1.1. UN scientists warn time is running out to tackle global warming
5 May 2007,The Guardian
Governments are running out of time to address climate change and to avoid the worst effects of rising temperatures, an influential UN panel warned yesterday.
Greater energy efficiency, renewable electricity sources and new technology to dump carbon dioxide underground can all help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the experts said. But there could be as little as eight years left to avoid a dangerous global average rise of 2C or more.
The warning came in a report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published yesterday in Bangkok . It says most of the technology needed to stop climate change in its tracks already exists, but that governments must act quickly to force through changes across all sectors of society. Delays will make the problem more difficult, and more expensive.
Rajendra Pachauri, who chairs the IPCC, said the report would underpin negotiations to develop a new international treaty to regulate emissions to replace the Kyoto protocol when it expires in 2012.
The report said little on the best way to encourage greater take-up of cleaner technologies. A delegate present at the negotiations said the passages on international policy options had been watered down by the US , which is opposed to Kyoto-style agreements that rely on binding targets.
Harlan Watson, head of the US delegation, said the report "highlights the importance of a portfolio of clean energy technologies, consistent with our approach".
There were also rows about the role of nuclear power, with countries including Spain and Austria opposed to any form of words that endorsed an increase in electricity from nuclear technology.
David Miliband, the environment secretary, said: "Last year, the Stern review showed that we needed to act urgently to tackle climate change and that it was economically feasible to do so. The IPCC has confirmed that finding, and that we have access to the technology we need to take that action. We simply can’t afford any other option but to act. That’s why we’re pushing hard for negotiations to start on a new global climate deal this year, and are working through the G8 group of nations and the UN climate change conference."
Yesterday’s report follows two studies by the IPCC this year, which said unrestrained greenhouse gas emissions could drive global temperatures up as much as 6C by 2100, triggering a surge in ocean levels, destruction of vast numbers of species, economic devastation in tropical zones and mass human migrations.
The report said global emissions must peak by 2015 for the world to have any chance of limiting the expected temperature rise to 2C, which would still leave billions of people short of water by 2050.
Michael Roberts, of the Confederation of British Industry, said: "The report signals that there are barriers to realising the range of opportunities identified and that we all – consumers, businesses and governments – have a role to play in overcoming these obstacles. The debate now needs to be focused on action."
Hans Verolme, director of the WWF climate change programme, said: "The IPCC has delivered a road map for keeping the planet safe. Now it’s the turn of politicians to do more than pay just lip service."
1.2. IPCC report confirms EU call for deep cuts in global greenhouse gas emissions
4 May 2007
European Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas called on developed and advanced developing countries to commit to substantially reducing their greenhouse gas emissions over the coming decades following today’s report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on mitigating global warming. The consensus report from IPCC’s working group III (WG III) confirms the EU’s analysis that global emissions must start to fall within the next 15 years and then be cut to around half of 1990 levels by 2050 if the world is to have a fair chance of preventing irreversible and possibly catastrophic global changes. The report projects that unless urgent action is taken global emissions in 2030 will be 25-90% higher than today, making it all but certain that global warming will reach dangerous levels.
"This important IPCC report confirms that significant global reductions in greenhouse gases are essential and urgent,” Commissioner Dimas said. “It recognises that the technologies and policies to achieve these cuts exist today, so there is no excuse for waiting. Its conclusions fully support the EU’s view that developed countries must reduce emissions to 30% below 1990 levels by 2020, and global emissions must be halved by 2050, if we are to have a good chance of limiting global warming to no more than 2°C above the pre-industrial level. It is now time for the rest of the international community to follow our lead and commit to ambitious reduction targets. Negotiations on a new global climate change agreement must be launched at the next UN ministerial conference in December.”
The EU has led global action to limit and reduce emissions of greenhouse gases since the early 1990s. More than 30 policies and measures – including the ground-breaking EU Emissions Trading Scheme – have been implemented at EU level through the European Climate Change Programme (ECCP), set up by the European Commission in 2000. The EU’s leadership on climate change has been further strengthened by the integrated climate and energy package that was presented by the Commission in January and fully endorsed by Heads of State and Government at the March European Council. This landmark package sets out a range of cost-effective measures to reduce emissions, improve energy security and increase competitiveness, as well as the EU’s proposals for a new global agreement intended to limit global warming to no more than 2°C above the pre-industrial level. There is strong scientific evidence that a temperature rise beyond this threshold would greatly increase the risk of dangerous climate change.
