1.1. Save energy to ‘reduce’ climate woes
27 November 2007, Sun Xiaohua (China Daily)
China can cut its greenhouse emissions and achieve its goal of reducing the use of energy by developing renewable energy and improving energy efficiency, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) has said.
The Chinese version of a recent climate change report was released Monday, with the WWF saying the country can tackle the challenges of climate change by resorting to the two suggested solutions.
China’s huge population and rapid economic development have increased the demand for energy. Its total primary energy consumption reached nearly 2.5 billion tons of coal equivalent last year, the WWF report says.
But the country’s energy efficiency contrasts at a low level of only 33 percent. In fact, it only equals the level of developed countries 20 years ago and far outclasses the world average energy intensity of per unit GDP, the report says.
"The WWF report shows China still has enough room to improve energy efficiency," said Chen Dongmei, director of Climate Change and Energy Program of WWF China.
The government has set a goal of reducing energy consumption per unit GDP by 20 percent during the 11th Five-Year Plan (2006-10).
"Achieving this efficiency target will reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emission reduction by 1.5 billion tons, or 40 percent of China’s total CO2 emission in 2004," Chen said.
"Improving energy conservation and efficiency is the priority for China if it wants to cut CO2 emissions."
WWF’s proposals come mostly from the country’s policy-making and energy-saving technology adoption, he said.
The report, "Climate Solutions: WWF’s Vision for 2050", was compiled by WWF’s Energy Task Force, with contributions from more than 100 scientists and experts.
It puts forward six solutions, including improving energy efficiency, stopping deforestation, accelerating the development of low-emission technologies, developing flexible fuels, replacing high-carbon coal with low-carbon gas and equipping fossil-fuel plants with carbon capture and storage technology.
The report concludes that a combined adoption of the solutions would meet the world’s expected two-fold demand for energy by 2050 without aggravating climate change, but the governments have a limited period of time to agree on necessary measures for change.
The WWF report has three imperatives: urgency, global effort and leadership. Climate change is an issue every country has to tackle, WWF China Country Representative Dermot O’Gorman said. Irrespective of whether they are developed or developing, countries across the world have to bear common but differentiated responsibility to achieve the united goal.
Published just a week before the crucial UN climate conference in Bali, this WWF road map shows solutions are at hand and are affordable, O’Gorman said. Leaders at the Bali conference have to agree on decisive action to ensure we stay below 2 C of temperature rise
1.2. Google invests millions in green energy plans
28 NovEMBER 2007, Jacquie Bowser Brand Republic
LONDON – Google is to spend tens of millions of dollars on developing electricity from renewable energy sources with the aim of making is cheaper than electricity from coal.
The initiative has been titled Renewable Energy Cheaper Than Coal, and Google is hiring engineers and energy experts to lead the research, aiming to eventually develop renewable energy projects that generate positive returns.
2.1. Entire world has vital stake in China’s energy challenge
27 November 2007, Mikkal E. Herberg, MercuryNews.com
A major new report just released by the International Energy Agency (IEA) sheds stark light on one of the reasons why global oil prices are approaching an unprecedented $100 a barrel. The report provides truly stunning new details of the looming global impact of China and India on future energy markets and the prospects for climate change. It also brings a sobering clarity to the enormity of the energy challenge these two countries face and the huge stake the world has in their future energy choices.
The IEA’s most striking conclusions concern China and the sheer scale of its unprecedented energy demand. For example, from 2001 to 2006 China added to global energy demand the equivalent of the entire 2006 energy consumption of Japan, the world’s third-largest energy consumer. Looked at another way, China added the equivalent demand of five countries the size of Spain or Mexico. In the IEA’s benchmark "Reference Scenario," which assumes a modest 6 percent long-term economic growth rate, China accounts for one-third of global energy demand growth, for one-third of world oil demand growth, nearly two-thirds of world coal demand growth, 40 percent of world nuclear energy development, and one-third of world hydroelectric power development.
Some of the most striking impacts will be in oil markets. China’s oil demand is likely to rise by 10 million barrels per day (MMBD) between 2005 and 2030, equal to Saudi Arabia’s total oil production capacity today. China’s
vehicle market will surpass the United States by 2015 and transportation oil demand will quadruple. If both China and India grow at 7.5 percent rather than 6 percent, world oil prices would be 21 percent higher over the next two decades, and together they would be importing more oil than the United States and Japan today. Dependence on imported oil would skyrocket from 45 percent in 2006 to 80 percent of its consumption by 2025.
