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Corn-based biofuel, fluke or future?

Former advisor to British Prime Minister Tony Blair highly critical of U.S. recovery of energy and investment in food production. In 2008, an increase in production costs of grains and rice, coupled with American policies on foreign trade agreements triggered a hike in food prices. Before the food crisis, 1.3 billion are estimated to have been [...]

Opinion: If political promises were energy, there would be no need for oil

The CO2-neutral innovation race is on. In the private sector, that is. Whether it is pure PR or do-good spirit that drives it, CO2 neutral initiatives are all over in the business world. Costumers and their consciences love it, and everything points to companies going green or going under in the future because in business [...]

Biodiversity is already suffering from climate change

Action is needed immediately if we are to fight the loss of biodiversity caused by global warming, according to two scientists. The scientists attending the Beyond Kyoto conference are stressing that we need to attend to the loss of biodiversity immediately. They say we are already seeing the dramatic results that environmental problems such as pollution, deforestation and [...]

Nanotechnology for lunch

The fourth session of the nanotechnological theme has just ended, and I want to do some short interviews with the speakers on hydrogen as a future energy carrier. However, after attempts to ask them if they have a minute for a few comments, they ask me to join them for lunch instead. It wasn’t exactly [...]

Cleaner technology a new victim of the financial crisis

The search for cleaner technology is in limbo as failing markets and oil dependency have businesses scrambling Competing financial and environmental interests threaten the pursuit of green technology, said Aalborg University Professor Frede Hvelplund at the ‘Beyond Kyoto’ conference on Friday. With government and business shifting their focus on nursing failing financial health, commitment to [...]

Inuit people hit hard by climate change

Unstable ice, difficulties in hunting seals, migration of fish, thawing permafrost… These are some of the problems encountered by the Arctic indigenous people. As they live in a very extreme region, adaptation has been a necessity for years, but the recent acceleration of the ice melting is threatening their culture and very way of life. [...]

Drive green

Alternative fuel cars have been presented at the ‘Beyond Kyoto’ conference on Friday as a key way to significantly reduce CO2 emissions. All day a seemingly endless line of cars cut through the misty grey of the early Danish spring and wheeled past the Aros Museum in Århus, where part of the Beyond Kyoto conference [...]

Nanotechnology: Small particles for great challenges

Nanotechnology is about manipulating particles to make new materials. In one of the potentially most far-reaching projects, scientists want to prevent heat from disappearing during the burning of fossil fuels. This will dramatically increase the efficiency and reduce global warming. Imagine if your jacket could charge your Ipod only by using your body heat. Or think in an [...]

Recommendations at closing session Beyond Kyoto

Money and private investments; this is what the climate summit in Copenhagen in December needs more than anything, if the world’s leaders want it to succeed. This was the clear message from the more than 1.000 experts and other participants assembled at the Beyond Kyoto conference, when it closed late Friday after two days of [...]

Brazil offers the world a solution for biofuels

The crops currently used for green fuels in Europe are inefficient and contributes to global warming. In Brazil you can fill your car with environmentally friendly ethanol for half the prize of gasoline. Maize is bad, so is soy. Oil palms are often planted on destroyed rainforest and useful agricultural land, said professor Stephen P. Long, a [...]

Samsø island: a showroom for new solutions

A young boy cooking hot dogs by solar energy, a retired teacher showing his new solar panels on the roof of his house or a farmer being co-owner of a windmill. In a decade the conservative farmer community of Samsø, a small island nestled in the Kattegat Strait, has turned into a case study for [...]

Cows in a cage: the solution to climate change.

In the future, green consumers might be faced with a difficult choice: Do they want to buy meat from grazing, grass-fed, cows who emit 50% more greenhouse gasses than their locked-up counterparts? Or do they want to prioritize the fight against climate change by supporting farmers who keep their cattle indoors, minimizing the emissions of [...]

Voices: Participants practice what they preach

The media has a responsibility to inform the public about climate change. And right now, the media are not doing enough. People at the Beyond Kyoto conference are not only talking about global CO2 emissions. Some also practice what they preach on a personal level. Simple things the average person can do to reduce his own carbon [...]

