18 September 2012

General Policy

Japan Cabinet Approves Plan to Exit Nuclear Energy

Japan's cabinet approved, on Friday 14 September, a new energy plan to cut the country's reliance on nuclear power in the wake of last year's Fukushima disaster, but dropped a reference to meet a nuclear- free target by the 2030s., Japan aims to triple the share of renewables in its energy mix to 30 % by the 2030s, but will remain a top importer of oil, coal and gas for the foreseeable future.


US Poll: Undecided Voters Back More Action On Climate Change

Poll reveals crucial swing voters are much closer to Obama’s stance on climate and energy policy than that of Romney.


MPs Add Voice to Calls for Caution in Arctic

A cross-party committee of MPs has called for a moratorium on oil and gas drilling in the Arctic, in a sign of mounting opposition to such operations in one of the world’s last great wilderness areas.



EU States Continue to Elude 20% Climate Funding Pledge

A proposed pledge to spend 20% of the next EU budget on climate-related measures has failed to get recognition at a meeting of EU general affairs ministers on Monday


Portuguese MPs Debate Simplified Green Law

A draft simplified environmental law was put to Portuguese MPs last week, after an appointed group of experts were engaged to help draft legislation which could replace legislation from 1987 regarded as outdated.


Is Czech Energy Policy Heading Down a Carbon Intensive Path?

Green and renewables groups fear policies on energy and resources being drafted by the government could make the Czech Republic highly dependent on fossil fuels.


US Senators Aim to Pass Anti-ETS Aviation Bill

Authors of a bill that would shield U.S. airlines from participating in the EU's emissions trading scheme will try to finalize a compromise with dissenting senators to get the legislation passed before Senate goes into recess on Friday 21 September.


US Senate Passes Anti-ETS Legislation

The bill was unanimously passed over the weekend by the Senate in a move which they said would send a “strong message” to the EU that it could not impose taxes on US airlines and passengers.


Update on the Discussion in Japan on Energy and Environment Policy Options to 2030

An internal process to determine energy policy that will guide Japan up to the year 2030 is currently underway, including a debate over the level of dependence on nuclear power as part of the energy mix.


UK picks CEO for Green Investment Bank, New Low-Carbon Champion

The British government has appointed Shaun Kingsbury, previously an investment partner at a private equity firm, as chief executive of the country's new Green Investment Bank which will spur private investment in low-carbon projects.


US Carbon Tax Could Halve Deficit in 10 Years, Says Report

Imposing a USD20 per metric ton carbon tax in the U.S. could reduce the country's budget deficit by 50 percent over the next 10 years, says a report by the US Congressional Research Service.


New York Brings Energy Efficient Technologies to Market

The State of New York announced on September 17 the launch of a USD30 million initiative called the Energy Efficiency Market Acceleration Program (EE-MAP), which will accelerate the commercialisation of emerging, cutting-edge energy efficiency technologies.


Poto─Źnik Wants To Support Clean Air Technologies

EU environment commissioner Janez Poto─Źnik is considering setting up an innovation programme to support the development of clean air technologies in Europe as part of next year's review of air quality legislation, he said on Monday.


EU And Chinese Mayors Sign Pledge On Sustainable Cities

Mayors from across the European Union and China signed a Charter at the end of the first EU-China Mayors' Forum signalling the next phase in co-operation as part of a joint effort in promoting sustainable cities.


Commission Prepares EU Energy Market 'Action Plan'

The European Commission wants to enforce the EU's single energy market laws "as a matter of priority", according to a draft communication that states the EU Executive's determination to create a barrier-free market-place, which has angered dominant gas supplier Russia.


Industry, business and utilities

UK Utilities Failing On Energy Efficiency Targets

Several utilities have warned they are unlikely to meet energy efficiency targets set under national schemes. They face fines if they do not comply by 31 December.


Holy City Of Mecca Turns to Power of the Sun

Saudi Arabia's holy city of Mecca could soon be powered by a giant solar farm, as part of plans to drastically scale up the country's renewable energy capacity over the next 20 years.


European Commission Plans Actions to Boost EU Eco-Industry

An EU paper on industrial policy due next month will unveil actions to turn Europe into a major producer of green technologies, according to a draft version seen by ENDS.


NZ’s Fletcher Building Signs Up To Energy Efficiency

One of New Zealand’s biggest companies, Fletcher Building Limited, has signed up to a company-wide energy efficiency programme that is expected to save 5% of FBL’s electricity consumption annually by 2014. EECA Business will assist with funding as part of the two-year agreement.


