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Research scientists in Italy seem to have been particularly busy last week, publishing at least three significant reports, writes Stephen Gardner. The first was about an apparent finding that needs to be proved and may or may not have major ramifications. The other two were observations of phenomena in the real world that will affect everyone. However, only the first garnered any media attention.

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Companies should go beyond responding with cash and materials when catastrophes strike, and plan to be more resilient in an increasingly disaster-prone world, writes Stephen Gardner.

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EmissionsThere seems to be a lot of confusion about energy efficiency, on which the European Commission published proposals on June 22, writes Stephen Gardner.

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The EU's Focus Group on European Electro Mobility is experiencing delays in finalising recommendations for standards for electric vehicle chargers and connectors, writes Stephen Gardner.

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Mushroom cloudThe unfolding situation in Japan and the European Union decision to stress test nuclear power plants brought to mind another pressing issue: nuclear bombs, and especially what happens when they are lost or damaged, writes Stephen Gardner.

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It is the sexy subject of the moment, according to Reinhard Bütikofer, a German member of the European Parliament who speaks English with a Louisiana drawl. As China's economy steams ahead, the European Union, Japan and the United States are increasingly playing a geopolitical game to secure supplies of critical raw materials for their nascent green technology industries.

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The European Commission has a vision, writes Stephen Gardner. One day, a motorist in Brussels will be able to jump into his or her electric car and drive, greenly and serenely, to Bologna or Bucharest. On the way, the driver will recharge at various stops in different countries. This will be possible because a harmonised infrastructure of charging points will be available throughout the European Union, and all electric vehicles will be able to plug into it.

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Climate changeBlink and you’ll have missed it because it has attracted little media coverage, but 2010 was the warmest year on record. According to the World Meteorological Organisation, the global average temperature in 2010 was 0.53 degrees Celsius above the 1961-1990 average, writes Stephen Gardner.

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A change to the UK's Carbon Reduction Commitment has infuriated companies, writes Stephen Gardner.

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The Montreal protocol was once considered an unparalleled success story, writes Stephen Gardner. Former United Nations secretary-general Kofi Annan called it “perhaps the single most successful international agreement to date”.

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