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Prime Minister Tony Blair’s resilient belief about a successful deal on climate change at the G8 summit echoes a similar belief that a Brit can win Wimbledon. Mr Blair said a global agreement leading to a "substantial cut" in greenhouse gases could be reached at the three-day summit in Germany, where the leaders of countries accounting for 70% of emissions are gathering.

The difficulty is that the US has made it clear that their philosophy on climate change excludes agreeing to specific emission cuts. Leaked documents suggest that Washington objects to a draft G8 agreement to cap global temperature rise at two centigrade for this century and halve greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The draft was prepared by the German G8 presidency a few weeks ago. The US also refused to sign the Kyoto Treaty saying it is opposed to mandatory targets.

[via BBC and Press Assoc.]

Related stories: President Bush’s nail in coffin of climate change | US aims to block climate change agreement

melting%20.jpgToday is World Environment Day, which is celebrated every year on 5th June. It is one of the United Nations main channels for increasing awareness of the environment. World Environment Day was first established in 1972 by the United Nations General Assembly to mark the opening of the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment.

al%20gore.jpgAl Gore's plan for a nationwide, symbolic switching off of electrical appliances during the London Live Earth concerts on July 7th has been vetoed by the National Grid. It is feared that the mass switch-off could wreak havoc with electricity supply.

The project has received backing from millions of people across the UK, as well as from celebrities like Johnny Vaughn and Sophie Ellis-Bextor. But the Grid's belief is that millions of people rushing to switch off appliances at once could cause a surge too big for the network to cope with once they were switched back on. A National Grid spokesman said: ‘We are used to dealing with surges in demand, as it happens every day around certain TV programmes. But it’s very difficult to forecast exactly what would happen in terms of demand. We’d have had no idea how small or large it would be.’”

A similar plan, Lights Out London scheduled for June 21, has not been vetoed, and at time of writing will still be going ahead...

[Via Ecorazzi]

terra%20plana%20pink.jpgCamden green fair showcased some of the hottest trends in recycled and eco-friendly fashion on Sunday, under the blazing sun at Regent's Park. There were more labels on display to name, and it was encouraging to see some exciting new ones, but standing out were Terra Plana's fabulous new heels, Good One dresses and Traid Remade.

Terra Plana's heels, which we featured last month, looked fantastic on the catwalk are going down a storm at the moment -- and I'd recommend tracking some down before they sell out. Although they look like killer heels, the ultra-soft chrome-free leather makes them feel like your comfiest pumps, so they can even be worn without socks. Ideal for summer!

wholefoods%202.jpgThe long awaited opening of Britain's first Wholefoods Market, the biggest health food and organic chain in the USA and favourite haunt of celebs like Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, is set for tomorrow, when the 80,000 square foot superstore in High Street Kensington will open to the public. Amid lavish surroundings and greenery, shoppers will be able to fill their jute bags with every form of organic, fairtrade and macrobiotic fare under the sun.

I went along to the press opening last night to size up this sizable store, taste the produce, talk to some very friendly Americans and get a sneaky peek at some of the prices (many of which weren't visible yet - ominously enough). Follow the jump to find out my verdict on the food giant with a difference.

people%20tree%201.jpgJust days after announcing the appointment of former Topshop guru Jane Shepherdson, People Tree is already leaping into more shops. As well as having a concession in Whole Foods Market, due to open its doors tomorrow, the organic Fairtrade label is branching out into more UK outlets, with a range appearing soon at not-for-profit store Sust in Milton Keynes.

Buying organic clothing is a great way to reduce the spread of potentially harmful chemicals worldwide: 2.5% of the worlds cultivated land is used to grow cotton and some of the most toxic pesticides are used in growing cotton. This kind of farming seriously affects the health of cotton farmers and their families, with toxic chemicals in the air they breathe and the soil where they grow their food


Right! I don’t want anyone taking the… mickey out of the WEEE Directive (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment), which comes into force on 1st July. It means that by law all computer and electrical manufacturers must offer customers the ability to send back their old unwanted gear for recycling - for free. According to WEEE, all you will have to do is give the manufacturer a tinkle on the phone or by e-mail and they will collect it from your door. The DTI’s website could have chosen a more eloquent way to explain that the directive is designed for, “reducing the amount of WEEE going to landfill.” Now that has got to be a WEEE take!

