Tuesday, 20 February 2007

Climate Snippets 4.


Standard light bulbs to be switched off in Australia, maybe New Zealand

Australian Environment Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced that traditional light bulbs would be phased out within three years - a move he said would be a world first, to be replaced by energy-efficient alternatives such as compact fluorescent bulbs. Mr Turnbull estimated the move would slash Australia's greenhouse gas emissions by about 8000 tonnes a year in the five years to 2012. New Zealand Climate Change Minister David Parker said New Zealand was likely to follow Australia’s lead saying "Of course new-technology light bulbs are cost-effective - as well as reducing emissions, they only use about a fifth of the electricity - and I expect in the next couple of years we will be considering those sorts of measures but I don't think there will be an immediate ban."

EU ministers agree on 20% reduction by 2020. May go further

European Union ministers backed ambitious targets on Tuesday to cut greenhouse gas emissions unilaterally by at least 20 percent by 2020 compared to 1990 levels. It also says the bloc would be willing to reduce its emissions by 30 percent by 2020 if other industrialised nations made similar cuts and "economically more advanced" developing countries contributed too. The 15 "old" EU states that were members before the bloc expanded to 25 nations in 2004 and 27 countries in 2007 have a collective target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 8 percent by 2012 compared to 1990 levels. But officials said Hungary and Poland, which joined the EU in 2004, opposed making the 20 or 30 percent targets mandatory. They will face pressure to back the EU line, which is likely to form the basis of the bloc's negotiating position for a global agreement to cut emissions after 2012, when the first period covered by the Kyoto Protocol on climate change ends.

Corporate heads call for action on Climate Change

More than 100 corporate heads, including General Electric, Ford, Toyota, investment bank Goldman Sachs and retail giant Wal-Mart, international organisations and experts set out a plan yesterday to cut greenhouse gas emissions, calling on governments to act urgently against global warming. The Global Roundtable on Climate Change announcing its first major agreement since it began talks in 2004 urged governments to set mandatory caps on emissions and place a price on the carbon emissions released by power plants, factories and other sectors.

Scientists unite to push Bush on climate

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the world’s largest general scientific society joined the growing clamour for political action in a public statement approved by its board. It is the first time that the AAAS, which represents 262 societies and scientific academies, has published a statement of consensus on climate change. In the statement the association said: “The scientific evidence is clear: global climate change caused by human activities is occurring now, and it is a growing threat to society. The association said that the result of burning fossil fuels and deforestation was already being observed in the intensification of droughts, heat waves, floods, wildfires and severe storms and “The growing torrent of information presents a clear message: we are already experiencing global climate change. It is time to muster the political will for concerted action.”

Gore Announces 'Live Earth' Concerts

Al Gore has announced a series of worldwide ‘Live Earth’ concerts to focus on the threat of climate change, with a high profile line-up from the Red Hot Chili Peppers to Snoop Dogg to Bon Jovi. The 24-hour event on July 7 is part of a campaign, Save Our Selves: The Campaign for a Climate in Crisis. Promoters said the Live Earth concerts will take place in Shanghai, China; Johannesburg, South Africa; Sydney, Australia; London and cities to be announced in Japan, Brazil and the United States. One concert will take place in Antarctica, Gore said.

US Companies Face Record Number of Global Warming Resolutions

Investor and environmentalist coalition Ceres has created a "Climate Watch" list of 10 US companies being targeted by large investors with resolutions on climate change. As part of this effort, investors have filed shareholder resolutions with the 10 companies and 26 other US businesses aimed at improving their focus and attention to the business risks and opportunities from climate change. It chose the 10 for their size and their reluctance to address the issue, or respond to shareholder inquiries. Making the list are three utilities with large portfolios of coal plants: Allegheny Energy, Dominion Resources and TXU – which plans to build 9,000MW of new coal plants in the U.S. They have not disclosed climate risk and have ignored shareholder requests, Ceres noted. The list also includes coal miners Consol Energy and Massey Energy, along with ExxonMobil and ConocoPhillips. Investors have asked the coal companies how they will respond to growing momentum in the US for carbon regulation, while ExxonMobil investors fault its "general lack of response to climate issues", Ceres said. Two funds ask ConocoPhillips why it is not made significant investments in renewable energy, as other oil companies have done.

MAF Sustainable land Management and Climate Change Public Consultation Tour

Click on the link to see the itinerary.

Scottish Power plans world's biggest wave farm

Scottish Power plans the world's biggest wave power generation project near the Orkney Islands, hopes to get the 10-million pound, three-megawatt wave power farm running by 2008. Four 160-metre long "Sea Snake" wave power generators developed by Ocean Power Delivery should produce enough power for 2,000 homes, Scottish Power said in it’s statement.

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