Japan's power firms paid a combined 100.1 billion yen, or $1 billion, for carbon credits in the year that ended on March 31, their annual earnings reports showed, giving investors a rare glimpse into how much utilities are spending to offset their own carbon emissions.

Canada said on Monday it will pursue World Trade Organisation action against China if it maintains its ban on pork and hogs from the province of Alberta.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency announced Saturday it had found the H1N1 flu virus in a swine herd in the western province of Alberta, prompting the ban by China.

Hypothyroidism is the most common thyroid abnormality in patients treated with high doses of iodine-131 (131I) . Data on risk of hypothyroidism from low to moderate 131I thyroid doses are limited and inconsistent. This study was conducted to quantify the risk of hypothyroidism prevalence in relation to 131I doses received because of the Chornobyl accident.

Russia's greenhouse gas emissions rose by a tiny 0.3 percent in 2007 to the highest since 1990s economic downturn caused by the break-up of the Soviet Union, according to data submitted to the United Nations.

Stage set for credit sale THE UN appointed last month German consultancy firm tuv sud to verify the authenticity of clean energy projects in developed countries. The firm will certify if the project did indeed reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Once a project is certified by an accredited agency, every tonne of greenhouse gas not emitted becomes an emission reduction unit (eru).

The collapse of the Soviet Union had diverse consequences, not least the abandonment of crop cultivation in many areas. One result has been the vast accumulation of soil organic carbon in the areas affected.

Crossing through ten countries and draining the territory of 19 countries, the Danube is the most international river in the world. In addition to the 83 million people living in the river basin, the Danube is home to globally important species of flora and fauna.

The Ukrainian prime minister cast a shadow over a strategically important hydrocarbon exploration project yesterday, openly accusing a US energy company leading the venture of holding backroom talks with Russia's Gazprom. Announcing her government had repealed an exploration licence off Ukraine's Black Sea coast for Houston-based Vanco Energy, Yulia Tymoshenko also raised the stakes in a long-standing rivalry with Viktor Yushchenko, the president.

Soaring concentrations of hazardous fine particles in Central Europe have been traced back to parched farmland left to gather dust to the east in the Ukraine. In spring 2007 levels of particulate matter (known as PM10) reached almost 30 times the European average in parts of Slovakia, Poland, the Czech Republic and Germany. Air quality specialists looking into the event now believe the dust originated from fallow land on Ukrainian farms and was carried west by unfavourable winds.

There was, last week, a glimmer of hope in the world food crisis. Expecting a bumper harvest, Ukraine relaxed restrictions on exports. Overnight, global wheat prices fell by 10 percent. By contrast, traders in Bangkok quote rice prices around $1,000 a ton, up from $460 two months ago.