Related stories: Vodafone recycle mobiles | Dell goes green

Visa Swap: a new concept in clothes swapping

visa%20swap.jpgWe all know that clothes-swapping parties are a new sensation sweeping the nation, but how do they actually work? Well, usually they take the form of a normal party but with your friends old clothes thrown into the mix. All a lot of fun, but a bit hit and miss, depending on your friends' tastes.

Now, clothes-swapping has gone official.:Visa Swap is the name for a new clothing event to encourage ethical fashion through swapping.

organic%20food.jpgExcellent Soil Association website Why Organic has just introduced a new family section with information on raising a family the organic way. The website, which aims to raise awareness of the benefits of the organic lifestyle and therefore increase demand for organic products, are backing this new launch with a new family membership package which includes two books and a children’s DVD as well as a limited free offer of toddler foods for new members in June.

The website includes regular free offers and competitions, Food Radio, recipes, farmer’s blog, and gardening tips as well as all the Soil Association’s helpful and well-researched information on all the big issues in the organic world such as pesticides and genetically modified foods. It’s a great all-round site with something for everyone from the most casual visitor to the hardcore organic gardener.

pills1.jpgThe Independent has an article tucked away in its Environment section that I think should have been front-page news. The article covers the news that for the first time rice containing human genes is being grown commercially. The rice in question has been developed to grow two proteins found in human breast milk. The company behind the rice, Ventria Biosciences says it wants to use it to make baby milk and rehydration drinks to help children in the third world. This all sounds very commendable, until you really think about this.

[Via The Independent]


The CEO of Apple, Steve Jobs, funny name I know, says he is doing the business to make Apple Mac green to the core. This isn’t my pun, it’s Greenpeace’s slogan for their campaign to make Apple a green leader in the electronics sector, and it’s called Green My Apple. This isn’t as glamorous as Pimp my Ride - Greenpeace want to see less fluorescent lights in Apple’s computer displays rather than funking them up with them, plus it gets a bit dreary when they start talking about phasing out Polyvinyl Chloride (which is the geek name for the well known PVC - I didn’t know that!)

Related stories: PC world’s carbon neutral PC | EPA says Greenpeace have got it wrong about Apple

plasticaintmybag.jpgUK consumers use around ten billion plastic bags a year and each of these takes 500 years to disintegrate. Still this hasn’t put too many people off using them. Despite the whinging about Anya Hindmarch’s bags and the fact that most people are undeterred in their usage of plastic carrier bags, the We Are What We Do movement, behind the, I’m Not a Plastic Bag’ Bag, are determined to banish our plastic foes.

earth5.jpgUS president Bush has confused the issue of global greenhouse gas emissions control in a clever move to stall any real progress at the G8 summit next week. Where anyone with any kind of concern for our planet’s future, and hence our own future would see this as a disaster for greenhouse gas emission reduction, our prime minister, Tony Blair called it an important step forward. An important step forward? To undermine the rest of the world’s efforts and to refuse to accept any responsibility for global warming is a step forward? Where British and German officials have stressed that a requirement for the next international climate agreement should be binding caps on carbon pollution for developed nations and limiting climate change to 2 degrees Celsius, President Bush is refusing to accept any cap on greenhouse gas emissions for the USA, as he thinks it will damage the economy.

[Via The Guardian]

Topshop's Jane Shepherdson joins People Tree

people%20tree%20montage.jpgFairtrade fashion label People Tree is to take Fairtrade fashion to a new level with the appointment of former Topshop Brand Director Jane Shepherdson.

Shepherdson, who is often credited with 'making Topshop cool', was also responsible for bringing People Tree into the store, and with her amazing track record looks likely to take the label to even greater heights when she joins People Tree's advisory board. This should drive Fairtrade fashion further into the mainstream, so expect more styles and more opportunities to buy People Tree Clothing; the news comes as the label announced that it is also to open a concession in organic superstore Whole Foods Market, due to open in London next week.

Here's to an exciting new phase for Fairtrade fashion!

Wake up and smell the coffee - next week

black%20gold.jpgPrepare to never again pick up a takeaway coffee without guilt...or, preferably, to be educated on where you can buy caffeinated beverages that aren't the product of exploitation; the long-awaited, feature length expose on the coffee industry Black Gold will be hitting cinema screens from 8th June.

The film will powerfully put the case for Fairtrade, giving an insight into the conditions suffered by workers in the multi-billion dollar global industry. It follows the life of Ethiopian farmer Tadesse Meskela, as he struggles to save his 74,000 coffee workers from bankruptcy, and his quest to find buyers willing to pay a fair price. If you'd like to be alerted when Black Gold comes to a cinema near you, sign up for an automatic reminder here.

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