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POLICY

1.1. Montreal 2005: Taking Action on Climate Change
23 November 2005 , Embassy
By Pierre Pettigrew: Climate change is one of the most critical issues humanity has ever faced. It impacts the social well-being, economic prosperity and environmental integrity of every country on earth. It threatens the very sustainability of humanity. For these reasons, it is vital that we bring the world together under one roof, to share in tackling this tremendous challenge. Clearly, the only way forward in effectively addressing climate change is through meaningful international cooperation. From Nov. 28 to Dec. 9, 2005 Canada will host the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Montreal . As host, Canada enjoys the unique opportunity, and bears the enormous responsibility of chairing the conference. This is set to be the largest intergovernmental climate conference since the Kyoto Protocol was adopted in 1997 with between 8,000 and 10,000 participants expected. Not only will Montreal be the 11th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, it is unique in that it also represents the first Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol since it entered into force in February. The Conference will provide an excellent opportunity for parties to reaffirm their desire to meet their Kyoto commitments. Montreal will also provide parties with the opportunity to map out the direction for future action on climate change. I am personally very honoured to lead Canada ‘s delegation and I look forward to working with my international colleagues to ensure that this conference is a success. Canada has always been a strong supporter of the Kyoto Protocol and has continually expressed its resolve to meet its own commitments. Further, Canada is committed to the long-term economic transformation that is required to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while ensuring continued economic growth. In light of this, I look forward to Montreal as a chance to reaffirm Canada ‘s current commitments and to continue to exercise our leadership in shaping an effective and equitable way forward. Canada embraces the challenge of managing the conference’s very busy agenda by setting out three very ambitious objectives — to fully implement the Kyoto Protocol, to improve how the current system functions and plan for the future. Firstly, in order to move forward, we must see to it that parties adopt and implement the remaining aspects of the Kyoto Protocol. Foremost among these are the Marrakech Accords, the detailed international rules that are at the heart of the Protocol. Adopting these measures is central to ensuring that we move beyond making commitments, to taking action. Our second objective is to direct the collaborative work necessary to improve the current mechanisms of the Protocol. While there have been many successes since the Kyoto Protocol was crafted in 1997, Canada has also learned a lot about what is needed to further improve the existing international climate change regime. Foremost, we need to improve the current system to strengthen and streamline the Clean Development Mechanism. The Clean Development Mechanism is designed to assist industrialized countries to meet their Kyoto targets while providing developing countries the ability to further develop their economies in a sustainable way. I continue to believe that if the world is to move from greenhouse gas intensive economies to those that are competitive and non-polluting, it is essential that the latest technologies are available to both developing and developed countries alike. Canada ‘s commitment to developing countries has been significant, including over $200 million committed through the Canada Climate Change Development Fund. As a third priority, we need to set the direction of future negotiations for the period beyond 2012 in order to build an effective and equitable long term solution to addressing climate change. Canada believes that any such way forward would need to focus on further reductions of greenhouse gases to a stable level that will not pose a danger to humanity. Further, any way forward must also focus on the needs of developing countries; the need to encourage a greater number of countries to participate in the regime; a strong and competitive global carbon market; a renewed focus on adaptation; and the development and deployment of existing and transformative technologies. These six elements are essential to achieving the ultimate goals of the climate change regime. What needs to be done is no secret. Canada has never shrunk from meeting international challenges and it will not do so now. Canada will meet the challenge of global climate change the only way it knows how, head on. As such, I look forward to working with the rest of the international community to ensure a successful outcome in Montreal , and chart a new course in global environmental diplomacy. Pierre Pettigrew is Canada ‘s Minister of Foreign Affairs.

1.2. EU hints at policy shift on climate change talks
21 November 2005 , http://www.eupolitix.com/EN/News/200511/c2028717-5078-4de5-8ccc-e3280f32fd05.htm
Brussels has signalled that it is set to water down EU demands compelling developing countries to comply with strict climate change rules. EU environment chief Stavros Dimas hinted at a shift in EU climate change policy during a speech in London on Monday ahead of global climate change talks in Montreal next week. “The EU will adopt a constructive approach to the post-2012 debate,” said Dimas. “In Montreal , we wish to start a process that leads to formal negotiations on future international cooperation on climate change, but we are not jumping to any pre-conceived ideas on how this cooperation should look.” EU policymakers are concerned that opposition to the Kyoto protocol’s requirements and to mandatory emissions reduction targets, from developing countries such as India , China and Brazil , may scupper the Canadian talks. Dimas speech made no mention of locking in the rapidly industrialising countries to mandatory targets. And the Greek commissioner said that future international climate cooperation must be based on broad participation that includes the developing world and the US . Dimas raised the possibility of a twin-tier global climate change agreement by emphasising that the EU did “not think that developing countries, even those with booming economies, should or indeed could take on the same commitments as industrialised countries.” “But we could design a system with different types of participation, under which developing countries would take on commitments that were in line with their level of economic development.” Dimas’ comments echoed those of UK environment minister, Margaret Beckett, who will lead the EU negotiating team at the COP 11 climate change talks in Montreal . Beckett suggested that developing countries could opt for a regime of voluntary emissions reduction targets. Dimas also called for increased funding to develop new technologies to fight climate change. The EU has in the past been reluctant to publicly promote the value of new technologies in combating climate change. On the one hand, the EU’s emissions trading scheme is presented as an incentive to develop new ‘clean technology’, while on the other, the US has used the application and development of new technology as its excuse not to sigh up to the Kyoto protocol. Dimas said the development of new technologies “will be indispensable to master the shift to a low-carbon society.” The commissioner also warned not to expect too much from the Montreal talks. “ Montreal will not produce the final solution to climate change – but it might be a crucial stepping stone towards reaching a global consensus. This is why we have to explore what common ground countries share.”

