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MEDIA REPORTS

CLIMATE AND ATMOSPHERE

This page was updated on: 01/14/10

2006

 

Climate and Atmosphere Media Reports Archives: 2010; 2009; 2008; 2007; 2005; 2004; 2003; 2002

 

DECEMBER 2006

EUROPEAN CHEESE-MAKERS PROTEST LACK OF ACCESS TO OZONE-DEPLETING PESTICIDE
Cheese-makers affected by the European Commission’s decision to not allow the use of methyl bromide, an ozone-depleting pesticide, are protesting the decision. Traditional makers of cheddar cheese in Europe can no longer legally use the gas to ward off mites, and worry about the extra labor required to brush mites off the aging cheese. While all developed countries have phased the gas out except for those uses agreed to be “critical,” many users of the gas, including these cheese-makers, have not found alternatives they believe to be viable.

Link to further information
BBC News, 20 December 2006

HIGH-LEVEL GROUP TO WORK ON “POST-KYOTO” DEAL
A high-level task force has been established by the UN Foundation and the Club of Madrid to develop a new international framework for a “post-Kyoto” agreement on climate change. The task force will be chaired by Ricardo Lagos and Timothy E. Wirth, and facilitated by former GEF chairman Mohamed El-Ashry. The group will offer recommendations to the Dialogue on Climate Change, Clean Energy and Sustainable Development, which was launched at the G8 Summit held in Gleneagles, Scotland in July 2005.

Link to further information
UN Foundation press release, 20 December 2006

PENALTY AGREED FOR DISTRIBUTOR OF TOY PROPELLED BY OZONE-DEPLETING SUBSTANCE
The US Environmental Protection Agency and a company selling a confetti string product have reached an agreement regarding allegations that the company sold or distributed a product propelled by chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), a substance phased out in the US and other developed countries due to its role in depleting the ozone layer. As part of the agreement, the Ohio-based company that marketed the product under the brand name Silly String will pay a US$109,849 penalty.

Link to further information
Yahoo, 4 December 2006

UNEP LAUNCHES RESPONSIBLE PROPERTY INVESTMENT GROUP
The UN Environment Programme’s Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) has launched a working group on responsible property investment. The group will seek to “embed environmental thinking in the heart of… property investment portfolios” with the aim of encouraging the financial services sector to play a pivotal role in halting climate change and supporting sustainable investment. The new group was launched in Paris on 8 December.

Link to further information
UNEP FI information

NOVEMBER 2006

STUDY SUGGESTS OZONE MAY BE DESTROYED FASTER THAN PREVIOUSLY THOUGHT
A study by researchers at the University of Helsinki has found that ice crystals that form in the stratosphere grow more slowly than thought and have a liquid coating. In a study published in the 16 November 2006 issue of the Journal of Physical Chemistry, the researchers suggest that this finding may, in turn, mean that stratospheric ozone is destroyed at a faster rate than previously believed.

Link to further information
United Press International, 22 November 2006

CLIMATE EXCHANGE MARKS FUTURES CONTRACTS MILESTONE; NGO JOINS CHICAGO EXCHANGE AS AN “OFFSET AGGREGATOR”
The “open interest” of the IntercontinentalExchange (ICE) and European Climate Exchange (ECX) futures contracts exceeded the 100 million tonnes mark for the first time in November 2006. According to a news release, “Open interest is the total number of contracts that have not yet been exercised, expired, or fulfilled by delivery and is often looked at by traders and analysts to gauge the maturity of a market.”

Meanwhile, NGO group Greenoxx has been recently approved as an “Offset Aggregator” of the Chicago Climate Exchange, which is currently North America’s sole “voluntary, legally binding rules-based greenhouse gas emission reduction, registry and trading system.” According to the NGO, its new role “generates a great opportunity for sustainable forestry projects in Latin America.”

Links to further information
ICE/ECX press release, 17 November 2006
Greenoxx press release, 28 November 2006

VOLCANIC ERUPTIONS CAN DESTROY STRATOSPHERIC OZONE
Two recent studies by British scientists demonstrate that even minor volcanic eruptions can create conditions that create temporary and localized holes in the ozone layer. Study leader Genevieve Millard reported that the study demonstrates "for the first time that volcanic eruptions which penetrate the stratosphere can lead to the formation of the type of clouds that promote reactions with volcanic chlorine gases -- gases that destroy stratospheric ozone and lead to the formation of 'mini-ozone holes.’”

Link to further information
United Press International article, 8 November 2006

UNEP LAUNCHES TREE PLANTING CAMPAIGN, RELEASES RAINWATER REPORT
The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) has launched a tree planting campaign and unveiled a report on rainwater during the negotiations on climate change held in Nairobi from 6-17 November 2006. A UNEP-led campaign was launched to plant one billion trees in 2007 to help mitigate the build-up of carbon dioxide. “The Plant for the Planet: Billion Tree Campaign” highlights the importance of voluntary collective action to fight climate change and will encourage all sectors of society to take small but practical steps to this end. The campaign is backed by Nobel Peace Prize laureate Wangari Maathai, Prince Albert II of Monaco and the World Agroforestry Centre-ICRAF. UNEP also released a report, compiled with
the World Agroforestry Centre, that shows the enormous potential in harvesting rainwater in Africa. The report concludes that the rainfall contribution in Africa is “more than adequate to meet the needs of the current population several times over,” and it also underlines the importance of harvesting rainwater as a buffer against climate change related extreme weather events.

Links to further information
UNEP press release, 8 November 2006
UN news release, 13 November 2006

2006 HUMAN DEVELOPMENT REPORT LAUNCHED, 2007 REPORT TO FOCUS ON ENERGY AND CLIMATE CHANGE

A global plan of action is urgently needed to resolve the growing water and sanitation crisis that causes nearly two million child deaths every year, leaves 1.2 billion people without access to safe water and 2.6 billion without access to sanitation, according to the 2006 Human Development Report released on 9 November 2006 in South Africa. The central message of the 2006 report is that the global water crisis is not one of physical scarcity, but rooted in poverty and inequality. The report assumes that water is a basic human right. It points out that few countries treat water as a political priority, the poorest often pay the most for water; and the international community has failed to prioritize water and sanitation in partnerships to achieve the MDGs.

UNDP has also announced that the 2007 Human Development Report theme will be Energy, Environment and Climate Change. According to Kevin Watkins, Director of the Human Development Report Office, the topic will provide an “opportunity to work better with various UN agencies and beyond to bring human development concerns to the centre of the “Beyond Kyoto” debate.”

