1.1. Climate change: ‘Bali Road Map’ seeks compass
31 May 2009, AFP
Gruelling efforts to craft a pact on climate change enter a crucial phase on Monday when the 192-nation UN forum takes its first look at a draft text for negotiations.
The 12-day huddle in the German city of Bonn under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) means that, after 18 months of swapping visions, the process will at last get down to the gritty stuff.
Little more than six months are left before the "Bali Road Map", launched in Indonesia in 2006, reaches its supposed destination at a Copenhagen summit: an accord that will transform global warming from a monster into a manageable problem.
On the table is a small mountain of paper whose notable feature is curly brackets, denoting discord among scores of submissions.
Despite the sprawling range of proposals, UNFCCC Executive Secretary Yvo de Boer said he hoped that the draft will be endorsed as a workable basis for talks over the coming months.
"There will be a negotiating text on the table for the first time," he told AFP.
"I hope it will be well received, that it will be seen as a balanced representation of the different ideas that countries have come with."
The big goal is to slash emissions of greenhouse gases by 2050 compared to 1990 levels.
But that’s where consensus largely ends. Exactly how deep should be the cut be? How can it be achieved? And who should shoulder the burden?
In their proposals, many developing countries say rich countries, which bear historical responsibility for today’s warming, should take the lead by cutting their emissions by 25-40 percent by 2020.
China has led the charge, demanding a cut of "at least" 40 percent.
But only the European Union (EU), which has set its own reduction of 20 percent by 2020, deepened to 30 percent if other advanced economies play ball, is anywhere near such a figure.
After eight long years of vilification, the United States is now being warmly embraced in the climate arena as Barack Obama bulldozes George W. Bush’s policies.
But Washington is also warning that the world cannot expect miracles.
A bill put before Congress would cut US emissions by 17 percent by 2020 over 2005 levels using a cap-and-trade system of the kind Bush loathed.
This approach would translate to a reduction of only four percent compared to the 1990 benchmark, but it would also ratchet up to 83 percent by 2050, the top US climate change negotiator, Todd Stern, said in Paris last week.
"We are jumping as high as the political system will tolerate," said Stern, characterising China’s demand of a 40 percent cut by 2020 as "not realistic".
Just as unresolved is what the emerging giant countries should do.
The draft should at least "call for those wealthier, more capable countries to take actions," said Stern’s deputy, Jonathan Pershing.
China is now the world’s No. 1 polluter, and Brazil and India have also leapt up the emission ranks as their economies have grown.
Yet all refuse binding emissions targets of the kind that apply only to rich countries under the Kyoto Protocol, the UNFCCC treaty to be superseded from 2013 by the Copenhagen accord.
Then there is how to muster finance to help poor countries adapt to the impacts of climate change, and how to transfer clean technology so that they avoid becoming the greenhouse-gas villains of the future.
Keya Chatterjee, deputy director of the climate change programme with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) said emerging countries were thirsting for the energy switch.
"It’s sort of a green arms race where everybody wants to have access to clean-energy industry," she said. "That’s a pretty huge change in the negotiations that will affect the dynamics."
Even so, she said, developing countries were suspicious. "This lack of trust comes from a long tradition of industrialised countries not living up to their obligations."
These are just a few of the many obstacles besetting the Bali Road Map.
The complexity is such that many experts now predict Copenhagen will not be a complete treaty but, at best, a good deal on the main points.
"I think that what we are looking at in Copenhagen is a deal that will lock in some specific emission reductions goals, will create commitments both for investment and adaptation and then… the details will have to be filled in later," said Angela Anderson of the US Climate Action Network (CAN).
1.2. Leaders called to special climate talks
31 May 2009, The Independent
Unprecedented number of summits as world struggles to hammer out agreement before vital meeting in December
World leaders are to meet for an unprecedented second summit on climate change this year to try to get agreement on a tough new treaty by December, and may even get together for a third time before the end of the year.
The UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon, is to call the world’s heads of government to New York in September to "galvanise political will" about what he describes as "the defining issue of our time". And there are plans for another G20 summit to discuss the issue in the autumn.
These will follow a meeting of 17 key world leaders convened at the initiative of President Barack Obama immediately after the annual G8 summit in July. Observers cannot remember any similar progression of top-level meetings to address any issue over such a short period of time.
