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Uma autoridade do governo chinês demandou nesta terça-feira (5) que as embaixadas estrangeiras no país parem de divulgar informações sobre a poluição do ar, afirmando que tais ações são contrárias a leis e convenções diplomáticas. O recado é especialmente direcionado para a embaixada norte-americana.

O nível da poluição do ar na capital chinesa varia, dependendo das condições de vento, por exemplo, mas todos os dias um coquetel de emissões de fuligem, gases, poeira e aerossóis cobre a cidade como um lençol bege.

Muitos residentes não acreditam nas leituras oficiais, que classificam muitas vezes a poluição como “branda”.

A embaixada dos Estados Unidos em Pequim instalou um ponto de monitoramento em seu telhado que divulga a cada hora a qualidade do ar através do Twitter. Os consulados norte-americanos em Xangai e Guangzhou oferecem o mesmo serviço.

Apesar da China ter anunciado que melhorou os padrões de monitoramento da qualidade do ar em janeiro, os dados oficiais muitas vezes são distantes dos publicados pela embaixada dos EUA.

Especialistas chineses criticam o método de monitoramento da embaixada, que só tem um ponto de coleta de amostras, como não sendo científico.

O ministro interino de Meio Ambiente, Wu Xiaoqing, foi além, afirmando que as medições estrangeiras são ilegais e devem parar. Porém, ele não citou abertamente os Estados Unidos.

“De acordo com a Convenção de Viena sobre Relações Diplomáticas (…) diplomatas estrangeiros devem respeitar e seguir as leis locais e não podem interferir em assuntos internos”, declarou Wu em uma coletiva de imprensa.

“O monitoramento e a divulgação das informações sobre a qualidade do ar na China envolvem o interesse público e é de responsabilidade do governo. Consulados estrangeiros na China estão assumindo essa função, o que não apenas vai contra a Convenção de Viena (…) como viola regras de proteção ambiental relevantes.”

O porta-voz do ministério de Relações Exteriores, Liu Weimin, pediu para que as missões diplomáticas respeitem as leis chinesas e parem de divulgar as leituras “especialmente na Internet”.

“Se as embaixadas estrangeiras querem coletar esse tipo de informação para a sua própria equipe e diplomatas, não há problemas. O que não podem é divulgar esses dados para o mundo”, disse Liu.

A embaixada norte-americana reconheceu em seu site que o equipamento que possui não pode monitorar o ar de toda a Pequim e, assim, não pode ser considerado uma leitura da qualidade do ar para a cidade inteira.

Apesar das críticas, Wu reconheceu que a qualidade do ar e a situação ambiental na China ainda é bastante precária, com mais de 10% dos rios monitorados sendo considerados altamente poluídos, por exemplo.

“O que precisa ser salva é a qualidade do ar, não a cara do governo. As autoridades ambientais devem parar de criticar e começar a agir para lidar com esse problema”, afirmou Zhou Rong, ativista do Greenpeace.

Traduzido por Fabiano Ávila

Autor: Ben Blanchard
Fonte: Instituto Carbono Brasil / Reuters
Original: http://goo.gl/qH4NW


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Understanding what makes some people choose to live a sustainable lifestyle while others don’t worry at all about the environmental consequences of their actions is of interest to both marketers and policymakers.

If they are able to understand what makes some people go “green” while others continue to live without regard for the environment, they might be better able to draft policy and market products in a way that appeals to a broader range of people.

Now, scientists have taken a first step toward getting inside the minds of consumers by identifying which personality traits are more closely associated with sustainable behavior.

The researcher, Rune Ellemose Gulev of the University of Applied Sciences in Kiel, Germany, found that countries in which the populace was concerned with having high social cohesion or having tolerance and respect also scored highly with regards to environmental and social sustainability. People who value social responsibility among business leaders and those societies that had higher trust in one another were also more likely to be more focused on sustainability.

On the other hand, some traits tied to sustainability were less than obvious. For example, sustainable habits and practices were tied closely to countries where high levels of pay were important to people. Conversely, populations that were considered “unselfish” or focused on equality for all were not as likely to practice sustainable behaviors.

