1.1. UN chief urges Japan to take lead on tackling climate change
29 June 2008, AFP
KYOTO (AFP) — UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urged Japan Sunday to take a greater lead in the fight against climate change, as the nation prepares to host next month’s Group of Eight summit.
In a speech at Kyoto University, Ban said Japan, the world’s second largest economy and a leader in green technology, had a "moral and political responsibility" to play a bigger role in tackling climate change.
Japan should share its environmental technology with other nations to help reduce their levels of greenhouse gases which cause climate change, as well as help setup active trading schemes for carbon emissions, Ban said.
"Japan can play a leadership role in realizing the potentials of these market-based mechanisms, now and in the future," Ban said in Kyoto, where the landmark protocol on combating greenhouse gases was forged.
"For technology, Japan has been a leading country in technological innovation," he said, encouraging Japanese businesses to share their knowledge and skills with the rest of the world.
"Therefore, you have a political and moral responsibility to do that."
"As the number two economic power, Japan has again moral and political responsibility in actively participating in financial mechanisms" to fight climate change.
The UN chief gave the address ahead of the G8 summit in the northern Japanese resort town of Toyako from July 7-9 when climate change is set to be among the top issues on the agenda.
On the eve of his departure on the two-week, three-nation Asian tour, Ban said he would press the G8 leaders at their summit to tackle the world food crisis, climate change and the flagging fight against global poverty.
Ban will join the G8 leaders during the outreach sections of the meet.
Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda, whom Ban will meet on Monday, previously said the summit will not set a mid-term goal on slashing emissions, while stressing the need to agree on some goal on climate change.
Ban called on world leaders to work harder and closely to tackle the issue, saying political will was lacking, not technology and resources.
"This global (climate) change requires global response. That is why I have been trying to galvanize political will," he said, adding that technologies are available to cut global emissions by half by 2050.
"We have resources. We have technologies. But largely lacking is the political will at the level of leaders."
Ban reminded his audience of the importance of a 2007 agreement reached in Bali, which drafted an action plan that set a 2009 deadline for a new treaty to cut greenhouse gas emissions after the Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012.
Officials will aim to conclude the ambitious and complex pact in December 2009 in Copenhagen.
He also praised Japan’s aim to try to slash its own emission levels.
"Japan has indicated that it might reduce emissions by 14 percent from the current level by the year 2020. Today, I call on Japan to provide further leadership in developing an even more far reaching proposal," said Ban.
Ban will remain in Japan until July 1, meeting Fukuda, Foreign Minister Masahiko Komura and Emperor Akihito as part of his visit.
He will then visit China and South Korea before returning to Japan for the summit.

1.2. Visiting Kyoto, Ban calls for new climate change agreement by end of 2009
29 June 2008, UN News Centre
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today that the world must galvanize its will and reach a new agreement on measures to fight climate change by the end of 2009.
Speaking on Sunday in the Japanese city which gave birth to the Kyoto Protocol in 1997, Mr. Ban said the Protocol was a historic and crucial first step by the international community to curb greenhouse gas emissions. With the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol ending in 2012, the Secretary-General said a new agreement must be adopted by December 2009.
Mr. Ban was conducting a dialogue at Kyoto University with several hundred students, scholars and representatives of the private sector and civil society. He told the audience that climate change was too big and complex a challenge for any country or sector of society to address alone; each country end each sector can and must contribute.
“Last year, we witnessed how working together can help us forge a path to collective action in the face of seemingly insurmountable challenges,” Mr. Ban said.
“The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, known as IPCC, provided the science; the Stern Report, the economics; the UN High-Level Event on Climate Change, the political leadership; Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth, the public awareness. Taken together, all these contributed to rising momentum and achieving a significant breakthrough in the global response. This came in the Bali Roadmap agreed last December, which launched a new negotiations process to design a comprehensive post-2012 framework.”
The Secretary-General called on all major emitters to set ambitious targets which he said were essential to conclude the deal in 2009. He commended Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda of Japan “for the impressive vision he recently announced for moving Japan to a low-carbon society – including Japan’s plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 60 to 80 per cent by 2050.”
“This is the kind of leadership by example we need from developed countries to fulfil the larger share of responsibility they bear,” Mr. Ban said.
He added that besides long-term goals, short and medium-term targets are important as they “will encourage necessary action by developing countries, making a deal in 2009 possible.”
Climate change remained a focus when Mr. Ban met Japanese business leaders in Tokyo later in the day. Speaking to about 30 senior executives of leading Japanese corporations, the Secretary-General said support and cooperation of the private sector was vitally important to addressing pressing issues such as climate change.
“The race is under way to develop and provide needed solutions, such as clean technology, renewable energy, efficient products and processes, and sustainable goods and services. I have no doubt that the Japanese companies will play a leadership role in this new era of responsible and sustainable business.”
Mr. Ban arrived in Japan on Saturday at the start of a two-week, three-nation East Asian tour which will also take him to China, the Republic of Korea and then back to Japan to attend the summit of Group of Eight (G-8) industrialized countries on the northern island of Hokkaido.
The Secretary-General has said that top on his agenda are three pressing, interrelated challenges: the global food crisis, climate change, and the race to reach the global anti-poverty targets – the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – by the deadline of 2015.
On Monday, Mr. Ban will have an audience with the Emperor and Empress of Japan, and hold meetings with Crown Prince Naruhito, Mr. Fukuda and Foreign Minister Masahiko Koumura.

