006398

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The waste is plentiful, the storage space not (Paperkraft.net)

An association based in Switzerland is helping its European neighbors in their search for a good place to dump nuclear waste.

Ten nations have enlisted the aid of Baden-based Arius, or Association for Regional and International Underground Storage. They hope to consolidate their radioactive waste within a single location.

Click here to read the rest of the story: http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/swiss_news/Wanted:_European_backyard_for_nuclear_waste.html?cid=8903868

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The May 2010 issue of Swiss News magazine

I’ve been following the progess of the Solar Impulse for a while now, and my latest article made the cover of Swiss News.

You can read a PDF version here: Solar Impulse_ready for take-off_

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Bertrand Piccard (Solar Impulse) and Andres Wirz (Solafrica)

Green living goes glamorous at the first-ever NATUR Gala, held in conjunction with the fifth annual NATUR Festival and conference in Basel. Highlights include a green fashion show, a former Miss Switzerland and prizes shining the spotlight on sustainability.

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