1.3. Witnesses bear testimony to climate change
24 November 2005 , http://www.euractiv.com/Article?tcmuri=tcm:29-149531-16&type=News
In Short: A week ahead of the UN climate change conference in Montreal, Commissioner Dimas has backed a WWF campaign telling the stories of how climate change affects the daily lives and businesses of some EU citizens. Background: The WWF’s "climate witness" campaign comes in support of EU efforts at reaching an international agreement post-Kyoto at the 11th Conference of the Parties to the UN Climate Change Convention (COP-11). The conference, to be held in Montreal from 28 November to 9 December, will also be the first Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (MOP-1) after the international agreement entered into force with Russia ‘s ratification in February this year. Issues: "Snow disappearing in Scotland , fewer bees in Italy , crop losses in Spain , forests on the decline in Germany and sea levels rising off the coast of England ". These are the stories told by five "climate witnesses" that the WWF brought to Brussels on 22 November to encourage the EU to do more on cutting greenhouse gas emissions ahead of the COP-11 meeting in Montreal . But the Commission’s expectations for COP-11 are low. "At Montreal , it is far too much to expect full agreement to be reached on all the core elements of a future climate change regime," EU Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas told the House of Commons on Monday (21 November). However, he added the conference "might be a crucial stepping stone towards reaching a global consensus." Positions: Over the past year, the Commission has come under mounting pressure from business organisations to do away with EU climate change policies, which the latter say are harmful to the economy. The EU employers’ organisation UNICE recently reiterated its belief that " Europe cannot solve the issue in isolation," without other major world economies, such as the US and China . "Unilateral EU targets could seriously damage the EU economy, let alone competitiveness, with little or no environmental impact," UNICE stated on 16 November. Environmental NGOs such as the WWF argue the exact opposite. "In order to be credible at a global level, the EU should first of all meet its commitments under the Kyoto Protocol and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 8 per cent by 2012 domestically" said Stephan Singer, Head of the European Climate and Energy Policy Unit at WWF. Singer added that this goal can be achieved with a stronger Emissions Trading Scheme and deeper CO2 cuts from the power sector. EU Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas pledged to continue with policies aimed at meeting the EU’s Kyoto commitments. Speaking at the House of Commons on 21 November, he said work was already underway to include aviation in the EU emissions trading scheme. On post-Kyoto commitments, he said it was now "time for global co-operation and determined action by all to fight climate change, building on the existing United Nations Framework Convention". "The future regime must include all greenhouse gases and all sectors, including aviation, maritime transport and forestry," he added.