1.3. G-8 to Pledge $10 Billion to Combat Climate Change, Nikkei Says
30 June 2008,
Leaders from the Group of Eight nations will pledge to spend more than $10 billion a year on research and development to tackle climate change, Nikkei English News said.
The G-8 will probably agree to establish country-specific goals for cutting greenhouse gas emissions from 2013, following the expiration of the Kyoto Protocol in 2012, the report said, citing a draft statement on economic policy to be adopted at the G-8 summit in Hokkaido next month.
Separately, the Financial Times reported today the G-8 may drop its pledge to increase development aid to Africa to $25 billion a year by 2010.

1.4. Climate change ads should be more cheery, report says
25 June 2008, Guardian
The government needs to drop "gloomy, miserable and bleak" messages in climate change ads and focus on more positive emotional messages to get the public to change their habits, according to a new report.
Selling Sustainability, from the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts, has drawn on research on more than 3,000 campaigns from a variety of sectors to draw seven marketing lessons that could improve climate change advertising.
A key finding of the Nesta research was that climate change campaigns should avoid being "miserable, gloomy and bleak", despite the serious nature of the issue, instead emphasising that taking action is "normal" and "encouraging engagement".
The research also showed that ad campaigns need to show fairness, meaning that government and industry also need to "do their bit", and be personally relevant by relating directly to the environment UK citizens live in.
Ad campaigns should also identify opportunities for people to take action.
Nesta’s report highlights TV ad campaigns such as Honda’s upbeat animated Diesel engine, which uses the catchy jingle "Hate something, change something", as an example of how to push an effective message about environmental change.
"The report shows it is not enough to simply make people aware of climate change issues," said Jonathan Kestenbaum, the chief executive of Nesta.
"To have a mass impact, campaigns must engage people in a compelling way and persuade them to change their behaviour," Kestenbaum added.
Darren Bhattachary, a director at the British Market Research Bureau, which was commissioned by Nesta to undertake the wide-ranging advertising study, said: "Climate change is often portrayed as problematic and negative and many campaigns miss the mark by pushing rational measures, like scary percentages and scientific messages, instead of an emotional message.
"It has been shown that if you employ both methods then the success on behaviour change is hugely increased."
The BMRB research concluded that there are seven key lessons, called the "seven Cs", that could be drawn from the study to improve government climate change ad campaigns.


2.1. Commission to investigate compliance with car labelling law
25 June 2008, FOEE
Seven countries are to be investigated by the European Commission for failing to ensure fuel consumption figures are prominently displayed in car advertising, following a formal complaint today by green groups.
Friends of the Earth Europe, together with a coalition of environment organisations, is accusing Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Slovenia and Spain of failing to implement the European car labelling directive (1999/94/EC). The rule is designed to help consumers make an informed choice about the efficiency of the car they buy by making advertisers display emissions data clearly on billboard and magazine ads.
Next to engine technology and taxation, improved consumer information is one the European Union’s main methods of driving down CO2 emissions from cars. By flouting the directive, manufacturers are not only acting illegally but also undermining efforts to reach the European car industry’s CO2 reduction targets, argue the green campaigners.
"The past performance of carmakers already includes ignoring a voluntary agreement to reduce the fuel consumption of cars, leaving consumers to foot the fuel bill. At a time of record prices at the pump, member states are failing to protect consumers’ rights to essential information by continually letting carmakers flout their legal obligation to include comprehensive information about fuel consumption in advertisements. It is now up to the European Commission to enforce community law," says Jeroen Verhoeven, a car efficiency campaigner at Friends of the Earth Europe.
The official proceedings started today follow hundreds of complaints about car advertisements which breach the directive submitted by citizens across Europe as part of the ‘Advertise CO2’ campaign. The initiative, set up by an alliance of campaign groups in March of this year, enables consumers to file complaints to their national regulatory body about advertisements which fail to display the required emissions data. Despite the wealth of cases identified, member states have so far failed to take action to ensure compliance with the law, hence Friends of the Earth Europe’s decision to ask the European Commission to investigate.
If, following the Commission’s investigations, countries continue to ignore the requirements of the car labelling directive they could face legal action in the European Court of Justice.
For more information see

