1. Residents in the city of Kiel can now park for free in the centre if they drive low-emission cars cars. The new programme, which came into effect on 1 January 2010, provides drivers with low-emission cars with a “free parking sticker” valid in any city-owned parking space. With the sticker people will be allowed to park for two hours. Cars proven to emit less than 120 grammes of CO2 per kilometre will get the green light for the sticker at the Ordnungsamt, the office of public order, for the price of €5.

  2. Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of the 27 Member States of the European Union (EU-27) increased by 2.4 % (or 111 million tonnes CO2 equivalent) between 2009 and 2010. Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of the 27 Member States of the European Union (EU-27) increased by 2.4 % (or 111 million tonnes CO2 equivalent) between 2009 and 2010. These figures from the greenhouse gas inventory published by the European Environment Agency (EEA) on 30 May 2012, confirm earlier EEA estimates.

  3. BirdLife International has announced, in the 2010 IUCN Red List update for birds, the extinction of Alaotra Grebe Tachybaptus rufolavatus. Restricted to a tiny area of east Madagascar, this species declined rapidly after carnivorous fish were introduced to the lakes in which it lived. This, along with the use of nylon gill-nets by fisherman which caught and drowned birds, has driven this species into the abyss.

  4. Traditionally known as 'The Venice of the North', Stockholm has added more fame to its name. Throughout 2010, Sweden's capital was celebrated as Europe's first Green Capital. Stockholm, a fast-growing city of 800,000 inhabitants, has set itself the ambitious target of becoming fossil free by 2050. The city has an Integrated Management System that ensures environmental issues are included in the city’s budget, operational planning, reporting and monitoring. Some 95% of the population live less than 300 metres from green areas that improve the local quality of life, bringing recreation, water purification, noise reduction, and an enhancement of biodiversity and ecology. The city was commended for its extensive programme of future improvements to such areas, including the creation of more beaches for bathing. An innovative integrated waste system means high recycling rates, especially of bio-waste, using underground vacuum controlled systems. A pioneering Congestion Charging system has reduced car use, increased use of Public Transport and reduced emissions, and the city can boast a 25% reduction in per capita CO2 emissions since 1990, bringing the emissions to about half the national Swedish average.

  5. Germany continued to meet its Kyoto Protocol commitments during the 2010 economic recovery period. Based on the 1990 index year, Germany’s greenhouse gas emissions had sunk by nearly 25 percent in 2010. Some 295 million tonnes CO2 less were emitted in 2010 than in 1990. Germany’s commitment to the Kyoto Protocol is to bring its greenhouse emissions in 2008-2012 down to 21 percent below 1990 levels. In comparison to the 2009 crisis year when emissions rose again slightly by 2.7 percent owing to economic recovery, 2010 emissions nevertheless remained about 4 percent below those of the previous crisis year 2008. Emissions of carbon dioxide in 2010, with a share of 87.4 percent, were the main source of all greenhouse gas emissions, the majority of which can be traced to the combustion of fossil fuels whose consumption rose slightly as the economy recovered. In contrast, there was an above average decline in other greenhouse gases.

  6. Marine species of January 2010 in the International Year of Biodiversity is the Molgula pedunculata.

  7. In the context of the International Year of Biodiversity, the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research intends to introduce a "Marine species of the Month" during 2010, as proxy for different and specific research topics of the Institute. The species of the Month will epitomize various aspects of climate change and its impact on the ocean as a habitat, as is seen for example in the decrease of sea ice in the Arctic and Antarctic, or the warming and acidification of the oceans. Other topics addressed will be related to changes in species composition in coastal waters, e.g. the invasion of new species into the North Sea and the consequences.

  8. The United Nation General Assembly adopted Resolution 61/203 on 20 December 2006 proclaiming 2010 as the International Year of Biodiversity, with the objective of stopping the loss of biodiversity, highlighting successes in conserving it and creating awareness of the fact that human welfare depends on biological diversity.

  9. Animal of the Year: European Badger or Eurasian badger (Meles meles)

  10. The Smooth newt or Common newt (Lissotriton vulgaris) was nominated to the Amphibian of the Year 2010 by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Herpetologie und Terrarienkunde e.V. (DGHT).

