Five things we learned about climate change this week

By John Parnell, Ed King and Tierney Smith

Will camel nostrils create new agricultural space in deserts? (Source: Flickr/Xavi Talleda)

Camel nostrils inspire artificial desert oasis

In Qatar they are building a greenhouse based on a Camel’s nostrils. It won’t look like a humpbacked monster – but it does take inspiration from the way a camel’s nostrils evaporate and condense moisture to keep cool – and also apparently from ‘fog-basking beetles’. It will be open to visitors from July.

Sustainable design to give products an after-life

Heard of ‘Closing the Loop’ and ‘Cradle to Cradle’? No – me neither – until this week. It’s all the rage with UK designers, who are developing products that can easily be broken down and used again once their own life has come to an end. It also places focus on the use of renewable energy in the manufacturing process, water conservation and social responsibility. New design firms like Sibley Grove are applying it to their development of Interiors, Furniture, Jewellery, Graphics and Branding.

WWF targets damage limitation by “absurd” Arctic drilling

The WWF told a UK parliamentary committee that drilling for oil in the Arctic was “absurd”. The group also said that it was the least strategic way they could think of to pursue energy security.

The NGO conceded that an outright ban on drilling was unlikely but it will continue to press for no-go zones in the most sensitive areas of the Arctic.

China's growth is built on coal but PwC's Allan Zhang says domestic supply is low. (Source: Flickr/wsilver)

China has to tackle energy efficiency to pursue economic growth

Whoever takes power in the country following the elections in October will have to face growing resource scarcity at odds which China’s drive for growth.

The week Allan Zhang, Sustainability and Climate Change Director at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) told RTCC that the current economic model in China is “unsustainable” and overly reliant on diminishing fossil fuels and raw materials.

The country’s use of coal is expected to soar over the next five years. Sources of the fossil fuels – as well as water, labour, and minerals – will rapidly diminish, leaving the country to find a way to consume less energy and less resources, while also protecting its environment.

EU climate action chief calls for end to fossil fuel subsidies

Connie Hedegaard, the EU’s climate commissioner has called for the removal of fossil fuel subsidies at the Rio+20 summit this June.

The bloc’s climate enforcer, widely credited as the driving force behind the EU’s brawny stance at the UN climate talks in Durban last year, said cutting the subsidies would be a good first step toward putting a price on environmental damage.

Contact the team on [email protected] or @RTCCNewswire.

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