E-news update June 11 2007

CLIMATE POLICY

1.1. Joint Statement by the German G8 Presidency and the Heads of State and/or Government of Brazil, China, India, Mexico and South Africa on the occasion of the G8 Summit in Heiligendamm
Germany, 8 June 2007
Full statement at: http://www.g-8.de/Content/EN/Artikel/__g8-summit/anlagen/o5-erklaerung-en,property=publicationFile.pdf
Fighting Climate Change:
We face serious challenges in tackling climate change and achieving sustainable development globally. We reaffirm our commitment to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and to its objective through both mitigation and adaptation in accordance with our common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities. On this basis and taking into account the scientific knowledge as represented in the recent IPCC reports, we remain committed to contribute our fair share to tackle climate change in order to stabilize green house gas concentrations at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system. To this end we need a flexible, fair and effective global framework and concerted international action. We underline the crucial role of economic incentives, in particular by carbon markets, for the necessary investments in climate friendly technologies at large scale. The adaptation to climate change will be a major challenge for all countries, in particular for developing countries , and means for adaptation need to be included in a future agreement along with enhanced technology cooperation and financing. We call on all parties to actively and constructively participate in the negotiations on a comprehensive agreement at the UNFCCC Conference in Indonesia in December 2007. 
Energy:
We recognise the need for closer, more practical and result-oriented regional and international cooperation in the energy sector, especially in ensuring secure and affordable supplies of energy as well as in improving energy efficiency and the access to advanced and affordable energy technologies. We confirm our commitment to promote energy efficiency, through cost-effective solutions, to advance the effective use of fossil fuels, such as the clean coal technology, and to increase the use of cleaner and renewable energy sources, such as biofuels and biomass, as an important step towards secure, stable and competitive energy supplies for achieving sustainable development.

1.2. UNFCCC Executive Secretary: G8 document reenergises multilateral climate change process under the United Nations
7 June 2007, UNFCCC
According to Yvo de Boer, the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Thursday’s agreement on climate change clinched at the G8 summit in Heiligendamm has paved the way for negotiations in Bali in December and given climate talks under the auspices of the UN a considerable boost.
“The multilateral climate change process under the United Nations has been reenergised,” he said. “This is a breakthrough in terms of making progress towards an enhanced future climate change regime and will send important signals to developing countries on the readiness of industrialised nations and emerging economies to act,” he added.
Alluding to the large emerging economies of China, India, Brazil, South Africa and Mexico, the UN’s top climate change official said: “There is now a need to engage these economies on how best to address the challenges of climate change. It is very encouraging that the G8 is ready to work with the +5 countries on long-term strategies and that major emitters of the process will report back to the UNFCCC by 2008.”
According to the G8 communiqué, negotiations under the UNFCCC should be finished by 2009. This would give governments enough time to ratify the agreement before the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012.
“It will now be critical to have everything in place so that the negotiation process can be set in motion at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Bali in December of this year,” said Mr. Boer.
One key focus of the document is on adaptation, with G8 leaders acknowledging that considerable funds will be needed to above all enable the most vulnerable to adapt to the inevitable effects climate change and expressing a willingness to work with developing countries on the issues.
Another key element of the document is the call to expand the Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) . The CDM permits industrialized countries to invest in sustainable development projects in developing countries, and thereby generate tradable emission credits.
The Kyoto Protocol presently requires 36 industrialized countries and the European Community to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an average of 5% below 1990 levels in its first commitment period between 2008 and 2012.
The CDM is currently undergoing a boom and is expected to generate around two billion in certified emission reductions (CERs) by 2012. One CER amounts to one tonne of CO2 equivalent.
According to Mr. de Boer, such mechanisms need to be part of any meaningful post-2012 climate change regime.
“If half of the emission reductions would be met through investments in developing countries, e.g. via the CDM, there is a potential to generate up to 100 billion dollars per year in green investment flows to developing countries. The door has been opened for working towards a self-financing climate compact. None of the other types of financial resources available to developing countries have a potential of this scale,” he said.
At the next UNFCCC meeting in Vienna (27–31 August), negotiations by the 175 Parties to the Kyoto Protocol will continue with an analysis of mitigation potential of policies, measures and technologies, and initiate the identification of possible ranges of emission reductions by industrialized countries after 2012.
At the same time, the “Dialogue on long-term cooperative action” under the UNFCCC will conclude its analysis of strategic approaches to address climate change in Vienna before reporting back to the December conference in Bali.

