1.1. APEC sets "aspirational" target to tackle climate change
10 September 2007 , Xinhua
Asia-Pacific leaders, over a two- day meeting here, have set an "aspirational" goal of improving the region’s energy efficiency by at least 25 percent by 2030 from the 2005 level to address the global warming issues.
This was inscribed in the Sydney Declaration on Climate Change, Energy Security and Clean Development, issued Sunday during the 15th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC).
The declaration, the centerpiece of this year’s APEC outcomes and a consensus of the leaders of the 21 member economies, also set a goal of increasing forest cover in the region by at least 20 million hectares by 2020 — which, if achieved, would store approximately 1.4 billion tons of carbon, equivalent to around 11 percent of annual global emissions in 2004.
It also decides to establish an Asia-Pacific Network for Energy Technology (APNet) to strengthen collaboration on energy research in the region, particularly in areas such as clean fossil energy and renewable energy sources.
Australian Prime Minister John Howard described the declaration as "a very important milestone in the march toward a sensible international agreement on climate change," saying the commitments "reflect the depth of our concern and the seriousness of our endeavor to address global warming whist providing for economic growth and development" in the region.
The Pacific-rim leaders meeting, an annual event, is a forum of the highest level in the Asia-Pacific region, this year drawing the presence of such prominent figures as Chinese President Hu Jintao, U.S. President George W. Bush, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Under the theme of "Strengthening our community, building a sustainable future," the leaders discussed during their gathering a range of issues concerning the region’s long-term prosperity and human security.
They agreed to strengthen regional economic integration by further reducing barriers to trade and investment and improving the regional business environment, so as to build "a strong and sustainable future for the Asia-Pacific community."
Recognizing human security as essential to economic growth and prosperity, they agreed to enhance cooperation in areas including anti-terror, pandemic, disaster and emergency preparedness.
Underlining the importance of trade to APEC, whose member economies account for nearly 50 percent of the world’s total trade, the leaders issued a separate statement reaffirming their support to the World Trade Organization (WTO) negotiations and their determination to bring the Doha Round of WTO negotiations " to an early and successful conclusion."
They pledged in the statement "the political will, flexibility and ambition to ensure the Doha Round negotiations enter their final phase this year."
The economic leaders meeting is the culmination of the APEC 2007 leaders week, which also includes the ministerial meeting and senior officials’meeting held earlier this week.
Founded in 1989, APEC is the premier forum for facilitating economic growth, cooperation, trade and investment in the Asia- Pacific region.
APEC represents the most economically dynamic region in the world, with its 21 member economies spanning four continents and accounting for approximately 40 percent of the world’s population, 56 percent of world GDP and 48 percent of world trade.
The 21 member economies are Australia , Brunei , Canada , Chile , China , China ‘s Hong Kong , Chinese Taipei, Indonesia , Japan , Republic of Korea , Malaysia , Mexico , New Zealand , Papua New Guinea , Peru , the Philippines , Russia , Singapore , Thailand , the United States and Vietnam .
Peru will be the host of next year’s APEC meetings.
1.2. Climate Talks Will Test US Resolve
9 September 2007 , Reuters
A climate meeting in Washington later this month will show whether the United States is really serious about curbing greenhouse gas emissions after years of playing down the problem, Germany ‘s environment minister said.
In an interview with Reuters, Sigmar Gabriel welcomed US President George W. Bush’s vow at a G8 summit in June to work with the United Nations to fight global warming, but said it was now time for Washington to take firmer steps.
"The United States has a chance with this meeting to bring itself back into the international talks on climate change, talks from which it has long been absent," Gabriel said.
"Now it will become clear whether the United States is really interested in binding agreements on reducing CO2 emissions. If they are, then this (meeting) can make a positive contribution."
The United States has not ratified the Kyoto Protocol, which binds 36 industrial nations to cutting greenhouse gases.
Bush, who says Kyoto would damage the US economy and wrongly omits 2012 goals for developing nations, has instead invested more heavily than other nations in technologies such as hydrogen or less polluting coal.
The first phase of Kyoto ends in 2012 and its members hope to launch talks on a wider and more ambitious follow-up agreement at a December UN climate meeting in Bali , Indonesia .
Ahead of that conference, Bush has called a meeting of major emitting countries in Washington for Sept. 27-28 to work out future cuts. It remains unclear how that meeting will play into the broader UN efforts.
Gabriel, a Social Democrat (SPD) who some see as a future chancellor candidate, welcomed conservative Chancellor Angela Merkel’s recent proposal to allot equal emissions rights to individuals as a means of reducing harmful polluting gases.
But he said Merkel’s plan, which foresees developing countries increasing their emissions per capita while industrialised nations cut theirs, would require more ambitious policies from developed countries to succeed.