US Insurers Vulnerable To Changing Climate – Report

Worsening weather in a warming world poses a growing risk to the financial stability of insurance companies and has broad ramifications for the economy and society. A recent report by CERES proposes solutions for state regulators, investors and insurers to protect consumers, maintain industry profitability in a warming world.


Italian Steel Plant Submits EUR546m Clean-Up Plan

The administrators of one of Europe's biggest steel plants will spend EUR400m on top of the EUR146m already pledged to clean up and upgrade the highly polluting installation.



Siemens Opens Up “the Crystal” in London to Promote Greener Cities

New GBP30m green building in London to host headquarters of company's smart cities division



Appliances, equipment and lighting

Two Japanese Ministries Urge Widespread Household Shift to Energy-Efficient Lighting

Japan's Ministry of the Environment and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry plan to cooperate for the widespread replacement of household lighting equipment with more energy-conscious and highly-efficient equipment, such as compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) and light emitting diode (LED) lighting, at the earliest possible time after fiscal 2012.


Daikin Verifies that Simple Home Practices Can Cut Energy Consumption of Air-Conditioners by 15%

A leading Japanese manufacturer of air-conditioning systems has announced the results of  R&D testing that verified that simple power-saving practices such as regular cleaning of air-conditioners’ filter makes it possible to reduce power consumption in a living room by about 15 percent.


Greening ICT

Investments in information and communication technologies (ICT) are set to double by 2020 across the European Union, to match consumers' ever-growing hunger for online services. But this also comes at a cost for the environment in terms of electricity consumption and carbon dioxide emissions. The European Commission is now openly asking itself whether the industry should be regulated.


WEEE Collection Reporting 'Must Improve'

Reporting on the collection of waste electrical and electronic equipment must improve if new WEEE targets are to be met, delegates heard at a conference on Friday


EC Pledges to Make Cloud Computing Greener

The EU executive and industry will agree standards to calculate the environmental footprint of cloud computing by 2014, it said in a policy paper on Thursday 28 September.


Google Buys Wind Power for Oklahoma Data Center

U.S. Internet company Google Inc on Wednesday agreed to buy 48 megawatts (MW) of wind energy for its Oklahoma data centre from the Canadian Hills wind power project in Oklahoma, which is expected to enter service later this year.




EU Studies the Cost of Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Heavy Duty Vehicles

The EU has released a study discussing the marginal cost abatement curves for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions for heavy duty vehicles (HDVs). The study has been released as part of work towards an EU-wide strategy for HDV emissions reductions.


London Mayor Presses Drivers to Stop Idling

Transport for London aims to cut engine idling, encouraging drivers to switch off their engines when stationary to help improve the capital's poor air quality, which currently exceeds legal limits set by the European Commission. This comes as London’s Mayor has agreed to review congestion charge discount for green vehicles Drivers in London.


EU Mobility Week 2012 Launches Initiative to Accelerate Uptake of New Transport Technology

European citizens are celebrating European Mobility Week 2012 under the theme “moving in the right direction,” to encourage public transport. During the week, the European Commission launched an initiative to coordinate transport research and innovation to accelerate adoption of technologies in Europe.


Fuel Use in New Cars Could Halve By 2030 -IEA

Fuel consumption in new vehicles could be slashed by half in the next 20 years, helping the world curb its dependency on oil, provided governments set up bold policies to boost the use of available technologies, the International Energy Agency said on Wednesday.


Tesla Unveils Network of Solar-Powered Electric Car Chargers

Tesla is to build a network of solar-powered superfast chargers along US highways that should allow owners of its electric Model S sedan to travel for free.


Building a Car Requires More Energy, Data Show

The amount of energy used to build a car rose by 3.7% between 2005 and 2010 because more features are now needed to improve drivers' safety, says industry


Aluminium Chassis 'Cut Electric Vehicle Costs'

Using aluminium chassis in electric cars cuts costs because fewer batteries are needed to propel them, according to a study for the aluminium sector.


EU Plan to Tackle Ships' CO2 Unlikely This Year

A European Commission proposal to tackle CO2 from shipping might not come out before 2013, delegates heard on Tuesday at a debate held in Brussels last week.


MPs: UK Electric Car Policy Must Move Up A Gear

Targets for number of low emissions vehicles on UK roads would help ensure public money is not being wasted, says the UK’s transport committee.


Planes of the Future Could Fly On Sawdust or Straw

The "ProBio3" project, started in early July and co-financed by a French government economic stimulus program, aims to use traditional horse-bedding materials to develop a new kind of biofuel that can be used in a 50/50 blend alongside kerosene.


What Will Europeans Be Driving In 2030?

Car manufacturers envision a mostly electrified European market by 2030, in which car sharing schemes will have taken off in city centres, new mobility operators will offer multiplatform transport packages, and the age of ‘the prosumer’ could be upon us.