1.4. Clear the air on climate change
22 November 2005 , WWF
By Daniel Gagnier and Jennifer Morgan: The power sector is responsible for 24 million extra tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions – almost half of the total increase of 53 million tonnes across the EU. Industry’s immense capacity for innovation can help mitigate the effects of climate change, but there is a substantial barrier that must be addressed in order to provide clarity: The uncertainty about the Kyoto Protocol beyond 2012. Current government commitments under Kyoto to reduce greenhouse gases only extend to 2012. Beyond that, the situation is unclear. That’s a problem for industry, particularly capital-intensive industry. It is not that such businesses are unable or even unwilling to reduce their emissions. The problem is that in capital-intensive industries, where turnover for replacing equipment can take decades and cost hundreds of millions of dollars, companies need to know what the future holds. It is also a massive problem for nature, and people around the world grappling with the ever-increasing impacts of climate change. Once the decision is made to replace a new plant or piece of equipment, that investment is expected to produce aluminum, electricity, automobiles or nickel — to name a few of the more obvious examples — for decades. While retrofitting equipment to be more efficient is always possible, it is often the most expensive way of tackling the problem. The best approach is to incorporate carbon-reducing measures into the planning for equipment turnover and replacement. So, to harness the immense innovative capacity of the private sector to seriously tackle greenhouse gas reductions and remain economically competitive in a low-carbon economy, the business community first needs greater certainty. Some unknowns are commercial — such as what the demand will be — and up to the company to assess. But others lie with governments, and minimizing the uncertainties that arise from international agreements and national plans is one of them. That brings us to the upcoming United Nations climate change meeting in Montreal running from November 28th to December 9th. It will be a huge affair, where up to 10,000 participants will analyze and debate aspects of the Kyoto Protocol and its future. Most importantly, the meeting will mark the beginning of the discussion on what to do about climate change once the current Kyoto Protocol commitments expire in 2012. Coming out of that meeting, the world’s political leaders need to send two clear messages to the business community: 1. That they are prepared to seriously tackle the problem and begin discussions to establish new targets for emissions reductions beyond 2012. 2. That the time frames are sufficiently long-term to allow business to plan for it intelligently, while also providing shorter-term check-in points to ensure that governments are meeting their commitments. In short, we need a signal to come out of Montreal that there’s going to be steady, unremitting and thoughtful pressure to extend emission reductions beyond Kyoto . Canada ‘s Environment Minister, Stephane Dion, as the host of the Montreal meeting, has a central role in ensuring that happens. There will be many complaints — some valid — about the process, the measures used to assess different kinds of reductions, and the techniques to do so. The issue of sharing the burden of cuts between the developed and developing economies is fraught with difficulty. The unwillingness of the United States to endorse Kyoto is a position not held by many states, companies or senators in the United States . And the position of one country, no matter how important, cannot be used as an excuse for others to ignore global warming. If we believe we must hold the average increase in worldwide temperatures to below 2°C, and we do, we must act. The federal government has asserted that cutting emissions will be financially, as well as environmentally, advantageous by making us more competitive. So here’s Mr Dion’s chance. An ambitious push to launch negotiations on the post-2012 time period from Montreal will send the right signal to industry and the public. Kyoto ‘s first round was like a bicycle with training wheels — it got us started. But now is the time to take the training wheels off and to really start pedalling. Daniel Gagnier is Senior Vice-President of Corporate and External Affairs at Alcan Inc. Jennifer Morgan is Director of WWF’s Global Climate Change Programme. This opinion piece first appeared in the The Ottawa Citizen on 22 November 2005 .

1.5. N. Korea Joins Kyoto Protocol
20 November 2005 , Korea Times
By Yoon Won-sup: North Korea agreed to the Kyoto Protocol, an international agreement aimed at reducing emissions of greenhouse gases, last April, a South Korean government official said on Sunday. The official said on condition of anonymity that the North joined the Kyoto Protocol under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change on April 27 and that the communist country is expected to carry out the obligations stipulated in the accord. “ North Korea appears to have had the Supreme People’s Assembly ratify the pact,’’ he said. “The North is likely to send its delegation to a United Nations meeting on global climate change in Montreal, Canada, on Nov. 28.’’ The Chosun Shinbo, a pro-Pyongyang newspaper based in Japan , also reported that North Korea accepted the Kyoto Protocol in April as part of its efforts to join the international community in sustainable development. Observers said that the North Korean move can be interpreted as its realization that the environmental issue has become one of the most important global agendas. North Korea has rarely attended international meetings related to the Kyoto Protocol. “The U.N. agreement on climate change is an issue which no nation cannot ignore,” an official at the Ministry of Environment said. “Aware of the international move on environment, North Korea is preparing for it.’’ The Kyoto Protocol was adopted in 1997 and came into force on Feb. 17 after Russia ratified it. However, the U.S. , the world’s largest emitter of carbon dioxide, has rejected the treaty, questioning its effectiveness and possible damage to the U.S. economy. The protocol requires industrialized countries to cut down carbon dioxide and other greenhouse-gas emissions to 5.2 percent below the 1990 levels between 2008 and 2012. South Korea , unlike industrialized countries to be regulated by the protocol from 2008, is currently exempt from the reduction scheme.

ENERGY AND EMISSIONS

2.1. US greenhouse gas output falls
22 November 2005 , FT
By Fiona Harvey: Emissions of greenhouse gases from the US fell for the first time in more than a decade between 2000 and 2003 following a shift in heavy manufacturing away from US shores to cheaper locations such as China. James Connaughton, chairman of the White House’s Council on Environmental Quality, said on Tuesday the decrease of 0.8 per cent in gases such as carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide had been unexpected: “This was not something we would have projected.” The slight fall had come even as the US population grew by 8.6m, and increased its gross domestic product by the worth of the economy of China , Mr Connaughton said. Greenhouse gas emissions in the US , from sources such as electricity generation, motor transport and industry, increased by an average of about 1 per cent a year during the 1990s. The last time the country’s greenhouse gas output fell significantly was in the early 1980s following a recession, and there was a slight decline around 1990-91. Mr Connaughton hailed the “stabilisation” of greenhouse gas output as a victory for the US policy of avoiding mandatory targets and concentrating on new technologies, such as methane capture and “clean coal”. But he admitted that alongside these “good reasons” for the drop, there were also “bad reasons”, such as the offshoring of manufacturing and commodity chemicals and agricultural fertiliser industries. He said industrial emissions, defined as those generated directly by industry or by the energy used in industrial processes, were below 1990 levels – the baseline for calculating the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from developed countries under the United Nations-brokered Kyoto treaty on climate change.