Gulev said the results show that sustainable behavior can be predicted and facilitated by understanding people’s attitudes and how they correlate to their real- life behaviors.

“Taken holistically, the results provide clear indication that some attitudes and values in people do facilitate sustainable behavior and that these attitudes and values can be fostered to create greater sustainable behavioral practices,” Gulev said. “It is hoped that the results initiate a debate and further motivation for research into sustainable practices.”

The research will be featured in the International Journal of Sustainable Economy.

Author: Jeanette Mulvey
Source: The Huff Post Green
Original: http://goo.gl/9mHbq


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Carro elétrico que roda 80 km em um dia foi aprovado em testes. Veículo específico para calçadões carrega até 300 kg.


Carro elétrico testado pelos Correios (Foto: Tadeu Meniconi/G1)

Os Correios exibiram na Arena Socioambiental, um evento paralelo à Rio+20 que ocorre no Museu de Arte Moderna, no Centro do Rio, um novo carro elétrico, elaborado em parceria com a Companhia Paulista de Força e Luz, que foi testado e aprovado ao longo de um ano de uso nas ruas de Campinas (SP).

O carro consegue rodar 80 km ao longo de oito horas – que é a carga horária normalmente necessária para as entregas de um dia. Para retomar a carga total, ele precisa ser ligado à tomada por mais oito horas.


Veículo utilizado por carteiros nos calçadões de Porto Alegre e Curitiba (Foto: Tadeu Meniconi/G1)

Apesar de mais carro que um veículo comum – custa cerca de R$ 80 mil –, esse carro é, financeiramente, 60% mais econômico do que o movido à gasolina. Além disso, faz menos barulho e, principalmente, emite menos gases estufa, já que a geração de eletricidade do Brasil é feita majoritariamente por hidrelétricas.

Os Correios também apresentaram um veículo de calçadões, que já é utilizado em áreas exclusivas de pedestres nos centros de Porto Alegre e Curitiba. Esse veículo é puxado pelos carteiros, mas também é motorizado, para facilitar o serviço. Ele funciona à base de baterias recarregáveis e carrega até 300 kg de encomendas.

Fonte: Globo Natureza
Original: http://glo.bo/MT4Oh7


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The Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the planet, says James Astill. The retreating ice offers access to precious minerals and new sea lanes—but also carries grave dangers

STANDING ON THE Greenland ice cap, it is obvious why restless modern man so reveres wild places. Everywhere you look, ice draws the eye, squeezed and chiselled by a unique coincidence of forces. Gormenghastian ice ridges, silver and lapis blue, ice mounds and other frozen contortions are minutely observable in the clear Arctic air. The great glaciers impose order on the icy sprawl, flowing down to a semi-frozen sea.

The ice cap is still, frozen in perturbation. There is not a breath of wind, no engine’s sound, no bird’s cry, no hubbub at all. Instead of noise, there is its absence. You feel it as a pressure behind the temples and, if you listen hard, as a phantom roar. For generations of frosty-whiskered European explorers, and still today, the ice sheet is synonymous with the power of nature.

The Arctic is one of the world’s least explored and last wild places. Even the names of its seas and rivers are unfamiliar, though many are vast. Siberia’s Yenisey and Lena each carries more water to the sea than the Mississippi or the Nile. Greenland, the world’s biggest island, is six times the size of Germany. Yet it has a population of just 57,000, mostly Inuit scattered in tiny coastal settlements. In the whole of the Arctic—roughly defined as the Arctic Circle and a narrow margin to the south (see map)—there are barely 4m people, around half of whom live in a few cheerless post-Soviet cities such as Murmansk and Magadan. In most of the rest, including much of Siberia, northern Alaska, northern Canada, Greenland and northern Scandinavia, there is hardly anyone. Yet the region is anything but inviolate.

Fast forward

A heat map of the world, colour-coded for temperature change, shows the Arctic in sizzling maroon. Since 1951 it has warmed roughly twice as much as the global average. In that period the temperature in Greenland has gone up by 1.5°C, compared with around 0.7°C globally. This disparity is expected to continue. A 2°C increase in global temperatures—which appears inevitable as greenhouse-gas emissions soar—would mean Arctic warming of 3-6°C.

