1.1. Study: Carbon goals require bigger cuts – 80 percent cut by 2050 would be required for Europe strategy
19 April 2007 , Reuters
The world will have to axe greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050, more deeply than planned, to have an even chance of curbing global warming in line with European Union goals, researchers said on Thursday.
Even tough long-term curbs foreseen by the EU or California fall short of reductions needed to avert a 2 Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) temperature rise over pre-industrial times, seen by the EU as a threshold for "dangerous change," they said.
"If we are to have a 50 percent chance of meeting a 2 Celsius target we would have to cut global emissions by 80 percent by 2050," Nathan Rive of the Center for International Climate and Environmental Research in Oslo told Reuters.
"Any delay in implementing emissions reductions will make a 2 degree target practically unreachable," he and colleague Steffen Kallbekken wrote of findings to be published in the journal Climatic Change.
The EU reckons that there would be dangerous disruptions to the climate such as ever more droughts, heat waves, floods and rising seas beyond a 2 C ceiling. Temperatures already rose by about 0.7 Celsius in the 20th century.
An 80 percent global cut would mean rich nations, responsible for most heat-trapping emissions from fossil fuels burned by power plants, factories and cars, would have to axe emissions by about 95 percent below 2000 levels by 2050.
Developing countries such as China , India , Brazil and Indonesia , where emissions are rising sharply in line with energy use to help lift millions from poverty, would have to take on less swinging reductions, they said.
"Even the most ambitious proposals for emissions cuts in 2050, such as the UK draft climate bill which sets a cut of 60 percent, or the California target to reduce emissions by 80 percent by 2050, fall short," they said.
A draft report by the U.N. climate panel due for release on May 4 in Bangkok also concludes that a maximum 2 C rise would be hard to achieve. Restraints on emissions consistent with the goal could cost up to 3 percent of world gross domestic product.
And Kalbekken and Rive said that global emissions would have to peak in 2025, with cuts in place by 2010, to achieve an 80 percent cut by mid-century. Any delays would sharply raise costs.
Under the U.N.’s Kyoto Protocol, 35 industrialized nations now have goals of cutting emissions by 5 percent below 1990 by 2008-12. The United States , which says the plan is too costly and wrongly excludes developing states, is the main outsider.
U.N. climate negotiations focused on widening Kyoto beyond 2012 are stalled. Developing nations say they cannot be expected to cap emissions when energy use has been a key to economic growth by rich states since the Industrial Revolution.
1.2. Norway aims to be ‘zero-emission’ state by 2050
AFP News brief
Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg on Thursday proposed to make Norway the first "zero-emission" state by 2050 and reduce emissions of greenhouse gases by 30 percent by 2020.
"We are committed to reducing our greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent by 2020," Stoltenberg said in a speech at his Labour Party’s annual congress.
The pledge by Norway , which is not a member of the European Union, outshines the EU’s proposed plan to cut its emissions by at least 20 percent during the same period.
Stoltenberg urged his party to make environmental history and said: "By 2050 even larger reductions will be necessary. The wealthy countries must become zero emission states."
" Norway would become the first country in the world to adopt such a concrete measure," he said.
"This means that for every tonne of greenhouse gases that is discharged we will make sure that the equivalent amount has to be reduced somewhere else," he continued, referring to a compensation mechanism outlined in the Kyoto Protocol.
In the short term, the prime minister said Norway ‘s emissions would by 2012 be reduced by 10 percent more than what is required by the Kyoto Protocol.
A white book on Norway ‘s fight against climate change is due to be presented to the Norwegian parliament next month.
Norway — the third largest exporter of oil and natural gas, fossil fuels seen as one of the main causes of global warming — already covers almost all of its electricity needs with "clean energy" from hydropower.
1.3. No US Emissions Curbs Without China , India
19 April 2007 , Planet Ark Reuters
The United States will not join an international regime curbing emissions blamed for global warming until it also applied to China and India , the US ambassador to the European Union said on Wednesday.
