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In the headlines: 18 stories you may have missed

Date
26 November 2012
In the headlines: 18 stories you may have missed

Here's a global snapshot of some of the biggest clean technology, economy and policy headlines, from the week commencing November 26, 2012.

Australia

For the first time in several years Australia will not be represented by a minister at a major round of international climate change negotiations, with Greg Combet set to miss talks in Doha starting next week. Mr Combet said he was not attending because after a long year bedding down Australia's carbon price he would be spending some time working on issues in his manufacturing portfolio. The government will be represented by parliamentary secretary for climate change Mark Dreyfus, who has attended most of the climate change negotiations this year on behalf of the government. Sydney Morning Herald, November 21

A Parliamentary committee has called on the state government to promote public discussion of nuclear power generation in NSW and recommended it push for a review of federal laws that prohibit it. The comments are contained in the final report of the NSW Parliament's public accounts committee, which has been inquiring into the economics of energy generation in the state. Sydney Morning Herald, November 22.

China

Talks on a new climate change treaty in Qatar next week will not advance unless rich countries promise more ambitious cuts to greenhouse gas emissions, four major developing nations said. The four nations, Brazil, China, India and South Africa, known in climate talks as the Basic bloc, released a joint ministerial statement late on Tuesday saying responsibility for the outcome of the latest round of UN climate talks in Doha lay in the hands of rich countries. The Guardian, November 21.

Electricity generated from clean energy in China rose 48 percent to 92.7 billion kilowatt hours in October from a year ago as installations grew. In the year to October, electricity generated from clean- energy sources, including from hydro and nuclear plants, increased 26 percent to 810.2 billion kilowatt hours, the State Electricity Regulatory Commission said. That amounts to 20.4 percent of on-grid electricity, 3.6 percent higher from a year ago. Bloomberg, November 23.

Europe

The Irish Government has published its policy statement on the growth of Ireland’s green economy, with a particular focus on creating up to 10,000 jobs by 2015 if actions are taken in areas such as connecting more renewables to the grid and luring more green financial services companies to Ireland.  The policy document outlines the Government's ambition for growth and job creation in the sectors that make up the green economy under the Action Plan for Jobs. With the green economy estimated to be worth over US$5trn globally, the Government is estimating that up to 10,000 green collar jobs could be created in Ireland by 2015. Silicon Republic, November 23.

MEPs have called for the EU to strengthen its emissions reduction ambitions at the forthcoming climate change summit in Doha. A narrow majority of MEPs deemed the current goal of a 20 per cent cut in emissions against 1990 levels by 2020 as incompatible with the EU's stated goal of limiting global temperature increases to 2ºC and voted to adopt a new resolution that would raise the target to 30 per cent. BusinessGreen, November 22.

Global

Wind power could supply one-fifth of total global energy demands by 2030, according to a new report from the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) and Greenpeace International. Clean Technia, November 20.

A report by the UN says global attempts to curb emissions of CO2 are falling well short of what is needed to stem dangerous climate change. The UN's Environment Programme says greenhouse gases are 14% above where they need to be in 2020 for temperature rises this century to remain below 2C. The authors say this target is still technically achievable. BBC News, November 21.

India

The Punjab government on Thursday approved the enactment of ‘New and Renewable Sources of energy (NRSE) Policy- 2012’, to develop and promote new and renewable sources of energy. The policy is aimed at maximising and improving the share of new and renewable sources of energy to 10 per cent of the total installed power capacity of the state by the year 2020 besides promoting renewable energy initiatives for meeting energy and lighting needs. The Indian Express, November 23.

India needs to focus on implementing renewable energy projects and bring down dependence on fossil fuels as the focus will turn towards low carbon economies, according to Dieter Mutz, Director of Indo-German Environment Partnership. He said Japan, Korea and Germany, Switzerland and Sweden are among early initiators focussing on bringing down carbon emissions in their plants. Significantly China too has made rapid strides. Business Line, November 23.

North America

If the federal government invested the $1.3 billion it gives the oil and gas industry annually in subsidies into clean energy, the cash injection would create nearly 20,000 new jobs across Canada, according to a report by an organization of unions and environmental groups called Blue Green Canada. The Star, November 22.

Barack Obama is being pressed for proof of his intent to act on climate change ahead of next week's United Nations global warming summit in Doha. The proof might boil down to just two words: two degrees. An early statement at Doha that America remains committed to the global goal of limiting warming to 2C above pre-industrial levels would be a clear sign. The Guardian, November 23.

UK

Scotland’s ambitious target of generating 100 per cent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020 is “achievable”, a Scottish Parliament Committee has concluded in an extensive report on the nation’s clean energy objectives. However, the Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee found that there is a risk that the target for renewable sources to provide 11 per cent of Scotland's heat demand by the end of the decade may not be met. E2B Pulse, November 23.

British government support for low-carbon electricity generation will triple by 2020 after the energy and finance ministries on Friday reached a deal over costly reforms. The agreement is expected to boost the share of renewables in Britain's energy mix to 30 percent by 2020, outpacing European Union targets of 20 percent, and create thousands of new jobs. Under the agreed Levy Control Framework, spending on renewable power generation will increase to 7.6 billion pounds ($12.12 billion) a year in real terms by 2020, from the current 2.35 billion pounds, to reduce dependence on gas. Reuters, November 23. Read our story: Mark Kenber: UK Energy Bill is a missed opportunity.

Electric Vehicles


General Electric (GE) has signed a major deal to buy thousands of Ford electric cars, in what will been seen as a major boost to the emerging market for low emission vehicles. Ford confirmed that it will deliver 2,000 C-Max Energi plug-in hybrids to GE's corporate fleet, and will also help to promote GE's electric and natural gas refuelling stations to commercial buyers. BusinessGreen, November 21.

London's East End, Glasgow and Edinburgh are the locations most likely to drive demand for electric cars, according to a major new study from British Gas. The study concluded the three cities, along with Epsom and Brighton, boast the most households with the all-important mix of affluence and interest in environmental issues that tends to characterise early adoption of electric vehicle technologies. BusinessGreen, November 23.

LED Lighting

Speaking to reporters at an interactive lighting experience centre, Nirupam Sahay, president at Philips Lighting said: "The LED market in India is expected to touch $478 million by 2015 from the current $101 million in 2011." Business Standard, November 23.

New LED street lights which alter their brightness according to the amount of traffic, have been installed in Bath. Some 2,000 LED lights have been fitted by Bath and North East Somerset Council (BANES) following a successful trial of the scheme at Hicks Gate last year. A further 2,000 conventional street lights are due to be replaced with the energy-saving lights. The council estimates they will save taxpayers £200,000 per year and reduce carbon emissions by 800 tonnes. BBC News, November 17.

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