1.1. Eat less meat to fight climate change: UN expert
7 September 2008, Yahoo News
People should cut their consumption of meat to help combat climate change, a top United Nations expert told a British Sunday newspaper.
Rajendra Pachauri, chair of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), told The Observer that people should start by having one meat-free day per week then cut back further.
The 68-year-old Indian economist, who is a vegetarian, said diet change was important in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and environmental problems associated with rearing cattle and other animals.
"Give up meat for one day (per week) initially, and decrease it from there," he said.
"In terms of immediacy of action and the feasibility of bringing about reductions in a short period of time, it clearly is the most attractive opportunity."
Other small-scale lifestyle changes would also help to combat climate change, he said without elaborating.
"That’s what I want to emphasise: we really have to bring about reductions in every sector of the economy."
Pachauri is due to give a speech in London on Monday under the title: "Global Warning: the impact of meat production and consumption on climate change".
Pachauri, who was re-elected for a second term six-year term as IPCC chairman last week, has headed the organisation since 2002 and oversaw its seminal assessment report in 2007 which gave graphic forecasts of the risks posed by global warming.
The IPCC warned then that without action the planet’s rising temperatures could unleash potentially catastrophic change to earth’s climate system, leading to hunger, drought, storms and massive species loss.
The organisation also won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 along with former US vice president Al Gore.
1.2. UK gives £50m to Bangladesh climate change fund
8 September 2008, Guardian.co.uk
Britain will give Bangladesh at least £50m to adapt to climate change in the first big attempt by a rich nation to stave off environmental catastrophe in one of the world’s poorest countries
Other European countries such as Denmark and the Netherlands, as well as the World Bank, are expected to contribute to the new Bangladesh fund, which will be launched this week in London at a conference of the Bangladesh government and donor countries. Low-lying Bangladesh suffers from many climate-related problems, including floods, drought and river erosion, and is forecast to be devastated by climate change within 40 years. "A 30-45cm sea-level rise will dislocate about 35 million people from coastal districts by 2050," Dr Atiq Rahman, Bangladeshi lead author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, will tell the British government on Wednesday.
"The climate is changing far more rapidly than anticipated," he said last week. "Bangladesh is experiencing climate-related natural disasters and extreme events like prolonged and repeated floods which have deadly consequences on agriculture and food security." In the last three years, Bangladesh has faced several of its strongest cyclones and worst floods. More than 3 million people were made homeless following super-cyclone Sidr last November, when nearly 30% of the country’s staple rice harvest was lost. In addition, it has been plagued with droughts and the waterlogging of vast areas of farmland.
Bangladesh has pledged to contribute £25m a year to the new fund which, it is hoped, will attract nearly £100m within three years. Other global funds for poor countries are expected to be set up in the run-up to a new Kyoto climate change agreement at the end of 2009. The Bangladesh government has calculated that it will need £250m to adapt to climate change in the next three years.
"We are one of the most vulnerable countries in the world. We are getting much too much water in the rainy season and too little in the dry season. All this affects how much food we can grow," said Bangladesh’s environment minister, Raja Debashish Roy.
The international development secretary, Douglas Alexander, said Britain and other rich countries had a moral duty to help Bangladesh and other poor countries to adapt their infrastructure, farming and economies to climate change. "The world now has a duty to rise to the challenge and ensure that we support the poorest people of the world – least responsible for climate change – to prevent and prepare for its cruellest consequences," he said.
The fund, which will be managed by British and Bangladeshi officials, will be administered by the World Bank. The money is expected to help farmers with new flood and drought-resistant crops, and with raising embankments and flood defences to protect homes.
2.1. Survey of Experts on Climate and Energy
On behalf of the European Climate Foundation (ECF), GlobeScan invites you to participate in a pan-European survey of experts on important energy and climate change issues facing the EU. The results of the survey will be used by the ECF to inform on-going advocacy and communications activities.
You may be familiar with GlobeScan as a result of its recent worldwide Climate Decision Makers Survey.
In return for approximately 15 minutes of your time to answer 15 questions, you will receive a full report of the research findings. We encourage you to share this invitation with other people you know involved with energy and climate issues in Europe by forwarding this email to them.
Please be assured that all of your survey responses will remain confidential and will never be attributed to you or your organization.
To begin the survey, please click here.
or copy and paste the link below into your internet browser.
Thank you in advance for your invaluable insights, Eric Whan, Director, Environment and Sustainability, GlobeScan
2.2. A North Sea Electricity Grid [R]evolution
3 September 2008, Greenpeace
Brussels, Belgium — A new Greenpeace report has for the first time revealed how a regionally integrated approach to the large-scale development of offshore wind in the North Sea could deliver reliable clean energy for millions of homes.
