Every year, around 5,000 people die prematurely in Europe due to NOx gas emissions from diesel cars that exceed the EU limits. This calculation comes from a new study by an international team of researchers. Excessive pollution is the result of the loopholes in the EU system for vehicles environmental surveillance. The Volkswagen scandal has shown that real road emissions are higher than those declared by manufacturers, far exceeding the legal values.
Steel producers and the industry in general must comply with new EU emission limits as of 2016. But the steel giants, the second largest industrial polluters in Europe, watered down their obligations through lobbying. Introducing the most suitable technologies to clean up their dirty fumes is just an option, not a requirement. European citizens pay an estimated 60 billion Euro for medical emergencies and premature deaths associated to industrial emissions.
Liquid fuel from plants – like bioethanol – is considered by some as a possible ecological substitute for fossil fuel. And this is clear to the countries of the western world, and in particular to England. These are crops that are subject to controversy, as they risk replacing foodstuffs by exorbitantly increasing the price of food and hunger. Not to mention the problem of expropriation of land.
Bioshape, a green energy company based in Neer, Netherlands, is currently involved in bankruptcy proceedings. Among Bioshape’s projects, it is to hire thousands of local laborers and export seeds from Tanzania to the Netherlands, where they would be worked for the production of electricity, heat and biofuels. A big wound to the green polo of the world by the hand of a project that was intended to produce clean energy.
A carbon credit system, the one designed by the European community to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but which would actually even raise them. The scheme was so controversial that the European Union banned it in 2013. However, the prohibition has not been taken into account by some large multinationals, as long as it does not actually come into force.
Among the longest greenhouse gases we find fluorinated. Paints, air conditioners, refrigerants: these are the consumer goods whose production emits the notorious gas, so damaging to the health of the climate.
Italy is in the EU viewfinder for failing to comply with the Community rules on fluorinated emissions.
What is the real weight of the biofuel revolution? Kenya and Ethiopia have sold 700,000 hectares of land to foreign investors: fuel fuels represent a development opportunity or a new form of colonialism? Running crops for fuel production led to a sharp rise in cereal prices during the food crisis in 2008, triggering a bias between NGOs and those waving on clean energy. A FAO research shows that the sedentary “miracle of plantations” could be less miraculous than investors.
Against climate warming and oil prices, the Kyoto Protocol bets on biofuels. And if the announced green revolution assumed the size of a new colonization? The Italian company Tozzi Renewable Energy (TRE Spa) is positioned on the African chess board, pending a new climate change agreement that could multiply cash flows to the green gold sector. But in danger, they are not just the fair pay of local peasants, but even ecosystems and food security.
And if you were told that you could fight climate change with a purchase on eBay? Clean Air Action Corporation, an American company set up an online store selling carbon credits. The money supposedly goes to indigenous peasants in Tanzania to persuade them to plant new trees that absorb C02. But locals no longer believe in the project. Exploited, they have stopped growing the trees, making more money through cutting them to resell the wood.