1.1. EU proposes U.N. war chest for climate funds
7 September 2009, Reuters
The United Nations should set up a war chest to help process the billions of dollars poor countries will be paid to slash their greenhouse gas emissions, the European Union has proposed.
The facility would sit separately from an existing "Adaptation Fund," which aims to soften the impact of climate change on crops and water sources, the executive European Commission added in a draft report, seen by Reuters on Monday.
The EU hopes to find unity on its financial support for the developing world in coming weeks to boost the chances of success at international climate talks in December in Copenhagen, where countries aim to agree on a successor to the Kyoto Protocol.
The paper is one of the first attempts to deal with the practicalities of collecting and distributing the billions of dollars poor countries say they will need before signing any such deal.
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown says $100 billion will be needed annually by poor nations by 2020, but some environmentalists put the figure near $140 billion. Ethiopia says Africa will veto any deal that is not generous enough.
Much of the flow of funds from rich to poor nations will be handled bilaterally, but the EU has suggested this money could be supplemented by taxing fuel for ships and aviation.
"It could be natural to assign this new finance to a new fund set up under the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)," the report added.
The U.N. facility might also channel any money accrued under a Mexican proposal to collect funds according to a formula based on each country’s population, wealth and greenhouse gas emissions.
Greenpeace campaigner Joris den Blanken welcomed the idea, but said it should play a bigger role.
"It is very important that developing countries have a say in how these funds are managed," he said. "We much prefer this option to suggestions the funds are managed by donor-driven organizations like the World Bank."
An international registry would verify that emissions cuts that are paid for are being carried out, but if the verification system proved weak the EU might create its own independent fund.
"This could help to enable the EU and its member states to ensure that its money was being well spent," the report said.
Environmentalists have warned that traditional sources of development aid might simply be diverted and rebranded as climate funding in the years ahead.
But the paper said the overlap was relatively small, as most development aid goes to the poorest countries, which produce low levels of greenhouse gases and would receive little of the money earmarked for emissions cuts.
"Action to tackle deforestation may be a major exception to this, but it should be feasible to identify any significant reorientation of Official Development Assistance budgets toward deforestation," it added.
1.2. Rich countries face $100bn annual climate change aid bill
5 September 2009, FT.com
Rich countries must get ready to provide some $100bn a year by 2030 to help developing nations tackle climate change, G20 finance ministers meeting in London are to be told.
An international market in carbon will also be essential to ensuring that the necessary hundreds of billions of dollars can be provided by both the private and public sectors of developed countries, according to a confidential briefing paper for the meeting of G20 ministers seen by the Financial Times.
More at: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/28717c44-99b3-11de-ab8c-00144feabdc0,Authorised=false.html?_i_location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ft.com%2Fcms%2Fs%2F0%2F28717c44-99b3-11de-ab8c-00144feabdc0.html&_i_referer=http%3A%2F%2Funfccc.int%2F2860.php
1.3. India wants a fair deal on global warming: Govt
5 September 2009, The Financial Express
India’s environment minister Jairam Ramesh has stated that India wants a fair and equitable international agreement on the issue of climate change and global warming that does not stifle its developmental aspirations.
Speaking at a regional summit on climate change in the Himalayas here on Sunday, Ramesh, while referring to the forthcoming United Nations Summit on Climate Change scheduled to be held in the Danish capital of Copenhagen, said,” India wants a fair and equitable agreement.
There should be no barriers to its own economic growth. We are deeply concerned over the issue of global warming and climate change. The best thing for mitigating the problem is that countries do things on their own. We are doing it and over the next two three months more countries will know what we are doing.”
Referring to the issue of increasing the forest cover, particularly in the Himalayan states of Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Uttarakhand, the minister said that these states need to be given special incentives for maintaining the forest cover and expressed hope that the central government would respond to the suggestions made by him.
He disclosed that a plan is being worked out to give a green bonus or dividend to states that are maintaining their forest cover and are taking steps to improve it.
Elaborating on the proposed plan, he said,” These states would be given financial incentives from the finance and the planning commissions. This would be taken a step further and financial incentives would then be given to local self governments.” He said that such incentives are necessary for these states as they are under tremendous economic pressure to do away with forests.
The minister spoke at length on the issue of the health of Himalayan glaciers. He disclosed that a National Institute of Himalayan Glaciology is being set up in Dehradun to study the changes in the Himalayan glaciers.
Ramesh added that the purpose of setting up such an institute is to collaborate with China, Bhutan and maybe Pakistan at a later stage to gather scientific evidence related to the glaciers.
