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1.1. Commission asks member states to fulfil their obligations
6 April 2006
The European Commission has decided to take infringement procedures against a number of Member States over violations of four separate pieces of EU climate change legislation. The aim is to ensure that the EU and its Member States meet all their various reporting obligations under the UN Climate Change Convention and the Kyoto Protocol. Part of the Commission’s legal action also aims to ensure that the EU Emissions Trading Scheme becomes fully operational. Five Member States have still not linked up to the EU-wide electronic registries system for emissions trading despite a December 2004 deadline to do so.
"The EU is committed to international efforts to combat climate change, which requires that we meet all our reporting obligations," said Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas. "This is particularly important now that global talks on future actions are starting.. Our emissions trading system should function successfully in order to achieve cost-effective emissions’ reductions in the EU. A number of Member States are still not linked up to the EU-wide system of registries, which means that their companies cannot participate fully in emission trading. I invite member states to put the situation right rapidly."
Failure to link national registries with the EU-wide registry system:
The 11,500 installations that are participating in the EU emissions trading scheme are not given emission allowances in printed form, but these are held in accounts in electronic registries set up by Member States. These registries are linked up so that companies can directly trade with each other. The registries system keeps track of the ownership of allowances in the same way as a banking system keeps track of the ownership of money. All transactions also go through the ‘Community independent transaction log’ to allow a central administrator at EU level to check each transaction for irregularities.
In order to link up to the registries system, each Member State must establish a national registry in the form of a standardised electronic database as well as a communication link. This should have happened by 31 December 2004 under the Regulation establishing the registries system. Due to delays in obtaining and assessing national allocation plans, the Commission has only now decided to initiate infringement procedures for failure to do so. It has sent first warning letters to Cyprus , Greece , Luxembourg , Malta and Poland . While the companies in these countries can trade allowances on a forward basis, they are deprived of spot trading until the link up is made.
Failure to submit information on policies & measures and on emission projections:
Under the UN Climate Change Convention and the Kyoto Protocol, the EU and Member States must regularly report their greenhouse gas emissions and the policies and measures taken to reduce them so that progress can be monitored. Decision 280/2004/EC specifies the reporting obligations. The Commission has now sent Austria , Cyprus , Luxembourg , Malta and Poland a second and final written warning because they did not communicate, by 15 March 2005 , which policies and measures they have taken and their impacts, nor did they assess their greenhouse gas emissions in the future. The first warning was sent in October 2005.
Failure to submit information on greenhouse gas emissions:
The same Decision also requires Member States to report, by 15 January each year, their greenhouse gas emissions during the year before the previous year. Cyprus , Italy , Malta and Spain have not submitted any of the required information for the year 2004. The Commission has therefore sent them first written warnings.
Failure to prepare for international emissions trading under the Kyoto Protocol:
During the Kyoto Protocol’s first commitment period 2008-2012, an international emissions trading regime will be established allowing countries with Kyoto targets to buy and sell emission credits amongst themselves. The aim is to reduce the costs of cutting emissions.
Under Decision 2005/166/EC, EU-15 Member States were required, by 15 January 2006 , to submit to the Commission the information necessary to determine the total amount they will be permitted to emit in line with their Kyoto target during 2008-2012 – the so-called "assigned amount". (The deadline for the ten Member States that joined in 2004 is 15 June 2006 .) The "assigned amount" is set by the UN on the basis of information submitted by Member States.
Once the assigned amount is fixed, an equivalent number of "Assigned Amount Units" (AAUs) will be issued into the registry of that Member State so that they can participate in international emissions trading from 2008. Each AAU is equivalent to 1 tonne of CO2 eq. The fixing of the assigned amount is also a condition for a Member State ‘s eligibility to participate in the other flexible mechanisms of the Kyoto Protocol: the Clean Development Mechanism and Joint Implementation, which allow countries to invest in emission-saving projects in third countries that generate emission credits.
Germany , Italy , Luxembourg and Spain have failed to submit the information necessary to determine their assigned amounts, which is why the Commission has now sent them first warning letters.
Article 226 of the Treaty gives the Commission powers to take legal action against a Member State that is not respecting its obligations.
If the Commission considers that there may be an infringement of EU law that warrants the opening of an infringement procedure, it addresses a "Letter of Formal Notice" (first written warning) to the Member State concerned, requesting it to submit its observations by a specified date, usually two months.
