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Articles from Science for Environment Policy

Articles from Science for Environment Policy

A service from the European Commission

Health and climate benefits by control of methane and black carbon
Measures to control methane and black carbon (soot) emissions could improve air quality and public health, in addition to slowing the rate of climate change, according to recent research. By 2030, the reduced pollution could prevent between 700,000 and 4.7 million premature deaths each year, with 80% of the benefits occurring in Asia.
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Alaskan ice retreat uncovers new methane seeps
Scientists have found that retreating glaciers and melting permafrost in Alaska are releasing up to 70% more methane - a potent greenhouse gas - than previously thought. If this estimate is true for the rest of the Arctic, this could have serious implications for global warming, say the scientists.
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Local management helps species adapt to climate change
As the climate changes, habitat specialist species will be forced to either adapt to new conditions or move to more suitable habitat. Now, researchers from the UK have shown how conservationists can use local management practices to help these species expand into new areas with favourable conditions.
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Green energy: demand drives innovation
The growing demand for power generated from renewable energy sources also drives innovation in the sector, according to research on the German renewables industry. An increase in the number of patents granted for green technologies in Germany was linked to both increased demand - driven by renewable energy policies - and increased public spending on the sector.
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Global toxic assessments possible, but data need harmonising
Comparative toxic assessments across regions and countries are needed to minimise human exposure to harmful chemicals associated with consumer products. A new study has developed a US version of the EU Toxic Potential Indicator (TPI) and compared the two models for over 500 chemicals. Differences in results exist, indicating a need for more harmonisation between regulatory thresholds and guidelines.
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Building urban resilience to climate change
Long-term urban planning is needed to adapt the urban environment and make it more resilient to climate change, according to a new European Environment Agency (EEA) report that aims to support urban policy development and decision making.
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Enhancing qualities of starch-based bioplastic
New research has produced a starch-based bioplastic with similar properties to equivalent traditional oil-based plastics. By adding an ammonium salt to thermoplastic starch (TPS) the study demonstrated an improvement in the plasticisation process, rendering it flexible, mouldable and potentially recyclable.
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