Energy Efficiency and Climate Change News
29 July 2013
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.
US White House Outlines Path for Power Plant Rules, Other Environmental Actions
A regulatory rundown released by the White House late in early July called the "Spring 2013 Unified Agenda", shows that the Environmental Protection Agency plans to release a new proposal for greenhouse gas emissions for future power plants by September and a first-time proposal for existing power plants by next June. That timeline tracks with the memorandum signed by President Obama on July 25, which formed the centre piece of his Climate Action Plan.
Subscribers only: http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/2013/07/08/stories/1059984007
23 House Members Urge Obama to Scrap Planned Carbon Regulations
Twenty-three House members accused President Obama yet again of waging a "war on coal", on 23 July, urging him to scrap planned regulations for utilities' carbon dioxide emissions.
Subscribers only: http://www.eenews.net/assets/2013/07/24/document_daily_03.pdf
Australia Outlines Cap for 2014 CO2 Market Launch
Firms covered by Australia’s carbon market from mid-2014 could face an emission cap 25 million tonnes lower than their emissions this year, the government said recently in a draft bill intending to replace the nation’s carbon tax with an emission trading scheme.
Subscribers only: http://www.pointcarbon.com/news/1.2481085
Irish Parliament Committee Debates Draft Climate Law
As the country experienced its most intense heat wave so far this century, the Oireachtas environment committee has been holding intensive hearings on the Government’s proposed Climate Change Bill. Despite the fractious nature of the debate on the last government’s climate Bill, it has been a positive, serious and constructive engagement, modelled on the health committee hearings on X-case legislation earlier in the year.
September Deal On Aviation CO2 at Risk - MEP
Crucial UN talks on cutting airlines’ CO2 could fail because of the US’s weak stance, forcing the EU to once again include international aviation in its emissions trading system (ETS), a senior policymaker has said. The US favours mandating the council of the International Civil Aviation Organization to hold further discussions on tackling airlines’ emissions, rather than making a deal in September, German MEP Peter Liese has said.
Canada Environment Minister Replaced in Cabinet Shift
Canadian Environment Minister Peter Kent, who withdrew his country from the Kyoto Protocol in 2011, was replaced by former health minister Leona Aglukkaq on 15 July in a cabinet reshuffle by Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
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China and US Agree Non-Binding Climate Plan
China and the US, the world’s largest polluters, have drafted a five-part plan to cut their carbon emissions, pledging to make heavy-duty vehicles more efficient and do more to limit the output from coal-fired plants. Although the plan, which is set to be implemented from October, is not binding, it could bolster efforts for new co-ordinated international action to tackle climate change.
Australia Would 'Terminate' Carbon Tax a Year Early
Should Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's Labour government win this year's election, Australia will replace its carbon tax with an emissions trading scheme (ETS) a year earlier than planned. Rudd said on 16 July he wants the fixed price on carbon emissions to end on 30 June 2014, with a floating market linked to the European Union's ETS opening the following day.
Read more: http://www.businessgreen.com/bg/news/2282574/australia-to-terminate-carbon-tax-a-year-early?wt.mc_ev=click&WT.tsrc=Email&utm_term=&utm_content=Australia%20to%20%27terminate%27%20carbon%20tax%20a%20year%20early&utm_campaign=BusinessGreen%20Newsflash%20160713&utm_source=Business%20Green%20Newsflash&utm_medium=Email
Amid Election Turmoil, Australian Public Supports Carbon Pricing
After more than two years of political warring over a carbon tax that recently cost Labour leader Julia Gillard her Prime Minister job, a public opinion survey from Australian group, The Climate Institute, has revealed that most residents are ready to give carbon pricing a chance. It raises the possibility that the controversial policy could survive this September's federal election no matter who wins.
Subscribers only: http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/2013/07/16/stories/1059984446
Iberdrola Ups Low-CO2 European Power Generation in H1
Spanish utility Iberdrola slashed its coal-fired power generation by a fifth while doubling hydroelectric output at its European operations in the first half of the year, suggesting its carbon emissions fell.
Subscribers only: http://www.pointcarbon.com/news/1.2479141
Steel Sector Warns of Limited CO2 Cut Potential
The European steel sector has claimed it can cut its net greenhouse gas emissions by only 13% on 1990 levels by 2050, nowhere near the 83-87% reduction demanded of manufacturers in the EU’s low-carbon roadmap. The sector published its own low-carbon roadmap this month, based on a consultancy study which found that the potential reduction in CO2 intensity by 2050, without carbon capture and storage (CCS), is likely to be 24-48%.
