中国与世界,环境危机大家谈

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A global environmental update

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Honey containing trace amounts of pollen from genetically modified corn must be labelled as GM produce and undergo full EU safety authorisation before it can be sold as food, the European Court of Justice ruled. The court found in favour of Bavarian beekeepers who said their honey had been “contaminated” by pollen from authorised Monsanto GM corn, according to The Guardian.

Ten years after the September 11, 2001 attacks on New York City’s World Trade Center, more than 18,000 people are suffering from respiratory and other illnesses linked to dust from the attacks, the BBC reported, citing US government figures. The dust contained a toxic mix of chemicals, including highly alkaline particles from pulverised concrete, asbestos and heavy metals from thousands of computers and lights.

In what environmentalists and some US legislators termed a cave-in to industry, the Environmental Protection Agency will abandon, for now, its pursuit of stricter smog standards, at the request of president Barack Obama, Environmental Finance said. The agency’s draft of tougher air-quality standards is to be considered in 2013.

The US president faces another major environmental decision by year’s end: whether to approve the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, designed to carry tar-sands oil from Canada to Texas refineries.The Canadian ambassador told Postmedia News he is confident the Obama administration will approve the project if it is guided by “facts”, and not the “noise” of recent protests in Washington.

By the time the two-week demonstration outside the White House ended last weekend, 1,252 people had been arrested, mongabay.com said. Bill McKibben of 350.org – the organiser, along with Tar Sands Action – said further protests will take place in Canada this month and again in Washington on October 7, the final day of a congressional hearing on the pipeline, CNN reported.

Exceeding 20% for the first time, renewable sources accounted for 20.8% of German energy production during the first six months of 2011, Spiegel Online quoted a German Association of Energy and Water Industries (BDEW) report as saying.

The first gas has been injected into the Nord Stream pipeline, running from Russia’s Arctic gas fields, under the Baltic Sea, to western Europe via Germany, Deutsche Welle said. Europe’s biggest energy project, the link was set up to bypass “transit countries” that have had supply-disrupting disputes with Moscow in the past.

Iran’s first nuclear-power facility – the Russian-built Bushehr power plant – has been hooked up to the national grid, supplying 60 megawatts of its 1,000-megawatt capacity, Agence France-Presse reported. The plant is expected to reach full capacity in November.

Victorious Bushmen are celebrating their use of drinking water from the Mothomelo borehole in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve for the first time in nine years, Voice of America said. The borehole was capped by the authorities in Botswana when they removed the Bushmen from their ancestral land in 2002, igniting a long legal battle.

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