Energy Efficiency and Climate Change News

11 November 2012  

11 November 2012

The IEA’s Energy Efficiency and Climate Change News directs you to articles about energy efficiency and climate change issues that are written and owned by others.  The selection is intended to be balanced and the views and analysis expressed by the authors of such articles do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the IEA Secretariat or IEA member countries.

General Policy
Industry, business and utilities
Appliances, equipment and lighting
Emissions Trading/Carbon Market

Climate Change Negotiations

General Policy

Obama to Weigh Energy Boom, Climate Change in Second Term

President Barack Obama will face a two-fold challenge in energy policy in his second term: make good on his promise to act on climate change, while at the same time foster growth in oil and gas production that has spurred jobs and manufacturing.

Obama finally talks climate change; green industry wants more

In celebrating his re-election last Tuesday night, President Obama finally touched on a topic that he and Republican rival Mitt Romney rarely broached during the campaign: Climate change.,0,170035.story

UK Government Heralds Energy Efficiency Revolution

A transformation in the way energy is used across the UK economy could help boost growth and jobs, and investing in energy efficiency could save up to 22 power stations-worth of energy by 2020, according to the Government’s Energy Efficiency Strategy published today. 

EU Sees Progress on UN Airline Emissions Deal

The European Union welcomed, on Friday 9 November, progress made by the U.N.'s civil aviation body toward a global deal to cut carbon emissions from the sector, raising hopes that the bloc may stand down from applying its controversial law that forces all airlines to pay for their pollution.

Cameron Set to Defend Coalition's Position on Green Economic Growth

David Cameron is poised to defend the green economy after a group of more than 20 Conservative MPs expressed their concern on the issue, alarmed by the prime minister's apparent refusal to provide strong backing for green growth, including renewable energy and new forms of low carbon technology.  The statement comes as Cameron pushes for new Middle Eastern investment in Britain's energy production including cash for windfarms.

Mayor Bloomberg says Sandy Underscores Need for Government Action on Climate Change

Our climate is changing. And while the increase in extreme weather we have experienced in New York City and around the world may or may not be the result of it, the risk that it might be -- given this week’s devastation -- should compel all elected leaders to take immediate action.

World on track for 6C warming without carbon cuts, study shows

The slow rate of emissions cuts in major economies has put the world on track for "at least six degrees of warming" by the end of the century, according to new research by consultancy giant PriceWaterhouseCoopers.  It states that reductions in carbon intensity over six times greater than the 0.8 per cent average annual cuts achieved since 2000, will be needed through to 2050 if the world is to avoid the worst effects of climate change and meet an internationally agreed target of limiting average temperature increases to just two degrees above pre-industrial levels.

Climate Change "New Normal," Lessons from Sandy: U.N. Chief

Extreme weather sparked by climate change is "the new normal" and Superstorm Sandy that ravaged the U.S. Northeast is a lesson the world must pursue more environmentally friendly policies, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Friday 9 November.

Clean Energy Investment Plummeting, Says Bloomberg Report

Global investment in clean energy fell to USD 56.6 billion (EUR43.9 billion) in the third quarter of 2012, down 20% year-on-year and signalling that 2012 will see the first annual decline in eight years, according to a report by Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

UK Sustainability Budgets Set To Rise in 2013

Corporate spending on sustainability, environmental, and energy programmes in the UK is likely to rise next year, despite a challenging economic backdrop, according to a new survey from analyst firm Verdantix.

UK Energy Bill Horse-Trading Raises Investment Fears

Industry insiders warn any move to cut funding for low carbon technologies could prove 'counter-productive'.

Oettinger Backs New 2030 Targets for CO2, Renewables

Günther Oettinger, the EU’s energy commissioner, greeted the launch of a new coalition promoting renewables and gas power with a call to set fixed emissions reductions and clean energy targets for 2030.

Poor Nations Dismayed by Looming Climate Aid Gap

Rich nations are dismaying developing countries with pledges merely to continue aid to help them combat climate change in 2013 despite past promises of a tenfold surge to $100 billion a year by 2020.