These trends have significant global implications. Tighter oil markets and higher prices would sharpen tensions among the oil-consuming countries over access to oil supplies and control of key energy transit sea lanes. Disagreements between the United States and China over approaches to oil security, already a source of tension in bilateral relations, would intensify. OPEC and producing countries like Iran, Venezuela and Russia will be further empowered, oil-importing countries would be economically weakened, and oil markets would be prone to even greater volatility.
Even more worrisome, China’s impact on oil markets is likely to pale in comparison to those arising from its coal use and production of greenhouse gases. China relies heavily on low-cost domestic coal for two-thirds of its energy needs, and the rise in coal use has been extraordinary. The increase in coal consumption between 2001 and 2005 was greater than total U.S. coal consumption in 2006. Last year, China built coal-fired electricity generation capacity at a rate equal to one large 250-megawatt coal-fired power plant every day of the year. The IEA projects that in the coming years China alone will account for nearly two-thirds of future world coal demand growth and 40 percent of world electricity demand growth. And despite Beijing’s ambitious plans for huge increases in nuclear, hydroelectric, natural gas and renewables, coal is still expected to account for 80 percent of China’s electricity supplies 25 years from now.
The implications for future greenhouse gas emissions are dire. China is likely to account for a virtual tsunami of carbon, over 40 percent of the future growth in world CO emissions, just slightly less than the entire Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development countries combined. By 2030, China’s cumulative emissions over the 50 years since 1980 would roughly equal the cumulative CO emissions of the entire 27 European Union countries over the past 150 to 200 years.
This has major consequences for future global climate change negotiations. Despite Beijing’s position that climate change is the responsibility of the rich countries with much higher cumulative and per capita carbon emissions, the reality is that practical solutions to greenhouse gases are impossible without greater participation by China (and India) in future global agreements.
To its credit, China’s leadership has begun to grasp the challenge and is pursuing new policies to reduce energy use. However, current plans fall well short of the scale of the challenge. China’s current energy trajectory is simply unsustainable. Over time China is likely to have no choice but to make a fundamental shift to an unprecedented new energy path based on energy efficiency, reduction of demand and environmentally sustainable policies.
2.2. European Parliament passes resolution to end taxpayer support for fossil
29 November 2007, EIB reform campaign * European ECA reform campaign * FERN
Brussels, Belgium – With a resounding majority (540 MEPs in favour), the European Parliament today passed a resolution on trade and climate change which calls for "the discontinuation of public support, viaexport credit agencies and public investment banks, for fossil fuel projects". The step was widely welcomed by environmental and development NGOs campaigning on export credit agencies (ECAs) and the European Investment Bank (EIB).
National public finance institutions in industrialised countries, known as ECAs, promote exports and investments in developing countries which significantly contribute to long-term increases in greenhouse gas emissions. It is estimated that ECAs support approximately double the amount in financial terms of oil, gas and mining projects as compared to all of the multilateral development banks combined. Half of all new greenhouse gas- emitting industrial projects in developing countries
have some form of ECA support.
The EIB – the EU’s house bank and also named in today’s resolution – is another of the largest public financiers of fossil fuels projects, with approximately EUR 20 billion of support for such operations in the last five years. In 2006, the EIB provided 58 percent of international financial institution financing for fossil fuels, dwarfing the contributions of the World Bank, the International Finance Corporation and others.
In the resolution the European parliamentarians have now decided to take action. The resolution asks the Commission and EU governments to propose legislative instruments that would force ECAs and the EIB to "take account of the climate change implications of the funded projects" and to "impose a moratorium on funding until sufficient data are available". The resolution also calls on financiers to redouble their efforts to transfer public funds to renewable energy and energy efficient technologies.
Antonio Tricarico, coordinator of CRBM in Italy, said: "While the EU is negotiating reductions in their own greenhouse gas emissions and emphasising the importance of reducing emissions in developing countries, their finance and trade agencies have so far largely ignored the climate implications of heir activities. It is high time for this to be properly tackled and corrected."
Magda Stoczkiewicz, Policy coordinator of CEE Bankwatch Network, said: "Through the EIB and their export promotion agencies, EU governments continue to subsidise billions of euros in exports and investments that encourage fossil fuel-intensive development. These types of investments will remain in place and contribute to climate change for the next 10 to 50 years. Yet the EIB and the ECAs could be playing a much more positive role in the transition to more sustainable energy. Ultimately urgent action is required at the highest governmental levels."
