1.1. New EU entrants lagging behind on renewables
26 January 2007 , Hnuti Duha, FoE Europe , Agree.net
By neglecting the renewable energy sector, new EU entrants Romania and Bulgaria are missing huge opportunities for jobs, investment and energy independence, a joint report by local and European environmental groups revealed today . The research identifies weak legislation, insufficient funding into clean energy sources and long administrative procedures as the main barriers.
Petr Holub, energy campaigner at Friends of the Earth Czech Republic said: "The Balkan countries have huge unexploited potential for renewable energy, so the EU must push national governments to adopt effective support frameworks, such as feed-in tariff laws. EU funds available for the energy sectors in these countries should be used primarily for increasing the use of renewable energy, in addition to cutting energy waste in the first place."
The new report, published by Hnuti DUHA (Friends of the Earth Czech Republic ) in co-operation with regional network Agree.net and national partner organisations, argues that in order to trigger widespread deployment of renewable energies, new and improved legislation based on successful examples such as the German feed-in law is an urgent necessity. While it is mainly up to national governments to implement needed policies, it will the EU’s responsibility to act as a major driver for change so that the newly accepted countries, Bulgaria and Romania , contribute equally to the community’s renewable energy production targets.
The report also analyses Macedonia , Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, revealing that they too are underperforming on renewables. Friends of the Earth has called for the EU to place a firm emphasis on renewable energy development in future accession negotiations.
The five Balkan countries studied have large unexploited potential for new renewable energy resources. The windy shores of the Black Sea and Adriatic Sea are particularly suitable and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) even assessed Bulgaria as "one of the top countries identified for wind energy development". South Eastern Europe has great potential for solar energy. And large agricultural areas in the region would be well-suited for biomass for energy production, but lie unused.
Current targets for renewable energy in the region are too weak to stimulate progress, believes Friends of the Earth. For example, in Romania ‘s accession treaty, the EU set it a target for 2010 that was so unambitious that by 2005, it had already been achieved by its current large hydropower production.
Weak national legislation is also to blame, the report argues. Bulgaria recently adopted a law based on feed-in tariffs (the most successful model in EU countries). But its effective implementation rests on strong executive decisions about annual tariffs. For its part, Romania has already opted for a quota/certificate system that the European Commission has declared less effective than a feed-in tariff system.
Todor Slavov, energy campaigner at Za Zemiata , Bulgaria said: " Bulgaria has great potential for all kinds of renewable energy, including wind, solar and biomass. But the government needs to ensure economic viability to spur investments. The newly adopted feed-in tariff scheme is a promising step – but the levels of the tariffs must be sufficient to enable the market to get off the ground. Also, the legal framework to allow non-discriminatory access to the power grid for independent renewable energy producers remains too vague to increase investor confidence."
Ionut Apostol, energy campaigner, Terra Mileniul III, Romania said: "Hidden subsidies for fossil fuels and nuclear power are creating the impression that renewable energy is not competitive in Romania . These distorting subsidies must be eliminated. Instead we need a robust supportive framework that will level out the market distortions in favour for renewable energies."
 Full report is available at: http://www.agreenet.info/balkan_renewables.pdf.
1.2. Launch of a comprehensive global energy strategy sets out a blueprint for tackling climate change
25 January 2007
Renewable energy, combined with efficiencies from the ‘smart use’ of energy, can deliver half of the world’s energy needs by 2050, according to one of the most comprehensive plans for future sustainable energy provision, launched today.
The report: ‘Energy [R]evolution: A sustainable World Energy Outlook’, produced by the European Renewable Energy Council (EREC) and Greenpeace International, provides a practical blueprint for how to cut global CO2 emissions by almost 50% within the next 43 years, whilst providing a secure and affordable energy supply and, critically, maintaining steady worldwide economic development. Notably, the plan takes into account rapid economic growth areas such as China , India and Africa , and highlights the economic advantages of the energy revolution scenario. It concludes that renewable energies will represent the backbone of the world’s economy – not only in OECD countries, but also in developing countries such as China , India and Brazil . The plan states that renewable energies have the potential to deliver nearly 70% of global electricity supply and 65% of global heat supply by 2050.
