1.1. E.U. sees
5 November 2010, Reuters
The European Union sees the
Obama has conceded that big Republican gains in Tuesday’s elections undermined prospects for comprehensive legislation to tackle climate change.
"We’re very disappointed about the
"We see the
Obama’s election in 2008 and his talk of saving a "planet in peril" briefly encouraged some countries to anticipate significant progress in talks on a new U.N. treaty to slow rising emissions of greenhouse gases.
Obama said at last December’s Copenhagen summit that he wanted to cut U.S. emissions by 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020, a cut passed by the U.S. House of Representatives but not by the Senate.
"We wonder how they can achieve their 2005 commitments without going for a cap and trade scheme," said Delbeke. "It will make it even more problematic for international climate negotiations."
Cap and trade schemes cap carbon emissions by power plants and factories by issuing a fixed quota of emissions permits which companies can trade among themselves.
That plan partly hinges on curbs on emissions to push up the price of carbon in mechanisms such as the EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme.
But Delbeke remained upbeat that the
If countries such as the
"In the long term that may be a possibility," Delbeke told reporters at a briefing in
"If we live in a world where the EU is the only one that has made a commitment and the
Delbeke also warned the fast-growing economy against misrepresenting its circumstances in climate talks.
That is a big issue for Europe’s poorer nations, which protest against EU demands they help finance greening
1.2. G20 vows to ‘spare no effort’ for
12 November 2010, Yahoo.green
The world’s 20 largest rich and emerging economies including China vowed Friday to "spare no effort" at upcoming climate change talks in Mexico, a year after Beijing stymied a deal in Copenhagen.
"We will spare no effort to reach a balanced and successful outcome in Cancun," the Group of 20 said in a statement issued at the end of two days of talks in
The vow came less than three weeks before 194 countries meet in the Mexican resort city of
The climate gathering will take place in the lingering shadow of last December’s Copenhagen summit, which ended in near-fiasco, due in no large part, critics say, to Chinese reluctance to agree to binding commitments.
"Addressing the threat of global climate change is an urgent priority for all nations," the G20 statement said.
"We reiterate our commitment to take strong and action-oriented measures and remain fully dedicated to UN climate change negotiations."
Despite the promise in Friday’s statement,
"Developed countries have their historic responsibility over climate change," Sun Zhen, a top
China and the
China has rejected pressure for outside verification, saying it was a
This law now appears even less likely to get the green light following massive wins in this month’s mid-term elections for Republicans, who are generally less welcoming of environmental constraints on business.
As the prospect of a path-breaking deal in
This has resulted in a focus on smaller goals — deals on deforestation, progress on financing and technology transfer — which were echoed in the G20 statement.
"We all are committed to achieving a successful, balanced result that includes the core issues of mitigation, transparency, finance, technology, adaptation, and forest preservation," the statement said.
The G20 members pledged to back sustainable development, enabling countries to "leapfrog old technologies in many sectors".
"We are committed to support country-led green growth policies that promote environmentally sustainable global growth along with employment creation while ensuring energy access for the poor," it said.
1.3. India’s climate change report to be released Tuesday
14 November 2010, New Delhi
The country will release its first assessment report on Tuesday, on the impact of climate change on agriculture, health, water and forests in four regions of the country. The report, covering the Himalayas, the
Network for Climate Change Assessment (INCCA) comprising 220 scientists from 120 research institutions across the country.
"We need to know what would be the impact of climate change by 2030 and not wait for reports that are predicting for 2050 or later. We will release a report on assessment on four sectors in four regions of the country," said Environment and Forests Minister Jairam Ramesh on Friday.
Ramesh said that it is important to study common and differentiated impact of climate change on various fronts.
India, the world’s fourth largest greenhouse gas emitter, has launched a new United Nations-backed project to reduce emissions.
15 November 2010, People’s Daily Online
The Mexican Foreign Ministry on Sunday denied that UN peacekeeping troops will be present during an upcoming UN climate conference set to be held in Mexico.
Based on international rules for these kinds of events, there will only be UN security staff inside the place where the climate meeting will be held, the ministry said in a statement.
The annual Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP16) is to be held in Cancun, Mexico, from Nov. 29 to Dec. 10.
During the conference, the zone will be guarded by municipal, state and federal police, according to the statement.