Almost all Arctic glaciers have receded. The area of Arctic land covered by snow in early summer has shrunk by almost a fifth since 1966. But it is the Arctic Ocean that is most changed. In the 1970s, 80s and 90s the minimum extent of polar pack ice fell by around 8% per decade. Then, in 2007, the sea ice crashed, melting to a summer minimum of 4.3m sq km (1.7m square miles), close to half the average for the 1960s and 24% below the previous minimum, set in 2005. This left the north-west passage, a sea lane through Canada’s 36,000-island Arctic Archipelago, ice-free for the first time in memory.

Scientists, scrambling to explain this, found that in 2007 every natural variation, including warm weather, clear skies and warm currents, had lined up to reinforce the seasonal melt. But last year there was no such remarkable coincidence: it was as normal as the Arctic gets these days. And the sea ice still shrank to almost the same extent.

There is no serious doubt about the basic cause of the warming. It is, in the Arctic as everywhere, the result of an increase in heat-trapping atmospheric gases, mainly carbon dioxide released when fossil fuels are burned. Because the atmosphere is shedding less solar heat, it is warming—a physical effect predicted back in 1896 by Svante Arrhenius, a Swedish scientist. But why is the Arctic warming faster than other places?

Consider, first, how very sensitive to temperature change the Arctic is because of where it is. In both hemispheres the climate system shifts heat from the steamy equator to the frozen pole. But in the north the exchange is much more efficient. This is partly because of the lofty mountain ranges of Europe, Asia and America that help mix warm and cold fronts, much as boulders churn water in a stream. Antarctica, surrounded by the vast southern seas, is subject to much less atmospheric mixing.

The land masses that encircle the Arctic also prevent the polar oceans revolving around it as they do around Antarctica. Instead they surge, north-south, between the Arctic land masses in a gigantic exchange of cold and warm water: the Pacific pours through the Bering Strait, between Siberia and Alaska, and the Atlantic through the Fram Strait, between Greenland and Norway’s Svalbard archipelago.

That keeps the average annual temperature for the high Arctic (the northernmost fringes of land and the sea beyond) at a relatively sultry -15°C; much of the rest is close to melting-point for much of the year. Even modest warming can therefore have a dramatic effect on the region’s ecosystems. The Antarctic is also warming, but with an average annual temperature of -57°C it will take more than a few hot summers for this to become obvious.

The albedo effect

The efficient north-south mixing of air may also play a part in the Arctic’s amplified warming. The winds that rush northwards carry pollutants, including soot from European and Asian smokestacks, which has a powerful warming effect over snow. In recent decades there has also been a rise in levels of mercury, a by-product of burning coal, in the tissues of beluga whales, walruses and polar bears, all of which the Inuit eat. This is another reason why the Arctic is not virgin.

But the main reason for Arctic amplification is the warming effect of replacing light-coloured snow and ice with darker-coloured land or water. Because dark surfaces absorb more heat than light ones, this causes local warming, which melts more snow and ice, revealing more dark land or water, and so on. Known as the albedo effect, this turns out to be a more powerful positive feedback than most researchers had expected. Most climate models predicted that the Arctic Ocean could be ice-free in summer by the end of this century; an analysis published in 2009 in Geophysical Research Letters suggested it might happen as early as 2037. Some now think it will be sooner.

It is hard to exaggerate how dramatic this is. Perhaps not since the felling of America’s vast forests in the 19th century, or possibly since the razing of China’s and western Europe’s great forests a thousand years before that, has the world seen such a spectacular environmental change. The consequences for Arctic ecosystems will be swingeing.

As their ancient ice buffers vanish, Arctic coastlines are eroding; parts of Alaska are receding at 14 metres (45 feet) a year. Niche habitats, such as meltwater pools on multi-year ice, are dwindling. Some highly specialised Arctic species will probably become extinct as their habitats shrink and southern interlopers rush in. Others will thrive. The early signs of this biological reshuffle are already evident. High-Arctic species, including the polar bear, are struggling. Species new to the region, such as mackerel and Atlantic cod, are coming up in Arctic trawler nets. Yet the shock waves of Arctic change will be felt much more widely.

