26 April 2012 - 2 May 2012

General policy         

Mexican senate clears climate law

Mexico's Senate passed a modest climate change measure on Thursday, clearing the way for President Felipe Calderon to sign it into law.



EU MEPs press Commission on 2020 green master plan

With 60 days left before the Rio sustainable development conference, MEPs have sent a message to the European Commission to produce “without delay” an ambitious environmental agenda for the decade ahead that avoids past failures.



"Energising Development": EC's new initiative to help achieve energy access for all by 2030

A new EU energy initiative which will provide access to sustainable energy for an additional 500 million people in developing countries by 2030 was today announced by European Commission President, José Manuel Barroso.



Parliament shoots down European Commission’s energy tax plan

Conservatives in the European Parliament delivered a setback for European Commission plans to erase tax benefits for diesel fuel, saying that a period of austerity and high fuel costs is not the time for such moves.



Italy to introduce carbon tax to fund green energy

Italy will introduce a carbon tax with proceeds earmarked for financing renewable energy production in a revamp of the way clean power is funded, the government said after a cabinet meeting late on Monday.



 UK Minister promises major boost for energy efficiency industry

On 11 April Deputy prime minister Nick Clegg announced a series of measures designed to help alleviate fuel poverty and drive demand for insulation and other energy efficiency improvements.


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Industry, business and utilities         

California approves CO2 market rules for utilities

California utility regulators on Thursday unanimously approved rules for buying and selling carbon permits and offsets for the state’s three large investor owned utilities (IOUs), giving them the green light to enter the state’s nascent emissions trading scheme.



Policy Pathways: Energy Management Programmes for Industry - Gaining through saving

Improved efficiency could cut industrial energy use by more than a quarter, benefitting more than just the bottom line. Because industry accounts for about a third of global energy demand, greater efficiency in the sector is also a major step towards improved energy security as well as reduced greenhouse-gas emissions. New IEA-IIP report offers step-by-step guide to implementing energy management programmes for industry



Industry vows to fight to save Green Deal requirements

Green businesses have vowed to fight for a “fair review” of government plans to introduce a mandatory element to the Green Deal energy efficiency scheme, following reports the Prime Minister is to put an end to a "consequential improvement" policy that would require some households to take steps to improve their energy efficiency.



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The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) slates 30 federal buildings for deep energy retrofits

As part of its Deep Retrofit Challenge, the US is asking energy service companies to make these buildings more energy efficient using energy service performance contracts (ESPCs). Retrofit projects at these buildings will contribute to the goals of a presidential memorandum on implementing energy savings projects and performance-based contracting.


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EU climate boss: studying China's airline CO2 plan

European Union officials are studying a Chinese plan to cut its airline emissions but do not have enough information to declare it an "equivalent measure" that could exempt Beijing from an EU carbon law, the bloc's climate chief said on Thursday.




Canada unveils heavy-vehicle emissions rules

Canada, often criticized for its environmental record, unveiled long-delayed regulations on Friday that aim to make big trucks and buses up to 23 percent less polluting by 2018.



Mini electric cars fill gap in China as official EVs sputter

Beijing has made a dismal start toward its ambitious goal of putting of 500, 000 hybrids and electric vehicles (EVs) on China's roads by the end of 2015, rising to more than 5 million by 2020. Last year, a mere 8,159 were sold across the entire country, including those for government pilot programs for e-taxis and e-buses.



F1 fuel-saving flywheel to be fitted to London's buses

A fuel-saving flywheel first developed for use in Formula One racing cars, but abandoned before it could be used due to a regulation change by the sport's administrators, will soon be retrofitted to a handful of London buses.



UK new car emissions drop 4.2 per cent in 2011

Average carbon emissions from new cars sold in 2011 fell by 4.2 per cent compared to 2010, dropping below 140g/km for the first time, according to new figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).



China ups tax on international flights to cut emissions

China on Tuesday added 20 RMB ($3.18) to a charge on passengers on international flights, saying it would use the revenue to, among other things, cut CO2 emissions from its planes, a move that could impact the inclusion of Chinese airlines in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme.



