14 - 20 July 2012

General policy         

CAN Indigenous Peoples Council Demands International Climate and Environment Court

In a formal declaration sent to the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the Consultative Council of Indigenous Peoples of the Andean Community (CCPICAN) demanded the creation of an International Court of Climate and Environmental Justice.


Brussels Unveils ‘Smart Cities’ Innovation Scheme

The European Commission has announced a new EUR365 million a year innovation partnership scheme aimed at boosting the development of ‘smart’ technologies in cities, EU officials told the press on Tuesday 10 July.


UK Ranked Most Energy Efficient of World's Largest Economies

A report launched in Washington by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) on Thursday 12 July ranked the UK first among the world's 12 largest economies for reducing pollution in industry, transport, and buildings.


US Energy Department Offers Public Review of Savings Protocols

The US Energy Department is developing new voluntary procedures that will help standardise how state and local governments, industry, and energy efficiency organisations estimate energy savings. These protocols are being developed by technical experts through collaboration with energy efficiency programme administrators, industry stakeholders, and home energy assessors and are open for public review.


Which? Warns of Green Deal’s “Devastating Impact” on Efficiency Efforts

Which?, WWF, and Greenpeace have issued the clearest warning to date that the government's Green Deal energy-efficiency initiative will "fail" without urgent reforms of the financing scheme.


Appeals Court Upholds US EPA Air Quality Rule

A federal appeals court upheld a new US Environmental Protection Agency rule to limit nitrogen dioxide emissions near major roadways, in a defeat for the oil industry, which said the rule went beyond what was necessary to protect public health.


EU Says Up to 1.5 Billion Euros Ready for Low-Carbon Investment

Up to 1.5 billion Euros (USD1.83 billion) could be available by the end of this year to fund renewable energy and carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects across the European Union bloc, the European Commission said on Thursday.


UK Coalition Clash over Green Energy

UK Chancellor George Osborne is blocking a new subsidy regime for renewable energy championed by the Energy Secretary, as he fights a coalition battle with the Liberal Democrats to ensure that investment in gas-fired power stations, which he believes offer businesses and consumers the prospect of lower bills in future, are not diverted to renewables.


Australia to Review Renewable Energy Target Scheme

Australia’s Climate Change Authority has launched a review of the country’s Renewable Energy Target (RET), it announced Thursday, a process that could change the nation’s approach to clean energy investments.


"Everyone Agrees on Where We Need to be in 2050, But Not on How to Get There"

A more flexible Emission Trading Scheme (ETS), harmonised support schemes for renewable energy technologies, and much stronger EU coordination of the development of the transmission grids - that's the policy cocktail Europe needs to achieve its decarbonisation goals, says Arne Mogren, Director of the Power Programme of the European Climate Foundation (ECF) in a wide-ranging interview with EER.


Industry, business and utilities         

US Power Industry Braces for Court Air Pollution Ruling

The power industry is waiting for a federal appeals court to rule on proposed emissions controls for coal-fired power plants, a decision with implications for energy sectors ranging from natural gas to coal to tradeable pollution permits.


Steelmakers Hit Hard by Green Taxes

A report prepared for the UK government’s Department for Business Innovation and Skills, suggests that environmental levies may be costing Britain’s steelmakers and other heavy electricity users at least double what some of their main European rivals are paying and even more than others in Asia and the United States.


CO2 Aviation Law Harms EU Airlines in Fragile Economy: IAG Chief

The EU is harming its own airlines at a time of economic instability by forcing them and global partners to participate in its emissions trading scheme (ETS), the chief of British Airways and Iberia warned Tuesday.



Ofgem Plans GBP22bn Energy Network Upgrade

UK energy regulator Ofgem recently set out plans for a GBP22bn upgrade to the UK’s ageing gas and electricity networks, work that will allow the connection of more renewable energy projects but will also add GBP11 a year to the average GBP1,310 annual household energy bill over eight years



New Renovation Rule Set to Boost Inner-City Industry

Newly adopted EU rules requiring governments to revamp old buildings will generate industrial renovation in cities, say commentators who welcome the energy efficiency directive approved by the European Parliament's energy committee last week (12 July).


