IGPN - International Green Purchasing Network


News

Archives

2017
01   02   03  
2016
01   02   03   04   05   06   07   08   09   10   11   12  
2015
01   02   03   04   05   06   07   08   09   10   11   12  
2014
01   02   03   06   07   08   09   10   11   12  
2013
01   02   03   04   05   06   07   08   09   10   11  
2012
01   02   03   04   05   06   07   08   09   10   11   12  
2011
01   02   03   04   05   06   07   08   09   10   11   12  
2010
01   02   03   04   05   07   08   09   10   11   12  
2009
01   02   03   05   06   07   08   10   11   12  
2008
01   03   04   07   08   09   10   11   12  
2007
02   03   04   05   06   07   08   09   10  
2006
02   03   04   05   06   07   08   09   10   11   12  
2005
06   07   09   10   11  

Categories

News Archives

November 29, 2012

Doha: developing nations demand step up in Kyoto ambition

A group of more than 100 developing countries have issued a formal call for the Kyoto Protocol to be strengthened, amid fears the proposed second commitment period will do little to accelerate emission reductions.

The Alliance of Small Island States, Least Developed Countries and the African Group, reported issued a joint statement to the UN’s Doha Climate Summit, arguing that the second commitment period for the Kyoto Protocol should run for five years, rather than the planned eight years, in order to increase the ambition of signatory countries’ emission reduction targets.

Diplomats are widely expected to agree to an extension to the Kyoto Protocol that runs through 2020, but a host of industrialized nations including U.S., Japan and Canada have said they will not sign up to the agreement, leaving just EU, Australia and a handful of other nations committing to binding emission reduction targets under the treaty.

The latest proposals for a shorter commitment period are likely to be rejected by those industrialized countries signing up to the extended Kyoto Protocol, but they will highlight the extent to which the emission reduction commitments made under the agreement fall short of that required to address climate change risks.

The group of developing countries also argued that only those countries agreeing to the binding emission reduction targets should be allowed to take part in the carbon offset schemes enabled by the treaty.

Read more at BusinessGreen.

...continue to read

category : Topics

November 29, 2012

Campaigners sue EPA over carbon emissions

Campaigners threatened to sue the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) on Wednesday in an effort to push back Barack Obama to make good on his re-election promise to act on climate change. The formal notice calls on the EPA administrator, Lisa Jackson, to take immediate steps to begin regulating carbon emissions from cars, planes and off-road vehicles.

“Obviously it’s clear that we need to keep moving on climate change,” said Michael Livermore, director of the Institute for Policy Integrity, which is threatening the lawsuit.

Environmental groups have long complained that the agency was dragging out the process of setting rules on carbon. The EPA faces a number of other suits from environmental groups trying to push it into action.

Aside from environmental groups, the agency also faces far greater legal pressure from opponents of climate action ? including the states of Texas and Virginia and industry groups ? all trying to block the agency from regulating power plants and cars. A federal appeals court dismissed the industry law suits in June but industry groups are continuing to put pressure on the EPA.

The institute originally pressed EPA to regulate car and plane emissions in 2009. “More than three years have passed,” the formal notice to Jackson said on Wednesday. The notice said the EPA had a legal obligation to enforce the Clean Air Act. “Given the clear link between greenhouse gas emissions and global warming, EPA’s delay in acting and in responding to Policy Integrity’s petition is inconsistent with the agency’s legal requirements and scientific determinations.”

Read more at The Guardian.

...continue to read

category : Topics

November 28, 2012

Greater investment could see Australia powered by 100% clean energy within decades

A report was released by the Australian Climate Commission which highlights the nation’s rapid clean energy growth, and states that in coming decades, Australia’s economy could be powered ‘almost entirely’ by renewables.

The report, The Critical Decade: Generating a Renewable Australia, says that Australia could reach up to 100% clean energy as long as there is sustained expansion and investment growth assured through policy certainty. The report states that the country is in the ideal position for reaching such an ambitious target.

Currently, clean energy such as wind, solar and hydro make up just 10% of Australia’s energy but this is expected to rise by 25% by 2020. Solar PV is already the cheapest source of power for retail users and the report forecasts that solar PV and wind could provide the cheapest form of energy in Australia by 2030 as the carbon price continues to increase.

Read more at The Clean Revolution.