Judith Neyer, of FERN and co-ordinator of the European ECA Reform Campaign, sees one of the seasons for this policy perversity on fossil fuel subsidies coming down to a lack of transparency: "Currently the disclosure of environmental information at the ECAs and the EIB alike is still seriously lacking. Reporting greenhouse gas emissions will be an important first step to enable the public to analyse the impacts of these institutions’ portfolios on climate change and will allow governments to start harmonising climate protection objectives with their ECAs’ financing as well as EIB lending."
For more information contact:
Antonio Tricarico, CRBM (Rome): +39.328.84 85 448
Magda Stoczkiewicz, CEE Bankwatch Network (Brussels): +32 475 867637
Judith Neyer, FERN (New York): +1 315 3958666
Notes for editors:
1. The relevant paragraphs of the European Parliament resolution are:
– 29: Calls for the discontinuation of public support, via export credit agencies and public investment banks, for fossil fuel projects and for the redoubling of efforts to increase the transfer of renewable energy and energy efficient technologies;
– 30: Asks the Commission and the Member States to propose legislative instruments in order that Member State Export Credit Agencies and the European Investment Bank take account of the climate change implications of the funded projects when making or guaranteeing loans and impose a
moratorium on funding until sufficient data are available, in accordance with advice from the OECD, G8 and the Extractive Industries Review;
2. The EIB campaign includes the following organisations: CEE Bankwatch Network; CRBM, Italy; Friends of the Earth, France; Friends of the Earth International; Urgewald, Germany; WEED, Germany; Bothends, The Netherlands; Bretton Woods Project, UK.
3. Export credit agencies and investment insurance agencies (ECAs) provide government-backed loans, guarantees and insurance to corporations seeking business opportunities in developing countries or emerging markets that are considered too risky (commercially or politically) for conventional corporate financing. ECAs are mostly national, public or publicly mandated agencies that usually support companies from their home country. Most ECAs don’t take into
consideration the impacts of the projects they support on the environment or the rights of local peoples, undermining their governments’ commitments to sustainable development and combating
4. In the 2002-2006 period, the EIB lent EUR 23.7 billion to the energy sector, with 76 percent of its total energy investments going to fossil fuels, primarily gas.
See a recent Bankwatch analysis of EIB energy investments 2002-2006 at:
2.3. Developing external energy policy for the EU
30 November 2007, European Commission (europa.eu.int)
Based on Conclusions of the March 2007 European Council the EU developed clear priorities for the period 2007-2009 towards developing an effective European external energy policy and speaking with a common voice in the European Council Action Plan on Energy. Progress in the Action Plan will be reviewed annually by the European Council. The European Commission has been invited by the Council to put forward an updated Strategic Energy Review in early 2009.
This memo highlights some of the concrete developments since March 2007 towards developing a coherent and effective external energy policy, with the objective to enhance the EU’s energy security and support the fight against climate change.
1. Network of Energy Security correspondents (NESCO)
NESCO was officially established on 10th May 2007 and consists of representatives of the European Commission, Council Secretariat and EU Member States. Created to facilitate the early exchange of information on issues of importance to the EU’s external energy policy and to serve as a forum for sharing assessments of external factors impacting on Europe’s energy supply, NESCO members are linked up via a dedicated protected web portal to facilitate communication. Since its creation it has proven to be a useful early warning tool for threats to the EU’s energy security, complementary to the role played by the Gas coordination group and Oil supply group, particularly with regard to incidents or disputes which could threaten the flow of hydrocarbon supplies to the EU. The main advantage of NESCO lies in its early warning role in possible crisis situations.
2. Black Sea Communication
The Black Sea region is a production and transit region of strategic importance for effectively promoting diversification of EU energy supplies. Energy is therefore a key element in Commission’s Communication on the Black Sea Synergy adopted in April 2007, which provides further support for continuing a dialogue on energy security with the EU’s energy partners in the region. The EU has a specific interest in developing a sustainable and ecological oil dimension to its co-operation in the region, especially given the growing quantities of oil transiting the Black Sea, which have led to increasing safety and environmental concerns..