In the light of the reply or absence of a reply from the Member State concerned, the Commission may decide to address a "Reasoned Opinion" (second and final written warning) to the Member State . This clearly and definitively sets out the reasons why it considers there to have been an infringement of EU law, and calls upon the Member State to comply within a specified period, usually two months.
If the Member State fails to comply with the Reasoned Opinion, the Commission may decide to bring the case before the Court of Justice. Where the Court of Justice finds that the Treaty has been infringed, the offending Member State is required to take the measures necessary to conform.
Article 228 of the Treaty gives the Commission power to act against a Member State that does not comply with a previous judgement of the European Court of Justice. The article also allows the Commission to ask the Court to impose a financial penalty on the Member State concerned.
More information about EU climate change policies is available at: http://www.europa.eu.int/comm/environment/climat/home_en.htm. For current statistics on infringements in general see: http://europa.eu.int/comm/secretariat_general/sgb/droit_com/index_en.htm#infractions.
1.2. Malta gets three warnings on climate change obligations
7 April 2006 , timesofmalta.com
Ivan Camilleri in Brussels
The European Commission yesterday officially informed Malta of the start of three infringement procedures over its nonconformity with EU climate change rules.
Legal action has been started against Malta over its failure to link its national emissions trading register with the EU-wide registry system, for not submitting information on policies and measures on its emission projections and for not giving information on greenhouse gas emissions for 2004.
The Commission explained that the aim of these legal procedures is to ensure that the EU and all its member states meet their various reporting obligations under the UN Climate Change Convention and the Kyoto Protocol. Part of the Commission’s legal action also aims to ensure that the EU Emissions Trading Scheme becomes fully operational.
Five member states including Malta have still not linked up to the EU-wide electronic registries system for emissions trading despite a December 2004 deadline to do so. According to the Commission, in order to link up to the registries system, each member state must establish a national registry in the form of a standardised electronic database as well as a communication link.
The Commission said that due to delays in obtaining and assessing national allocation plans, the Commission has only now decided to initiate infringement procedures for failure to do so. It has therefore sent the first warning letters to Malta , Cyprus , Greece , Luxembourg and Poland over this issue.
The Commission said that due to this shortfall, companies in these countries can only trade allowances on a forward basis and are currently deprived of spot trading until the link-up is made.
With regards to the other infringements, the Commission said that a second written warning has been sent to Malta for not reporting, as obliged, its policies and measures taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This is preventing the EU from monitoring the process. Malta was already warned over this issue last October.
Finally, the Commission warned Malta for not reporting its data on greenhouse gas emissions for 2004.
Malta will be taken to court if it continues to ignore these obligations.
1.3. EU keen on energy issues with India
4 April 2006 , http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/1475882.cms
The European Union (EU) is keen to secure close energy cooperation with India , according to the EU’s top energy official.
"The challenges facing European Union energy policy are global, first of all for security of supply and the other issue is climate change. India being one of the biggest consumers and also potentially the bigger consumer using a lot of coal for producing power is definitely one of the countries we would like to be in very close contact with," Commissioner Andris Piebalgs told INEP news agency.
The commissioner, who begins his first visit to India Thursday, said his political objective was to globally address the energy issue as well India ‘s role in the post Kyoto energy arena after 2012.
The Kyoto pact requires industrialised countries to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 8 percent of the 1990 levels between 2008 and 2012.
Piebalgs will be meeting India ‘s Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde as well as other ministers and officials during his two-day stay in India . He will address the first EU-India business energy conference and attend the second EU-India Energy Panel.
The first EU-India energy panel was convened in 2005 following the strategic partnership concluded between the 25 member EU and India in 2004.
Referring to the conference and energy panel, Piebalgs said: "I think it’s a good way to tackle globalisation of energy markets. Areas that are extremely important are renewable energies and energy efficiency," he said and added that he also planned to emphasise on petroleum conservation, association and research.
"It is only a two day visit but it is very important to have close relations with India and China and other consumer markets for a better response to global energy markets."
On EU-India energy relations, the commissioner mentioned the need for a suitable strategy for energy conservation and efficiency.