The WG III report, Climate Change 2007: Mitigation of Climate Change, assesses the latest scientific knowledge on the mitigation of climate change and constitutes the final part of the IPCC’s forthcoming Fourth Assessment Report.
The report’s main findings are:
Without action global greenhouse gas emissions will be 25% to 90% above current levels by 2030, with the highest growth levels in the transport sector. Two-thirds or more of the global emissions growth will come from developing countries, but per capita emissions in 2030 will still be substantially higher in developed countries than in developing nations.
Limiting average global warming to 2°C above the pre-industrial level will require by 2050 a cut in greenhouse gas emissions of more than 50% of current levels.
Such low emissions scenarios can be achieved at a cost of less than 3% of global GDP by 2030, a fraction of the overall growth over this period.
Reducing greenhouse gas emissions will cut air pollution, and therefore also its associated health costs, improve energy security and increase employment. Near-term health benefits from reduced air pollution can offset a substantial part of the cost of mitigating greenhouse gas emissions.
The technologies and potential to reduce emissions exists in all main emitting sectors, i.e. energy supply, transport, buildings, industry, agriculture, forestry and waste, in both developed and developing countries.
Long term targets for stabilising the global temperature can be achieved using a portofolio of existing commercially available technologies as well as technologies in the pipeline. What are needed are sufficient incentives to develop and deploy them. Establishing a price for carbon creates such incentive and can be achieved through taxes, charges and tradable permit systems.
The IPCC assesses the scientific, technical and socio-economic information relevant for understanding the risk of man-made climate change. Its regular reports are based mainly on peer-reviewed and published scientific and technical literature. The assessments are produced by three working groups which bring together hundreds of leading experts from around the world. The reports thus represent the most authoritative global scientific consensus on climate change. Research projects funded under the EU’s Framework Programmes on research, as well as under research programmes by individual Member States, have contributed significantly to these reports.
Further information at www.ipcc.ch
1.3. Confusion threatens to limit potential of key Kyoto Protocol mechanism – UNFCCC Executive Secretary
2 May 2007
The Kyoto Protocol’s clean development mechanism (CDM) is stimulating investment in developing countries, reducing emissions and giving signatories to the Protocol some flexibility in how they meet their emission reduction targets, but confusion about the mechanism threatens to limit its potential, says UNFCCC Executive Secretary Yvo de Boer.
The Executive Secretary’s remarks were made in response to growing media interest in the mechanism and in the context of mounting international concern over climate change. Commentary has been clear in recognizing that a host of strategies, including market-based mechanisms like the CDM, will need to be employed to counter climate change. It has been less successful, however, in drawing a clear distinction between the highly regulated CDM and the unregulated or self-regulated ventures offering carbon emission offsets over the World Wide Web and elsewhere.
“Some confusion is to be expected – after all, the mechanism is breaking new ground and catalysing further action on climate change – but some analysis of the CDM has dangerously missed the mark, especially in not distinguishing between the certified emission reductions produced under the CDM, and the emission offsets being sold by the growing number of unregulated or self-regulated enterprises,” said Mr. de Boer speaking to an audience of carbon market stakeholders and the press at the annual Carbon Expo.
To be registered and then earn certified emission reduction (CER) credits, CDM projects must pass a rigorous process of approval and independent third-party monitoring designed to ensure that emission reductions claimed by a project are real, verifiable and additional to what would have taken place without the project. The CERs earned by project participants can be sold and retired against national emission reduction commitments under the Kyoto Protocol.
“The clean development mechanism is doing what the countries of the world designed it to do, and it has been very successful. Our task now is to build on that success and tap the considerable potential of the CDM, and other market mechanisms, for stimulating investment and reducing emissions,” said Mr. de Boer, the United Nation’s top climate change official.
The CDM is overseen by an international Executive Board that meets in Bonn about eight times a year. So far some 645 CDM projects have been registered in 44 countries, covering a wide range of sectors. Some 1.9 billion CERs, each equivalent to a tonne of CO2, are expected to be produced by CDM projects to the end of the Kyoto Protocol’s first commitment period in 2012.