3. Central Asia Strategy
Another key region for enhancing EU energy security is Central Asia, considering the significant energy resources in Central Asia. Furthermore, many of the countries aim at diversifying their trade partners and supply routes, which in turn can contribute to meeting the EU energy security and growing supply needs. Thus, energy was outlined as a priority area for further co-operation in the new June 2007 EU strategy for the region – “The EU and Central Asia: Strategy for a New Partnership”, which reconfirmed the commitment to continue a regular energy dialogue at regional and bilateral level. In this context, legal and regulatory harmonisation in the energy sector continues to be promoted, including through the Baku Initiative.
At the same time, support continues to be given to the practical development of an energy corridor from the Caspian region through the Black Sea to the EU. This includes technical studies on the various possibilities, support to the countries concerned and the facilitation of regional agreements.
The Commission continues to develop bilateral relations with key energy partners in the region. Examples are the implementation the Memorandum of Understanding on energy with Kazakhstan as well as projects to enhance energy relations with other countries in the region, especially with Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
The priority with respect to Russia, political conditions permitting, is to launch the negotiations on a post-PCA agreement which will include a substantial chapter on energy. At the last EU-Russia Summit in Mafra, it was agreed to establish an early warning mechanism on oil and gas supplies to the EU. The Energy Dialogue between EU and Russia continues with three newly established Thematic Groups on energy strategies and forecasts; development of energy markets and energy efficiency.
5. ENP area
Energy is, since its inception, a strategic element of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP). ENP countries are, as energy producer and transit countries, crucial for the EU’s energy security. In this context the Commission has launched an analysis of all existing frameworks covering energy relations with third countries, regions and bodies in the ENP region in view of assessing the possible need for a legal framework for the EU-ENP energy relations.
The Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (or Barcelona Process) supports regional efforts to develop harmonised legal and regulatory energy frameworks through such initiatives as development of a Euro-Mashrek gas market, the integration of electricity markets in Maghreb and cooperation between energy regulators. The completion of electricity and gas ring in the Euro-Mediterranean region remains a priority. Significant progress was achieved on the Arab Gas Pipeline that will bring additional gas resources from Egypt and potentially Iraq to the EU. In order to enhance this process a Euro-Med Ministerial meeting will take place on 17 December 2007 in Cyprus.
The implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding of December 2005 on energy between EU and Ukraine is ongoing. The Memorandum builds on energy objectives outlined in the EU-Ukraine ENP Action Plan. A second progress report presented in September 2007 highlighted agreement on the terms of reference of the joint Commission-IAEA-Ukraine evaluation of the nuclear safety of the Ukrainian Nuclear Power Plants and proposed that a pledging conference be organised in order to support the necessary work to rehabilitate the Ukrainian gas transit network.
Ukraine and Moldova are currently observers in the Energy Community Treaty and their membership is under consideration as a means of promoting legal and regulatory harmonisation with the EU. The European Commission stepped up its cooperation considerably with Moldova, notably in the context of the preparation of the country’s new energy strategy.
In 2007, Joint declarations were signed on energy cooperation between the European Commission and Morocco and Jordan respectively with the objective to provide a framework for reinforcing energy relations. As regards Morocco, the cooperation will focus on strengthening its role as a transit country for gas supplies to the EU as well as an electricity exporter to the EU.
Energy cooperation with Jordan focuses, among other issues, on support for Jordan’s energy policy, on enhancing energy security in the region to facilitate the future gas transit to the EU as well as ensuring highest standards of nuclear safety.
Finally, discussions are under way to enhance energy relations between the EU and two major energy suppliers in the region: Algeria and Egypt. While the negotiations with Egypt on an energy partnership are in their final stages, the EU and Algeria reached an agreement on territorial restrictions and alternative clauses in gas supply contracts in July 2007. This represents a further step in deepening the strategic energy relations between Algeria and the EU.
6. Middle East
Taking into consideration the importance of Middle East in terms of its gas and oil reserves as well as the significant renewable energy potential, the European Commission continues to develop energy relations with the countries in the region. This was one of the objectives of the EU-Africa-Middle East Energy Conference held on 1 November 2007 in Sharm El Sheikh. This conference, hosted by the European Commission and Egypt brought together the major energy players in the region in order to discuss co-operation in enhancing regional energy security, addressing climate change and improving access to energy services. Conference participants agreed to develop technical cooperation in order to address the issue of clean energy technologies, including in the area of solar and wind.