...continue to read

category : Topics

November 28, 2012

Thawing of permafrost expected to cause significant additional global warming, not yet accounted for in climate predictions

Permafrost, covering almost a quarter of the northern hemisphere contains 1,700 gigatonnes of carbon, twice that is currently in the atmosphere, and could significantly amplify global warming should thawing accelerate as expected, according to a new report released by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP). This can also radically change ecosystems and cause costly infrastructural damage due to increasingly unstable ground.

Policy Implications of Warming Permafrost, the report released by UNEP, seeks to highlight the potential hazards of carbon dioxide and methane emissions from warming permafrost, which have not thus far been included in climate-prediction modelling. The report recommends a special IPCC assessment on permafrost and the creation of national monitoring networks and adaptation plans as key steps to deal with potential impacts of this significant source of emissions may become a major factor in global warming.

Warming permafrost could emit 43 to 135 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent by 2100 and 246 to 415 gigatonnes by 2200. These emissions could ultimately account for up to 39 percent of total emissions.

The report issues the following specific policy recommendations to address the potential economic, social and environmental impacts of permafrost warming:
- Commission a special report on permafrost emissions
- Create national permafrost monitoring networks
- Plan for adaptation

Read more at UNEP.

...continue to read

category : Topics

November 22, 2012

Sainsbury’s reveals sustainability success as sales of green products soar

Supermarket giant confirms that not only is it making good progress against environmental goals, it has also seen sales of green products climb. Sainsbury’s reveals that sales of products carrying sustainability and fair trade labels have climbed significantly in the past year.

The supermarket giant released an update on its high-profile 20x20 sustainability program, revealing that it has sold 8.5 percent more sustainably sourced food while sales of Fairtrade labeled products have risen five percent over the past twelve months. The report also challenged the myth that environmental issues are an exclusively middle class concern, revealing that more than £1 in every £10 spent on sustainably labeled products came from those families on the lowest incomes.

“Although people have less, they actually care more. The downturn has led to a strengthening of values irrespective of people’s income. We believe this is not a passing phase, but a fundamental change that is here to stay,” says Justin King, Chief Executive of Sainsbury’s.

It has also provided an update on the company’s performance against a raft of environmental targets, confirming that carbon emissions have fallen 3.7 percent in the past year as a result of energy efficiency and renewable programmes, water use is down 45 percent compared to 2005/06, packaging for own brand products has fallen 6.4 percent in the past year, and the company now sends zero food waste to landfill.


Read more at BusinessGreen.

...continue to read

category : Topics

November 22, 2012

Emissions cuts too slow to fight climate change, warns UN report

The Emissions Gap report, coordinated by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the European Climate Foundation, was released days before the convening of the Climate Change Conference of the Parties in Doha and shows that greenhouse gas emissions levels are now around 14 percent above where they need to be in 2020.

Instead of declining, the concentration of warming gases like carbon dioxide (CO2), are actually increasing in the atmosphere ? up to around 20 percent since 2000. Emission levels, driven by the burning of fossil fuels, need to come down by 14% by 2020 for the world to reach a pathway that could keep the global temperature rise below 2C. Scientists say that those emissions are contributing to climate change and that failure to contain them could have dangerous consequences, including rising sea levels inundating coastal cities, dramatic shifts in rainfall disrupting agriculture and drinking water, the spread of diseases and the extinction of species.

UNEP Executive Director, Achim Steiner, said that bridging the gap remains achievable and that there are many “inspiring” actions at the national level on renewable energy, energy efficiency, protecting forests, and vehicle emissions standards.

“Yet the sobering fact remains that a transition to a low-carbon, including green economy is happening far too slowly and the opportunity of meeting the 44 gigatonne target is narrowing annually,” Steiner said.


Read more at The Guardian and at UNEP

...continue to read

category : Topics

November 21, 2012

Dow Corning opens window to energy savings

Businesses are increasingly waking up to the benefits of energy efficient buildings, but according to numerous surveys, they are often discouraged from undertaking retrofitting measures by the cost and disruption associated with green office upgrades.

Now, researchers at Dow Corning may have come up with a technology that cannot only tackle heating, cooling, and lighting costs but also is visually appealing. The company is developing a silicon liquid crystal film for smart glazing that can make clear windows translucent at the flick of a switch. The change is achieved by rearranging molecules in the film using an electric current that can switch the appearance of glass from transparent to translucent. This can be used to block unwanted heat from the sun and reduce the need for air conditioning. Alternatively, windows can be configured to let in the maximum amount of light and heat, so less of the building’s lighting and heating systems need to be used.