1.3. A big step forward on climate change
8 June 2007, The Financial Times
Angela Merkel has good reason to be pleased with the outcome of the meeting of the Group of Eight leading countries she chaired this week. Her reputation as an effective conciliator and a determined negotiator has gained in lustre. Under her guidance, the G8 summit marks a turning point on tackling climate change. Whether George W. Bush meant what he signed is unclear. But this meeting marks the end of the beginning of the global debate. The US is now at last engaged.
The communiqué’s salient point is that the G8 agreed to begin talks this year on a successor to the Kyoto treaty, due to expire in 2012. Any such successor will be negotiated under the auspices of the United Nations. It will also surely have objectives for emissions of greenhouse gases, along with measures to achieve them. In both respects this marks a transformation for US policy.
Mr Bush has abandoned the positions on which his administration stood: Kyoto is buried and forgotten; and man-made climate change is a myth or, if no myth, requires no global limits on emissions. Now we discover that climate change is not a myth, after all; limits are indeed to be on the table; and a successor to Kyoto is to be negotiated. This truly is a Damascene conversion.
It is right to be suspicious. Mr Bush may not mean what he has said. But that itself tells us something extremely important. If even this administration feels it needs to become engaged in global negotiations, it must believe that the domestic mood has shifted massively. If so, a bipartisan consensus in the US is now quite plausible.
Such a shift by the US is a necessary, albeit not sufficient, condition for progress towards an effective global regime for mitigating climate change. It will force the Europeans and Japanese to negotiate seriously. It will also make it far more difficult for the Chinese, Indians and other significant emerging countries to stand on the sidelines.
Needless to say, this agreement is just the very beginning. Agreement on an effective and workable regime is going to prove very hard indeed. There are many technical difficulties to overcome. Political obstacles to effective policies will prove huge, as well. Particularly fraught will be discussions over the distribution of the costs of mitigation among countries that are at very different levels of development and have very different degrees of responsibility for the emissions that created the current problem.
It is right then to be sceptical over the sincerity of the US conversion, over the commitment of the world’s governments to needed policies and so over the world’s ability to do something effective. Experience hitherto fully justifies that scepticism. But scepticism can be taken too far. The G8 summit has opened the door to negotiations. That is itself a big step. The world’s leaders must now pass through it.

1.4. Environmentalists dismiss G8 climate deal
7 June 2007, Guardian Unlimited
Environmental groups today dismissed a declaration from the world’s leading industrial powers on climate change as not worth the paper it was written on.
Activists were particularly disappointed at the lack of targets in the surprise agreement at the G8 summit in Germany.
"George Bush’s final gift to Blair falls short of what was needed to protect the climate. An agreement without targets is barely worth the paper it’s written on," said the director of Greenpeace UK, John Sauven.
"This document acknowledges the seriousness of the situation then ducks reality by offering weasel words like ‘seriously considering’, as if this was an after dinner discussion rather than the most important issue facing the world."
In their declaration the G8 agreed to launch a comprehensive negotiation on climate change under UN auspices. It will start at the UN climate conference in Bali in December and negotiations will end by 2009. Until now, George Bush has resisted efforts, notably from Tony Blair, to bring the US into the UN process.
"In setting a global goal for emissions reductions in the process we have agreed today involving all major emitters, we will consider seriously the decisions made by the European Union, Canada and Japan which include at least a halving of global emissions by 2050," the G8 said in the declaration.
Collectively the G8 countries, which make up 13% of the world’s population, are responsible for around 43% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.
The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, claimed victory in Europe’s battle to secure a deal on climate change when she said that her fellow leaders had agreed to make "substantial" cuts in greenhouse gases.
But environmentalists were unimpressed.
"This puts us at the lowest end of what is needed to curb climate change," said George Gelber, head of policy at Cafod, the Catholic development agency. "They’ve not mentioned the key target of limiting the increase in average temperature to 2% and we believe – based on our interpretation of the science – that reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by the year 2050 is not enough."
Friends of the Earth also criticised today’s G8 agreement as inadequate.
"We have already seen many empty promises by G8 leaders over the past years but there has not been much real action," said Yuri Onodera of Friends of the Earth, "so we urge G8 leaders to act now and cut their greenhouse gas emissions drastically and immediately."
Keith Allott, head of WWF-UK’s climate change programme, praised Ms Merkel for pushing hard for as robust an agreement as possible, but said Mr Blair had made only limited headway with Mr Bush.
"Tony Blair has staked his legacy on securing a tough emissions reduction goal and encouraging George Bush back into the UN process. He has made progress only on the second point – and even here, the proof of the pudding will come later."
UK sources said the agreement was "better than expected" given the strong misgivings expressed by the US about the G8 setting specific targets for cuts in greenhouse gases.