Melting sea ice will not affect global sea levels, because floating ice displaces its own mass in seawater. But melting glaciers will, and the Arctic’s are shedding ice at a great rate. Greenland’s ice cap is losing an estimated 200 gigatonnes of ice a year, enough to supply a billion people with water. The Arctic’s smaller ice caps and glaciers together are losing a similar amount. Before this became clear, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) had predicted a sea-level rise of up to 59cm during this century. Given what is happening up north, many now think this too modest.

A wilder fear is that a deluge of Arctic meltwater could disrupt the mighty “overturning circulation” of the global oceans, the exchange of warm tropical and cold polar water. It has happened before, at least seven times in the past 60,000 years, and needs watching. But recent evidence suggests that such a calamity is not imminent. Another concern, that thawing Arctic permafrost could release vast quantities of carbon dioxide and methane, looms larger. That, too, has happened before, around 55m years ago, leading to a global temperature increase of 5°C in a few thousand years.

Such risks are hard to pin down, and possibly small. Many elements of the change in the Arctic, including the rates of snow melt and glacier retreat, are still within the range of historical variations. Yet the fact that the change is man-made is unprecedented, which introduces huge uncertainty about how far and fast it will proceed. For those minded to ignore the risks, it is worth noting that even the more extreme predictions of Arctic warming have been outpaced by what has happened in reality.

Riches of the north

In the long run the unfrozen north could cause devastation. But, paradoxically, in the meantime no Arctic species will profit from it as much as the one causing it: humans. Disappearing sea ice may spell the end of the last Eskimo cultures, but hardly anyone lives in an igloo these days anyway. And the great melt is going to make a lot of people rich.

As the frozen tundra retreats northwards, large areas of the Arctic will become suitable for agriculture. An increasingly early Arctic spring could increase plant growth by up to 25%. That would allow Greenlanders to grow more than the paltry 100 tonnes of potatoes they manage now. And much more valuable materials will become increasingly accessible. The Arctic is already a big source of minerals, including zinc in Alaska, gold in Canada, iron in Sweden and nickel in Russia, and there is plenty more to mine.

The Arctic also has oil and gas, probably lots. Exploration licences are now being issued across the region, in the United States, Canada, Greenland, Norway and Russia. On April 18th ExxonMobil finalised the terms of a deal with Russia’s Rosneft to invest up to $500 billion in developing offshore reserves, including in Russia’s Arctic Kara sea. Oil companies do not like to talk about it, but this points to another positive feedback from the melt. Climate change caused by burning fossil fuels will allow more Arctic hydrocarbons to be extracted and burned.

These new Arctic industries will not emerge overnight. There is still plenty of sea ice to make the north exceptionally tough and expensive to work in; 24-hour-a-day winter darkness and Arctic cyclones make it tougher still. Most of the current exploration is unlikely to lead to hydrocarbon production for a decade at least. But in time it will happen. The prize is huge, and oil companies and Arctic governments are determined to claim it. Shortly before the ExxonMobil-Rosneft deal was announced, Vladimir Putin, Russia’s president, announced plans to make it much more attractive for foreigners to invest in Russian offshore energy production. “Offshore fields, especially in the Arctic, are without any exaggeration our strategic reserve for the 21st century,” he said.

For half the 20th century the Arctic, as the shortest route between Russia and America, was the likeliest theatre for a nuclear war, and some see potential for fresh conflict in its opening. Russia and Canada, the two biggest Arctic countries by area, have encouraged this fear: the Arctic stirs fierce nationalist sentiment in both. With a new regard to their northern areas, some of the eight Arctic countries are, in a modest way, remilitarising them. Norway shifted its military command centre to the Arctic town of Reitan in 2009. Russia is replacing and upgrading its six nuclear icebreakers, a piece of civilian infrastructure with implications for security too. Yet this special report will suggest that warnings about Arctic conflict are, like the climate, overcooked.