“The Energy Revolution scenario comes as the world is crying out for a roadmap for tackling the dilemma of how to provide the power we all need, without fuelling climate change,” said Sven Teske energy expert of Greenpeace International. “We have shown that the world can have safe, robust renewable energy, that we can achieve the efficiencies needed and we can do all this whilst enjoying global economic growth and phasing out damaging and dangerous sources such as coal and nuclear, “ he continued. “Renewable energies are competitive, if governments phase-out subsidies for fossil and nuclear fuels and introduce the `polluter-pays principle`. We urge politicians to ban those subsidies by 2010.”
However, the report also highlights the short time window for making the key decisions in energy infrastructure, which will have to be made by governments, investment institutions and utility companies. Within the next decade, many of the existing power plants in the OECD countries will come to the end of their technical lifetime and will need to be replaced, whilst developing countries such as China , India and Brazil are rapidly building up new energy infrastructure to service their growing economies.
Arthouros Zervos, president of the European Renewable Energy Industry Council (EREC) said: “The global market for renewable energy can grow at a double digit rate till 2050, and achieve the size of today’s fossil fuel industry. Wind and solar markets, already worth US$ 38 billion, are doubling in size every three years. We therefore call on decision makers around the world to make this vision a reality. The political choices of the coming years will determine the world’s environmental and economic situation for many decades to come. Renewable energy can and will have to play a leading role in the world’s energy future. There is no technical but a political barrier to make this shift.”
The report was developed in conjunction with specialists from the Institute of Technical Thermodynamics at the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) and more than 30 scientists and engineers from universities, institutes and the renewable energy industry around the world. It provides the first comprehensive global energy concept which gives a detailed analysis of how to restructure the global energy system based only on a detailed regional assessment for the potential of proven renewable energy sources, energy efficiency and the utilisation of efficient, decentralised cogeneration. The Energy [R]evolution scenario is compared in the report to the effects on CO2 emissions (and, thereby climate change) of carrying on with a ‘business as usual’ scenario, that scenario being provided by the International Energy Association’s breakdown of 10 world regions, as used in the ongoing series of World Energy Outlook reports.
A copy of the Energy [R]evolution: A Sustainable World Energy Outlook report can be downloaded at: www.greenpeace.org/energyrevolution and www.energyblueprint.info.
1.3. How can Sustainable Development be achieved in Energy Use?
25 January 2007 , Science for Environment Policy
The European Union is facing unprecedented energy challenges resulting from increased dependency on imports, concerns over supplies of fossil fuels worldwide and the increasing threat of climate change. The internalisation of external costs into the full energy production cost is considered to be an efficient policy instrument for reducing the negative impacts of energy production and use. It consists of introducing additional charges into the total production cost of electricity reflecting the cost of the associated negative environmental and health impacts from local pollutants and climate change, occupational health risks from waste, risk of accidents, noise and other issues. Considering these externalities might be useful for providing an indication of damage/benefits associated with different energy options, for ranking energy options, and for assessing trade-offs between different energy options. Therefore, it is important to analyse the possible impacts of internalising external costs in the energy system, as well as to improve methodologies for monetary valuation of damages caused by energy use.
European researchers have recently analysed the possible economic, environmental and structural impacts of fully internalising external costs in the electricity generation sector using a comprehensive global multi-regional model. The model that was used allows detailed representation of energy technology options on both the demand and supply side of the energy system. The authors considered three different scenarios: the Baseline scenario, without inclusion of the external costs; the Local externality scenario, with internalised external costs resulting from local air pollution (SO2, NOx); and finally, the Global externality scenario, where the external costs comprise both local air pollutants and emittants causing global climate change (CO2). The external cost values used in this study have been derived from the outcomes of the European Commission’s ExternE Project1.
The modelling results show that the internalisation of external costs into the total production of electricity generates a substantial change in the electricity production system, with for example, the diffusion of advanced technologies and fuel switching. The natural gas combined cycle, nuclear energy and renewable energies would increase their share in the electricity market. The imposed externality charges result in a decrease of the total energy consumption (4-5%) in 2050.
