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MEDIA REPORTS

CLIMATE AND ATMOSPHERE

This page was updated on: 01/14/10

2007

 

Climate and Atmosphere Media Reports Archives: 2010; 2009; 2008; 2006; 2005; 2004; 2003; 2002

 

DECEMBER 2007

OBJECTIONS TO NEW GENERATION OF ASTHMA INHALERS CONTINUE
The upcoming 2009 ban on chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) in asthma, or metered-dose, inhalers (MDIs) in the US has prompted some users of asthma inhalers to develop a petition opposing the ban, claiming that their symptoms are worse when using the newer generation hydroflouroalkane(HFA) inhalers. In related news, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is currently considering comments submitted by the public on its proposal to extend the ban to asthma inhalers containing epinephrine.

Links to further information
Chicago Sun-Times article, 17 December 2007
U.S. Food and Drug Administration, 14 November 2007

2007 HUMAN DEVELOPMENT REPORT EXAMINES CLIMATE CHANGE AND DEVELOPMENT
On 27 November 2007, the UN Development Programme’s (UNDP) Human Development Report on ‘Fighting climate change: Human solidarity in a divided world’ was launched in Brasilia, Brazil, with Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva as well as the Spanish Minister for Development, Leire Pajin, on hand. Kemal Dervis, UNDP Administrator, stressed that this year’s Global Human Development Report, a UNDP flagship publication, was being launched at a significant time, as governments were preparing to gather in Bali to negotiate the roadmap for further negotiations on commitments for the post-2012 period. He also noted that the Report will help galvanize action of UN Country Teams working with national counterparts on climate change adaptation and disaster preparedness. Kevin Watkins, UNDP’s lead author of the Report, stressed the threat of climate change to development given that the world’s poorest people are most vulnerable to its consequences. He said the Report argues that, with the right reforms, many of the negative effects of greenhouse gas emissions can be reversed without sacrificing economic growth. To achieve this goal, the Report proposes a combination of carbon taxation, cap-and-trade programmes, energy policies and technology transfers. 

Links to further information
Human Development Report 2007/2008: Fighting Climate Change – Human Solidarity in a Divided World
UNDP Newsroom

REPORT SAYS JOB OPPORTUNITIES OFFER SILVER LINING TO CLIMATE CHANGE
Addressing the challenges of climate change will also imply significant new employment opportunities states a preliminary draft report, Green Jobs: Can the Transition to Environmental Sustainability Spur New Kinds and Higher Levels of Employment?, commissioned by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) in partnership with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC). Referring to the report, UNEP’s Executive Director Achim Steiner said that: “The transition is being spurred on by the existing Kyoto climate agreement with its carbon trading and clean development mechanisms and the anticipation of further and more decisive emissions reductions post-2012.” The final report will be released in early 2008.

Link to further information
UNEP Press release, 6 December 2007

EU MOVES TO PHASE-OUT REFRIGERANT
Hydrofluorocarbon-134a (HCFC-134a), a refrigerant used in air conditioners as an alternative to an ozone-depleting substance (ODS) banned under the Montreal Protocol, has received much attention this year in the realm of climate change and ozone depletion. Earlier this year, parties to the Montreal Protocol agreed to speed the phase-out period for this potent greenhouse gas. Now the EU has followed suit and is banning the use of HCFC-134a in motor vehicles as of 2011.

Link to further information
New York Times, 2 December 2007

NOVEMBER 2007

US EPA LAUNCHES VOLUNTARY REFRIGERATION PARTNERSHIP
The US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) launched its GreenChill Advanced Refrigeration Partnership on 27 November 2007. The program works with companies that use and manufacture refrigeration equipment and the chemicals that cool such equipment. The partner companies voluntarily pledge to exceed regulatory requirements by inventorying and reducing their use and emissions of ozone-depleting substances and greenhouse gases.

Links to further information
EPA Press Release, 27 November 2007
CNN Money, 27 November 2007

Environmental New Service, 27 November 2007

METHYL BROMIDE USE IN THE US CONTINUES TO RECEIVE ATTENTION
Although methyl bromide was technically phased out in developed countries under the Montreal Protocol, these countries can continue to receive exemptions from the phase-out if they demonstrate that alternatives are not technically and economically feasible. Under this exemption, the US continues to use much more methyl bromide than other developed countries - 30 to 40 percent of its baseline methyl bromide use quantities. Some growers and activists question the need for these quantities of methyl bromide, given the available organic and chemical alternatives.

Link to further information
San Francisco Chronicle, 24 November 2007

EU AND US PROPOSE ELIMINATING TARIFFS RELATED TO MITIGATING CLIMATE CHANGE
The United States and the European Union presented a joint submission to the World Trade Organization (WTO) Committee on Trade and Environment Special Session (CTE-SS), on 30 November 2007, proposing to eliminate trade barriers facing goods and services directly related to mitigating climate change. According to the proposal the "ultimate objective should be a zero tariff world for climate friendly goods in the near future and no later than 2013."  The list of environmentally friendly goods proposed includes 43 products identified by a recent World Bank report on trade and climate change, covering products ranging from solar collectors and system controllers, to wind-turbine parts and components, stoves, grates and cookers, and hydrogen fuel cells. Developing countries offered mixed reactions, as they contended that most products on the list are primarily of export interest to industrialized countries. Brazil, for example, has proposed the inclusion of biofuels (a product it exports) in the list of environmental goods (IISD Sources; ICTSD Bridges, 5 December 2007).

Links to additional information
Summary of U.S. and EC Proposal for Liberalizing Trade in Environmental
Goods and Services in the WTO DDA Negotiations,” European Union, 30 November 2007
“EU and US propose new WTO green trade agreement for Doha round;” European Commission, 30 November 2007
“EU, US Call for Eliminating Trade Barriers to Climate-Friendly Goods and Services;” ICTSD Bridges, 5 December 2007

KYOTO PROTOCOL’S ELECTRONIC TRADING SYSTEM LAUNCHED
The electronic system that manages emissions trading under the Kyoto Protocol has become operational. The International Transaction Log (ITL) is a computerized system that ensures that emissions trading among parties to the Kyoto Protocol is fully consistent with the Protocol’s rules and regulations. The launch of the ITL was announced by the UN Climate Change Secretariat on 14 November 2007.

Links to further information
UN Climate Change Secretariat press release, 14 November 2007
Background information, November 2007

US MIDWEST PLANS TRADING SCHEME; DUTCH MAY CHANGE MARKET STRATEGY
A group of Midwest US states have agreed to a regional scheme to cut greenhouse gas emissions. The agreement, which follows previously-announced initiatives in the West and the Northeast, includes an agreement by six governors for a regional carbon “cap-and-trade” system.

