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In the headlines: US green jobs grow four times faster than other areas of employment

Date
25 March 2013
In the headlines: US green jobs grow four times faster than other areas of employment

Clean Revolution news stories you may have missed:

Global

Representatives from the Least Developed Countries (LDC) group are meeting in Kathmandu to discuss their plans to raise ambition at the UN climate talks. The three-day strategy event will see around 20 key members discuss their strategy for the COP19 UN talks in Warsaw at the end of the year as well as plans for a global climate deal in 2015. LDC nations are among the most vulnerable to the effects of climate change, either as a result of rising sea levels or an increased frequency of extreme weather events. The 49-nation coalition is dominated by African and South East Asian countries such as Ethiopia, Rwanda and Bangladesh, plus smaller island states like Samoa and Haiti. RTCC, March 22.

Global investment in clean energy climbed to a record $250 billion last year despite adverse worldwide economic conditions, the president of the International Solar Energy Society said in an interview in Mexico. David Renee told EFE that although that figure is still small compared with total global energy investment, the amount spent on renewable energy technologies continues to grow every year and at a pace faster than that of traditional technologies. The Times of India, March 18.

Australia

Escalating climate change will have an impact on every aspect of Australian Defence Force operations, a report warns, with rising natural disasters and changes to the "physical battle space" affecting Defence's mission, facilities and strategic environment. The ADF will have to permanently abandon the idea of Christmas as a time of relaxation and get used to a world where increased floods, fires, storms and cyclones keep it busy throughout summer. And it will have to review defence equipment and infrastructure to ensure they can withstand higher temperatures and wilder weather. Sydney Morning Herald, March 25.

Victorians will face greater danger from heatwaves because of climate change and inadequate planning, a new report says. On the back of Australia's hottest summer on record, and with heatwaves predicted to become more frequent, the state must upgrade its preparation and emergency responses, says the Victorian Council of Social Service (VCOSS) report. The council's Feeling the Heat report says the 2009 Victorian heatwave, linked to an estimated 374 deaths, showed the devastation that extreme heat can have and the strain it places on health and emergency services. Sydney Morning Herald, March 25.

China

China, forecast to become the biggest solar market this year, may restructure its subsidies to favor smaller projects over larger ones to promote new plants in in areas with power shortages, an industry official said. A new policy may abolish one-time subsidies, Meng Xiangan, vice chairman of the China Renewable Energy Society in Beijing, said in an interview. Renewable Energy World, March 19.

China needs a "renewed reform momentum" to sustain long term growth, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has said. It said the financial sector, urbanization, state ownership and innovation were key areas for reforms. But it added that China had weathered the global financial crisis better than other OECD member countries. It said China was on track to become the world's biggest economy by 2016, after allowing for price differences. BBC News, March 22.

Europe

European consumer groups are pushing for even more stringent emissions targets for cars to keep driving as affordable as possible. The European parliament will hold another committee vote on Tuesday as it continues to thrash out targets for vehicle CO2 emissions for 2020, which would also curb fuel consumption. The European commission has proposed a cap on vehicle emissions of 95g of CO2 per kilometre driven by the end of the decade, although there are disputes about how this would be enforced. The Guardian, March 24.

India

Indian renewable energy owner and operator Greenko has added six new run-of-river hydroelectric plants to its development pipeline, HydroWorld.com has learned. Funding for the projects will come in large part from the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC), which announced that it will invest approximately US$150 million into the project via Greenko's Mauritius division. The six hydel plants will have a cumulative installed capacity of 425 MW and will be spread across India's Himachal Pradesh and Arunachal Pradesh -- both of which have attracted a number of interest from hydro developers in recent months. Renewable Energy World, March 19.

North America

Clean-energy jobs make up a small part of U.S. employment, but a new federal report shows they are growing much faster than other work, even healthcare. The nation had about 3.4 million green energy jobs in 2011, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said Tuesday in its second annual and final look at this emerging category of employment. In all, so-called green jobs accounted for just 2.6% of all employment that year, but a comparison with 2010 data shows that these jobs grew at four times the rate of all the others combined. Green employment jumped 4.9% in 2011 from the prior year. That compares with a gain of 1.2% for all jobs and 2.7% for restaurants, 1.7% for manufacturing and 1.8% for healthcare, which is often seen as the fastest-growing sector. Los Angeles Times, March 19.

Los Angeles plans to abandon coal power in favour of renewable energy, natural gas, and a programme of energy efficiency. The City's municipal-owned utility, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP), announced it will phase out electricity from the coal-fired 2,250MW Navajo Generating Station and 1,800MW Intermountain Power Project (IPP) in Utah that currently provide just under 40 per cent of the metropolis's power. "The era of coal is over. Today we affirm our commitment to make Los Angeles a cleaner, greener, more sustainable city," Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said in a statement. BusinessGreen, March 20.

UK

Climate-proofing new offices, hospitals, schools, roads and railways should be mandated to protect the UK's economy against the growing climate risk posed by increasingly frequent floods, storms and droughts. That is the central recommendation of a new report from the Grantham Institute, which says action should be taken now to ensure critical services and systems are ready to cope with both current climate variability and the likelihood that extreme weather incidents will become more frequent and severe. BusinessGreen, March 25.

The government's chief scientist has said that there is already enough CO2 in the atmosphere for there to be more floods and droughts over the next 25 years. Prof Sir John Beddington said there was a "need for urgency" in tackling climate change. He said that the later governments left it, the harder it would be to combat. Prof Beddington made his comments in the final week of his tenure as the government's chief scientific adviser. BBC News, March 25.

Electric Vehicles

China will save the electric car, Renault-Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn predicts - and with it the vision of battery-powered motoring on which he has staked his credibility. Ghosn, who has ploughed a bigger share of his companies' cash into the technology than any other mass-market carmaker, struck a determinedly optimistic note as he released Renault's Zoe into a European market notable for its scarcity of electric car chargers and customers. Reuters, March 18.

LED Lighting

A US student has won a $30,000 (£20,080) grant to develop a new way of manufacturing LEDs. Ming Ma, who is studying at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Insititute in New York State in the USA, beat three other students to the Lemelson-Rensselaer grant after proposing changes to the way the surfaces of diodes are designed. Ming’s invention could possibly allow more light to be produced and reduce the environmental impact and overall cost of producing light. Lighting, March 13.

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