"If we want to ensure that the atmosphere is not over-burdened then the industrialised countries need to move faster in cutting emissions," Gabriel said. "Above all it means that Germany and Europe have to sharpen their targets, that we need to be even more ambitious."
Berlin agreed last month to a new package of energy saving measures that target public and private buildings, transport and households. Gabriel has called the package a "quantum leap" which would help reduce CO2 emissions by 36 percent by 2020 compared to 1990 levels.
He predicted that Merkel’s "per capita" proposal, made during her trip to China and Japan last week, would play an important role at the Bali conference.
"I am hoping for a clear mandate for climate negotiations (in Bali ). Until now what we’ve had is a clear rejection of that," Gabriel said. (Additional reporting by Erik Kirschbaum and Carsten Lietz)
1.3. EU climate flight plans ‘deluded’
4 September 2007 , BBC news
European Union proposals to reduce the climate impact of flying will not work, a report concludes.
The EU plans to include aviation in its Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS).
But analysts at the Tyndall Centre, a prestigious UK climate research body, say this will have minimal effect without a major rise in carbon prices.
Friends of the Earth (FoE) which funded the study wants mandatory efficiency goals for aircraft, tax on aviation fuel and curbs on airport expansion.
"We delude ourselves if we believe the proposed framing of the EU ETS is in keeping with the EU’s own and repeated commitment to limit climate change to a 2C (3.6F) rise," said Kevin Anderson, director of the Tyndall Centre’s energy programme.
"The current aviation ETS proposal must be significantly strengthened so as to drive down emission growth rates and force the adoption of more efficient aircraft technologies and operation."
Priced too low
The ETS began operating in 2005. Current plans call for inclusion of flights within Europe by 2011, extending a year later to all flights originating or ending on the continent.
Tyndall and FoE believe this would be too late. By 2012, they say, carbon emissions from aviation will have increased by at least 25%.
Another criticism is that the current price of carbon is too low to make any impact on flying.
Carbon is currently trading at about 20 euros (£13.50; $27) per tonne. The Tyndall analysis suggests that even a price of 300 euros per tonne would bring only a moderate increase in ticket prices and a moderate fall in passenger numbers.
"Other political measures are also needed to tackle the growing climate impact of flying," commented FoE’s aviation campaigner Richard Dyer.
"This should include VAT on air tickets, a tax on aviation fuel and opposition to new runways."
Globally, aviation accounts for between 1% and 2% of greenhouse gas production, but rapid economic growth in Asia and the burgeoning cheap flights industry in Europe make it the fastest rising source of emissions.
ENERGY AND EMISSIONS
2.1. China launches $133.3 billion renewable energy plan
6 September 2007 , carbonyatra
China has released an ambitious plan to develop renewable energy to cut its surging carbon dioxide emissions. The ‘Middle and Long-term Development Plan of Renewable Energies’ promises to derive ten per cent of China ‘s energy supply from renewables by 2010 and 15 per cent by 2020.
The plan was published by China ‘s energy watchdog, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).
"I know these big targets [for renewables] have not been made by many countries, and they are also a great challenge to us," said Chen Deming, vice-chairman of NDRC.
The total investment needed to meet the 2020 goal will be two trillion yuan (US$133.3 billion), according to the plan.
China plans to increase its annual hydropower generating capacity from 170 million kilowatts in 2005 to 300 million kilowatts by 2020. It also seeks to increase the production of plant-based ethanol from one million tonnes to ten million tonnes, and its wind power generating capacity from 1.3 million kilowatts to 30 million kilowatts by 2020.
According to Chen Deming, renewable energy currently accounts for nearly eight per cent of China ‘s energy supply, while coal accounts for 70 per cent — causing severe pollution and high carbon dioxide emissions. The renewable energy plan estimates that, if its targets are met, by 2010 China will emit 600 million tonnes less carbon dioxide a year. By 2020, the annual reduction in carbon dioxide emissions will reach 1.2 billion tonnes.
2.2. Megatrucks on EU roads? Yes, but under strict conditions
5 September 2007
The European Parliament adopted by a large majority (577 votes in favour to 52 against with 51 abstentions) proposing that the controversial use of mega-liners or 60 tonne lorries in the EU should only be allowed for certain routes at the request of, and within the Member States.
During a lively debate, Members were strongly divided on this matter, with some of them claiming that introducing proposals for admitting 60t lorries would induce a definitive imbalance in favour of only one mode of transport and would have a serious impact on the environment and with others saying that this form of road transport innovation deserved a change.
Parliament adopted an own-initiative report by Inés AYALA SENDER (PES, ES) on a Commission communication on freight transport logistics in Europe in which the issue of the megatrucks was raised. In a compromise reached by the EPP-ED and PES groups, the House is now suggesting that the use of mega-liners should only be allowed for certain routes by the Commission. An evaluation of the requests would have to respect factors such as the existing infrastructures and safety aspects. The use of mega-liners should, consequently, be permitted under strict conditions only.