Links to further information

2006 UN Human Development Report Homepage

2006 UN Human Development Report
Kevin Watkins’ announcement of 2007 HDR theme

 

OCTOBER 2006

HIGH-SPEED WINDS HAVE LARGE IMPACT ON OZONE LAYER - STUDY
A study by researchers at the University of Waterloo and the University of Michigan, published in Geophysical Research Letters and based on data from a Canadian satellite, has found that high-speed atmospheric winds over the Arctic lead to greater depletion of the ozone layer than previously thought.

Link for further information
Government of Canada, 6 October 2006

OZONE HOLE DEEPEST EVER
The ozone hole this year –blamed on an extreme cold spell over Antarctica– has been reported to be not only the biggest, as previously reported, but also the largest in terms of depth and stayed larger for longest time ever.

Links for further information
NASA news release, 19 October 2006
San Francisco Chronicle news article, 20 October 2006

ANNAN EMPHASIZES URGENCY OF ACTION ON CLIMATE CHANGE AT COLLOQUIUM ON ENFORCEMENT AND COMPLIANCE

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan emphasized that the true test of countries’ commitment to addressing ecological issues remains in implementation and enforcement, especially with regard to greenhouse gases, in his message to the 4th IUCN Academy of Environmental Law Colloquium. The Colloquium convened from 16-20 October 2006 at Pace Law School in White Plains, NY, US, under the theme “Implementing Environmental Legislation: the Critical Role of Enforcement and Compliance.” Annan’s 16 October message noted the urgency of action on climate change, “given its profound implications for virtually every aspect of human well-being, from jobs and health to growth and security.”

 

Links to further information
4th IUCN Academy of Environmental Law Colloquium website
UN Secretary-General Press Release, 16 October 2006
 

COSTS OF DELAYING CLIMATE ACTION HUGE—STUDY
Inaction on climate change in the short-term will cost trillions of dollars’ damage to the global economy over the next century, according to a new study. The report, which was published by Tufts University and commissioned by Friends of the Earth, warns of costs reaching US$20 trillion each year by 2100 if climate change is not addressed now. These costs would amount to 6-8 percent of the global economy. The study suggests that combating climate change comprehensively now would be far more cost effective.

Another major report on the economics of climate change, by Sir Nicholas Stern, is due to be released by the British Government just before the November 2006 UN climate change conference in Nairobi, Kenya. 

Links to further information

Friends of the Earth press release, 13 October 2006

ENN news article, 13 October 2006

Stern Review on Economics of Climate Change

 

CURRENT CLIMATE TALKS MAY LAST UNTIL 2010
Ongoing UN talks on the response to climate change after the Kyoto Protocol’s first commitment period ends in 2012 may continue for several years, according to a top negotiator. Michael Zammit Cutajar, former head of the UN Climate Change Convention Secretariat and current chair of the Protocol’s Ad Hoc Working Group on future commitments, made the comments during a recent media interview. 

 

Link to further information

Reuters news report, 11 October 2006

 

EC PROPOSES ENERGY RISK CAPITAL FUND
The European Commission has proposed an €80 million global risk capital fund to support energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in developing countries. The initiative is intended to catalyze investment of up to one billion euros.

Meanwhile, the Commission has also cautioned eight EU member states that have not met the deadline for submitting plans on carbon trading allocations for the second phase of the EU emissions trading scheme. 

Links to further information

EC press release, 6 October 2006

EurActiv news report, 16 October 2006

 

SEPTEMBER 2006

 

GLOBAL WARMING REACHING “ANCIENT LEVELS”

A NASA study suggests that global temperatures are reaching levels not experienced in thousands of years.

 

Links to further information

NASA press release, 25 September 2006

 

BUSH CLIMATE PLAN ANNOUNCED

U.S President George Bush has announced plans to invest over US$3 billion in research on new technology to help avoid global warming.

 

Links to further information

WBCSD/EurActiv.com story, 21 September 2006

GreenBiz.com report, 22 September 2006

Washington Post, 21 September 2006

 

OZONE SECRETARIAT RELEASES MORE PRE-MEETING INFORMATION

In preparation for the 18th Meeting of the Parties, which will convene from 30 October – 3 November 2006 in New Delhi, India, the Ozone Secretariat has released a variety of documents, including: the draft decisions and proposed adjustments to be considered at the meeting; the provisional agenda and the annotated provisional agenda; and, TEAP’s final evaluation of methyl bromide critical use nominations.  

 

Link to further information

Ozone Secretariat information (September/October 2006)

 

STRONG WINDS IMPACT OZONE IN UPPER ATMOSPHERE

As reported in Geophysical Research Letters, a University of Colorado at Boulder study suggests that unusually strong polar winds have increased the amount of ozone-depleting nitrogen oxide gases in the upper stratosphere, triggering ozone loss and possibly climate consequences.

 

Link to further information

CU-Boulder, 28 September 2006

 

ANTARCTIC OZONE HOLE WORST EVER

The 2006 ozone hole over Antarctica is bigger than last year and appears to be the biggest ever recorded, according to the World Meteorological Organization. Despite this, the Antarctic ozone hole is expected to begin declining in size around 2020 and to be healed in 70 years.

 

Link to further information

WMO news report (3 October 2006)

 

SUMMER WEATHER OPENS ARCTIC CHANNEL

The European Space Agency (ESA) has reported satellite images showing openings in the Arctic’s sea ice large enough to allow a ship to sail to the North Pole. The ESA said the fragmentation of the Arctic’s perennial sea ice had been caused by late summer storms.

 

Link to further information
Planetark new (21 September 2006)

 

U.S. EPA RELEASES DATA ON METHYL BROMIDE STOCKPILE

After two lawsuits regarding the proprietary nature of the data were dropped, the U.S. EPA released data demonstrating that methyl bromide reserves –roughly 10 million metric tons in 2005- exceed the quantity of the fumigant needed this year to supply “critical” uses exempted from the phaseout of methyl bromide. The release of this data may impact negotiations on exemptions for future use of methyl bromide at the upcoming Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol.

 

Links to further information

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 7 September 2006

Los Angeles Times, 15 September 2006

 

IPCC/TEAP WORKSHOP REPORT RELEASED

The Ozone Secretariat has released its report of the Ozone Secretariat Workshop, held in July 2006, on the special report developed by the Montreal Protocol’s Technology and Economic Assessment Panel (TEAP) and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The workshop focused on practical measures relating to ozone depletion and arising from the report, and the cost effectiveness of such measures.

 

Link to further information

The Report of the Ozone Secretariat Workshop on the IPCC/TEAP Special Report

 

IPCC COULD NARROW WARMING PREDICTION

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) may narrow the range of the predicted temperature rise between now and 2100, according to media reports. Media stories suggest that the Panel’s Fourth Assessment Report, which is still being worked on and is set for publication in 2007, may predict a rise of 2-4.5 degrees Celsius. The Third Assessment Report, published in 2001, presented a wider band of numbers, from 1.4-5.8 degrees.

