28 April 2012 - 4 May 2012

General policy         

 Positive discussions on ETS and energy efficiency


EU Energy ministers agreed that the Energy Efficiency Directive should be adopted before the end of June. The President of the Energy Council, Mr. Martin Lidegaard, is satisfied by the constructive discussions during the informal ministerial meeting in Horsens, Denmark on Thursday and Friday.




European Commission informal environment council discusses inclusive green economy


EU Environment Ministers convened in an informal Environment Council to discuss the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD or Rio+20), during which they underscored that long-term sustainable development can be reached via an inclusive green economy ensuring job creation, eradicating poverty and protecting natural resource bases.




UN Chief Executives Board releases statement on Rio+20


The UN System Chief Executives Board (CEB), which brings together the executive Heads of the organizations of the UN system and is chaired by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, developed a joint statement to the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20) at its recent meeting.





EU plays down expectations for Rio Earth Summit


Europe faces major obstacles in achieving two of its goals at the upcoming sustainable development conference in Rio de Janeiro, a top EU official admitted yesterday (24 April), but will remain an “ambitious partner”.




New clean energy initiatives and commitments announced at CEM3


Leaders from the governments of the 23 Clean Energy Ministerial participant countries, together with the Sustainable Energy for All initiative, announced a variety of new commitments and initiatives to improve energy efficiency, increase the share of renewable energy, and enable energy access worldwide at last week’s conference in London.




U.S. clean energy bill to cut coal 50 pct by 2020: EIA


A Senate bill aimed at boosting the share of cleaner energy in the U.S. would cut coal-fired generation by 54 percent and slash greenhouse gas emissions 20 percent under 2005 levels by 2035, an energy department report found.




Peru launches GHG inventory in climate plan 

Peru’s government unveiled a new climate change plan Thursday aimed at strengthening its annual greenhouse gas data to help shape future legislation to de-carbonize the Andean country’s economic growth. 




Oettinger: Energy savings target still possible for the EU


The European Commission and the Danish EU presidency said the Energy Efficiency Directive could "realistically" come together in the next couple of months, despite member states' consistent watering down of the proposal.




Bloomberg: Stricter EU carbon target would cost you a few cups of coffee


The EU could move to more ambitious 2020 carbon reduction targets at a cost of €7 to €9 per person annually, according to new research by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) commissioned by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).




Obama signals new push on climate in election debates

US President Barack Obama said he will push for action on climate change – a hot-button topic that has divided the U.S. Congress –in the upcoming presidential debates over the next few months. 



Norway govt proposes doubling CO2 tax on oil sector 

Norway's government is proposing to nearly double the carbon dioxide tax on the country's vast oil and gas sector to encourage companies to use more electricity from onshore source to power oil platforms, the government said in a white paper.


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Industry, business and utilities         

Online Energy Department tool helps US consumers cut bills


The US Energy Department announced on April 30 that it has launched the Utility Data Access Map tool, an interactive Web platform that enables electric utilities across the country to show customers, in a simple way, the data they can access on their electricity use.



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IFC promotes green building certification system

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, has launched a Green Buildings Certification System (EDGE) to encourage companies to invest in sustainably-designed buildings.




HVAC efficiency controls could mean significant savings


According to a new report from the US Energy Department's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), commercial building owners could save an average of 38% on their heating and cooling bills just by installing a few new controls onto their heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems.





Russian sustainability revolution promises to turn Red Square green


The adoption of energy efficiency legislation and a national green building standard equivalent to LEED and BREEAM has kicked off "significant growth" in green buildings, an associate at law firm Salans in St Petersburg, told BusinessGreen.



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METI publishes 'best practices' handbook on towns promoting electric & plug-in hybrid vehicles


Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) released a new publication on January 19, 2012 -- the "EV & PHV Town Initiatives Best Practices Handbook II" -- which introduces the latest pioneering activities in various towns and prefectures to promote the use of electric vehicles (EVs) and plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHVs).



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Appliances and equipment         

SEI brief discusses user needs for new cookstoves in India


The Stockholm Environmental Insitute (SEI) has published a discussion brief, entitled "Learning from Cooks: a User-Centred Approach to Help Transform Household Energy Use," which recommends the use of qualitative methodologies to assess user needs for cookstoves and presents results from a case study in India.



