By Bruce H. Rubin* | IDN-InDepth NewsViewpoint
LANSDALE, Pennsylvania (IDN) - In today’s world of growing populations and food needs, we are revisiting, with respect to agriculture, the old adage "Give a man a fish and he eats for a day; teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime." However, too often in the developing world, we are letting the newly-educated man down by not providing him with infrastructure needed to save, sell, or transport what he grows.
India, Africa, Latin America and other developing regions continue to face crippling hunger and poverty rates. Despite the consistent production of agricultural products, the post-harvest loss rate for fruits and vegetables hovers around 40% and has remained there for years, undermining the ability of local farmers to feed their countrymen and develop exports. The total spoilage of post-harvest loss hovers around 1.3 billion tons.
By Athena Ballesteros of World Resources Institute
The U.S. Department of the Treasury issued on October 29, 2013 a policy document ending Washington’s support for multilateral development bank (MDB) funding for new overseas coal projects except in narrowly defined circumstances. Treasury Under Secretary for International Affairs Lael Brainard explained: "By encouraging the use of clean energy in multilateral development bank projects, we are furthering U.S. efforts to address the urgent challenges of climate change." World Resources Institute’s Project Manager of International Financial Flows and Environment Project, Athena Ballesteros, analyses the significance of the initiative in a blog.
By Richard Johnson | IDN-InDepth NewsReport
MOSCOW (IDN) - Forgotten is the shock and despair triggered by the Fukushima power plant disaster about two years ago. Nuclear power is here to stay. In fact, according to a consensus emerging from an international conference, "for many countries nuclear power is a proven, clean, safe, and economical technology that will play an increasingly important role in achieving energy security and sustainable development goals in the 21st century".
By J C Suresh | IDN-InDepth NewsReport
OTTAWA (IDN) - Experts from more than 50 nuclear and non-nuclear countries have stressed the need for enhancing safety and security culture with a view to preventing the occurrence and minimizing the consequences of accidents in nuclear power plants. The call emerged from a four-day conference hosted by the Canadian government in Ottawa.
This was the third international conference of its kind organised by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) since the first such gathering held in Moscow in 2006, followed by the second 2009 in Cape Town, South Africa. The next International Regulatory Conference will take place in 2016 and will be hosted by the European Nuclear Safety Regulators Group (ENSREG) at a location yet to be determined.
By Richard Johnson | IDN-InDepth NewsReport
LONDON (IDN) - While Japan’s reactors remain vulnerable two years after Fukushima disaster, more than 45 countries, ranging from sophisticated economies to developing nations are reported to be actively considering embarking upon nuclear power programs, The front runners after Iran are said to be UAE, Turkey, Vietnam, Belarus, Poland and Jordan.
By J. C. Suresh | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis
TORONTO (IDN) - Two eminent NASA scientists have taken up the cudgels for nuclear power, which is being increasingly pooh-poohed around the world since the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in March 2011.
A landmark study by scientist-turned-climate activist James Hansen, who has been more outspoken than virtually all of his peers on the need for climate action, and his NASA colleague Pushker Kharecha avers that nuclear power is far safer than natural gas. According to them, 1.84 million lives have been saved by the worldwide use of nuclear power instead of fossil fuels between1971 and 2009.
By Richard Johnson | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis
LONDON (IDN) - As western powers debate unabatedly Tehran’s real intentions behind harnessing energy from the atom, Japan is willing to provide Iran technical advice, equipment support and vast experience of abiding by nonproliferation safeguards so that it may practice its right to peacefully use nuclear power, says a Japanese government official serving as research fellow at the Federation of American Scientists (FAS).
By Devinder Kumar | IDN-InDepth NewsReport
NEW DELHI (IDN) - Though the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd. (NPCIL) and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh are at pains to 'sell' atomic energy as a "safe, environmental friendly and an economically viable source of electrical energy to meet the increasing need of electricity in the country", protests continue unabated.
By Bernhard Schell | IDN-InDepth NewsReport
DUBAI (IDN) – More than one billion people live without electricity mainly in poor and rural communities. Providing universal access to energy will therefore be a key discussion point at the sixth World Future Energy Summit (WEES) from January15 to17 in Abu Dhabi, an eminent emirate of the federation of United Aran Emirates (UAE).
By Eva Weiler
PRAGUE (IDN) - The Czech Republic plans to lessen its dependence on coal and increase in the next 20 to 30 years the share of nuclear power to supply half of its energy needs under a new long-term energy policy unveiled by Prime Minister Petr Necas.
The policy document, drafted by the Industry and Trade Ministry and approved by the cabinet on November 8, also sets the way for the Czech Republic to achieve a 13 percent share of renewable sources in total energy consumption by 2020, as is required by the European Union, according to the Czech News Agency (ČTK).
By Richard Johnson
LONDON (IDN) - More than eighteen months after the Fukushima nuclear disaster in March 2011 in Japan, China continues to exercise caution in returning to building new nuclear power plants. After an executive meeting, the State Council or China's cabinet, presided over by Premier Wen Jiabao, has decided not to set up any atomic plants in inland regions, but only build a few in coastal areas that have gone through adequate justification.
Within days of Fukushima accident, the Council had decided to halt approvals and licensing for new reactors until a safety plan was in place, and there was assurance that existing plants were adequately designed, sited, protected and managed.