EU Finance Arm Curbs Loans to Coal-Fired Power Plants
The European Investment Bank, the EU's main lending arm, said it would stop financing most coal-fired power stations to help the 28-nation bloc reduce pollution and meet its climate targets.
Subscribers only: http://www.pointcarbon.com/news/reutersnews/1.2479344
Europeans Back Mandatory Green Reporting
Nearly 70% of European citizens want to see mandatory environmental reporting rules introduced for both companies and products, according to responses to an EU survey conducted on behalf of the European Commission.
Midwestern Paper Industry Could Save Millions with Efficiency Measures, Says Report
Facilities in the Midwest could save up to USD 120 million in annual energy costs if they reached the industry-wide average for efficiency and double that if they qualify for U.S. EPA Energy Star rating, says a paper released by the World Resources Institute (WRI) this month. This could cut carbon emissions by up to 40 percent.
Subscribers only: http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/2013/07/16/stories/1059984451
New York's MTA to Sell USD125 Million 'Catastrophe' Bond
New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), the biggest transportation network in North America, is selling a USD125 million "catastrophe" bond designed to cover the costs of damage from a future storm or hurricane, investors said on 15 July.
Read more: http://planetark.org/wen/69229
Draft BAT Guidance for Pulp and Paper Released
Most of Europe’s 1,000 pulp and paper installations will have to improve anti-pollution measures once new EU guidance on best available techniques (BAT) enters force, says trade association CEPI. A final draft of the document, known as a BREF, was published on 11 July by the European Commission’s IPPC Bureau. It should emerge in official form at some point next year, said an official.
UK DECC Doubles Green Heat Funding For Social Landlords
Social landlords are set to install nearly 2,400 renewable heat generators for their tenants, after the government more than doubled the amount of money available to bidding projects. The Renewable Heat Premium Payment (RHPP) competition, launched the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has awarded GBP7m to landlords seeking to curb the energy bills of their tenants and provide low carbon alternatives to traditional heating systems.
Read more: http://www.businessgreen.com/bg/news/2284611/decc-doubles-green-heat-funding-for-social-landlords?wt.mc_ev=click&WT.tsrc=Email&utm_term=&utm_content=READ%C2%BB&utm_campaign=BusinessGreen%20Newsflash%20250713&utm_source=Business%20Green%20Newsflash&utm_medium=Email
Energy Efficiency Squads Will Visit UK Households
Sending installers out to properties street by street is thought to be the most effective way to get people to sign up for improvements to save energy and carbon emissions as part of the green deal, the coalition's flagship home energy efficiency package which aims to transform millions of houses.
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'Silver Bullet' Keeps Buildings Cool Without Chemicals
A nearly century-old building in Washington, D.C., may have found a way to cool off without using the harsh chemicals that are typically found in modern commercial air conditioning systems – using a device called a Silver Bullet to treat the water used in its cooling towers. Since March, when the owners installed the system, the building has saved nearly half a million gallons of water and 14,000 megawatt-hours of electricity, the makers of the Silver Bullet said.
Subscribers only: http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/2013/07/16/stories/1059984474
US DOE to Update Requirements for Federal Buildings
The US Department of Energy published a rule on 7 July updating energy efficiency requirements for new federal buildings. The update incorporates the latest industry-standard efficiency improvements into federal regulations to match a 2010 revision produced by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers. DOE estimates the standards will save USD 58 million over the buildings lifetime.
Subscribers only: http://www.eenews.net/assets/2013/07/08/document_pm_01.pdf
Berkeley Lab Shows Strategies to Achieve Low-Carbon Data Centres
A recent perspective in the journal Nature Climate Change, co-authored by a Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory researcher, proposes that energy models of data centres provide "actionable guidance" to policymakers. The perspective presents the results of one such model that offers a typical U.S. data center carbon footprint, and how much its footprint is reduced through different carbon management strategies.
Germany Went ‘Rogue’ to Freeze Green Cars Law, Say EU Diplomats
EurActiv heard allegations that the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, used what one diplomat called “nasty pressure” against EU countries to stall debate on new regulations aimed at limiting car emissions to 95 grams of CO2 per km by 2020.