"Without global cooperation I don’t think we can succeed in securing energy supply. The other issue is dependence on the usage of renewables. With oil prices now approaching $70 per barrel, renewable energy is very promising.
On the issue of nuclear energy, the commissioner said that while nuclear energy had always played an important role in the EU, it was not the most obvious solution to the EU’s energy challenges.
"Storage of nuclear waste is also a significant security issue that is fundamental to the acceptance of nuclear energy," he said.
ENERGY AND EMISSIONS
2.1. US Utilities’ CO2 Emissions Up Since 1990 – Report
6 April 2006 , Planet Ark
US electric utilities’ emissions of pollutants that cause acid rain and smog have fallen sharply since the federal government adopted stricter standards in 1990, but greenhouse gas emissions have risen in that time, according to a report released Wednesday.
The report, produced by environmental investor coalition Ceres, the National Resources Defense Coalition, and Public Service Enterprise Group Inc., analyzed 2004 data on emissions from the top 100 electric power producers in the United States. It found that between 1990 and 2004, the power producers’ emissions of sulfur dioxide decreased about 44 percent, and those of nitrogen oxide fell 36 percent.
However, the report said their emissions of carbon dioxide, the main heat-trapping gas that scientists believe causes global warming, rose about 27 percent in the period and can be expected to increase further as new coal-fired power plants are built.
The amount of electricity generated in the United States rose about 31 percent over that period.
"Voluntary approaches for curbing greenhouse gas emissions are not working," Ceres President Mindy Lubber said in a statement. "Instead of reducing pollution, we now have a spate of new coal plants and inevitable greenhouse gas limits on a collision course that puts companies and shareholders at financial risk."
The federal government does not regulate carbon dioxide and President Bush opposes forcibly limiting greenhouse gas emissions, preferring voluntary means instead.
Moreover, no technology is commercially available for power producers to use to capture and hold carbon dioxide emitted by their plants.
Daniel Lashof, science director of the Natural Resources Defense Council’s Climate Center , said the report proves the efficacy of market-based emissions caps, like those used to regulate SO2 and NOx in the United States .
"Its critical that we establish enforceable limits on carbon dioxide emissions," Lashof said. "That’s the most important step that we need to make to drive markets for new technology needed to reduce those emissions."
The US utility industry is split on the subject of how to address climate change, with some companies favoring federal emissions standards or a tax on carbon dioxide, while other favor voluntary reductions.
Southern Co. , a top US emitter, argued that a voluntary approach was more appropriate to deal with increases in carbon dioxide emissions.
"Large-scale, cost-effective, low CO2-emitting technologies must be developed if we are to address the climate change issue while we continue to serve a growing economy and meet the projected 30 percent increase in US electricity demand over the next 20 years," said Southern spokeswoman Terri Cohilas.
The report also said the three top power producers in 2004 — American Electric Power Co. Inc., Southern Co. and publicly owned Tennessee Valley Authority — were responsible for roughly 20 percent of the emissions by the 100 companies studied.
The three utilities generated about 16 percent of the electricity produced by the power producers analyzed in the report.
Still, those companies are not among the power generators with the worst emission rates, calculated by dividing pounds of pollution by megawatt hours of electricity produced.
By that standard, the worse offenders are much smaller power producers and emitters: Basin Electric Power Coop for carbon dioxide, Buckeye Power for SO2, and Associated Electric Coop for NOx.
The report is intended to serve as a guide for investors looking to assess business risks of future environmental regulations, policymakers and utilities looking to assess their performance.
2.2. Chicago Climate Mart to try CO2 Link With EU
6 April 2006 , Planet Ark
A voluntary Chicago emissions market said on Tuesday it is trying to arrange a deal in which its members can use carbon dioxide emissions allowances from the European Union in "demonstration transfers" to meet commitments in its bourse.
If such transfers take place, they could be the first trading link between greenhouse gas emitters in the United States and the European Union’s Emissions Trading Scheme, the world’s first to trade heat-trapping gases that scientists believe are warming the earth.
Multinational companies and some governments have been eager to form links between developing emissions markets in Europe and the United States to increase liquidity and set clearer standards on capital-intensive facilities such as power plants and refineries.
In the European Union, industrial facilities have been buying and selling emissions of heat-trapping gases on the Emissions Trading Scheme since early last year. Member nations signed the Kyoto Protocol on global warming which calls for industrialized countries to cut emissions about 5 percent under 1990 levels from 2008 to 2012.