He candidly said,” The fact that Himalayan glaciers are receding is beyond doubt. However, what is still to be established is the cause of the recession. “The minister pointed out that while the western school of thought attributes the recession of glaciers to global warming, Indian scientists are of the opinion that there is still not enough…
2.1. WWF urges EU to ban all energy wasting light bulbs
28 August 2009, WWF
WWF welcomes the ban on inefficient incandescent light bulbs, coming into effect in the EU from 1 September, but it says that equally energy wasting light bulbs like standard halogens should also be removed from the market.
The phase-out ban voted by Member States in December 2008 will remove all conventional incandescent bulbs from the shelves by 2012 and save 15 million tons of CO2 annually by 2020, equivalent to the entire current electricity consumption of Romania per year.
“Getting rid of incandescents is a no-brainer, but halogens are nearly as wasteful: we need to see the EU push innovative solutions into the market.” says Mariangiola Fabbri, Senior Energy Policy Officer at WWF’s European Policy Office.
The traditional incandescent bulb is one of the least efficient ways of producing light, along with the standard halogen. It disperses 95% of the energy it uses. The alternatives to energy wasting bulbs are most efficient halogen bulbs, compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and LED (light emitting diodes) bulbs.
WWF together with other organisations has launched a web portal to inform consumers about the most energy-efficient appliances and lighting equipment across Europe (www.topten.info).
“Consumers need to receive correct and simple information about the many alternatives already available in the market” says Fabbri “Simple information on packaging and recycling collection systems at points of sale are crucial to achieving real savings and changing consumers’ habits”.
2.2. The end of inefficient lightbulbs
1 September 2009, FOEE
Green groups celebrate, but warn over lack of information
Brussels, 1 September 2009 – The “Coolproducts for a Cool Planet” NGO coalition  welcomes the beginning of the phase-out process for incandescent lightbulbs , which starts today in all EU countries for lamps above 100W and ends in 2012 with lower wattage lamps. Incandescent lightbulbs are the least efficient way to produce light. Banning them is expected to reduce annual CO2 emissions by 16 million tonnes in 2020, which equals the emissions of 5 million passenger cars. The ban was decided by the European Union in 2009 under the Ecodesign of Energy-Using Products Directive.
“The European Union is right in its efforts to remove climate-killer products from the shelves. Such measures must be on top of the list of any robust and clever climate and energy policy.” explains Edouard Toulouse from ECOS. “But consumer information and quality requirements have to be improved on alternative lamps, to avoid confusion and irritations.”
The EU ban of incandescent lightbulbs is overly supported by the NGO coalition for its impact on CO2 emissions, but also criticised for not doing enough to reduce the toxic content and electromagnetic radiations of the current energy-saving lamps. Lamp packaging should also be improved and harmonised, to help consumers choose the right products and understand how to dispose of them properly at end of life. Lamps based on LED (light emitting diodes) are the most ecological option, and thus should be better promoted .
“We need additional steps on the road to energy efficient, safe and ecological lighting”, adds Elena Lymberidi-Settimo from EEB’s Zero Mercury Campaign. “For instance, the mercury content in the currently used compact fluorescent lamps should be lowered as much as possible (2mg per lamp), and recycling rates should be improved.”
The “Coolproducts for a Cool Planet” NGO coalition also warns that this measure on lightbulbs – despite being iconic – will not be enough to solve the climate crisis. Other products, especially heating and cooling equipment for buildings (boilers, water heaters, air-conditioners), have to be tackled rapidly and ambitiously. Ecodesign measures for those products could cut Europe’s CO2 emissions annually by 230 million tons by 2020, 14 times more than the ban of inefficient lightbulbs.
2.3. Balkans power supply needs may spur nuclear push
1 September 2009, Reuters
Environmental and health concerns over high-polluting coal plants as well as a critical need for stable power supply could push Balkan countries to welcome nuclear energy.
Analysts and officials say that an emphasis on lignite — the cheapest but dirtiest building block fuel — is creating concern about the long-term impact of the region’s energy strategy and forcing a rethink on nuclear power despite memories of the Chernobyl disaster.
The mining and burning of coal pose serious health risks and are highly damaging to the environment — issues which the Balkan states need to keep in mind as they push for membership in the European Union, analysts say.
Nikola Rajakovic, state secretary in Serbia’s energy ministry, said that mounting costs to upgrade thermal plants to meet environmental standards and to run mines needed to supply the plants may help tip the balance toward nuclear power.
"The question is do we really want to use all our lignite reserves, and what happens after we exhaust our lignite reserves?" Rajakovic said, adding it would take Serbia a long time to develop nuclear technology and train experts.