2.2. Carbon-heavy development in new member states still being aided by EU funds billions, finds new spending analysis

24 June 2008, FOEE
CEE Bankwatch Network and Friends of the Earth Europe (FoEE) revealed today, on the twentieth anniversary of the EU’s Cohesion policy, that clean and efficient energy and transport investment projects continue to be denied sufficient priority attention in the EU-sponsored spending plans of the new member states (EU-10).
Since the group’s previous analysis in 2007 of the EU-10’s draft spending plans for the total EUR 177 billion of Structural and Cohesion funds to be disbursed to the new member states in the 2007-2013 period, the final European commission approved plans show an unambitious, marginal rise in funding for energy efficiency and renewables from 2.1 percent (2007) to 2.4 percent (2008) of total available funds. In the same time period, allocations for new roads and motorways in the EU-10 have jumped by EUR 5 billion.
As alarm grows about declining oil supplies and soaring prices, and just one week after the European Environment Agency reported on growing greenhouse gas emissions in most of the new member states , today’s newly updated analysis shows that the opportunity to use the EU funds to curb carbon emissions in the new member states is being taken with a surprising lack of conviction by national governments.
Keti Medarova-Bergstrom, EU Funds coordinator for Bankwatch and FoEE, said: "The fight against climate change has never been higher on the EU’s agenda, and yet right under our noses we are seeing a massive preference for carbon-intensive investments in the new member states. From now until the mid-term spending review in 2009, the European commission must work to convince the new member states to substantially green their EU funded projects. By undertaking a rigorous climate footprint assessment of the euro billions now pouring into the EU-10, the commission could take an important step in helping to bring about a shift in the right direction."
Anelia Stefanova, EU affairs coordinator for Bankwatch, said: "While we hear persistent griping from the new member states about the challenges of meeting EU targets on emissions reductions, energy efficiency and renewables, it’s staggering that there remains such reluctance to make the most of these EU billions and get the new member states onto a sustainable, low-carbon development path."
"Despite our 2007 analysis of the draft EU-10 spending plans setting off alarm bells within the commission, the Czech Republic is the only new member state to have made any tangible increase in its energy efficiency and renewables allocations in the last year – and that’s with a fairly unspectacular increase of 1.5 percent. In Slovakia and Latvia, the share of EU funds earmarked for clean energy investments has even managed to fall in the last year."
Keti Medarova-Bergstrom concluded: "EU funds are necessary and welcome in the EU-10 but they must promote economically justifiable and environmentally and climate protective projects. Earlier this year we mapped 50 highly questionable projects in the EU-10 which either have been financed or are planned to be financed from the EU funds in the transport, waste and water sectors. These projects should not be thought of in Brussels as projects in far away lands about which there is no information. Local communities and campaign groups across the region are documenting the problems attached to these investment plans, and if the commission is committed to abide by its own climate targets and environmental standards it must pay attention to these local voices and make sure that the EU funds are used accordingly."