The moves come as pressure mounts on the leaders to reach agreement at December’s vital negotiations in Copenhagen, billed as the world’s last chance to get to grips with global warming before it escalates out of control.
On Friday a think tank headed by the former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan reported that climate change was already killing 300,000 people and affecting 300 million. The day before, 20 Nobel Prize winners, meeting in London, warned that it posed as great a threat as nuclear war. And in Copenhagen on Tuesday 500 business chief executives called for "an ambitious and effective treaty" to "help establish a firm foundation for a sustainable economic future".
The summits are part of an extraordinarily intense series of meetings over the next six months that will take negotiators from Bonn to Bangkok and from Barcelona to the Ilulissat in Greenland. The first three are formal discussions on a UN treaty for the Copenhagen talks, while key ministers from 30 countries will go to the small Greenland town next to the Arctic’s fastest melting glacier at the end of next month to try to hammer out a "political declaration" to accompany it.
The next round of negotiations opens in Bonn tomorrow, but no one is expecting a breakthrough. Talks in the former West German capital in April made little progress beyond agreeing to draw up negotiating texts.
These will be on the table for the first time tomorrow, but they mainly serve to highlight divisions between countries and show how far there is to go in six short months to meet December’s deadline.
One of the main stumbling blocks is how much rich countries will undertake to cut their emissions of greenhouse gases in the short to medium term. There is general agreement that they should be reduced by a drastic 80 per cent on 1990 levels by 2050, the minimum that scientists say will be needed to avoid dangerous climate change. But setting more immediate targets is proving much harder.
Ten days ago, China flung down the gauntlet by calling on rich countries to cut emissions by 40 per cent by 2020. The only advanced economy to come near that is the European Union, which has promised unilaterally to reduce them by 20 per cent by then, rising to 30 per cent if other countries follow suit. But at present there is little sign of other industrialised nations taking up the challenge; despite the new priority President Obama is giving to climate change, his plans would amount to a cut of only a few per cent from 1990 levels.
In return, developing countries, including China and India, would agree to slow the growth of their emissions through "measurable, verifiable and reportable" measures. But India has just signalled that it will not open such plans to global scrutiny unless rich countries deliver on a promise to provide funds to help it tackle and adapt to climate change.
That is the second sticking point. Developing countries want to get at least $200bn a year, which works out at about 0.5 per cent of rich nations’ economic output and is about the same size as current development aid. It is a relatively small sum, especially in the context of the amounts spent in recent months on bailing out the banks, but developed country government are baulking at it. Last week Australia described the demands as "unimaginable".
In the end, senior negotiators say, success or failure will depend not so much on the climate talks themselves, but on whether the world adopts a Green New Deal as the best way to revive the world’s economy.
1.3. UNclimate-change talks in Bonn prepare for post-Kyoto treaty
30 May 2009, Earth Times
Around 3,000 participants from around the world are converging in Bonn for UN climate change talks on Monday, the first in a series of meetings culminating in December to sign off on a replacement to the Kyoto Protocol. At the 12-day gathering in Germany, world governments are to consider an ambitious new draft UN treaty, containing a broad range of options to stem global warming.
Three further climate-change meetings are scheduled this year, ahead of the December event in Copenhagen, where the successor to Kyoto is to be formally adopted.
Yvo de Boer, executive director of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), released a draft document on May 20, though many details remain to be agreed.
The UNFCCC is the parent treaty of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012.
The draft document, which forms the basis of the Bonn talks, suggests that developed countries must reduce carbon emissions by 75 to 95 per cent by 2050, measured against 1990 levels.
These goals are guidelines only, as states have not yet agreed on targets to be reached by 2020.
The draft treaty further sets the first-ever targets for developing nations to reduce the carbon emissions blamed for global warming.
Emerging economies such as India and China would have greater leeway, aiming for 25-per-cent reductions by 2050, measured against a later baseline of 2000.
Developing countries are demanding assistance with financing, technology and capacity building to stem climate change, requirements that will likely feature in negotiations before final targets can be incorporated in the new treaty.
Emerging economies are taking a two-pronged approach, seeking developed-world assistance in both mitigation efforts and help to adapt to the natural damage caused by climatic changes.
Key to the success of this year’s talks is the role of the United States, which never ratified the Kyoto protocol. The US has signalled it could support the next treaty as long as China and other developing economies are also called to task.
