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Climate change is defined as a long-term shift or alteration in the climate of a specific location, region or the entire planet. The earth’s climate has varied significantly over its geological past. There have been ice ages when the global mean temperature was about 5 8C lower than its present value, and interglacial periods when the mean temperature was about one degree warmer than the current value. These variations have been caused by solar changes, volcanic emissions and greenhouse gases (GHGs) (McBean et al., 2001). The concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2), a major greenhouse gas, in the atmosphere has fluctuated between 180 and 310 ppm during the last 400,000 years (Petit et al., 1999). However, over the last two centuries, the atmospheric CO2 concentration rose from about 280 ppm at the start of the industrial revolution to 368 ppm at the start of this century (McBean et al., 2001).

 

 

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As a result of evidence that human-induced global climate change is already occurring and will continue to affect society over the coming decades, a surge in interest in impact-oriented action is discernable since the beginning of the century, in contrast to efforts centred on prevention (Burton et al., 2002). Frustration over the lack of progress and effectiveness of policy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions has contributed to this shift. Adapting to the changes has consequently emerged as a solution to address the impacts of climate change that are already evident in some regions. However, this course of action has not always been considered relevant within science and policy (Schipper, 2006a; Klein, 2003). Adaptation responds directly to the impacts of the increased concentrations of greenhouse gases in both precautionary and reactive ways, rather than through the preventative approach of limiting the source of the gases (this is known as ‘mitigation’). This avoids the enormous political obstacles facing initiatives to curtail the burning of fossil fuels by factories, transport and other sectors. Adaptation to climate change is considered especially relevant for developing countries, where societies are already struggling to meet the challenges posed by existing climate variability (Yamin et al. 2005; Adger et al., 2003; Handmer, 2003; Kates, 2000; Watson and Ackerman, 2000), and are therefore expected to be the most adversely affected by climate change (McCarthyet al., 2001). The recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report makes clear that “adaptation will be necessary to address impacts resulting from the warming which is already unavoidable due to past emissions” (IPCC,complimentary response strategy to mitigation.

 

 

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The severity of damaging human-induced climate change depends not only on the magnitude of the change but also on the potential for irreversibility. This paper shows that the climate change that takes place due to increases in carbon dioxide concentration is largely irreversible for 1,000 years after emissions stop. Following cessation of emissions, removal of atmospheric carbon dioxide decreases radiative forcing, but is largely compensated by slower loss of heat to the ocean, so that atmospheric temperatures do notdrop significantly for at least 1,000 years. Among illustrative irreversible impacts that should be expected if atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations increase from current levels near 385 parts per million by volume (ppmv) to a peak of 450–600 ppmv over thecoming century are irreversible dry-season rainfall reductions in several regions comparable to those of the ‘‘dust bowl’’ era and inexorable sea level rise. Thermal expansion of the warming ocean provides a conservative lower limit to irreversible global average sea level rise of at least 0.4 1.0 m if 21st century CO2 concentrations exceed 600 ppmv and 0.6 –1.9 m for peak CO2 concentrations exceeding _1,000 ppmv. Additional contributions from glaciers and ice sheet contributions to future sea level rise are uncertain but may equal or exceed several meters over the next millennium or longer.

 

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The use of alternative fuels in the cement industry has increased dramatically in the past decade, with diff erent developments achieved in diff erent parts of the world. However, a strong global trend is evident, which is expected to continue at an even faster pace in the coming decades. Fuel changes in the cement industry are nothing new. Th e main fuels used have changed substantially during the past century. Oil has to a large extent been replaced by coal, of which a large fraction lately has been replaced by petcoke (and natural gas). In some countries alternative fuels are the principal fuel used in the cement industry. A good example is that of Ger-many (Figure 1).Th e use of alternative fuels has become more established and accepted by the industry as a whole. In continuation of this development there has been a desire from cement producers for a more complete scope of supply of equipment and services related to alternative fuels. To address these needs FLSmidth has established a group solely dedicated to this endeavour FLSmidth Alternative Fuels. In addition to supplying market leading machines, FLSmidth is now able to take responsibility for complete alternative fuel project implementation – as well service required.