Meanwhile, the Netherlands may not use the carbon market after 2012, opting instead to achieve emissions reductions domestically, according to a report by Point Carbon news service. The Dutch government has so far been one of the most active players in purchasing credits under the Kyoto Protocol’s flexible mechanisms, so the move to achieve all reductions domestically could represent a change in policy direction.

Links to further information
ENN news report, 16 November 2007
Point Carbon news report, 16 November 2007 (note: subscription required to view complete story)

OCTOBER 2007

BIGGEST US PENSION FUND CALLS FOR DISCLOSURE OF CLIMATE RISK
The US’ biggest pension fund, the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (Calpers), has called for the US Securities and Exchange Commission to force publicly traded companies to disclose their climate-related risks. They joined other institutional investors, environmental groups and New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo in asking for four main disclosures to analyze a company’s business risk and opportunities from climate change, including emissions, climate risk and emissions management, physical risks of climate changes and regulatory risks.

Link to further information
ENN/Reuters News Release, 31 October 2007

IPCC GEARS UP FOR VALENCIA MEETING
The IPCC is set to host its next session in Valencia, Spain, from 12-17 November 2007. The meeting is expected to result in the release of the Synthesis Report, which forms the final part of the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report. Three other related reports were released earlier this year: the Physical Science Basis (February); Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability (April); and Mitigation of Climate Change (May). The Secretariat has posted additional information on the Valencia meeting for participants and media.

Links to further information
27th Session of the IPCC - Information for participants

27th Session of the IPCC - Information for the press

RESEARCH CONFERENCE CONSIDERS ALTERNATIVES TO OZONE DEPLETOR, MONTREAL PROTOCOL CITED AS EXAMPLE FOR ACTION ON CLIMATE CHANGE
The 2007 Annual International Research Conference on Methyl Bromide Alternatives and Emissions Reductions convened from 29 October-1 November 2007 in San Diego, California, US. The conference sought to share information on research into alternatives to methyl bromide, a potent ozone depletor that is being phased out under the Montreal Protocol. In related news, plans to cancel the registration of methyl bromide in Australia were canceled, since Australia has continued to apply for and receive critical use exemptions for the use of methyl bromide for cut flowers and strawberry runners.

In other ozone news, in the lead up to a seminal meeting on climate change in Bali, Indonesia, next month, the Montreal Protocol is being cited as the example of government and industry working together to overcome an environmental problem.

Links to further information
Methyl Bromide Alternatives Outreach website
Sydney Morning Herald, 24 October 2007
The Economist, 1 November 2007

AUSTRALIA PLEDGES SUPPORT FOR POST-2012 TARGETS
Australian Prime Minister John Howard has said he would accept targets reducing greenhouse gases as part of an international agreement for the period after 2012, when the Kyoto Protocol’s first commitment period expires. Howard also said he would urge US President George Bush to follow suit. Howard’s comments were made during an election campaign debate with the leader of the opposition Labor Party. The Labor Party has said it would join the Kyoto Protocol, a move that would represent a major shift in current government policy.

Link to further information
DPA/Earth Times, 21 October 2007

IPCC AND AL GORE AWARDED NOBEL PEACE PRIZE
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and former US Vice-President Al Gore are the joint recipients of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. The Prize was awarded to recognize their efforts “to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change.” The IPCC, which was established in 1988 by UNEP and the World Meteorological Organization, involves more than 2000 scientists and other experts who review the latest findings and studies on climate change. The IPCC is set to adopt its fourth assessment report in November 2007 at a meeting in Valencia, Spain. The IPCC Secretariat expressed its “surprise and gratitude” at the award, and called Chair R.K. Pachauri the “backbone of the IPCC.”

Al Gore has long been known as an advocate for environmental action, most recently through his award-winning documentary, An Inconvenient Truth.

Yvo de Boer, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), said: “Today’s announcement is a sign that there is growing awareness not only with regard to the science and impacts of climate change, but for the need for political action. What we need to do now is to get started on the negotiations of a post-2012 framework in Bali [in December] this year. We urgently need a new agreement or a set of agreements under the umbrella of the UN which can deliver the greenhouse gas emission reductions in line with what science is telling us is needed - 50% by 2050 – along with significant funding for adaptation.”

Links to further information
Nobel Prize website
IPCC press release, 12 October 2007
Statement of IPCC Chair, 12 October 2007
UNFCCC Executive Secretary statement, October 2007
 

OZONE IN THE NEWS: OZONE HOLE “SMALL,” OZONE CHEMIST AWARDED NOBEL PRIZE
The ozone hole over Antarctica is the third smallest since 1998, and is significantly smaller than the record size reached last year. However, scientists warn that its size does not mean the ozone layer is recovering, rather that temperatures in the Antarctic stratosphere are mild.

In other ozone news, German scientist Gerhardt Ertl was awarded the Nobel Prize for chemistry for his work on surface chemistry, which has been key to understanding how ice crystals floating in the stratosphere serve as a surface for reactions leading to ozone depletion.

Links to further information
Associated Press article, 20 October 2007
Environment New Service article, 19 October 2007
NASA article, 18 October 2007
Reuters article, 16 October 2007
WMO Bulletin, 2 October 2007

The Guardian article, 11 October 2007

WORLD BANK CREATES TWO NEW CARBON FINANCE FACILITIES
The World Bank has announced that it will establish two new carbon finance facilities, to help increase the world’s ability to tackle global climate change and deforestation. The Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) will compensate developing countries for carbon dioxide reductions realized by maintaining their forests. In addition, the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility will support programs targeting the drivers of deforestation and develop activities to reach out to poor people who depend on forests to improve their livelihoods. The Carbon Partnership Facility (CPF) will be used in areas such as power sector development, energy efficiency, gas flaring, transport, and urban development, including integrated waste management systems.

Link to additional information
World Bank Press Release, 11 October 2007

CHINA JOINS INITIATIVE TO REDUCE THE RELEASE OF CARBON DIOXIDE
China, which produces 70% of the world's light bulbs, has agreed to phase out incandescent bulbs in favor of energy-efficient compact fluorescent bulbs. China is the first developing country to join a Global Environment Facility (GEF) programme, which will provide about US$ 25 million to support the initiative in China. The program will be formally announced in December 2007 at the climate change meetings in Bali, Indonesia, as the GEF affirms that a shift to more efficient bulbs from traditional incandescent ones could mitigate 500 million tonnes of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide annually, and the transition could be made in the next 10 years.

Link to additional information
Reuters News story, 1 October 2007

SEPTEMBER 2007

UNEP AWARDS PRIZE TO LOCAL LEVEL CLIMATE CHANGE ACTIONS
UN Environment Programme (UNEP) has awarded the Sasakawa Prize 2007 to two non-governmental initiatives in South Africa and Bangladesh for their efforts to combat climate change on the local level: Jeunesse Park for initiating the design of the first carbon calculator in South Africa, making it easy and affordable for government, institutions and communities to offset carbon emissions; and the organization Shidhulai Swanirvar Sangstha for travelling through Bangladesh’s extensive river network to bring environmental education and renewable energy supplies to local communities.