The Arctic is no terra nullius. Unlike Antarctica, which is governed by an international treaty, most of it is demarcated. Of half a dozen territorial disputes in the region, the biggest is probably between the United States and Canada, over the status of the north-west passage. Those two countries will not go to war. And the majority of Arctic countries are members of NATO.

Yet the melting Arctic will have geostrategic consequences beyond helping a bunch of resource-fattened countries to get fatter. An obvious one is the potentially disruptive effect of new trade routes. Sailing along the coast of Siberia by the north-east passage, or Northern Sea Route (NSR), as Russians and mariners call it, cuts the distance between western Europe and east Asia by roughly a third. The passage is now open for four or five months a year and is getting more traffic. In 2010 only four ships used the NSR; last year 34 did, in both directions, including tankers, refrigerated vessels carrying fish and even a cruise liner.

Asia’s big exporters, China, Japan and South Korea, are already investing in ice-capable vessels, or planning to do so. For Russia, which has big plans to develop the sea lane with trans-shipment hubs and other infrastructure, this is a double boon. It will help it get Arctic resources to market faster and also, as the NSR becomes increasingly viable, diversify its hydrocarbon-addicted economy.

There are risks in this, of dispute if not war, which will require management. What is good for Russia may be bad for Egypt, which last year earned over $5 billion in revenues from the Suez Canal, an alternative east-west shipping route. So it is good that the regional club, the Arctic Council, is showing promise. Under Scandinavian direction for the past half-decade, it has elicited an impressive amount of Arctic co-operation, including on scientific research, mapping and resource development.

Yet how to reconcile the environmental risks of the melting Arctic with the economic opportunities it will present? The shrinkage of the sea ice is no less a result of human hands than the ploughing of the prairies. It might even turn out as lucrative. But the costs will also be huge. Unique ecosystems, and perhaps many species, will be lost in a tide of environmental change. The cause is global pollution, and the risks it carries are likewise global. The Arctic, no longer distant or inviolable, has emerged, almost overnight, as a powerful symbol of the age of man.

Source: The Economist
Original: http://goo.gl/a1P3X


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Garrett McNamara, um dos melhores surfistas mundiais denfrenta as ondas “portuguesas”

“Quanto vale uma onda” em Portugal é o objectivo de um estudo académico, que está a ser desenvolvido por investigadores universitários, economistas, ambientalistas e surfistas que esperam ter uma resposta já em Novembro.

O estudo “Value of Waves and Ocean Culture” (VoW) foi hoje apresentado, na Universidade Nova de Lisboa, e contou com a presença de investigadores, ambientalistas, autarcas e até de um secretário de Estado “surfista”, o secretário de Estado dos Negócios Estrangeiros e Cooperação.

O objectivo do VoW é promover a preservação das ondas como recurso natural nacional, que deve ser explorado de forma sustentável, contribuindo para o reconhecimento do valor das zonas de surf junto dos decisores locais, organizações não-governamentais, investidores e o público em geral.

“Queremos perceber quanto vale uma onda para um surfista, mas também para um economista ou um empresário local”, resumiu Guido Marreto, professor assistente da Universidade.

Para determinar o valor económico, ambiental e social do surf em Portugal, e apoiar a protecção dos valores como as “ondas”, uma equipa de voluntários está a realizar inquéritos nas praias portuguesa e os resultados vão ser conhecidos no Dia Nacional do Mar, a 16 de Novembro.

Neste momento, já possível dizer que as empresas associadas ao mar facturam cerca de dois milhões de euros, e mais de metade do que vendem é exportado.

Source: Ecosfera – Público / LUSA
Original: http://goo.gl/MIjQh


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LIKE A MODERN-DAY POMPEII, the streets and buildings of Prypyat stand frozen by a disaster. But, unlike the eruption of Mount Vesuvius nearly 2,000 years ago, Prypyat was destroyed by a manmade – and thus preventable – catastrophe.

Weeds and grey desolation are all that thrive in this once-bustling community, which housed the workers of Chernobyl’s doomed nuclear power plant, whose devastating meltdown 26 years ago still inflicts physical and socioeconomic harm on many in Ukraine and nearby countries. Back then, the world was, for an instant, shocked by the folly of nuclear technology. But, as with Hiroshima, Three Mile Island, and last year’s Fukushima meltdown in Japan, the spike in global dismay was all too fleeting.