Industry, business and utilities

Glass sector sees little room for cutting CO2

Manufacturers of flat glass will only be able to cut CO2 emissions by up to 10% per unit of output by 2030, according to trade association Glass for Europe. That is far below the 80% targeted by the EU decarbonisation roadmap however "for our industry to make such a commitment would be dishonest", the association stated in a low-carbon roadmap released on Thursday 8 November. 

UK Energy Firms to Be Forced To Give Customers Lowest Tariff

Energy firms will be forced to give all of their customers the lowest tariff available under new laws announced by David Cameron.

Cheap Energy 'Key to a Healthy French Industry'

Lower energy prices enjoyed in France are a key advantage to maintaining the competitiveness of French industry, Louis Gallois, former head of aerospace group EADS, said in a report commissioned by the socialist government.

Norway to Double Carbon Tax on Oil Industry

Norway is to double the carbon tax on its North Sea oil industry and set up a GBP1bn (EUR1.23bn) fund to help combat the damaging impacts of climate change in the developing world.

Low Power Price Threatens Norway's Green Targets

Norway's ambitious plans to boost wind power output to cut greenhouse gas emissions and diversify supplies are at risk because of low power prices and an underfunded subsidy scheme, industry sources say.

UK Won't Get EU Cash for Carbon Storage: EU Sources

The British government will not get any European Union funding under the first round of a subsidy scheme for carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects because it has failed to provide the required financing guarantees, EU sources said on Sunday 11 November.



IEA BEEP database is honoured with Energy Efficiency Innovator Award

The jury for the 2012 Energy Efficiency Innovator Awards has selected the International Energy Agency’s BEEP (Building Energy Efficiency Policies) database as the winner in its “Projects” category. BEEP database provides analysis of building energy codes, labelling schemes and incentive programmes for 34 countries.,33295,en.html

London's ExCeL Centre Signs Up for Negawatt Trial

London's ExCeL exhibition centre, an unnamed major department store, and a famous tourist attraction have all signed up to a GBP30m trial that will see them receive payments for reducing their energy demand at peak times.

Appliances, equipment and lighting

Global Alliance Highlights Climate Change Mitigation Benefits of Clean Cookstoves

The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves has prepared a factsheet that identifies a positive correlation between the use of clean cookstoves and climate change mitigation, highlighting that, if well designed, clean cookstoves can reduce emissions associated with cooking with biomass.

Two RoHS Exemptions Moved To New Directive

Two existing exemptions to restrictions on cadmium and lead in electronic goods will soon be added to the new RoHS directive. They are currently listed in the old directive.

We Need Progress on Energy Efficiency, so Why are we so Coy about Ditching Inefficient Products?

In response to mounting pressure from the Association for the Conservation of Energy and a compelling new report on energy efficiency incentives from Green Alliance, ministers at the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) appear increasingly willing to accept that the bill should include measures to promote efficiency: A commentary on the UK legislation.



Tajani outlines vision for greener vehicles

The European Commission plans to launch a "broad" consultation on post-2020 policy for controlling CO2 emissions for passenger cars and light commercial vehicles, it said in an action plan unveiled on Thursday 8 November.

California Defends Greenhouse Gas Regulation for Fuels

California attorneys advocating for a program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from fuels came under stern questioning from a three-judge panel last Tuesday, in a case that threatens a key component of the state's ambitious effort to combat climate change.

GM Cadillac to Start Making ELR Plug-In Hybrid Late 2013

The production of the Cadillac ELR, the first luxury plug-in hybrid electric vehicle from General Motors Co, is to begin in late 2013 at the same plant that makes the Chevrolet Volt, a top GM official said on Tuesday.

EU Commission Weakens Biofuel Rule Changes: Draft

The European Commission has watered down proposals to reduce the indirect climate impact of biofuels, but is sticking to a strict new limit on the amount of food crops that can be used to make fuel, draft legislation showed.

Aviation biofuels: A pie in the sky?

Airlines have committed to ramping up their use of biofuels in the belief that they can contribute to achieving the sector's pledges on carbon-neutral growth. For 2050, the EU foresees 40% use of "sustainable low carbon fuels" in aviation.