 

Link to further information

Reuters news report (1 September 2006)

 

CALIFORNIA SET TO PASS NEW GREENHOUSE GAS LAW

California is set to pass new legislation to cut greenhouse gas emissions, according to news reports. The new law would introduce a cap on emissions of greenhouse gases in the state.

 

Link to further information

BBC news report (1 September 2006)

 

AUGUST 2006

 

WORLD BANK EXAMINES CLIMATE RISK MANAGEMENT

The World Bank has presented a report on “Managing Climate Risk: Integrating Adaptation into World Bank Group Operations.” The report, which was presented during the GEF Assembly in Cape Town, , affirmed that by enhancing climate risk management, development institutions and their partner countries will be able to better address the growing risks from climate change and, at the same time, make current development investments more resilient to climate variability and extreme weather events. The report suggests that adaptation to climate change should be addressed through a climate risk management approach and summarizes the World Banks´ strategy to climate proof its operations, which includes: integrating climate risk management at the outset in project design through an early climate risk-screening tool; integrating climate risk management development strategies and country and sector dialogues; and enhancing the scope of funding for adaptation.

 

Link to further information
World Bank Press Release, August 29, 2006

 

SCIENTISTS FIND OZONE LAYER RECOVERING

Scientists from the Georgia Institute of Technology have reported in the Journal of Geophysical Research – Atmospheres that 25 years of data indicate that, outside the polar regions of the globe, stratospheric ozone depletion stopped in 1997. The authors attributed this, and the projected recovery of the ozone layer by mid-century, to actions taken under the Montreal Protocol.

 

Link to further information

Georgia Tech press release (30 August 2006)

 

U.S. COURT AFFIRMS EPA’S DECISION ON METHYL BROMIDE

An appeals court has ruled that allowing supplies of methyl bromide to increase during an international phaseout of the fumigant was legal under the Clean Air Act. The court also found that, while this may be in conflict with side agreements made under Montreal Protocol, these side agreements could not be considered “law”.

 

Link to further information

Reuters news story, 29 August 2006

 

CLIMATE THREAT TO LATIN AMERICA, CARIBBEAN STRESSED

The threat posed by climate change to Latin America and the Caribbean is the subject of a new report from UK environment and development groups.

 

Link to further information

WWF announcement (29 August 2006)

 

PRIVATE SECTOR ROLE IN CLIMATE SOLUTIONS CRITICAL – SURVEY

The private sector can play a key role in combating climate change, according to a new survey from the World Business Council for Sustainable Development.

 

Link to further information

WBCSD press release (31 August 2006)

 

UNEP RELEASES SCIENTIFIC ASSESSMENT OF OZONE DEPLETION

UNEP has released the Scientific Assessment Panel’s “Scientific Assessment of Ozone Depletion: 2006”. This assessment, a product of a subsidiary body of the Montreal Protocol, reports that while ozone layer continues to recover, it will not be fully restored over Antarctica until 2060-2075, an extension of 10-25 years over previous estimates. The report’s more technical findings include that: controls implemented under the Montreal Protocol appear to be decreasing the atmospheric concentrations of ozone-depleting substances (ODS); in the stratosphere, the decline in concentrations is due primarily to chlorofluorocarbon and methyl bromide reductions; polar ozone fluctuations have been driven by meteorological variations; and, stratospheric ozone depletion has not continued in the non-polar regions largely because stratospheric ODS are no longer increasing.

 

In addition, the report finds that the effects of emissions of methyl bromide from humans appear to be greater than previously thought, as decreases in anthropogenic emissions of methyl bromide appear to lead to greater decreases in atmospheric abundance of methyl bromide than expected. These findings suggest that fumigation-related emissions accounted for 30%, rather than the previously estimated 20%, of atmospheric methyl bromide prior to 1998. As a result, the report estimates the methyl bromide results in 60 times more ozone depletion than an equivalent amount of chlorofluorocarbons, over 30% higher than the previous estimate. The report further discusses the relationship between ozone depletion and global warming, finding that: ODS decreases will drive ozone recovery, but climate change will influence the timing, speed and extent of that recovery; as the ozone layer is repaired, surface UV radiation levels will be driven largely by factors related to climate change; and, stratospheric cooling is predominantly driven by ozone depletion but greenhouse gas increases will contribute to stratospheric cooling in the future.

 

Links to further information

Executive Summary of Scientific Assessment, Ozone Secretariat, 18 August 2006

Reuters, 18 August 2006

 

CFC REPLACEMENTS’ IMPACT ON GLOBAL WARMING EXPLORED

The effect of substitutes to chlorofluorocarbons, particularly hydrochlorofluorocarbons, on global warming, has been explored in a new article from the Associated press. The article discusses the high global warming potential of these substitutes and efforts to transition to substitutes with lower global warming potential.

 

Links to further information

Associated Press article, 20 August 2006

TEAP/IPCC Special Report on Safeguarding the Ozone Layer and the Global Climate System, November 2005

 

KYOTO TRADING SYSTEM CONTRACT ANNOUNCED

A Belgian company has been awarded the contract to build the electronic infrastructure require for settling trades in greenhouse gas emissions under the Kyoto Protocol. The “International Transaction Log” will help operationalize the international carbon trading system agreed under the Kyoto Protocol, and will be connected to the emissions trading registries of all industrialized countries that are parties to the Protocol. IT company Trasys SA, based in Belgium, was awarded the contract by the UN Climate Change Secretariat. The firm has subcontracted European company LogicaCMG to “maintain the system’s day-to-day operation.”

 

Link to further information

UN Climate Secretariat press release (14 August 2006)

 

CLINTON CLIMATE INITIATIVE LAUNCHED

Former US President Bill Clinton has launched a new initiative focusing on carbon emissions from urban areas. The Clinton Climate Initiative and the Large Cities Climate Leadership Group were announced in Los Angeles in early August 2006.

 

Link to further information

Official website

 

CALIFORNIA CONSIDERS STRONGER CLIMATE ACTION

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is in discussions with other state politicians to seal a deal on a proposed “Global Warming Solutions Act” that would set tight caps on greenhouse gas emissions. The news follows a recent announcement by Schwarzenegger and British Prime Minister Tony Blair of collaboration aimed at setting a price on pollution from greenhouse gases and involving business groups in combating climate change.

 

The recent announcements appear to mark a growing trend among politicians at the state level in the US to consider the sort of “cap and trade system” for controlling emissions that is similar to that set out under the Kyoto Protocol, an international treaty rejected by the Bush administration.