Voices: “Nanotechnology is a new territory we can explore”

Jonas Kofoed Nielsen is a student at the Danish School of Journalism. He covered the Beyond Kyoto conference for the scientific website  “I think a conference like this is important because you have all the big scientists from all over the world together.” Jonas focused on nanotechnology during the conference. “It was about how [...]

Voices: “Little things become big things”

Pec and Susanne Møller from Odense, Denmark are on a short vacation in Aarhus. Pec Møller:  ”I didn’t know that there was a climate conference”. “I think in maybe a year, the financial crisis will be over, but the climate is still going to be bad. So I think it is necessary to talk about it”. Susanne Møller: [...]

Environment issues need public participation

Everyday people need to be more active in the environmental debate and decision making; this is Aarhus Convention Secretary Jeremy Wates’ message. The United Nations’ Aarhus Convention presents how the participating countries would like the environmental case to be shaped. The convention calls for citizens to play a bigger role in the environmental debate. More [...]

More entertainment could mean less CO2

Providing specific data and facts about climate change may not be enough to change people’s habits. Unfortunately, many people concerned about climate issues discuss it in a way that ordinary people simply cannot understand. Having entertainment programmes address green issues could make people sit up and listen. Just as in advertising, the best way to [...]

The 7 Statements

Here are the final recommendations from the Beyond Kyoto conference: Climate Policy: All sectors of society must be involved in future climate solutions Biodiversity and Ecosystems: Biodiversity must be an integrated part of the general mitigation and adaptation effort Agriculture and Climate Change: We must increase agricultural productivity to use less water and land Nanotechnology [...]

Developing countries can kill two birds with one stone

Many developing countries have already been taking action to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. These efforts have not been driven by climate policy but by the need for development, poverty alleviation and energy security. The attempts to link efforts for development and the fight against climate change could signal a new type of sustainable development. The benefits of Vietnam’s [...]

Emissions trading in the EU an awkward dilemma

The EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) may have encouraged EU member states to comply with the Kyoto Protocol and contributed to growth of the global CO2 trade market, but there is still plenty of room for improvement. According to Deputy General Director of Dansk Energi, Lars Aagaard, the cost of CO2 emissions will decide [...]

Arctic habitat being destroyed while it disappears

The habitat of polar bears and other arctic wildlife is already disappearing due to climate change. The remaining habitat could soon be actively destroyed by arctic oil drilling, said Jesper Madsen of the National Environment Research Institute at Aarhus University on Friday. In the continuing drama of climate change, arctic wildlife is set to be [...]

Once again, the rich spoke about the absent poor

Speakers and participants at the Beyond Kyoto Conference agree that the climate challenges are global and are likely to hit the developing world harder than anyone else. They also agree that the issue needs to be addressed and discussed internationally, across borders, religions and economies. But a short look at the list of speakers reveals only a [...]

Reporting on the rapporteurs

Observers flock to Beyond Kyoto to make December in Copenhagen a success A Danish green think tank overseeing discussions at the Beyond Kyoto climate conference will make recommendations to politicians during the lead up to the COP15 conference. “One of the issues we will address in our recommendations so far will be the need to focus on getting [...]

Voices: “The time is short”

Sanford Gaines, Research Professor of Law, University of New Mexico (USA): “The World has delayed much too long in being serious about climate change. So I think it is very important to have this conference, one next week in Copenhagen and then the COP15. These are very important issues about the future of the World.” [...]

Fleeing butterflies signal bigger changes

Butterflies fleeing the heat might be one of the first indications of environmental developments that would later affect larger species and humans. Scientists are keen to focus their research on butterflies because they respond so quickly to changes in their environment.    The way butterflies react to climate changes reveals how other species might eventually respond [...]

Voices: “You can buy a CO2-free stay here”

Flemming Poulsen, Sales manager of the Radisson Hotel: “Yesterday, we just received our Swan Brand, the most important  green brand in Denmark. It means that we now have a environmental policy.” “An example of our new policy is that you can buy a CO2-free stay here. We work together with an external environmental company. If [...]

Voices: “The economic crisis is partly caused by the climate crisis”

Hans Buhl, Aarhus University (DK): “I think it’s even more important [to have a climate conference] because of the economic crisis. I had a speech this morning arguing that the economic crisis is partly caused by the climate crisis and high energy prices. To me it appears that it is very important to integrate the [...]