Toyota Prius tops Japan's best-selling car list in 2011 for third straight year

Toyota Motor Corp.'s Prius hybrid vehicle (HV) was the best-selling vehicle in Japan in 2011 for the third consecutive year, the Japan Automobile Dealers Association and the Japan Mini Vehicles Association announced in January 2012. The ranking is based on the number of new cars sold under the same trade name and produced in Japan or overseas by a Japanese manufacturer.


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Appliances and equipment         

Japanese insurer cuts 40% of air conditioning power at data center

Nippon Life Insurance Co., a major Japanese insurer, announced on December 28, 2011, that its energy conservation efforts have resulted in an about 40 percent reduction in air conditioning-related power consumption at its data center in Osaka Prefecture.



Enel buys U.N. offsets from Haiti cookstove project

Italian utility Enel has agreed to buy U.N.-backed carbon credits from an emission reduction project in the Caribbean nation of Haiti, one of the countries favoured by the EU to supply its emissions trading scheme with offsets after 2012.



US Energy Department offers USD 2.5 Million for biomass stoves

The Energy Department announced that up to USD2.5 million will be available this year for applied research to support the development of innovative cookstove designs that allow users to burn wood or crop residues more efficiently and with less smoke than open fires and traditional stoves.


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Emissions trading/Carbon market         

UK early CO2 permit auctions to start in November

The UK government will begin selling 2013 EU Allowances and 2012 aviation permits in November, the Department of Energy and Climate Change said on Thursday, meaning the country could try to sell 19 million emissions units in the last two months of the year.



EC may delay CO2 permit sales to support carbon price

The European Commission said on Thursday it is considering delaying sales of permits in the early years of the 2013-2020 trading phase of its carbon market to prop up prices that are struggling to recover from record lows.



EU carbon rebounds above 7 EUR as debt fears ease

European carbon prices climbed back above 7 Euros on last Tuesday as financial markets were steadier following big falls on Monday over euro zone debts woes.



Tianjin, China ETS to cover 60 % of emissions: report

A working group set up by the local government has proposed to include 120 of Tianjin’s biggest energy consumers in the city’s emissions trading scheme, a move that would regulate 60 percent of its CO2 emissions, according to local media reports Tuesday.


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Climate change negotiations         

U.N. launches CDM loan scheme

The U.N. on Thursday launched a loan scheme to help finance Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects in the world’s poorest countries or those that have fewer than 10 schemes registered, it said in a press release.



New EU-Pacific partnership to address climate change

With the aim of reinforcing its cooperation with Pacific countries to help address the impacts of climate change, including the effects of rising sea levels, the European Commission has issued a joint communication titled “Towards a renewed EU-Pacific development partnership.” The partnership aims to effectively address climate change and development in a coordinated manner.



India says EU CO2 law could scupper global climate talks

On 11 April India formally barred its airlines from participating in the EU scheme that charges airlines for carbon emissions having earlier said it would boycott the scheme. This is "a deal-breaker" for global climate change talks, India's environment minister said, hardening her stance on a scheme that has drawn fierce opposition from non-EU governments.



US warns over EU stance on airline emissions

The US has warned for the first time that the row over the European Union’s plans to charge foreign airlines for their carbon emissions could hold up global climate change talks.



G8 foreign ministers recognise climate change as a security threat

The G8 Foreign Ministers recently addressed the issue of climate change and security, among other pressing international issues. In the issuing Chair’s Statement, Ministers recognize climate change as a factor in increasing global security risks and underscore the intention of G8 member States to continue actions domestically and multilaterally to tackle climate change.



UNFCCC releases views on the new market-based mechanism

The UNFCCC Secretariat has released 12 submissions from Parties containing their views on the various approaches, including opportunities for using markets, to enhance the cost-effectiveness of, and to promote, mitigation actions, bearing in mind different circumstances of developed and developing countries (FCCC/AWGLCA/2012/MISC.6).


U.S. sees 3.2 pct rise in U.N. greenhouse gas inventory

U.S. greenhouse gas emissions rose 3.2 percent in 2010 from the previous year amid economic growth and higher electricity demand due to high summer temperatures, according to its latest national greenhouse gas inventory.