Link to further information
UNEP Press release, 27 September 2007

ENERGY EFFICIENCY IMPROVEMENTS KEY TO LOWER ENERGY USE – IEA REPORT
The International Energy Agency (IEA) has released a report entitled “Energy Use in the New Millennium: Trends in IEA Countries,” which examines recent trends in energy use and carbon emissions in IEA countries. The book indicates that, while improvements in energy efficiency have limited increases in energy use and carbon emissions, recent gains in energy efficiency are currently only about half the rate seen in the 1970s and 1980s. The study was undertaken by IEA to support the G8 Gleneagles “Plan of Action for Climate Change, Clean Energy and Sustainable Development.” Among the study’s findings are: appliances and air conditioning are on track to become the most significant sources of carbon emissions from households; in many countries, the benefits of more efficient vehicles have been eroded by increased congestion, changes in driver behavior and new in-car amenities; and efficiency improvements are having a substantial impact in manufacturing.

Link to further information
IEA Press Release, 10 September 2007

RECORD ARCTIC MELTING RECORDED
Record levels of ice melting have been recorded in the Arctic in early September 2007, according to reports. According to the US National Snow and Ice Data Center, sea ice extent continues to decline, and now stands at 4.24 million square kilometers (1.63 million square miles), which is considerably less than the previous record absolute minimum of 5.32 million square kilometers (2.05 million square miles) recorded in September 2005.

Link to further information
National Snow and Ice Data Center records

OZONE HOLE MAKES EARLY APPEARANCE
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) reports that the seasonal ozone hole over the Antarctic appeared earlier than normal this year. The WMO cautions, however, that this gives no indication of what to expect for the remainder of the year.

Links to further information
WMO report, 23 August 2007
Reuters article, 28 August 2007
LA Times
article, 1 September 2007

UN LAUNCHES “CDM BAZAAR” WEBSITE
The UN has launched a web portal to facilitate the exchange of information among, buyers, sellers and service providers involved with the Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). The new web portal, which was announced by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) secretariat and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) on 5 September 2007, will help buyers, sellers, and others “get down to business,” according to UNFCCC Executive Secretary Yvo de Boer.

Link to further information
UN press release

AUGUST 2007

UN LAUNCHES NEW CLIMATE CHANGE WEBSITE
The UN has launched a new website, the “Gateway to the UN System’s Work on Climate Change.” The new website provides information on the work of various parts of the UN system with regard to climate change. It includes links to work under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, UN Environment Programme, and other relevant programmes and agencies. It also contains information on the high-level General Assembly event planned for 24 September 2007. The website was launched in early August 2007.

Link to further information
Gateway to the UN System’s Work on Climate Change

PRESSURE TO ACCELERATE PHASEOUT OF HCFCs BUILDS
In advance of the upcoming 19th Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol on Ozone Depleting Substances (the Protocol), there is significant pressure to move forward the date that a group of potent greenhouse gases and ozone-depleting chemicals must be phased out. Under the Protocol, hydrofluorocarbons (HCFCs) are already due to be phased out by 2030 in developed countries and 2040 in developing countries, but perverse incentives brought about by the Clean Development Mechanism under the Kyoto Protocol and increased use of refrigerants in India and China have brought attention to the potential benefits of phasing out HCFCs earlier. As a result of this increased concern, six proposals have been put forward to accelerate the phaseout of the chemicals under the Protocol, and a bill has been put forward in the US Congress to do the same.

Links to further information
Reuters article, 13 August 2007
Greenwire article, 7 August 2007
Sydney Morning Herald, 3 August 2007
North Denver News, 31 July 2007

DEFORESTATION PLANS SPARK DEBATE
Plans to reduce emissions by targeting deforestation in developing countries have been generating debate in Australia. According to reports, Australia has announced its support for a new initiative on climate change and forestry at a recent event in Sydney. While reducing deforestation is viewed by many as one of a range of useful tools to combat climate change, the significant costs involved have also been highlighted by some experts.

Links to further information
Globe-Net/WBCSD report, 8 August 2007
Sydney Morning Herald, 24 July 2007

US PRESIDENT ISSUES INVITATIONS TO CLIMATE CHANGE MEETING
US President Bush has issued invitations to major economies to attend a meeting on energy security and climate change. The meeting will take place on 27-28 September 2007 in Washington, DC, and Bush has indicated he will participate. The invitee list includes the European Union, France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, Japan, China, Canada, India, Brazil, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, Australia, Indonesia, South Africa and the United Nations.

Links to further information
White House Press Release, 2 August 2007

Invitee list

BROWN CLOUDS COUPLED WITH GHG EMISSIONS ENDANGER ASIAN WATER SUPPLIES
A new analysis of pollution-filled “brown clouds” over south Asia, carried out at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC, San Diego, US, finds that atmospheric brown clouds containing soot and trace metals from a variety of urban, industrial and agricultural sources have enhanced solar heating of the lower atmosphere by about 50 percent. The Scripps paper, published in the 2 August 2007 edition of the journal Nature, concludes that the combined heating effect of greenhouse gases and the brown clouds is enough to explain the withdrawal of Himalayan glaciers observed in the past half century. The glaciers supply water to major Asian rivers, which comprise the principal water supply for billions of people in China and India.

Link to further information
UNEP Press release, 1 August 2007

HIGH CONCENTRATIONS OF HALOGENS FOUND OVER ANTARCTICA
A study conducted by scientists from the University of Leeds, the University of East Anglia and the British Antarctic Survey has found that iodine oxides and other naturally-occurring halogens that contribute to ozone depletion exist in much higher concentrations in Antarctica than previously thought. In addition to affecting ozone depletion, the findings have implications for climate change.

Links to further information
University of Leeds press release, 1 August 2007
NASA article, 26 July 2007
CBC article, 26 July 2007

Science abstract, 20 July 2007

JULY 2007

VOLUNTARY CARBON STANDARD CONSIDERED
Business and industry groups have completed work on a framework for a voluntary carbon standard that they hope to launch later in 2007. The standard was developed by a steering committee supported by the International Emissions Trading Association, World Business Council for Sustainable Development and others. It aims to develop a “global benchmark standard for project-based voluntary emission reductions that provides a degree of standardization to the Voluntary Carbon Market.”

