RIO DE JANEIRO, (Tierramérica).- Brazil is considering an agreement to manufacture 100,000 automobiles with fuel-alcohol-driven engines through a 30 million dollar donation from Germany, as part of the Clean Development Mechanism of the Kyoto Protocol on climate change, signed in 1997.
The clean development system allows industrialized countries to invest in "clean" energy projects in developing countries as a means to meet the targets set in the Protocol for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. The Kyoto Protocol will enter into full force as soon as Canada and Russia ratify it.
Brazil could receive 600 million dollars a year in investment in this clean energy sector, according to calculations by the Brazilian Business Council for Sustainable Development.
SANTIAGO, (Tierramérica).- - The Chilean Superintendent's Office for Electricity and Fuel slapped the Concón petroleum refinery, the country's largest, with a 695,000-dollar fine for the contamination caused in four industrial accidents this year.
The most recent incident was a pipeline leak, Jul 5, that dumped 40 cubic meters of petroleum.
On May 9, there was a leak of 35 cubic meters of oil into Aconcagua River; Mar 27 a refinery boiler ignited; and another 65-cubic-meter oil leak on Jan 17 complete the chain of Concón accidents.
The four incidents were due to poor installation, care and management of the refinery, ruled the Superintendent's Office.
Beetles Infest Forest
TEGUCIGALPA, (Tierramérica).- - A plague of pine beetles (Dentroctonus frontalis) attacked 18,000 hectares of forest in Honduras, causing 30 million dollars in losses over the last three years, reports the Honduran Forest Development Corporation.
The infestation began in 1999 and since then 12,000 outbreaks have been recorded throughout the country. The beetle, known here as 'gorgojo', eats away at tree bark -- mostly pine -- and has damaged natural habitat for other species, altering biological diversity, say scientists.
In the last few years the beetle has destroyed 40,000 hectares of forests in nearby Belize and 35,000 hectares in neighboring Nicaragua.
Laser for Use in Monitoring Climate
HAVANA, (Tierramérica).- The use of the LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) system in meteorological applications will be discussed at a meeting in Cuba of scientists from around the world in February.
Unlike radar, which is based on radio waves, this technology uses laser rays to gather data about the ozone layer, cirrus clouds and the temperature and density of the stratosphere.
The seminar on LIDAR is to take place in February in the southeastern city of Camagüey, where one of the three systems of this type exists in Latin America. The other two are in Brazil and Argentina.
The goal is to create a Latin American network of LIDAR stations in order to strengthen regional cooperation in confronting global climate change and protecting the environment, say the organizers. *Source: Inter Press Service.
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