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Battery-Powered Cars Will Be the Cheapest to Own Within a Decade – Report
The cost of batteries for electric vehicles is expected to drop by half and battery electric vehicles with 100-mile ranges will be the cheapest cars to own and operate in less than a decade, according to a new report from the Electrification Coalition in consultation with PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Subscribers only: http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/2013/07/25/stories/1059985068
Charger Standards Fight Confuses Electric Vehicle Buyers, Puts Car Company Investments at Risk
An emerging clash between electric vehicle quick-chargers puts potentially billions of dollars in investments at stake and could shape the electric vehicle market for decades to come. The Japanese-developed CHAdeMO standard and the Society of Automotive Engineers' (SAE) International J1772 Combo standard are both direct-current quick-charging systems designed to charge the battery of an electric vehicle to 80 percent in about 20 minutes. But these two systems are designed to be completely incompatible.
Subscribers only: http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/2013/07/24/stories/1059984950
EC Funds 18 European Sustainable Mobility Initiatives
As part of its three-year Sustainable Urban Mobility campaign "Do The Right Mix", the European Commission has released the names of another 18 campaigner-led actions to be awarded funding. Each action will receive up to EUR 7000, which can be used to strengthen activities promoting sustainable urban mobility, from cycling courses, to car-sharing, fun activities for children and more.
Appeals Court Orders California to Fix Low-Carbon Fuel Standard
A California appeals court on 15 July ruled that the California Air Resources Board (ARB) violated the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and the state Administrative Procedures Act (APA) when it approved the program, which requires transportation fuel producers and importers to lower the average carbon content of their sales about 10 percent by 2020, as part of the state's goal of reaching 1990 emissions levels by 2020. It has ordered the state to fix its first-in-the-nation program to lower the carbon content of transportation fuels, but allowed the rule to remain in force.
Subscribers only: http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/2013/07/16/stories/1059984454
EU Countries Warm to ETS Backloading: EU Presidency
All but seven European nations support an EU Commission plan to prop up carbon prices in the bloc's Emissions Trading Scheme, a Lithuanian government official said on 24 July, although the measure is still lacking sufficient support to become law.
Subscribers only: http://www.pointcarbon.com/news/1.2479333
Canadian Regional Carbon Tax Effective In Reducing GHGs: Study
British Columbia’s C$30 (USD 29.2) per tonne carbon tax has been a success, driving both greenhouse gas emissions and fuel consumption down while the economy has remained strong, according to a new study.
Subscribers only: http://www.pointcarbon.com/news/1.2484093
EU Carbon Static as Traders Await 2013 Allocation News
Trade in EU carbon allowances was range-bound on 15 July, moving in a razor-thin 10-cent trading range as energy contracts flat-lined and the market awaited news on when companies would receive their 2013 allocation of permits.
Subscribers only: http://www.pointcarbon.com/news/1.2462594
Low CO2 Prices Force UN to Look at Fee Cut for CDM Developers
U.N. panel will this week mull cutting fees for investors in emission reduction projects registered under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) after the costs of generating carbon credits has helped make many projects unprofitable.
Subscribers only: http://www.pointcarbon.com/news/1.2481910
Scientists Warn on Arctic ‘Economic Time Bomb’
The rapidly melting Arctic is an “economic time bomb” likely to cost the world at least USD60tn, say researchers at Cambridge’s Judge Business School who have started to calculate the financial consequences. A record decline in Arctic sea ice has been widely seen as economically beneficial until now, as it opens up more shipping and drilling in a region thought to contain 30 per cent of the world’s undiscovered gas and 13 per cent of its undiscovered oil.
Researchers, Economists to Kick Off First of Many Warming Hearings for EPW Panel
Climate scientists, economists and representatives from affected industries will clash tomorrow in what is likely the first of many climate change hearings to be held by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. While Chairwoman Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) has said she hopes the 18 July hearing will steer clear of politics, she also said subsequent hearings will focus on Obama's climate change plan, state and local efforts to address climate change and climate change legislation.
Subscribers only: http://www.eenews.net/eedaily/2013/07/17/stories/1059984529
Developing Countries to Vastly Outpace OECD in Carbon Emissions: EIA
Energy-related carbon dioxide emissions from developing countries will be 127 percent higher than in the world's most developed economies by 2040, according to figures released on 25 July by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).
Read more: http://planetark.org/wen/69325
US, China Agree on Climate Change Mitigation Actions
The US and China agreed to five new action initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and air pollution, focusing on: emission reductions from heavy-duty and other vehicles; smart grids; carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS); the collection and management of GHG emissions data; and energy efficiency in buildings and industry.