Alongside China, the US is the largest emitter of greenhouse gases, commonly linked to climate change.
The new US adminstration under President Barack Obama has taken a lead role in the fight on climate change and has made initial recommendations on emissions reductions.
However, these targets are far below those set by other countries and fail to meet scientifically backed recommendations by environmental groups.
Analysts expect the Bonn talks to provide little more than initial convergence on key areas, leaving much to be settled in national, international and intergovernmental forums ahead of December’s meeting in Copenhagen.
1.4. UN’s Ban tells business to stop climate lobbying
25 May 2009, EurActiv
Industry should play its part in the fight against climate change by persuading governments to aid carbon cuts rather than lobbying against them, the UN secretary-general told a business conference on Sunday (24 May).
The 24-26 May World Business Summit on Climate Change brings together top executives from energy and technology companies and political leaders in Denmark to try to unite behind a common call for long-term climate policies, ahead of a UN conference in December meant to forge a new climate treaty to replace the Kyoto Protocol.
A draft communiqué from the meeting suggests that powerful businesses are, for the first time, preparing to speak with one voice to call for both long- and mid-term emissions reduction targets, as well as funding to help developing countries adapt to climate change and move to low-carbon technologies.
"For those who are directly or implicitly lobbying against climate action I have a clear message: your ideas are out of date and you are running out of time," UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told the meeting of more than 500 business leaders.
"The smart money is on the green economy," he said. "Leaders sometimes are weak because they are short-sighted to get the votes," he added, urging businesses to lobby for carbon cuts.
Danish Environment, Climate and Energy Minister Connie Hedegaard, who hosts the UN-led December conference, said Denmark’s exports of wind power technologies were proof that fighting climate change could be lucrative.
"That’s the message to businesses here: put pressure on governments, that this is not just about idealism," she said.
Ban, in an interview with Reuters, also said that a draft US climate bill, which aims to cut US greenhouse gases by 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020, did not go far enough.
Asked if he was urging Washington to do more, the UN chief replied: "That’s what I have been doing and will continue to do."
1.5. Commission welcomes fall in 2007 greenhouse gas emissions for third consecutive year
29 May 2009, www.europa.eu
Climate change: Commission welcomes fall in 2007 greenhouse gas emissions for third consecutive year
European Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas today welcomed the news that EU greenhouse gas emissions have fallen for the third consecutive year. The emissions inventory compiled by the European Environment Agency for 2007, the latest year for which complete data is available, shows that EU-15 emissions dropped by 1.6% from 2006 while the economy grew by 2.7 %. The reduction takes EU-15 emissions to 5.0% below their levels in the base year (1990 in most cases). This puts the EU-15 well on track to meet its Kyoto Protocol target of reducing emissions in the 2008-2012 period to an average of 8% below the base year level. EU-27 emissions fell 1.2% over the year to stand 12.5% lower than in the base year.
Commissioner Dimas said: "The recent emission reductions among the EU-15 give us the confidence that we will successfully reach our Kyoto target. With more than half of EU-15 Member States registering notable emission reductions once again in 2007, our main concern now is to ensure that an ambitious global climate agreement for the period after 2012 is achieved at the Copenhagen conference in December. This will create a framework for worldwide emission reductions in the future."
He added: "Although the 2007 reduction in EU-15 reductions was partly due to favourable weather conditions in some Member States, the downward emissions trend over the last three years indicates that the pro-active climate policies and measures taken nationally and at EU level since Kyoto are now starting to pay off. The climate and energy package adopted last month ensures that even greater reductions will be made in the coming years."
Downward emissions trend despite economic growth
The 1.6% drop in EU-15 emissions between 2006 and 2007 contrasted with an increase in GDP of 2.7% over the period. This means the EU has succeeded in further decoupling emissions from economic growth. Emissions had also fallen in the two previous years, by 0.9% in 2005 and 0.6% in 2006.
The main reasons for the emissions fall in 2007 – totalling 64 million tonnes of CO 2-equivalent – were declines in emissions from households, due to warmer weather, and from manufacturing industries and iron and steel production. By contrast, emissions related to refrigeration and air conditioning rose.
The majority of sectors have recorded emission reductions between the base year and 2007. Emissions from industrial processes were down 14.1%, from energy without transport by 7.4%, from use of solvents and other products 23.7%, from agriculture 11.3% and from waste 38.9%. By contrast, emissions from transport in general rose by 23.7% and from road transport by 24.7%.