1.5. India says it will cut GHGs by 25% by 2020
6 June 2007, GLOBE-Net
India ’s current energy and environmental strategy will reduce the country’s greenhouse gas emissions by more than 25% by 2020, a senior government official has said.
Dr. Pradipto Ghosh, Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forests, made the statement at a news conference in New Delhi, saying that India is "following a sustainable development path, ensuring energy conservation, improved energy efficiency in various sectors and use of renewable energy.
“Our modelling approaches show the effect of many of our policies taken together that the year 2020 will result in a more than a 25 percent decrease in greenhouse gas emissions," he added.
India produces around four percent of global anthropogenic GHG emissions, with a population of over one billion – one sixth of the world’s total. In 2001, India ranked fifth in the world in GHG emissions, behind the United States, China, Russia and Japan. India is one of the fastest growing renewable energy markets in the world, attracting huge investment in wind and solar power. Upcoming government budgets provide tax exemptions for wind turbine production, and other legislation includes compulsory renewable obligations which mandate renewable energy investment. According to the Ernst & Young Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index, China and India will become the most attractive countries in the world for renewable energy investment and projects by 2012.
Other government policies to reduce GHG output include energy efficiency measures, power sector reforms, encouragement of alternative transportation fuels such as natural gas, and reforestation, said Ghosh.
India is a signatory to the Kyoto Protocol, but as a developing country is not bound by any emissions reduction targets. However, expected economic growth and rising emissions have caused other countries, including the United States, to call on India to commit to reductions. A major reason for U.S. rejection of the Kyoto Protocol has been the lack of targets for countries such as India and China.
India ’s government believes that developed countries, with much higher per capita GHG emissions, are responsible for the majority of the climate change problem and should therefore take the lead in reducing emissions. India will take action but rejects hard targets, said Ghosh, claiming that “legally mandated measures for reducing greenhouse gas emissions are likely to have significant adverse impacts on GDP growth of developing countries, including India.”
India ’s GDP has been growing at a rate of around 8 percent annually, while GHG emissions are estimated to be rising by around 2-3 percent each year. Oil consumption has doubled since 1992, and coal provides around half of India’s energy needs.
But along with other developing countries, India is reluctant to curb economic growth that will lift many out of poverty in order to reduce GHG emissions. The world’s poor will suffer greatly from climate change, and rich nations should assume most of the burden of climate change mitigation, said Ghosh, stating that India spends 2.17 percent of GDP annually on addressing the variability of climate.
Still, India does support Kyoto and is the largest participant in the protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), with more than 600 projects approved to date. The CDM allows industrialized countries to earn carbon credits to be applied against emissions targets by investing in emissions reductions in developing nations.
India is participating at the G8 summit in Germany this week, invited along with Brazil, China, Mexico and South Africa to discuss issues of energy and climate change. Leaders of industrialized nations are currently at odds over the inclusion of climate change on the agenda for an upcoming summit, with the European Union calling for deep cuts and emissions targets under the jurisdiction of the United Nations, an approach that is opposed by the United States. India and China will be key players at the meeting, which is seen as a pivotal event leading up to the negotiation of a new global climate change regime and a successor to the Kyoto Protocol.

