Global Warming  |  Waste Recycling  |  Climate Change



Agenda 21 is a blueprint for sustainable development into the 21st Century.  Its basis was agreed during the Earth Summit at Rio in 1992, and signed by 179 Heads of State and Governments.


At Rio an undertaking was given that local authorities would produce their own plan - a Local Agenda 21.  This would involve consulting with the community, because it is the people in the area who have the local knowledge needed to make sensible decisions for their future.  By this means responsibility for monitoring and implementing change is removed from centralised control or co-ordination, unfortunately with mixed results as few local authorities are willing or even able to implement worthwhile programs, let alone employ expert staff for the necessary research.


The authorities that have prioritised the issue have applied for European grants to set up experimental low emission bus routes and test electric cars.  There is no Local Plan as a template to highlight keys areas of concern.  Local Council's are not answerable to Government directly, according to the Secretary of State they are autonomous bodies answerable to the Courts.  However, without an appointee to take issue in a Court they are effectively answerable only to themselves.


Other Government initiatives having some success require larger concerns to pay a Carbon Tax as a Levy on energy used for manufacturing.  By signing an Agreement to lower energy consumption these companies may gain a tax reduction to offset the cost of staff, etc, employed to implement energy savings.  This might be by fitting better insulation, more efficient machinery or even boilers or by using a combined heat and power generating plant (CHP).


Sensible precautions might be:- 1. taking steps to cut harmful greenhouse gas emissions 2. using energy wisely 3. recycle discarded materials 4. reducing dependency on fossil fuels via alternative energy initiatives.  



Find out more about the UK's:  AGENDA 21   CLIMATE CHANGE LEVY  energy-efficiency.gov.uk











Kids Working Locally and Globally to Help the Environment

As an example to us all, kids in Japan are joining the Kids ISO 14000s program to help save the environment. This educational program is based on standards called ISO 14000s, which are set by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) to conserve energy and help the earth. ISO 14000 is a standard for environmental management.

The Kids ISO 14000s program is a worldwide standard program for children. The program uses a standard format for environmental data, so that the data of any family in the world can be compared with others.

The earth is sick right now with a disease called "global warming." In the last 100 years the earth's temperature has gone up 0.5 degrees Celsius. Just like you when your body temperature goes up, it means the earth has a slight fever right now. By the year 2100, though, the earth's temperature could rise as much as two degrees or more. Two degrees is as dangerous for you as it is for the earth. If this happens the ice at the North and South Poles could melt, causing the level of oceans to rise. According to some scientists, this means that cities like London and New York could be under water by the year 2050.

Global warming is just one of many problems caused by pollution from humans through things like cars, factories, and trash. You can help stop or slow down these problems by using less energy and other valuable natural resources. In the Kids ISO 14000s program, kids learn how to do this through a six-step work plan.

Taking electricity as an example, first, you check the meter at home for one week to see how much electricity you are using. Next, you give yourself a grade to see how well you think you are doing at conservation.

 In the third step, with the help of a pamphlet, you come up with ideas on how to conserve energy. For example, you can unplug things you are not using, open the refrigerator less often, turn the lights off when you leave a room, and try to limit the amount of video games you play.

The fourth step is to get your family's help in your plan, because as one kid said, "I figured out I couldn't make much difference without my family's help."

In the fifth step you see how much your efforts paid off by checking the meter for one week again. Says one participant, "My heart was beating every time I went to check the meter, and when I saw a big difference I was really happy." Finally, you compare the first week's meter reading with the second week's reading to see if there was a difference and then grade yourself again.

Along with electricity, kids use this same plan to cut the amount of gas and water they use and the amount of trash they throw out. When they finish the two-week program they are graded and their official results are sent to them. Kids can continue the program at home for three months in order to receive a certificate from the ISO. They can also join a network for kids involved in the program in order to work together with others in Japan and around the world to make an even bigger difference. From start to finish, kids are the leaders in this fight to save the earth.

After an introductory course, kids can attempt the primary level of Kids ISO 14000s, the secondary level, and finally the highest level. The International Accreditation Committee, formed by international authorities, including the United Nations University, certifies those who pass each level.

More than 10,000 Japanese children took part in the Kids ISO 14000s program this summer, and the number is increasing dramatically. Now the Kids ISO 14000s program is spreading to Thailand, Indonesia, Australia, Brazil, and Europe. In the next year, children around the world will be able to compare their environmental activities with those in other countries through the Kids ISO 14000s Network.


ArTech website: http://www.artech.or.jp   Contact: info@artech.or.jp


Global Warming  |  Waste Recycling  |  Climate Change