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In the headlines: global green trade to reach $2.2 trillion & Scotland proposes a switch to LED

Date
13 May 2013
In the headlines: global green trade to reach $2.2 trillion & Scotland proposes a switch to LED

Clean Revolution news stories you may have missed

Global

The global market for low carbon and energy efficient technologies, including renewable energy supply products, will triple to $2.2 trillion by 2020, the United Nations Environment Programme forecasts in a report. The UNEP report, Green Economy and Trade-Trends, Challenges and Opportunities, says developing countries with abundant renewable resources are well-positioned to increase their share in international markets for sustainable goods and services. Environmental Leader, May 9.

For the first time in human history, the concentration of climate-warming carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has passed the milestone level of 400 parts per million (ppm). The last time so much greenhouse gas was in the air was several million years ago, when the Arctic was ice-free, savannah spread across the Sahara desert and sea level was up to 40 metres higher than today. The Guardian, May 10. Read The Climate Group's views on this news story.

Australia

Victoria, Australia’s second-most populous state, plans to boost management of its water resources by increasing funding by A$50 million ($51 million). “The work will make sure the use of rainfall, stormwater and wastewater is maximized to reduce the need for future large- scale pipelines, desalination plants and pumping and treatment plants,” Water Minister Peter Walsh said. Bloomberg New Energy Finance, May 8.

The environmental campaign against the expansion of Australia’s fossil fuel industry, and in particular against the further development of coal and gas export projects in the Great Barrier Reef area, has turned its focus on the banks who are driving the growth with multi-billion dollar investments. A new report has identified the ‘big four’ Australian banks – ANZ, Commonwealth, NAB and Westpac – as the heaviest lenders to coal and gas export projects in the World Heritage Area, sparking a call for Australians to abandon these banks if they continue to invest in fossil fuel mines and exports. Renew Economy, May 2.

China

China Guangdong Nuclear (CGN) is investing RMB4.5bn ($731m) into building an offshore wind farm on Dalian Island, Pingtan, which is expected to be finished next year. According to China Daily, Tang Jiansheng, vice-general manager of CGN said, ‘Pingtan boasts rich, clean energy resources and has great potential for wind energy and tidal energy. ‘The development conditions are good too. CGN hopes to play a role in the exploration of clean energy here and make a significant contribution.’ CGN and Pingtan’s administrative committee signed a framework agreement late last year to enhance cooperation in wind and tidal power and seawater desalinisation. NewNet, May 10.

China and the United States have formed a pair of working groups to examine and work together on the issues of climate change and cybersecurity. The two countries also published a joint statement on climate change, saying: "The United States of America and the People's Republic of China recognise that the increasing dangers presented by climate change measured against the inadequacy of the global response requires a more focused and urgent initiative." Wired, April 14.

North America

The biggest backers of the Democratic causes urged Barack Obama on Friday to take historic action on climate change by rejecting the Keystone XL pipeline. In a letter seen by the Guardian, 150 high-profile figures, who between them raised millions for Obama's two election campaigns, urged the president to use the next four years to avoid the most catastrophic consequences of climate change. "Yours is the last presidency in which it is possible for America to choose a responsible path forward for itself, before climate disruption becomes unmanageably dangerous," the letter said. The Guardian, May 10.

A unit of Warren Buffett’s MidAmerican Energy Holdings Co. plans to invest $1.9 billion to build additional wind farms in Iowa that would increase its wind generating capacity in the state by about half. MidAmerican Energy Co., Iowa’s largest utility, plans to build as much as 1,050 megawatts of new wind power plants in the state, adding to about 2,285 megawatts of projects that it already owns and operates. Bloomberg New Energy Finance, May 8.

UK

The U.K. Green Investment Bank said it’s committed a total of 635 million pounds ($987 million) to 11 renewable energy and carbon-reduction projects. The value of the deals including private-sector funding is 2.3 billion pounds, meaning every pound has leveraged almost three pounds of additional cash. The total is for the five months through March 31, and includes already-announced loans to companies such as Shanks Group Plc and Drax Group Plc. Bloomberg, May 9.

Electric Vehicles

Tesla’s shares are soaring — even more than they already did this week — on news that the company has hit the milestone of delivering the first quarterly profit in the company’s history. Tesla’s shares rose at one point almost 30 percent in after hour trading to over $70 per share. Earlier this week Tesla’s shares had hit an all-time high of over $60 per share. Gigaom, 8 May.

China is not just the largest automotive market in the world - it's also become a hotbed for electric car innovation with Dongfeng Motor Group outlining its commitment to the technology with a double header. First it announced that it will team up with South Korean conglomerate LS Group to co-operate on both electric and hybrid cars. Together they will build a strategic partnership to develop components for electric vehicles that will be used in the China market: such as powertrains, energy storage systems, electrical systems and charging systems. Meanwhile, the company has also taken delivery of its first lithium-ion battery system from Electrovaya Inc. TheGreenCarWebsite, May 9.

LED Lighting

Every street light in Scotland could be fitted with low-energy LED bulbs as part of ambitious plans to cut CO2 emissions, ministers said on Thursday. The Scottish government unveiled proposals for the green investment bank (GIB) to fund the Scotland-wide LED lighting programme as part of a £500m package of climate and green energy measures. The Guardian, May 9.

Waitrose is to replace all its store lighting with LEDs by 2020 as part of a raft of measures to reduce its carbon footprint. The announcement is one of 12 CSR pledges launched by the supermarket under its ‘Waitrose Way Commitments’. As well as retrofitting low energy lighting it has pledged to power over 40 of its stores with renewable woodchips by the end of the decade. This is in addition to its current practice of using low carbon technology for any new-builds and 100% renewable energy in all its UK stores. 2Degrees, May 8.

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