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22 October 2012

Here's a global snapshot of some of the biggest clean technology, economy and policy headlines, from the week commencing October 15, 2012.


A recently published report by GlobalData shows that Australian tidal power development has the potential to produce four time’s the nation’s power needs. The report was compiled utilizing data from primary and secondary research, databases, and in-house analysis. According to the report, the Southern Ocean (comprising the southernmost waters of the world’s oceans) is considered one of the most consistent sources of tidal energy worldwide. Australia has been implementing various initiatives to generate 20% of its power needs from renewable sources by 2020., October 18.


The EU has proposed limiting the contribution of fuels made from crops towards its renewable energy transport target, but was accused of watering down plans to reduce the indirect impact of biofuels. Commissioners published proposals preventing biofuels derived from wheat or rapeseed from making up any more than five per cent of the bloc's 10 per cent renewable energy target for 2020, first set in 2008. All subsidies for food-based fuels will also be removed from 2020. BusinessGreen, October 17.


Saudi Arabia, the world's biggest oil producer, has plans to become 100% powered by renewable and low-carbon forms of energy, according to an influential member of the royal family. Prince Turki Al Faisal Al Saud, founder of the King Faisal Foundation and one of the state's top spokesmen, told the Global Economic Symposium in Brazil that he hoped the kingdom might be powered entirely by low-carbon energy within his lifetime – he is 67 – but that he thought it was likely to take longer. The Guardian, October 19.


Developing countries are allocating more money than the developed world for fighting climate change, the UN said Wednesday, lauding India for pledging $50 million for bio-diversity conservation. United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Executive Director Achim Steiner, who attended the 11th meeting of the Conference of Parties on Conservation of Bio-diversity observed that the rich nations are yet to give money promised to poor nations for fighting climate change. Lauding India's efforts in bio-diversity conservation, Steiner said: "Prime minister of India yesterday (Tuesday) announced $50 million for bio-diversity conservation, thus sending a signal the issue if rising of political radar of the government." Khaleej Times, October 18.

Interview with Jeffrey Sachs, director of The Earth Institute at Columbia University, in which he states that India needs to raise its tax revenues substantially, for public spending. In New Delhi to take part in the OECD World Forum, he also speaks about the political system in the US and India needs big change and why he favours nuclear energy. Business Standard, October 22.

North America

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has derided US President Barack Obama, saying his rival has "no agenda" worthy of a second term in office. At a campaign rally in Florida, he said the Obama campaign had been "reduced to petty attacks and silly word games". Hours earlier, Mr Obama decried Mr Romney for shifting his positions as election day draws nearer, saying the Republican suffers from "Romnesia". The two meet for their final debate, on foreign policy, in Florida on Monday. BBC News, October 20.

Despite an intense politically and economically driven war against science, logic and common sense, more Americans are buying into the theory -- supported by the vast majority of climate researchers -- that the Earth actually, truly is warming. According to a new study called "Climate Change in the American Mind," 70% of Americans surveyed last month said they believed in global warming, up from 57% in January 2010. Meanwhile, global warming deniers in the U.S. are dwindling, down to 12% last month from 20% in January 2010. IT World, October 18.


Revolutionary new technology that produces “petrol from air” is being produced by a British firm. A small company in the north of England has developed the “air capture” technology to create synthetic petrol using only air and electricity. Experts hailed the astonishing breakthrough as a potential “game-changer” in the battle against climate change and a saviour for the world’s energy crisis. Daily Telegraph, October 18.

Low carbon businesses have been urged to seek contracts in Brazil and South Korea, after two new government reports highlighted billions of pounds of green opportunities in the emerging economies. UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) published two reports earlier this week on green investment opportunities in Brazil, the world's sixth largest economy, and South Korea, the 12th largest. BusinessGreen, October 17.

Electric vehicles

A UK-based automaker has revealed plans to try to break the land speed record for an electric vehicle next year. Dale Vince and his team at Ecotricity may have only recently smashed the previous 12-year record, reaching 151 miles per hour in the Nemesis electric car. But the Lightning Car Company is now working on plans to try to seize the new record. BusinessGreen, October 19.

LED Lighting

Rezidor has announced over 300 of its hotels worldwide will swap all their standard light bulbs in public spaces for energy efficient LEDs by the end of next year. The owner of the Radisson, Missoni, and Regent hotel brands has signed a deal with Philips to complete the transformation of its portfolio as part of its ThinkPlanet sustainability plan. BusinessGreen, October 19.

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