Regarding the environmental impacts, this measure could lead to a rapid reduction of emissions as it fosters a rapid introduction of emission control systems and low-emitting power plants. For all the considered emissions (SO2, NOx and CO2), the most significant reduction is observed within the period 2000-2030 and it is associated with a substantial fallback in coal-based power generation implicit to the premature retirement of coal plants without SO2/ NOx control, particularly in developing regions. Furthermore, in the local externality scenario, the total CO2 emission level is reduced by 15% in 2050 and the annual emission growth rate is reduced to 1.5% (1.8% in the case of the Baseline scenario). In the case of the Global externality scenario, the annual growth is down to 1.3%. The significant CO2-emission reductions for the local externality scenario suggest that synergies and ancillary benefits can be expected from policies that directly address other sustainability issues than CO2-mitigation.
The study concludes that the internalisation of external costs into the price of electricity seems to be an important and effective policy instrument towards the sustainable development of energy use. The results of this study may be useful when considering the introduction of economic instruments to better reflect the social and environmental cost of energy production.
1For more information: http://externe.jrc.es.
Source: Peter Rafaj and Socrates Kypreos (2007) « Internalisation of external cost in the power generation sector: Analysis with Global Multi-regional MARKAL model », Energy Policy 35(2): 828-843.
1.4. Sustainable Energy Europe Campaign 2005 – 2008
25 January 2007
Sustainable Energy Europe 2005-2008 is a European Commission initiative in the framework of the Intelligent Energy – Europe (2003-2006) programme, which will contribute to achieve the European Union’s energy policy targets within the fields of renewable energy sources, energy efficiency, clean transport and alternative fuels.
Facts and Figures on the Campaign January 2007
By the end of 2006, 150 Sustainable Energy Partnerships and 66 Campaign Associates have signed up to the European Commission’s Sustainable Energy Programme, which was launched at the end of 2005.
A registered Partnership of Associate can often represent between 10 and 50 members. The actual number of organisations committed to the SEE can be said to amount approximately 3,000.
As well as coming from all 27 Member States of the European Union, Associates and Partnerships are based in El Salvador and South Africa . The country with the most Partnerships is Italy , while Belgium lists the most Associates.
Campaign Associates come from a wide range of organisations that are part of the energy industry, energy agencies, public authorities, industry and professional associations, the international and education sectors. They represent public or sectoral interests, and contribute to convey the Campaign’s message, to multiply its impact and to recruit Partners.
A database on the Sustainable Energy Europe website also list all the current Partnerships involved in the programme.
In total over 40 Energy Days have taken place since the inception of the Sustainable Energy Programme, reaching several hundred thousands Europeans directly. Seven have taken place in Italy and Germany , five in Spain , four in Belgium , and the UK , three in France, two each in the Czech Republic and Portugal .
The SEE website is available in 23 languages. The visibility of Partnerships and Associates is also promoted via targeted media work. During the two years since the campaign started more than 2,400 media representatives throughout EU-25 have been contacted, with a core group of about 470 journalists directly interested in energy sustainability.
In December 2006 six new information project descriptions on successful projects by Partnerships or Associates were disseminated. Apart from launching more than 500 written and online articles during 2005 and 2006, a very successful instrument of the media work is the launch of video news releases (VNRs). So far, the campaign has launched three VNRs on Barcelona , Jämtland County and energy efficient appliances, which by the end of 2006 is estimated to have been seen by 30 million viewers.
For more information – www.sustenergy.org.
1.5. Towards a sustainable energy future: European Commission launches first Sustainable Energy Week
25 January 2007
Following the launch, on 10 January, of the proposal for a new Energy Policy for Europe, the European Commission will launch on Monday the first EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW), a series of events that will bring together 44 stakeholders. The participants in this first EUSEW cover most sectors of activity in renewable sources of energy and in energy efficiency, at all levels of responsibility: public and private, European, international, national, regional and local. Its major aim is to set the basis for the accomplishment of the measures necessary to implement two key pillars of the proposed new Energy Policy: accelerating the shift to low carbon energy and boosting energy efficiency. "Energy Policy is not only about legislation, but also about communicating, hearing, and bringing together all stakeholders. With the EU Sustainable Energy Week, the Commission leads the most willing stakeholders to undertake together a real European energy revolution", said Energy Commissioner, Andris Piebalgs.