Carbon trading internationally has reached record volumes in the first half of 2006, with an estimated US$15 billion in trades exceeding the entire amount for 2005, according to carbon analysts at Oslo-based company Point Carbon. 

Links to further information

ENN/Reuters news report, 18 August 2006

CNN news report, 1 August 2006

WBCSD/Environmental Finance news report, 10 August 2006

 

JULY 2006

 

UNEP SUPPORTS POLAR EXPEDITION

The UN Environment Programme is supporting a scientific expedition in the Arctic. As part of the International Polar Year (commencing March 2007), UNEP supports the polar schooner Tara, which set out on 11 July 2006 from Lorient, France, on a two year expedition to the Arctic, to carry out scientific observations on how the Arctic environment is changing and make these findings available to scientists, policy makers and the general public.

 

Links to further information

UNEP press release, July 2006

Tara website

 

OZONE LAYER RECOVERY DELAYED - STUDY

A model developed by researchers at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) suggests that the recovery of the ozone layer will be delayed two decades longer than previously expected, extending the date of forecasted recovery to over 60 years from today.

 

Links to further information
NASA feature, 29 June 2006
Discovery News, 3 July 2006

 

CHINA’S COAL USE CONSIDERED; BEIJING UNVEILS AMBITIOUS GREEN PLAN

China has announced plans to spend US$175 billion over the next five years on environmental protection, according to media reports. The efforts would focus on water quality and air and land pollution. Meanwhile, the challenges faced by China in meeting growing electricity demand in a sustainable way was the topic of a recent short article and an earlier roundtable involving the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and China Business Council for Sustainable Development. In mid-July 2006, WBCSD published a short think-piece on its website, following on from a recent longer publication, Pathways to 2050, and a roundtable held earlier in 2006.

 

Links to further information

BBC news article, 18 July 2006

WBCSD article, 18 July 2006

 

EU CONSIDERS EMISSIONS TRADING IMPROVEMENTS, AVIATION ACTION

The EU is considering a variety of measures to improve how its Emissions Trading Scheme operates, according to news articles. These could include setting a single regional cap on emissions, rather than country-based limits. The review follows recent criticism of over-lenient caps set by individual countries during the first and second phase of the scheme. Meanwhile, moves to include the aviation sector in a cap-and-trade system to control carbon emissions received a boost when the European parliament voted in support of ensuring that the polluter pays approach is applied to international air travel. Industry sources criticized the move.

 

Links to further information

Euractiv report, 6 July 2006

Environmental Finance/WBCSD report, 13 July 2006

 

PACIFIC MANGROVES FACE CLIMATE THREAT – UNEP

More than half of the mangroves in the Pacific could be lost this century unless action is taken to combat the threat, according a new study from the UN Environment Programme. Sea level rise linked to climate change was cited as a key risk factor.

 

Link to further information

UNEP press release, 18 July 2006

 

GERMANY JOINS METHANE GROUP

Germany has become the 18th member the Methane to Markets Partnership, a voluntary initiative strongly supported by the US government. Other members include Brazil, Canada, China, India, Japan, Russia, and UK.

 

Link to further information

US EPA news release, 6 July 2006

 

JUNE 2006

 

UNEP LAUNCHES URBAN TRANSPORT PROJECT TO CUT CO2 EMISSIONS

The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) has launched a project, funded by the Global Environment Facility, that aims to curb greenhouse gas emissions by at least 100,000 tonnes a year in some of the most polluted cities on the globe. Announced on the day of the opening of the World Urban Forum III in Vancouver, the project aims to bring high-quality public transport to Concepción, Guatemala City and Panama City, and to lead to the creation of modern bus networks, cycle ways and pedestrian areas. The cities will work with others in the region through a new information network called “NESTLAC” –Network for Environmentally Sustainable Transport in Latin American Countries.

 

Link to further information

UNEP press release (19 June 2006)

 

U.S. COULD JOIN POST-KYOTO DEAL, SAYS OFFICIAL
The U.S. would not rule out being a part of a future successor treaty to the Kyoto Protocol, according to news reports. At a meeting held in London in late June, Harlan Watson, the senior U.S. official on climate change, reportedly confirmed that the U.S. could potentially be involved in an agreement for the post-2012 period, when the Kyoto treaty’s “first commitment period” expires. Although such a move could present some legal difficulties, Watson would not rule out such a possibility, while cautioning that choices for post-2012 were “speculation” at present.

Link to further information

ENN/Reuters, 27 June 2006

 

CHINA OPENS WIND AND SOLAR CENTER
China has opened a new center to survey and examine how much energy it can derive from solar and wind power.

Link to further information

Worldwatch/Xinhua news report, 22 June 2006

 

ENERGY EFFICIENCY COULD CUT ENERGY DEMAND IN HALF - AGENCY
Determined action to increase the use of cleaner and more energy-efficient technologies could have a dramatic impact on future energy demand and carbon emissions, according to a new report from the International Energy Agency. The publication, “Energy Technology Perspectives: Scenarios and Strategies to 2050,” supports strong action to deploy a full mix of energy technologies, including carbon dioxide capture and storage, energy efficiency, renewables and also nuclear energy “where acceptable.” The report, which was released in the run up to the G8 St. Petersburg Summit, presents scenarios to demonstrate the role that existing energy technologies and those under development can play in future energy markets.

Link to further information

IEA press release, 22 June 2006

 

OZONE LAYER RECOVERY LARGELY DUE TO MONTREAL PROTOCOL - STUDY
A study by researchers at NASA and the Georgia Institute of Technology suggests that about one-half of the recovery of stratospheric ozone in the upper portion of the stratosphere is due to the phase-out of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) under the Montreal Protocol. The study also found that the recovery of ozone in the lower portion of the stratosphere is greater than expected due to decreased concentrations of CFCs. Changing wind patterns, possibly linked to climate change, may explain this greater-than-expected recovery in the lower stratosphere.

 

Links to further information

NASA feature, 26 May 2006

Christian Science Monitor, 1 June 2006

 

CDM EMISSIONS MILESTONE CELEBRATED
Greenhouse gas emissions cuts resulting from the Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) have now reached one billion tonnes, according to the UN climate secretariat. The CDM is designed to allow industrialized nations to gain credits for investing in projects that reduce emissions in developing countries.

“It is now evident that the Kyoto Protocol is making a significant contribution towards sustainable development in developing countries,” said Richard Kinley, Officer-in-Charge of the Secretariat.

Over 800 projects are currently being processed, with 210 already registered. However, some concerns have been expressed about more equitable geographic distribution, with African nations under-represented in the CDM.