New College Building Enables 60% Cut in CO2 Emissions

The Tokyo Institute of Technology in Japan announced on April 27, 2012, the completion of the Environmental Energy Innovation Building named Green Hills Building 1 in the Ookayama Campus in Meguro Ward, Tokyo. The new building has energy systems that reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 60 percent or more, and provide sufficient electricity to cover most of the building's own consumption. The building will be used from 2012 summer for the research of cutting edge environmental energy technologies.



Japan’s Denso Develops World's First Energy-Saving Auto A/C

Denso Co., a major Japanese supplier of automobile components, announced on April 24, 2012, that it has successfully developed a car air conditioning system that divides the space within a vehicle into three areas, the driver's seat, passenger seat and rear seats, and is able to control the temperature of each area separately.


EU Commission Announces Plans for Greener Cars

The European Commission published plans on Wednesday to tighten limits on how much carbon dioxide new cars can emit, drawing warnings that it could inflict damage on an already fragile automobile industry.


Honda to boost capacity, build Civic hybrid in Indiana

Honda Motor Co Ltd will build a hybrid version of its popular Civic compact car at its Indiana plant, where the Japanese automaker is spending USD40 million to boost production capacity by 25 percent.


Carmakers to Win 'Super Credits' From Low-Emission Vehicles

The European Commission is planning to re-introduce a clause for ‘super credits’ that would reward manufacturers that switch to electric cars with permits to make high-emitting gas guzzlers, EurActiv understands. The controversial clause will be part of proposals for CO2 in Cars, announced on 11 July.


European bicycle lobby set to deliver

More than 30 companies from across Europe have launched a European Cycle Logistics Federation (ECLF), aimed at improving urban bike deliveries and lobbying for cycle-based delivery policies.


Aviation Exec: Biofuels Are Key to Industry’s Future

The aviation industry has little choice but to turn to biofuels to help meet its commitments to reducing carbon emissions in the decades ahead, argues Alan H. Epstein, an engineer who is vice president for technology and environment at Pratt & Whitney.


ANA, Boeing Conduct First 787 Transpacific Flight Using Biofuel

All Nippon Airways Co. (ANA), a major Japanese airline, and Boeing Co., the world's largest aerospace company, jointly announced on April 17, 2012, that they had conducted the world's first transpacific flight using biofuel and that the airplane safely arrived at Tokyo Haneda Airport at night, Japan time, on the same day.


U.S. to Host Meeting of Opponents of EU Airline Law

The U.S. government will host a meeting on July 31 of about a dozen countries that oppose an EU law that forces all foreign airlines to pay for greenhouse gas emissions, piling further pressure on the EU to back down and the international community to find a global solution.


US Defense Officials Defend "Great Green Fleet" Cost

The Navy's "Great Green Fleet," a group of warships and fighter jets burning an expensive blend of biofuels and petroleum, is performing as planned, Defense Department officials said on Thursday, as the Senate prepared for a fight over the program's cost.


Touch and Go: EU Wants 'Intelligent' Transport Systems

Travelling across Europe by rail, coach or other services would become easier if EU national governments would do a better job of sharing information and using technology to improve trip planning, said EU officials trying to spur transport efficiency.


Appliances and equipment         

en.Lighten Initiative Installs Solar LED Streetlights in Nairobi

The en.lighten initiative of the UN Environment Programme and Global Environment Facility has installed eight solar LED street lights along UN Avenue in Nairobi, Kenya. Undertaken in partnership with Phillips and the Kenyan Urban Roads Authority, the pilot initiative aims to highlight the benefits of sustainable energy sources and alternatives to expensive, less efficient traditional lighting.