Voices: “Some people don’t know when to stop talking”

Anne Jensen, Grundfos Management (Denmark) employee: “I’ve only been to two sessions today but I’ve enjoyed them both. I find it quite hard to know what you’re going to hear about beforehand. This morning I listened to talks about low-energy buildings and (she laughs) the CEO of Grundfos.” “Time management may be one issue at [...]

Fishing industry set for risky expansion into unfrozen Arctic

Life in the Arctic is changing dramatically, as the ice sheet melts due to climate change. Estimates predict that as early as 2040, polar bears could be out of ice to roam on during the summer. This is bad news for most, but for the fishing industry in the region it opens up new business [...]

India weathers hard times

India needs adequate climate change policies to face the environmental challenges ahead Half of the country suffering from drought; ripe conditions for cholera and malaria; dramatic increase in rural unemployment; unknown effects on human body systems. India is one of the most threatened and least prepared, when it comes the effects of climate change. K. Shadananan [...]

Environmental groups: Carbon capture is a scam

Environment groups are disputing the viability of carbon capture storage (CCS) on the grounds that the technology is not proven, unsafe and according to Friends of the Earth “would take 20-30 years to have any effect on carbon emissions.” Green peace have stated “CCS isn’t commercially viable; there are no commercially operating CCS plants in [...]

Voices: “It’s great talking to people from other countries, different mentalities.”

Henrik Skov, Journalist for Aarhus University:“We have journalists from nearly all over the world, it’s quite nice really.” “It’s great talking to people from other countries, different mentalities. In Denmark we have a bit of a reserved mentality compared to the Americans. Last night I was having a glass of wine and eating at town [...]

Voices: “The conference is going very well, it has been a huge success so far…”

Jakob Bek-Thomsen, Aarhus University Press Coordinator: “The conference is going very well, it has been a huge success so far and we’re all very pleased on how things are going.” “I don’t think it’ll be an annual event in this scale at least. There might be some smaller conferences but I don’t this we’ll do [...]

Voices: “I think it’s about high time that people do something…”

J.P., Aros Museum security guard: “I think about high time that people do something about these climate problems. Politicians are too slow and we all have a commitment and duty to slow down.” By Sophall Duch and Portia Nicholson

Don’t do this at home

See the smoke, drink the CO2 – but don’t experiment too much at home. Chemistry students from Aarhus University demonstrate some of their funnier lab techniques – mainly to attract attention to the real CO2 problem. Chemistry students discover that showing works better than explaining when it comes to getting the public’s attention on science and climate change. “We [...]

European countries need to share renewable energy

Europe will need to lay more cables to share its renewable energy sources, if it is to meet its targets in the fight against climate change. ” We can’t just make our own grid plan and hope our neighbours will cover where we can’t,” said the head of research and development at, Kim Behnke,  [...]

Activists plan demonstration against carbon trading

While science meets politics at the Beyond Kyoto conference in Århus, environmental activists plan to demonstrate against one of the key points of discussion: Carbon trading. Eleven days after the Beyond Kyoto conference, a Danish network of climate activists, ClimaX, will demonstrate against carbon trading in Copenhagen. The event will take place on March 17, when [...]

Forests, not technology, are the best carbon absorbers

Climate change must begin in the forests rather than from investing billions in storing CO2 in the underground, says several scientists attending the Beyond Kyoto climate conference While many scientists focus on radical technological solutions to climate change, such as storing CO2 in the ocean floor, one expert wants attention put back on a natural alternative [...]

Climate reporting has more scary scenarios than solutions

Media’s obsession with conflict and crisis takes the attention away from stories about solutions to climate change. Media need spectacular events to take an interest in a scientific topic. Journalists like reporting negative happenings and showing negative sides of environment subject as well. This is why climate change stories are currently so popular in the [...]

Voices: “The danger is of course these events get to be too self-congratulatory”

  Svend Auken, Social Democrat and former Environment Minister (DK): “You do have here in Århus a rather very interesting group of scientists, of industrialists, of journalists, of a few politicians and so forth, and you get the best science, you get the best political advice, you get a mobilizing effect. And it is part [...]