1.4. Bush, EU Leaders Stress `Common’ Agreement on Climate
30 April 2007 , Bloomberg (relevant parts of the article)
President George W. Bush and German Chancellor Angela Merkel said they agreed that climate change must be addressed while playing down differences over how to achieve that goal.
The U.S. and the European Union recognize “we have a problem with greenhouse gases,” Bush said during a news conference today with Merkel, president of the EU, and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso in Washington.
“We are aware of the fact that we do have a problem here, that we need to solve this problem,” Merkel said through a translator. “There are different approaches, obviously, as to how to solve that, but we have been able, actually, to find a lot of common ground.”
While all three leaders talked of progress toward dealing with global warming, neither side indicated movement on closing their main differences. The EU regulates greenhouse-gas emissions, and the U.S. is sticking to an approach that relies on developing cleaner sources of power other than fossil fuels.
“This issue has become, along with the Iraq war, a great symbolic divide between Europe and America,” said Paul Bledsoe, a spokesman for the Washington-based National Commission on Energy Policy, a bipartisan advisory group that includes academics, oil executives, labor leaders and environmentalists. “Europeans view America as willing to sacrifice the very health of the planet for marginal economic gain.”
Climate: Barroso also said he was “very happy” that the meeting confirmed that “climate and energy security are important on the agenda.”
Bush suggested that a single solution won’t work for all countries. “Each country needs to recognize that we must reduce our greenhouse gases and deal, obviously, with their own internal politics to come up with an effective strategy” to reduce emissions, he said.
Merkel said the issue would be raised at the meeting of eight industrialized nations in Germany in June. Developing nations including China , India , Brazil and South Africa , would be included in talks, she said.
“If we were not doing that, we would not be able to combat that problem that is truly a global one,” Merkel said.
The EU is “not happy” with the inability of the two sides to get together and dismisses the Bush administration’s argument that tough penalties on polluters may curb economic growth, John Bruton, the European Union’s ambassador to the U.S., said in a briefing April 20.
1.5. NGO Statement at the Opening Session of CSD 15 – 30 April 2007
Jürgen Maier, CURES Network
Mr Chairman, distinguished delegates,
Climate change and energy security are the dominant issues of international politics today. The Security Council, the G8+5, the World Bank and other institutions are talking about it; the Secretary-General plans a Special Summit on Climate Change; in many countries this issue is deciding elections; next week the climate negotiations continue in Bonn.
So the CSD has a unique opportunity to bring together climate and energy and work out an integrated agenda – yet at the IPM it has sadly missed the opportunity. Most governments complained about the damage wrought upon their countries by climate change, yet at the same time they promoted the further expansion of the very fossil energy system that is responsible for climate change. Can the CSD really afford to trail the international energy and climate agenda when it should be the spearhead? We don’t think so.
What we need today is a co-ordinated international response to the energy and climate crisis. According to the new IPCC report, global emissions need to peak until 2020 and then have to be reduced. In other words: the fossil energy system cannot stay for many decades to come, but has to be phased out. This is only possible by a simultaneous massive expansion of sustainable renewable energies and energy efficiency as well as energy conservation. We need clear time-bound targets both for renewables and energy efficiency. And we need funding for this transformation – a rapid phase-out of the billions of subsidies for fossil and nuclear energy, as well as radical restructuring of the energy portfolios of multilateral development banks who still spend close to 90% for fossil fuel extraction. Specific review mechanisms must be established to ensure these goals are met.
A global energy revolution is also a program for industrial development. Countries that have made the energy revolution their political priority have clearly demonstrated that this creates more jobs than fossil fuels, they have enjoyed more economic growth and it puts those countries in the vanguard of the future energy technology markets. But those countries that are now listening to the tune of the fossil lobby will be paying dearly in the decades to come. And this applies both to industrial and developing countries alike. Countries are now deciding whether they are going to import the windmills, solar panels and efficiency technologies in the future, just as they do import petroleum now, or whether they will create their own booming renewable energy markets.
The elements of a global deal for a below 2°C degree energy vision between the industrial and major developing countries need to be negotiated now – in line with the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, leading to a second Kyoto commitment period and a package of energy agreements between industrial and developing nations.
