World Issues

State of the world: U.N. poverty-reduction goals on track

Author: 

Peter Grier
State of the world: U.N. poverty-reduction goals on track -- Peter Grier
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Eleven years ago, at the Millennium Summit at United Nations headquarters in New York, the leaders of the world agreed to a plan meant to spur efforts to help the globe's poorest.

This blueprint involved a series of benchmarks – Millennium Development Goals – to measure the progress of developing nations on poverty, hunger, primary education, and so forth. The point was to rally international efforts to try to bring a better life to those who most needed it by 2015.
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UN: Global Access to Drinking Water Grows, But Poorest Falling Behind

Author: 

Adam Daley
A Gujjar or nomad woman carrying a pitcher filled with drinking water is silhoue
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The proportion of the world’s population with access to improved drinking water sources grew by 10 percent over a period roughly covering the past two decades, according to a United Nations study released Tuesday.

The study was released by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and UN World Health Organization (WHO).

The study found that between 1990 and 2008, the proportion of the world’s population with access to improved drinking water sources increased from 77 per cent to 87 percent. ... Read more about UN: Global Access to Drinking Water Grows, But Poorest Falling Behind

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From Cairo to the Cape, climate change begins to take hold of Africa

Author: 

John Vidal
Climate change hotspots in Africa
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We are right on the equator, and Speke, Moebius, Elena, Savoia and Moore, the five great glaciers of the the Rwenzori, the Mountains of the Moon, glint in the bright Ugandan sun. Usually lost in the mists that cloak these peaks up to 5,100 metres high, the glaciers are the only major ones left of the 43 that were mapped and named in 1906. Then, the ice covered 7.5 square kilometres, now it is thought to cover less than one. ... Read more about From Cairo to the Cape, climate change begins to take hold of Africa

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IEA Says Solar May Provide a Third of Global Energy by 2060

Author: 

Ben Sills
IEA Says Solar May Provide a Third of Global Energy by 2060
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Dec. 1 (Bloomberg) -- Solar technologies such as photovoltaic panels, water heaters and power stations built with mirrors could provide a third of the world’s energy by 2060 if politicians commit to limiting climate change, the International Energy Agency said.

Energy from the sun could play a key role in de-carbonizing the global economy alongside improvements in efficiency and imposing costs on greenhouse-gas emitters, the agency said in a report today. ... Read more about IEA Says Solar May Provide a Third of Global Energy by 2060

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NOAA: Autumn and November both warmer than average in the United States

Billion dollar weather/climate disasters 1980 - November 2011
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U.S. sets record with a dozen billion-dollar weather disasters in one year

November and the September-November autumn season were warmer than average across the contiguous U.S., according to scientists at NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) in Asheville, N.C. Precipitation totals across the country were also above average during November, but near the long-term average for the autumn season. ... Read more about NOAA: Autumn and November both warmer than average in the United States

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UN: farmers must produce 70% more food by 2050 to feed population

Author: 

Associated Press
Farm workers in Yinchuan, China. Most of the world's available land is already b
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A quarter of farmland is highly degraded, according to the first report into the state of the world's land resources ... Read more about UN: farmers must produce 70% more food by 2050 to feed population

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The charitable face of data use

Author: 

Tanzeel Akhtar
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A new group of innovative non-governmental organisations are springing up in the wake of disasters around the world, driven by complex data analysis and backed by telecom brands

Signing up refugees via mobile phone, Kakuma refugee camp, Kenya

When a massive earthquake hit Haiti in January 2010, the United Nations found that data collected through mobile telephones was crucial to delivering its relief programmes in the region. ... Read more about The charitable face of data use

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Human Development Index 2011: Warnings For The Future

Human Development Index 2011: Warnings For The Future
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The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) published its annual Human Development Index on Wednesday, painting a grim picture of the prospects for millions of people in some of the world's poorest nations. ... Read more about Human Development Index 2011: Warnings For The Future

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Greenhouse gases rise by record amount

Author: 

Associated Press
Emissions from a coal-fired power station. The output of greenhouse gases has ju
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The global output of heat-trapping carbon dioxide has jumped by a record amount, according to the US department of energy, a sign of how feeble the world's efforts are at slowing man-made global warming.

The figures for 2010 mean that levels of greenhouse gases are higher than the worst case scenario outlined by climate experts just four years ago.

"The more we talk about the need to control emissions, the more they are growing," said John Reilly, the co-director of MIT's Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change. ... Read more about Greenhouse gases rise by record amount

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Climate concerns as ‘ozone-friendly’ HFCs use grows

Author: 

Mark Kinver
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A rise in the use of "ozone-friendly" HFCs has prompted experts to voice concerns that the potent greenhouse gases could be a problem in the future.

A UN report says that HFCs, many more times potent than CO2, could account for up to 20% of emissions and hamper efforts to curb climate change.

They are widely used in fridges and air conditioning, replacing CFCs and HCFCs that damage the Earth's ozone layer.

The findings were presented during a meeting on protecting the ozone layer. ... Read more about Climate concerns as ‘ozone-friendly’ HFCs use grows

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