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Freshwater stress and risk Freshwater stress and risk
One study suggests that although global water conditions may worsen by 2025 due to population pressure, climate change could have a net positive impact on global water resources. NB! Note that other studies indicate that with present consumption patterns, 2 of every 3 persons on Earth will experience water stress by 2025. The diagram on the left side shows the result of this particular study, indicating the water availability for the population...
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Temperature and CO2 concentration in the atmosphere over the past 400 000 years Temperature and CO2 concentration in the atmosphere over the past 400 000 years
Over the last 400,000 years the Earth's climate has been unstable, with very significant temperature changes, going from a warm climate to an ice age in as rapidly as a few decades. These rapid changes suggest that climate may be quite sensitive to internal or external climate forcings and feedbacks. This figures have been derived from the Vostok ice core, taken in Antarctica.
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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IPCC structure IPCC structure
In 1988, UNEP and WMO jointly established the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as concern over changes in the climate became a political issue. The purpose of the IPCC was to assess the state of knowledge on the various aspects of global change including science, environmental and socio-economic impacts and response strategies. The IPCC is recognized as the most authoritative scientific and technical voice on these issues, and its...
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Sensitivity, adaptability and vulnerability Sensitivity, adaptability and vulnerability
The potential impacts of climate change on the environment and socio-economic systems can be understood in terms of sensitivity, adaptability and vulnerability of the system, and this figure defines these terms.
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Major bottled water exporters and importers Major bottled water exporters and importers
The maps illustrate the crazy logic of today’s global trade. Exchange is no longer based on local needs or resource availability (in most countries where large amounts of bottled water are consumed, the tap water is perfectly drinkable), with unnecessary exchange involving major importers that are also major exporters (France, Germany and Belgium).
15 Dec 2006 - by Emmanuelle Bournay
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World Population World Population
The goods we accumulate today will pile up as waste tomorrow, and more yet in view of the global trends. Projections tell us that there will be 9 000 million people on Earth by 2050. According to the Global Footprint Network life on Earth would not even be sustainable for 2 000 million people consuming at the same rate as in the richest countries today.
15 Dec 2006 - by Emmanuelle Bournay
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Typical hazardous wastes generated by selected manufacturing industries Typical hazardous wastes generated by selected manufacturing industries
Industry is the top producer of waste in developed countries. A large proportion of industrial waste is hazardous, because industrial processes often involve chemicals. Cleaner production – reducing the amount of problematic components in a product and additives used in the production process – waste avoidance and a life cycle approach to waste management are attempts in the right direction.
15 Dec 2006 - by Emmanuelle Bournay
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What is e-waste? What is e-waste?
A growing share of municipal waste contains electronic or electric products. E-waste is one of the fastest growing waste streams and makes up approximately 4 per cent of municipal waste in the European Union. In the US, between 14 and 20 million PC’s become obsolete every year. The picture is similar all over the world and e-waste is increasing steadily.
15 Dec 2006 - by Claudia Heberlein
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Energy consumption per capita (2004) Energy consumption per capita (2004)
According to current forecasts the world’s energy requirements will have risen by more than 50 per cent by 2030. Oil and natural gas will account for more than 60 per cent of the increase. During the same time period renewable energy growth is lower.
15 Dec 2006 - by Emmanuelle Bournay
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Waste at every stage Waste at every stage
The squares are proportionnal to the estimated amounts of waste generated by sector in 2002, in the OECD countries (in million tonnes). Waste is produced from the very beginning of the life cycle of a product, long before we as consumers are aware of it.
15 Dec 2006 - by Emmanuelle Bournay
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Everyday alternatives: biodegradable, disposable or conventional tableware? Everyday alternatives: biodegradable, disposable or conventional tableware?
The priority is to decrease the amount of waste we generate. Only then should we will be proud of the high rates for recycling some countries report (see examples for glass and paper). Glass recycling scores best, perhaps because an old habit has never been lost. Many countries still have a deposit on glass bottles (Scandinavia) or have even expanded it (Germany).
15 Dec 2006 - by Emmanuelle Bournay
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Population by income level Population by income level
The rich world consumes more and thus produces more waste. The World Bank classification based on gross national income per capita is an indication of the global consumption level. Over the last two decades the world as a whole did not get any richer but China and Indonesia, two densely populated countries, entered the 'middle income world', as defined by the World Bank. Consumer items are available to a growing number of individuals, particular...
15 Dec 2006 - by Emmanuelle Bournay
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Number of planes to be dismantled worldwide Number of planes to be dismantled worldwide
At the end of their service life airliners may prove useful in many ways. They often fly as freighters for several years. When finally grounded they are scavenged for spare parts for other aircrafts, or used for training aircrews and firefighters. Sometimes sheet metal is cut off and melted down.
15 Dec 2006 - by Cécile Marin
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Nuclear waste generation Nuclear waste generation
More than three-quarters of nuclear reactors currently in service are more than 20 years old. After an average service life of 30 years it takes 20 more years to dismantle them. The spent fuel figures for 2002 are national projections. Quantities fluctuated strongly in the United Kingdom, partly due to variations in electricity output from nuclear power. Decommissioning of several older power stations explains the peaks.
15 Dec 2006 - by Emmanuelle Bournay
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Consumption appeal Consumption appeal
The marketing and advertising industry is constantly teasing us with trendy, cool and largely superfluous products. To judge by investment in advertising, it takes more and more to achieve the same effect. With all that stimulation it is an effort asking just what we stand to gain.
15 Dec 2006 - by Emmanuelle Bournay
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168 Parties to the Basel Convention in 2006 168 Parties to the Basel Convention in 2006
By the 1980s, the international community launched treaty negotiations under the auspices of the United Nations Environment Programme. In March 1989, they adopted the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal. The treaty entered into force in 1992.
15 Dec 2006 - by Cécile Marin, Emmanuelle Bournay
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Household expenditure per capita, selected countries Household expenditure per capita, selected countries
The list of products we used to keep for years and now dispose of instantly is almost endless: tissues, face wipes, razors, kitchen wipes, serviettes, nappies, plastic bags, toner cartridges, cameras and barbecues, to name just a few.
15 Dec 2006 - by Emmanuelle Bournay
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Mining and ore waste Mining and ore waste
Mining waste takes up a great deal of space, blights the landscape and often affects local habitats. By its very nature it can constitute a serious safety hazard. Poor management may allow acidic and metals containing drainage to the environmnent, it can result in contaminated dusts be spread by the wind, and can also pose a physical risk. Indeed, the failure of structures such as dams built to contain mining waste has lead to many accidental sp...
15 Dec 2006 - by Diana Rizzolio
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Major merchandise ports [and likely waste transit points] Major merchandise ports [and likely waste transit points]
Unscrupulous waste trade became a serious concern in the 1980s due to three converging factors: increasing amounts of hazardous waste; inadequate processing plants; and stricter regulations in the developed world with growing environmental awareness. Managing special waste streams properly became expensive, apparently too costly for some. Filthy shipments started travelling round the world.
15 Dec 2006 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, Emmanuelle Bournay
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Cell phone composition Cell phone composition
It is impossible to detail all the types of waste directly or indirectly involved in manufacturing mobile phones. In developed countries production processes manage to keep sensitive materials in a closed circuit, without any waste escaping to the outside world. Production – “Made in Elsewhere” – does not usually take place where the phones are most widespread. Degrees of efficiency in health and environmental protection vary. In some assembly ...
01 Oct 2006 - by Cécile Marin
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