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In the headlines: Obama to unveil new national climate change strategy and first local authority in Britain converts all main road lights to LEDs

Date
24 June 2013
In the headlines: Obama to unveil new national climate change strategy and first local authority in Britain converts all main road lights to LEDs

Clean Revolution news stories you may have missed

Global

International efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions and restrict temperature rises of around 2°C could result in significant economic opportunities for Brazil, thanks to its fast-expanding renewable energy sector and access to highly competitive oil reserves. That is the conclusion of a major new report from the Carbon Tracker group, which argues that the South America powerhouse is relatively well positioned to avoid the development of a "carbon bubble", whereby companies place high valuations on fossil fuel reserves that are unlikely to be exploited if governments take concerted action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. BusinessGreen, June 24.

Asia-Pacific

Singapore’s smog level reached an all-time high as officials head to Jakarta to discuss ways to stem the pollution caused by forest burning on the Indonesian island of Sumatra. Singapore’s Pollutant Standards Index jumped to 371 at 1 p.m., the National Environment Agency, or NEA, said on its website. A reading above 300 is deemed hazardous. At an emergency press conference, Environment and Water Resources Minister Vivian Balakrishnan said nobody should pollute and make money at others’ expense. Bloomberg, June 19.

The areas in Australia with the strongest take-up of solar energy have MPs who largely don't support the sector, according to a new scorecard of federal Australian MPs that grades them on his or her attitude to solar power. The 100% Renewable Energy's solar scorecard has ranked each House of Representatives member on various criteria, including their commitment to the renewable energy target, carbon pricing and support for large-scale solar projects. The Guardian, June 21.

China

Donghai Wind Power Co. expects to begin building the second phase of its Donghai Bridge wind farm near Shanghai at the end of the year. The project, which will take 20 months to build, will use 28 turbines from Shanghai Electric Group Company capable of producing 3.6 megawatts each. Bloomberg, June 20.

Europe

A new lobby group has called for regional, national and European-wide legislators to achieve a 100% renewable energy target within the next four decades. The Global Alliance for 100% Renewable Energy, founded by World Future Council (WFC) and research institute Fraunhofer ISE among others, has criticised European governments of being the main hurdle in successfully combating climate change. RTCC.org, June 19.

India

India and the US can build a strong and smart future as the two nations have the ability to tackle the three major challenges of economy, security and climate change, said US Secretary of State John Kerry, on his maiden visit to India after taking charge at the State Department early this year. In the backdrop of his visit, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) said it would facilitate a $100-million investment in India’s clean energy sector. The Hindu Business Line, June 23.

More investors are backing wind energy projects as low valuations make the sector attractive for risk capital deals. This year over 1,500 crore has been invested so far and the momentum is expected to continue with deep-pocketed players, such as Goldman Sachs, increasing their exposure in the sector. The Economic Times, June 24.

North America

President Barack Obama will unveil the USA’s new national climate change strategy in a speech at Georgetown University on Tuesday. In a video posted on the White House website over the weekend, Obama said the plan would reduce pollution, prepare the country for future climate impacts and place it at the front of international efforts to tackle the issue. Framing a transition to a low carbon economy as an economic opportunity for the US, Obama said all citizens needed to “protect god’s creation”. RTCC.org, June 23.

If US businesses act now to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an average of 3 percent annually, they can save up to $190 billion in 2020 alone, or $780 billion over 10 years, according to ‘The 3% Solution: Driving Profits Through Carbon Reduction’, a new report by World Wildlife Fund and CDP. The report highlights that reducing carbon emissions by 3 percent annually from now to 2020 – equivalent to cutting total annual GHGs in 2020 by 1.2 gigatonnes of CO2 from 2010 levels – is enough to put the US corporate sector on track for a 25 percent reduction against 1990 levels. Environmental Leader, June 20.

UK

PA Consulting Group’s Energy Investment Map has reviewed the potential of 30 different countries in the renewable and conventional energy sectors, and ranked the UK in sixth place. According to the report, the UK has been boosted by investment in onshore and offshore wind. These two technologies got the highest mark – 150+ points – in terms of investment potential. It was 12th in the index of conventional energy. Blue & Green Tomorrow, June 20.

LED Lighting

Bath & North East Somerset Council are currently celebrating the achievement of being the first local authority in the United Kingdom to convert all main road lights to LED technology. The accomplishment is expected to cut energy use by more than 1.5 Kilowatt Hours (Kwh) and to add to this, the council is expected to make savings of around £200,000 a year in electricity bills. BusinessGreen, June 19.

Innovation

Nissan has unveiled the design for its latest electric car, promising that the ZEOD RC will become the world's fastest electric racing car when it debuts at the world famous Le Mans 24 Hour race next year. The company said the car, which is expected to deliver top speeds of over 300km/hour, will be used to trial a number of different electric drive train technologies and further highlight the viability of electric motoring. BusinessGreen, June 24.

Tesla has unveiled a system that swaps battery packs in its electric cars in about 90 seconds that could provide an alternative to recharging. Company chief executive Elon Musk said battery swap stations could be rolled out between Los Angeles and San Francisco in California later this year, with more to follow along the East Coast from Washington up to Boston. BusinessGreen, June 21.

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