"Rather than shooting at each other, the United States and Europe should be joining forces to engage China," Ambassador C. Boyden Gray told Reuters in an interview ahead of an April 30 US-EU summit.
"There will be no comprehensive global warming legislation coming out of the United States , whoever you have as president from whatever party, that does not include limits or a programme for China , India and the rest of the developing world."
He cast doubt on whether the 27-nation EU would be able to achieve ambitious emissions reductions targets it adopted last month and said the US approach of focusing on technological solutions to climate change was just as valid.
"I don’t think we need to take a back seat to anybody in terms of what we are doing now and what we intend to achieve in the future," Gray said.
The EU agreed in March to cut emissions of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide by at least 20 percent by 2020 from 1990 levels, and to go down by 30 percent if other industrialised and emerging nations followed suit.
Pressed to say how President George W. Bush would respond to German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s challenge to join the EU in slashing emissions, Gray pointed instead to what the United States was already doing on its own.
He said the US record on reducing emissions compared well with Europe ‘s in this decade and Bush had just set an ambitious hard target of reducing gasoline use by 20 percent in 10 years.
In addition, the United States had invested some US$30 billion in climate technologies such as carbon capture and storage — to make coal-fired power plants less polluting — and on a second generation of biofuels produced from crops.
Merkel has vowed to make the fight against global warming the centrepiece of a summit of the Group of Eight major industrialised powers she will host in June. Germany currently holds the rotating presidencies of both the G8 and the EU.
Efforts to launch negotiations to extend the Kyoto agreement on climate change beyond 2012 have floundered as nations resist committing to targets for cutting greenhouse gases.
The United States accounts for nearly a quarter of all carbon emissions, but experts say it could be overtaken by China and its rapidly growing economy within the year.
Earlier this month EU environment chief Stavros Dimas accused Washington and Australia of hampering talks to extend Kyoto . Bush pulled out of the pact in 2001, arguing it would hurt the US economy and unfairly excluded developing nations.
After the US Supreme Court ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency must regulate emissions, Bush repeated his long-held stance that US action would be meaningless without changes by China and India .
1.4. World Bank still fuelling climate change
13 April 2007 , Friends of the Earth International
On the eve of the World Bank’s annual Spring Meetings (Apr. 14-15) Friends of the Earth International challenged the bank’s 184 government shareholders to halt all funding for projects contributing to climate change.
“Climate change is no longer just an environmental issue, it is a development issue and a looming humanitarian catastrophe, ultimately threatening our security and survival,“ said David Waskow of Friends of the Earth US.
“Government representatives should have the courage to take some real action and stop World Bank funding for all projects that contribute to climate change,”he added. “This means no more funding for oil, coal and gas projects.“
“We are happy to see that the US Congress seems to be taking the lead’, he added, referring to US Congressional legislation expected to be passed on April 17.
“It is up to the governments that rule the World Bank to get the Bank out of the dirty energy business. There is no lack of alternative investment options. There is a wealth of sound energy investment opportunities out there,“ David Waskow added.
The World Bank invests 2 to 3 billion USD a year in greenhouse gas-producing energy projects that fuel climate change and fail to help the world’s poor people.
In 2005, only 9% of the World Bank Group’s energy financing went to renewable energy and energy effiency. In 2005, the increase for lending towards renewables and energy efficiency was only 7% (or 14 million USD) instead of the 20% target that the Bank had set for itself.
“The West-African Gas Pipeline, which passes through my country, is a sad example of archaic energy financing“, said Mike Karipko of Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria. “We are happy that the World Bank’s own Inspection Panel decided last March to thoroughly investigate the project’s ongoing problems,“ he added.
On Monday, April 16, Friends of the Earth US will organize a conference on climate change and international development from 9.00 am-5.30 pm at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, 1800 K Street NW , Washington , DC . For more information see:http://action.foe.org/dia/organizationsORG/foe/event/index.jsp?event_KEY=25071&t=ClimateConf.dwt, http://action.foe.org/dia/organizationsORG/foe/event/index.jsp?event_KEY=25071&t=ClimateConf.dwt.