Link to further information

UN press release, 9 June 2006

 

U.S. SENATE COMMITTEE URGES CLIMATE ACTION; WHITE HOUSE PUSHES REGIONAL PACT
The U.S. Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee has urged further action by the US and other major emitters of greenhouse gases to “establish mitigation commitments” and flexible international mechanisms to “minimize the cost of efforts by participating countries.” The Committee’s “Lugar-Biden resolution” coincides with what appears to be a growing public interest in, and acceptance of, climate change.

Meanwhile, the Bush administration is pushing lawmakers to approve funding for the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate. So far, legislators on Capitol Hill have not voted through the additional financing sought by the administration for the regional scheme, which was launched in mid-2005.

In other news from the U.S., a recent public opinion poll has shown a shift in American opinion on climate change towards the views held in many other countries. Media interest in the issue, including in a new documentary by former Vice President Al Gore, also appears to be increasing awareness of the issue. Meanwhile, several US states are reportedly pressuring ExxonMobil over the company’s plans to tackle climate change.

Links to further information

Greenwire/WBCSD news, 9 June 2006

CNN news report on climate change, 5 June 2006

CNN news report on Al Gore’s documentary, 31 May 2006

Pew Center information on the Lugar-Biden resolution, May 2006

Globescan/CSR opinion poll information, April 2006

WBCSD/Environmental Finance article, 25 May 2006

 

MAY 2006

 

RESEARCHERS WARN OF EXPANDING TROPICS, LAND DEGRADATION

An expansion of tropical regions towards both poles could increase the threat of land degradation in arid regions and cause deserts to spread, according to a new article in Science magazine. Co-authors Qiang Fu, Celeste Johanson, John M. Wallace and Thomas Reichler based their study on satellite data from 1979-2005 and found that the northern and southern hemispheres’ jet streams have moved about one degree of latitude nearer to the poles.

 

Link to further information

SciDev.Net news story and link to Science article (30 May 2006)

 

BONN CLIMATE TALKS SET TO COMMENCE
The latest round of climate change negotiations are set to commence on 15 May 2006 in Bonn. The UN talks will include a “Dialogue on long-term cooperative action” under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), to be held on 15 and 16 May. This will be followed by a second process, an “Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol,” taking place from 17-25 May. Finally, the 24th sessions of the UNFCCC’s subsidiary bodies are also taking place, from 18-26 May. The processes to consider longer term action for post-2012 (when the first “commitment period” of the Kyoto Protocol ends) were agreed at a major climate conference in Montreal in December 2005. 

“Talks on the future have moved from academia into the United Nations halls” said Richard Kinley, acting head of the UN climate change secretariat in a recent press release. “Scientific evidence of the dramatic effects of human-induced climate change is becoming stronger. Governments need to agree on how the world is to reduce emissions within 2 to 3 years…. [and] to provide certainty that the exciting new international carbon market can continue to deliver results after 2012.”

Links to further information

UNFCCC official website of these events, May 2006

IISD Reporting Services coverage, May 2006

MEA Bulletin report (page 2), 5 May 2006

 

CARBON PRICE PLUNGE SHAKES EU MARKET
A recent dive in the price of EU allowances (EUAs) under the region’s Emissions Trading Scheme has prompted a quick response from officials. A significant drop in prices from around €30 per tonne of carbon dioxide to as little as €11 took place in late April following reports that the caps placed on companies’ emissions had been too generous – thus deflating the value of carbon dioxide on the market.

In other EU news, a new law on end-use energy efficiency and services is set to enter into force in mid-May.

Links to further information
Environmental Finance report, 4 May 2006
EurActiv report, 2 May 2006
WBCSD/Environment Daily report, 2 May 2006

MELTING GLACIERS IN CHINA TURNING HIGH PLATEAU INTO DESERT

A study by the Chinese Academy of Sciences has found that glaciers on China’s Qinghai-Tibet plateau are shrinking, turning the plateau into desert. SciDev.Net cites a state news agency report indicating that the glaciers are shrinking by seven percent per year, due to global warming. Researchers warn that droughts and sandstorms will result.

 

Link to further information

SciDev.Net news story, 3 May 2006

 

OZONE LAYER APPEARS TO BE RECOVERING

Meteorological data and modeling studies indicate that the ozone layer is showing strong signs of recovery due to actions taken under the Montreal Protocol on Ozone Depletion, according to an article in the publication, Nature.

 

Link to further information

Reuters report, 3 May 2006

APRIL 2006
 

U.S. STATES GO TO COURT OVER CLIMATE CHANGE

Ten states have taken the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to court over global warming and power plant pollution.

 

Link to further information

CBS/AP news story, 27 April 2006

 

KEY METHYL BROMIDE ALTERNATIVE NOT GIVEN US EPA APPROVAL

One of the key alternatives to methyl bromide has been denied approval by EPA. Methyl bromide, a fumigant used in the agricultural sector, has been phased out under the Montreal Protocol except for certain exemptions. The decision to deny approval to an alternative may mean that many growers in the US will continue to request exemptions from the phaseout of methyl bromide.

 

Links to further information

News story, Los Angeles Times, 27 April 2006

United Press International, 27 April 2006

 

PHASEDOWN OF ALBUTEROL ASTHMA INHALERS CAUSES UNEASE

Users of asthma inhalers and pharmacists have been grappling with the reduced supply of CFC-powered inhalers on the market in the US. Inhalers propelled by CFC will be phased out in the US by 2008 in accordance with domestic regulations implementing commitments made under the Montreal Protocol, to be replaced by inhalers propelled by non-ozone-depleting chemicals.

 

Links to further information

The Washington Times, 15 April 2006

Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 27 April 2006

 

EARTH DAY FOCUSES ON CLIMATE CHANGE

Events have been held around the world to mark Earth Day, which many groups celebrate on 22 April each year. For 2006, climate change was a major focus, with campaigners calling for urgent action and awareness raising.

 

Link to further information

Earthday Network Homepage

 

CANADA CONSIDERS US CLIMATE DEAL

The Conservative Government in Canada has raised the possibility of forging a pact with the US on climate change and expressed an interest in the six-nation Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Partnership to which the US belongs. The comments by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Environment Minister Rona Ambrose follow announcements of cuts in government budgets for climate programmes and recent criticisms from the environmental and scientific communities, as well as from some opposition politicians. The government, however, has argued that it is pursuing an appropriate “made-in-Canada” approach that works in the best interest of Canadians.

 

Links to further information

CTV news, 25 April 2006
Yahoo News/AFP, 20 April 2006
CBC news report, 5 April 2006

Scientists’ letter to Stephen Harper, Web Blog site, 18 April 2006

 

EU TRADING SCHEME REPORTING DEADLINE LOOMS

The European Union’s Emissions Trading Scheme is approaching an end-of-April reporting deadline that will allow experts to gauge how successful companies in the scheme have been in meeting their pollution targets. Companies can face heavy fines if they exceed their limits.