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Emissions trading/Carbon market         

Brussels sets ball rolling for carbon market intervention


A review of the Emissions Trading System (ETS) has been brought forward a year, offering “a golden opportunity” for a re-examination of the current rules to prop up the depressed carbon market, said Connie Hedegaard, the EU's Climate Action commissioner.



RGGI state makes 2nd try to withdraw from CO2 market


Lawmakers in the northeastern state of New Hampshire have revived an effort to repeal a law authorizing the state’s participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) despite facing an inevitable veto by the governor, who supports the carbon market.




Aviation in China ETS could solve row with EU: report


Including aviation in China’s domestic emissions trading schemes could help solve an increasingly rancorous dispute with the EU on whether international flights should be subject to the bloc’s emissions cap-and-trade system, a report said on Monday.





Australia may allow firms to use waste offsets to cut CO2 bill


Australia on Monday proposed new rules that could immediately increase domestic carbon credit supply by at least 1 million by allowing its biggest companies to offset emissions through buying credits from emission reductions made in the waste sector.



Australia eyes Asia-Pacific CO2 market


Australia is pushing for an Asia-Pacific wide carbon market that could eventually span major emitters in several of the world’s biggest economies, according to Climate Change Minister Greg Combet.




National China CO2 trading scheme unlikely in 2015: report

China is unlikely to meet its target of setting up a nationwide CO2 emissions trading scheme by 2015, according to a report released Tuesday by researchers the Stockholm Environment Institute.




EU says common CO2 registry to open in June 

The EU’s new common emissions registry will open in June but accounts at existing member state registries will be inaccessible for two weeks prior to that, the bloc’s Commission said in a statement on its website last Friday. 



Permit glut points to new EU carbon policy tool

Any one-off European Union intervention to clear the massive glut of permits now clogging its emissions trading scheme is likely to lead to a 'central bank' or other policy tool to manage future imbalances in the world's biggest carbon market.



South Korea's emissions trading scheme to start in 2015

South Korea, Asia's fourth largest economy, will launch a national emissions trading scheme in 2015 after parliament approved the scheme this Wednesday.



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Climate change negotiations         

Australia, NZ delay decision on signing Kyoto 2

Australia and New Zealand have missed a deadline to set post-2012 emission reduction targets under the Kyoto Protocol, with both governments saying they will decide whether to continue to be legally bound to cut emissions of seven greenhouse gases later this year.




UNDP releases review of Durban outcomes and challenges ahead


The UN Development Programme (UNDP) has released a report titled “Taking Stock of Durban: Review of Key Outcomes and the Road Ahead,” which reviews: the UNFCCC history; the outcomes of the 17th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 17) to the UNFCCC and the opportunities and challenges that the climate change negotiations will face in the coming years.




Spain’s energy sector emissions rise 53 pct in Q1 2012


The Spanish government’s policy of subsidising coal-fired electricity production led to a 53 percent rise in CO2 emissions from mainland electricity generation in the first quarter of 2012, a report by WWF Spain showed Friday.




U.S.-led GHG coalition gains new members


Four countries, the European Commission (EC) and the World Bank on Tuesday joined a U.S.-led initiative that aims to tackle climate change in the near term by targeting less controversial but potent non-carbon greenhouse gases.




New CDM procedures come into effect


The UNFCCC Secretariat has announced that, from 1 May 2012, it will begin receiving project-related submissions under the new Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) Project Cycle Procedure, and CDM project participants can request private telephone consultations to clarify issues identified during assessment under the new procedure.




Climate aid cash stumbles into tax haven debate


The use of middlemen to leverage private sector climate cash is putting investments at risk because of the rich world’s negligence in ensuring transparency and adequate monitoring, according to a new report by the European Network on Debt and Development (Eurodad).



UNFCCC Publishes UK’s GHG Inventory Review Report


The UNFCCC Secretariat has released the report of the centralized review of the 2011 annual submission of the UK (FCCC/ARR/2011/GBR), which shows that total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions decreased by 27.2% between 1990 and 2009, and by 8.7% in 2009 compared with 2008.