1.5. New report: EU funding plans in clash with climate
11 April 2007 , Friends of the Earth Europe , CEE Bankwatch Network
The EU funding plans of the new member states for 2007-2013 are on a collision course with EU climate goals and Poland even plans to increase its emissions by 31 percent, a new report by Friends of the Earth Europe and CEE Bankwatch Network warned today. The NGOs called on the European Commission President Barroso and Commissioners Hûbner and Dimas to intervene and insist on urgent changes in the draft funding plans, which are currently being negotiated between the Commission and each member state.
Martin Konecny, FoE Europe EU Project coordinator said: "The spending plans for 2007-2013 are laden down with huge amounts of carbon dioxide and feature remarkably little in the way of clean and efficient energy and transport. The Commission must now take firm steps to prevent seven years and billions of Euros being lost to energy-intensive development.
Analysing the draft funding plans of the ten central and eastern European (CEE) new member states, the report – entitled "EU cash in climate clash" – shows that energy efficiency and renewable energy have each been allocated only 1 percent of the 177 billion Euros earmarked for these countries from the Structural and Cohesion Funds. This is in contradiction with the EU’s own cohesion policy priorities.
Within the transport sector, 53 percent of the funds have been allocated for roads and motorways that will generate more traffic and greenhouse emissions. Only 30 percent is to be spent on railways and 10 percent for public urban transport.
Magda Stoczkiewicz, Policy coordinator CEE Bankwatch Network commented: "The EU should spend less on roads and more on alternatives to cars. Railways and public transport, which have suffered from chronic under-investment in central and eastern Europe, emit three times less carbon dioxide than cars. Building road infrastructure inflates transport demand just as printing money creates inflation, and already the Czech Republic and Lithuania have more cars per person than rich Denmark ."
The report features clear, concise breakdowns of the CEE countries’ planned allocations in energy and transport and rates them. Hungary’s and Poland’s plans score the worst on energy efficiency, while the plans of Romania, Slovakia, Lithuania, and Slovenia score the worst on clean urban transport.
The report comes one month after the EU Spring Summit, which agreed new targets for emission reductions, energy efficiency and renewables by 2020 and called for reviewing EU funds in line with EU climate change objectives.
"How can we take the climate and energy commitments agreed by EU leaders in March seriously if the EU undermines them with its second biggest budget line?" – questions Mr Konecny.
Alarmingly, Poland , which is to receive almost one fifth of the total EU funds budget in 2007-2013, plans a 31 percent increase in its greenhouse gas emissions by 2013 compared to 2003, according to the indicators in its submitted EU funding strategy.
"Plans, such as those of Poland , to use EU funds in blatant contradiction of EU climate goals must be rejected by the European Commission. The current Polish plans should be sent back to Warsaw to be reworked and thoroughly decarbonised before the EU billions for Poland are released," Ms Stoczkiewicz added.
The report also shows that the four countries that have so far received by far the most EU funds per capita – Spain , Portugal , Greece , and Ireland – have also witnessed by far the greatest increases in greenhouse gas emissions in the EU. The same scenario can be avoided in the new member states, if EU funds are systematically directed towards energy efficiency, renewable energy and low-emission transport, the report argues.
2.1. Germany proposes energy efficiency labels for homes
20 April 2007 , Reuters
Germany on Friday proposed mandatory energy efficiency labeling for buildings and apartments as part of a Europe-wide effort to cut back on energy waste and promote greener alternatives.
The label, similar to those on the front of appliances like fridges sold in the European Union, would give prospective property buyers or tenants information about the energy costs associated with specific buildings.
German ministers won backing from European Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs for the plans at a conference in Berlin on Friday. The proposals will be discussed at a meeting next week of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition cabinet.
"In future, property ads might say not just ‘balcony, two rooms, quiet area’ but also mention its energy efficiency," Transport, Building and Urban Affairs Minister Wolfgang Tiefensee, a Social Democrat (SPD) told reporters.