1.6 billion people still lack access to basic modern energy services. Energy poverty disproportionately affects women and is a crucial obstacle not only to development, but also to poverty reduction and social progress. Access to modern energy services and technologies must become an integral part of national sustainable development strategies, and we also need clear time-bound targets and implementation strategies for expanding access to energy. Decentralized power generation and energy service delivery are the most promising approaches for that.
A sustainable energy future for all and the prevention of dangerous climate change is the challenge of the 21st century. We call on governments at CSD-15 to meet this challenge and agree on concrete steps. Thank you.
1.6. Climate change threatens security, UK tells UN
18 April 2007 , The Guardian
Britain has warned reluctant members of the United Nations that there are few greater threats to global security than climate change, delivering a stark message forecasting armed conflicts over scarce supplies of food, water and land.
On a trip to New York , the foreign secretary, Margaret Beckett, chaired the security council’s first debate on global warming. It was convened despite criticism from countries such as India and China which argue that the issue is outside the security council’s mandate of maintaining international peace.
Some 52 countries lined up to speak in the debate which Britain initiated as it holds the rotating presidency of the council. Mrs Beckett told reporters before speaking: "This is an issue which threatens the peace and security of the whole planet – this has to be the right place to debate it."
Inside the forum, Mrs Beckett said that recent scientific evidence reinforced, or even exceeded, the worst fears about climate change. She warned of migration on an "unprecedented scale" because of flooding, disease and famine. Drought and crop failure could cause intensified competition for food, water and energy while the economic destruction could be comparable to the second world war or the great depression, she said.
"Climate change is a security issue but it is not a matter of narrow national security – it has a new dimension," she said. "This is about our collective security in a fragile and increasingly interdependent world."
The foreign secretary quoted remarks made by President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda that global warming is "an act of aggression by the rich against the poor".
The initiative has had a mixed reception at the UN. While European countries praised Britain , there were reservations from developing countries which see climate change as an economic issue to be dealt with by the general assembly.
Pakistan and South African raised objections to the debate. The Group of 77, which represents poorer nations, has accused Britain of trying to widen the elite security council’s power which, it argues, is not to set policy but to deal with immediate breaches of peace.
British diplomats say the intention was to provoke discussion and put the issue at the top of the international agenda. Britain has pointed to the violence in Sudan ‘s Darfur region as an example of conflict partly caused by land degradation.
But American officials complained over the weekend that there were already forums dealing with the issue and other factors impinged more directly on security. Acting US ambassador Alejandro Wolff, said climate change "clearly presents serious challenges" and conceded that a lack of secure energy sources could "exacerbate economic and political problems".
But he said America was tackling the issue through aid initiatives promoting cleaner energy and fuel efficiency, adding that economic growth would help countries tackle global warming. "Economic growth provides the resources, in both developed and developing countries, to address energy and environmental challenges, including challenges associated with climate change," said Mr Wolff.
Environmental organisations welcomed discussion at the UN. Mike Townsley of Greenpeace said "weather of mass destruction" could lead to peace-keeping challenges. "Never before has it been so obvious that the issues of green and peace are inextricably intertwined and that they must be tackled together," he said.
The Maldives , Bangladesh and other low-lying countries more susceptible to flooding and climate change pleaded with industrialised nations for more action.
Last November, the Stern report suggested that 200 million people could be displaced by 2050 by rising sea levels and drought. It said the global economy could shrink by one-fifth. Even Osama bin Laden accused the US in 2002 of harming nature "with your industrial waste and gases more than any nation in history".
1.7. Maritime policy to bring jobs and fight climate change
3 May 2007, EurActiv.com
Europe ‘s future maritime policy could create huge employment opportunities while helping ease the consequences of climate change and support energy security, according to Commission President José Manuel Barroso.
A package of proposals for an all-embracing EU maritime policy will focus not only on strengthening the global competitiveness of Europe’s maritime industries and protecting the marine environment, but will also seek to respond to key challenges such as climate change, energy security, migration and drug trafficking, said Commission President Barroso at a conference on Europe’s future maritime policy in Bremen on 2 May.
He said that an integrated approach to maritime policy could help ease the consequences of climate change, such as rising sea levels and increasingly violent storms, through research and investments in coastal regions. The future policy could also support the development of new sea-based energy sources – such as methane hydrates from the seabed – "opening up possibilities that could dwarf all reserves of oil and gas known today" and providing "huge employment opportunities in the coastal regions and beyond".
