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News Archives

February 28, 2013

Hyundai targets mass producing fuel cell cars in “world first”

Hyundai says it will become the world’s first car-maker to mass-produce fuel-cell cars powered by hydrogen.

The first ix35 Fuel Cell vehicle, a hydrogen-powered version of the South Korean car-maker’s Tucson SUV, rolled off the production lines at the company’s Ulsan plant yesterday. The car is expected to be able to run for 370 miles before it needs to be refueled, emitting only water vapour from the conversion of hydrogen to electricity, while removing the range anxiety associated with pure electric vehicles.

“With the ix35 Fuel Cell vehicle, Hyundai is leading the way into the zero-emissions future,” said Kim Eok Jo, Hyundai’s vice chairman. “The ix35 Fuel Cell is the most eco-friendly vehicle in the auto industry and proves that hydrogen fuel cell technology in daily driving is no longer a dream.”

However, Hyundai plans to deliver just 1,000 units to companies and public organizations, most of these will be in the EU, where a road map towards adoption of hydrogen vehicles has already been mapped out. Only after 2015 will Hyundai start manufacturing vehicles for consumer sales, reasoning that by that point, they will have lower production costs and refueling infrastructure will have started to come online. Currently, the UK has 10 refueling stations for hydrogen gas and plans for another 12 are in the pipeline.

Read more at Business Green.

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category : Topics

February 28, 2013

University of Leeds trials submerged servers

The University of Leeds is running fully immersed servers, claiming 80 percent to 97 percent power consumption savings over traditional air cooling.

The University worked with Iceotope to fully submerge its servers for cooling purposes instead of using traditional air fed cooling systems. Using 3M’s Novec liquid, the non-conductive liquid allows electronics to be submerged in it without damaging the equipment. The liquid is pumped directly to the servers and uses a heat exchanger system to carry away the heat. The University claims that the liquid cooling system uses 80 watts of power to cool clusters that use 20 kilowatts and claims the system does away with the need for traditional data centre support services such as air conditioning or air purification units.

Jon Summers, from the University of Leeds School of Mechanical Engineering department said, “The liquid we are using is extraordinary stuff. You could throw you r mobile phone in a tub of it and the phone’s electronics would work perfectly. But the important thing for the future of computing and the internet is that it is more than 1,000 times more effective at carrying heat than air.”

Read more at Business Green.

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category : Topics

February 28, 2013

Ford to accelerate waste reduction effort

Ford is aiming for a 40 percent cut in the waste it sends to landfill per vehicle produced by 2016 as part of a new five-year global waste reduction plan. Meeting the goal would see just 13.4lb per vehicle sent to landfill between 2011 and 2016, building on the drop from 37.9lb to 22.7lb achieved between 2007 and 2011.

Under the new strategy, the carmaker intends to stop certain kinds of waste from entering into its facilities. This includes identifying the five largest volume waste-to-landfill streams at each plant before developing reduction plans, improving waste sorting procedures to make recycling and reuse easier and investing in new technologies that minimize waste, such as dry machining.

Ford’s waste target sits alongside its other sustainability goals, which include targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from manufacturing facilities by 30 percent per vehicle between 2010 and 2025, cut water consumption per vehicle by 30 percent between 2009 and 2015, and deliver a 25 percent decrease in average energy consumption per vehicle globally between 2011 and 2016.

Read more at Business Green.

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category : Topics

February 27, 2013

Leading chemicals sector group gives guidance on GHG emissions

Ten of the world’s largest chemical companies, together with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), released an accounting and reporting guide to help the sector consistently account and report climate impacts in the corporate value chain.