Energy certificates, giving a clear idea of how much heating and hot water costs will be, should be introduced at the end of this year, Tiefensee said, adding rules for energy efficiency in new or restored buildings would be toughened up in 2008.
The proposals form part of Germany ‘s contribution to a non-binding proposal from the European Union to cut energy use in homes and transport by 20 percent by 2020.
Tiefensee and his party colleague, Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel, stressed the need for Germany to be at the forefront of EU efforts to improve energy efficiency and slash greenhouse gas emissions by switching to alternative fuels.
The 27-nation bloc has already set ambitious targets for the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions from vehicles as part of its goals to reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions.
It has committed to a target of reducing EU greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent by 2020 and offered to go to 30 percent if other nations such as the United States join in.
Conservative Economy Minister Michael Glos said the interest in renewable energy and more energy efficient products was an opportunity for Germany ‘s small and medium-sized businesses.
Merkel’s right-left coalition government has been criticized for its hypocritical approach to environmental policies, readily championing green causes but doing little to clean up industry.
While officially reconciled to a Social Democrat plan to phase out nuclear power stations, some conservatives — including Glos — continue to assert that atomic power is a sensible alternative to fossil fuels.
The long-running debate resurfaced at the conference on Friday, highlighting differences between the two parties as Germany attempts to draft its plans for reducing carbon dioxide emissions to meet the European Union’s goals.
"In the current coalition there is no parliamentary majority to change the decision we have taken (to pull out of nuclear power)," Glos said. "But in light of climate change, nuclear power should be considered again as an interim solution."
2.2. Europe and its neighbours join forces to promote renewable energies and energy efficiency
Ministers discuss sustainable energy supply for Europe and its southern and eastern neighbours
As awareness grows of humankind’s hand in climate change, the question of how Europe and its neighbours are to ensure a secure supply of energy in future has become the focus of increasing public attention. The German government has made energy one of the major issues of its EU Presidency. In order to accord renewable energies and energy efficiency a greater role in European neighbourhood policy, German Development Minister Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul and German Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel are hosting a ministerial conference in Berlin as part of Germany ‘s EU Presidency.
In her opening statement, Development Minister Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul underscored the conference’s emphasis on partnership, saying, "It is important that individual countries make their own efforts but that alone will not be enough to keep climate change in check. The EU and its neighbours must together, hand in hand, both foster renewable energies and energy efficiency and insist on them. Energy is essential for development, and sustainable development requires a supply of energy that keeps our vital natural resources intact." Development Minister Sigmar Gabriel said, "Following the adoption by the EU heads of state and government of a Climate and Energy Action Plan, which set a binding target of a 20% share of renewables and a 20% increase in energy efficiency, our task is now to join together with our European neighbours to actually move towards those targets. A massive increase in the use of renewable energies and in energy efficiency will make a vital contribution to Europe ‘s energy security, to climate protection and to peacebuilding."
"We are delighted that, in many of our partner countries, renewable energies and energy efficiency are now really taking off. The KfW Bankengruppe has great experience not only of funding and developing assistance measures but also of integrated assistance packages and the general enabling environment they require," said Ingrid Matthäus-Maier, Spokeswoman of the Board of Managing Directors of the KfW Bankengruppe, in her welcoming speech.
The conference is the first time that so many environment and energy ministers from Europe, North Africa and the southern Caucasus have come together to discuss innovative policies and financing instruments to promote renewable energies and energy efficiency in the EU and its southern and eastern neighbours. It is lending vital new momentum to an expansion of the dialogue between the new and the old EU member states and between the EU and its southern and eastern neighbours on the political, economic and regulatory framework required to promote domestic renewable energies and energy efficiency and on innovative financing models and instruments. By 2013, the EU will be providing some 11.2 billion euros through the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument for cooperation in sectors including energy. There was a consensus that a larger share of this than before should be used to expand the use of renewable energies and for measures to enhance energy efficiency.
Germany is currently supporting energy projects in 45 partner countries. Funding for ongoing projects amounts to around 1.6 billion euros. Of this, 929 million euros has been invested in projects to promote renewable energies – hydropower, wind power, solar power, geothermal power and the sustainable use of biomass – and 706 million euros in projects to boost energy efficiency.