Link to further information
Voluntary Carbon Standard Press Release, 27 July 2007

UNDP SETS OUT TO JUMP-START CARBON MARKET IN EASTERN EUROPE AND THE CIS

The UN Development Programme (UNDP) has launched the project Leveraging Carbon Finance for Sustainable Development in South-eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), aiming to develop public and private sector capacities to access carbon finance, identify opportunities, and provide project management services to individual projects to help jump-start a carbon market in the region. To date participation in the Kyoto Protocol’s flexible mechanisms, the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and Joint Implementation (JI), has been limited in many of these countries due to low awareness and understanding of carbon finance. Within the framework of UNDP’s carbon finance project, however, capacity-building initiatives have been initiated in Albania, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Serbia and Uzbekistan, as well as pilot efforts in Kyrgyzstan and Ukraine, with Macedonia recently presenting a strategy, developed with UNDP support, to enable participation in CDM. Training was also held recently in Ukraine to build private sector capacity to initiate and develop JI projects.

 

Link to further information

UNDP Press release, 12 July 2007

CHINA CLOSES PLANTS PRODUCING OZONE-DEPLETING CHEMICALS
China has closed 5 of its 6 plants producing chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). This action effectively eliminates CFC production in China for all uses other than in metered-dose inhalers (MDIs), a use that the Montreal Protocol has exempted from developed nations’ CFC phaseouts in certain circumstances. With the closures, China has thus nearly phased out CFC production, which will now stand at about 1% of the peak levels produced in 1998, over two years ahead of the Montreal Protocol’s 2010 phaseout dates for developing countries.

Links to further information
UNEP Press Release, 1 July 2007
Reuters article, 27 June 2007
UPI article, 2 July 2007

International Herald Tribune, 2 July 2007

EU CONSIDERS ADAPTATION STRATEGY, GERMANY STRENGTHENS RENEWABLES TARGET
The European Commission has published a green paper outlining options for EU action to address adaptation to climate change on the continent. The paper, which was released in late June, was followed by a stakeholder event hosted by the Commission in Brussels on 3 July 2007. The paper stresses the critical importance of adaptation as a complement to mitigation activities and stresses the value of integrating global adaptation needs into the EU’s external relations policies.

In other news, the Council of the European Union has agreed to strengthen the EU Emissions Trading Scheme, while Germany is planning to raise the share of electricity generated by renewables to 45 percent by 2030.

Links to further information
European Commission statement, 29 June 2007
EU Council conclusions on the Emissions Trading Scheme, 28 June 2007
AFP/WBCSD report, 5 July 2007
EurActiv/WBCSD report, 2 July 2007

JUNE 2007

INDONESIA PUSHES DEFORESTATION DEAL, FRANCE SETS OUT 2008 GOALS
Indonesia has urged for deforestation to be part of a future multilateral deal on climate change, according to news reports. The inclusion of deforestation activities in a post-2012 deal is also backed by Papua New Guinea, Costa Rica, Congo and other equatorial countries.

Meanwhile, France’s Environment Minister has told reporters that France will use its presidency of the EU in 2008 to push for a new treaty on climate change. The fourteenth Conference of the Parties (COP 14) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, which is taking place in Poznan, Poland in 2008, will be a critical meeting, according to the French Minister.

Link to further information
Reuters news reports about Indonesia and France, 29 June 2007

ENVIRONMENTAL THREATS TOP GLOBAL POLL
Concerns about environmental risks and pollution have risen sharply and are now viewed as a leading global threat, according to polling by the Pew Research Center. The poll, which was conducted in 47 countries and territories, found that environmental threats were viewed as the greatest danger to the world in a number of countries. The poll also considered views on a wide range of others issues, including US foreign policy, China, Russia, and the Middle East.

Link to further information
The Pew Center report, 27 June 2007

NOAA SCIENTISTS COLLECT DATA ON OZONE-DEPLETING CHEMICALS
US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) scientists are among those contributing to efforts underway in Costa Rica to collect information on a variety of chemicals affecting the stratospheric ozone layer. Scientists taking part in the Tropical Composition, Cloud and Climate Coupling (TC4) experiment, which will run from 2 July to 15 August, 2007, are, inter alia, measuring ozone-depleting chemicals including CFCs, CFC substitutes including HCFC-22, and methyl iodide, which is an important alternative to the ozone-depleting fumigant methyl bromide.

Link to further information
NOAA article, 26 June 2007

CHINA BECOMES BIGGEST CARBON EMITTER, US TARGETS FUEL EFFICIENCY
China has overtaken the US as the largest emitter of carbon dioxide, according to estimates from the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency. In 2006, China produced 8% more emissions than the US. However, Chinese officials have labeled criticism of its emissions levels as “unfair,” noting that developed countries buy large amounts of Chinese manufactured goods. The Dutch announcement cautioned that a “balanced comparison” between countries should take into account emissions per capita, the export of manufactured goods to industrialized countries, and “country-specific circumstances.”

Meanwhile, the US Senate has passed a new energy bill that would require increasing average vehicle fuel efficiency standards over 10 miles per gallon by 2020 – a proposal that has been opposed by some automakers. The legislation, which has yet to be taken up in the House of Representatives, also mandates ethanol production increases. Proposals to increase the share of wind and other renewable electricity generation were not approved, however.

Links to further information
Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency announcement, 22 June 2007
AFP/WBCSD news story, 21 June 2007
CNN report, 22 June 2007

UNEP FI LAUNCHES CLIMATE CHANGE DECLARATION BY FINANCE SECTOR
The UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) launched its “Declaration on Climate Change by the Financial Services Sector,” signed by over 20 of UNEP FI member companies, on 5 June 2007. The declaration states, among other things, that: anthropogenic climate change is real; the cost of inaction will be extremely high; financial institutions must take greater action and integrate climate change into their everyday decision-making; and governments need to set ambitious, long-term targets for emissions reduction. The statement will remain open for endorsement in the run-up to the climate change negotiations in Bali, Indonesia, in December 2007.

Link to further information
UNEP FI Statement, 5 June 2007

UNDP LAUNCHES MDG CARBON FACILITY
On 5 June 2007, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) announced the launch of its MDG Carbon Facility, as well as an agreement with the banking and insurance company Fortis, designating it to be the financial services provider for the Facility. The MDG Carbon Facility is a mechanism seeking to provide assistance to greenhouse gas reduction projects in the developing world, as well as to harness the resources of the carbon market to deliver real, sustainable benefits to the environment and contribute to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Fortis’ role will be to purchase and sell on the emissions-reduction credits generated by these projects, and the profits from the purchases will provide developing countries with resources to finance investment and to promote development. The MDG Carbon Facility will operate within the framework of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and Joint Implementation and aims to address the CDM’s current limitations in terms of geographical reach and focus on “end of pipe” technologies. The partnership between UNDP and Fortis covers an initial pipeline of projects which will generate 15 million credits during the Kyoto Protocol’s first commitment period (2008-2012).