Some media reports said on Saturday that UN peacekeeping troops would be in charge of security during the climate conference.
According to UN rules, peacekeeping troops are tasked with performing operations to guarantee peace in those nations which request it in advance.
2.1. New research warns of massive increase in carbon emissions and land conversion caused by EU biofuels policy
8 Novemeber 2010, T&E
Plans to increase the use of biofuels in Europe over the next ten years will require up to 69 000 square kilometres of new land worldwide and make climate change worse, a new study reveals today .
The report finds that an area over twice the size of
The new research analyses for the first time biofuel use planned by the EU’s member states in their renewable energy plans , concluding that:
– Europe is set to increase significantly biofuel use by 2020 when biofuels will provide 9.5% of transport fuel – more than 90% of which will come from food crops.
– When indirect land use change is taken into account, biofuels will emit an extra 27 to 56 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per year – the equivalent to an extra 12 to 26 million cars on
– Unless EU policy changes, the extra biofuels that
Under the plans, five countries will be responsible for over two thirds of the increase in emissions. The
Adrian Bebb from Friends of the Earth Europe said: "The scale of the damage that European countries will cause with their biofuels plans is now clear – forests and nature will be destroyed on a shocking scale to fuel our cars. The resulting release of climate-damaging greenhouse gases will make biofuels a worse polluter than fossil fuels. The EU needs to urgently review the sustainability of using biofuels and ensure their use does not lead to more climate change or environmental destruction."
Laura Sullivan from ActionAid: "Biofuels are not a climate-friendly solution to our energy needs. The EU plans effectively give companies a blank cheque to continue grabbing land from the world’s poor to grow biofuels to fill our tanks rather than food to fill their stomachs. Europe’s energy policies are putting millions of people in danger, threatening
The research, commissioned by a coalition of environmental and development organisations , includes indirect land use change impacts caused by biofuels, making it the most realistic assessment so far of the real world impacts of EU biofuels targets. It comes at a key time for EU biofuel policy, with the European Commission due to report on how to address and minimise these emissions by the end of the year.
The groups are calling on EU governments and the European Commission to review urgently the real impacts of biofuels on climate change and food security, and to prioritise energy efficiency in transport. New legislation must take account of the full carbon footprint of biofuels by introducing indirect land use change ‘factors’.
Nusa Urbancic of Transport & Environment said: "This research shows that EU biofuels targets are putting climate policy for transport in reverse gear. Until indirect land use change is fully taken into account,
2.2. MEPs seal deal on crisis funds for clean energy
12 November 2010, EurActiv
The European Parliament yesterday (11 November) approved a deal between the EU institutions to free up €146 million of unspent EU recovery funds to finance energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.
MEPs voted overwhelmingly in favour of an agreement struck last month to create a fund to finance projects including renovating
The fund will get a total of €146.34 million left over from the €3.98bn European Energy Recovery Plan once the deadline for committing money to priority projects has expired at the end of the year.
In the first instance, the plan earmarked money for gas and electricity interconnections, carbon capture and storage (CCS) and offshore wind farms. But MEPs insisted on a mechanism to use any unspent money for energy efficiency and innovative renewables projects to counterbalance the billions given to traditional energy sources.
The new fund will serve primarily local and regional authorities to promote decentralised energy and save energy. The money will be disbursed as loans, guarantees, equity and other financial products and will be paid back to the fund.
The fund will still need to be rubber-stamped by member states in the Council before the money can be made available from January 2011.
However, Green MEPs criticised the final sum agreed for being too low in comparison to what CCS projects in polluting power stations will be given under the recovery plan.
MEP Claude Turmes (
"For the moment, this kind of innovative fund is limited to energy, but I hope that in the future it could represent the start of a new and fundamental principle which can be transposed in other sectors such as transport, with much greater budgets and public-private partnerships," said European People’s Party MEP Antonio Cancian (Italy), a shadow rapporteur on the file.
2.3. Commission’s 2020 energy plan fails to impress
11 November 2010, EurActiv
The European Commission presented its new energy strategy yesterday (10 November), calling for €1 trillion of investment over the next decade to integrate
The Energy 2020 strategy lays down priorities in five broad areas. It seeks to curb Europe’s energy consumption with financial incentives to renovate
Furthermore, it proposes to pursue an external EU energy policy, ensure
"Over the next ten years, overall energy infrastructure investments in the EU of euro one trillion are needed," the Commission said in a statement. "By 2015 no member state should be isolated."