 

 

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The European Cement Association, based in Brussels, is the representative organisation for the cement industry in Europe. Its Full Members are the national cement industry associations and cement companies of the European Union and the European Economic Area countries plus Switzerland and Turkey. Associate Members include the national cement associations of the Czech and Slovak Republics, Hungary, Poland and Estonia. The Association acts as spokesman for the cement sector towards the European Union institutions and other authorities, and communicates the industries views on all issues and policy developments likely to have an effect on the cement market in the technical, environmental, energy and promotion areas. Permanent dialogue is maintained with the European and international authorities and with other International Associations as appropriate. Serviced by a multi national staff in Brussels, Standing Committees and issue-related Project Groups, established as required, enable CEMBUREAU to keep abreast of all developments affecting the cement industry.

 

 

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Cement is an important construction ingredient produced in virtually all countries. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a by-product of a chemical conversion process used in the production of clinker, a component of cement, in which limestone (CaCO3) is converted to lime (CaO). CO2 is also emitted during cement production by fossil fuel combustion and is accounted for elsewhere. However, the CO2 from fossil fuels is accounted for elsewhere in emission estimates for fossil fuels. The Revised 1996 IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories(IPCC Guidelines) provide a general approach to estimate CO2 emissions from clinker production, in which the amount of clinker produced is multiplied by the clinker emission factor.

 

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Globally, over 150 countries produce cement and/or clinker, the primary input to cement. In 2001, the United States was the world’s third largest producer of cement (90 million metric tons (MMt)), behind China (661 MMt) and India (100 MMt).6 in 2001, primarily from Canada (20%), Thailand (16%) and China (13%). Less than 1% of domestic production was exported. The primary destinations for export were Canada (82%) and Mexico (6%). Cement is often considered a key industry for a number of reasons. To begin with, cement is an essential input into the production of concrete, a primary building material for the construction industry. Due to the importance of cement for various construction-related activities such as highways, residential and commercial buildings, tunnels and dams, production trends tend to reflect general economic activity. Furthermore, because of the large demand for cement, the relatively high costs associated with transport of the high-density product, and the wide geographic distribution of limestone, the principal raw material used to produce cement, cement is produced across the United States.

 

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Negotiating positions on climate change

Almost every country has signed up to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Its ultimate objective is to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent irreversible damage to the climate system. The UNFCCC has now been in place for more than 20 years, but the world has yet to agree to a treaty curbing global emissions that is fair, equitable and legally binding.

The UN climate change negotiations have two overarching themes: mitigation, which involves human interventions to reduce the sources of greenhouse gas emissions, and adaptation, which is about coping with climate change. The developing countries in the negotiations feel that long-term adaptation is impossible without mitigation by the industrialized nations. They point out that the developed world has a 'historic responsibility' for having caused climate change over the course of 200 years of industrialization.

 

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Even with concerted efforts to curb global greenhouse gas emissions to slow the rate of climate change, it is still necessary to prepare for and respond to the adverse impacts that climate change will have on societies and economies across the globe. While some uncertainty exists about the exact nature, timing, location, and magnitude of these impacts, empirical scientific evidence clearly indicates the increasing likelihood and severity of climate-related threats, including: water shortages and droughts; flooding; extreme, unpredictable weather patterns and events; declining agricultural yields; spread of disease and decline in human health; and loss of biodiversity. Anticipated climate change risks and impacts are explored in detail in Adapting for a Green Economy: Companies, Communities, and Climate Change.

 

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Electronic waste, or e-waste, is an emerging problem as well as a business opportunity of increasing significance, given the volumes of e-waste being generated and the content of both toxic and valuable materials in them. The fraction including iron, copper, aluminium, gold and other metals in e-waste is over 60%, while pollutants comprise 2.70%. Given the high toxicity of these pollutants especially when burned or recycled in uncontrolled environments, the Basel Convention has identified e-waste as hazardous, and developed a framework for controls on transboundary movement of such waste. The Basel Ban, an amendment to the Basel Convention that has not yet come into force, would go one step further by prohibiting the export of e-waste from developed to industrializing countries. Section 1 of this paper gives readers an overview on the e-waste topic—how e-waste is defined, what it is composed of and which methods can be applied to estimate the quantity of e-waste generated. Considering only PCs in use, by one estimate, at least 100 million PCs became obsolete in 2004. Not surprisingly, waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) today already constitutes 8% of municipal waste and is one of the fastest growing waste fractions.

 

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