  11. German Mollusc of the Year 2010 is the Two lipped door snail (Alinda biplicata).

  12. Moss of the Year 2010 is the Common haircap moss (Polytrichum commune).

  13. Lichen of the Year 2010 is the Pink earth lichen (Dibaeis baeomyces).

  14. Since 2004, on the Worlds Wetlands Day (2nd February) GNF nominates the “Threatened Lake of the Year” to call attention to a threatened lake and help solving environmental problems. Pulicat Lake is an important habitat for 160 different fish species and more than 110 varieties of terrestrial and aquatic birds and small mammals and reptiles. Up to 15,000 flamingoes visit the lake on their annual migration route.

  15. Bird of the Year 2010 is the Great Cormorant or Great Black Cormor (Phalacrocorax carbo).

  16. Avenue of the Year 2010 is a chestnut-lined avenue in Mecklenburg-West Pomerania (Solzow near Vipperow).

  17. Cactus of the year 2010 is the Pink Easter Lily Cactus or Red Easter Lily Cactus (Echinopsis eyriesii).

  18. "Soil of the Year 2010" are soils of urban and industrial environment (Tecnosol).

  19. Medicinal Plant of the Year 2010 is the Common Ivy (Hedera helix).

  20. Cave animal of the year 2010 is the Herald (Scoliopteryx libatrix).

  21. Orchid of the Year: Lady's Slipper orchid (Cypripedium calceolus))

  22. Fish of the year is the Crucian Carp (Carassius carassius).

  23. Clove (Syzygium aromaticum) named 2010 Medicinal Herb of the Year by the NHV Theophrastus.

  24. Algal researchers of the German Botanical Society have chosen Batrachospermum gelatinosum as alga of the year 2010.

  25. Butterfly of the Year 2010 is the Scarlet Tiger (Callimorpha dominula).

  26. Spider of the year 2010 is the garden spider (Araneus diadematus).

  27. Fungus of the Year 2010 is the Golitah Webcap (Cortinarius praestans).

  28. Laboratory Animal of the Year 2010 is the pig.

  29. Insect of the Year 2010 is the Antlion (Myrmeleon formicarius).

  30. Euglena is the protozoa of the year 2010.

  31. Perennial Herb of the year is the Nepeta cataria ("catnip" or "catmint").

  32. The Wild cherry, Sweet cherry or Gean (botanic name Prunus avium) is the tree of the year 2010.

  33. Flower of the Year 2010 is the Sibirian Iris (Iris sibirica).

  34. Poisonous Plant of the Year 2010 is the autum crocus (Colchicum autumnale).

  35. Endangered livestock breed of the year 2010 is the Meissner Lop.

  36. A first assessment of the air quality in 2010 done by the Federal Environment Agency (UBA) indicates that at 56 percent of the measuring stations in urban areas near traffic, the nitrogen dioxide (NO2) concentration levels exceeded the annual mean value of 40 microgammes/cubic metre of air (µg/m3) which has been set as the statutory cap since 1.1.2010. The assessment is based on preliminary data from the federal states’ and UBA’s measuring networks. Concentrations of particulates (PM10) in 2010 again exceeded the caps which already became effective in 2005. 13% of all measuring stations registered PM10 concentrations of over 50 µg/m3 on more than 35 days.

  37. In 2010, about 2,15 mio ha or nearly 18 percent of Germany`s arable lands were used for growing renewable resources.

  38. Altogether, a total of 950 natural catastrophes were recorded last year, nine-tenths of which were weather-related events like storms and floods. This total makes 2010 the year with the second-highest number of natural catastrophes since 1980, markedly exceeding the annual average for the last ten years (785 events per year). In all, there were five catastrophes last year assignable to the top category of "great natural catastrophes" based on the definition criteria of the United Nations: the earthquakes in Haiti (12 January), Chile (27 February) and central China (13 April), the heatwave in Russia (July to September), and the floods in Pakistan (also July to September). These accounted for the major share of fatalities in 2010 (around 295,000) and just under half the overall losses caused by natural catastrophes.

  39. A paper by Simon Lewis, Paulo Brando and three co-authors, published on 4 February 2011 in Science Magazine, reports on the 2010 drought in the Amazon Basin. This drought occurred only a few years after the exceptional drought of 2005, which was supposed to have been a one-in-a-hundred-year event. The paper presents evidence that last year's drought was both more severe and more extensive than the earlier one.

  40. The amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere reached a new high in 2010 since pre-industrial time and the rate of increase has accelerated, according to the World Meteorological Organization’s Greenhouse Gas Bulletin. The analysis of observations from the WMO Global Atmosphere Watch (GAW) Programme shows that the globally averaged mixing ratios of carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) reached new highs in 2010, with CO2 at 389.0 ppm, CH4 at 1808 ppb and N2O at 323.2 ppb.