The series of 44 events organised in Brussels and other cities brings together organisations from all over the European Union to exchange ideas on how to develop the sector and the many industries that will help in its development. The week is the central part of an ongoing programme of more than forty Energy days held throughout the year that promote the idea of sustainable energy to EU citizens. The Week is the first major initiative jointly undertaken by the European institutions and a wide array of private and public authorities.
At the centre of week is a growing public/private partnership, as businesses involved in the production of new forms of energy will be able to link up with various governmental bodies from all over Europe and members of the academic world. They will discuss the latest ideas and developments in the field of sustainable energy, proving that energy efficiency and renewables are Europe-wide endeavours. On top of that, new EU programmes and initiatives, such as Intelligent Energy-Europe, complementing the recently presented proposal for a new Energy Policy for Europe , will be presented. The EUSEW links to national activities: the Spanish Renewable Energy Week, held at Murcia, the Assisses de l’Energie, held at Grenoble, or the TalkEnergy event, held at Wels, are part of the EUSEW.
2.1. Emissions trading: Commission decides on second set of national allocation plans for the 2008-2012 trading period
16 January 2007
The European Commission today took decisions on two more national plans for allocating CO2 emission allowances for the 2008-2012 trading period of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS). The Commission’s decisions on the national allocation plans for Belgium and the Netherlands reaffirm its strong commitment to ensuring that the EU and Member States achieve their greenhouse gas emission targets under the Kyoto Protocol. The Commission accepted both national plans on condition that certain changes are made, including a reduction in the total number of emission allowances proposed. The cleared annual allocation for Belgium is 58.5 million tonnes of CO2 allowances and for the Netherlands 85.8 million tonnes. The two plans and the 10 decided on in November 2006 together account for half of all allowances allocated in the first trading period from 2005 to 2007. The Emissions Trading Scheme ensures that greenhouse gas emissions from the energy and industry sectors covered are cut at least cost to the economy, thus helping the EU and its Member States to meet their emission commitments under the Kyoto Protocol.
Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas said: “Today’s decisions reinforce the strong signal we gave with the first set of decisions in November that Europe is fully committed to achieving its Kyoto targets and to making the Emissions Trading Scheme a successful weapon for fighting climate change that others can emulate. The Commission is assessing all national plans in a consistent way to ensure equal treatment of Member States and to create the necessary scarcity in the European carbon market. This is how we have assessed the plans decided today, and the same standards will be applied to all others. ”
Assessment of the NAPs
National allocation plans (NAPs) determine for each Member State the ‘cap,’ or limit, on the total amount of CO2 that installations covered by the EU ETS can emit, and set out how many CO2 emission allowances each plant will receive.
The Commission’s task is to scrutinise Member States ‘ proposed NAPs against 12 allocation criteria listed in the Emissions Trading Directive. The criteria seek, among other things, to ensure that plans are consistent with meeting the EU’s and Member States ‘ Kyoto commitments, with actual verified emissions reported in the Commission’s annual progress reports and with technological potential to reduce emissions. Other criteria relate to non-discrimination, EU competition and state aid rules, and technical aspects. The Commission may accept a plan in part or in full.
As with the first assessments (see IP/06/1650), the Commission is requiring changes to the two plans where:
The proposed total of allowances (‘cap’) for the 2008-2012 trading period is not consistent with meeting the Member State’s Kyoto target,
The proposed total of allowances is not consistent with expected emissions and the technological potential to reduce emissions, taking into account independently verified emissions in 2005, and anticipated changes in both economic growth and carbon intensity,
The proposed limit on the use by companies of credits from emission-reduction projects in third countries carried out under the Kyoto Protocol’s flexible mechanisms is not consistent with the rule that the use of these mechanisms should be supplementary to domestic action to address emissions.