The United States , the world’s top emitter of global warming gases, pulled out of the international agreement.
But the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX), which bills itself as the only reduction and trading system in North America , formed a voluntary trading market to help companies prepare for potential future US greenhouse gas caps.
CCX members enter legally binding agreements to cut their emissions by a set amount and time. If they beat those targets, they generate credit they can sell or bank. If they fall behind, they must purchase credits on the exchange.
In what the CCX calls "demonstration transfers" trade could be carried out from one market to another.
"Batches of 100 tons of EU allowances would be transferred by a CCX member from its EU allowance account into an account CCX has established in an EU registry," CCX said in a statement.
"The EU allowances would then be retired, and CCX would issue 100 metric tons of CO2 into that member’s CCX registry account," the release said.
2.3. Tokyo Renewable Energy Strategy
3 April 2006 , Bureau of Environment Tokyo Metropolitan Government
The Tokyo Metropolitan Government (TMG) has carried out innovative projects, including the installation of wind generators in the Tokyo waterfront area, equipping a water treatment plant with one of Japan ‘s largest solar generators, and utilizing exhaust heat and sludge from sewage treatment plants.
Renewable energy use and energy efficiency are the keys to measure to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases. Also, as a city facing the risk of periodic earthquakes, an effective integration of energy policy and disaster preparedness/mitigation policy is needed. Furthermore, growing renewable energy market can create new business opportunities.
Therefore, TMG formulated its “Renewable Energy Strategy” to go beyond the level of on-going pilot projects and increase renewable energy use in Tokyo .
Outline of the Strategy
The present situation of renewable energy in Tokyo : Renewable energy supplies about 2.7%of Tokyo ‘s total energy demand; Power and heat from waste incineration plants, and solar light and heat are major sources of renewable energy in Tokyo .
The proposition of an ambitious use target
TMG proposes to increase the proportion of renewable energy use out of Tokyo ‘s total energy consumption to aim at around 20 percent by 2020. Here, TMG opens discussion and will set the final target in the TMG Environmental Basic Plan expected to revise in 2008(FY).
This target is proposed from the view point of being in line with other advanced countries and regions on renewable energy use to avoid serious future effects of global warming.
Energy use should be reexamined, with the reduction of energy consumption being the major premise.
Not only can renewable sources be established within Tokyo , but the tremendous purchasing power can also be utilized, thereby boosting levels of renewable energy within Japan as a whole.
Policy directions: Create demand―Demand-pull policies; Utilize the character of the natural energy in housing; Enhancing local energy choice.
Policy measures and model projects toward the target
To achieve the target, TMG starts to consider the introduction of effective policy measures, such as information dissemination system on renewable energies and policy measures to promote certain introduction of renewable energy use.
In addition to these policy studies, the TMG will launch pilot projects toward the widespread use of renewable energy. Through these projects TMG can experiment with new uses of renewable energy and methods of collaboration among various entities. These pilot projects will examine the links between demand and policies, ways to increase added value, and ways to create other advantages.
For example: Enhancing “Green Purchase” to promote renewable energy use among business, power suppliers and governments; Promoting citizen-based investment schemes, corporate sponsorship for the installation of renewable energy; Promoting design of low energy and comfortable housing with the use of renewable energy; Promoting project of solar heat in housing.
2.4. US Senate panel takes baby steps on climate change
4 AprIL 2006 , Reuters
A U.S. Senate panel on Tuesday heard diverging views from electric utilities on whether Congress should slap mandatory caps on U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, and who should foot the bill.
Some utilities told the Senate Energy Committee they are eager for Congress to pass mandatory caps on emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses so they can plan how to meet those goals. Others, especially those that rely heavily on coal, oppose mandatory caps on greenhouse gas emissions.
Lawmakers also are divided. Committee chairman Pete Domenici has warned it would be "impossible" to pass legislation to cut heat-trapping gas emissions in 2006 because of election-year gridlock. But he said an all-day panel conference on climate change options was a "starting point" for possible legislation in 2007.
"Designing and implementing a mandatory system (will) be very difficult both politically and economically," Domenici said at the outset of the conference. "We can start somewhere and this conference is our starting point."
