From Science and Environment

Posts on America’s work on and co-operation with the UK on climate change, renewable energy, nuclear energy, science, technology cooperation, space, aviation and medicine.

U.S.-China Joint Announcement on Climate Change and Clean Energy Cooperation

Colleagues, We are very pleased with the announcement of the agreement on climate between the U.S. and China, which provides real momentum going into the Lima and Paris UNFCCC Conference of Parties Discussion.  Please read the following and review the White House fact sheet for a few more details. FACT SHEET Building on strong progress during the first six years of the Administration, President Obama announced on November 12 a new target to cut net greenhouse gas emissions 26-28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025.  At the same time, President Xi Jinping of China announced targets to peak CO2 emissions…

World Science Day

From the discovery of DNA to the development of lifesaving vaccines to the exploration of Mars, science powers many fascinating discoveries and significant advances that benefit us all. 10 November every year is UN World Science Day which started in 2001 to: Strengthen public awareness on the role of science for peaceful and sustainable societies; To promote national and international solidarity for a shared science between countries; To renew national and international commitment for the use of science for the benefit of societies; and To draw attention to the challenges faced by science and raise support for the scientific endeavour.…

Green Growth: One Tower at a Time

I know that there is a lot of talk about green growth, and how protecting the environment can actually lead to new jobs, but we got to see green growth in action. My colleague and I visited in Chepstow, South Wales. Just as you might guess, Mabey Bridge started out in 1849 building bridges (which they still do), but then in 2011, they began constructing wind towers for on-shore wind farms, and components for off-shore wind farms. The privately owned Mabey business has invested £38 million in state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities. The on-shore wind towers are just massive, with heights ranging…

Congratulations to Nigeria!

It is rare to hear good news on the Ebola front, but we had some yesterday.  The World Health Organization (WHO) declared Nigeria Ebola free!  This is quite an accomplishment.  I am interested in a personal angle, because my first post was in Lagos, Nigeria, where I got to know a lot of people.  Lagos is a very densely populated city, and if Ebola got free there, it could have some terrible consequences. Nigeria had 19 cases of Ebola, but they worked very hard to isolate all of the Ebola patients, they carefully tracked down all of these people’s contacts,…

Administration’s Response to Ebola

The White House website has dedicated a page to the Administration’s Response to Ebola where it shares important facts about the disease as well as situational updates, what we’re doing at home, and what we’re doing abroad. The site also has news and helpful links. The Ebola virus is a public health and national security priority, and the President has directed the Administration to continue to take aggressive measures at every level of government. President Obama reiterated that, while Ebola is a serious disease, Americans need to understand the facts and be guided by the science: Ebola is not easily…

The White House

Ebola: Obama has video conference with Prime Minister

On October 15 the President participated in a video conference with his counterparts Prime Minister David Cameron of the United Kingdom, President François Hollande of France, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, and Prime Minister Matteo Renzi of Italy. The group discussed several urgent topics such as the international response to the Ebola epidemic in West…

White House Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) Event

On September 26, 44 countries announced over 100 new commitments to prevent, detect and respond to biological threats worldwide.  President Obama and senior officials from around the world called on nations to act now to achieve enduring global health security capacity in West Africa and around the world. National Security Advisor Rice said in her opening remarks, “We need to ask ourselves and our partners, how can we do more? How can we work in more organized and efficient ways? How will we measure our progress to make sure every nation has the capacity it needs?… How many more countries…

ebola

First Case of Ebola in the US

Yesterday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced the confirmation of the first Ebola case in the United States in a person who traveled from West Africa to Texas. The CDC is confident that they’ll be able to control the case and contain any spread of the disease into the rest of the…

ocean

Secretary Kerry: “Our Ocean” in New York

President Obama signed a proclamation designating the largest marine reserve in the world completely off limits to development and commercial resource extraction, including commercial fishing.  This will expand the existing Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument, one of the most pristine tropical marine environments in the world, to six times its current size, resulting in…

Obama - Climate Change Summit

President Obama at the 2014 Climate Summit

He’s not Leonardo DiCaprio, but President Obama’s, another one of the leading men at yesterday’s 2014 Climate Summit, speech on climate change is well worth a watch or read.  He began with a sober assessment of the magnitude of the problem: For all the immediate challenges that we gather to address this week — terrorism,…