2.2. Poor nations light their way without Kyoto caps
22 November 2005 , Reuters
By Ed Stoddard: Stanley Diphofa is happy to be hooked up to South Africa ‘s power grid. And he’s not worried by the fact that the massive coal-fired stations which power it emit large quantities of greenhouse gases blamed for climate change. "If you have no electricity, you have no business," he said outside his modest computer service centre — housed in a corrugated iron shed — on the edge of a crowded squatter camp just north of Johannesburg . One section of the camp has been hooked up to electricity; the other half desperately wants to be plugged in. "Electricity makes a huge difference. You can cook, iron, study at night," said Bongani Dyala, a high school student who lives in a shack in the part of the camp with no power. The government is keen to roll out more power services to millions of poor black South Africans and it does not want to commit itself to greenhouse gas emission cuts under the United Nations’ Kyoto Protocol on climate change. Most developed nations have agreed to cut their emissions of heat-trapping gases by 5.2 percent below 1990 levels by 2008-12 but poorer countries are exempt from the Kyoto emission caps. A U.N. conference in Montreal , Canada , from Nov. 28 will start looking at ways to extend Kyoto beyond 2012 and widen it to non-participants including the United States and developing nations like China and India . The United States pulled out of Kyoto in 2001 when President George W. Bush said it was too expensive and wrongly excluded poor nations from the first round to 2012. No caps for poor nations: But the planet’s have-nots are unlikely to sign up to post-2012 cuts in greenhouse gases on the grounds that the rich world’s economic success was fired by industrial smokestacks and exhaust pipes. They also argue that while rich nations have long accounted for the bulk of global emissions, poor regions may be the worst affected by falling water supplies, rising seas, desertification and other phenomena linked to climate change. Emissions from most African countries — excluding South Africa — are tiny by global standards, on a continent where electricity and private cars are a luxury most can never afford. South Africa’s Environment Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk told Reuters in a recent interview that it was too early for developing countries to sign up for targets. Similar signals have come from Asian giants India and China . " China , India and South Africa still need to undergo quite substantial economic growth to raise the living standards of their citizens to an acceptable level," said Steve Sawyer, climate policy adviser for Greenpeace. South Africa ‘s government is aiming for an annual economic growth rate of six percent by 2010 in a bid to slash poverty. "But the definitions of a developing country are a little bit fuzzy. South Korea and Mexico are at a stage of development where they could make commitments based on their per capita GDPs (gross domestic products)," Sawyer said. Analysts say instead of caps, developing countries are more likely to opt for "softer" targets such as commitments to boost their use of renewable energy like solar and wind power. In the jargon used about climate change, they will be encouraged to take steps to "decarbonise" their economies. "They may start with a different kind of target, perhaps by sector. Or perhaps make they will make a commitment on renewable energy," said Jennifer Morgan, the director of conservation group WWF’s global climate change programme. South Africa microcosm: South Africa in many ways provides a microcosm of the global debate on this issue. It has an affluent and mostly white minority that enjoys living standards like those in developed countries, and a mostly poor black majority that aspires to this lifestyle — a mirror image of the global "North-South" divide. It is also the most industrialised and advanced economy on the African continent. It is the 16th highest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world, accounting for 1.4 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions, according to U.N. data. Its emissions look set to rise as a black middle class emerges and the government strives to improve the lives of millions of its people. New vehicle sales hit a monthly record high of 54,574 units in September and remained robust in October — a trend analysts say stems in part from the growth of the black middle class. State power utility Eskom says power demand is set to outpace current output by 2007, leading the government to announce plans to recommission several mothballed power stations and build more from scratch. These will mostly be fuelled by carbon-heavy coal, a mineral that South Africa has in abundance. About 92 percent of Eskom’s power is generated by coal. Eskom says about 70 percent of households now have electricity compared to 36 percent when apartheid ended in 1994. It aims to get all homes hooked up to the grid. Plans to expand industrial capacity — including the construction of an aluminium smelter — will boost South Africa ‘s energy consumption further. But the future of emerging economies is not just belching smokestacks. Eskom aims to boost its use of renewables — currently it is next to nothing — and South Africa is blessed with lots of clean energy sources in the form of sun, wind and surf. Even China has made huge strides in this regard, with some environmentalists lauding it for its "green energy" policies. According to the Washington-based Worldwatch Institute, 35 million homes in China are already getting their hot water from solar collectors — more than the rest of the world combined.