The conference is being jointly staged by the German Development Ministry and the German Environment Ministry with the Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau, in cooperation with the European Commission. As well as energy and development ministers from the 27 EU member states and the EU’s southern and eastern neighbours, the conference is also being attended by representatives of national energy agencies, business and civil society.
3.1. International "Coping with Nuclear Waste" Conference
Stockholm 27-29 April 2007
Organised by The Swedish NGO Nuclear Waste Secretariat (MILKAS). The conference will take place in Stockholm , Friday 27 to Sunday 29 April 2007 . The Sunday session is an internal NGO strategy meeting. An overall perspective on nuclear waste is urgently needed, from the enormous quantity of waste produced by uranium mining to the final storage of spent nuclear fuel.
All interested individuals and organisations that want to influence these crucial issues are welcome to attend.
An on-line registration form is available at: http://www.nuwinfo.se/waste2007registration.
3.2. Russia and the Kyoto Protocol 2007
St. Petersburg , 24 – 25 May
Online registration will be available soon. Meanwhile please write to [email protected] to get registered.
Following the overwhelming success of last year’s conference which gathered over 300 participants and 20 exhibitors from from 24 countries, we are pleased to invite you to meet the Russian authorities, project owners and developers, emission reduction buyers, potential project hosts, technology providers, carbon investors and analysts.
To learn more about the conference, sponsorship and exhibition opportunities, please visit http://www.pointcarbon.com/Events/article20697-369.html.
3.3. International Young Scholar Network for Earth Systems Science, Third Workshop
Bristol , UK June 2-5, 2007
This small workshop will focus on understanding decision making on land-use issues, in order to move towards modelling these processes in Earth System Models. We encourage interdisciplinary applicants from the natural and social sciences, economics, engineers and scholars from the humanities with research interests in the Earth system. The goal of the YSN workshop will be a manuscript reviewing the state-of-art in decision-making in land-use modelling and its impacts on biogeochemistry and climate from an Earth’s System perspective, and prioritise future research topics. Participants will be expected to write whitepapers before the workshop, and continue finalizing the manuscript after the workshop.
For more information see the attached flyer and also the web page at: http:///ww.aimes.ucar.edu/activities/YSN/2007_UK/YSN_BRISTOL.shtml.
3.4. YouPEC – European Youth Perspective on Energy and Climate
From June 22nd-27th, 2007 , the Youth Alliance for Future Energy, a public network of individuals and youth organizations, will hold YouPEC, a European conference on climate and energy, in Berlin . Young Friends of the Earth Germany (BUNDjugend) is responsible for the administration and organization of the conference.
Conference participants will be young people between the ages of 18 and 27 from all 27 member countries of the European Union. Five active young people from each country will be selected and invited to attend the conference.
The conference offers a unique opportunity for participants to forge international contacts and deepen their knowledge, exchange ideas and explore courses of action in the field of energy and climate protection. Therefore the various consequences of climate change (in terms of biodiversity, weather and living conditions etc.) and energy use and politics will be the central educational themes of the conference.
The goals of the conference are the development of a strategy to combat climate change from the point of view of young people, the drafting of a declaration and a personal commitment to protect the climate, as well as the planning of one or more European projects to reduce CO2 emissions.
The conference is being sponsored by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety.
For further information contact: Julia Balz, [email protected].
3.5. IEW meeting 2007: first announcement
The International Energy Workshop (IEW) is a network of global energy experts who meet annually to discuss a wide range of topics, with particular emphasis on global as well as regional energy issues. The annual IEW meetings focus on energy assessments and try to understand the reasons for diverging views of development in the energy sector. This year’s meeting will be held 25–27 June 2007 at Stanford University , Stanford , California .
A call for abstracts in the energy-economy-environment field (including Post-2012 Regimes for the UNFCCC) can be found at http://www.iiasa.ac.at/Research/ECS/IEW2007/index_1stannouncement.html.