The required investments would mainly come from the industry and consumers, who should prepare to finance some of the infrastructure costs with rising energy bills, said EU Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger. The EU budget’s impact would be limited to projects of European interest and research, he added.
The Commission also addresses delays in strategic infrastructure projects by proposing simplified permitting processes and setting a time limit for EU funding decisions.
Oettinger said he was confident that EU heads of state and government would endorse the strategy in February at a special summit focused on energy.
The Commission plans to propose concrete legislative initiatives in the next 18 months.
The Commission’s plan got a mixed response from policymakers and industry alike. While the focus on energy efficiency was hailed by many, some pointed out that it lacked credibility without concrete measures.
Energy efficiency and savings must be a central plank of EU energy policy if the EU is to achieve its energy security and climate goals. Yet the Commission only vaguely deals with this core issue and would seem to prefer delaying win-win measures that could be implemented now," said Green MEP Claude Turmes (Luxembourg).
The Socialists & Democrats group in the European Parliament pointed out the failure to address binding targets for energy savings. "EU member states are not on track to meet the 20% savings target that is crucial for reaching our goals of economic recovery and environmental sustainability," said Swedish MEP Marita Ulvskog (S&D).
"There is no real commitment on the core issues of reducing energy use, increasing the supply of renewable energy and upgrading energy grids. Instead of addressing the needs of energy consumers, such as rising energy prices, the Commission mainly prioritises the interests of energy companies," said Poul Nyrup Rasmussen, president of the Party of European Socialists (PES).
He labelled the strategy a "charter for traditional energy use".
Green MEPs also criticised the strategy for bowing to the interest of large integrated energy companies. "The Commission seems to fawningly accept the market dominance of the big (German) energy oligopolies, with no measures planned to address this damaging distortion. It fails to deal with the elephant in the room: namely how to wean
European business, however, cautioned that energy-saving measures should remain voluntary. Small businesses "must be incentivised to take them up rather than burdened with additional administrative requirements," said Eurochambres, which represents EU chambers of commerce.
The European Renewable Energy Council (EREC) criticised the Commission for "low-carbon rhetoric" rather than establishing a stable framework for renewable energy leading up to 2030.
"A well-functioning, undistorted, internal energy market would give us the level playing field we have always argued for," said Arthouros Zervos, EREC president.
He argued that the successful development of renewable energy in the current energy system relies on the ability of EU member states to design stable, adequate support mechanisms to compensate for market distortions in order to reach their binding 2020 targets.
The Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) welcomed the Commission’s acknowledgement that projects intended to connect the European energy consumers with suppliers outside the EU should get the same level of attention as intra-EU projects. It said this reflects the need for significantly increased energy imports, particularly natural gas, in the coming decade.
TAP, however, expressed its surprise that the communication does not include TAP among the projects accorded specific emphasis in the Southern Gas Corridor, given that it serves to meet several of the EU’s energy policy goals.
"Among these projects, TAP remains very cost effective with the shortest routing. It provides considerable strategic benefits that will help improve security of supply, including that it has an underground storage option in
The European Construction Industry Federation (FIEC) pointed out that raising sufficient finance remains "a huge barrier to the uptake of energy efficiency measures". "In this context, FIEC welcomes the fact that the ‘split incentive’ problem between owners and tenants will be addressed in upcoming proposals from the Commission," it said.
Green group WWF pointed out that the lack of a specific timeline and content of upcoming proposals leaves "significant vagueness" ahead of the February EU summit on energy.
"The Commission knows Europe is on track to miss its 20% energy savings target by half – equivalent to the energy of seven Nabucco pipelines or the final energy consumption of Germany," said Jason Anderson, head of climate and energy policy at WWF. "WWF urges a binding energy saving target, the obvious solution that is completely and continuously ignored."
The International Network for Sustainable Energy (INFORSE-Europe) regretted that the most direct new energy efficiency proposal in the strategy was the introduction of White Certificates to force supply companies to promote energy savings to their costumers.
"Instead of White Certificates, which have a mixed track record in EU countries, the EU needs a bucket of new policies to reach the energy efficiency targets," the NGO network said. It called for more specific proposals for using EU funding like structural funds, energy efficiency levies on energy consumption, and transport measures beyond urban mobility and car labelling.