Transport Commissioner Jacques BARROT told MEPs that the Commission would take a decision after a study regarding experiences with mega-liners and only after a thorough exchange of views on this issue with all those concerned.
During the debate, Mathieu GROSCH (EPP-ED, BE) said that Member States should decide. Gilles SAVARY (PES, FR) took the view that admitting mega-liners would be a disaster for the railways in the Community. Jeanine HENNIS-PLASSCHAERT (ALDE, NL) said that it was not helpful to turn down innovative transport concepts. Eva LICHTENBERGER (Greens/EFA, AT) and Erik MEIJER (GUE/NGL, NL) expressed their "no" towards the megatrucks, as did Margrete AUKEN (Greens/EFA, DK) and Reinhard RACK (EPP-ED, AT). The latter said that European logistic sector lacked software studies on intelligent modes of transport, but not hardware like megatrucks, which should not be allowed in mountain areas and agglomerations at all. Finally, Georg JARZEMBOWSKI ( EPP-ED , DE ) Corien WORTMANN-KOOL (EPP-ED, NL) were in favour of the compromise.
MEPs further welcome the intention of the Commission to present an Action Plan for Freight Logistics in Autumn 2007, which must serve to put logistics on the political agenda and raise its profile by focusing on its potential, appeal and usefulness.
In order to achieve a further simplification of administrative burden, Members demand that an EU single document for all carriage of transport must provide undertakings with clear legal certainty and replace the large number of existing documents.
They deplore the impact of the Council’s position on the funding of the trans-European Transport Networks (TENs) and demand that the added value of the logistics component to be taken into account in future TEN-T funding decisions.
Other amendments were adopted on training attractiveness of logistics professions (priority for training and life-long training for all staff), urban transport planning and statistics.
2.3. Asia-Pacific businesses call for carbon pricing
5 September 2007 , Reuters
Business leaders in the Asia-Pacific region said on Wednesday they will ask governments to put a price on carbon emissions as soon as possible to combat climate change.
The Pacific Rim business heads, gathered in Sydney for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit, said governments should also provide more incentives for companies in invest in costly research and development of new technologies to help them reduce their carbon footprint.
"At the moment, you can pollute for nothing … so we are asking leaders to put in place a market structure which will put a price on pollution and motivate companies to change their behaviour," Mark Johnson, head of the APEC Business Advisory Council, told a news conference.
Industry is responsible for around a quarter of all man-made greenhouse gas emissions and is under pressure to add to the fight against climate change.
Acknowledging that it was difficult to find common ground on the thorny issue given the various levels of development within APEC economies, Johnson said it would be up to individual countries to adopt their own systems.
Johnson, who is also the chairman of Australia ‘s largest energy retailer AGL Energy Ltd, said the group had not recommended a price for carbon emissions as there is yet a framework in place within APEC economies.
"It is urgent to get the framework in place. Probably, partly because most of us believe we have reached the tipping point in science and global warming is actually happening," he said.
Carbon trading first kicked off in Europe in 2005. Under the current EU Carbon scheme, big emitters such as power plants were given quotas on the amount of carbon dioxide they could emit, and a trading platform was also introduced to allow companies to buy or sell carbon credits.
Climate change is a major focus at the APEC meeting, with activist group World Wildlife Fund calling on APEC countries, which account for about 60 percent of the world’s economy, to set binding targets on emission reductions in a post-2012 climate treaty.
Separately, Johnson said business heads were also disappointed that APEC leaders had failed to deliver an outcome on Doha talks and would pursue a free-trade zone within APEC should Doha fails.
2.4. Plan To Ban ‘Energy-Guzzling’ Goods – UK
9 September 2007
The Conservatives are to propose banning plasma screens and other ‘energy-guzzling’ electrical goods.
They plan to target white goods like fridges and freezers, as well as TVs, personal computers and DVD players that use higher amounts of energy or operate on stand-by.
The ideas, to be revealed this week, come from a Conservative group set up by Tory leader David Cameron to develop policies to protect the environment.
And although the measures to make household electrical appliances more energy efficient are not binding on Mr Cameron, they are thought likely to be warmly received by him.
Under the proposals, a cap could be set on the energy use of each electrical appliance, and those exceeding limits could be banned from sale in the UK .
A new labelling requirement could be introduced to inform consumers of products’ annual energy consumption compared with other similar appliances.
There could also be a ban on electrical goods with stand-by lights which can stay on indefinitely.
Some two percent of Britain ‘s total electricity use is currently taken up by appliances left on stand-by rather than being switched off.
3.1. Short Training Course on Energy
September 17 – 21 2007 at Venice International University , on the Island of S. Servolo , Venice , Italy .