The Guidance for Accounting & Reporting Corporate GHG Emissions in the Chemical Sector Value Chain provides a common sector guide for corporate level Greenhouse Gas (GHG) accounting and reporting. The guide gives direction to companies on a common approach for accounting and reporting on challenges such as joint arrangements, the resale of energy, identifying relevant value chain activities, combined heat and power installations, and swapping arrangements. It also provides a consistent framework for reporting, which allows for more transparency and consistency on corporate-level climate impacts across companies. By having a common approach that is used across the sector, companies can now compete on sustainability performance, rather than on methodologies.

“If we are to bring business solutions to the scale that the world needs, we must get all business involve, or in other words, we must change the accounting rules of the game. This guide is important because it is a significant step toward helping an important sector better account for, report and manage its climate impacts, and at the end of the day, provide sustained business growth,” Peter Bakker, President of the WBCSD said,

Read more at WBCSD.

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category : Topics

February 23, 2013

UN launches New Centre to Accelerate Use of Technology in Tackling Climate Change

From the latest technical developments in renewable energy to innovative cropping techniques, the role of technology and research in tackling climate change in developing countries is the focus of a new facility launched by the United Nations.

Following a decision at the 2012 UN Climate Change Conference in Doha, governments meeting this week in Nairobi at the Governing Council of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) confirmed a UNEP-led consortium as the hosts of the Climate Technology Centre.

The Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN) aims to speed up the transfer of climate-related technology and expertise to developing countries in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and improve resilience to changing weather patterns, drought, soil erosion, and other impacts of climate change. The CTCN will work to reduce the risks and barriers that hinder acquisition of mitigation technologies by developing countries, and support efforts to implement mitigation and adaptation actions that can reduce emissions and ensure progress towards sustainable development goals. It will also establish and information platform for improved sharing knowledge related to climate technologies. This will provide data, reports, and other resources to address the specific needs of developing countries.

The centre will become the implementing arm of the Technology Mechanism of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC). The Technology Mechanism is expected to facilitate accelerated action in technology development and transfer, in order to spurt action on climate change mitigation and adaptation.

Read more at UNEP News Centre.

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category : Topics

February 21, 2013

Estonia installs “world’s first nationwide fast-charging network

Estonia has become what is thought to be the world’s first country to launch a nationwide fast-charging network for electric vehicles.

The Baltic state flicked the switch on 165 web-connected direct current (DC) chargers provided by Swiss firm ABB. Each can recharge an electric vehicle in just 15-30 minutes, a fraction of the eight hours standard chargers typically require. The chargers have been fitted with more than 5,000 inhabitants and on major roads throughout the small Baltic country, creating what is likely to be the highest concentration of DC chargers in Europe.

Ulrich Spiesshofer, head of ABB’s discrete automation and motion division, said the network would not only encourage motorists to switch to electric vehicles, but also “motivate other countries to invest in their own charging infrastructure.”

Alongside the recharging network, Estonia also offers subsidies of up to 50 percent of the purchase price of electric vehicles to encourage adoption.

Read more at BusinessGreen.

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category : Topics

February 21, 2013

Europe’s carbon market limps on

The European Union’s falling carbon market has been thrown a lifeline by the European Parliament’s Environment Committee. It has backed the Commission’s plan to prop up the price of a tonne of carbon by withdrawing an oversupply of credits from the market.

Carbon trading is one of the major EU policies designed to combat climate change. But a combination of successful lobbying by industry bodies, political influences and lack of economic growth has brought the scheme close to collapse, so that it is now cheaper to pollute the atmosphere than to invest in becoming energy-efficient.

The original idea of the EU emissions trading system (ETS) was to set a maximum cap on carbon emissions from each factory or power station. This would force industry to become more efficient or to pay a high price for every extra tonne of carbon over the limit. Industries would gain credits for reducing their emissions below the set limit and then sell them on the open market to polluters who had failed to act. The whole system depended on the price of the units of carbon being high enough to give polluters an incentive to reduce their emissions.