2.3. Govt to proceed with oil palm project
21 November 2005 , The Jakarta Post
The government is likely to go on with its plan to use over 1 million hectares of tropical forests for oil palm plantations in West and East Kalimantan despite opposition from environmental groups. Minister of Forestry Malam Sambat Kaban said that the establishment of the oil plantations in Kalimantan , which are expected to be the largest in the world, had very significant political and economical value for the country. "Most of the (planned plantation) area would be located near the border (with Malaysia ), which has been neglected in the past," he told The Jakarta Post over the weekend. The government expects the establishment of the plantations to create some 100,000 new jobs. The establishment of the oil plantations in the border areas is seen as a way to strengthen the territory of Indonesia as well as to improve the economic welfare of the people there, most of whom are living in poverty, Kaban said. The Ministry of Forestry is currently finalizing a report on the controversial plan, he said. "We expect to finish it this month. A presidential decree will be issued for the purpose," Kaban said. A number of environmental groups have warned that the establishment of the oil palm plantations, would lead to environmental, social and economic losses. Funded by Chinese investors, the plantations will be located in an area known as the Heart of Borneo, which is the only remaining place in Southeast Asia where forests can be conserved on a massive scale. The Heart of Borneo is known as one of the richest areas in terms of biodiversity in the world and one of only two places on earth where endangered orangutans, pygmy elephants and rhinos exist. Fourteen of 20 major rivers on the island originate from the region, making it the source of water for its inhabitants. Citing a study, some environmentalists also argued that the topographical condition of most parts of the Heart of Borneo was not suitable for oil palm plantations. Greenomics Indonesia also warned that the clearing of the rain forests for plantations would damage the local economy. It estimates that the plan, which would cost some US$8 billion, carries some Rp 27 trillion ($2.7 billion) in potential losses annually due to environmental degradation. However, Kaban dismissed the warning, saying that the government would maintain the environment. "We would not allocate protected forests for the plantation. It would probably be less than 1 million hectares," he asserted, adding that the government would require the plantation companies to prepare measures to protect the environment. Indonesia currently produces 36 percent of the world’s palm oil. Meanwhile, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) — which also opposes the oil palm project on part of Borneo island — said it would hold a two-day 3rd Round Table on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) in Singapore starting Nov. 22 for the purpose of formulating principles and criteria for an environmentally friendly palm oil industry. An RSPO was first held in 2003 by WWF and oil palm plantation firms, producers and buyers to discuss definitions for responsible conduct by oil palm plantations. "We expect the conference to formulate criteria for an environmentally friendly oil palm plantation industry," said Fitrian Ardiansyah, WWF Indonesia Program Coordinator for Forest Restoration and Threat Mitigation. He said the criteria included a requirement for oil palm plantations not to threaten the existence of conservation forests. " Plantation firms must not establish plantations in highly protected areas, must not cause forest fires and pollution, and must not spark social unrest among local people," Fitrian said.

CLIMATE IMPACTS

3.1. Millions face glacier catastrophe – Global warming hits Himalayas
20 November 2005 , The Observer
Robin McKie: Nawa Jigtar was working in the village of Ghat , in Nepal , when the sound of crashing sent him rushing out of his home. He emerged to see his herd of cattle being swept away by a wall of water. Jigtar and his fellow villagers were able to scramble to safety. They were lucky: ‘If it had come at night, none of us would have survived.’ Ghat was destroyed when a lake, high in the Himalayas , burst its banks. Swollen with glacier meltwaters, its walls of rock and ice had suddenly disintegrated. Several million cubic metres of water crashed down the mountain. When Ghat was destroyed, in 1985, such incidents were rare – but not any more. Last week, scientists revealed that there has been a tenfold jump in such catastrophes in the past two decades, the result of global warming. Himalayan glacier lakes are filling up with more and more melted ice and 24 of them are now poised to burst their banks in Bhutan , with a similar number at risk in Nepal . But that is just the beginning, a report in Nature said last week. Future disasters around the Himalayas will include ‘floods, droughts, land erosion, biodiversity loss and changes in rainfall and the monsoon’. The roof of the world is changing, as can be seen by Nepal ‘s Khumbu glacier, where Hillary and Tenzing began their 1953 Everest expedition. It has retreated three miles since their ascent. Almost 95 per cent of Himalayan glaciers are also shrinking – and that kind of ice loss has profound implications, not just for Nepal and Bhutan , but for surrounding nations, including China , India and Pakistan . Eventually, the Himalayan glaciers will shrink so much their meltwaters will dry up, say scientists. Catastrophes like Ghat will die out. At the same time, rivers fed by these melted glaciers – such as the Indus , Yellow River and Mekong – will turn to trickles. Drinking and irrigation water will disappear. Hundreds of millions of people will be affected. ‘There is a short-term danger of too much water coming out the Himalayas and a greater long-term danger of there not being enough,’ said Dr Phil Porter, of the University of Hertfordshire . ‘Either way, it is easy to pinpoint the cause: global warming.’ According to Nature, temperatures in the region have increased by more than 1C recently and are set to rise by a further 1.2C by 2050, and by 3C by the end of the century. This heating has already caused 24 of Bhutan ‘s glacial lakes to reach ‘potentially dangerous’ status, according to government officials. Nepal is similarly affected. ‘A glacier lake catastrophe happened once in a decade 50 years ago,’ said UK geologist John Reynolds, whose company advises Nepal . ‘Five years ago, they were happening every three years. By 2010, a glacial lake catastrophe will happen every year.’ An example of the impact is provided by Luggye Tsho, in Bhutan , which burst its banks in 1994, sweeping 10 million cubic metres of water down the mountain. It struck Panukha, 50 miles away, killing 21 people. Now a nearby lake, below the Thorthormi glacier, is in imminent danger of bursting. That could release 50 million cubic metres of water, a flood reaching to northern India 150 miles downstream. ‘Mountains were once considered indomitable, unchanging and impregnable,’ said Klaus Tipfer, of the United Nations Environment Programme. ‘We are learning they are as vulnerable to environmental threats as oceans, grasslands and forest.’ Not only villages are under threat: Nepal has built an array of hydro-electric plants and is now selling electricity to India and other countries. But these could be destroyed in coming years, warned Reynolds. ‘A similar lake burst near Machu Picchu in Peru recently destroyed an entire hydro-electric plant. The same thing is waiting to happen in Nepal .’ Even worse, when Nepal ‘s glaciers melt, there could be no water to drive the plants. ‘The region faces losing its most dependable source of fresh water,’ said Mike Hambrey, of the University of Wales . A Greenpeace report last month suggested that the region is already experiencing serious loss of vegetation. In the long term, starvation is a real threat. ‘The man in the street in Britain still isn’t sure about the dangers posed by global warming,’ said Porter. ‘But people living in the Himalayas know about it now. They are having to deal with its consequences every day.’