The ‘North Sea Electricity Grid [R]evolution’ report calls for the creation of an offshore network to enable the smooth flow of electricity generated from renewable energy sources into the power systems of seven different countries: the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Belgium, The Netherlands, Denmark and Norway. An integrated grid would bolster the development of renewable energy and allow significant emission savings.
"The grid would enable the efficient large-scale integration of renewable energy in the power system across the whole North Sea region. A dip in wind power generation in one area could be ‘balanced’ by higher production in another area, even hundreds of kilometres away, providing clean power for millions of European homes," said Frauke Thies, Greenpeace EU renewables policy campaigner.
The cost of developing the grid is expected to be between €15 and 20 billion. This investment would not only allow the broad integration of renewable energy, but also unlock unprecedented power trading opportunities and cost-efficiency. In a recent example, a new 600 kilometre-long power line between Norway and the Netherlands cost €600 million to build, but is already allowing €800 000 a day in cross-border trade.
"Building a North Sea grid is not just a pipe dream; it’s common sense both environmentally and financially. Greenpeace calls on the Commission to deliver a strong EU Action Plan for offshore wind and to push for a coordinated approach to make this scenario a reality." said Thies.
Greenpeace calls for a coordinated European approach for the development of offshore network capacity which includes strategic grid planning at EU and national level, priority grid connection and access for renewable energy, and a European investment framework to encourage investments in grids.
CARS & EMISSIONS
3.1. Industry Committee votes for long-term reduction target of CO2 emissions from cars
1 September 2008
The EP’s Industry Committee adopted its opinion on the reduction of CO2 emissions from cars on Monday night, calling for a long-term reduction target of 95g CO2/km by 2020. (compromise 10)
Unlike the Commission, Industry Committee MEPs opted for a gradual introduction of CO2 emission standards for new passenger cars: Car manufacturers should ensure that in 2012 60% of their fleet, in 2013 70%, in 2014 80% and from 2015 onwards all cars comply with the EU’s reduction targets. (compromise 5)
The committee also says that fines should be calculated in relation to the number of cars which do not comply with the reduction targets whereas the Commission favours the overall number of new cars as a basis. Moreover, MEPs voted against the gradually increase of the excess emissions premium until 2015. (compromise 8)
Attached, for reference, is a list of key compromise amendments adopted by the Industry Committee on Monday night. The draft opinion and the amendments tabled are available online:
4.1. UNFCCC Technical Workshop on Joint Implementation
Date: 9-10 September 2008
Venue: UN Campus Bonn, "Langer Eugen"
The workshop is intended to allow the Joint Implementation Supervisory Committee (JISC) to consider the experiences of the applicant independent entities (IEs), and other involved stakeholders, to date, in particular with regard to matters directly of concern of the JISC in its supervision of the verification procedure under the JISC (JI Track 2 procedure). The workshop programme will be elaborated taking into account inputs received from the applicant IEs, as well as the responses from stakeholders and the public to a call for public input on possible topics related to the work of the JISC (e.g. further elaboration of the guidance on criteria for baseline setting and monitoring) to be included in the discussions.
More at: http://ji.unfccc.int/Workshop/9_September_2008.html
4.2. 12th meeting of the Joint Implementation Supervisory Committee (JISC-12)
Date: 11-12 September 2008
Venue: UN Campus Bonn, "Langer Eugen"
More at: http://ji.unfccc.int/Sup_Committee/Meetings/012/index.html
4.3. Developing Countries and the EU Climate Package The key to a new international climate agreement
Climate Action Network Europe, WWF and Oxfam with the EU-ACP JPA
invite you to a lunch briefing & debate on:
Developing Countries and the EU Climate Package The key to a new international climate agreement
Wednesday 10 September 2008, 12h45 – 14h15 – with buffet lunch, Room ASP 5G2, European Parliament, Hosted by John Bowis, MEP
Background note: What role for EU’s Climate / Energy Package in EU external relations?
In advance of the decisions on the EU’s Climate and Energy Package this autumn, and ahead of the UN international climate change talks in Posnan in December, this briefing and debate will consider how the EU’s climate and energy package can contribute, first, to helping Developing Countries cope with the threat of climate change and, second, to a successful international climate agreement at Copenhagen in 2010.Louise Guhmann
4.4. Countdown to Poz’n’Hagen: The Young Friends of the Earth Climate Tour
More info and application here: http://www.youthclimatetour.eu/
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