7. Cooperation with other key energy partners
Energy plays an ever more central role in the bilateral relations between the EU and third countries. The newly established EU-Brazil strategic partnership, launched at the first EU-Brazil Summit in July 2007 includes, inter alia, commitments to cooperate on renewable energy, with a special focus on biofuels, low carbon energy technologies, and increasing energy efficiency. The commitment to work together closely, including at global level, was also confirmed at the International Conference on Biofuels organised by the European Commission on 5 July 2007 in Brussels.
Energy security is a key issue in cooperation with China. The EU-China Summit this week launched the creation of an EU-China Clean Energy Centre in Beijing. Furthermore, the Commission is supporting the construction of a clean-coal-technology power plant.
Norway is not only the world’s third largest exporter of oil and gas but also the EU’s second most important supplier of gas. This gives the energy dialogue between the EU and Norway a special importance. In this dialogue the EU and Norway cover topics like the co-ordination of energy policies, including research and technological development, such as carbon capture and storage as well as the relations with other energy producing countries.
The EU and the United States share common interests in energy security as the world’s largest energy consumers. The EU-US strategic energy cooperation has been underway since the 2006 EU-US Summit in Vienna and focuses on developing energy relations in areas such as biofuels, energy efficiency, energy technology and global energy security. The EU, the US and also Brazil are working closely on the development of compatible standards for biofuels.
For more information please see :
 Energy cooperation framework with the countries of Eastern Europe (including those covered by the European Neighbourhood Policy), Southern Caucasus and Central Asia that has been under way since November 2004.
3.1. EU call for climate change action
28 November 2007, The Press Association
The European Union has called for swift action on climate change in the face of "compelling and alarming" new evidence of the pace of global warming.
EU Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas, who is travelling to the United Nations climate change conference in Bali next month, said comprehensive plans for the long-term future were now vital, with the current Kyoto Protocol expiring in 2012.
Speaking at a Brussels conference on how to achieve a low-carbon economy, Mr Dimas said the latest assessment from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) about the rate of climate change was all the evidence people needed to act.
"The scientific evidence of climate change highlighted by the IPCC is compelling and alarming," he said. "The only responsible reaction is to step up global efforts to limit emissions of greenhouse gases.
"That is why in Bali we must agree to launch negotiations on a global and comprehensive climate agreement and define a roadmap setting out its main components. The conference must also fix the end of 2009 as the deadline for completing the negotiations."
Mr Dimas said the goals agreed by the EU as their benchmark remained to limit global warming to no more than 2C above the pre-industrial temperature so the most devastating impacts of climate change could be prevented.
Now it was up to the Bali meeting to endorse "this level of ambition", he said.
At the Bali meeting the EU will be represented by Mr Dimas, as well as the Portuguese government, currently holding the EU presidency, and the Slovenian government, which takes over the EU presidency in January.
3.2. Rudd Kyoto promise pleases business
1 December 2007, Mathew Murphy, Theage.com.au
■ Business wants early action on climate change.
■ Leaders told to base their decision on science.
■ Kevin Rudd’s Kyoto proposal welcomed.
BUSINESS and the energy industry leaders have welcomed Prime Minister-elect Kevin Rudd’s pledge to ratify the Kyoto Protocol, rejecting suggestions the move is merely symbolic or would send the economy into a recession.
It comes after an alliance of some of the world’s biggest companies, including Australian businesses, united to call on political leaders to construct a legally binding agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at next week’s climate change summit in Bali.
The unprecedented alliance led by the Prince of Wales’ UK and EU Corporate Leaders Groups on Climate Change, involves 150 companies including financial heavyweights Macquarie Group, Westpac, National Australia Bank, News Corp, Coca-Cola, GE, Virgin and Nike.
The group also includes several Chinese companies, one of them Shanghai Electric.
In a communique to be sent to 130 environment ministers and 70 heads of state before the summit, the group urges binding targets so companies can invest with certainty in developing low-carbon technologies.
In an extraordinary move the group calls for the world’s leaders to be guided "primarily by science" in establishing an emissions reduction target once the Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012.
"The scientific evidence is now overwhelming," the communique says. "As business leaders, it is our belief that the benefits of strong, early action on climate change outweigh the costs of not acting."
The recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, incorporating the latest scientific evidence, advises that global emissions must peak by 2015 and then be cut by between 50% and 85% by 2050 to contain temperature increases to about 2 degrees.
The Bali communique says the greatest effort in cutting global emissions needs to come from industrialised countries.
The signatories urge world leaders to "seize this window of opportunity" created by Bali and agree on a "work plan of comprehensive negotiations".