PUBLICATIONS

4.1. New guide on COP/MOP process
The Helios Centre and ÉcoRessouces Consultants are pleased to present a Guide to the COP/MOP process, entitled ³Navigating the COP/MOP². This is a short, user-friendly guide to assist participants in better understanding the new layer of the climate change negotiations. The Guide in English, French and Spanish can be downloaded from: www.ecoressources.com or www.centrehelios.org.

4.2. Hotspot 40 – November 2005
Hotspot Issue 40 – November 2005 issue is now on the website http://www.climnet.org/hotspot/hotspot.htm. In this issue: COP/MOP1 Montreal 2005; Roadmap for renewables; Adaptation in the Cook Islands ; Reducing GHG emissions; US: Cool Cities campaign. Hope you enjoy it !

4.3. Updated ISI-manual on flexible mechanisms for climate protection
The updated ISI-manual on flexible mechanisms for climate protection is now available (3rd edition). The manual covers all 3 Kyoto Mechanisms: 1) Emissions Trading (with a special focus on the European Emissions Trading Scheme and its implementation in Germany ), 2) the Clean Development Mechanism and 3) Joint Implementation. The detailed explanation of each instrument is rounded up by an in-depth example illustrating the use of these mechanisms. Also, a comprehensive glossary supports the reader in the use of this manual for companies. The Manual was sponsored by the Ministry for the Environment of the German State Baden-Wuerttemberg and can be downloaded free of charge from http://www.isi.fraunhofer.de/n/klimapolitik.html. We apologize that – due to funding limitations – the manual is available in German only.

4.4. The European Refinery Industry under the EU Emissions Trading Scheme
This study analyses the impacts of the EU ETS on the European refinery sector. It assesses short- to medium-term impacts of a carbon cost introduced by emissions trading, from the standpoint of international cost competitiveness and profitability, looking at a range of representative refinery configurations in three European regions. The paper is available on the IEA website at: http://www.iea.org/Textbase/Papers/2005/IEA_Refinery_Study.pdf.

4.5. Deploying Climate-friendly Technologies through Collaboration with Developing Countries
This study investigates whether extending the geographic scope of OECD countries’ investments for the deployment of climate-friendly technology to more promising locations in developing countries could increase deployment, enhance learning, and ultimately accelerate technology cost reductions. The paper is available on the IEA website at: http://www.iea.org/Textbase/Papers/2005/Climate_Friendly_Tech.pdf.

4.6. Results of the newest Global Forest Resource Assessment 2005
have been publicized and are accessible at: http://www.fao.org/forestry/foris/webview/forestry2/index.jsp?siteId=6773&sitetreeId=28699&langId=1&geoId=0. You will remember that data on forests in FRA 2000 have strongly affected the negotiations up to Marrakech. The new results of FRA 2005 offer new and intriguing information on many forest parameters linked strongly to climate change and the negotiations for the second commitment period, such as deforestation, carbon stocks and changes in forests over the period 1990 to 2005. The assessment is also the first large-scale experience by countries with the 2003 IPCC Good Practice Guidance to forest biomass and carbon assessments.

4.7. NGO’s WS at BIREC2005 documents
The program and the presentations at NGO WS in Beijing for BIREC2005 are now available at ISEP’s web site: http://www.isep.or.jp/e/Eng_index.html, so please visit.