ENERGY

2.1. EU and Turkey focus on energy cooperation
9 June 2007, Reuters
The European Union and Turkey are spotlighting their strategic energy cooperation in a bid to keep the lights on in Ankara’s troubled bid for EU membership.
They staged a conference last week to underline the candidate state’s growing importance as an energy bridge between Europe, the Middle East and the Caspian basin.
At a time when the election of French President Nicolas Sarkozy, opposed to Turkish EU entry, has deepened doubts over Ankara’s chances of joining the 27-nation bloc, EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn pointed to energy as one key reason to keep the negotiations going.
"This was a very significant signal of the shared strategic interests between the EU and Turkey, and of the continuation of the accession process," Rehn said.
Energy Minister Hilmi Guler pointed at a map with flashing pipelines – some existing, some under construction and others still on the drawing board – criss-crossing Turkey on their way to keep the lights on in Europe.
Turkey , he said, was becoming Europe’s vital fourth energy corridor, diversifying its sources of supply to balance the flow of oil and gas from Russia, North Africa and the North Sea.
The Baku-Ceyhan pipe-line came on stream last year, pumping one million barrels of Azerbaijani oil a day to the Mediterranean, loosening Russia’s stranglehold on Caspian routes.
The planned Nabucco pipeline would pump gas from Iran, Iraq, the Caspian and possibly Russia via Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary to Austria.
Not that simple
EU projections show that despite ambitious goals for energy efficiency and renewable fuels, the bloc will be increasingly dependent on imported hydrocarbons.
With relations between Brussels and Moscow strained by a range of disputes, and unease in Europe over Russian gas monopoly Gazprom’s grasp on pipelines and supplies, the case for embracing Turkey might seem overwhelming.
But things are not that simple. For one, the EU can and does import oil and gas via Turkey without admitting it as a member. None of Europe’s other energy suppliers is a candidate. Nor can a Turko-sceptical west European public necessarily be convinced to take in the poor, secular, but mainly Muslim country of 74 million because of its geostrategic importance as an energy hub on the hinge of Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
Indeed, a film projected at the conference showing Istanbul’s Bosphorus bridge with the slogan "step into another continent" appeared to recall Sarkozy’s contention that Turkey is not European.
Disputes over Cyprus have slowed Turkey’s accession talks. Domestic tension between the military and a government accused by critics of a hidden Islamist agenda also raised questions about Turkey’s European credentials.
The EU is pressing Turkey to become a full member of the European Energy Community, which creates a legal framework for investment, competition and regulation. But Ankara is stalling, partly because it is wary of uncoupling energy cooperation from its EU accession process, but also because it fears that as a non-EU member it will not be treated as an equal partner in the Energy Community.

2.2. Vatican looks to heavens for energy
6 June 2007, The Associated Press
Some of the Holy See buildings will start using solar energy, reflecting Pope Benedict XVI’s worry about squandering the Earth’s resources, said a Vatican engineer who came up with the idea.
The roof of the Paul VI auditorium will be redone next year, with its concrete panels replaced with photovoltaic cells to convert sunlight into electricity, the engineer, Pier Carlo Cuscianna, said in a telephone interview on Tuesday.
The 6,300-seat auditorium is used for the pontiff’s general audiences on Wednesdays in winter and in bad weather during the rest of the year. Concerts in honor of pontiffs are also occasionally staged in the hall, which has a sweeping stage.
The cells will produce enough electricity to illuminate, heat or cool the hall, Cuscianna said.
The modernistic hall, at the southern end of Vatican City, was built in 1969.