Australia’s energy industry has united behind Mr Rudd’s push to ratify Kyoto and his commitment to an emissions reduction target of 60% by 2050.
The policy has drawn criticism from some commentators, including Alan Moran, from the Institute of Public Affairs, who said Mr Rudd’s pledge to ratify Kyoto "cannot be met except by placing the economy into a sharp recession".
Tim Warren, chairman of World Energy Council Australia, said Labor’s decision on Kyoto would give it "a seat at the table" in negotiating a post-2012 emissions reduction agreement.
"Kevin Rudd and his team will be inside the body that starts to discuss what happens at Bali and that has to have value," he said. "Acting on climate change has no need to be recessionary."
Bob Welsh, chairman of the Investor Group on Climate Change, said business had moved past the debate that global warming was just an environmental concern and had recognised the economic benefits for quick action.
"We don’t have any more time, we have to act now," he said. "That means ratifying Kyoto, that means setting small and long-term targets, that means asking what level of warming you are prepared to accept and working backwards from there."
Australia’s major energy retailers have also backed Mr Rudd’s Kyoto commitment.
TRUenergy managing director Richard McIndoe said the Labor leader’s clean-energy policies were in line with the retailer’s targets.
"TRUenergy’s Climate Change Strategy commits to short, medium and long-term targets to reduce greenhouse gases, with the aim of achieving a 60% reduction in emissions by 2050," he said. "We believe that ratifying Kyoto could present some opportunities for TRUenergy, in terms of better utilising our trading capabilities. As a signatory to the Kyoto Protocol, we could expand our trading activities currently in gas and electricity to include carbon."
Origin Energy spokesman Tony Wood said ratifying Kyoto would give Australian companies access to the Clean Development Mechanism, which would "monetise the environmental value of projects (business) undertakes in developing countries".
3.3. 150 global business leaderscall for legally binding UN framework to tackle climate change
30 November 2007, Financial Times
Led by the Prince of Wales Business Leaders Forum, and Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change, this ‘Communique’ was released with a double page center spread ad in the Financial Times (FT), with the logos of the companies (see below for link to list of companies), and a column by HRH The Prince of Wales in FT (text pasted in below) –
150 global business leaders call for legally binding UN framework to tackle climate change
On 30th November 2007, the business leaders of 150 global companies published a communiqué to world leaders calling for a comprehensive, legally binding United Nations framework to tackle climate change.
The initiative represents an unprecedented coming together of the international business community and includes some of the biggest companies and brands from around the world, including the United States, Europe, Australia and China.
It has been led by The Prince of Wales’s UK and EU Corporate Leaders Groups on Climate Change, which are developed and run by the University of Cambridge Programme for Industry.
It is hoped that The Bali Communiqué will have a significant impact on the UN climate negotiations starting on December 3rd 2007 in Bali, Indonesia.
The Bali Communiqué calls for:
a.. a comprehensive, legally binding United Nations framework to tackle climate change
b.. emission reduction targets to be guided primarily by science
c.. those countries that have already industrialised to make the greatest effort
d.. world leaders to seize the window of opportunity and agree a work plan of negotiations to ensure an agreement can come into force post 2012 (when the existing Kyoto Protocol expires)
Further info at www.balicommunique.com; for the full list of signatory companies, see: http://www.balicommunique.com/additional_information.html
The Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change (www.cpi.cam.ac.uk/bep/clgcc) is an initiative from the Prince of Wales’s Business and the Environment Programme.
Bali offers a vital chance to take tough decisions
HRH The Prince of Wales
Published: November 29 2007 19:01 | Last updated: November 29 2007 19:01
Today, more than 150 businesses from across the globe have joined together to advocate bold action to tackle climate change. Led by my Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change – in itself the result of the past 15 years’ advocacy by my Business and the Environment Programme – these companies have signed a communiqué addressed to the world’s leaders who will meet in Bali next week to discuss climate change.
The signatories represent companies from Europe, the US, China and Australia. Their message is clear. They believe climate change is a reality, that continued economic growth depends on tackling it and that the costs of inaction are too great. They believe that rigorous targets must be set and be based on science and common sense, not on the demands of short-term competitiveness. They also believe that the industrialised countries will have to bear much greater cuts than developing nations and want the certainty of a binding framework so they can invest in new technologies and know that these will be good for business.
