31 March 2012 - 6 April 2012

General policy         

US Government proposes first carbon limits on power plants

The Obama administration proposed last Tuesday the first rules to cut carbon dioxide emissions from new U.S. power plants, a move hotly contested by Republicans and industry in an election year.



UK advisors call for GHG targets to include shipping, aviation

Carbon budgets outlining how the UK should meet its greenhouse gas reduction targets need to include emissions from shipping and aviation, the government’s climate advisers said in a report Friday.



Australia to cut Climate Change Dept staff by a third

Australia's government will cut staffing levels at the Department of Climate Change over the next year, but the move will not affect the implementation of the planned carbon pricing scheme, a spokesperson for the country's climate change minister said Wednesday.



EU energy savings plan too weak: green campaigners

The latest proposal from the Danish EU presidency on how to improve the European Union's record on energy efficiency is far too weak to close the gap between savings so far and its goal for 2020, a coalition of campaigners said on Monday.



Regions commit to green policies ahead of Rio+20

European regions are gearing up for the Rio+20 Earth Summit in June by drawing up a list of “key ingredients” in a bid to make sustainable urban development a focal point of the Brazil discussions.



Builders, installers, and energy giants among first Green Deal providers

Greg Barker hails "watershed moment" as British Gas, Kingfisher, SSE and E.ON join first wave of organisations to sign up for energy efficiency scheme



EU countries failing on 2020 waste target

Europeans dump the bulk of their rubbish in landfills and many EU countries appear to be falling well short of 2020 targets for recycling municipal waste, new data from the EU statistical agency show.



World Bank and GEF support energy efficiency project in Armenia

The World Bank has approved a USD 1.82 million grant from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) to support energy efficiency at public facilities in Armenia.



BRICS call for accelerating growth and sustainable development

At the conclusion of a one-day meeting, leaders from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) issued the New Delhi Declaration on Partnership for Global Stability, Security and Prosperity, which calls for accelerating growth, sustainable development, and food and energy security. 



London Clean Energy talks to draw 22 countries

U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu, now seeking to coordinate a release of oil from emergency reserves to subdue prices, will co-chair the Clean Energy Ministerial - a meeting of energy ministers from 22 big economies which will take place in London later this month on developing cleaner technologies.




South Africa extends Municipal EEDSM programme

In the Budget Speech in late February, the South Africa government confirmed that it will continue and widen a Municipal EEDSM (energy efficiency demand side management) fund for another three-year cycle. The EEDSM programme is a grant fund for municipalities to implement energy efficient retrofits in city infrastructure.



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Industry, business and utilities         

Expert: Energy efficiency is a business opportunity

Energy companies will have to change their business models from gas and electricity supply only as the EU's Energy Efficiency Directive takes shape, says Jon Slowe, director at Delta Energy and Environment, a consulting firm. 



BP hires new emissions chief

Oil major BP has hired a new global head of emissions, two sources at the London-headquartered firm told Point Carbon News on Wednesday.



Samsung and Hyundai sign up as Carbon Trust Standard reaches South Korea

Two of the world's largest engineering firms are among the first wave of South Korean companies to attain Carbon Trust Standard accreditation, after the UK consultancy launched the labelling scheme in the country alongside the Korea Productivity Center (KPC).


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EBRD invests in improving energy efficiency in Bulgarian households

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is financing energy efficient investments in Bulgaria's residential sector, including the installation and refitting of thermal wall insulation, energy efficient windows, boilers and central heating systems.


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Global database of bus transport systems launched

The International Energy Agency (IEA), in partnership with EMBARQ, a division of the World Resources Institute (WRI), has launched the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Database, a database of bus transport systems from over 130 cities worldwide.



US DOE offers USD 10 million to promote zero-emission cargo transport vehicles

DOE announced on March 20 that up to $10 million will be available this year to demonstrate and deploy electric transportation technologies for cargo vehicles, such as trucks and forklifts.