The proposals, due to be presented by the Commission in October 2007 once the consultation process is over, will, for the first time, gather under a single heading sectors that are currently treated separately despite their interconnections and possible conflicts of interests: fisheries, shipbuilding, port activities, tourism, coastal management, marine research, environmental protection and maritime safety to name just a few.
"The emerging EU maritime policy is a perfect example of how the European project is moving forward. The sea unites us. This is the type of project we need in the debate on the future of Europe . It is specific enough to engage people in a real debate. It is political. It gives new perspectives for sustainable growth and employment. And it is evident that European cooperation is necessary to take it forward," said Barroso.
UPDATES FROM CEE REGION
2.1. Ukraine announces its ambition to become a first player on AAU trade market
By Irina Stavchuk, National ecological centre of Ukraine
Over the last few months a lot of developments are happening on the mechanism of international emission trading in Ukraine . A new state Agency on Green Investments was created, number regulatory and institutional arrangements has been planned and with help of World Bank, Point Carbon and Regional Environmental Center few seminars and high level round tables were conducted.
Ukraine is the second biggest supplier of AAUs after Russia and according to World Bank experts can offer from 0.45 to 1.5 billions of “hot air” to the global market. The head of the recently created Agency on Green Investments is financial advisor to the current Minister of Environmental Protection. He claims that Ukraine is planning to sell up to 1 billion of CO2e credits and will act strategically to influence the market price.
According to the World bank director on sustainable development, Ukraine could become an important player on the market, but has to consider three main factors: time for action is an essence, there is competition on global carbon market since the current supply of carbon credits is much higher than demand and that carbon credits are a National asset and have to be treated accordingly.
The Ministry of environmental protection admitted that Ukraine still has to finalize the registry under UNFCCC which is necessary to become eligible for Kyoto mechanisms and that the legal basis for AAU trading is still to be developed.
Generally the potential buyers of AAUs put a precondition that AAU trading can be launched only with countries which have established so-called green investment scheme (GIS). GIS is a voluntary mechanism developed by seller-country to ensure that the money received from AAU trading will be utilized for green projects in accountable and transparent way.
On the high level round table in Ukraine buyers’ perspective on AAU trade was presented with adviser to Japanese government on Kyoto protocol and representative from the Finnish embassy in Ukraine .
According to the representative from Japan , the Japanese government does not have a clear plan to buy AAUs. The government plans to buy 100 million tons of CO2, but according to projections they will need from 500 to 600 million tons to comply with Kyoto target. The most important criteria for Japan as AAU buyer are price, green use of money and credibility. Japanese representative also stated that for Japan it is even “ok if some project fails to deliver results until the whole system is clear”. It is also preferable if the trading will take place after verification of emission reductions. The Japanese government is also considering authorizing Japanese companies to buy AAUs.
Representative from the Finish government said that the country is planning to buy 12 million tons of CO2e from JI, CDM and International emission trading and that there are no explicit preconditions on green investment scheme as such.
What are the parameters of green investment scheme in Ukraine ?
In 2006 the WB conducted a study for the government of Ukraine on the options for international emissions trading and created a concept for GIS. It has not been fully accepted by the government and therefore the government is in the process of creation of a set of criteria for project selection, institutional and legal arrangements and other issues.
The head of the state GIS agency shared some views on GIS aspects during high level round table discussions:
Since the agency is established as an independent state body, there will not be any advisory or supervisory committee and all activities with AAUs will be controlled directly by Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine and discussed on bilateral negotiations with buyers;
On the question how control and project monitoring will be organized the head of the agency answered that “it is likely that the companies will have to hire consultants and conduct environmental auditing on their own”;
The agency is eager to find as many projects and sectors as possible since the ambition to sell 200 million tons CO2 allowances per year means projects with corresponding level of emission reductions;
It was suggested that Ukraine is going to eliminate all risks related with contract fulfillment through early transfer of AAUs, taking back AAUs in case if greening fails and cooperating with insurance companies to take care of other risks;
Among suggested sectors under GIS: methane utilization from coal mines and landfills, wind energy, biomass, development of bioethanol factories, steel industry, gas transportation, forestry, municipal sector and environmental education on climate change.