 

Link to further information

Reuters news report, 24 April 2006

 

UK DEBATES NUCLEAR OPTION, CLIMATE “ETHICS”

A new parliamentary report has criticized nuclear power as an appropriate option in seeking to cut carbon emissions, while a new opinion poll shows that the public has warmed slightly to nuclear energy. Meanwhile, British Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown has told ambassadors at a UN meeting in New York that climate change is a “ethical issue” that requires strong political leadership. 

 

Links to further information

Gordon Brown’s speech, 20 April 2006

EurActiv report, 18 April 2006

AFP/WBCSD, 18 April 2006

 

US MEDIA WARMS TO CLIMATE CHANGE

Climate change has “gone mainstream” in the US according to several news sources. Recent coverage in publications such as Time and Vanity Fair appear to indicate a growing awareness of the issue. Several television specials have also recently aired on the subject, or are about to air, including a documentary by former Vice President Al Gore, entitled “An Inconvenient Truth.” According to a poll published in Time magazine, 85 percent of Americans now believe the world’s temperature is increasing – up by 9% since 1997. 

 

Links to further information

ABC news report, Will Lester, 18 April 2006

Time magazine reports, April 2006

 

GLOBAL WARMING, NITROGEN EMISSIONS THREATENS BIODIVERSITY - STUDIES

A study recently published in Conservation Biology supports suggestions that global warming is one of the most serious threats to the planet’s biodiversity. “The study provides even stronger scientific evidence that global warming will result in catastrophic species loss across the planet,” said Jay Malcolm, lead author of the study, which looked at 25 biodiversity hotspots and projected that in average, 11.6 % of all species could be driven to extinction if emission levels keep rising in the next 100 years.

 

Another study, published in Global Change Biology, found that rising nitrogen emissions from developing countries will soon threaten many biodiversity-rich parts of the planet. According to the study, Brazil’s Atlantic forest, the temperate forests of South-West China, many parts of South-East Asia, Sri Lanka and the Western Ghats mountain range in southern India are some of the hotspots facing the greatest increase in nitrogen deposition.

 

Links to further information

Global warming threatens extinctions, Environment News Service, 11 April 2006

Jay Malcolm et al, “Global Warming and Extinctions of Endemic Species from Biodiversity Hotspots” Conservation Biology vol. 20 issue 2, April 2006, p. 538, abstract

Nitrogen emissions threaten biodiversity hotspots, SciDev.Net, 10 April 2006

Gareth Phoenix et al, “Atmospheric nitrogen deposition in world biodiversity hotspots: the need for a greater global perspective in assessing N deposition impacts” Global Change Biology vol. 12, March 2006, p. 470, abstract

 

Global warming to become a leading cause of extinction – report

Global warming will soon equal or even surpass deforestation and pollution in causing the large-scale extinction of plant and animal species, according to a new study published in the journal, Conservation Biology. 

 

Link to further information
ENN news story, 11 April 2006

 

UK POLITICIANS SUPPORT CLIMATE ACTION AS EMISSIONS RISE

British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Leader of the Opposition Conservative Party David Cameron have both voiced support for greater efforts to combat climate change as the country’s emissions rise again. Blair has apparently supported a technology-focused successor to the Kyoto Protocol.   

 

Links to further information
BBC news reports, 30 March 2006

BBC news reports, 6 April 2006

BBC news reports, 29 March 2006

EurActiv/WBCSD, 29 March 2006

 

U.S. LEGISLATORS REMAIN DIVIDED ON CLIMATE CHANGE

The U.S. Senate has held a hearing on climate change in early April, without agreeing on how to move forward. Meanwhile, California lawmakers are considering strong controls on industrial greenhouse gas emissions.   

 

Links to further information
San Fransisco Sentinel, 11 April 2006

WBCSD/Environment and Energy Daily article, 5 April 2006

WBCSD/Greenwire report, 4 April 2006

 

JAPAN, CHINA SIGN “LARGEST EVER” CDM DEAL

Companies from China and Japan have agreed to the world’s largest greenhouse gas reduction delal using the Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism, according to reports. The deal relates to HFC23 (trifluoromethane).   

 

Link to further information
China Daily news report, 11 April 2006

 

TROPICAL FOREST SCHEME’S CLIMATE BENEFITS PRAISED

A proposal by Papua New Guinea and Costa Rica for donor support to avoid tropical deforestation in the fight against climate change has been backed by an expert writing in New Scientist magazine. Biologist William Laurance of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute has highlighted the scheme, which is likely to be discussed at the next round of multilateral UN talks, the 24th sessions of the subsidiary bodies to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, in May 2006. The article was to be published on 14 April.   

 

Link to further information
EurekAlert release, 12 April 2006

 

PARTNERSHIP FORMED TO SPEED TRANSITION TO METHYL BROMIDE ALTERNATIVES

Thousands of farms that have already phased out methyl bromide or will do so by September 2007 have joined with organizations and companies to form an International Partnership for Phasing-out Methyl Bromide with UNEP. The Partnership plans to link grocery stores seeking products grown without methyl bromide to farmers who do not use the ozone-depleting fumigant.   

 

Link to further information
News release, UNEP, 4 April 2006

 

MARCH 2006

 

CANADA, IDB TO PROMOTE RENEWABLE ENERGY AND CARBON FINANCE PROJECTS IN LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN

The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) will provide CAD$1,025,000 (approximately US$890,000) in untied technical assistance resources to the Inter-American Development Bank for a joint work programme to promote renewable energy, energy efficiency and carbon finance projects in Latin America and the Caribbean. In order to expand carbon finance in IDB-sponsored projects, the work programme will provide resources for drafting up to twenty project idea notes required by potential financers and purchasers of credits to gauge a projects potential.  

 

Link to further information
IDB Press Release, 24 March 2006

 

COMPANIES RANKED ON CLIMATE CHANGE PERFORMANCE

BP and DuPont have headed the list of companies for addressing the challenges of climate change, according to a new report. However, some well-known firms such as ExxonMobil and Nissan are criticized for being “laggards” with room for improvement. The report was produced by CERES, a US-based network of investment funds, environmental organizations and other public interest groups.  

 

Link to further information
CERES press release, March 2006

 

CALL FOR INPUT ON DRAFT JOINT IMPLEMENTATION DOCUMENT

Under instruction from the Supervisory Committee of the Kyoto Protocol’s Joint Implementation mechanism (JISC), the UNFCCC Secretariat has invited public input on the structure and content of the draft joint implement project design document (JI PDD) form. Input is also being sought on the draft guidelines for the form, as well as on the need for a separate JI PDD form for projects relating to land use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF). The deadline for public comments to be submitted is 16 April 2006.   