Apple rejoins green registry, admits exit was mistake

Apple Inc rejoined the EPEAT environmental ratings system on Friday, acknowledging that its decision to stop participating in a program that rates the green credentials of electronic products was a mistake.


Climate Risks Heat Up As World Switches On To Air Conditioning

The US has long used more energy for air conditioning than all other nations combined – but that's about to change.


Emissions trading/Carbon market         

Quick Fix to EU Carbon Scheme Expected in Weeks

A planned quick fix to the European Union's Emissions Trading Scheme is expected to emerge over the coming weeks as a first step to the deeper reforms urgently sought by environmental and some business campaigners.


EU Commission Postpones CO2 Registry Update

The European Commission said on Monday it may take six weeks longer than planned to reveal when work is due to finish on infrastructure to help speed the transfer of spot permits, trade that is currently hampered by procedural delays.


EU Rescue Plan Setback Drives Down Carbon Prices

A delay until September of keenly awaited details of the European Commission's plans to remove emissions permits from Europe's carbon market sent carbon prices sharply lower on Wednesday.


NZ Carbon Flatlines ss Rule Changes Deter Buying

Spot permits in New Zealand's emissions trading scheme traded at NZD6.95 on Thursday, unchanged on the week.


Poland to Block ETS Changes until 2020: Official

Poland will block discussions on any measure that will lead to the EU taking on a deeper 2020 emission reduction target, preferring instead to focus on reforming the bloc’s carbon market after the end of the 2013-2020 trading phase, a senior government advisor said in an interview.


EU OKs Polish Plan to Give Utilities 404-Mln CO2 Permits

The EU has approved Poland's application to give its coal-reliant power sector 404.6 million EU Allowances during 2013-2019 to help slash their costs of complying with the EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme, a mixed decision that environmental groups cautiously welcomed.


New Offset Projects Lure Farmers into U.S. Carbon Market

U.S. farmers can now earn money by selling as many as 6 million carbon credits to voluntary buyers and California emitters by reducing the amount of nitrogen they use to fertilize their crops, a voluntary offset program announced Wednesday.


EU CO2 Permits Rise on Expectation of QE3 Launch

European carbon climbed 1.3 percent on Tuesday to claw back much of the past two days’ losses as crude oil rose for the fourth successive day on expectation that the U.S. would start a third round of quantitative easing, known as QE3, to boost its struggling economy.


Climate change negotiations         

Court Backs Canada’s Withdrawal from Kyoto Protocol

The Federal Court of Canada on Tuesday said the government was within its legal rights when it pulled the country out of the Kyoto Protocol last December, making it less likely that Canada will be forced back into the U.N. treaty.


UNFCCC Workshop Discusses Scaling Up Long-term Finance

A total of 140 representatives from governments, major financial institutions, private sector entities and civil society, participated in the UNFCCC workshop on long-term finance. The event aimed to discuss key issues for scaling up finance mobilisation for climate change.


Senegal Begins Planting the Great Green Wall against Climate Change

Senegal is one of 11 countries in the Sahel region of Africa looking towards the same solution to the desertification problem: The Great Green Wall. The goal of the project is to plant a wall of trees, 4,300 miles long and 9 miles wide, across the African continent, from Senegal to Djibouti. African leaders hope the trees will trap the sands of the Sahara and halt the advance of the desert.


Merkel: Reach Climate Deal or Face Rapid Global Warming

German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned, on 16 July, that global warming will accelerate at a dramatic rate unless leaders reach a deal on limiting greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible.


Appeals Court Upholds US EPA Air Quality Rule

A federal appeals court upheld a new US Environmental Protection Agency rule to limit nitrogen dioxide emissions near major roadways, in a defeat for the oil industry, which said the rule went beyond what was necessary to protect public health.


Global CO2 Emissions Rise 3 Percent in 2011: Report

Global carbon dioxide emissions rose 3 percent to 34 billion tonnes in 2011, according to a new EU report, undermining a U.N. goal to limit the rise in global average temperatures to 2C above industrial levels by 2050.