The representative from NGO working on climate change issues raised their concern on the lack of supervisory committee for activities with AAUs. Another big issue of concern is a plan to invest in the sectors which are already participating in JI mechanism and those which are economically viable without state help.
3.1. Japan pledges $100m to support clean energy projects in Asia
6 May 2007, AFP
Japan pledged today 100 million dollars to support clean energy projects in Asia , as rapid economic growth brings rising emissions of greenhouse gases.
Japan will also offer loans totalling up to two billion dollars over five years to promote sustainable development and measures to combat climate change, Finance Minister Koji Omi told the Asian Development Bank’s annual meeting.
"With Asia ‘s role in the world economy growing, CO2 (carbon dioxide) emissions from Asia are having an increasing environmental impact," he said.
"At present, Asia accounts for about 30 per cent of global energy consumption," he said, adding that the region’s energy use would double by 2030 from current levels.
"More efficient use of energy and the reduction of CO2 emissions in Asia are necessary for achieving sustainable growth not only in the region, but also in the world," Omi said.
The ADB said Friday it would invest 900 million dollars in clean energy projects in 2007 and slightly more in the following two years, with the priority on China , India , Indonesia , Pakistan , the Philippines and Vietnam .
But the development bank came under attack from non-governmental campaigners led by Greenpeace which said that a large portion of the ADB’s energy financing was still being channeled into smoke-belching fossil-fuelled power.
3.2. Environmental groups condemn IPCC call for large scale biofuels as a climate disaster in the making
4 May 2007, Joint press release by Global Forest Coalition, Biofuelwatch, Global Justice Ecology Project, Grupo de Reflexion Rural ( Argentina ), Rettet den Regenwald e.V., Econexus, Munlochy Vigil, and Noah (Friends of the Earth Denmark), Corporate Europe Observatory, and Gaia Foundation
The IPCC Assessment Report Four has made a compelling case on what global warming means to the planet this century. It is the IPCC’s strongest warning yet that drastic cuts in carbon emissions are vital if we are to avoid a catastrophic acceleration of climate change. Environmental groups are, however, deeply concerned that the IPCC’s Summary for Policy Makers on climate mitigation, released earlier today, includes a recommendation for large-scale expansion of biofuels from monocultures, including from GM crops, even though monoculture expansion is a driving force behind the destruction of rainforests and other carbon sinks and reservoirs, thus accelerating climate change. The IPCC also recommend the expansion of large-scale agroforestry monoculture plantations. These plantations, which will include GM trees, are similarly linked to ecosystem destruction. Monoculture expansion is a major threat to the livelihoods and food sovereignty of communities many of which are already bearing the brunt of climate change disasters caused largely by the fossil fuel emissions of industrialised countries.
Almuth Ernsting of Biofuelwatch stated: “It is already clear that the burgeoning demand for biofuels that has been created to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is actually increasing them by deforestation in the tropics and accelerating climate change. So far, only 1% of global transport fuel comes from biofuels, yet already biofuels cause steep rises in grain and vegetable oil prices, threatening the food security of poor people and spurring agricultural expansion into forests and grasslands, on which we depend for a stable climate”.
The IPCC recommend second generation GM biofuels, which are widely believed to be at least 10-15 years away from commercialisation. There are serious concerns about the risks involved in technologies which will rely heavily on GM microbes and fungi for the refining process, as well as GM crops and trees.
Mayer Hillman, senior fellow emeritus at Policy Studies Institute said: “There is an inherent and acutely serious problem within the report. On the one hand, it leaves us in no doubt to how vital conservation of the planet’s ecosystems and carbon sinks are to averting the worst predictions made in the previous sections of the report. On the other, it proposes the large scale use of the biosphere to satisfy demand in the transport and energy sectors.” Simone Lovera, managing coordinator of the Global Forest Coalition, a worldwide coalition of NGOs and Indigenous Peoples Organizations added: “It is difficult to see how an emphasis on protecting rainforests and curbing deforestation is compatible with using biofuels as a solution to climate change when there are no policy instruments that guarantee biofuel expansion without accelerating deforestation.”
The IPCC report would appear to suggest that the climate can be stabilised at a safe level without reducing growth. The signatories to the press release believe that only large-scale reductions in energy use in the industrial nations, together with investment in sustainable forms of renewable energy, such as wind and solar power, can avoid the worst impacts of climate change.