Most lawmakers predict Congress ultimately will pass a law with an emissions trading scheme called a "cap-and-trade" system. Companies that reduce emissions could sell credits to companies that have a harder time reducing pollution.
Environmentalists have warned that any "cap and trade" credits should not be sold too cheaply.
The United States is the biggest emitter of carbon dioxide, one of several greenhouse gases blamed for melting glaciers and rising sea levels. Efforts to put mandatory caps on U.S. carbon emissions have repeatedly failed in the Senate.
Some of the biggest U.S. utilities — including Chicago-based Exelon Corp. <EXC.N> and Charlotte, North Carolina-based Duke Energy Corp. <DUK.N> — told lawmakers Congress needs to clarify its plans on about carbon dioxide cuts before they can build a new generation of low-emission power plants to meet growing U.S. electricity demand.
"It is critical that we start now," said Elizabeth Moler, an executive vice president at Exelon, pointing out that Congress held the first hearings on global warming in 1978.
"We need the economic and regulatory certainty to invest in a low-carbon energy future," Moler said.
But Atlanta-based Southern Co. <SO.N>, which operates a large fleet of coal-fired power plants, said mandatory caps are not needed because U.S. industry is moving forward with high-tech ways to cut emissions on its own.
For example, Southern is looking to build futuristic coal plants that would strip out carbon emissions before they enter the atmosphere, as well as a new fleet of nuclear plants, which emit no greenhouse gases.
"A mandatory program in our view is not necessary to make that happen," said Chris Hobson, a senior vice president at Southern.
And Wal-Mart <WMT.N>, the world’s largest retailer, said it could accept mandatory carbon caps. It also said it is moving forward on its own with boosting efficiency and reducing emissions from its stores and giant delivery truck fleet.
Democrat Sen. Jeff Bingaman exacted a pledge from Domenici in last year’s energy bill debate to pursue legislation that would eventually lead to mandatory cuts. But many Republicans say such cuts could stunt U.S. economic growth.
Congressional staff members expect Energy Committee staff to draft a "white paper" calling for a mandatory cap-and-trade system starting in 2010.
Lawmakers must negotiate several questions before they can decide upon caps on industry. This will likely include how to hand out allowances to emit greehouse gases, which could be valued in the tens of billions of dollars.
"This valuable currency must not be given away for free" to utilities and industry, said David Doniger at the Natural Resources Defense Council, an environmental group.
At least half the revenues generated by allocation sales should be earmarked to help U.S. consumers invest in energy efficiency, with the rest going to research new technology like hybrid cars and low-emission coal plants, the NRDC said.
2.5. California Considers Bill to Limit Greenhouse Gas Emissions
3 April 2006 , http://www.nytimes.com/2006/04/03/us/03cnd-calif.html?hp&ex=1144123200&en=2ec8dd410537e6a0&ei=5094&partner=homepage
By John Holusha
California may become the first state to impose limits on the emissions of all greenhouse gases, under legislation introduced today in the State Assembly.
The bill would require that emissions of carbon dioxide and other gases linked to global warming be reduced by 145 million tons, or 25 percent less than the current forecast, by 2020. That would bring the emissions back to the 1990 level.
The gases in question are produced when fossil fuels are burned, whether in motor vehicles, power plants or other industrial facilities. Many scientists have linked the growing concentration of these gases in the atmosphere with an observed increase in surface temperatures.
The bill, which was introduced by the speaker of the State Assembly, Fabian Nuñez, Democrat of Los Angeles, would also require the California Air Resources Board to set up a mandatory emissions reporting and tracking system to ensure compliance with the limits, which many of the state’s business leaders have opposed.
The proposed legislation could have more than a statewide impact, because California has traditionally led the nation in pollution-control efforts. Standards and rules established by the air control board have often been emulated by other states, particularly those in the Northeast.
"As California goes, so goes the rest of the world," said Assemblywoman Fran Pavley, a co-sponsor the bill. "As California leads and innovates, we believe that Congress and other states will also implement economy-wide clean energy standards."
The bill’s sponsors noted that its emissions limits are in line with goals established last summer by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in an executive order.
"The speaker said this bill was his top legislative priority this year," said Craig Noble, a spokesman for the Natural Resources Defense Council, an environmental advocacy group that is supporting the bill. "The governor has said he wants to reduce emissions. That means we have a very good chance of getting a first law in the nation to set statewide limits on emissions."