EU-27 emissions fell 1.2% in the year. They consequently stood 12.5% below levels in the base year, which for some Member States differs from 1990, and 9.3% below levels in 1990 itself. The reduction against 2006, totalling 59.4 million tonnes of CO 2-equivalent, can be attributed to broadly the same reasons as for the EU-15. Emission increases in the EU-27 were recorded in transport, cement production and public electricity and heat production, as well as refrigeration and air conditioning.
There is no EU-27 emissions target under the Kyoto Protocol since the EU-12 were not Member States at the time. However, all of the EU-12 have individual Kyoto commitments to cut emissions to 6% or 8% below base year levels, except Cyprus and Malta which have no targets.
The data was compiled by the European Environment Agency and has been submitted to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
More at: http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=IP/09/851
2.1. WHO report highlights health sector’s carbon footprint
29 May 2009, EurActiv
Cutting carbon dioxide emissions in the health sector must form part of a comprehensive package of measures to mitigate the impact of climate change at the December climate conference in Copenhagen, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).
A draft reportexternal by the WHO and Health Care Without Harm, an NGO, says hospitals have a major role to play and can reduce their environmental impact by using alternative energy sources, designing ‘greener’ buildings, and being more efficient in their use of water, transport and food.
By "shopping green", the health sector can make its own operations more efficient and can help leverage broader change throughout the economy, according to the report.
The authors also call on the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in December 2009 to specifically promote climate change mitigation by the health sector.
It is suggested that prioritising primary health care and pursuing disease prevention strategies, in order to lower dependence on resource-intensive therapies, can simultaneously reduce the burden of disease and the health sector’s fossil fuel consumption.
Setting an example
The UK has taken the lead in this area, according to the report, and its National Health Service has proposed a range of measures including offering fewer meat and dairy products on its menus.
The NHS in England calculates that it spends £20 billion a year on goods and services, which translates into a carbon footprint of 11 million tonnes – 60% of the NHS’s total carbon footprint.
Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, England, has reduced the number of cars on the campus by 16%, with staff car use down 22%. The health authorities have commissioned a bus to the hospital, offered discounted bus passes and introduced interest-free loans for bicycles as well as a car share scheme.
At the Pilgrim Hospital, Lincolnshire, England, a biomass boiler will come into operation next year as part of a plan to cut its CO2 emissions by 50%. The boiler will run on locally harvested and renewable woodchips and will be supplemented by a Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plant which will generate electricity for hospital operations.
A range of projects across the globe have been highlighted as examples of how hospitals can implement significant changes.
Torun City Hospital in Poland is part of the WHO’s ‘Healthy Cities’ initiative and has incorporated sustainability criteria into renovation and expansion projects. Improved insulation, room temperature control and modern heaters have helped bring energy savings of 30% in renovated buildings and 54% in new buildings.
Saving energy is also a priority at Constance Hospital in Baden-Württemberg, Germany, where CO2 emissions have been cut by over 25% following a recent modernisation. The hospital installed solar panels and CHP technology that has 75% efficiency (versus 35% efficiency of conventional generators). In addition, buildings and windows throughout the hospital were equipped with thermal insulation.
The report, by the WHO and ‘Health Care Without Harm’, outlined a range of ways that healthcare institutions can help cut their carbon output.
More at: http://www.euractiv.com/en/health/report-highlights-health-sector-carbon-footprint/article-182717
2.2. Industry calls for funding to cut CO2 emissions
26 May 2009, EurActiv
More than 500 industry leaders gathering in Copenhagen this week are calling on heads of state and government to strike a strong deal to reduce carbon emissions, stressing that long-term policy clarity is required as well as financial backing.
Business leaders are reportedly working on a draft statement that would call for emissions to be cut by at least 50% by 2050, an ambitious target which has also been endorsed by the United Nations.
In a speech to business leaders, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon said that only a few businesses had made climate change a priority, with most adopting a wait-and-see approach and others defending "the old order". "For those who are directly or implicitly lobbying against climate action, I have a clear message: Your ideas are out-of-date and you are running out of time," he told delegates.