3.1. Mandatory green award criteria for the public purchase of road vehicles from 2010 on
23 June 2008, EuroparlPress
A Commission proposal to promote clean and energy-efficient road transport by obliging public authorities to consider not only the cost, but the environmental impact, of the vehicles that they plan to purchase was backed by the Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety on Tuesday. MEPs want the "green award" environmental criteria, including fuel costs, to become mandatory as soon as 2010, but also to exclude certain vehicles from the proposal.
The Commission proposal would require all public procurers to consider not only the purchase price of vehicles but also their environmental impacts (lifetime costs for fuel, CO2 emissions and air pollution), and to use them as a criterion for purchase. It introduces "a harmonised and monetised method for clean and energy-efficient vehicle procurement for public transport".
Given that the total annual vehicle procurement by public authorities in the EU is estimated at 110,000 passenger cars, 110,000 light commercial vehicles, 35,000 lorries and 17,000 buses for the EU, the new proposal is expected to ensure a sufficiently substantial demand for clean and energy-efficient vehicles to prompt industry to develop and invest in environmentally-friendly vehicles. Total procurement of vehicles by public bodies accounts for some 16% of EU GDP.
Award criteria mandatory from 2010
MEPs want the environmental criteria and their anticipated benefits to come into effect as soon as possible. They therefore stipulate that from 1 January 2010, two years earlier than the Commissions proposal, all public procurement of road transport vehicles by contracting authorities or contracting entities should comply with the criteria defined in the proposal. MEPs also want Member States to be able to apply more stringent award criteria. Specific existing local practices with the same aim may also be taken into account.
Used vehicles to be excluded, retrofitting with engines and replacement parts to be included
MEPs say the award criteria should be mandatory only for new vehicles. Vehicles used to provide "operational support" or maintain infrastructure, as well as ambulances, fire and rescue vehicles and highly specialized vehicles should all be excluded from the directive. On the other hand, if public authorities want to retrofit vehicles with engines and replacement parts they should be asked to apply the same criteria as if purchasing a new car, unless the vehicles concerned have exceeded 75% of their total mileage.
New "clean and energy efficient label" and "European Climate Protection Fund" to come
The committee proposes that local, regional and national authorities that procure clean and energy-efficient vehicles accounting for at least 75% of their annual specific procurement needs should be allowed to use the label "clean and energy efficient urban road transport". To enhance transparency, the Commission is asked to establish a scoreboard for benchmarking relatively similar cities and regions and comparing the environment-friendliness of their procurement practices. Finally, the Commission is asked to develop a "European Climate Protection Fund" to encourage the purchase of clean and energy-efficient road transport vehicles.
In June 2006, the Environment Committee rejected a similar Commission proposal. The new proposal incorporates several of the committee’s requests, e.g. on the proposal’s scope, technology neutrality and the inclusion of CO2 emissions.

3.2. T&E reaction to EU aviation emissions trading agreement
26 June 2008, T&E
The European Parliament and EU environment ministers have agreed on a deal to include aviation in the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU-ETS) in 2012. The deal still needs to be formally approved.
Commenting on today’s development, João Vieira of T&E said:
"Environmental campaigners have consistently said that this plan must deliver real reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from the aviation sector – and this deal fails to achieve that goal. The policy will offset just one year’s growth in emissions from the aviation sector, according to the European Commission’s own analysis." (1)
"National governments must take the blame for failing to deliver a law that will actually cut emissions. The European Parliament had asked for a number of measures that could have resulted in real emissions cuts from aviation but national governments once again took the side of their flag-carrying airlines."
"Today we should be marking a historic multilateral deal to cut international aviation emissions, but in fact we are marking a historic missed opportunity."
In 2000 air transport accounted for 4 to 9 per cent of the climate change impact of human activities, the range reflects uncertainty surrounding the effect of cirrus clouds. A figure of 2 per cent, often quoted by the aviation industry, applies only to CO2 emissions and refers to 1992 data. Aviation has by far the greatest climate impact of any transport mode, whether measured per passenger kilometre, per tonne kilometre, per € spent, or per hour travelling.
Emissions from international aviation were excluded from the 1997 Kyoto protocol. Instead responsibility for cutting emissions was passed to the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) that has so far written off or blocked every conceivable environmental policy for the sector .


4.1. Achievements of the Slovenian Presidency of the EU Council
30 June 2008,

3. A step forward in tackling climate and energy issues
As regards the climate and energy package issued by the European Commission in January 2008, we achieved all set goals. At the spring meeting of the European Council, we adopted the key political decisions prerequisite for its timely adoption: commitment to political agreement among the Member States by the end of 2008 and agreement regarding fundamental principles for burden sharing. In the course of comprehensive and intense further discussions, important progress was made in the understanding of proposed solutions and unification of the Member States’ positions. Informal meetings with the European Parliament took place as well.
Only by timely adoption of this legislative package will the EU be able to play its leading role and make a credible appearance in international negotiations for the conclusion of a comprehensive global agreement on climate change for the period after 2012 that willtake place in December 2009 in Copenhagen. Efforts for the timely conclusion of this agreement were discussed in all meetings with third countries, while important agreements, expected to contribute to more unity in the approach to the fight against climate change, were achieved at the EUJapan and EU-LAC summits.
The greatest success of the Presidency in the energy field was the agreement on the third legislative package for the liberalisation of the electricity and gas internal market. After the presentation of a compromise proposal, we succeeded in bringing the positions of the 27 Member States closer and to reach a broad consensus on the key elements of all five legislative proposals for both electricity and gas…
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Geneva, 31August – 4 September 2008
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5.2. The New Nuclear Wave: Perspectives for the 21st Century
ING, Avenue Marnix, 24 B-1000 Brussels, Building I
Wednesday 2nd July 2008, 17:30 – 19:00
This debate will address the role of nuclear energy and whether its contribution to the new energy goals of the EU, notably sustainability and low emissions, can compensate for concerns about its potential harmfulness to the environment.


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