Links to further information
UNDP Press release, 5 June 2007
MDG Carbon Facility website

BUSH PROPOSES CLIMATE PLAN AHEAD OF G8 SUMMIT
US President George W. Bush has announced plans to push for agreement on a new post-2012 framework on climate change among major nations by the end of 2008. The announcement, which was made on 31 May 2007, comes just days ahead of the G8 Summit, which is taking place in Heiligendamm, Germany, from 6-8 June. In his announcement, President Bush said the US could convene a group of the world’s major emitters and energy consumers, including both developed countries and major emerging economies. He emphasized a commitment to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and said the new framework should “complement ongoing UN activity,” as well as build on and advance US relations with the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate. However, the Bush administration has not supported Kyoto Protocol-style emissions targets or calls to join a global carbon trading system, which G8 host Germany and some other countries favor. While outgoing British Prime Minister Tony Blair welcomed Bush’s announcement, some others criticized the statement as lacking substance and shifting attention away from current policy proposals from Germany and others, and away from the UNFCCC process.

Links to further information
US White House official fact sheet on President Bush’s proposal, 31 May 2007
G8 Summit official website, June 2007
BBC news report, 31 May 2007
ENDS Europe/WBCSD report, 31 May 2007
The Independent (UK) article, 1 June 2007
Reuters news report, 15 May 2007

CHINA ANNOUNCES CLIMATE PLANS; COSTA RICA, CANADA AND CALIFORNIA ALSO MAKE CLIMATE CHANGE NEWS
China has affirmed its commitment to combating climate change, while repeating that its economic development must take priority, that it would not take on emissions caps, and that developed countries must take the lead. In a new government report released ahead of the G8 Summit, China’s “limited capacity” to tackle climate change was stressed.

In other news, environmental groups in Canada have launched a lawsuit against the government for allegedly “abandoning” its Kyoto targets for 2008-2012, while the government of Costa Rica has announced plans to become the first country to be carbon neutral, offsetting all its carbon emissions by 2030. Meanwhile, California’s new Global Warming Solutions Act has been praised by business and conservation groups for its “ambitious” approach to climate change and creating a clean technology market.

Links to further information
AFP/WBCSD article on China, 4 June 2007
China Daily/Reuters article, 4 June 2007
NRDC press release on California’s legislation, June 2007
Friends of the Earth Canada, 29 May 2007
Reuters/ENN Costa Rica report, 25 May 2007

MONTREAL PROTOCOL WORKING GROUP PREPARES FOR NEXT MEETING OF THE PARTIES
The twenty-seventh meeting of the Open-ended Working Group (OEWG) of the parties to the Montreal Protocol takes place this week in Nairobi, Kenya. Parties aim to agree on draft decisions to forward to the nineteenth Meeting of the Parties of the Montreal Protocol, to be held 17-21 September 2007, on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Montreal Protocol. OEWG-27 is considering, inter alia, essential-use and critical-use exemptions, multi-year exemptions for methyl bromide use, proposals to adjust the Protocol’s control provisions regarding hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), a study on the replenishment of the Multilateral Fund, a system for monitoring transboundary movement of ozone-depleting substances, and issues arising out of the Dialogue on key future challenges to be faced by the Montreal Protocol, which was held 2-3 June 2007. The OEWG will be followed by the thirty-eighth meeting of the Implementation Committee under the Non-compliance Procedure for the Montreal Protocol, to be held 8-9 June 2007.

Links to further information
Documents of the Meetings

MAY 2007

GLOBAL COMPACT INTRODUCES BUSINESS LEADERSHIP PLATFORM ON CLIMATE CHANGE
In a press release on 30 May 2007, the UN Global Compact introduced the statement “Caring for Climate: The Business Leadership Platform,” drafted by the UN Environment Programme, WBCSD and Global Compact, which provides a practical platform for Global Compact participants to advance climate change solutions and demonstrate leadership. Global Compact anticipates that a significant number of business leaders will become signatories of the statement, and expects that the occasion of the Global Compact Leaders Summit (Geneva, Switzerland, 5-6 July 2007) will be used to express the urgent need to address climate change.

Links to further information
UN Global Compact Press release, 30 May 2007
The Statement

USEPA HONORS CLIMATE AND OZONE PROTECTION AWARDEES, RELEASES DATA ON METHYL BROMIDE STOCKS
The USEPA presented awards to 31 awardees, honoring their actions to protect the climate and the ozone layer. Among those recognized for their work protecting the ozone layer are customs inspectors, scientists monitoring ozone depletion, and a company that developed an aircraft fire suppression technology.

The USEPA also released data on the quantity of methyl bromide stockpiles held as of the end of 2006. The data reveals that stocks held at the end of 2006 were 23% smaller than those held at the end of 2005, but that significant quantities are still held in stockpiles.

Links to further information
USEPA press release, 1 May 2007
USEPA, 14 May 2007

WORLD MIGRATORY BIRD DAY HIGHLIGHTS CLIMATE CHANGE
On 12-13 May 2007, a series of events took place around the world to celebrate World Migratory Bird Day, focusing on the impacts of climate change on migratory birds. World Migratory Bird Day was organized by the African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbird Agreement (AEWA) and the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS).

In related news, CMS Deputy Executive Secretary Lahcen el Kabiri, in his address to the 26th Session of the UNFCCC Subsidiary Body for Implementation, announced a new initiative, led by the UK and the United Arab Emirates, to negotiate a CMS Agreement for African and Eurasian birds of prey, for which climate change is one of several threats

Links to further information
World Migratory Bird Day website
CMS press release, 7 May 2007

APRIL 2007

UN PUBLIC INFORMATION TO FOCUS ON CLIMATE CHANGE AND MDGS
Recently appointed UN Under-Secretary-General Kiyotaka Akasaka has outlined the priorities of the Department for Public Information for 2007, stating that attention will be paid to four themes: peace and security; climate change; development and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs); and human rights. Akasaka also drew attention to the wide reach of the UN website, which logs over 50 million unique visits annually, and the important work of the UN Information Centres operating in various countries.

Link to further information
UN News release, 30 April 2007

UN SECRETARY-GENERAL HOLDS CLIMATE TALKS WITH BARROSO, GORE
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has held meetings with European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and former US Vice President Al Gore, with climate change the key topic of discussion. The Secretary-General reiterated his strong commitment to the issue and mobilizing political will, and said he would raise the issue during the G8 Summit in June.

Link to further information
UN news release, 27 April 2007

NORWAY AND CANADA SET EMISSIONS TARGETS
Norway’s Prime Minister has set for his country the ambitious goal of reducing its net greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050. He also set a target of cutting emissions by 30 percent by 2020 compared with 1990 levels.