This myopia is a symptom of steady population growth, coupled with consumption-driven economies and ever-increasing demand for cheap energy. But the risks clearly outweigh the alleged benefits. While nuclear energy’s advocates often claim that there have been only two major calamities, a very different picture emerges if we consider other ‘accidents’ that caused loss of human life or significant property damage.

Between 1952 and 2009, at least 99 nuclear accidents met this definition worldwide, at a cost of more than US$20.5 billion, or more than one incident and US$330 million in damage every year. This recurrence rate demonstrates that many risks are not being properly managed or regulated, which is worrying, to say the least, especially given the harm that even a single serious accident can cause. The meltdown of a 500-megawatt reactor located 50 kilometres from a city would cause the immediate death of an estimated 45,000 people, injure roughly another 70,000, and cause US$17 billion in property damage.

During a visit to Chernobyl in April, I learned about a new project to build, by 2015, a “shelter” to lock in the radiation still emanating from the reactor. The price tag is estimated at €1.5 billion (US$1.9 billion). But this sarcophagus is no more than a wildly expensive Band-Aid, which will be ripped off a still-festering wound in 100 years, by which point, it is hoped, a permanent solution will have been found.

A 30-kilometre exclusion zone still rings Chernobyl, leaving once-fertile land unable to be tended by local farmers. In Belarus alone, roughly 8,000 square kilometers of farmland, an area almost the same size as all of Switzerland’s agricultural terrain, has been rendered by radiation unusable for ages.

Then there is the issue of who pays to build such facilities. In principle, private capital does not flow to non-profit activities. In fact, it is flowing to renewable energy sources, not atomic. According to a 2012 Pew Charitable Trusts report, the United States, for example, invested more than US$48 billion in renewable energy in 2011, up from US$34 billion in 2010, regaining first place in the global clean-energy investment rankings.

It is governments – and thus taxpayers and bondholders – that finance nuclear plants. Moreover, the alleged ‘cost-savings’ of nuclear power never include the price tag for direct and indirect governmental subsidies, decommissioning of aging facilities, and emergency clean-up and remediation of impacted communities when disasters occur – all, again, at taxpayers’ expense.

At Fukushima, for example, the bill will include the costs of the heroic efforts by hundreds of workers to cool down the plant’s reactors; the protracted loss of economic output in the 20-kilometre exclusion zone (estimated at US$128.5 billion by Roubini Global Economics); decommissioning and clean-up costs; and the costs of replacing 4.7 gigawatts of generating capacity. On top of that, there is the possibility of health-care costs resulting from exposure to radioactivity.

All of these hidden costs make the price of nuclear energy higher than the price of shifting to renewable energies and improving energy efficiency. Of course, with 15 countries relying on nuclear power for 25 per cent or more of their electricity, we cannot abandon it overnight. On the contrary, nuclear plants will be with us for years to come.

But steps can be taken. For example, it is estimated that adequate measures for insulating buildings or devising new energy-savings systems could reduce our electricity bills by 20 to 40 per cent. With roughly 15 per cent of global electricity supplies produced by nuclear plants, energy-saving measures could go a long way toward diminishing the need for them.

Countries like Brazil, which has a rapidly growing economy and relies on nuclear generation for three per cent of its power, are moving in this direction. Officials there announced in May that the country would not develop its nuclear sector for the next decade, partly because of Fukushima. Brazil has thus sent a clear message to other emerging economies – like Russia, India, and China – that sustainable growth must rely on renewable, safe sources of power.

Brazil’s step is also timely, coming before the June 2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro, or Rio+20. This meeting – despite some misgivings – is crucial. We have no choice but to embrace change, and rare events like Rio+20 offer an opportunity to get the global community out of harm’s way.

Alexander Likhotal was an advisor to Mikhail Gorbachev when he was President of the USSR, and is currently president of Green Cross, the environmental foundation based in Geneva.