“Buildings account for 40 percent of total energy consumption globally, while heating and lighting account for 50 percent of the energy consumed in buildings. Smart glazing has the potential to decrease by 30 percent the amount of energy consumed in a building by being properly combined with an automated building management system,” says Elisabeth van den Berg, global business builder at Dow Corning’s business and technology incubator.

Read more at BusinessGreen.

...continue to read

category : Topics

November 21, 2012

More than 1,000 new coal plants planned worldwide, figures show

World Resources Institute (WRI) identifies 1,200 coal plans in planning across 59 countries, with about three-quarters in China and India. Coal plants are the most polluting of all power stations. The capacity of new plants add up to 1,400GW to global greenhouse gas emissions, equivalent of adding another China ? the world’s biggest emitter.

The huge planned expansion comes despite warnings from politicians, scientists and campaigners that the planet’s fast-rising carbon emissions must peak within a few years if runaway climate change is to be avoided and that fossil fuel assets risk becoming worthless if international action on global warming moves forward.

“This is definitely not in line with a safe climate scenario ? it would put us on a really dangerous trajectory,” said the WRI’s Ailun Yang, who compiled the report. But she said that new emission limits proposed in the US and a voluntary cap on coal use in China could begin to turn the tide. “These policies would give really strong signals about the risks to the future financial performance of coal climate policies.”

Guy Shrubsole, at Friends of the Earth, said of the WRI report: “This is a scary number of coal-fired plants being planned. It is clear that the vested interests of coal companies are driving this forward and that they will have to be reined in by the governments.”

Read more at The Guardian.

...continue to read

category : Topics

November 15, 2012

Brazil’s Amazon rangers battle farmers’ burning business logic

As Evandro Carlos Selva, one of the 1,400 hi-tech environmental cops, fly over the Amazonian inferno via helicopter, he radios back to a base a witness testimony to deforestation. As forests are being burned, smoke billows across the horizon releasing the carbon that has been stored in the forest for hundreds of years into the atmosphere.

The clearance is illegal and Carlos Selva, a ranger with Brazil’s environmental protection agency, Ibama, sets in motion the process of levying fines, business embargos and other penalties that have helped slow the pace of deforestation by almost 80% in the past eight years. This represents an impressive progress but the pressure convert more Amazonian forest is growing stronger due to drought in the US, rising food prices, and a weakening in Brazilian laws. Farmers and ranchers are continuously converting protected forests into cropland illegally.

Rangers use two sets of satellite data: Prodes, which is an annual forest audit down to the level of 6.25 hectares and Deter, which provides real-time information to rangers in the field who can reach the affected areas rapidly via helicopters and trucks. Individual violators can be fined, jailed, have machinery confiscated and be barred from access to bank loans.

However, with limits to these satellite data such as cloud cover and as information needs two days to be processed, farmers still find ways to expand their cropland through deforestation. An upgrade will be made next year with the help of two new satellites and with this, data processing will be accelerated and the chances of rangers catching forest degradation at an earlier age will be increased.

Read more at The Guardian.


...continue to read

category : Topics

November 14, 2012

Al Gore calls on Barack Obama to ‘act boldly’ on climate change

Former vice-president, Al Gore, urges re-elected president to seize the moment and use his re-election victory to push through bold action on climate change.

The president faced rising public pressure in the wake of superstorm Sandy to deliver on his promise to act on global warming. And now, the former vice-president urges Obama to immediately begin pushing for a carbon tax in negotiations over the “fiscal cliff” budget crisis.

The vice-president’s intervention for a carbon tax could give critical support to an idea that has gained currency since the election. “He has the mandate. He has the opportunity and has the inherent ability to provide the leadership needed. I really hope that he will, and I will respectfully ask him to do exactly that.”

President Obama also signaled in his victory speech that he saw climate change as in of the top three priorities of his second term. “We want our children to live in an America that isn’t burdened by debt, that isn’t weakened by inequality, that isn’t threatened by the destructive power of a warming planet."


Read more at The Guardian.


...continue to read

category : Topics

November 13, 2012

Energy efficiency could replace 22 UK power stations

UK government launches a wide-ranging energy efficiency strategy including £39 million pot for research into changing behavior. This strategy could cut UK’s energy use by 11% by 2020 while providing a major energy boost to the economy and living standards.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) unveiled the UK’s first National Energy Efficiency Strategy which aims to kick start energy efficiency across all sectors in the UK including housing manufacture and transport. The strategy identifies four significant barriers that have consistently hampered enegry efficiency improvements: an underdeveloped market; lack of information on energy efficiency; and misaligned financial incentives.