"The big constraint is funding," said Steve Lennon, managing director of South African utility Eskom, referring to the need to cut the cost of alternatives to fossil fuel energy. "This is not about capability, it’s about cost," said Tony Hayward, chief executive of British oil company BP. "The issue is the gap between the energy that is provided today and the energy that we’re talking about and which today is more expensive."
BP has a joint venture with mining company Rio Tinto to split fossil fuels into hydrogen and carbon dioxide, bury the latter and sell the hydrogen as a clean fuel to utilities – but says it needs public funding support. A leading consultant said companies are aware of the strong public concern about global warming and do not want to be seen not to be supporting measures to slow climate change.
"Oil companies are talking about their renewable energy portfolios but investing in fossil fuels," said Adam Werbach, chief executive of Saatchi & Saatchi S, a marketing and consultancy company.
"This is the amazing effectiveness of PR [public relations] in the last decade. A decade ago people actually said what they thought. Now it’s behind the scenes."
Climate bonds, carbon markets and renewable energy subsidies were ideas put forward in Copenhagen by heads of companies such as PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and investors Vantage Point Venture Partners as ways of promoting cuts in carbon emissions.
"[Subsidy] payments should reduce over time, be focused on carbon savings, and need to reward the delivery of low-carbon energy," said BP’s Hayward.
"That’s pretty descriptive, you can take that and translate that into legislation if you choose."
Royal Dutch Shell, another oil major, said in March that it would scale back investments in solar and wind power because they could not compete with fossil fuels – and announced that it would increase oil output by two to three percent annually over the next four years.
PwC Chief Executive Samuel DiPiazza said businesses wanted the "gradual but aggressively challenging" introduction of carbon prices which penalise greenhouse gas emissions.
Some doubted the sincerity of large western companies which say they want to fight climate change. "It’s just lip service that many of them pay," said Harish Hande, managing director of the Solar Electric Light Company, which has supplied solar power to about 100,000 households in India, where more than half the population have no electricity.
2.3. EU, Norway join forces on CO2 capture and storage
29 May 2009, EurActiv
Norway and the EU are stepping up cooperation to commercialise carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology, by handing out at least €140 million to European CCS projects and exploring the possibility of storing CO2 in the North Sea.
Despite not being a member of the bloc, Norway will earmark 20% of its contributions to the European Economic Area (EEA) over the next five years to fund carbon capture and storage (CCS; see EurActiv LinksDossier) projects in selected EU member states, Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg announced on Tuesday (27 May).
"The EU is a driving force in the development and implementation of CCS technologies. As part of our total contribution during the next period of the EEA Financial Mechanisms, Norway wants to earmark at least EUR 140 million over five years to support CCS projects in selected EU member states," Stoltenberg said.
The EU welcomed Oslo’s initiative to help the bloc to establish of 12 CCS demonstration projects by 2015 (EurActiv 12/11/08).
"The importance of Norway as an energy partner of the EU can never be underlined enough. It is not only EU’s second main supplier of oil and gas, but also an important player in the internal energy market and a front-runner in clean energy technologies like CCS and renewables," said EU Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs after meeting Norwegian Minister of Petroleum and Energy Terje Riis-Johansen yesterday in the context of energy dialogue between the EU and Norway.
The prime minister announced in April that Norway plans to become the first country in the world to be carbon neutral by 2050. It has made CCS one of its priority instruments in slashing emissions.
North Sea exploration for storage space
Eenrgy Minister Riis-Johansen also met the UK Minister of State for Energy and Climate Change, Lord Hunt, to discuss using the North Sea as a storage ground for carbon captured from polluting installations.
The two countries commissioned a study to examine when it would become possible to use the sea-bed for burying carbon dioxide and how this can be prepared for in advance.
"The aim of the study will be to build a profile for the whole of the North Sea, assessing each countries’ storage potential and projections of likely volumes and locations of CO2 flows, against a rising price of carbon," the officials said in a statement.
The UK and Norway are also planning to assist other EU governments in their attempts to implement the technology.
2.4. Fund aims for certainty in post-2012 carbon markets
29 May 2009, EurActiv
An investment fund specialising in post-2012 carbon credits is building confidence in carbon markets and offsetting the risk of new low-carbon projects.
Five leading public financial institutions behind the ‘Post-2012 Carbon Fund’ told the Carbon Expo conference yesterday (28 May) that that they received continuous interest from project developers seeking insurance against the uncertainties of the post-2012 carbon market.