Where modifications are required, the Commission has indicated in each case the steps to be taken by each Member State to make the plan acceptable to the Commission. Approval of the plan will become automatic once these changes have been made.
The Commission is proceeding with infringement procedures against Denmark and Hungary for not submitting their NAPs yet (see IP/06/1364 and IP/06/1763). The deadline was 30 June 2006 .
See also: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/climat/emission.htm, http://ec.europa.eu/environment/climat/2nd_phase_ep.htm.
2.2. Washington Wakes Up to Global Warming
28 january 2007 , The Associated Press
Maybe it’s the weird winter weather, or the newly Democratic Congress. Maybe it’s the news reports about starving polar bears, or the Oscar nomination for Al Gore’s global warming cri de coeur, "An Inconvenient Truth." Whatever the reason, years of resistance to the reality of climate change are suddenly melting away like the soon-to-be-history snows of Kilimanjaro.
Now even George W. Bush says it’s a problem.
For years, the president and his supporters argued that not enough was known about global warming to do anything about it. But during last week’s State of the Union address Bush finally referred to global warming as an established fact.
"These technologies will help us be better stewards of the environment, and they will help us to confront the serious challenge of global climate change," Bush said in proposing a series of measures to reduce gasoline consumption by 20 percent in 10 years.
Environmentalists and scientists who study the problem say the nostrums Bush proposed Tuesday night will do little to prevent the serious environmental effects that the globe faces in coming decades.
Environmentalists favor imposing a mandatory cap on greenhouse gas emissions tied to a market-based emissions trading system. Several of the global warming bills that have been introduced to the new Democrat-controlled Congress would do exactly that. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has proposed creating a new global warming committee to consider the legislation.
"We want the pressure on. The pressure will drive the development of new technologies," said Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., who introduced one of the global warming bills.
Many industry leaders have come to realize that such measures may be more an opportunity than a hindrance. The day before Bush’s speech the chief executives of 10 corporations, including Alcoa Inc., BP America Inc., DuPont Co., Caterpillar Inc., General Electric Co. and Duke Energy Corp., called for mandatory limits on greenhouse gas emissions.
"It must be mandatory, so there is no doubt about our actions," said Jim Rogers, chairman of Duke Energy. "The science of global warming is clear. We know enough to act now. We must act now."
And a week before the State of the Union address a dozen evangelicals called action against global warming a "moral imperative" in a joint statement with scientists from the Centers for Disease Control, NASA, Harvard and other institutions.
There is still plenty of opposition to action on global warming in both the evangelical and business communities, but the tide is clearly turning.
"You’re seeing a major political shift that is fairly broad-based," said Robert Watson, a scientist at the World Bank and former chairman of the United Nations scientific panel responsible for evaluating the threat of climate change.
Scientists have been at the vanguard of the climate change issue for decades. As early as 1965 a scientific advisory board to President Johnson warned that increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide could lead to "marked changes in climate" by 2000.
In 1988 the United Nations created the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Though assailed by critics as an overly alarmist organization, the panel actually represents a relatively cautious assessment of global warming because it relies on input from hundreds of scientists, including well-known skeptics and industry researchers.
Every five or six years since 1990, the IPCC has released an updated assessment of the environmental threat posed by global warming. And every time, a single memorable and increasingly alarming statement has stood out from the thousands of pages of technical discussion.
The first report noted that Earth’s average temperature had risen by 0.5 to one degree Fahrenheit in the past century, a warming consistent with the global warming predictions but still within the range of natural climate variability.
"The observed increase could be largely due to this natural variability," the scientists concluded.
But by 1995 that possibility had all but vanished: "The balance of evidence suggests a discernable human influence on global climate," the second IPCC report concluded.
Six years after that: "There is new and stronger evidence that most of the warming observed over the last 50 years is attributable to human activities."
Since then, scientists have accumulated abundant evidence that global warming is upon us. They have documented a dramatic retreat of the Arctic sea in recent summers, accelerated melting on the Greenland and Antarctic ice caps and the virtual collapse in mountain glaciers around the globe. They have found plants and animals well poleward of their normal ranges. They have recorded temperature records in many locations and shifts in atmospheric and oceanic circulation. Globally, the planet is the warmest it has been in thousands of years, if not more.