Meanwhile, the Conservative government in Canada has announced plans to cut emissions 20 percent by 2020 through regulations and an energy intensity target. According to news reports, the plan was generally praised by investors but criticized by some environmental groups.

Links to further information
Norwegian Prime Minister’s speech, 19 April 2007
Reuters/PlanetArk report, 30 April 2007
Reuters/PlanetArk report, 27 April 2007
Reuters/PlanetArk report, 26 April 2007

OZONE SECRETARIAT, MULTILATERAL FUND AND US EPA RELEASE REPORTS
The US EPA has released Achievements in Stratospheric Ozone Protection: Progress Report, which highlights the achievements made in ozone protection in the 20 years since the Montreal Protocol came about, the technologies and partnerships that have made these achievements possible, the effect of ozone-depleting substances on climate change, and the challenges that remain. 

In advance of the upcoming Open-Ended Working Group meeting (OEWG-27), to be held 4-7 June 2007, and the Dialogue on key future challenges faced by the Montreal Protocol (the Dialogue), to be held 2-3 June 2007, the Ozone Secretariat has released the Technology and Economic Assessment Panel’s 2007 Progress Report, documents to support the Dialogue, and documents to support OEWG-27, including a study on a system for monitoring the transboundary movement of ozone-depleting substances and Parties’ comments with respect to the options listed in that study, and a note by the Secretariat.

The Multilateral Fund has released the Report of the 51st Meeting of the Executive Committee, and a summary of the significant decisions and discussions. Topics discussed included the status of contributions, which were at less than 10% of the amount pledged for 2007, the business plans for implementing agencies through 2009, and funding requests.

Links to further information
US EPA, 26 April 2007
Ozone Secretariat, April 2007
Multilateral Fund Summary, April 2007
Multilateral Fund Report, 23 March 2007

KYOTO TREATY GENERATES SOME PERVERSE INCENTIVES
The production of a refrigerant due to be phased out under the Montreal Protocol on Ozone Depletion, HFC-23, is encouraged by a mechanism created by the Kyoto Protocol. Because developing countries can easily and inexpensively destroy a greenhouse gas produced as a byproduct of the production of this refrigerant, and sell the resulting “credits” at a high price, production of the refrigerant is more profitable than it would otherwise be, and there is evidence that factories in developing countries are increasing their production of the refrigerant as a result. In response, numerous countries are pushing for the accelerated phaseout of the ozone-depleting refrigerant under the Montreal Protocol.

Link to further information
The Economist, 23 April 2007

CHINA, JAPAN COMMIT TO POST-2012 TALKS
Officials from China and Japan have committed themselves to participate in talks to establish an international post-2012 framework for combating climate change, according to news reports.

Link to further information
AlerNet/Reuters report, 11 April 2007

US SUPREME COURT, MILITARY PUSH CLIMATE AGENDA
Separate actions by the US Supreme Court and former senior US military leaders appear to have strengthened the push for further US government action on climate change. The US Supreme Court has ruled that greenhouse gases should be considered pollutants, opening the way for regulation by the federal Environmental Protection Agency. In addition, eleven former military leaders have participated in a study group that has highlighted the implications of climate change for US security and urges the government to become a more constructive partner multilaterally.

Links to further information
The CNA Corporation’s Report on National Security and the Threat of Climate Change, April 2007
BBC news report, 15 April 2007
WBCSD/AFP news report, 5 April 2007

ILLEGAL TRADE IN OZONE-DEPLETING CHEMICALS A PROBLEM IN INDIA
Although India is a net exporter of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), a substance controlled under the Montreal Protocol on Ozone Depleting Substances, illegal imports of CFCs are a problem in the country. At a recent meeting of the South Asia Network of Ozone Officers in Bhutan, held 10-13 April 2007, CFC prices in India were reported to be 3 times the international price, creating an incentive for illegal trade in the substance. Counteracting this incentive, an initiative to combat illegal trade in ozone-depleting substances (ODS) that began last September, Project Skyhole Patch, has begun to yield results across Asia. Customs officials trained as a part of the initiative have seized nearly 65 tons of illegally traded ODS in, inter alia, China, India and Thailand.

Links to further information
EARTHtimes, 14 April 2007
UN News Centre, 1 March 2007
UNEP, 12 February 2007

US EPA CALLS FOR NOMINATIONS FOR OZONE AWARDS, AGREES ON PENALTY WITH ROLLS ROYCE
The US EPA is calling for nominations for the 2007 “Best-of the-Best Awards,” which will recognize entities that have demonstrated leadership in the effort to eliminate ozone-depleting substances, to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Montreal Protocol. In addition, the US EPA reached an agreement with Rolls Royce on a penalty of over US$18,000 regarding improper repair and recordkeeping for equipment containing a chlorofluorocarbon refrigerant at an Indiana helicopter engine manufacturing plant.

Links to further information
PRNewswire, 5 April 2007
US EPA, 16 April 2007

MARCH 2007

GLOBAL COMPACT AND SAN FRANCISCO LAUNCH CLIMATE PARTNERSHIP
The UN Global Compact, the City of San Francisco and a number of Bay Area businesses launched on 1 March 2007 the Principles on Climate Leadership and Business Council on Climate Change (BC3) initiatives. The new partnerships will involve voluntary actions to address climate change. The initiative will give Bay Area businesses a forum in which to share best practices to reduce greenhouse gases, and it will also seek to create a model for climate action in the commercial and public sectors that the Global Compact will aim to place in companies and cities around the world.   

Link to further information
UN Global Compact press release, 1 March 2007

UNEP FI OFFERS E-LEARNING COURSE ON CLIMATE CHANGE
On 1 March 2007, registration opened for UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative’s (UNEP FI) latest e-Learning course, “Climate Change: Risks and Opportunities for the Finance Sector,” which will be held from 4-25 June 2007. The course will seek to support staff in financial institutions to enhance their knowledge on, inter alia: the effect of climate change on energy financing and energy alternatives; carbon finance; and the Kyoto Protocol flexible mechanisms.

Links to further information
UNEP FI website, 1 March 2007
To register online visit UNITAR website

AMERICAN METEOROLOGICAL SOCIETY STARTS CLIMATE POLICY BLOG
To take the climate change discussions beyond the science and address the challenging policy issues related to climate change, the American Meteorological Society launched a weblog (“blog”), http://www.climatepolicy.org/, on 1 March 2007.  The goal is to help decision makers at all levels make sound policy based on the best available information. The blog will build on the knowledge of some of the world's leading climate experts, which along with reader inputs, will seek to advance the evaluation of potential responses to the threats posed by climate change.

Link to further information
American Meteorological Society press release, 1 March 2007

MONTREAL PROTOCOL BETTER FOR CLIMATE THAN KYOTO—REPORT
The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer is doing considerably more to combat climate change than the Kyoto Protocol, according to new
research released by the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (NEAA). The report notes the significant impact on climate change of reducing ozone depleting substances, which also contribute to the “radiative forcing” of climate change.