This communiqué represents an unprecedented global corporate alliance. These companies are showing remarkable leadership and I can only congratulate them. It is the fervent hope of myself and the signatories that it will strengthen the resolve of those in Bali to make the tough decisions.
It is worth stressing that if action is taken now we can stop the worst effects of climate change and do so at a cost that is a fraction of the probable cost of inaction. But the window of opportunity is small and growing smaller, and the threats are happening at a speed that is causing real alarm to scientists. Let me give just one example. Two months ago scientists noticed an unprecedented melting of the north polar ice cap. About 43 per cent of the total ice cap normally melts in the summer. This year 66 per cent melted.
The Ice and Snow Data Centre in Colorado predicts that within the next seven to 23 years, the entire north polar ice cap will completely disappear in summer. Why does this matter? A lack of sea ice means that the world is no longer able to reflect as much solar heat as it used to and so the rise in global temperatures will accelerate.
Despite this, there is no evidence that emissions are diminishing. Indeed, at best it is business as usual; at worst emissions are increasing because of economic growth and the burning of fossil fuel, particularly coal.
What these signatory companies understand is that the effects of climate change are irreparable and permanent. The floods, droughts, rising sea-levels, spread of disease and poverty will be with us for ever. It is why it will take a massive effort to tackle it and why so much responsibility rests on the governments in Bali . They meet in the knowledge that a broad spectrum of private sector interests is urging them on. This is critical because we must harness the power of all sectors, public and private. Of crucial importance is the role of big capital providers, such as pension funds and insurance companies, and their ability to direct their investments towards delivering a low carbon economy.
One of the priorities must be to stop tropical deforestation, which is estimated to be responsible for about 20 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions. Only the power generation sector releases more. These forests are the greatest global public utility, regulating our temperature, cleaning our air and producing our rainfall. As a matter of urgency we have to find ways to make them more valuable alive than dead. It is for this reason that, drawing on 23 years of involvement in corporate social responsibility, I have asked 12 of the world’s leading companies to help find an innovative, equitable answer to this highly complex problem.
Many of us fortunate enough to have lived in the developed world since the second world war have grown up assuming that standards of living will continue to rise generation by generation. But climate change will not only halt this process, it will reverse it – and most probably for ever. There is no doubt that the fate of our civilisation hangs in the balance.
If I have grandchildren one day, I could not bear it if they asked me: “Why did you not do something when it was possible to make a difference?” These business leaders have asked themselves that same question and have had the wisdom to recognise that we are doing this for those who come after us. Let us all join them by “stiffening the sinews and summoning up the blood” to overcome this unprecedented challenge.
3.4. Climate change: the role of trade policy
29 November 2007, External/international trade
As the scientific and political consensus on the seriousness of climate change grows, all policy areas of the industrialised nations are coming under scrutiny, including the EU’s own trade policy. An own-initiative report by the European Parliament’s takes a close look at this issue.
The report, drafted by Alain Lipietz (Greens/EFA, FR), argues that "the current economic model, which entails constant maximisation of consumption, production and trade, is unsustainable as this results in ever-increasing demand for resources and transport and a growing quantity of waste and emissions".
Environmental cost of transporting goods is often overlooked
For two decades, international trade has been growing at a rate of two to two and a half times the rate of global production, as a result of the search for an international division of labour that optimises salary and tax costs – but in a context where greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are not properly internalised into transport costs. More specifically, the volume of sea transport is 40 times that of air transport (in tonnes/km) and yet produces only twice its greenhouse gas (GHG) contamination, whilst lorries produce 4 times more GHG emissions than trains per tonne/km.
How much carbon to transport a lamb chop?
The European Parliament therefore stresses the need "to raise public awareness of consumer products’ total environmental costs" and "calls on the Commission and the Council to propose measures for the provision of information on the energy consumed, and greenhouse gases emitted, during the manufacture and transport of products placed on sale within the EU". A good example is the UK Government’s proposal to introduce carbon footprint product labels displaying the level of CO2 emissions caused by the production, transport and eventual disposal of a product.
The rapporteur stresses that the means of transport is just as important as the distance a product has travelled: for a British consumer, a New Zealand lamb chop has a higher GHG cost than an English chop if it arrives by plane, but not if it arrives by boat. Therefore it is the GHG content that must be assessed.
Among its proposals the report argues for strong cooperation between the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the Climate Change Convention and the WTO, and asks the Commission to develop an initiative to support this aim.
