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India: Vedanta Orissa Projects Ban Must Be Upheld

Ongoing attempts by UK-based mining company Vedanta Resources to overturn an Indian government decision blocking a proposed bauxite mine and expansion of an alumina refinery in Orissa should not be allowed to succeed, a new report byAmnesty International says.

The report, “Generalisations, Omissions, Assumptions”, reveals that the company has failed to adequately consider the human impact of its proposed projects with an investment of US $ 1.7 billion in Orissa.

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Permafrost could Release Vast Amounts of Carbon and Accelerate Climate Change by End of Century

Billions of tons of carbon trapped in high-latitude permafrost may be released into the atmosphere by the end of this century as the Earth’s climate changes, further accelerating global warming, a new computer modeling study indicates.

The study also found that soil in high-latitude regions could shift from being a sink to a source of carbon dioxide by the end of the 21st century as the soil warms in response to climate change. The research was led by Charles Koven of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab).

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Large-Scale Industrial Carbon Capture, Storage Plant Begins Construction

Washington, D.C. – Construction activities have begun at an Illinois ethanol plant that will demonstrate carbon capture and storage. The project, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Fossil Energy, is the first large-scale integrated carbon capture and storage (CCS) demonstration project funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) to move into the construction phase.

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Dunkin Brands Publishes its First Corporate Social Responsibility Report

Canton, Massachusetts – Dunkin’ Brands Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: DNKN), the parent company of Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins, on August 23 published “Serving Responsibly”, the company’s first Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) report. The report offers a detailed overview of Dunkin’ Brands’ current CSR initiatives as well as key areas of focus for the future, such as nutrition, sourcing and packaging.

‘Serving Responsibly’ outlines Dunkin’ Brands’ ongoing commitment to grow its business in a sustainable manner while taking into consideration the needs of guests, employees, franchisees, local communities and the environment.

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Tobacco Companies Use Corporate Social Responsibility for Political Purposes

Corporations may use corporate social responsibility programmes not only to improve their public image, but also to gain access to politicians, influence agendas, and shape public health policy to best suit their own interests. In a research article led by Gary Fooks from the University of Bath’s Tobacco Control Research Group in the UK and published in this week’s ‘PLoS Medicine’, these programmes are revealed as “an innovative form of corporate political activity”.

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New Ocean Current Can Alter Climate Change Scenario

An international team of researchers, including physical oceanographers from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), has confirmed the presence of a deep-reaching ocean circulation system off Iceland that could significantly influence the ocean’s response to climate change in previously unforeseen ways.

The current, called the North Icelandic Jet (NIJ), contributes to a key component of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), also known as the “great ocean conveyor belt”, which is critically important for regulating Earth’s climate.

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Russian Arctic Oil Drilling Rig Ignores Environmental Safety

A Russian company has begun towing a drilling platform into place in the Russian Arctic, despite its lack of preparedness to operate safely in the extreme conditions.Gazprom plans to start using the platform later this year to develop the Prirazlomnoye oil field, 60 kilometers offshore in the Pechora Sea.

The plans do not meet the Arctic Council’s oil and gas guidelines, developed with Russian participation, or a recent order from the Russian President, “permitting oil production only if operators have proven techniques of under-ice oil spill response”.

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Ten Practical Policy Consequences of Acknowledging Climate Change as an Ethical Problem

Although many people have acknowledged that climate change must be understood as an ethical problem, the practical significance for climate policy formation that follows from this recognition appears not to be understood widely.

This article details ten of the practical consequences, among many others, for policy formation listed by Donald A. Brown, Associate Professor of Environmental Ethics, Science and Law at Pennsylvania State University, that flow from the acknowledgement that climate change is an ethical problem.

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Study on Renewable Jet Fuel from Brazilian Sugarcane

São José dos Campos – Boeing (NYSE: BA), Embraer(NYSE: ERJ; BM&FBOVESPA: EMBR3), and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) on July 26 announced that they will jointly fund a sustainability analysis of producing renewable jet fuel sourced from Brazilian sugarcane. The ground-breaking study will evaluate environmental and market conditions associated with the use of renewable jet fuel produced by Amyris (NASDAQ: AMRS).World Wildlife Fund (WWF) will serve as an independent reviewer and advisor.

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NASA Research Leads to First Complete Map of Antarctic Ice Flow

Washington – NASA-funded researchers have created the first complete map of the speed and direction of ice flow in Antarctica. The map, which shows glaciers flowing thousands of miles from the continent’s deep interior to its coast, will be critical for tracking future sea-level increases from climate change. The team created the map using integrated radar observations from a consortium of international satellites.

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