2.3. £150m energy-from-waste plan
11 June 2007, by Sion Barry, Western Mail
Plans for a £150m scheme to turn 500,000 tonnes of household waste in South Wales into energy, have been unveiled.
Property developer PMG Estates, owned by Paul Guy and former Wales rugby captain Mike Hall, wants to open a state-of-the-art waste management facility at its Trident Park site in Cardiff Bay.
PMG and Viridor Waste Management are drawing up detailed plans for the project but Friends of Earth Cymru have raised concerns.
If it is agreed by Cardiff County Council the scheme will burn non- recyclable household rubbish which is currently sent to landfill.
The proposed scheme would have to comply with the strict licensing requirements of the Environment Agency.
Cardiff Council, along with a number of other authorities in South Wales, are currently looking at technology solutions as an alternative to sending waste to landfill. The cost of landfill is rising, with European legislation requiring local authorities to find alternatives or face significant financial penalties.
By recovering energy from household waste, the proposed Trident Park facility would provide a substantial amount of electricity to the city, PMG said.
The business park itself could benefit by getting heat and power directly from the proposed plant. This would be a significant contribution towards it becoming the first fully sustainable business site in Wales.
The 50-acre park had a blast furnace before the closure of Japanese television glassmaker NEG last year. As a result it already has an Integrated Pollution Prevention Control Licence, which any new waste management plant would require.
Viridor Waste Management is a leading provider of waste and recycling services in the UK with decades of experience and has been one of the fastest growing companies in the waste sector over recent years.
Mr Guy said, “This scheme represents a fantastic opportunity for Cardiff to lead the way in waste management and would contribute significantly to the aspiration of achieving sustainable waste management and energy generation. Cardiff’s waste challenges could be met via a modern, well-engineered facility which provides an alternative to landfill, and this can only be a good thing.”
However, director of Friends of Earth Cymru, Julian Rosser, raised concerns over the project.
He said, “Waste-to-energy operators never use the word incinerator, as that is a very emotional word, but that’s what they are.
“Our concern is that these plants might be state-of-the-art but there is always some pollution.
“We don’t believe that waste-to-energy plants are the best way to deal with waste. Councils might not have an incentive to recycle more, if household waste is dealt with in this way. “We are looking at maximising levels of recycling and composting. Wales has moved from being the worst recycler in Europe, but more needs to be done. In Flanders 70% of waste is recycled compared to only 25% here.”
Dan Cooke, external affairs manager for Viridor, added, “We are delighted to have been chosen by PMG as its preferred partner to take this exciting scheme forward and appreciate how important this project could prove to be for the city of Cardiff.
“This site could greatly assist Cardiff in meeting the significant challenges involved in moving to more sustainable methods of managing waste as a resource and recovering value while continuing to maximise recycling levels.
“We are looking forward to having detailed discussions in the near future with key stakeholders to take the proposals forward.” Viridor Waste Management is owned by parent company Pennon Group, one of the top 250 companies in the UK. It currently services 31 local authority waste management contracts and private sector customers and operates 189 waste facilities across the UK.

CONFERENCES

3.1. Local Renewables Freiburg 2007: Powerful local action for secure and sustainable energy in Europe
13 – 15 June 2007 in Freiburg, Germany
More info: http://www.local-renewables2007.org.

3.2. Mobilising the energy saving potentials in local authorities – How to put into practice energy efficiency services
20 June 2007 in Brussels
More info: http://www.fedarene.org/events/Fedarene_events/2007-06-20/home.htm.

3.3. Espace – Planning in a Changing Climate
29 June 2007 in London
More info: http://www.espace-project.org/publications/final%20conference/invitationv4.pdf.

3.4. Energy for a Clean Environment
2 – 4 July 2007 in Póvoa de Varzim, Portugal
More info: http://rgesd.ist.utl.pt/cleanair.

3.5. IEW meeting 2007
25–27 June 2007 at Stanford University in Stanford, California
More 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
27 and 28 August 2007 in Goettingen, Germany
Further information at: 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. 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.

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