Emboldened by these discoveries, scientists just in the last month have issued some dire warnings. The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, originally formed in response to the dangers of nuclear weapons, cited the climate change threat in moving its "doomsday clock" two minutes closer to midnight . And Britain ‘s meteorological agency announced just three days into the year that 2007 has a 60 percent likelihood of being the warmest year on record, thanks to the combined effects of global warming and El Nino.
"You just can’t explain the observed changes that we’ve seen in the last half of the 20th century by invoking natural causes," said Benjamin Santer, a U.S. government scientist who was involved in previous IPCC assessments.
The scientists who will gather in Paris this coming week to complete the first section of this year’s IPCC report are not allowed to talk about the early drafts that have been circulating in recent months.
But there is little doubt that when the report is released on Friday it will include references to some of the specific environmental effects of global warming that have already been observed, and an even stronger statement about the imminent threat of global warming.
3.1. JI workshop
The third JI workshop organised by the UNFCCC secretariat will be held in Bonn ( Germany ) on 13-14 February 2007.
The technical workshop will provide an opportunity for interaction between the Joint Implementation Supervisory Committee (JISC) and designated focal points, as well as independent entities and other stakeholders.
Participants will exchange their experiences with a view to improving their understanding of each others’ roles, the environment in which projects are developed and the overall potential for JI projects. The workshop will allow the JISC to take into account the various concerns and suggestions in its further development and operation of the verification procedure under the JISC.
Further information on the workshop is available under http://ji.unfccc.int/Workshop/February_2007/index.html.
3.2. Conference “What jobs in a low carbon European economy?”
The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) is delighted to invite you to the conference “What jobs in a low carbon European economy?” that will take place at the ITUH auditorium in Brussels, Belgium on 20 and 21 February 2007.
Please consult also www.etuc.org for the latest version of the conference programme (under the page “events”).
3.3. Workshop National adaptation strategies
7 march 2007, Netherlands
The dutch ministry of VROM (Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment) will organise a workshop on 7 march 2007 from 9.30 till 16.30 in The Hague in the Netherlands . The main objective for this workshop is the exchange of experiences concerning building national strategies with a spatial dimension, the challanges which have to be met and the problems or dilemmas which are faced.
The workshop is meant for those -within or outside the EU- who are actively involved in building national adaptation strategies or closely related to this subject:
The programme for the workshop will as soon as possible be drawn up and sent to all interested persons.
More info: Marieke Soeters and Fincent van Woerden, Ministry of VROM, 0031-70-3394939 / 0031-70-3398005, [email protected], [email protected]
3.4. Workshop: Climate Change in South-Eastern European Countries: Causes, Impacts, Solutions
Graz , Austria , 26th and 27th of March 2007
Information regarding this workshop (accommodation, programme) is provided at the webpage www.joanneum.at/climate. Also, information about possibly granted subsidies will be provided at this page soon.
Although the organization of the workshop is proceeding, we would kindly encourage interested people to attend as speaker, poster or mere participant. Beside to our webpage, please find also information about registration procedure and requirements at http://www.joanneum.at/climate/Docs/pbf07102ief_climate_cfa_v1.pdf.
For further questions please contact me at [email protected].
3.5. 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.
3.6. 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.
4.1. "Global change: "Enough Water for all?"
