Thursday, 8 November 2007

Climate Snippets 9 November

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Economists' reports dress up campaign for emissions subsidies.

The country has seen two reports in as many weeks, backed largely by high energy users, calling for a go slow on introducing the emissions trading regime. The latest report this week came from the Greenhouse Policy Coalition asking if the Government was leading the country out onto a limb. Like the earlier one from the New Zealand Institute saying the country should stay right behind the world on the issue, the reports' releases were pre-arranged and in one case placed for exclusive first use by the New Zealand Herald. Ironically, its editorial the next day opposed the institute's suggested approach. The Business Council for Sustainable Development argued against the go slow and pointed out the Coalition's report gave no evidence to support continuing taxpayer subsidies for emitters - already available for some until 2025.

Hydro energy project in Titoki, Whangarei supported by Kyoto carbon credits opens.

Northpower's Wairua Falls hydro scheme is an upgrade to a run-of-river hydro electricity scheme that will produce 5.4GWh per year - enough to power 675 homes with renewable energy. The hydro scheme received more than 17,000 Kyoto credits through the government's PRE (Projects to Reduce Emissions) scheme. The upgrade to the Wairua hydro power station is the first of twelve PRE hydropower projects to be fully commissioned and is the only hydro scheme in Northland.

A major new campaign has been launched this week in New Zealand aiming to get tens of thousands of New Zealanders active in tackling climate change.

Spearheaded by Greenpeace, Oxfam and Forest & Bird, Be The Change will provide advice and encouragement to community groups and individuals from Bluff to Kaitaia, and from the cowshed to the boardroom, on reducing their personal impact on the climate. A Be The Change Climate Rescue Bus will take the campaign message out to communities across New Zealand, beginning in Bluff on November 8th and ending in Kaitaia on December 12th. The bus tour will include a mobile exhibition of impacts and causes of climate change, an opportunity to learn about everyday solutions we can all put to use in our own lives, and a web centre where people can sign up on the spot to Be The Change.

The campaign will spread through cyber space via a purpose built Be The Change community website:

Germany to use CO2 funds to help developing nations.

Germany will use part of the proceeds it gets from selling carbon permits to industry from 2008 to help support the fight against climate change in developing nations, Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel said. Germany would set aside annually about 120 million euros or more, depending on the price of carbon permits, to help fund efforts in poorer nations to adapt to and prevent global warming. "If we don't make funds for adaptation and technology available, the developing countries will not be ready to join in" to fight climate change, Gabriel said.

A German shipping company plans to unfurl a giant high-tech kite over a cargo ship next year to boost the vessel's propulsion and to conserve fuel.

The "SkySail", a 160 square-metre (191 square-yard) kite tethered to a mast, has successfully undergone years of trial runs and Bremen shipowner Beluga Shipping believes it will help its vessels cut fuel use by 15 to 20 percent. Shipping carries more than 90 percent of the world's traded goods. There are 30,000 merchant ships carrying everything from oil, gas, coal, and grains to electronic goods.

Hillary Clinton announces $150B energy, climate change plan.

Hillary Clinton rolled out a 10-year, $150 billion plan on energy and climate change, coming full circle to embrace corn-based ethanol, which she once opposed.

Among the key elements of the plan are raising fuel efficiency to 55 miles per gallon, cutting oil imports by two-thirds by 2030 and cutting greenhouse gas emissions 80% from 1990s levels by 2050 - all while creating 5 million new jobs in alternative energy industries. Environmental advocates liked most of Clinton's plan, but were troubled by the ethanol component because corn ethanol is considered an inefficient biofuel, and growing crops for energy affects the food supply.

New Zealand walk for climate departs January 2008

Walk the Walk is a journey which will begin on the 28th of January 2008 at the base of Auckland’s Sky Tower with a single step. Eventually our legs will bring us all the way to Happy Valley on the West Coast of the South Island, near Westport. We will strive to be carbon neutral in every possible aspect of the journey.

Energy demand, greenhouse-gas emissions expected to soar, says report

The International Energy Agency has released its annual, report and says World energy demand is projected to surge by 55 percent by 2030, with China and India accounting for nearly half of that increase and China overtaking the U.S. as the globe's primary energy consumer. It is also predicts the price of crude could reach $159 by 2030. The IEA also expects a 73 percent jump in demand for coal by 2030. Relatedly, it predicts that greenhouse-gas emissions will be 25 percent higher in 2030 than they are now, barring "exceptionally vigorous policy action by all countries."

In Brief

Essex turns of streetlights to save 19,000 tonnes of carbon emissions
More than 100 mayors from across the U.S. gathered in Seattle late last week to address climate change.

In the U.S. the weekends’ Step It Up 2’ rallies spurred some 1,000 gatherings in all 50 states.

Energy Watch Group new report – peak reached in 2006

Best of the net

New site where you can search cars’ performance on fuel economy, driver safety, others’ safety, carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and air pollution.

Youtube video with compelling argument for action

Monbiot on biofuels

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