 

Link to further information
UNFCCC web site

 

FOCUS ON NATURAL DISASTERS MARKS WORLD METEOROLOGICAL DAY

Preventing and mitigating natural disasters was the theme for World Meteorological Day 2006. The event is marked on 23 March each year.   

 

Link to further information
World Meteorological Organization web site

 

Greenhouse gas levels breakS record AMID FEARS OF “TIPPING POINT”

Concentrations of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide in the atmosphere have reached the highest levels ever recorded, according to the World Meteorological Organization. Figures released in March 2006 for the year 2004 show a rise of carbon dioxide concentrations of 1.8 parts per million (ppm) – or nearly half a percent - over the previous year, up to 377.1 ppm overall. Since the industrial revolution, concentrations of carbon dioxide have risen 35% in total.

 

“Global observations coordinated by WMO show that levels of carbon dioxide, the most abundant greenhouse gas in the atmosphere, continue to increase steadily and show no signs of leveling off,” said WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud.

 

In related news, the world “may well have moved past a key physical tipping point” in terms of climate change impacts, according to an expert review of the latest scientific evidence. This is one of the conclusions of Climate Science 2005: Major New Discoveries, which aims to present an overview of key studies released in 2005. The report was prepared by Kelly Levin and Jonathan Pershing for World Resources Institute.   

 

Links to further information
WRI report, March 2006

WMO press release, 14 March 2006

 

U.S. CLIMATE CONCERNS GROW; CANADA URGED TO STAY WITH KYOTO

The American public’s concerns about climate change and a the need for more political leadership at the national level have risen significantly, according to a new survey. Meanwhile, the insurance commissioners of the 50 U.S. states have agreed to set up a task force on climate change impacts.

 

Meanwhile, the Bloc Québécois political party in Canada has called on the new Conservative Government to stand by the Kyoto Protocol.  

 

Links to further information
CSI survey, press release, 15 March 2006

IPS news report, 14 March 2006

Canadian Press report (in French), 20 March 2006

 

KYOTO COMPLIANCE SYSTEM LAUNCHED, CLIMATE BUREAU MEETS

The Kyoto Protocol’s compliance systems has started operating, with the Compliance Committee electing the chairs of its Enforcement and Facilitative Branches at a meeting held in Bonn on 3 March 2006. The compliance system, which was formally adopted by Parties to the Protocol on 30 November 2005, is widely considered to be one of the stronger ones agreed to date. Raúl Estrada Oyuela (Argentina), who was elected Chair of the Enforcement Branch, referred to the system as “groundbreaking.” Hironori Hamanaka of Japan was elected Chair of the Facilitative Branch. The Compliance Committee – which has 20 members – is responsible for dealing with cases of non-compliance with the Protocol.

 

Climate Convention Bureau Meets

In other recent news, Canada’s new Environment Minister Rona Ambrose has replaced her predecessor Stéphane Dion as the President of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of Parties to the Kyoto Protocol through to November 2006. Ambrose assumed the environment portfolio following the recent election of a Conservative government in Canada. The UNFCCC Bureau met in Bonn on 27 February. It accepted the offer of the Government of Kenya to host COP 12 and COP/MOP 2 in Nairobi at the Moi International Sports Centre from 6-17 November 2006. The Executive Board of the Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism also convened, for its 23rd meeting, from 22-24 February, to discuss various work plan issues.    

 

Links to further information
UNFCCC news release on the Compliance Committee, 3 March 2006

UNFCCC news release on Rona Ambrose, 21 February 2006

CDM meeting report, February 2006

 

CARBON MARKET SEES RAPID GROWTH

The carbon market experienced “dramatic growth” in 2005, with over $11 billion in carbon traded last year, according to Point Carbon, the consulting firm. The market was worth around $450 million in 2004. The EU Emissions Trading Scheme, which started in January 2005, accounted for much of the growth. However, the Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism also enjoyed “massive growth.” The news was released at the same time as Point Carbon’s annual conference, held from 28 February to 2 March 2006, in Copenhagen. The event attracted over 1000 participants, focusing on trends with the Emissions Trading Scheme, Clean Development Mechanism, Joint Implementation mechanism, and other elements of the international carbon market.   

 

Links to further information
INSNET news report on the carbon market, 4 March 2006

Point Carbon 2006 conference website

 

PLANTS’ RESPONSE TO OZONE DEPLETION MAY HELP DECREASE PESTICIDE USE – EXPERTS

The way plants respond to increased ultraviolet (UV) radiation could lead to a decrease in the need for pesticides, according to a group of experts. Participants at a recent meeting in New Zealand of a group tasked with synthesizing the most recent scientific understanding of the environmental effects of ozone depletion – the Environmental Effects Assessment Panel – discussed plants’ response to increased UV radiation. Some scientists are hopeful that the pigment plants produce to protect themselves from UV radiation will also prove useful in protecting plants from pests.   

 

Link to further information
United Press International article, 3 March 2006

 

NEW CONTROLS PROPOSED ON GASOLINE, PASSENGER VEHICLES, GAS CANS

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is proposing a rule to control hazardous air pollutants from mobile sources. The new standards would establish new controls on gasoline, passenger vehicles and gas cans to further reduce emissions of benzene and other mobile source air toxics.   

 

Link to further information
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency web site

 

FEBRUARY 2006

 

MODEL INVESTIGATES COOLING OF STRATOSPHERIC OZONE LAYER

A recent article in Science details a model that scientists are using to better understand the cooling of the stratospheric ozone layer over the past 25 years. The model, taking into account anthropogenic, solar and volcanic effects, supports the thesis that the cooling trend is related to both ozone-depleting substances and greenhouse gases.   

 

Links to further information
News release, Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, 23 February 2006

Abstract, Science Magazine (subscription required for full-text access), 24 February 2006

 

CHINA TARGETS BUILDING EFFICIENCY; NORWAY TALKS UP CARBON STORAGE

China has announced plans to cut its energy use to heat buildings in half in the next five years, according to reports. Meanwhile, Norwegian oil company Statoil has claimed that all of Europe’s carbon dioxide could be stored under the North Sea.    

 

Link to further information
WBSCD/AFP news release, 16 February 2006

BBC news, February 2006

 

MEXICO PRAISES VOLUNTARY PRIVATE SECTOR INITIATIVE; US COMPANIES DISCLOSE CLIMATE RISKS

An initiative by fifteen major companies to report publicly on their greenhouse gas emissions has been recognized by Mexico’s Environment Ministry.