by José L. Lozán / Hartmut Graßl / Peter Hupfer / Lucas Menzel / Christian-D. Schönwiese
(2007) 384 pp. with 179 Figures, 64 Tabellen and 15 Charts. Paperback. EUR 35,-
Water is of vital importance: Without water no life would exist and our planet would be a huge desert. Water plays a dominant role in the climate system as well. Atmospheric water vapour is the most important greenhouse gas; over 60% of the greenhouse effect of the atmosphere is due to water vapour. Without greenhouse gases the mean surface temperature of our planet would be around -18 °C. Water is the basic condition for the high biodiversity on Earth. Plants, animals and humans are composed of 50–80% water. They are stressed, fall ill or die from water scarcity or polluted water. Therefore, our common future is endangered when water is not available in sufficient amount and quality. Water traverses an endless cycle (the water cycle), enabling a self-purification on its long way through the soil and rock layers. Water is a heritage of nature and it belongs to all living beings. The right of access to sufficient and clean water is a universal law and it is therefore anchored in important international treaties. The uneven distribution of precipitation and water on Earth leads to water scarcity in many regions. Already today 1.2 billion people (20% of the world population) have no secure access to clean drinking water and 2.4 billion people do not dispose of access to sanitary installations. Millions of children die every year due to polluted water. While Europeans use 130–150 litres water per capita and day (in the USA this amount is even at around 300 litres), many people south of the Sahara Desert have less than 20 litres per day at their disposal. Global climate change will intensify the water crisis. This is mainly caused by the emission of anthropogenic greenhouse gases, mostly from the industrialised countries. Glaciers in particular are sensitive to climate change. Most glaciers on Earth are shrinking. Global warming intensifies the water cycle and exacerbates the water problems on our planet. In humid regions (e.g. Scandinavia ) the precipitation increases and in arid and semi-arid regions (e.g. the Mediterranean ) the precipitation is decreasing.
Arid and semi-arid areas are increasing in size in many regions. The aim of this book is to contribute to the public discussion on our relations and dealings with water. It shall also shape the public opinion towards an integrated view on water and the necessity to ensure enough water for coming generations.
4.2. New reports on the Energy research Centre of the Netherlands (ECN) website
Technology-oriented agreements to address climate change examines past experience with international agreements based on technology, and suggests the role such agreements can play in a post-2012 climate regime. By Heleen de Coninck, Carolyn Fischer, Richard Newell and Takahiro Ueno, in cooperation with RFF. January 2007.
ECN report: http://www.ecn.nl/publications/default.aspx?nr=ECN-E–07-002.
RFF Discussion Paper on http://www.rff.org/rff/Documents/RFF-DP-06-50.pdf.
Technology transfer in the CDM has examined the technology transfer in all registered CDM projects as of 1st January 2006 . It concludes that about half of the projects show technology transfer, and that the European Union exported almost €400 million worth of installations as part of the CDM, primarily in hydropower and wind energy. By Heleen de Coninck, Frauke Haake, and Nico van der Linden : November 2006.
ECN report: http://www.ecn.nl/publications/default.aspx?nr=ECN-E–07-009.
Revisiting EU policy options for Tackling Climate Change sets out to integrate, from a societal perspective, the long-term impact of climate policy measures into the cost-benefit calculations of GHG emissions reduction strategies. By Christian Egenhofer, Jaap Jansen, Stefan Bakker and Johanna Jussila Hammes, in cooperation between CEPS and ECN. November 2006.
CEPS book: http://shop.ceps.be/BookDetail.php?item_id=1399.
CDM and biofuels explores whether the CDM can assist biofuel production and deployment. It examines the barriers and opportunities for biofuels that are particular to the CDM, and argues that the approval of a baseline methodology and monitoring plan is the most crucial step. By Stefan Bakker: October 2006.
ECN report: http://www.ecn.nl/publications/default.aspx?nr=ECN-E–06-033.
The contribution of CO2 capture and storage to a sustainable energy system is a synthesis based on the results of 10 advanced energy models and addresses the prospects of CO2 capture and storage (CCS) technologies in the power sector. Three policy approaches are compared in order to address the question how to achieve significant CO2 emission reductions through the application of CCS technologies. By Martine Uyterlinde et al., with contributions from IIASA, NTUA, RITE and IEA: September 2006.
ECN report: http://www.ecn.nl/publications/default.aspx?nr=ECN-C–06-009.
4.3. Nairobi 2006: Trust and the future of adaptation funding
by Benito Müller.