Since all fossil fuels, coal, oil and natural gas, emit greenhouse gases when burned to produce heat, the only way to reduce the amount going into the atmosphere is to reduce the amount consumed, Mr. Noble said.
That could mean a greater reliance on solar and wind-generated energy to produce electricity. And Governor Schwarzenegger has been promoting the use of hydrogen as an automotive fuel. One of the advantages of hydrogen is that when it is burned, all that is emitted is water vapor.
2.6. Russia to start work on Kyoto Protocol JI projects – ministry
3 April 2006 , RIA Novosti, http://en.rian.ru/business/20060403/45120670.html
The economics ministry said Monday it was looking to start work with the government on Kyoto Protocol joint implementation projects.
Deputy Economic Development and Trade Minister Andrei Sharonov said a draft regulation for the approval of joint implementation (JI) projects and a scheme for targeted environmental investment would be submitted to the government in few weeks in a bid to launch approval procedures in July, thus pushing forward Russia ‘s progress on implementation of the Kyoto Protocol.
Sharonov said the ministry would also submit to the Cabinet by May 15 a draft bill defining the government’s trading quotas and outlining its authority within the framework of the Kyoto Protocol.
Joint implementation (JI) under the Kyoto Protocol allows parties to implement projects that reduce emissions or remove carbon from the atmosphere in return for emission reduction units (ERUs).
Sharonov said Russia was also interested in trading greenhouse gas emissions, adding that about 30 JI and trade projects had been submitted to the ministry.
Kyoto-related projects have attracted interest from Russia ‘s financial corporations, international agencies, and big companies that are responsible for a considerable proportion of greenhouse emissions in Russia , including electricity monopoly Unified Energy System (UES), which accounts for a third of Russian and three percent of world emissions.
Sharonov said Russia should have a portfolio of agreements by the beginning of the Kyoto Protocol’s first period (2008-2012), but the country needed to accelerate its efforts as other countries have already concluded agreements amounting to about $2 billion.
He said experts were forecasting Russia ‘s carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions at three billion tons, adding that the country did not plan selling or negotiating JIs worth this entire amount.
"It does not mean that we are ready to sell or clinch joint implementation deals for the entire amount of three billion tons," he said, adding that the ministry did not intend to provide tax privileges to companies involved in JIs as the Kyodo Protocol itself spurred investment to reduce emissions.
2.7. Scientists in Dispute Over Carbon Curbs
6 April 2006 , Planet Ark
A row has broken out between scientists seeking a way to bring more nations into the carbon curbing fold after the first phase of the Kyoto Treaty expires in 2012, New Scientist magazine said on Wednesday.
On one side is a plan that would in effect set a global target for each nation’s per capita carbon output, on the other is one that rates a country’s carbon output against its biocapacity or geophysical ability to absorb it.
The latter, by Geoff Hammond at the University of Bath, would remove the United States from pole position as the world’s worst polluter but bring up Bangladesh with a very small carbon footprint but equally little absorption capacity for the gases, including carbon dioxide and methane.
The United States , which has rejected Kyoto as economic suicide, only produces slightly more carbon than it can absorb.
Japan , by contrast, has a per capita carbon footprint half that of the United States but overshoots its absorption capacity by seven times.
Aubrey Meyer, of the British-based Global Commons Institute, who formulated the per capita carbon plan, dismisses Hammond ‘s proposal as naive and dangerous, according to the magazine.
"While appearing to be helpful and reasonable, it would be another means for the rich to bully the poor," it quoted him as saying.
For his part Hammond rejected Mayer’s plan as utopian, "given the reluctance of the United States to take even modest steps to reduce emissions", the magazine said.
"Living within national biocapacities might be something the US could eventually accept," it quoted him as saying.
Signatories to Kyoto , which only came into force in February last year, commits nations to cut carbon emissions which are blamed for causing global warming.
But it only runs until 2012, does not include the United States or Australia , and is not binding on major developing nations such as China and India .
With the world already facing potentially catastrophic climate change, the search is on to find some mechanism to take Kyoto beyond its expiry date and make it both more inclusive and effective.