2.4. Internal review improves 2020 energy plan but big gaps remain
8 November 2010, WWF
On Wednesday 10 November the European Commission is expected to present its communication on the new Energy Strategy for Europe 2011-2020 aimed to ensure ‘competitive, sustainable and secure energy.’
Based on successive drafts seen by WWF, the final release is expected to be much improved after inter-service review, but it still fails to tackle efficiency and fossil fuel dependency head-on.
Jason Anderson, head of European climate change and energy policy at WWF said, “The original DG Energy plan to expand fossil and nuclear energy and largely ignore renewables and climate change has been improved by other services, taking out the most contentious language and shifting emphasis in important areas.”
Previously energy efficiency was called the ‘top priority’ in the same sentence as rises in energy use were predicted. Climate goals for 2020 and 2050 barely came in for a mention, nor was it acknowledged that the energy sector releases 80% of greenhouse gas emissions. ‘Affordable’ energy was held out as a priority without consideration for the environment. All of these points are expected to be addressed now.
However, the plan will likely fall flat on specifics for efficiency: “The Commission knows Europe is on track to miss its 20% energy savings target by half – equivalent to the energy of seven Nabucco pipelines or the final energy consumption of Germany,” said Anderson.
“WWF urges a binding energy saving target, the obvious solution that is completely and continuously ignored.”
The Commission also envisions a Europe simultaneously decarbonising while locking itself into massive fossil fuel infrastructure. Nowhere is the link made between saving energy, expanding renewables, and increasing security of supply; instead the old-fashioned equation of “more is better” is applied to oil and gas access.
In contrast, coal is not expected to be mentioned in this review of Europe’s energy future, indicating it may finally be getting buried.
The plan is still just an outline of the Commission’s thinking – it notes the legislative process will continue for 18 months, but does not provide a specific guide to the timing and content of upcoming proposals. This leaves significant vagueness ahead of the 4 February European Council on energy.
2.5. Analysis: Is there a "Made in
14 November 2010, Reuters
Sprucing up your company profile by hiring a popular soccer player and a former international TV celebrity to star in advertisements may be run of the mill marketing for some.
For a solar company, it may give the edge needed to survive in a fiercely competitive and fast-changing environment.
Germany‘s SolarWorld, a maker of solar modules, throws a lot of resources at building its brand when selling its products outside of its domestic market, where TV ads have helped it to become a major market player.
After running ads with Lukas Podolski — a member of
Such efforts lie at the heart of a bigger battle as SolarWorld, along with German peers such as Q-Cells, takes on fierce international competition.
"This is one way of fighting back the brutal Asian competition," said Philipp Bumm, analyst at Cheuvreux in
The $39-billion solar industry is no exception to a broad trend of cheaper Asian rivals eating away market share of European and
Asian module makers own about half of the German market for solar modules, by far the world’s biggest, as they offer products at a discount of about 10-20 percent compared with their European peers, which bank on their high-quality products.
Large subsidies, so called feed-in tariffs, have made Europe’s biggest economy the world’s largest solar market, creating 83,000 jobs in the eastern part of the country that has otherwise suffered an exodus of young, educated Germans.
But the German government, under Chancellor Angela Merkel, has slashed support to the sector, a factor that is forcing the industry to become more competitive.
With the German market expected to dwindle next year — solar industry association EPIA estimates that it could drop to 3 gigawatts (GW) from an expected 8 GW this year — companies have to seek growth elsewhere to maintain employment.
In future, German solar module makers will not only be forced to export more but also rely on their image when they expand their international presence. This works for some industries. The question is whether it will work for the solar sector.
"It’s a fair question to ask ‘why would something that works with cars not work with solar’," said Ben Lynch, analyst at Bryan, Garnier & Co in
Germany‘s carmakers, enjoying an excellent reputation, successfully charge high prices for high quality around the world and are growing rapidly in emerging markets such as
"Exporting the price premium (for solar modules) will be tougher. Asian competitors are also working on building a brand," said Holger Frey, fund manager at DWS, the asset management arm of Deutsche Bank. He pointed to Chinese module maker Yingli, which ran ads during the soccer World Cup this year.
