Books & products

The UNEP 2004 Annual Report looks at the organization’s work and achievements during the year. Under the headings ‘The Age of Partnerships’ and ‘Protecting Natural Resources’ it examines UNEP’s advances in forging collaborations with civil society, the private sector, international organizations and governments, in promoting sustainable development and protecting the environmental foundations on which human society stands. It is available from
Ever since its inception in 1972, UNEP has enjoyed a special relationship with civil society in tackling environmental challenges and, during this period, NGOs have gained considerable leverage in international environmental relations. A new 30-page book UNEP and Civil Society: Thirty Years of Partnership describes the evolution of the dialogue between stakeholders, major groups and UNEP over the past three decades and illustrates how partnerships have led to increased participation in the deliberative process.
China has invested more than $100 million in a state research project into fuel-cell and hybrid cars and buses, with an eye to establishing a stake in the future market for low-polluting vehicles. Prototype fuel-cell cars and buses have been tested over thousands of kilometres, and a first hybrid bus – using both petrol and electricity – carried passengers in Wuhan in Hubei province, cutting emissions by a third. The news follows the hybrid Toyota Prius being voted Car of the Year in both Europe and the United States in 2004. Xu Jing, Vice-Director of China’s Ministry of Science and Technology High Technologies Departments, says that the country is aiming ‘to build our own capacity in competing with developed countries in tomorrow’s auto industry’.
The GEO Year Book 2004/5 is the second in an important series which serves as a guide for policy makers and a stimulus to future action towards the achievement of sustainable development. A spin-off product of UNEP’s flagship report, Global Environment Outlook (GEO), it aims to bridge the gap between science and policy by highlighting the major global and regional environmental issues and developments of the year, and their implications; by focusing on major policy developments and instruments that have a bearing on sustainable development; and by strengthening the trend analyses of environmental issues in future comprehensive GEO reports and other scientific publications. It is published in English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese and Russian, and is available to buy ($20 plus postage and packing) from
UNEP’s groundbreaking Environmental Law programme has recently published a series of important books. These include: an updated and expanded UNEP Training Manual on Environmental Law, which will serve as a major teaching/training source in developing countries; the Judges Handbook of Environmental Law, which will assist the judiciary in understanding and enforcing environmental law; Texts of Selected Documents on International Environmental Law, a comprehensive, user-friendly reference book; the Compendium of Summaries and Judgements in Environment-related Cases, a rich source of judicial precedent on environmental issues; the UNEP Judges Programme, giving an overview of this pioneering initiative; and UNEP Environmental Law Programme: Thirty Years of Progress, which showcases UNEP’s major achievements in the field.
‘Chilled by the sun’ is the slogan for a new initiative by Unilever, the multinational company, which uses solar energy to cool ice-cream cabinets. Five of the cabinets were tested during the baking hot weather of the Athens Olympics and the company says it is an example of how it is ‘trying to reduce its impact on the environment, including climate change’. It is also introducing cabinets using hydrocarbons as refrigerants, in a technology originally pioneered by Greenpeace. Unlike the older alternatives they do not attack the ozone layer or increase global warming – and they use up to 9 per cent less energy

PHOTOGRAPHS: Philipp Meise/University of Bradford, Unilever

This issue:
Contents | Editorial K. Toepfer | Waking up | Planting security | Natural peace | People | No procrastinating on climate | Attracting private investment | Reshaping the energy and security debate | At a glance: Environmental security | Star profile: Salman Ahmad | How many Earths? | Green helmets | Books and products | Initiative for change | Security in turbulence | Water and war | Beating the ‘resource curse’ | Green peace | It’s poverty, stupid

Complementary issues:
Joachim Milberg: Make way for the zero-litre car (Energy) 2001
Maria Maack: Breaking the ice (Energy) 2003
People (Seas, Oceans and Small Islands) 2004