 

Meanwhile, investors in the US are persuading a growing number of utilities and other private sector companies to disclose climate risks.    

 

Link to further information
WBCSD news report, 22 February 2006

CERES press release, 21 February 2006

 

DUTCH NGOS LAUNCH CLIMATE CAMPAIGN

A coalition of over 40 non-governmental organizations working on conservation, environment, development and humanitarian issues have formed a coalition to campaign on climate change. The coalition will aim to integrate responses to climate change and climate variability into disaster risk reduction, poverty reduction and sustainable development efforts, as well as raising public awareness on the need for urgent action.    

 

Link to further information
The website

 

U.S. CHRISTIAN COALITION JOINS CLIMATE CAUSE

Evangelical Christian groups have joined calls for more urgent action to address climate change in the U.S. The groups have launched a website hailing climate change as “a serious Christian issue requiring action now.”    

 

Link to further information
The website (February 2006)

 

U.S. SHOULD TAKE LEAD IN UN CLIMATE TALKS – SENATOR

The United States should “return to a leadership role” in talks under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, Senator Richard Lugar told the UN Security Council in a recent speech.    

 

Link to further information
Lugar’s speech, February 2006

 

KYOTO USHERS IN CARBON MARKET SUCCESS; INDIA ENDORSES MARKET

The carbon market is thriving as a result of the Kyoto Protocol’s entry into force one year ago, according to report. WBCSD/AFP news report, 12 February 2006.   

 

Meanwhile, India’s government has highlighted the international carbon market as an important tool in combating global warming during a recent meeting in Delhi. WBCSD report, 9 February 2006.

 

KYOTO TARGETS ACHIEVABLE - CLIMATE CONVENTION CHIEF

Emissions targets adopted by most industrialized countries under the Kyoto Protocol can still be achieved, according to Richard Kinley, the acting head of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change secretariat. His comments were made on the first anniversary of the entry into force of the Protocol, which took place on 14 February 2005.   

 

Link to further information
UNFCCC press release, 14 February 2006

 

SOLAR CYCLE MAY DELAY RECOVERY OF THE OZONE LAYER - REPORT

German scientists modeling the protective stratospheric ozone layer have found that, contrary to recent suggestions from some researchers, bans of ozone-depleting substances are not yet contributing to recovery of the ozone layer. Rather, their findings suggest recent observed increases in stratospheric ozone concentrations are due to a decade-long solar cycle rather than to a decrease in ozone-depleting substances.  

 

Link to further information
American Geophysical Union abstract, 8 February 2006 (subscription required for full article) 

 

JANUARY 2006

 

SURVEYS REVEAL VIEWS ON NUCLEAR ENERGY, CLIMATE CHANGE

A new European survey has found that the apparent rise in support for nuclear energy in some political circles has not yet filtered through to the general public. The survey showed strong support for renewable energies such as solar but little backing for nuclear. Industry spokespeople claim the survey was misleading. WBCSD/EurActiv report, 25 January 2006.

 

Meanwhile, a report by Georgetown University’s Thomas Brewer on U.S. public opinions on climate change appear to show a gradual increase in the percentage of people who believe global warming is occurring. The report also detects differences of opinion based on political affiliation and age. The report.  

 

LOVELOCK PREDICTS CLIMATE DEVASTATION; BLAIR�S CONCERN DEEPENS

Billions of people will die in future as a result of climate change, according to well-known scientists James Lovelock.

 

Meanwhile, British Prime Minister Tony Blair has expressed fears that the risks brought by climate change may be greater than previously thought in light of a new government-sponsored report.  

 

Links to further information
PM voices climate change fears, The Scotsman/PA, 30 January 2006

Climate Change Will Kill Billions, Scientist Says, Bloomberg news report, 16 January 2006

 

RESEARCH ON PLANTS� WARMING LINK MISREPORTED � EXPERT

New research on plants� contribution to emissions of methane has been misunderstood and misreported, according to several of the experts involved. In a recent study published in Nature magazine, scientists from Germany, the Netherlands and Britain reported on the methane plants produce. Because methane is a greenhouse gas, media coverage focused on whether reforestation programmes under the Kyoto Protocol would actually help tackle climate change, as had generally been assumed. The experts issue a statement clarifying that any negative effect from methane emissions would be outweighed by carbon sequestration through reforestation.

 

Link to further information
Max Planck Society press release, 18 January 2006

 

2005 WARMEST YEAR YET � NASA

2005 was the warmest year on record, according to NASA. The five warmest years for average temperatures on Earth�s surface since records began in the 19th Century all occurred in the last few years: 2005, 1998, 2002, 2003 and 2004.

 

Link to further information
Yahoo News/Reuters news report, 25 January 2006

 

TACKLING CLIMATE CHANGE �GOOD FOR ECONOMY� - REPORT

California�s emissions reduction plan will bring significant economic gains, according to a new report from the California Climate Change Center.

 

Link to further information
The report

 

CHINA PLEDGES RENEWABLE ENERGY FOCUS

Chinese officials have endorsed a focus on alternative energy in the country�s eleventh five-year economic plan. The plan covers the period 2006-2001.

 

Link to further information
Inter Press Service report, 16 January 2006

 

NORTHEAST U.S. AGREES TO CAP EMISSIONS

Seven Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states in the U.S. have agreed to cap greenhouse gas emissions. The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, which was agreed by the governors of Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York and Vermont, was announced on 20 December 2005. A Memorandum of Understanding has been released, with further development of the initiatives� rules expected in early 2006. Supporters praised the scheme, which will employ a market-based �cap and trade� system. However, critics claim it would lead to increased electricity costs.

 

Link to further information
Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative

 

EU EMISSIONS TRADING SCHEME CRITICIZED

National plans that allocate emissions limits are inequitable, according to Germany�s steel industry association. The criticism follows reports that business and industry in Europe are lobbying for less stringent targets. Meanwhile, the European Commission has called on member States to make their second national allocation plans, due in June 2006, �more transparent and easier to implement.�

 

Links to further information
German steel industry calls for halt to EU emissions trading, WBCSD/EurActiv report, 27 January 2006

Emissions trading: EU Commission guidance on national allocations, EC statement, 9 January 2006
High-powered lobbying in prospect on greenhouse gas emissions, WBCSD/Financial Times report, 10 January 2006

 

EU GROWTH REPORT SPOTLIGHTS SUSTAINABLE ENERGY

The European Commission�s �Annual Progress Report on the Lisbon Strategy� for growth and jobs has highlighted sustainable energy as a priority area.

 

Link to further information
EC press statement, 25 January 2006

 

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