As the outcome of the negotiations on a post-Kyoto deal is still up in the air, projects to reduce emissions in developing countries have been put on hold. The fund aims to reduce the risk of uncertain long-term prices by purchasing and trading Certified Emissions Credits (CERs) under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) for the post-2012 period.
The idea is to help additional offset projects take off by guaranteeing bankable revenue regardless of what shape the future CDM will take.
"We want to set a political signal that we trust the market," Fritz Wilhelm, head of communications at First Climate, told EurActiv. "We guarantee an off-take price no matter whether these credits have a value after the new climate treaty is in force," he added.
The Post-2012 Carbon Fund is the first to target exclusively post-Kyoto credits. The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the principal investor in the €125 million fund, contributing €50 million.
Simon Brooks, vice-president of the European Investment Bank (EIB), identified risk reduction as the key contribution of the fund. "Our key aim in launching this fund was to facilitate project business after 2012 by offering a solution to the main issues facing project developers," he said. He said the fund could make future carbon credit revenues more predictable and help guarantee the availability and reliability of subsequent buyers for the offset credits generated.
The fund is investing in projects using wind energy, waste management and energy-efficiency technologies in Asia, Africa and Latin America. They are supposed to generate four million CERs between 2013 and 2020, when the fund will start to sell to customers like big industrial utilities in the EU, which have to comply with the targets of the bloc’s emissions trading scheme.
3.1. NGOs walk out of industry-dominated nuclear talking shop
29 May 2009, FOEE, Greenpeace, Sortir du nucleaire
EU-backed European Nuclear Forum has sidelined critical voices
Prague, May 29 – Today, environmental organisations Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and Sortir du nucléaire formally ended their participation in the European Nuclear Energy Forum (ENEF) at a meeting in Prague hosted by the Czech and Slovak governments and backed by the European Commission. The environmental groups accuse the nuclear industry-dominated body of stifling critical voices and ignoring the concerns of civil society.
Greenpeace delegate Jan Haverkamp said: “The EU promised an open debate but the concerns of civil society are being ignored or even misrepresented to suit the nuclear industry. There is no reason why European taxpayers should help fund the nuclear propaganda machine. We hoped there would be a fair discussion, but this is clearly not on the agenda of a forum that acts a lot like a nuclear lobby group.”
The forum, which is publicly funded, was set up by the Commission to encourage an open debate “without taboos” about the future of nuclear energy in the EU. But the three environmental organisations, the only NGOs to be granted access to the forum, accuse the Commission of not acting as an honest broker. After actively participating in several working groups since the forum’s creation in 2007, the environmental groups claim their contributions on issues such as nuclear waste and nuclear safety have been ignored.
Patricia Lorenz of Friends of the Earth Europe said: “ENEF is no stakeholder discussion. The working groups on nuclear risk as well as non proliferation consist of industry representatives assuring each other that nuclear power is basically problem free. Our input, even written statements, are not being included, or even reflected in discussions or reports. ENEF has reached a complete standstill.”
The environmental groups also accuse the Czech and Slovak governments of using ENEF meetings to stage pro-nuclear PR stunts. Slovak prime minister Robert Fico and his Czech counterpart Jan Fischer are expected to use today’s meeting to announce a deal between Czech state-owned utility CEZ and Slovak state-owned utility JAVYS to build a new nuclear power station in Bohunice, in Slovakia. Greenpeace filed a complaint to the European Commission earlier this week for infringement of EU market rules, accusing the Slovak government of illegally selecting CEZ without holding a public tender.
Charlotte Mijeon of Sortir du nucléaire said: "During ENEF meetings, scientific literature submitted by the NGOs was not acknowledged in discussion papers. The groups will from now on focus on their direct contacts with the Commission, the Parliament, member states and industry. The nuclear industry’s attempt to greenwash itself through ENEF must be exposed."
The environmental groups believe that without the participation of civil society the nuclear forum has lost its legitimacy and should therefore be dissolved. Despite terminating their participation within ENEF, Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and Sortir du nucléaire will continue to act as watchdogs on nuclear safety and engage in bilateral dialogue with nuclear stakeholders outside the framework of the forum.