Links to further information
NEAA Press Release, 5 March 2007
The report

US UTILITY BUYOUT SHOWS GREEN TREND
A planned buyout of US energy utility TXU by private equity groups has been hailed by some in the environmental movement as a sign that the finance sector is increasingly taking climate change and sustainable development seriously. The groups involved in the buyout have indicated that they will not proceed with a number of coal-fired power plants that TXU had planned to construct in Texas. Instead, the new owners are set to invest more in energy efficiency, renewable energy, and clean coal technology. Environmental groups have expressed hope that this will hail a “new era” in greener investment.

Links to further information
Newsweek, 12 March 2007
Greenwire/WBCSD news, 27 February 2007
CERES news release, 26 February 2007 

UK CLIMATE LAW INTRODUCED
The UK Government has introduced new climate change legislation setting out a framework that would move the country towards a low-carbon economy. The draft law, which was introduced to parliament in March, would set tight limits on future emissions. Supporters said it demonstrated Britain’s desire to play a leadership role in the lead-up to further talks on a post-2012 global framework for action on climate change.

Links to further information

UK Government press release, 13 March 2007

BBC news report, 13 March 2007

COUNTRIES PROPOSE ACCELERATING THE PHASE-OUT OF REFRIGERANTS
Nine countries have signed on to proposals that would accelerate the phase-out of certain hydrofluorocarbons (HCFCs) under the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (the Montreal Protocol). HCFCs are chemicals that are used as coolants but that contribute both to ozone depletion and global warming. Of particular concern is the sharply increasing use of these refrigerants, particularly HCFC-22, in developing countries, where HCFCs are currently allowed to be produced for over 30 more years.

Links to further information
International Herald Tribune, 14 March 2007
International Herald Tribune, 15 March 2007

UN LEADERSHIP CONSIDERS CLIMATE SUMMIT

A high-level summit could be arranged to address climate change, according to reports. Yvo de Boer, the Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), told news service Reuters that UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is investigating the possibility of a climate change summit.


Link to further information

UNFCCC interview-AlertNet.org/Reuters, 21 March 2007

$54.6 MILLION APPROVED TO SUPPORT PHASE-OUT OF OZONE-DEPLETING CHEMICALS
The Executive Committee of the Multilateral Fund for the Implementation of the Montreal Protocol, which helps developing countries meet their obligations under the Montreal Protocol, has approved $54.6 million to be spent in 32 developing countries to eliminate the use and production of some ozone-depleting chemicals. The projects approved in this most recent round of approvals include a large project in China that will phase out chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) production two years ahead of the Protocol’s deadline.

Link to further information
Multilateral Fund, 23 March 2007

UNEP REPORT FINDS UV RADIATION AFFECTS FISH, AMPHIBIANS
A review of studies has found that increased ultraviolet (UV) radiation can negatively impact aquatic ecosystems. According to the review, published in the journal Photochemical and Photobiological Sciences, increased levels of UV radiation due to the decline in stratospheric ozone levels harm phytoplankton, fish and amphibian populations, and the melting of ice due to climate change may further expose aquatic populations to the detrimental effects of increased UV radiation. The study is part of a UN Environmental Programme (UNEP) report on interactions between ozone depletion and climate change, prepared for the Parties to the Montreal Protocol.

Links to further information
Photochemical and Photobiological Sciences, 25 March 2007
Science Daily, 24 March 2007

UNDP SIGNS MOU TO SUPPORT CHINESE CLIMATE CHANGE ACTIONS
In a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed on 26 March 2007, in Beijing, China, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the governments of China and Norway have agreed to support a new project focusing on developing and implementing provincial programmes on climate change mitigation and adaptation. Entitled “The Provincial Climate Change Programme in China,” the project will support efforts to implement China’s national climate change programme in seven provinces, and is expected to be launched in mid 2007.

Link to further information
UNDP press release, 26 March 2007

INVESTMENT URGED TO COUNTER WEATHER IMPACTS

The international community should invest more to reduce the effects of extreme weather resulting from global warming, according to the head of the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction. “We need to put in place mechanisms that can help our societies adapt to this new situation,” said Director Sálvano Briceño, citing Madagascar’s recent experiences with cyclones. Briceño said the Hyogo Framework for Action, adopted in Kobe, Japan, in 2005, should be implemented, highlighting its potential to reduce disaster risks caused by climate-related hazards.
 

Link to further information

ISDR news release, 27 March 2007 

 

FEBRUARY 2007


INCREASED DEMAND FOR AIR-CONDITIONING IN ASIA RAISES CONCERNS ABOUT OZONE DEPLETION
As demand for air-conditioning is rising across Asia, so is concern among scientists that the ozone layer may take longer to repair than previously thought. The main source of concern is HCFC-22, a refrigerant commonly used in air conditioners used to cool homes and vehicles. Not only does HCFC-22 deplete the stratospheric ozone layer, but its production also generates a potent greenhouse gas byproduct. Destruction of this byproduct, in turn, has produced a perverse incentive for developing countries to produce HCFC-22. Because of the Clean Development Mechanism, a mechanism under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change that pays countries for destroying the byproduct, developing countries are paid to destroy this byproduct and therefore have little incentive to switch to the new generation of refrigerants. To counteract this incentive and the skyrocketing use of air conditioners in China and India, many are calling for an accelerated phaseout of HCFC-22 under the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. While developed countries cannot produce the chemical as of 2020, developing countries can continue to use it for an additional 20 years.

Link to further information
New York Times, 23 February 2007

EU ENERGY MINISTERS DISCUSS BIOFUELS AND RENEWABLES
Energy ministers from the European Union debated the European Commission’s “energy and climate change package” in mid-February and agreed to raise biofuels use to a minimum of 10% by 2020. They rejected a proposal to adopt an EU-wide binding target for renewables. The package is expected to be discussed with a view to adoption at a March summit.

Link to further information
Euractiv.com News (from WBCSD website), 19 February

IMO ANNOUNCES NEW RULES TO ALLOW STORAGE OF CARBON DIOXIDE IN THE SEABED
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has announced the entrance into force of new regulations on the storage of carbon dioxide in the seabed. These new international rules were adopted on 2 November 2006 at the first meeting of the contracting parties to the London Protocol as amendments to the 1996 Protocol to the Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter, 1972. The amendment adds carbon dioxide streams from carbon dioxide capture processes for sequestration to the list of substances annexed to the 1996 Protocol that are excluded from the prohibition of dumping of wastes at sea. The Parties to the London Protocol will elaborate and adopt guidelines on how to store carbon dioxide in sub-seabed geological formations at their second session in November 2007.