With a gradually sliding price for carbon because industry had no trouble meeting its unrealistically low targets on energy efficiency, this lead to a vast surplus of carbon credits and few needing to buy them. As a result, the price of carbon fell from 30 euros a tonne in 2008 to under five this year. This left no incentive for industry to reduce its emissions ? it was cheaper and easier to buy cheap carbon credits.

The committee devised a system to withdraw credits from the market, reducing the surplus, and then to reintroduce them gradually at a later date, maintain the pressure on industry to become more energy-efficient. Negotiations between all the parties involved are under way to see exactly how the plan would work to raise the price without damaging the industry.

Read more at Climate News Network.

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category : Topics

February 21, 2013

Carbon tax included in China’s new green tax policy plan

China is to introduce a set of new taxation policies designed to preserve the environment, including a tax on carbon dioxide emissions, according to a senior official with the Ministry of Finance (MOF). This is in addition to establishing seven pilot carbon markets this year with the goal of creating a national cap-and-trade scheme by the end of 2015.

In an article published on the MOF’s website, Jia Chen, head of the tax policy division, said the government will collect environmental protection tax instead of pollutant discharge fees, as well as levy a tax on carbon dioxide emissions. These will be raised by local tax authorities rather than the Environmental Protection Department, he said.

In his article, Jia said the government is also looking into the possibility of taxing energy-intensive products such as batteries, as well as luxury goods such as aircraft that are not used for public transportation. To conserve natural resources, the government will push forward resource tax reforms by taxing coal based on prices instead of sales volume, as well as raising coal taxes. A resource tax will also be levied on water.

China is the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gas and has set goals for cutting emissions. The government has vowed to reduce carbon intensity per unit of economic output by 40 to 45 percent by 2020 in comparison to 2005 levels.

Read more at CleanBizAsia.

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category : Topics

February 21, 2013

Sustainable off-grid lighting solutions can deliver major development and climate benefits

Replacing millions of kerosene lamps, candles and flashlights used worldwide with modern solar lighting can provide an increasingly low-cost solution to reducing carbon emissions, indoor air pollution and health risks, and boosting green jobs, according to new studies from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

UNEP has announced a new strategic partnership with the private sector to facilitate a market shift towards energy-efficient off-grid lighting to reduce the estimated 74 million tons of annual carbon emissions from fuel-based light sources commonly used in developing countries. The collaboration with the Global Off-Grid Lighting Association (GOGLA) will see the launch of an international effort to accelerate the deployment of enabling policies towards sustainable off-grid lighting.

To underscore the new partnership, the UNEP-led en.lighten initiative has unveiled new national assessments for 80 countries on the economic and environmental gains that can be achieved through a shift to solar-powered alternatives.

“Replacing the world’s 670 million kerosene lamps with cleaner, safer solar-powered lighting represents a major opportunity to deliver across multiple fronts, from cuts in global carbon emissions, health risks from indoor air pollution, support for green technologies and the generation of green jobs,” said UN Under Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner.

The en.lighten initiative has been established to accelerate efforts to reduce dangerous carbon emissions and the threat of global climate change around the world. The initiative has set a target date for the global phase-out of all inefficient lighting by the end of 2016.

Read more at UNEP News.

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category : Topics

February 19, 2013

Shanghai passes law to limit excess packaging

According to government statistics, one-third of all household garbage in China is packaging. Half of this packaging waste has been determined as “excess packaging,” which carries an estimated annual production cost of 400 billion RMB.

In order to curb the growth of excess packaging and reduce the overall waste produced by businesses and households, the Shanghai City Parliament has passed a law called “The Regulation to Reduce Commercial Packaging.” The law sets fines to punish companies for producing excess packaging for their products with a maximum of 50,000 RMB. Shanghai is the first city in China to pass this type of law.

While researching and drafting the bill, the Shanghai City Parliament conducted a survey of 847 citizens to determine attitudes towards excess packaging and the environment. The survey revealed that 90% of the people polled thought that the bill should be passed in order to “save resources and protect the environment,” as well as citing health concerns. In addition, 823 out of 847 people responded that they “care a lot” or “care sometimes” about this issue. The city concluded that the public awareness of this issue indicates a growing tendency for citizens to care about and want to participate in environmental protection.