4.8. Post-2012 Climate Targets for the North
The Wuppertal Institute just released a paper focussing on post-2012 climate policy: Taking the Lead: Post-2012 Climate Targets for the North. Towards adequate and equitable future climate commitments for industrialised countries. Wuppertal Paper No.155 by Bernd Brouns and Hermann E. Ott. According to Article 3.9 of the Kyoto Protocol the forthcoming COP/MOP1 shall initiate negotiations on future mitigation commitments of industrialised countries beyond the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol (2008-2012). This paper, first, takes stock and compares post-2012 reduction targets already adopted in Annex I countries and, second, outlines an approach for fairly assigning climate commitments for industrialised countries in future climate agreements. The paper is online available at: http://www.wupperinst.org/Publikationen/wp.html.

4.9. Option Survey for Japan to Acquire Credits from Abroad
The report of "Option Survey for Japan to Acquire Credits from Abroad" is now available on-line. Japan is currently facing difficulties in achieving the Kyoto target, because its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions have increased since 1990 by 7.6 percent as of 2002. It means that Japan has to reduce GHG emissions by 13.6 percent (168, 232 Mt CO2e) per year during the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol. The Japanese government, therefore, is planning in its Kyoto Target Achievement Plan adopted in April 2005 to procure credits corresponding to 1.6 percent of its 6 percent reduction target by utilizing the Kyoto mechanisms. This report evaluates five options (the JI, the CDM, international emissions trading, green investment scheme (or Green AAUs), and the establishment of domestic emissions trading system and its linakge with emissions trading schemes in other countries) with respect to five criteria; environment integrity, cost (price and transaction cost), political acceptability, size of potential and long-term impact, and investigates the most appropriate methods for Japan to acquire credits from abroad. This project is commissioned by Ministry of the Environment, Japan , and is conducted by Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES), Japan , in a collaboration with the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment, and Energy , Germany . The English version of the report can be downloaded from http://www.iges.or.jp/en/cp/report11.html or http://www.kyomecha.org/pdf/optionsurvey.pdf. The Japanese version of the report can be downloaded from http://www.kyomecha.org/pdf/optionsurvey_jp.pdf or http://www.iges.or.jp/jp/cp/report9.html.

4.10. CAIT version 3.0 is now availabe from WRI
The World Resources Institute (WRI) announces the release of version 3.0 of its Climate Analysis Indicators Tool (CAIT). CAIT is an interactive web-based information and analysis tool on global climate change. It is available free of charge at http://cait.wri.org. CAIT offers the most comprehensive and comparable database on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and other indicators relevant to climate change policy. The new version includes updated data and a range of new features, listed below. A new beta module of CAIT, pertaining to U.S. states (CAIT-U.S.), is also now available on the CAIT website. With almost 4,000 users from more than 140 countries, CAIT is rapidly becoming a common GHG information platform used by governments, advocates, industry, academia, and the media. These questions, and thousands more, can be answered in seconds using CAIT: What share of world emissions comes from methane, CO2, etc? How many tons of GHGs did Japan emit in 2002? How much have China ‘s emissions grown since 1980? What is the carbon intensity of the United States ? What is India ‘s per capita energy use, and how does it compare to the U.S. , Europe , or any other country? How high are emissions projected to grow? Access CAIT at http://cait.wri.org. For returning users: click on "CAIT" under CAIT Products (then Login, if necessary) For new users: click Register, fill in the short registration form, Login, and then click on "CAIT" under CAIT Products. CAIT 3.0. Some of what’s new: Mapping! (accompanies most data tables; see link on top right side), Improved interface for Emissions Intensity indicators (under Indicators -> GHG Emissions), Choice between viewing GDP measured in PPP or $US (under Customize -> Display), Improved interface for creating customized (user-defined) regions (great for analysts!), Fuel-level detail on fossil fuel reserves (under Indicators -> Natural Factors -> Fossil Fuel Reserves), Updated data, including new emission projections (with graphing), CAIT-U.S. (beta) State-by-state data and analysis tool for the United States (http://cait.wri.org/cait-us.php/ A>). For more information, see http://cait.wri.org/cait-news.php.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

5.1. Invitation for comments – Bulgarian Renewable Energy Portfolio
TÜV Industrie Service GmbH TÜV SÜD Group is currently making a determination of the "Bulgarian Renewable Energy Portfolio", Bulgaria . The purpose of the project is to generate electricity using renewable hydraulic energy sources in Bulgaria to meet the increasing regional and national energy demand. The project aims to install run-of river small-scale hydropower at three locations. Furthermore the project aims to generate electricity using biomass source by installing two steam boilers for combustion of biomass (straw). The plants are located throughout Bulgaria . In the Kyoto crediting period (2008-2012) the emissions reductions have been estimated on 321,416 t CO2eq. TÜV Industrie Service GmbH TÜV SÜD Group herewith invites comments from Parties, stakeholders and observers in accordance with the JI rules and modalities. Comments may be provided during a period of 30 days on our webpage: http://www.netinform.net/KE/Wegweiser/Guide2.aspx?ID=1413&Ebene1_ID=26&Ebene2_ID=369&mode=0.

