RIO DE JANEIRO, Feb 16 (Tierramérica).- The Brazilian government decided to speed up the subsidized replacement of 10 million old refrigerators over the next 10 years.
The program, under debate for the past year, gained steam as a way to mitigate the effects of the financial crisis on the national refrigerator industry, where production has retracted in recent months after seeing production of five million units in 2008.
Older model refrigerators waste energy due to the deterioration of their insulation capacity, motors and compressors, renewable energy expert Aurelio Souza explained to Tierramérica.
The program is "interesting", he said, because it will favor the poorest sectors of the population, reducing their electric bills, and will prevent unregulated discarding of old units, which leads to emissions of gases that destroy the ozone layer and contribute to climate change.
Drafting Eco-Laws for Automobiles
MEXICO CITY, Feb 16 (Tierramérica).- The Mexican government is drawing up new standards that will require automobile manufacturers to offer vehicles with low carbon dioxide emissions.
Tierramérica learned of the news from a source at the National Institute of Ecology who requested anonymity, but who claimed to speak in name of that institution.
Mexico's car industry could easily adopt the new parameters, whose date of implementation is not yet set. The standards will be similar to those being considered in Europe and the United States for car imports, said the source.
Eighty percent of car production in Mexico is for export. There are some 26 million cars circulating on Mexican roads. From 1990 to 2006, carbon dioxide emissions from transportation sources jumped from 90 million to 150 million tons.
World Bank Finances Protected Areas
TEGUCIGALPA, 16 feb (Tierramérica).- The World Bank granted Honduras a three-million-dollar loan to protect its main areas of ecological and forestry preserves.
The funds will be managed in cooperation among communities and the private sector, which operates in at least 52 priority protection areas, as well as promoting production practices that respect traditional forms of conservation, Suyapa Otero, head of the Institute of Forest Conservation, told Tierramérica.
The preferential loan will allow the Institute to begin more effective planning in a country that loses some 80,000 hectares of forest each year, according to official figures.
Anti-Soybean Video for Kids
BUENOS AIRES, 16 feb (Tierramérica).- With a 13-minute video starring puppets and aimed at children, the environmental group Bios Argentina sets out its views on the monoculture of soybeans and the crop's environmental impact.
"The Story of the Good Soybean" is the title of the video short that can be downloaded free from the organization's web site: http://www.bios.org.ar/la_buena_soja.html
"We are trying to show kids, in a clear and simple way, the rural production model of raw materials in our region, with its associated effects: fumigation, deforestation and the loss of food sovereignty," Bios activist Silvana Buján told Tierramérica.
In the video, a child can't find the vegetables that his mother asked him to buy, so he heads to the country. There he finds that the only crop is genetically modified soybeans for export, resistant to the herbicide made by the fictitious laboratory "Non-Sancto" -- a reference to the agroindustry giant Monsanto. *Source: Inter Press Service.
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