3.1. Where next for the EU Emissions Trading Scheme?
Tuesday 2 May 2006 , Westminster Suite, Queen Elizabeth II Centre, London .
You are formally invited to hear the results of an EU LIFE funded project called LETS Update that will feed into the European Commission’s review of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme.
To attend, please send your details to: [email protected].
Please note that there is funding to support the attendance of delegates from environmental NGOs, academic institutions and the new European Member States . Please ask for further information.
3.2. Climate Change & Investment 2006 – Asset allocation in a carbon-constrained world
London , 8 and 9 June 2006
Sponsored by Baker & McKenzie. Supported by: European Social Investment Forum (Eurosif), Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC) in association with The Climate Group.
For full programme details and to register, please click through to http://www.environmental-finance.com/conferences/2006/CCAI/intro.htm.
4.1. Application of the emissions trading directive by EU Member States
Technical report No 2, published at: http://reports.eea.eu.int/technical_report_2006_2.
Abstract: This report presents information on the introduction of the European Emissions Trading System as reported by the Member States (in accordance with Article 21 of the Emissions Trading Directive). It covers the period until 30 April 2005 . Since the reports from Member States only cover the first four months of the first trading year the information is limited, especially concerning the real emissions and the verification procedures. However, they contain information on competent authorities, legislation and experience gained in the allocation process. Information covering the whole first year of trading âEUR“ 2005 âEUR“ will be reported by the Member States by 30 June 2006 and a compilation of this information will be presented by EEA by the end of 2006.
5.1. World’s first broadband environmental TV channel launches today
31 March 2006 , UN Agency
The world’s first broadband TV channel dedicated to environmental issues – called ‘green.tv’ and developed with support from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) – is being launched today, aiming to become a "one-stop shop" of broadcast information on the environment covering everything from climate change to children’s stories on wildlife.
UNEP said green.tv would also go live today as a podcast on iTunes as well as having a front-page listing, courtesy of Apple computers. It will carry films from around the world produced by non-governmental organizations (NGOs), community filmmakers, public sector bodies and companies with a firm interest in protecting the environment.
"Green.tv is a truly innovative project which will no doubt influence the field of environmental film-making and research. It will eventually offer a comprehensive ‘one stop shop’ for environmental TV programming – something that has so far not been available," said Eric Falt, Director of UNEP’s Division of Communications and Public Information.
"Green.tv has the potential to become a broadband reference point or benchmark in this field."
It will have seven channels covering: air, land, water, climate change, people, species and technologies, in each of which there will be a feature, a news item and a children’s story. With the look and feel of a global TV channel, green.tv will combine this with the best elements of the internet, giving users access to online chatrooms and the ability to watch video on demand, UNEP said.
Director/Producer Ade Thomas, who first thought up the idea, compared it to the popular Google search engine. "If you want to see a news item about climate change, watch a kids’ story about penguins or a feature about wind farms, go to "http://www.green.tv/">www.green.tv and you’ll be able to see some engaging and thought-provoking films about the environment, at a time when a greater understanding and awareness of these issues is critical," the Director/Producer said.
On launch, the channel will show films from numerous environmental and other organizations, including UNEP, Friends of the Earth UK, Greenpeace International, the World Conservation Union-IUCN, Stop Climate Chaos, Barclays, Water Aid, and the European Environment Agency.
In welcoming green.tv, UK Environment Minister Elliot Morley said its hi-tech nature would give it great potential to spread the message at a time when increasing numbers of people wanted to find out more about the environment.
"There are more people using the internet than watching TV and we also know that there is enormous interest in environmental issues. I think green.tv has tremendous potential, bringing together new technology and innovation in terms of how we spread information," Mr. Elliot said.
In a separate development today also related to the environment, the Natural World Museum is joining forces with UNEP to launch the Art for the Environment initiative, with the opening of the first exhibition at the UN Office in Nairobi .
One of the exhibits, called Trapped Inside, features a living African Greenheart tree on life-support designed by French artist J.C. Didier.
UNEP said that species was chosen because it is under environmental pressure, and is also used for traditional medicine.
"Seeing this art will generate significant public awareness of environmental issues globally," said UNEP Executive Director Klaus Toepfer.
The next Natural World Museum exhibition will be housed at City Hall in San Francisco , United States of America in June, to commemorate World Environment Day 2006.
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