With the strategy, DECC will fund a nationwide roll-out of London’s Re:FIT retrofit programme for public buildings, which aims to reduce the risk, cost and time taken for public buildings to install energy efficiency measures through the use of an energy-service company (ESCO) financing model. DECC is also considering rolling out its recently launched Green Deal to cover businesses of all sizes. In addition, the department also plans to invest £39 million in five so-called End Use Energy Demand Centers which will research how to change consumer and business behavior to save more energy.

The report shows that cost effective investments in energy efficiency could save the UK 196TWh in 2020, equivalent to output from 22 power stations. Implementing these recommended measures could reduce energy consumption by 11% by the end of the decade rising to savings of 13% by 2025 compared to business as usual projections. The measures also have the potential to save 41 megatonnes of CO2 equivalent emissions in 2020.

Read more at The Guardian.


...continue to read

category : Topics

November 10, 2012

Green Innovators Receive Young Environmental Leader Award

Three students from Costa Rica, Kenya and Vietnam have received a major international youth award from the United Nations Environment Program and Bayer in recognition of their environmental efforts. The young environmental innovators received the 2012 Young Environmental Leader Award for creating their own sustainable development projects; a scientific process to convert waste shrimp shells to ingredients for medicines, a community project of recycling plastic bags into clothing and homeward, and an environmental guide for housewives and families.

An expert panel from UNEP, the UNEP/Wuppertal Institute Collaborating Centre on Sustainable Consumption and Production (CSCP), Tunza Magazine (UNEP’s publication for young people), and Bayer selected three winners with each winner receiving a tailor-made package to support and expand their projects worth EUR 1,000.

“From waste management to resource efficiency and awareness campaigns, the winners of the Bayer Young Environmental Leader Award, and all of the 2012 Young Environmental Envoys, clearly demonstrates that young people across the world have the motivation, creativity and knowledge to provide concrete solutions to the world’s most critical environmental challenges,” said Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary General and UNEP Executive Director.

The “Bayer Young Environmental Envoy Programme” is a major project under the UNEP-Bayer partnership for youth and the environment. The 2012 programme has brought together close to 50 young environmental envoys from 19 developing and emerging countries for an environmental study tour in Germany. Each envoy is involved in a sustainability project in his or her home country. The three winners were judged to demonstrate the greatest innovation, sustainability, and potential impact.


Read more at UNEP.


...continue to read

category : Topics

November 9, 2012

UK shifts focus to closed-loop economy

UK businesses will face increasing pressure to use natural resources more efficiently as a way of stimulating economic growth. Liz Goodwin, chief executive of Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP), set out plans to place a greater emphasis on the financial benefits of creating a “closed-loop” economy, in which products are designed and manufactured so that materials can be re-used.

Research by consultancy firm McKinsey launched earlier this year that found that European manufacturers could save $630 billion a year by 2025 if they moved towards greater resource efficiency and reduced their reliance on increasingly rare and costly new materials. Separate research data from Defra found that businesses could save more than £18 billion a year by adopting no-cost or low-cost measures to enhance their resource efficiency.

As part of its shift in strategy, WRAP will be increasingly focusing on sectors and areas which can yield the biggest impacts on waste levels, such as initiatives to tackle electronic waste and reduce waste through improved design in the textile industry.

Read more at GreenBiz.


...continue to read

category : Topics

November 7, 2012

Peter Bakker launches Business Council for Sustainable Development Singapore

The Business Council for Sustainable Development Singapore (BCSD Singapore) was launched by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) President, Peter Bakker, yesterday. It is a membership organization comprised of leading local business and the regional arms of international companies and will work with businesses locally to help foster economic development in harmony with environmental preservation and social development. It will advocate for the implementation of policy frameworks that help sustainable businesses to thrive; reinforce capabilities for sustainability management; spearhead green initiatives; and share its values across all key stakeholders.

Constant Van Aerschot, Executive Director of BCSD Singapore said: “Singapore is poised to be the sustainability hub for the region. As a country that has successfully dealt with resource scarcity, Singapore has the unique combination of know-how and infrastructure, and an impressive track record of sustainable planning. BCSD Singapore will leverage these strengths to help our member companies become even more competitive while they lead Singapore and the region towards green economy.”

BCSD Singapore forms part of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) Regional Network. This is an alliance of more than 60 CEO-led business organizations worldwide, united by a shared commitment to providing business leadership for sustainable development in their respective countries or regions.

Read more at WBCSD.

...continue to read

category : Topics


Focus on

Information

IGPN Events