1.1. International Conference on "Energy Intelligence for Europe " Provides Strong Evidence for the Need of a Euratom Treaty Reform
27 September 2005 , NOAH – Friends of the Earth Press Release
MPs from various countries plan parliamentary initiative on Euratom Reform. Friday 23 September 2005, an international conference featuring top government, parliament, industry, university and NGO representatives concluded in Members of Parliament from France, Denmark and the European Parliament agreeing to launch an initiative to reform the almost five decades old Treaty founding the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom). Six Danish, Swedish and European environmental NGOs convened an international energy Conference at the Danish Parliament Building Christiansborg. The conference entitled "Energy Intelligence for Europe . The Euratom Treaty and Future Energy Options: Conditions for a Level Playing Field in the Energy Sector", had two main objectives: To assist in promoting the initiative of an intergovernmental conference on the Euratom Treaty and to provide the Danish Government with information and analysis to adopt a proactive policy on the future of the Euratom Treaty. The over one hundred participants included representatives of the Danish Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, the Danish Board of Technology, the Danish Research Agency, the Danish Energy Agency, Risø National Laboratory, the Technical University of Denmark, the Association of Danish Energy Companies, the Danish Wind Turbine Owners’ Association, the Swedish NGO Office for Nuclear Waste Review and the Nuclear Waste Secretariat of the Swedish Environment Movement. Participants were warmly welcomed by Soren Voehtz representing the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs who applauded the conference initiative and stressed that he "did not have any preconceived view on the Euratom Treaty". The first keynote speaker of the day, Peter Brazel from The Irish Department of the Environment, Heritage & Local Government, discussed Euratom Treaty reform and prospects for a Euratom revision conference. One of the highlights of the day was the lively one-hour debate on the future of the Euratom Treaty between Nina Commeau-Yannoussis, Head of Unit of Energy Policy and Security of Supply from the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Energy and Transport, and Andreas Molin, representing the Austrian Environment Ministry, chaired by Dominique Voynet, French Senate member and former Minister of the Environment, who gave an eloquent introduction into the topic and challenged the debaters with the question "is not indispensable to finally adapt transparency and democracy in a sector that has too often escaped public scrutiny and control?" The afternoon’s programme continued on the same high international level. Especially significant was the second keynote speech by Christian Kjaer, Policy Director for the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA), which represents manufacturers covering 98% of the world wind power market. According to him and EWEA, effective competition in the European power markets is a myth. Unless the current distortions in the emerging Internal Electricity Market are overcome – including the one represented by the Euratom Treaty – there will be no effective internal renewable electricity market for renewables to compete in. Dr. Lutz Mez from the Environmental Policy Research Centre in Berlin chaired together with Danish MP Anne Grete Holmsgaard. Dr. Mez closed the conference on behalf of Dominique Voynet: "It is encouraging to see that parliamentarians from several EU countries already agreed to launch an initiative to review the outdated Euratom Treaty within the framework of an Intergovernmental Conference and at the same time to co-operate with the European Parliament on the issue ". Kim Ejlertsen, office manager in NOAH – Friends of the Earth Denmark, who was one of the organisers of the conference, states: "The organisers will now document the conference outcome and try to build on the momentum that the conference has created. In January 2004, the Danish Parliament discussed a possible revision of the safety provisions of the Euratom Treaty and the abolishment of the provisions, which promote nuclear power. In principle, all the political parties agreed that Euratom reform was necessary, but most of them thought that the timing was wrong. With the European Constitution at a standstill this situation no longer applies. Hopefully, this conference can now reinstate the Euratom issue on the political agenda and motivate the Danish politicians to opt for an intergovernmental Euratom revision conference".
1.2. EU sees no major post-Kyoto climate deal at talks
22 September 2005 , Reuters
The European Union does not expect a binding agreement to emerge from major talks designed to find a way of replacing the Kyoto climate change accord, the EU’s environment commissioner said on Thursday. Around 150 nations will gather in Montreal in late November to discuss a treaty to replace the Kyoto agreement, which is designed to curb emissions of greenhouse gases blamed for global warming. Kyoto , which formally expires in 2012, does not cover developing nations. As well, the United States and Australia walked away from the accord, saying it would harm their economies. "I would like to have an agreement (on future cuts) in Montreal but that’s unrealistic," EU Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas told reporters in Ottawa . "The whole process of what to do after 2012 will take some time and will be quite difficult," he said. Last week, Canadian officials said they did not expect a breakthrough in Montreal . Instead, they said, the talks would focus on finding common ground between Kyoto signatories and those nations which did not commit to the accord’s cuts. "The best we can realistically aim at is agreeing to start negotiations for the (period) after 2012," said Dimas, who is in Ottawa for an informal meeting of environment ministers to discuss the Montreal agenda. Dimas said the post-Kyoto accord had to oblige all signatories to cut emissions. He added that developing countries should not be asked to make the same kinds of cuts as the world’s largest polluters. Australia agreed in July to work with the United States , China , India , Japan and South Korea to curb global warming but the six countries did not set targets for emissions cuts.