Link to further information
IMO Press release, 9 February 2007

UNDP AND UNEP LAUNCH POVERTY AND ENVIRONMENT FACILITY
On 6 February 2007 the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) fortified their partnership by launching a joint Poverty and Environment Facility at the 24th session of UNEP Governing Council in Nairobi, Kenya. The facility is one of the first concrete examples of UN reform and will help developing countries integrate sound environment management into their poverty reduction and growth policies

Link to further information
UNDP press release, 6 February 2007

JANUARY 2007

CHINA TARGETS WIND POWER, ENERGY EFFICIENCY
China has announced plans to increase its spending on wind power and improving energy efficiency in existing buildings, according to news reports.

Link to further information
WBCSD/GLOBE-Net report, 19 January 2007

UNDP AND UZBEKISTAN PARTNERS TO TAP CARBON FINANCE POTENTIAL
On 15 January 2007, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and Uzbekistan launched the project “Capacity Building for Clean Development Mechanism in Uzbekistan,” which will help reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and fund sustainable development by tapping the global carbon finance market. The initiative seeks to develop public and private sector capacities to access carbon finance by creating the necessary legal and institutional frameworks, and to build competence for identifying and implementing GHG reduction projects.

Link to further information
UNDP press release, 15 January 2007

YVO DE BOER PROPOSES CLIMATE CHANGE SUMMIT, CHALLENGES ECONOMIC ASSUMPTIONS
Yvo de Boer, the Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), has suggested in a meeting with new UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon that a world summit on climate change be held. During a subsequent press briefing, de Boer highlighted that, since climate change “affects energy, energy security, economic issues [and] development issues, it really needs to be taken to the level of heads of State and heads of government.” Speaking at the Delhi Sustainable Development Summit on 22 January 2007, he also spoke out against what he says are unfounded fears that action on climate change causes economic hardship.

Links to further information
UN News Centre, 16 January 2007
UNFCCC Press Release, 22 January 2007

CANADA LAUNCHES ENERGY PLAN; CHINA MISSES TARGETS
The Canadian government has announced a $300 million energy plan, although critics have labeled it as similar to policies developed by the previous government. Meanwhile, state media reported that China has not met the energy targets it set for itself for 2006.

Links to further information
Natural Resources Canada statement, 21 January 2007
Canada Globe and Mail, 22 January 2007
SciDev.Net News Report, 12 January 2007

AFRICAN LESSONS ON CLIMATE CHANGE HIGHLIGHTED; UK ANNOUNCES CARBON SCHEME ACTION
African countries are “spearheading” responses to climate change, according to a forthcoming report by the International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI) at Columbia University, US. The study is reported to show that Africa’s experiences can be helpful for other regions, and is expected to be presented at the African Union Summit in late January 2007. Meanwhile, the British Government has announced guidelines to ensure that carbon offset schemes are environmentally-sound.

Links to further information
SciDev.Net News Report, 18 January 2007
BBC News Report, 18 January 2007

US CIVIL SOCIETY GROUPS URGE CLIMATE ACTION; BUSH SPEECH TARGETS OIL DEPENDENCE
The US National Association of Evangelicals announced a collaborative effort with the scientific community to promote more action by the government on climate change and other environmental issues on 17 January 2007, while four nongovernmental organizations, including WRI and the Natural Resources Defense Council, announced they were teaming up with ten market leaders, including Alcoa, BP America and DuPont, to create the US Climate Action Partnership on 22 January 2007. These announcements came just days before US President George Bush�s annual �State of the Union� address, in which he spoke about energy issues, particularly the reliance on overseas oil supplies. Bush proposed reducing gasoline usage in the US by 20 percent by 2017. He also highlighted technological responses to the �serious challenge� of climate change. However, critics suggested that the speech should also have addressed vehicle fuel efficiency and the need for emissions reductions targets.

Links to further information
US National Association of Evangelicals press release, 17 January 2007
World Resources Institute Press Release, 22 January 2007

President Bush�s State of the Union address, 23 January 2007
AP/NRDC article, 24 January 2007

MAJOR US GROCERY CHAIN BEGINS USING OZONE-FRIENDLY REFRIGERANTS
Food Lion LLC recently signed on to the US EPA�s GreenChill initiative, a voluntary program encouraging the use of ozone-friendly and climate-friendly refrigerants. In doing so, the company has committed to, inter alia, use ozone-friendly refrigerants in new and remodeled stores. A newly-opened store in Montpelier, Virginia, is already using a new technology that uses naturally-occurring carbon dioxide to cool refrigerated products.

Link to further information
PRNewswire, 16 January 2007

EU PROPOSES 20% EMISSIONS CUTS BY 2020 AS CARBON PRICE FALLS

The European Commission is set to present proposals for a common European energy policy that would seek to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by 2020. The announcement came as carbon prices under the EU�s emissions trading scheme declined further, to one-sixth the levels held during the peak in April 2006. In related news, Norway has announced its intention to become the first non-EU country to join the group�s emissions trading scheme. It will join the trading programme in 2008.

Links to further information
EurActiv report, 8 January 2007
ENDS/WBCSD, 5 January 2007
Reuters/PlanetArk, 28 November 2006

EXXONMOBIL ACCUSED OF ANTI-WARMING CAMPAIGN
Oil company ExxonMobil deliberately created uncertainty about global warming in spite of strong scientific evidence, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists. Alden Meyer, the Union of Concerned Scientists' Director of Strategy & Policy, discussed his organization�s report Smoke, Mirrors & Hot Air: How ExxonMobil Uses Big Tobacco's Tactics to "Manufacture Uncertainty" on Climate Change, which suggests that ExxonMobil has spent US$16 million promoting its views and using methods similar to those used by US tobacco firms in denying the link between smoking and cancer. The allegations were dismissed by ExxonMobil as �deeply offensive and wrong.�

Links to further information
Union of Concerned Scientists press release, 3 January 2007
ExxonMobil statement, January 2007

2007 TO BE WARMEST ON RECORD; 2006 COMES IN SIXTH
2006 is likely to be the sixth warmest year on record, while 2007 could be the warmest ever, according to experts. The warmest half dozen years recorded to date have all occurred since 1998.

Links to further information
UK Met Office, 4 January 2007
World Meteorological Organization, 14 December 2006

STUDY SUGGESTS ANTARCTIC OZONE DEPLETION EXCEEDS ARCTIC OZONE DEPLETION
A study by researchers at the Earth System Research Laboratory, part of the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), suggests that local ozone depletion in the Antarctic during the Antarctic winter often exceeds 90%, while peak losses in the Arctic are only about 70%. In a study published in the 3 January 2007 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the researchers suggest that ozone losses in the Arctic also occur less frequently than those in the Antarctic.

Link to further information
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 3 January 2007

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