3.3. PepsiCo going all renewable energy
30 April 2007 , UPI
PepsiCo announced the largest purchase of renewable energy certificates ever Monday, matching electricity used by all U.S. company facilities.
PepsiCo’s reported three-year purchase includes more than 1 billion kilowatt-hours annually, the estimated amount of electricity needed power nearly 90,000 U.S. homes each year.
The move puts the soft drink and snack food giant in the forefront of "green power," renewable resources such as solar, wind, geothermal, biogas, biomass and low-impact hydro.
Those energy sources are considered cleaner and have a superior environmental profile than conventional sources of electricity.
This endeavor also puts PepsiCo atop the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s list of top 25 green power purchasers.
3.4. China could overtake US as biggest emissions culprit by November
25 April 2007 , The Guardian
China may overtake the United States as the world’s biggest source of greenhouse gases within months, one of the world’s leading energy analysts predicted yesterday.
Dr Fatih Birol, chief economist of the Paris-based International Energy Agency, said the country’s economic growth had been so fast in 2006 and 2007 that the historic global shift of climate-changing emissions from west to east which was previously predicted for 2009 or 2010 could now happen by November.
But these predictions paled into insignificance, said Dr Birol, if China took no measures to restrain emissions. At current rates, he said, it would be emitting twice as much CO2 as the world’s 26 richest countries together within 25 years.
"[By then] CO2 emissions which come from China alone will be double the CO2 emissions which will come from all the OECD countries put together – the whole US, plus Canada, Europe, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand" said Mr Birol.
China has signed up to the Kyoto Protocol on climate change, but, as a developing country, it does not have a cap on its emissions. The new prediction that it will become the world’s largest contributor of greenhouse gases this year will add to pressure for it to control emissions after 2012 when the treaty runs out.
"Without having China on board, no international climate change policy has any chance of success at all. "Without China playing a significant role, all the efforts of every other country will make little sense. It is terribly important."
However, Dr Birol accepted that on a per capita basis, people in rich countries still emit far more than individual people in China . US emissions in 2004 , the most recent figures available, totalled 5,799 million tonnes of CO2 from 293 million people, compared to China ‘s 4,732 million tonnes of CO2 between 1,296 million people. Historically, China has also contributed little to the present buildup of greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere.
"By 2030 we calculate each individual in China will emit nearly 7 tonnes of CO2 a year, but the average in OECD countries by then will be 13 tonnes," said Dr Birol.
China ‘s breakneck industrial growth, which has been running at nearly 10% a year for four years and was reported to have increased unexpectedly to 11% in the first three months of 2007, has been fuelled almost entirely by burning coal. The most populated country in the world has the world’s second largest coal reserves, estimated to be over 185bn tonnes, and 70% of all its greenhouse emissions can be traced to coal. This compares with 32% in the US .
Moreover, there is no sign that China is about to reduce its emissions. Last year it built an average of five 300 megawatt coal-powered electricity plants a week, and burned more than 1.2bn tonnes of coal. Energy consumption in China is expected to continue rising fast as it aims to quadruple the size of its economy by 2020.
It is also massively increasing the amount of oil and other fossil fuels that it uses. Between 1996 and 2003, its oil imports increased from 20 million tonnes to 90 million tonnes. The number of cars on its roads has increased by at least 30% since 2002.
However, China has made serious attempts to stem the growth of its emissions. It demands far higher emission standards from its vehicles than the US , and plans to produce 16% of all its electricity from renewable sources by 2020, while reducing the energy intensity of its economy by a further 20%. China improved its energy intensity by more than 60% between 1980 and 2004.
But while China ‘s leaders speak of their awareness of climate change and the need to address emissions, not enough is being done, say analysts. A progressive renewable energy law came into force in 2006 but it has been implemented slowly. This week state officials are expected to say at a conference in Milan that only 80 wind farms have so far been built – far less than in Britain or Denmark.
China is well aware of the probable effects that climate change will have on the country. According to a report published by its government at the weekend, change will mean larger deserts, more severe droughts and reduced water availability, as well as declining crops and increased spread of disease. The country is also vulnerable to sea level rises and the shrinking of glaciers which provide much of its river water.
However, it is widely believed in economic circles that the country should focus on development first before cutting greenhouse gas emissions.
