Tuesday, 19 December 2006

Climate Snippets 3.


Government releases forestry proposals

The Government this week has released the Sustainable Land Management and Climate Change document which includes a raft of draft proposals intended to contribute towards New Zealand's Kyoto obligations. Proposals include an afforestation grant, to encourage the planting of Kyoto-compliant forests and looking at a tradeable permits scheme to combat deforestation, and considering the devolution of carbon credits for new forests.

Meetings and hui on the Sustainable Land Management and Climate Change discussion document will be held around the country in February and March next year. Submissions are due by 30 March 2007.

United Future releases climate change policies

United Future leader Peter Dunne and energy spokesman Gordon Copeland today released the party's detailed policy for coping with climate change. The policies rule out a carbon tax or pricing and places emphasis on tradeable permits. One key feature is improving the insulation and energy efficiency of housing stock forms a key part of the United Future Party's new climate change policy.

The policy, released on Wednesday, proposes adopting a national strategy to insulate all homes to at least 1977 standards.

Howard criticised over Greenhouse Gas taskforce

Australian Prime Minister John Howard, has moved to dampen criticism of his greenhouse gas emissions taskforce by allowing environmental groups, the renewable energy sector, the states and other interested parties to have their say. The taskforce, set up 10 days ago, was immediately criticised because it was made up of miners, bankers, bureaucrats and power industry representatives. Mr Howard said at the time the group had no environmental experts because he wanted "to involve the industry". The group, which is charged with mapping a role for Australia in a global carbon trading scheme while protecting the nation's abundance of uranium and fossil fuels, is scheduled to report by February.

Biofuels: Biodevastation, Hunger & False Carbon Credits

Europe's thirst for biofuels is fuelling deforestation and food price hikes and a mandatory certification scheme for biofuels is needed to protect the earth's most sensitive forest ecosystems, to stabilise climate and to safeguard our food security Dr. Mae-Wan Ho the Institute for Science in Society Director says in new report.

MetService Confirms WMO's Position on Global Warming and distances self from former chief forecaster Augie Auer

The World Meteorological Organization preliminary report on the global climate for 2006 has just been released and it confirms that 2006 is set to be the sixth warmest year on record, continuing the trend of global warming, New Zealand MetService Chief Executive John Lumsden, said that "the WMO report confirms the global warming trend… and would like to point out that the views recently made public by Augie Auer in relation to climate change are his own, and in no way do they reflect those of MetService.

EU Environment Chief Seeks 30 Percent Emissions Cut

The European Union's environment chief Stavros Dimas, said on Monday he will seek a 30 percent cut in EU greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 as the bloc tries to set an example for the world on how to fight global warming. On January 10 the Commission is slated to set out a series of policy options for fighting climate change after 2012, when targets set under the Kyoto Protocol expire. The measures will likely serve as a blueprint for the EU position in international negotiations on a post-Kyoto regime.

Ngati Porou sign deal to convert land to carbon sink

The nation's second-biggest tribe, Ngati Porou, has signed a deal with international company Sustainable Forestry Management Ltd to convert up to 30,000ha of degraded land into "carbon sink" forests. The scheme – to be named Iwi Rakau (Forests of the People) – is expected to sequester up to 75 million tonnes of carbon dioxide and in addition provide increased protection against erosion and flooding resulting from sediment carried into waterways.

David Whitehead, a scientist at Landcare Research, has separately estimated there is potential for nearly 1.5 million hectares of land, particularly on the east coast of the North Island in the Gisborne area, to be turned into forest qualifying for carbon credits, about 1.45 million hectares of marginal pastoral land have the potential to store 50 per cent of the carbon dioxide sequestered by the nation's forestry plantations. "Carbon farming" was likely to be economically viable if international prices paid for carbon reached just $NZ20/tonne, said Dr Whitehead. But even at a conservative value of $12/tonne, Landcare Research has estimated 1 million hectares of land could earn $60 million.

UK Government gives go-ahead for the world's largest offshore windfarm.

The London Array windfarm, to be built by a consortium including Shell, will consist of 341 turbines located 12 miles offshore. The Department of Trade and Industry today also approved a second major scheme in the Thames estuary, to be built in Thanet. Together the windfarms could deliver 1.3 GW of green electricity - enough to meet the needs of a third of homes in Greater London.

For more information email. Hughes.gareth@gmail.com

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