ENERGY AND EMISSIONS
2.1. Big Auto Makers Want Bush to Act on Energy – WSJ
27 September 2005 , Reuters
Ford Motor Co., Toyota Motor Corp. and other auto makers say they want the Bush administration to take more aggressive action to cut US dependence on petroleum, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday. As Hurricane Rita bore down last week on US Gulf Coast oil refineries, Ford Chairman and Chief Executive William Clay Ford Jr. sent a letter to President George W. Bush asking for an energy summit involving auto makers, suppliers, fuel providers, consumers and government officials, the newspaper said. It quoted Ford as saying a summit would focus on what the auto industry can do to find solutions for alternative fuel resources and that the recently signed $17 billion energy bill "is only the beginning." Last week, Ford announced plans to increase production of gas-electric hybrid models to as many as 250,000 vehicles a year by the end of 2010. Ford also plans to produce more cars and trucks that run on ethanol. Separately, the Journal reported that Jim Press, head of Toyota ‘s US operations, said he planned to go to Washington next month to lobby lawmakers to make energy independence an issue in the election campaign of 2008. "We recognize the responsibility we have to come up with a solution to this economic problem," Press was quoted as saying. "As an industry, we should leave our individual companies’ bags outside the door to work together on this issue." General Motors Corp.’s Washington spokesman, Chris Preuss, told the newspaper GM welcomes calls by other auto makers for more action on energy independence. "We believe the US needs to begin aggressive energy policy moves away from petroleum toward hydrogen," Preuss was quoted as saying. "We should diversify our energy stocks away from foreign sources." The newspaper said Ford’s call for an energy summit is another sign that the recent run-up in oil prices, and the post-Hurricane Katrina price spike that sent gasoline prices above $3 a gallon, are forcing a rethink of energy strategy, particularly at GM and Ford. The big Detroit car makers have long resisted proposals to increase government fuel-economy mandates for sport utility vehicles, pickup trucks and other light trucks, arguing that consumers would not want lighter, smaller, less powerful vehicles.
2.2. The e5-Sustainable Energy Accelerator (e5-SEA) establishes first national programmes in Czech Republic and Bulgaria
20 September 2005 , press release e5
Sustainable energy small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the Czech Republic and Bulgaria now have a powerful ally: e5-SEA is starting operations in their domestic markets. The European Business Council for Sustainable Energy (e5) with its project sponsor, the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP), is set to establish the first two business accelerator programmes to support high potential enterprises and entrepreneurs in developing their market position. e5-SEA is a project development facility that assists SMEs and innovators needing support when entering the sustainable energy market. “The sustainable energy potential in Eastern European Countries is enormous”, says Zdenek Lomecky, Managing Director of e5-SEA. “The accession to the EU with its high environmental standards and its support for renewable energy has created a booming project and technology market in the new member states. Hundreds of SMEs with innovative solutions can benefit. The same development is foreseeable for the candidate countries Czech Republic and Bulgaria . Yet, market barriers for SMEs in this new sector are high and hard to overcome. A facilitating mechanism is needed”. This is where the unique accelerator model of e5-SEA steps in: SMEs have access to e5-SEA’s portfolio of consulting, administrative and marketing services provided by skilled professionals. A network of investors paves the way for start-up finance and potential customers. e5-SEA’s business development programme enables SMEs to reach development goals, quickly achieve profitability while attaining a high market valuation. “The synergy effect of e5-SEA is the first of its kind that I know of: all relevant business actors, companies, service providers and investors interact through one, efficient network. By bundling activities, e5-SEA gives SMEs access to investors that they otherwise would not get,” Lomecky says. e5-SEA uses a decentralised, technology-driven model of organisation, providing an actively managed database, a project management site and a virtual marketplace with local language portals. The service portfolio includes hands-on mentoring, professional business administration, marketing and financial advice, customised alerts on new investment opportunities, partnership and joint venture development, and access to trade fairs, seminars and training courses via partnering organisations. e5-SEA national programmes consult with regional and local governments on energy development plans and identify private sector solutions. The first national programmes will be established in the Czech Republic and Bulgaria during the fall of 2005.
2.3. Special cell to promote bio-diesel
18 September 2005 , The Hindu
http://www.thehindu.com/2005/09/18/stories/2005091805401000.htm: The Union Rural Development Ministry