Read more at Eco-Business.

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category : Topics

February 16, 2013

France’s simple step to save energy: Shut off the lights

By requiring shops and offices to turn off their lights at night, France will save the energy it takes to power 750,000 homes.

Effective July 1, all nonresidential buildings must shut off their lights an hour after the last worker leaves or by 1 a.m. each morning. They can’t turn them on again until 7 a.m. or just before they open. Major tourist attraction as exempt, like the 20,000 flashing bulbs on the Eiffel Tower, which are already turned off each night for a period of time, and public displays, such as Christmas tree decorations at the Champs-Elysees.

Besides savings on energy and emissions, France wants to pioneer addressing light pollution. Environmental minister Delphine Batho hopes the ban will reduce the negative impact that artificial lights have on ecosystems and wildlife, as well as on human sleep patterns.

The law is one of many measures the new government is implementing to increase energy efficiency and renewables. The country, which for so long has been held up as a model for relying on nuclear is moving away from that and toward renewable energy. The French government also wants to ban natural gas fracking.

Read more at GreenBiz.

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category : Topics

February 15, 2013

World’s richest men aid ‘Green Revolution’ center

The research center largely responsible for launching the “Green Revolution” of the 1960s that dramatically raised crop yields is getting support from the world’s richest men to develop genetically-modified seeds to help farmers in the developing world grow more grain in the face of changing climatic conditions and increased demand.

Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Mexican telecom magnate Carlos Slim donated a total of $25 million to build a new cluster of biotechnology labs at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) in Mexico.

It was yet another coming of age moment for GM crops, because the nonprofit CIMMYT has become known over the last 50 years for providing low-cost, improved seeds through hybridization efforts, using its vast stockpiles of native corn and wheat genes from across the world to cross-breed the best attributes, like drought-resistance.

While CIMMYT Director Thomas Lumpkin claimed that even hybridization represents a sort of genetic modification by selective planting and breeding, he noted that CIMMYT hasn’t shipped any true GM seeds yet, and acknowledged that some countries might have concerns. “We want to facilitate the movement of those (genetic) traits to the countries of the developing world that request them, that want them. Nothing is being pushed, nothing is being forced, and CIMMYT will not profit,” says Lumpkin

Read more at Jakarta Post.

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category : Topics

February 15, 2013

EU should seek 100% green energy by 2050, says WWF

One-hundred percent green energy of the European Union is realistic by the middle of the century provided the bloc signs up to ambitious energy policy goals for 2030, conservation body WWF said in a report on Thursday.

Debate has begun in Brussels on targets for 2030 to replace the existing set of 2020 goals, which are to cut carbon emissions by 20 percent from 1990 levels, improve energy savings by 20 percent compared with projected use, and increase the share of renewable in the energy mix to 20 percent. Targets for 2030 should include energy savings of at least 38 percent compared with business as usual, obtaining 40 percent of fuel from green sources and cutting carbon emissions by 50 percent, the WWF report says.

The debate on the 2030 EU targets is likely to be protracted. While many in business agree on the need for a carbon target, they tend to be more reluctant to couple that with other legislative goals.

Read more at International Business Times.

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category : Topics

February 15, 2013

Plastics change could reduce ’30 billion tonnes of waste’

Scientists have said that outdated policies for managing plastic waste should be changed to try and prevent there being another 33 billion tonnes of plastic on Earth by 2050.

In a journal article in Nature, Chelsea Rochman, from the University of California, and Mark Anthony Browne, from the National Centre for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, in California, say that labeling some plastics as hazardous could reduce the waste and threats to health and wildlife. They say plastics should no longer be classified as solid waste in Australia, the United States, Europe and Japan because doing so means they are treated the same way as food scraps.