3.6. Scientific framework of environmental and forest governance — The role of discourses and expertise
The IUFRO conference to be held on 27 and 28 of August 2007 in Goettingen/Germany.
Please consult the Call for Papers for further information under: http://www.iufro.org/science/divisions/division-6/60000/61200/61202/activities/ or http://www.iufro.org/download/file/1648/3058/goettingen07-call-for-paper.doc.
3.7. DISCCRS International Interdisciplinary Climate Change Symposium
Hawaii , Sept. 10-17, 2007 — Deadline for applications: 30 April 2007 .
Airfare, room & board are fully paid for 36 accepted candidates from around the world. Social scientists are especially encouraged to apply!
DISCCRS (pronounced "discourse") is an interdisciplinary initiative for recent Ph.D. graduates conducting research related to climate change and its impacts. The goal is to broaden research interests and establish a collegial peer network extending across the spectrum of natural and social sciences, humanities, mathematics, engineering and other disciplines related to climate change and its impacts. The initiative includes a public webpage, electronic newsletter, and annual symposia funded through 2008.
Expenses: Airfare and on-site expenses are provided through NSF grant EAR-0435728 to Whitman College .
Eligibility: Ph.D. requirements related to climate change and impacts. Recent Ph.D. graduates from all disciplines and countries are invited to join the DISCCRS network and apply to be a DISCCRS symposium scholar.
Thirty-six applicants will be selected by an interdisciplinary committee of research scientists. During the week participants will provide oral and poster presentations in plenary format, hone interdisciplinary communication and team skills, and discuss emerging research, societal and professional issues with each other and with established researchers invited to serve as mentors.
For questions, please contact: [email protected].
3.8. COP 13, COP/MOP3
Venue of the thirteenth session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 13) and the third session of the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP 3) Nusa Dua, Bali, 3 to 14 December 2007.
The Bureau of the UNFCCC met on Tuesday, 13 February 2007 and decided to accept with gratitude the offer by the Government of Indonesia to host COP 13 and COP/MOP 3 at the Bali International Conference Centre and the adjacent facilities and services in Nusa Dua.
The Bureau requested the secretariat to complete the corresponding host country agreement with Indonesia in time for the sessions of the Subsidiary Bodies in May 2007.
Further information on the Conference will appear on the UNFCCC website.
4.1. The Nairobi Climate Change Summit – Article on the climate negotiations in 2006
The authors from the Wuppertal Institute analyse the climate negotiations in Nairobi in November 2006 (COP12 and COP/MOP2) in some detail. They come to the conclusion that the international efforts did not match the urgency of the issue and offer an outlook for the future. This article has been published in the Journal of European Environment and Planning Law (JEEPL), no. 2/2007, p. 139-148.
Download the article: http://www.wupperinst.org/en/publications/details_with_date/index.html?&beitrag_id=553&bid=193.
4.2. Where energy is women’s business: National and Regional Reports from Africa , Asia , Latin America and the Pacific
ENERGIA – the International Network on Gender andSustainable Energy published new book, which could be downloaded at: http://www.energia.org/csd_book.html.
5.1. EU Consultation on European Strategic Energy Technology plan
Competitiveness, climate change and security of energy supply are the drivers for the transformation of the energy system. However, it will take decades to transform the energy system and, for this to happen, it is necessary to transform the energy research and innovation system now, in the present day, if we are to accelerate the delivery of efficient and low-carbon technologies in the future.
To achieve this goal the European Commission proposes to present, in 2007, a ‘European Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET-Plan)’ (COM (2006)847).
To prepare the SET-Plan, the European Commission has launched a public consultation. This offers the opportunity to all interested stakeholders to express their views on the need for, and possible contents of, the SET-Plan at the earliest stage of its preparation.
You can take part in the consultation through the on-line questionnaire before 13 May 2007 : http://ec.europa.eu/energy/res/consultation/setplan_en.htm.
Disclaimer: We do not guarantee for the accuracy, reliability or content of information. For help or questions, contact: [email protected].