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In the headlines: The U.S. Energy Department launches “eGallon" and Interbrand's Best Global Green Brands report is released

Date
17 June 2013
In the headlines: The U.S. Energy Department launches “eGallon" and Interbrand's Best Global Green Brands report is released

Clean Revolution news stories you may have missed:


Global

United Nations talks aimed at securing a global deal on climate change in 2015 made solid progress at the latest meeting in Bonn, even though a key negotiating track was suspended early in the week. That was the conclusion of the UN's climate change secretariat, the UNFCCC, which insisted week-long talks that ended on Friday had taken concrete steps towards delivering on the Durban Platform negotiating roadmap, boosting the use of renewable energy and carbon capture and storage, and bolstering low carbon investment. BusinessGreen, June 17.

Sir Richard Branson and Jochen Zeitz, former chief executive of Puma and current director of Kering, launched a new global collaboration to drive transformational change in the business sector. The B Team brings together an initial 14 leaders from major corporations around the world, including Unilever, Natura, Celtel, Tata and Kering, in an attempt to enlarge projects that demonstrate that long-term business success can be built only by prioritising people and planet alongside profit. Guardian Sustainable Business, June 13.

Interbrand's Best Global Green Brands report, has just been released and topping the sustainability list are automotive giants Toyota, Ford and Honda, while Nissan is noted as the biggest riser. However, technology brands dominate the overall report – Panasonic leads the category – while there are notable mentions for apparel/retail brands such as Adidas, Nike and H&M. Guardian Sustainable Business, June 12.

Australia

Australia's Resources and Energy Minister Gary Gray says a new program aims to generate 150 MW of electricity from renewable energy sources, such as solar, wind and hybrid plants, in regional and remote locations in the country within five years. The Regional Australia's Renewables initiative, supported by A$400 million in funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), could dramatically cut diesel use by remote communities and mining companies, the ministry says. Solar Industry, June 10.

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency has launched a $60 million initiative which will allow for information, data and lessons learnt by the clean energy industry to be shared. The SHARE (Supporting High-value Australian Renewable Energy) initiative will aim to overcome barriers and increase the use of renewable energy. The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) is seeking industry applications from July 1 through the expanded Emerging Renewables Program for projects to close knowledge gaps in three priority areas for 2013/14: understanding renewable energy potential, grid integration and international engagement. Ecogeneration, June 13.

China

China's cabinet approved new measures to combat air pollution on Friday, in the latest step by China's new leadership to address the country's enormous environmental problems, with pollution a key source of rising social discontent in China. The government also promised to support China's troubled solar power industry, despite problems with overcapacity and ongoing trade disputes with the United States and Europe. In a meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang, the State Council approved 10 anti-pollution measures, the council said in a statement posted on its website late Friday. Climate Spectator, June 17.

Europe

A surplus of Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) carbon permits will require the European Union to cut emissions by an extra 7 percentage points to meet its 2030 climate goals, according to the Next Step in Europe’s Climate Action: Setting Targets for 2030 report conducted by environmental research company Ecofys. Environmental Leader, June 12.

India

To give a boost to its efforts to bring down the cost of solar power in India, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) is planning to roll out large megawatt size solar power projects, in the order of 500 MW and above. "We want to bring in volume in the Indian solar sector. Several states have already rolled out mega-sized solar power projects, its needs to be done at central level too," said Tarun Kapoor, joint secretary, MNRE. The Economic Times, June 14.

India has made it clear that it will not support a global climate change regime that simply links commitment to reduce carbon emissions to a country's financial resources. At the latest round of UN-sponsored climate change negotiations underway in Bonn, India said linking emission reduction to a country's financial resources would in effect put the burden developing countries. Instead, of using financial resources to determine emission reduction targets, India strongly advocated basing it on science and the principles of equity enshrined in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. The Economic Times, June 12.

North America

The U.S. government have changed the way they record carbon emissions that could have wide-ranging implications for everything from power plants to the Keystone XL pipeline. The increase of the so-called social cost of carbon, to $38 a metric ton in 2015 from $23.80, adjusts the calculation the government uses to weigh costs and benefits of proposed regulations. The figure is meant to approximate losses from global warming such as flood damage and diminished crops. Bloomberg, June 12.

Chief Financial Officer Bob Shanks of the No. 2 U.S. carmaker ‘Ford Motors’ has just released the company’s 14th annual sustainability report. The Michigan-based company is targeting a 30 percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions per vehicle from its factories by 2025 after a 37 percent cut from 2000 to 2010. Chief Executive Officer Alan Mulally’s mantra, established soon after joining Ford from Boeing Co. in 2006, was that green needs to be among four attributes for all of the automaker’s vehicles, along with quality, safe and smart. Bloomberg, June 14.

UK

The growing threat posed by climate change to business operations demands that companies invest in assessing their vulnerabilities and taking steps to mitigate risks, analysts have warned. Consultancy giant PwC has published a new report examining climate change impacts around the world, which concludes that the international threats and opportunities for UK business and investment are likely to be "an order of magnitude" larger than the domestic impacts. BusinessGreen, June 17.

Electricity in the U.K. is poised to cost almost twice as much as in Germany within two years as Britain lags behind in building solar and wind plants. U.K. power will be 85 percent more expensive than in Europe’s biggest energy market in May 2015, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Bloomberg, June 14.

The British Gas owner, Centrica, will invest up to £160m in shale gas exploration and development in the north-west after agreeing a deal with Britain's leading fracking company. Centrica has bought a 25% stake in the Bowland exploration licence in Lancashire from Cuadrilla Resources and AJ Lucas for £40m. It will pay a further £60m in exploration and appraisal costs. Guardian Environment, June 13.

LED Lighting

Panasonic Corp. announced June 10 that it will expand its interior light-emitting diode lighting business in Asia to more than double its overseas sales of lighting products by fiscal 2015. The electronics company said that starting with the introduction of interior LED lighting fixtures in Vietnam in June, it plans to expand the sales to Indonesia, India, Taiwan and Hong Kong. Panasonic will also expand its LED lighting fixtures to China, where it already is marketing ceiling lights. The Asahi Shimbun, June 11.

Innovation

Ecotricity's motorway electric car charging network saw a huge 45-fold jump in use in the final quarter of last year, the green energy company has revealed. Adding three super-chargers to the existing 14 standard charger units already installed at Welcome Break service stations resulted in over 4,000kWh of electricity being consumed between February and April 2013 compared to just 87kWh during the corresponding three month period last year. BusinessGreen, June 17.

The U.S. Energy Department has launched “eGallon,” a quick and easy online state-by-state system for drivers to compare the cost of fueling an electric vehicle with the cost of driving the same distance on unleaded regular gasoline. Find it here. Environmental News Service, June 11.

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