The article says that 280 million tonnes of plastic were produced around the world in 2012 and less than half went to landfill or was recycled. Of the remaining 150 million tonnes, some may still be in use but the rest litters continents and oceans.

“We believe that if countries classified the most harmful plastics as hazardous, their environmental agencies would have the power to restore affected habitats and prevent more dangerous debris from accumulating,” the scientists wrote in the article.

Read more at Eco News.

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category : Topics

February 14, 2013

Cities push for energy data on commercial buildings

As a way to incentivize landlords to compete for lower operational costs, Minneapolis is the largest U.S. city to adopt an energy benchmarking and disclosure rule for commercial buildings.

Private commercial building larger than 50,000 square feet must report energy and water use annually beginning 2015. The policy ? already adopted in Austin, New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, D.C. ? is meant to bolster market forces, rather than requiring building system design mandates, and motivate owners and tenants to invest in energy efficient improvements. The city of Minneapolis and other public offices will lead by example and begin publicly disclosing energy and water use in buildings larger than 25,000 square feet starting this year.

As with other city benchmarking ordinances, Minneapolis will help building owners tap free software (U.S. Environmental Protections Agency’s Portfolio Manager) to measure a building’s energy and water performance and generating a score. Additional free services are available for building owners including a drop-in help center, benchmarking workshops, daily technical assistance and how-to guide.

“Benchmarking lets you see trends and how your building compares with others. As a facilities manager, I am always looking for ways to lower costs, and being energy efficient is a way to do that, which benefits my company and its customers,” said Stephen Chandler, facilities manager at Verity Credit Union.

Read more at GreenBiz.

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category : Topics

February 14, 2013

CSI launches Product Category Rules for Environmental Product Declaration of Concrete

The Product Category Rules (PCR) for unreinforced concrete developed by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD)’s Cement Sustainability Initiative (CSI) is published by the International EPD® System. This set of rules provides a common methodology for concrete producers who wish to issue Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) for their products.

PCRs are the underlying rules used to develop an EPD. By providing these common rules, the CSI is offering a reference methodology to its members and the wider industry. They establish the assumptions, scope and functional units, meaning that manufacturers cannot alter them in order to favor their products. EPDs can be compared only when they are based on the same PCR, ensuring that the methodology, data quality and indicators are consistent, and that all the relevant life cycle stages have been included.

The CSI PCR is registered under the International EPD® System for use by companies worldwide. It focuses on the impacts of concrete production up to the point when it is delivered to the client, known as ‘cradle ?to-gate’, for business-to-business purposes. However, the CSI is also investigating whether concrete’s contribution to the sustainability of a structure during its use and end-of-life can also be captured in a systematic way, allowing for ‘cradle-to-grave’ EPDs to be developed.

Read more at WBCSD.

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February 13, 2013

Riyadh going green to free up oil

Saudi Arabia has one of the largest expansion plans for electricity in the Middle East, with the bulk of renewable coming from solar power, the EIA said.

The U.S. Energy Department’s Energy Information Administration updated its profile for Saudi Arabia, saying population growth and a rapidly expanding industrial sector are leading to increased electricity demand in the oil-rich country.

Saudi Arabia aims to diversify its local energy mix in order to free up more of its oil for exports. Tha EIA says Saudi Arabia aims to generate as much as 55 GW of renewable energy by 2020, with 41 GW planned for solar power.

Read more at United Press International.

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category : Topics

February 13, 2013

The State of Green Business, 2013

GreenBiz has just published its 2013 State of Green Business report which tells about the shifting business reality ? it recognizes that business as usual isn’t sustainable.

GreenBiz has partnered with Trucost, a leading research firm focusing on natural capital and sustainability metrics, to revamp the indicators which assess the progress by the private sector in addressing global environmental challenges. The previous metrics were scrapped and were replaced with a more comprehensive and robust set that is global in scope. It now cover companies’ natural capital costs, supply-chain impacts, various measure of transparency and disclosure, among other things.