The House calls on the Commission to ensure that energy and particularly the question of renewable energy and efficiency, and their connection to energy security, becomes an integral part of all external EU relations, with a particular emphasis on the European Neighbourhood Policy.
MEPs invite the Commission to consider whether it would be appropriate to evaluate the rules on trade defence measures, such as the rules on anti-dumping or subsidies, under the WTO aegis, with a view to taking into account, in some way, the disrespect of global, social and environmental agreements or international covenants as forms of dumping or undue subsidy.
Environmental protection clauses in trade agreements?
The report also urges the Commission "to systematically include environmental protection clauses, with special reference to reducing carbon dioxide emissions, in its trade agreements with third countries". It adds that "the transfer of energy efficient and other environmentally friendly technologies from the EU to developing countries has a crucial role to play in decoupling economic development from greenhouse gas emissions". And among other things, the report urges industrialised countries to take responsibility for the widespread deforestation caused by international trade.
3.5. Climate and energy priorities on the Slovenian presidency of the EU
28 November 2007, EPC
Slovenia is ready for the “enormous challenge” of being the first of the EU’s “youngest” Member States to assume the Presidency, Igor Senčar, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Slovenia to the EU, told an EPC Breakfast Policy Briefing. The Presidency’s priorities include preparing to implement the Lisbon Treaty in 2009, shepherding through energy and climate change proposals, focusing on the future accession of the Western Balkan countries to the EU, and working on intercultural dialogue. Energy and climate change a priority One of the priorities during Slovenia’s Presidency will be the renewed Lisbon Strategy for growth and jobs. There will be no radical policy changes, but more resources will be put into research and innovation, renewing business potential, helping small- and medium-sized enterprises, and improving labour markets. Energy and climate change will also be a centrepiece of this new Lisbon cycle, using the springboard of the United Nations’ Bali Meeting on climate change this December. In January 2008, the European Commission will publish a comprehensive energy and climate change package, containing legislative proposals designed to achieve the EU’s target of a 20% reduction in carbon emissions, together with further measures on carbon capture and storage and renewables.
Mr Senčar hoped the March European Council would give strong political guidance on this package,
endorsing the principles and the time-line for their adoption, so that agreement can be reached for a first reading by 2009 at the latest. The Slovenian Presidency will be working closely with the Member States and the European Parliament, as well as coordinating with the future French and the Czech Presidencies, to achieve this. Early adoption of this package would give a positive direction for the post-2012 climate and energy regime, said the Permanent Representative, as well as enabling the EU to take the lead in international agreements by the end of 2009, and sending a clear signal to consumers and investors. As part of this programme, the Presidency will continue to work on liberalising the internal electricity and gas markets, and on a strategic energy technology plan, to substantially reduce green house gases and make competitive advances in the electricity markets.
4.1. Changing Climates: Interdependencies on Energy and Climate Security for China and Europe
Changing Climates is written by the project team of the Interdependencies on Energy and Climate Security for China and Europe project. The analysis and findings from this report are drawn from over twenty separate studies prepared by researchers from Chatham House, CASS, ERI, E3G and IDDRI and other institutions. The report can be downloaded at:
4.2. Greenhouse gas emission trends and projections in Europe 2007
The European Environment Agency has just put out its annual report on the most recent figures (2005) for the EU greenhouse gas emissions. The report can be downloaded at:
4.3. The Bali Climate Negotiations
CANA, , The report can be downloaded at:
4.4. Failed Mechanism: How the CDM is subsidizing hydro developers and harming the Kyoto Protocol
International Rivers just completed a report on the CDM called: "Failed Mechanism: How the CDM is subsidizing hydro developers and harming the Kyoto Protocol". It can be found at http://www.internationalrivers.org/en/node/2326 . It presents clear evidence that the majority of hydro projects in the CDM are non-additional. It also gives examples of several large hydro projects currently applying for inclusion in the CDM with well documented and significant social and environmental impacts and the violent suppression of protests against them. Hydro is now the most common technology in the CDM, representing a quarter of all projects in the project pipeline. The report concludes with a call for a complete restructuring or replacement of the CDM.
5.1. United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 13 and CMP 3)
3-11 December 2007, Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia.
More info: http://unfccc.int/meetings/cop_13/items/4049.php .
5.2. Roundtable on the impact of nuclear liability regimes on the EU energy market
19 December 2007, Lawfirm Kuhbier, Brussels
More info: please write reply to [email protected] , here is also Preliminary programme .