European Commissioner for Environment Calls for More Sustainable Transport Systems

In a speech delivered at the Congress of European Advisory Council on Transport and Environment in Rotterdam, Janez Poto─Źnik, European Commissioner for Environment, emphasized that a shift towards a more sustainable transport system is imperative not only as a response to increased resource scarcities, but also in response to the impact of transport on human health and the environment.

Biofuels Industry Threatens to Sue European Commission

Representatives of Europe’s biofuels industry have threatened to sue the European Commission if it proceeds with plans to limit crop-based biofuels because of their indirect effect on greenhouse gas emissions.

Chargemaster UK to Roll Out Wireless Electric Car Charging

Chargemaster is looking to fit its UK network of electric car charging points with technology that replenishes batteries wirelessly. Testing in six areas is due to begin  with a view to installing the technology across its growing network, currently comprising more than 2,000 charge points.


Emissions trading/Carbon market

Auction to kick-start California carbon market

California will next week sell more than 60 million CO2 emission permits in a move that will get the world's second biggest carbon market off the ground.

UN CER Carbon Offset Daily Supply Increases by Most Since May

The United Nations issued the most Certified Emission Reduction carbon offsets in more than six months, according to UN data compiled by Bloomberg.

EU urged to show restraint on AAU carry-over

Carry-over of surplus AAU carbon credits to the Kyoto Protocol's second commitment period can significantly undermine the environmental integrity of UN climate efforts, the parliament's environment committee has said.

ETS backloading proposal due on 14 November

The full details of the European Commission's proposal to set aside some carbon allowances in the third phase of the ETS will be published on 14 November.

MEPs Push To Fast-Track Carbon Market Debate

Frustrated MEPs are planning to fast-track a long-delayed amendment to the Emissions Trading System (ETS) directive, which would confirm the EU’s legal ability to withhold carbon allowances from auction, so boosting depressed carbon prices.

Will the Predicted ‘Death’ of the CDM Prove Fatal for the Voluntary Carbon Market?

In September the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) celebrated its one billionth emission reduction and its positive impact on developing countries. But falling global carbon prices have placed the future of the scheme in question: Commentary by the Carbon Neutral Company.


Climate change negotiations

Australia Ready to Join 'Kyoto 2' Climate Agreement

On Friday 9 November, Australia announced its intention to sign up to a second round of the Kyoto Protocol, joining the European Union and just a handful of other major greenhouse gas emitters in recommitting to the world's only climate treaty. Climate Change Minister Mr Combet said Australia would accept a target under ''Kyoto 2'' in line with the current unconditional five per cent cut to emissions by 2020 on 2000 levels.

NZ Says No to Kyoto 2, Australia Ready to Join

New Zealand's climate change minister Tim Groser has announced his country will not sign up to a second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol at the forthcoming international climate meeting in Doha.

Hedegaard: Hurricane Sandy 'In Line With' Climate Predictions

Speaking in Brussels on Tuesday 6 November, EU Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard put Hurricane Sandy in the same bracket as a series of extreme weather events predicted by climate scientists, with a caveat that scientists would need to establish specific causes for the unprecedented hurricane that devastated New York.

Should Companies Care If Hurricane Sandy Was "Caused" By Climate Change?

Hurricane Sandy has killed more than 100 people in the U.S. and the Caribbean, and caused billions of dollars in damage. Regardless of the cause, the cost to society of extreme weather has been rising for decades. The insurance giant Munich Re recently released a new report on the rapid increase in weather-related losses. This opinion piece considers the impact on business.

Doha Climate Conference to be "PaperSmart"

The UN has announced that the 18th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 18) to the UNFCCC in Doha, Qatar, to be held from 26 November-7 December 2012, will be "PaperSmart" by adopting a range of tools to reduce dependency on paper and increase efficiency.

Maya civilization's collapse linked to climate change: study

For a clue to the possible impact of climate change on modern society, a study suggests a look back at the end of classic Maya civilization, which disintegrated into famine, war and collapse as a long-term wet weather pattern shifted to drought.

Top US Senator Hopes to Work on Climate Change Bill

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said on Wednesday that he hoped senators would work on climate change legislation, though he did not provide a time frame for doing so.