Frey added, however, that charging a premium may still work in some growing markets such as
"I’m sure that SolarWorld will be able to export its premium to the
SolarWorld, for example, has set up production sites in
Success of the premium strategy also hinges on whether these markets will provide enough growth to offset the feared decline in
HSBC, for example, estimates the
"I think it’ll be difficult to do solely based on nationality. Made in
"In the end, it’s about quality and if I look at the top 10 makers, I don’t see any problems in terms of quality."
In its 2009 quality ranking, which is based on module efficiency, industry publication Photon put SolarWorld products first, followed by
In Photon’s test for the month of July 2010 — just a snapshot and not an indicator for the whole year — Solarfun kept its ranking, while SolarWorld came in 14th.
3.1. Transport emissions up 34% since 1990
8 November 2010, T&E
Annual data compiled by the EEA and submitted to the UNFCCC on the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions usually leave out emissions from international shipping and aviation (so-called “bunkers”).
To complement the 2008 data, T&E wrote an analysis which includes shipping and aviation figures and aims at clarifying the actual contribution of the transport sector to the EU’s CO2 emissions.
Between 1990 and 2008, transport emissions increased by 34% while emissions from other sectors decreased by 14%. Compared with 2007 transport emissions decreased by 1.6% and those of other sectors by 2.2%.
Consequently, the share of transport in total emissions rose further from 28 to 29%; in 1990 the share of transport was 21%;
Emissions from international aviation and shipping (both outside
aviation were unchanged in 2008, those of shipping dropped by 2.1% compared with 2007;
In 2008 aviation and shipping accounted for 7.0% of total CO2 emissions, and 24% of transport emissions. In 1990, these figures
were 3.8% and 18% respectively.
3.2. Europeans denied efficient cars
10 November 2010, Greenpeace
Greenpeace responds to the European Commission’s progress report on reducing CO2 emissions from cars and vans to 120 grams per kilometre by 2012.
Greenpeace EU transport policy adviser Franziska Achterberg said: “The EU is well on the road to missing its 2012 fuel efficiency target. Consumers still won’t have access to cheaper-to-run, greener vehicles because legislation was agreed too late and then watered down bowing to car industry pressure. To add insult to injury, leaked documents suggest that the Commission is trying to export its failure to achieve fuel efficiency targets by undermining efficiency standards elsewhere in the world.”
Leaked Commission documents indicate that its Trade department is trying to sabotage car efficiency progress in
According to Greenpeace, the Commission should learn from its failure by putting forward legislation for a 2020 target in good time. It should also set new targets of 65 grams for 2025, and 50 grams for 2030 to encourage the car industry to seek technological progress in efficiency.
4.1. CO2 emissions from transport in the EU27
November 2010, T&E
More at: http://www.transportenvironment.org/Publications/prep_hand_out/lid/613
5.1. CAMPAIGNER to work on the issue of resource use
Full time and working in the FoEE office in
Friends of the Earth campaigns for sustainable and just societies and for the protection of the environment. It unites more than 30 national organisations with thousands of local groups and is part of the world’s largest grassroots environmental network, Friends of the Earth International. Please see www.foeeurope.org for more information.
This is an excellent opportunity to join one of the leading green NGOs in
More at: http://www.foeeurope.org/job/campaigner_resources_October10.html
6.1. United Nations Climate Change Conference Cancun – COP 16 & CMP 6
The sixteenth Conference of the Parties (COP) and the sixth Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP) will be held in Cancun, Mexico, from 29 November to 10 December 2010, together with the thirty-third sessions of the subsidiary bodies and the fifteenth session of the AWG-KP and thirteenth session of the AWG-LCA.
The deadline for nominations from observer organizations to attend COP 16/CMP 6 has now passed.
Those organizations that have made nominations should confirm their participants on the online registration system by Tuesday, 16 November at midnight CET in order to ensure they are registered by the secretariat to attend. Participants that are not confirmed will not be able to access the conference venue.
More at: http://unfccc.int/meetings/cop_16/items/5571.php
6.2. It is the EU’s objective to reach a low-carbon economy by 2050
Are we doing what is necessary to reach this target?
Get the answers. Member state-by-Member State. Sector-by-Sector.
Launch event in
More at: www.climatepolicytracker.eu
Disclaimer: We do not guarantee for the accuracy, reliability or content of information. For help or questions, contact: [email protected].