Read more at GreenBiz.

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category : Topics

February 12, 2013

ecoATM raises £25 million to roll out e-waste cashback machines

A US start-up that developed a cash machine that buys back old phones and other electronics for recycling, has secured $40 million (£25 million) debt financing to expand its operations across the country. San Diego-based ecoATM announced last week that it has raised mezzanine debt financing from Falcon Investment Advisors to support its automated e-waste kiosks.

ecoATM has already installed 300 kiosks in shopping centres in larger US cities, providing consumers and businesses with a convenient means of selling their old mobile phones and MP3 players. The new finance will be used to install kiosks outside larger cities, while some of the funding has already been used to ensure the machines can accept tablet computers.

The ecoATM works by examining the users’ device and then searching for the highest price in the worldwide market. If the customer agrees to the sale, they receive cash on the spot.

Since being founded in 2008, ecoATM says that it has found a second life for 60 percent of the devices it collects and recycles the remaining 40 percent in an environmentally responsible manner.

Read more at Business Green.

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category : Topics

February 12, 2013

1Action for 1Smile fairtrade purchasing campaign by university students in Japan

A network of university students and Morinaga & Co Ltd are carrying out '1Action for 1Smile' fairtrade purchasing campaign around Valentine's Day this year.

In Japan, Valentine's Day is an opportunity for women to express their feelings by sending chocolates to men. Using Morinaga 'DARS', Japan's first chocolate product to contains fairtrade cacao, during Valentine's Day, the campaign aims to raise awareness of fairtrade products and sustainable cacao farming in Ghana. At the same time, those young students can also express their special feelings to their loved ones.

For further information, please visit the Facebook campaign page (in Japanese).

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category : Events

February 8, 2013

IKEA, Whole Foods ditch plastic bags for good

The push to ban single-use plastic bags continues to gain momentum as more and more cities, counties and countries around the world adopt the trend.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, Americans throw away around 100 billion plastic bags each year, recycling less than one percent. The bags made out of polyethylene pose the biggest environmental risk ? one bag can take up to 1,000 years to decompose.

A number of big companies are doing their part to mitigate the damage. Some, like Whole Foods and IKEA, have completely eliminated plastic bags, while others, like Wal-Mart, are in the process of cutting back on their usage.

Read more at GreenBiz.

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category : Topics

February 7, 2013

LED lighting gaining traction in commercial retrofits

Once thought to be too costly for commercial buildings, LED lighting is increasingly being installed in warehouses and commercial facilities as part of energy retrofit projects.

Atlas Box, a Massachusetts-based manufacturer of protective packaging for electronics and heavy equipment, has embarked on a plan to reduce energy consumption by 55 percent in two facilities by installing LED lighting systems. With energy retaining significant costs for buildings and facilities, “anything we can do to manage and control energy costs gives us a competitive advantage,” says Frank Tavaras, global process engineer with Atlas Box and project leader.

Atlas worked with Groom Energy to perform building energy assessments to map saving opportunities. For Atlas’ interior warehouse lighting, Groom Energy installed a Digital Lumens system enabling occupancy-based lighting and the ability to track and manage the system through software. Wireless controls with underlying analytics and data management help building managers track and monitor energy savings.

Read more at GreenBiz.

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category : Topics

February 6, 2013

Eight out of 10 Brits prefer renewable energy

Almost four out of five people support the UK using renewable energy to generate electricity, fuel and heat, according to a major survey published by the government. Of the 2,107 people polled in December and January, only four percent were opposed to using renewable energy, a number that has remained consistent across the previous three attitudes surveys conducted by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).