Governments in other parts of central and southeastern Europe are planning to build new nuclear reactors or extend the life of existing ones to meet growing domestic demand and replace aging power capacity.
The need for new sources of power is acute across the Balkans where people gauge financial and political stability by the length and frequency of power cuts or the availability and quality of petrol and heating oil.
"There is a huge need for investment in energy in the region," said Jens Bastian, an Athens-based economist with the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy.
"And that investment cannot be generated by the governments."
A number of countries are looking to build coal-fired plants to take advantage of lignite reserves but some analysts call this a short-term solution and see a need to focus the region’s energy policy on cleaner technology.
Serbia, for example, is looking for investors to help fund the construction of two thermal power plants and the expansion of a coal mine to keep them running.
"No matter what happens with the construction of the two thermal plants, Serbia should aim to have a nuclear power plant by 2030 if or when considerable improvement in energy efficiency creates a chance for real economic development," said independent energy analyst Aleksandar Kovacevic.
Other countries are already taking the first steps toward nuclear power. Albania, which suffers chronic power shortages, said last year it was ready to invite Italy’s Enel SpA to build a nuclear plant on its territory.
Experts in Macedonia, which imports about 20 to 30 percent of its electricity needs, have urged the participation in the construction of the Belene nuclear power plant in Bulgaria.
"Natural resources are limited across the Balkans, and countries will have to find alternative ways of producing power," said Anton Causeski, a professor and energy expert at Skopje University.
"Macedonia’s hydro potential is already used and we have only underground coal mines that are expensive to exploit for running thermal plants. That is why nuclear energy is the option for Macedonia."
Yet hurdles, including attracting the massive investments needed to build nuclear power plants, remain. While fellow ex-Yugoslav states Slovenia and Croatia jointly own the Krsko single-reactor nuclear power plant, Serbia has an embargo on the construction of nuclear power plants until 2015. Public opinion around the region is also mixed, with many recalling the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear plant accident that sent a dense radioactive cloud floating into what was then Yugoslavia.
It is also not clear whether the EU would favor nuclear expansion in the region due to lingering political instability and deep-rooted corruption that heightens Western concerns about safe administration of the nuclear fuel.
"What many of these countries that want to go nuclear these days underestimate is the time it takes until a reactor is operational and the kind of political and security issues that need to be discussed," the Hellenic Foundation’s Bastian said.
2.4. Areva threatens to halt work on Finnish reactor
1 September 2009, Newsroom
French nuclear group Areva said in a statement Monday that it would halt work on the Olkiluoto 3 nuclear power station in western Finland if Finnish utility Teollisuuden Voima (TVO) did not consent to its demands.
Anne Lauvergeon, the managing director of the French government-controlled company, said in an interim report that TVO’s failure to implement "specific measures for speeding up the work" was causing delays and additional costs.
"Areva has sent proposals to TVO in order to get back to methods of execution that are in line with usual practices for major projects," she added.
"We will only commence the final phases of the works when TVO has agreed upon the proposals that have been made or issued contract amendments that provide for the requested modifications."
Jouni Silvennoinen, the head of the Olkiluoto 3 project at TVO, dismissed Ms Lauvergeon’s remarks as typically colourful language.
"There is no question of halting or suspending construction here," Mr Silvennoinen added.
"And that is what the managing director said at the news conference. It is just a question of referring to future works with peculiar turns of phrase."
"As far as we are concerned this is a fixed-price delivery."
The power station is due for completion 2012, years behind schedule, with a string of delays estimated to cost Areva some 2.3 billion euros.
3.1. EU carbon rises in quiet trade, U.S. holiday
7 September 2009, Reuters
European Union carbon emissions edged up slightly in quiet trade as the energy market was little moved due to a U.S. federal holiday on Monday, traders said.
Benchmark EU Allowances trading on the European Climate Exchange added 14 cents or 0.9 percent at 15.35 euros a ton on extremely light volume of 1,325 lots traded by 1500 GMT.
"It’s very, very quiet, with hardly any volume on the OTC market as well," said one London emissions broker.
U.S. crude oil prices pushed toward $69 a barrel in thin trade on Monday, with sentiment buoyed by Asian and European equities and by a decision by the G20 to keep economic stimulus measures in place.
German Calendar 2010 baseload power slipped 12 cents to 48.60 euros per megawatt hour while nearby British natural gas added 0.3 pence or 1.4 percent at 22.50 pence per therm.
December-delivery CERs were unchanged at 13.51 euros a ton on only six lots traded.
On Monday, Japan’s prime minister-elect said he will forge ahead with a tough 25 percent cut in emissions by 2020, despite growing opposition from industry which says the target will hurt the world’s No. 2 economy.