EU grants over EUR 160 million to support key infrastructure projects

The Commission announced the projects selected to receive over €160 million in EU co-financing from the trans-European transport network (TEN-T) programme to continue improving transport infrastructure across the EU.



Tajani backs away from 2025 fuel efficiency fight

A recent moratorium on new legislation in the automobile sector announced by the European Industry Commissioner Antonio Tajani will not apply to CO2 standards in cars, EurActiv has learned.



Europe agrees core transport plan, funding elusive

A EUR 31.7-billion EU plan to streamline and integrate Europe’s segmented and rattling transport network into a cohesive whole was agreed by EU transport ministers in Brussels on 22 March. Debate can now start over the most difficult issue, funding.


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Appliances and equipment         

U.N. panel backs I.T. data centres for CDM

U.N. experts have recommended that carbon credits could be earned from cutting energy use in computer data centres, charcoal production and isolated electricity installations, according to a report published Thursday.



Japanese think tank measures CO2 reductions in home appliance replacement strategy

The Jukankyo Research Institute, a Japanese think tank specialising in home environments, started on July 13, 2011, recruiting households to participate in a project to collect actual data on the energy-saving benefits of replacing electrical appliances in ordinary households.



METI establishes project team to promote storage battery industry


Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) announced on January 6, 2012, that they have established a Storage Battery Strategy Project Team in the ministry in order to continuously study medium- to long-term strategies for the storage battery industry.


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Emissions trading/Carbon market         

Beijing releases draft rules for emissions trading scheme

The Beijing municipal government last Wednesday released draft rules for a carbon trading scheme that could cap CO2 emissions from electricity providers, manufacturers, the heating sector and major public buildings in the Chinese capital from next year.


France urges EU to solve airlines carbon payment row

France has urged the European Commission to resolve a row over plans to make airlines using EU airports pay for their carbon emissions - a move that has angered the United States, India and China and stirred threats of a trade war.


Analysts cut CO2 price outlook on supply gloom

Analysts cut their average price forecasts for European Union carbon permits in 2012 and beyond after preliminary EU emissions data released this week suggested a bigger surplus of permits than expected and drove carbon prices to record lows, a Reuters poll showed on Wednesday.


NZ brokers launch online CO2 trading platform

Brokers OM Financial on Friday launched a platform that allows traders to buy and sell carbon permits eligible for use in the New Zealand emissions trading scheme online.


New Zealand mulls ETS overhaul

The New Zealand government has confirmed it is considering changes to its emissions trading scheme (ETS) that may impact the amount of carbon permits available in the market over the next five years.


Lawsuit filed over offsets in California CO2 market

Carbon offset credits should not be allowed to count for compliance with California’s cap-and-trade program because there is no way to guarantee that the CO2 reductions from those projects wouldn’t have happened anyway, according to a lawsuit filed by an environmental group on Wednesday.


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Climate change negotiations         

UNFCCC publishes views on options for further increasing the level of ambition

The UNFCCC Secretariat has released the submissions from two intergovernmental organizations and 19 Parties containing their views on options and ways for further increasing the level of ambition.



First U.N. climate fund meeting could be delayed: U.N. official

The first meeting of the U.N.-backed Green Climate Fund (GCF), designed to help to raise up to USD 100 billion per year in finance for the world’s poorest countries is facing a delay, a U.N. official said Monday, after countries failed to agree on who should hold key positions.



Austria to spend 160 million Euros to close Kyoto gap

Austria will invest 160 million Euros (USD 213.4 million) in climate protection projects in Europe to cover the gap it faces to meet commitments under the Kyoto Protocol, Environment Minister Nikolaus Berlakovich said on Wednesday.



Evidence linking climate change to extreme weather mounts

The world’s scientists are now more than 90% sure that human-caused global warming will increase the length, frequency and intensity of extreme weather events such as heat waves, according to the most authoritative scientific report yet, from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), on the subject.



Climate adaptation information tool launched

The European Environment Agency (EEA) has launched a website providing advice to EU policymakers on how to prepare and adapt to climate change. It gathers information on strategies, guidelines and studies on this topic.