5.2. Invitation for comments: Puck Wind Farm Generation Project, Poland
TÜV Industrie Service GmbH TÜV SÜD Group is currently making a determination of the "Puck Wind Farm Generation Project" near the Puck Commune, Poland . The Puck Project consists of 11 new wind generators of 2.0 MW each to be located in a wind farm northwest of Puck in the Pomerania Province in northwestern Poland . The Project was adopted in 2003 as part of the land development plans of the villages of Be³cz, Gnie¿d¿ewo, Werblinia and Po³czyna, within the Puck commune. Construction work will be completed and the wind power plant complex brought on line in October 2006. The wind farm should be operational as of November 1, 2006 , and will generate electric energy estimated at 51,000 MWh per year through over the 20 year expected life of the turbines. The electricity generated by the Project will displace grid generation, contributing to GHG reductions of ca. 323,000 tCO2e (tons of carbon dioxide equivalent) between start of operation and 31 December 2012 . During the Kyoto Protocol commitment period of 1 January 2008 to 31 December 2012 the Project is expected to generate ca. 255,000 tCO2e of emission reductions. TÜV Industrie Service GmbH TÜV SÜD Group herewith invites comments from Parties, stakeholders and observers in accordance with the JI rules and modalities. Comments may be provided during a period of 30 days on our webpage: http://www.netinform.net/KE/Wegweiser/Guide2.aspx?ID=1408&Ebene1_ID=26&Ebene2_ID=363&mode=0.

5.3. Invitation for comments: Methane gas Capture and Electricity Production Kubratovo Wastewater Treatment, Bulgaria
TÜV Industrie Service GmbH TÜV SÜD Group is currently making a determination of the "Methane gas Capture and Electricity Production Kubratovo Wastewater Treatment, Sofia Bulgaria". The project is both a methane emissions reduction and an electricity and heat production project, whereby methane produced on the Kubratovo wastewater treatment plant will be captured and used in CHP gas engines for electricity and heat production. The key feature of the project is to reduce the emissions of methane gas to the atmosphere from the present sludge treatment activity. The project involves digester refurbishment, provision of gas distribution to engine house; gas engine co-generation system and an excess gas flare system. The objective of the project is to capture methane emissions and to maximise generation of electricity and heat from the gas engines thereby reducing the electricity demand of the plant produced from fossil fuel and heat from burning of diesel fuel. Electricity not used for own consumption will be supplied to the grid. In addition there will be a reduction by almost 50% in the volume of sludge transported to landfill. The Kubratovo wastewater treatment plant is located some 20 km outside the centre of Sofia the capital of Bulgaria in the district of Kubratovo next to the River Iskar. TÜV Industrie Service GmbH TÜV SÜD Group herewith invites comments from Parties, stakeholders and observers in accordance with the JI rules and modalities. Comments may be provided during a period of 30 days on our webpage: http://www.netinform.net/KE/Wegweiser/Guide2.aspx?ID=1405&Ebene1_ID=26&Ebene2_ID=361&mode=0.

5.4. COP11 Website of the WI
On the occasion of COP 11 and COP/MOP 1 in Montreal the Wuppertal Institute (WI) has compiled recent WI publications on climate negotiations/policy/instruments and links to other websites providing up-to-date information on the Montreal negotiations. Please have a look at the "COP 11 Website" of the WI at http://www.wupperinst.org/COP11/english.html. (There is also a German version of the "COP 11 Website" with further publications at http://www.wupperinst.org/COP11.)

5.5. Call for papers and supporters – EE & RES Congress 2006
After the great success of the First International Congress on EE & RES in Industry and Construction held in Bulgaria in 2005 Via Expo organizes the second event from 8th to 10th March 2006 in Sofia . More info about it: Presentation (http://www.viaexpo.com/ee-vei-2006/eng/presentation.php). Statistics from 2005 (http://www.viaexpo.com/ee-vei-2006/eng/ENGfinalreport.pdf). Program (http://www.viaexpo.com/ee-vei-2006/eng/program2006.php). According to the EC GREEN PAPER on Energy Efficiency the potential of SE European countries is significant but, as yet, largely unexplored. We strongly believe this event will contribute for better promotion of the best practices and technologies in the field of energy efficiency & RES, clean urban and public transport; better targeted state aid and use of taxation, higher awareness for finding financing and gaining more confidence of the investors for considering more favorable framework for investments in the Region of SE Europe and CIS. Prospective authors should prepare their manuscript in accordance with the publication format described in the Instructions to Authors (http://www.viaexpo.com/ee-vei-2006/eng/call-for-paper.php). We encourage you to consider the invitation to participate at the Congress and hope to see you in March 2006 in Sofia !

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