But Yukio Hatoyama added that the target, more ambitious than the outgoing government’s, was premised on a deal on ambitious goals being agreed by major nations.
3.2. Carmakers taking us for a ride?
3 September 2009, T&E
os Dings writes in today’s European Voice: There was something rather predictable about the response of vehicle manufacturers to news that the EU will propose fuel efficiency standards for vans and light trucks this month or in early October.
The targets would be “impossible to meet” and “unenforceable”, ACEA, their lobbyists, have said.
This response is getting old. It is the same tune that carmakers have been singing since environmental standards were first proposed for cars in the early 1990s, usually accompanied by the words “too costly”.
But these arguments sound increasingly hollow. Emissions from some diesel cars have plunged by 25% in the past two years, comparing equivalent models. But sticker prices have not risen. So either the cost estimates are exaggerated or carmakers are selling some of their most popular models at a big loss.
That is unlikely. What actually happens is that the mass production of new technology brings prices down, sometimes by a factor of ten.
By way of example, catalytic converters that were estimated by carmakers to cost €1,000 per vehicle before their introduction in the early 1990s, now cost around €100.
Vans are, from a technological point of view, just large cars. Indeed some ‘cars’, such as the Volkswagen Caddy Maxi Life, are literally just vans with seats in the back.
Adding technology such as ‘stop-start’ or downsized engines can be done quickly. The carmakers say it will take them seven years – that is not credible.
This ‘can’t do’ attitude also sounds ungrateful. All over Europe, governments have been falling over themselves to hand out massive research grants to carmakers, not to mention billions of euros in subsidies to buyers of new cars.
Would it not be nice if greener vans were the vehicle manufacturers’ way of saying ‘thank you’ to taxpayers for bailing them out? Sadly, it looks as if they just want to take our money and run.
3.3. Climate expert urges EU to speed carbon capture
7 September 2009, Reuters
Carbon capture pilot projects must be made a political priority in Europe to ascertain whether the technology works and can be applied in emerging markets, an official of the United Nations climate panel said on Monday.
"The pilot projects must be realized, it is a political decision," said Ottmar Edenhofer, co-chairman of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) at a German utility congress.
"Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is indispensable if we want a new deal for the climate," Edenhofer said.
"It would be best to create joint ventures with China to test it there and to see if they have enough storage sites."
U.N. talks to agree a new global climate treaty in Copenhagen in December will have to address what Edenhofer called a worrying renaissance of coal-burning, the most carbon dioxide-polluting way to produce electricity.
CCS promises to trap, transport and bury CO2 underground.
Edenhofer said that success in the European Union, which has pledged to have between 10 and 12 demonstration CCS plants in operation by 2015, was crucial for coal-reliant countries such as China, India and Russia to embrace it.
But progress is slowing as private sector money is not forthcoming in the financial crisis, and Germany, which holds national polls on September 27, has just postponed a law setting out necessary guidelines for CCS in the light of public opposition.
Edenhofer, who is the deputy director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, said a new climate deal also needed to focus on the huge potential of renewable energies such as biomass and solar power, and stop deforestation.
The EU and the U.S. needed to align carbon trading schemes to include all polluting sectors and to put such a high price on CO2 emissions so as to make CCS technology viable, he said.
Even if all this worked and China developed renewables, it alone might rely on coal for 80 percent of its power by 2030.
4.1. Director of Policy and Campaigns
Starting salary up to £57,900 – 35 hours – London
Friends of the Earth makes life better for people by inspiring solutions to environmental problems. Our Big Ask campaign helped to secure the world’s first Climate Act.
We now seek an outstanding individual to complete our new Senior Management team, and lead the search for people-led solutions to stop runaway climate change and the loss of the planet’s biodiversity.
You will lead and deliver campaigns which inspire people with the vision of a better future, build a mass movement, change politics and address the most urgent challenges we face – climate change and biodiversity loss. You will have led and delivered outstanding campaigns which achieved profound change at a national or international level.
More at: http://www.foe.co.uk/press_for_change/jobs/job_director_policy_campaigns_jul09.html
5.1. Joint Implementation Supervisory Committee, seventeenth meeting (JISC 17)
7-11 September 2009
The agenda and its annotations for the seventeenth meeting of the JISC are now available online.
5.2. Executive Board of the Clean Development Mechanism, forty-ninth meeting (CDM EB 49)
The aganda and its annotations for the forty-ninth meeting of the CDM Executive Board are now available online.
5.3. Resumed ninth session of the AWG-KP and resumed seventh session of the AWG-LCA
2-6 November 2009
Barcelona Convention Centre
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