Peugeot chief calls for Brussels to legislate on electric cars

The head of PSA Peugeot Citroën’s electric vehicles and mobility projects has called for the European Commission to legislate common tax and regulatory measures for electric cars across the continent.


Emissions trading/Carbon market

MPs Strengthen EU Carbon Market Security Plan

A parliament committee has voted to strengthen a legislative proposal to bring spot trading in the EU emissions trading scheme under financial markets.


Two Chinese Firms Face CDM Tax Penalty: Govt

The Chinese government on Tuesday said two companies could be fined for late payment of taxes on income from selling carbon offset credits abroad, including one with a HFC 23 decomposition project that has been issued more than 22 million credits by the U.N.


EU Officials Hold Preliminary Talks on Propping up Carbon Market

EU technical experts on Wednesday held a preliminary discussion on proposals to prop up the EU Emissions Trading Scheme, with Poland standing out as the sharpest opponent, while the majority of nations took no firm position, EU sources said.


Australia Issues 6.37 Million CO2 Units

Australia on Thursday issued 6.37 million free carbon units to companies seeking compensation from the country's CO2 pricing mechanisms, the government said, the first ever emission rights to be issued under Australia's carbon scheme.


Czech Lower House Backs Plan for CO2 Permits, Some Free

The Czech parliament's lower house approved a law on Wednesday setting rules for the allocation of carbon allowances to companies in 2013-2020, using an exception from full auctioning negotiated by some EU countries to protect their industries.


EC Risks Losing Support for CO2 Market Fix: MEP

The EU Commission could lose the support of the bloc’s parliament in delaying the sale of hundreds of millions of CO2 permits unless it tables proposals to overhaul the carbon market this year, according to green MEP Bas Eickhout.


NZ Carbon Permits Drop Below NZ$3

New Zealand carbon permits continued their decline this week, losing 26.3 percent of their value to close Thursday at NZ$2.95, fresh record lows brought on by collapsing international carbon prices.


China Agrees to Work with EU to Cut Carbon

China, the world's biggest carbon dioxide emitter, has struck a deal to work with the European Union to cut greenhouse gases through projects including the development of Chinese emissions trading schemes, the European Commission said on Thursday.


"Dead" CERs to Trade Below 3 Euros Indefinitely: Barclays

Prices for Certified Emissions Reductions (CERs), beaten down to below 1.50 euros last week on ballooning supply, will never again rise back above 3 euros, even if Europe’s governments intervene to lift EU carbon prices, Barclays said in a note Monday.


WEN Factbox: Carbon Trading Schemes around the World

Carbon trading schemes are emerging all over the world as governments try to meet greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets in the fight against climate change.


Also see: http://www.iea.org/publications/freepublications/publication/name,3935,en.html

EU Carbon Up 1.9 Pct on ETS Fix Hope

EU carbon prices rose 1.9 percent on Thursday to move further away from a one-month low hit earlier this week, as traders grew more optimistic that the EU would agree to cut permit supply.



Climate change negotiations

BASIC Group Calls for Adoption of "Kyoto 2" In Doha

Ministers from Brazil, India, China and South Africa called for an extension of the Kyoto Protocol, the world's only treaty that forces countries to cut greenhouse gas emissions, which expires at the end of the year.


UNGA High-level Debate Calls for Cooperation on Climate Change

During the opening of the High-level Debate of the 67th session UN General Assembly (UNGA), several speakers called for global cooperation to address climate change. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said “action on climate change remains a major piece of unfinished business.”


Vietnam Sets CO2 Target, Plans Trading Scheme

Vietnam has set a goal to cut its greenhouse gas emissions per unit of GDP by 8-10 percent below 2010 levels by 2020 and may launch an emissions trading scheme by 2018, a government official said Monday.


Study: 100 Million Die By 2030 if World Fails to Act on Climate

A report commissioned by 20 governments projects that more than 100 million people will die and the global economy will miss out on as much as 3.2 percent of its potential output annually by 2030 if the world fails to tackle climate change.


High Carbon Economy Holding Back Growth, Says Report

The carbon economy and its impacts on climate and the wider environment already cost the world about 1.6% of its annual GDP, a new report commissioned by the Climate Vulnerability Forum has warned.


Arctic Expert Predicts Final Collapse of Sea Ice Within Four Years

As sea ice shrinks to record lows, one of the world's leading ice experts, Prof Peter Wadhams warns a 'global disaster' is now unfolding in northern latitudes.


EU Extends Climate and Energy Finance to China

The EU has strengthened its cooperation with China on energy and environmental issues with the provision of EUR25m over the next four years.