For further information and application visit: http://www.univiu.org/research/ten/newsandevents/shortcoursesept2007/shortcoursesept07
3.2. General Conference of the Union of the Baltic Cities
27 – 28 September 2007 in Pärnu , Estonia
More info: http://www.reiser.ee/conference/ubc.htm.
3.3. RENEXPO 2007 – International Trade Fair and Conference for Renewable Energies
27 – 30 September 2007 in Augsburg , Germany
More info: http://www.renexpo.de/?lang=en.
3.4. European Sustainable Energy Seminar and Tour
1 – 5 October 2007 in Samsø , Denmark
More info: http://www.inforse.org/europe/seminar07_samso.htm.
3.5. European Meeting Point: Energy for Development 2007
10 – 12 October 2007 in Beja/Alentejo, Portugal
More info: http://www.energyanddevelopment-2007.net.
3.6. Climate Change at the EU REGIONS Open Days
8 – 11 October 2007 , Brusels
Registration for the event is possible through: http://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/conferences/od2007/index.cfm.
3.7. CDM 2.0 conference: what post-2012 mechanisms do we need?
15 October 2007 in Brussels , Belgium .
A more detailed announcement will be issued in early September. Those of you wishing to register their interest in participation already should email their contact details to [email protected].
3.8. UN Millennium Development Goals – discussing practical examples on a local level
18 – 20 October 2007 in Bonn , Germany
More at: http://www.service-eine-welt.de/en.
3.9. 3rd Annual European Energy Policy Conference 2007
21 – 22 November 2007 in Brussels .
More info: www.euenergypolicy.com.
3.10. United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 13 and CMP 3)
3-11 December 2007, Nusa Dua, Bali , Indonesia .
More info: http://unfccc.int/meetings/cop_13/items/4049.php.
4.1. Coming clean: The Truth and Nuture of Coal in Asia Pacific
Download from http://assets.panda.org/downloads/coming_clean.pdf.
The report is based on WWF’s Climate Solutions report, and framed around the development priorities of Asia . Key needs include:
a) a price on coal to reflect its true cost/carbon price (whether through taxes or emissions trading)
b) the deployment of low emissions technology (to address both local and global pollution)
c) a strengthened EIA processes, as this is integral in getting public acceptance for CCS and reducing the local impacts of coal use.
4.2. Annual European Community greenhouse gas inventory 1990-2005 and inventory report 2007
Technical report No 7/2007: This report is the annual submission of the greenhouse gas inventory of the European Community to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. It presents greenhouse gas emissions between 1990 and 2005 by individual Member State and by economic sector. The report shows that between 2004 and 2005 emissions in the 15 pre-2004 Member States decreased by 35.2 million tonnes or 0.8 % and total EU-27 emissions decreased by 0.7 %. EU-15 emissions in 2005 were 2 % below base year levels under the Kyoto Protocol and EU-27 emission were 7.9 % below 1990 levels.
5.1. Job announcement – Climate Change Programme Coordinator
£34,210 – £38,328
Location: Based in London with some international travel
This is an exciting new post designed to take Christian Aid’s programmatic work on climate change to a higher level of relevance and responsiveness.
Working closely with colleagues who are experts in climate change policy, campaigning, climate change adaptation and fundraising you will focus on initiatives that promote climate change mitigation (through energy efficiency, reduction of carbon dependence, carbon capture, etc.). You will have a leadership role in designing and developing programmes of a scale and size that make sense in relation to the scale of the problem and that are relevant to the daily realities of people in poverty.
You have a postgraduate degree in applied environmental or social science or you have the track record to prove that you can operate at that level. You have worked on livelihoods in developing country contexts and you are familiar with working through local organisations as owners of the development process. You are an excellent networker, effective influencer and communicator and you have been involved with the development of large initiatives.
Please note CVs will not be accepted.
Job reference: 1537/AA
Closing date for applications: 25 September 2007
Interview date: week beginning 1st October 2007
Job description: http://www.christianaid.org.uk/Images/climate%20change%20programme%20coordinator_tcm15-26429.pdf.
Terms and conditions: http://www.christianaid.org.uk/aboutus/jobs/employment_terms_conditions.aspx, http://www.christianaid.org.uk/aboutus/jobs/ukandireland/climate_change_prog_coord.aspx.
5.2. Job annoncement – WWF senior climate change advisor
WWF International Arctic Programme needs a senior climate change advisor to achieve really significant outcomes in this vast region undergoing profound change. The role has key responsibilities across all WWF work in the Arctic .
We need an experienced climate change scientist who wants to make a difference in the Arctic .
You will need proven ability to provide leadership, management and shape the strategic direction of climate-related work. You must also bring solid experience in Arctic global change science and have managed a complex project portfolio successfully.
For further information see the attachment, or www.panda.org/jobs.
Disclaimer: We do not guarantee for the accuracy, reliability or content of information. For help or questions, contact: [email protected]