Solar energy was found to have the highest levels of support with 82 percent in favor of the technology, followed by offshore wind with 72 percent, and wave and tidal arrays with 71 percent. Significantly, under two-thirds of respondents were in favor of onshore wind farms, while only 13 percent were opposed. In addition, 67 percent are worried that UK supplies of fossil fuels are not sufficient to meet UK demand into the future, while a huge 88 percent are very concerned or fairly concerned at steep rises in energy prices in the next 10 to 20 years.

Read more at Business Green.

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category : Topics

February 6, 2013

UK emissions fall seven percent in 2011 as gas use plunges

UK greenhouse gas emissions fell seven percent from 2010 to 2011 as emissions from the residential sector dipped to their lowest levels since 1990, government figures revealed.

The drop from 594 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (MtCO2e) to just under 553 MtCO2e is slightly less than the 549 MtCO2e predicted by figures released last year. But it leaves the UK comfortably below both its Kyoto Protocol and carbon budget targets and continues a downward trend that since 2004 has only been interrupted once in 2010.

The latest fall in annual emissions was driven by 22.5 percent drop in household emissions as a relatively warm year saw homeowners use less gas overall and significantly reduce the amount of fuel being used for space heating. Emissions from the energy sector also recorded a significant drop falling 6.5 percent in response to a three percent fall in the overall demand for energy. The business, transport, industrial process, and public sectors also recorded slight drops in emissions against 2010 levels, while all other sectors were relatively stable.

Read more at Business Green.

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category : Topics

February 6, 2013

Sea urchin nickel ‘trick’ could be key to capturing carbon

Researchers say that the ability of sea urchins to absorb CO2 could be a model for an effective carbon capture and storage system.

Newcastle University scientists discovered by chance that urchins use the metal nickel to turn carbon dioxide into shell. They say the technique can be harnessed to turn emissions from power plants into harmless calcium carbonate. Working with extremely small nickel particles, the researchers found that when they added them to a solution of carbon dioxide in water, the nickel completely removed the CO2.

At present, most carbon capture and storage (CCS) proposals are based around the idea of capturing CO2 from electricity generating stations or chemical plants and pumping the stripped out gas into underground storage in former oil wells or rock formations. But there are still question marks about the possibility that the stored carbon may leak back out again.

Read more at BBC News.

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category : Topics

February 5, 2013

The UN’s CDM passes 6,000 project landmark

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s clean development mechanism (CDM) tool has passed a 6,000 project milestone, with a new wind power project in Vietnam.

The CDM is an international market-based tool defined in the Kyoto Protocol that incentivizes emission reduction projects in developing countries to generate Certified Emission Reduction units, of which may be traded in emissions trading schemes. Currently, 83 nations are registered in the mechanism.

Over the last ten years, CDM projects, which range from industrial to domestic solutions, have generated 110,000 megawatts of clean energy capacity. This is roughly the equivalent to the total power generation capacity of the whole of Africa. The 6,000 project is installing 21 megawatts of wind power into an electric power grid in Vietnam, which will reduce emissions by 32,000 tons a year.

Read more at Clean Revolution.

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category : Topics

February 5, 2013

Asian countries to put breaks on short-lived climate pollutants

Government representatives from 19 Asia Pacific countries are meeting in Bangkok under the auspices of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition to look at ways to catalyze fast action to reduce the impacts of short-lived climate pollutants (SLCP) in the region.

SLCPs, such as black carbon or soot, methane, tropospheric ozone and some hydrofluorocarbons are responsible for a substantial fraction of both the warming experienced to date and the current rate of global warming, and can be dangerous air pollutants with various detrimental impacts on human health, agriculture and ecosystems.

This is the first time that SLCP has been collectively discussed at a regional meeting and officials are looking at measures that can be quickly taken up and integrated into strategies for economic development and environmental protection. A UNEP 2011 study found that aggressive action to reduce SLCPs by 2030 could avoid over two million premature deaths and annual crop losses of over 30 million tonnes each year, as well as to halve the pace of global warming by 2050 and deliver significant regional climate benefits.

Read more at CleanBizAsia.

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