Author: Alexander Likhotal
Source: ABC Environment
Original: http://goo.gl/zfckM


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Sempre ouvimos falar que a água é essencial para a vida do ser humano, mas sua disponibilidade está além da esfera biológica, e afeta também o campo econômico. É o que salienta um novo relatório da consultoria Frontier Economics e do banco HSBC, que afirma que a escassez hídrica poderá prejudicar o crescimento econômico mundial nas próximas décadas. A saída é investir em uma melhor distribuição, saneamento, tratamento e economia de água para todos.

De acordo com o documento, até 2050 as dez bacias hidrográficas mais populosas do mundo – dos rios Ganges, Yangtzé (rio Azul), Indo, Nilo, Huang He (rio Amarelo), Huai, Níger, Hai, Krishna e Danúbio – terão capacidade para gerar 25% do PIB global; atualmente, as regiões que compreendem essas bacias geram 10% do PIB global.

No entanto, isso só acontecerá se houver uma mudança no processo de manejo hídrico dessas bacias, caso contrário este crescimento ficará sob a ameaça de um consumo insustentável de água. Se isso acontecer, o texto prevê a escassez de água em pelo menos sete das dez bacias, incluindo a dos rios Ganges, Amarelo e Níger.

“Assumia-se até agora que a água sempre estaria disponível. As pessoas estão percebendo que isso agora não é assim”, comentou Nick Robins, diretor do Centro de Excelência em Mudanças Climáticas do HSBC.

Por isso, o relatório sugere que é necessário um maior investimento nos recursos de água doce e um melhoramento no tratamento, na economia de água e em como a água é usada na agricultura, na indústria e nas residências.

Além disso, o documento indica que os desenvolvedores de políticas devem entender a relação entre a água, a produção de alimentos, a energia e as mudanças climáticas e procurar formas de atrair investimentos para aperfeiçoar a infraestrutura hídrica.

“As descobertas mostram que o futuro das bacias hidrográficas é fundamental para o crescimento econômico. Ações rápidas e colaborativas em todo o mundo são necessárias. O relatório também enfatiza a forte lógica econômica de melhorar o acesso à água doce e saneamento, em um momento em que a ajuda total ao acesso à água e ao saneamento diminuiu”, observou Douglas Flint, presidente do HSBC.

Mas o texto aponta que, se há necessidade de investimentos, há também muitas possibilidades de ganho com isso. O relatório diz que investir no acesso universal à água resultaria em um ganho econômico mundial anual de US$ 220 bilhões. Os países poderiam ter um retorno de US$ 5 para cada US$ 1 gasto, embora na América Latina esse retorno possa chegar a US$ 16, e alguns países africanos poderiam receber todo esse retorno em três anos.

“[Os investimentos em água] são ativos de longa vida bastante seguros, então não há muito risco aí. Mas você realmente precisa dar aos investidores garantia de que os ativos estão a salvo”, declarou Robins.

O próprio HSBC está investindo na questão, e dará US$ 100 milhões nos próximos cinco anos para a WaterAid, a EarthWatch e o WWF para combater problemas hídricos. “Essa parceria resultará em 1,1 milhão de pessoas recebendo acesso à água potável e 1,9 milhão melhorando sua higiene e saneamento em Bangladesh, Índia, Nepal, Paquistão, Nigéria e Gana”, disse Barbara Frost, CEO da WaterAid.

O programa anterior de cinco anos do banco se focava nas mudanças climáticas, mas Robins explicou que a mudança de foco não é uma grande alteração, pois os dois temas estão intimamente ligados.

“A água é a forma pela qual as mudanças climáticas são expressas. Você tem a ruptura dos padrões climáticos tradicionais; áreas secas ficam mais secas, enquanto áreas úmidas ficam mais úmidas; e há também eventos climáticos extremos. A água é o coração da adaptação às mudanças climáticas”, concluiu.

Para obter uma cópia do relatório, entre em contato com Paul Cullum da Frontier Economics: p.cullum@frontier-economics.com ou 44 (0) 20 7031 7000.

Autor: Jéssica Lipinski
Fonte: Instituto CarbonoBrasil
Original: http://goo.gl/gVFbm


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