Abstract: The decision at the recent UN climate change conference in Nairobi to adopt a ‘one-country-one-vote’ procedure for the governance of the Kyoto Protocol Adaptation Fund could help secure political acceptance for that fund, particularly among the many small and weaker constituents. But only if voting can be guaranteed. This paper argues that in order to safeguard the voice of these constituents, the voting procedure should be augmented by the right for (groups of) countries to force a secret vote, and to introduce motions to be decided by the AF governing body.
The decision, in turn, to place the Adaptation Fund under the direct authority of the Kyoto Protocol governing body (COP/MOP) implies, the paper argues, that the climate change (UNFCCC) focal points of the relevant countries should be the voting constituency, and that they should have their own representative committee – selected by the COP/MOP – on the executive body of the Adaptation Fund.
The full paper can be downloaded at www.OxfordEnergy.org.
4.4. ‘The Emissions Game – How Markets Can Help Save the Planet’
commissioned by CLSA Asia Pacific Markets.
Written by Christine Loh (CEO of Civic Exchange) and Roger Raufer (Director, Engineering Services of International Emissions Trading Group), the report explains how both traditional and emerging emissions trading systems work. It looks at the Kyoto Protocol’s flexible mechanisms and other carbon markets, and discusses the prospects for post-Kyoto climate cooperation. Based on this international experience, the authors consider how emissions trading systems could be employed in China and Hong Kong to address the interlocking goals of air pollution control, energy efficiency, and reduction in carbon intensity.
The report can be downloaded from the Civic Exchange website: http://www.civic-exchange.org/publications/2007/ET.pdf.
Roger Raufer was in Hong Kong this week to speak about emissions trading at the 3rd Forum of Civic Exchange’s Energy series held on 25 January 2007 . His presentation is on the website and a transcript of the forum, including the lively Q&A session, will also be posted there shortly.
A copy of the presentation “Market-based Pollution Control: Hong Kong & the International Marketplace” can also be found on the website: http://www.civic-exchange.org/publications/2007/raufer.pdf.
5.1. EcoRes Forum Launches Climate Change E-Conference Series
26 January 2007
The EcoRes Forum, a new initiative undertaken by Mary Leyser, Coordinator of the Eco-Ethics International Union (EEIU), and Acad. Prof. Gennady Polikarpov, EEIU Vice-President and Chief Scientist at the Institute of Biology of Southern Seas in Sevastopol , Ukraine , announces the launch of a series of online e-conferences focusing on the ethical, political and sociocultural aspects of climate change.
The series, which will be offered free of charge, starts off in April 2007 with a two-week dialogue on a topic of increasing urgency: expanding and accelerating an ecocentric philosophy among societies around the world. The need for such a shift has long been recognized. Based on the UN’s Rio Declaration of Environment and Development, in 1992 Al Gore observed, "Our challenge is to accelerate the needed change in thinking about our relationship to the environment in order to shift the pattern of our civilization to a new equilibrium – before the world’s ecological system loses its current one." (Earth in the Balance)
Titled "From Anthropocentrism to Ecocentrism: Making the Shift", the e-conference will bring together academics and activists, scientists and social critics, researchers and journalists, community leaders and citizens, all focused on looking for answers and actions to make this paradigm shift a reality. After reflecting on past movement successes to identify transferable practices, the semi-structured discussion will evaluate the current status – looking at what is working (and what isn’t) around the globe. Armed with this knowledge, participants will shift focus to the future, considering multi-prong approaches for moving forward on this trans-disciplinary issue.
As EcoRes materials outline, the forum’s mission is ambitious, yet, organizers are convinced, fully achievable:
In keeping with our foundational philosophy of ecocentric environmental ethics and commitment to the principles of social equity and environmental justice;
by leveraging the potential of new media by providing an easily accessible global platform for discussion and access to subject experts;
by involving global stakeholders in global issue discussions by circumventing the logistical and financial barriers of traditional dialogue interactions;
by building ongoing connections and networks between these actors;
by crossing borders, whether disciplinary, philosophical, or geopolitical;
and by maintaining a results-oriented focus;
For more information or to register for the April event, visit the EcoRes Forum website at http://www.eco-res.org or write [email protected].
Disclaimer: We do not guarantee for the accuracy, reliability or content of information. For help or questions, contact: [email protected].