China this week delayed publishing its long anticipated national "action plan" on climate change. It gave no reason.
3.5. India , Japan sign agreement on energy efficiency
23 April 2007 , PTI
Japan today pledged to help India build an efficient energy-saving system and extend support to ensure energy security.
An agreement to this effect was signed between Japan ‘s Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Akira Amari and India ‘s Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia here, the Kyodo news agency reported.
"It is crucial to foster a virtuous cycle of energy security, economic development and environmental protection and the most efficient and effective means of realising such a cycle is to promote energy efficiency as well as further development of energy infrastructure," the report quoted a joint statement issued after talks between Ahluwalia and Amira.
Ahluwalia said India was aware of the importance of pursuing energy efficiency, including its impact to climate change. He also sought Japan ‘s support to curb the energy consumption in India .
He told Amari that both the nations could join hands in developing clean coal technologies and solar power and biomass energies.
The bilateral energy dialogue is taking place following an agreement between Japanese Premier Shinzo Abe and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in December last year, the report said.
4.1. Russia and the Kyoto Protocol 2007
St. Petersburg , 24 – 25 May
Online registration will be available soon. Meanwhile please write to [email protected] to get registered.
Following the overwhelming success of last year’s conference which gathered over 300 participants and 20 exhibitors from from 24 countries, we are pleased to invite you to meet the Russian authorities, project owners and developers, emission reduction buyers, potential project hosts, technology providers, carbon investors and analysts.
To learn more about the conference, sponsorship and exhibition opportunities, please visit http://www.pointcarbon.com/Events/article20697-369.html.
4.2. 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.
4.3. 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.
4.4. Scientific framework of environmental and forest governance — The role of discourses and expertise
The IUFRO conference to be held on 27 and 28 of August 2007 in Goettingen/Germany.
Please consult the Call for Papers for further information under: http://www.iufro.org/science/divisions/division-6/60000/61200/61202/activities/ or http://www.iufro.org/download/file/1648/3058/goettingen07-call-for-paper.doc.
4.5. DISCCRS International Interdisciplinary Climate Change Symposium
Hawaii , Sept. 10-17, 2007 — Deadline for applications: 30 April 2007 .
Airfare, room & board are fully paid for 36 accepted candidates from around the world. Social scientists are especially encouraged to apply!
DISCCRS (pronounced "discourse") is an interdisciplinary initiative for recent Ph.D. graduates conducting research related to climate change and its impacts. The goal is to broaden research interests and establish a collegial peer network extending across the spectrum of natural and social sciences, humanities, mathematics, engineering and other disciplines related to climate change and its impacts. The initiative includes a public webpage, electronic newsletter, and annual symposia funded through 2008.
Expenses: Airfare and on-site expenses are provided through NSF grant EAR-0435728 to Whitman College .
Eligibility: Ph.D. requirements related to climate change and impacts. Recent Ph.D. graduates from all disciplines and countries are invited to join the DISCCRS network and apply to be a DISCCRS symposium scholar.
Thirty-six applicants will be selected by an interdisciplinary committee of research scientists. During the week participants will provide oral and poster presentations in plenary format, hone interdisciplinary communication and team skills, and discuss emerging research, societal and professional issues with each other and with established researchers invited to serve as mentors.
For questions, please contact: [email protected].
4.6. 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.
5.1. Green Paper on Market Based Instruments
Market-based instruments (MBI), such as environmental taxes, tradable permit systems or targeted subsidies, are a cost-effective way to protect and improve the environment. They provide incentives to firms and consumers to opt for greener production or products.
The Green Paper explores options for the more intensive use of MBI in various important areas of environmental and energy policy at both Community and national levels. Subjects covered include: possible ways forward with the Energy Taxation Directive in view of its announced review; water pricing; sustainable waste management; habitat banking to protect biodiversity, trading instruments to reduce local air pollution; instruments to reduce the environmental impact of transport; experiences with Environmental Tax Reforms in several Member States.
The Commission wants to launch a debate on the further use of market-based instruments in these areas. Therefore the Green Paper asks a series of questions on these issues. You are invited to send your replies and reactions to [email protected] by 31 July 2007 .
More info at: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/enveco/green_paper.htm.
Disclaimer: We do not guarantee for the accuracy, reliability or content of information. For help or questions, contact: [email protected]