4.1. EP elections: Briefing for MEPs on climate change – CAN-E
More at: http://www.climnet.org/Climate_change_briefing_MEPs-ENG.pdf
4.2. Friends of the Earth Europe Annual Review 2008
More at: http://www.foeeurope.org/publications/2009/FoEE_Annual_Review_2008.pdf
4.3. ArcelorMittal:Going nowhere slowly
A review of the global steel giant’s environmental and social impacts in 2008-2009
More at: http://www.foeeurope.org/corporates/Extractives/arcelormittal_going_nowhere_web.pdf
4.4. Public money for fossil fuels in the EU and in three EU member states
A research paper prepared for Friends of the Earth Europe
More at: http://www.foeeurope.org/corporates/Extractives/Publicmoneyforfossilfuels_May09.pdf
4.5. EU Leadership or Losership?
Oxfam International’s report on how to break the impasse on climate talks
As the US and China intensify discussions on climate change, Oxfam International urges EU countries to put aside national interests and step up their leadership role. Torn by disputes within and between member states, and distracted by the economic crisis and elections, Europe’s current approach is seriously risking the prospect of a safe and fair climate change deal in Copenhagen this December – one which ensures globalwarming is kept below two degrees and protects the poorest, most vulnerable countries that are struggling to cope with the impacts of climate change.
Oxfam International?s new report EU Leadership or Losership? Time to break the impasse on climate talks argues that the deadlock in the climate negotiations, and its solution, is political, not technical.
5.1. Anti Nuclear European Forum (ANEF)
on 17th of June in Linz,Austria
In the autumn of 2007 the European Nuclear Energy Forum (ENEF) was established. Within ENEF it was aimed that all aspects of this controversial form of energy should be discussed. Both, Czech Republic and Slovakia showed intensive efforts for the organization of ENEF. Semi-annual meetings take place in Prague and Bratislava alternately. The next ENEF meeting will be held in Prague on 28th – 29th of May 2009. This is already going to be the fourth meeting. Unfortunately, ENEF failed to fulfill ENEF´s official objectives and is used one-sided as a propaganda instrument for the promotion of nuclear power instead. The Prime Ministers Topolanek and Robert Fico used the opening of the forum several times for unqualified unilateral cheering speeches on nuclear energy, while the discussion of the negative aspects of nuclear energy use has been largely ignored, which resulted in increasing dissatisfaction of the critical participants.
A balanced discussion within the next ENEF meeting on 28th- 29th of May seems impossible and therefore we decided – after intensive discussions with Austrian and international NGOs –to organize a counter event – the European Anti-Nuclear Forum (ANEF) -, under which at least some of the negative aspects of nuclear energy will be discussed on an international level. At the same time ANEF aims to send a strong signal across Europe that the EU-funded renaissance of nuclear energy is not an appropriate instrument to fight climate change. The event is organized by the office of the Anti-nuclear Representative of Upper Austria – Radko Pavlovec-in cooperation with the NGO’s Antiatom Szene and Antiatom-Komitee. Your participation is very important because it needs a strong signal against the nuclear renaissance. The organizers would like to warmly invite you to participate in ANEF. PARTICIPATE! Your participation is important! Please register by sending an email to
5.2. Take part! Be a participant on the tour!
We are expecting a total of 25 primarily young participants (around the age of 20-30) from the countries of the tour (Slovenia, Italy, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary). But applications from other countries might be considered as well. Application process is open and continuous till all places are filled.
* good biking,
* good English,
* interested in the topics: environment protection, sustainability, active citizenship,
ABOUT THE TOUR
Date: 19.06.2009 Koper (Slovenia) – 20.07.2009 Pécs (Hungary)
Total distance (approx.): 740 km
Average distance of a day: 50 km
Days spent with pedalling: 17 days
All the costs are covered by the project for those, who take part on the whole tour, except the travelling costs (to Koper – starting point – and from Pecs – destination)
More at: http://greenbikesforpeace.eu/node/331
5.3. The Bonn Climate Change Talks – June 2009
1 – 12 June 2009
The thirtieth sessions of the UNFCCC Convention subsidiary bodies – SBSTA and SBI, sixth session of the AWG-LCA and the eighth session of the AWG-KP will take place from Monday 1 June till Friday 12 June 2009 in Maritim, Bonn.
Agendas and more information on the meetings: http://unfccc.int/meetings/sb30/items/4842.php
Disclaimer: We do not guarantee for the accuracy, reliability or content of information. For help or questions, contact: [email protected].