Japan 2020 Climate Target “Very Difficult” to Meet: Minister

Ethical Markets Resource Efficiency

Japan will unlikely be able to cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 25 percent under 1990 levels by 2020, Environment Minister Goshi Hosono said Friday, the clearest sign yet that the world’s number four emitter will have to renege on its 2009 emissions cut pledge.



EU leaders set to adopt Growth Compact

European leaders will adopt a ‘Compact for Growth and Jobs’ at their summit on Thursday and Friday in Brussels, stressing the importance of restoring economic growth in Europe, according to the draft conclusions of the meeting seen by EurActiv.



Going green could add USD31billion to UK economy by 2015

The low-carbon products and services sector, often referred to as green business, could contribute 20 billion pounds (USD31.16 billion) to Britain’s economy by 2015, the country’s leading business lobby said on Thursday 5 July.



UNEP, EU Committee of the Regions Sign MoU on Sustainable Cities

The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) announced it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the EU’s Committee of the Regions (CoR). The MoU seeks to strengthen the role of local and regional authorities within the policy decision-making process, and emphasizes the importance of placing sustainable cities at the heart of the global strategy on sustainable development.



US court upholds Environmental Protection Agency’s greenhouse gas rules

A U.S. appeals court on 26 June upheld the first-ever U.S. proposed rules governing heat-trapping greenhouse gases, clearing a path for sweeping regulations affecting vehicles, coal-burning power plants and other industrial facilities.




EU Climate Chief Reaffirms CO2 Plan amid Opposition

The European Commission will publish its proposal to prop up carbon prices before its summer break in August, its climate Chief Connie Hedegaard said Tuesday, rejecting reports that internal division within the Commission could delay the proposal.



Europe’s Cities Plan to Combat Mounting Climate Risk

European cities are planning to adapt to climate change as the risks become more severe, a report by UK-based emissions measurement organization the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) and consultancy Accenture showed on 29 June.



Court Ruling to Shift Greenhouse Gas Fight Back to Congress

An appeals court decision to uphold proposed federal greenhouse gas rules may shift the fight over regulating the heat-trapping emissions back to Congress, where lawmakers may step up efforts to diminish the EPA’s power or renew efforts to set a price on carbon, experts said.



Danes make ‘serious opening’ for greener EU budget

The Danish EU presidency says it has negotiated an EU budget for 2014-2020 that is “seriously open” to investments in climate-friendly technologies at the regional level.





Green groups: Barroso Team Too Slow on Environment

The European Commission has been too slow in advancing earth-friendly policies on agriculture and energy, a group of environmentalists said on 3 July in a mid-term scorecard of the EU executive’s performance.



Finding the Right Mix to Spur Greener Consumption

World leaders attending the recent Rio+20 conference agreed to promote sustainable consumption and production, but analysts say getting businesses and buyers to do just that will require far more than words on paper.



APEC Energy Ministers to Boost Energy Efficiency and Renewables

Energy ministers from the 21 countries in the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) group have announced a range of initiatives to improve energy security in the region, including developing renewable energy sources and boosting energy end-use efficiency.



Reactor Restarts, But Japan’s Energy Policy in Flux

Buffeted by industry worries about high electricity costs on one side and public safety fears about nuclear power on the other, Japan’s leaders are still struggling to craft a coherent energy policy more than a year after the Fukushima disaster.



The six Green Deal questions that still need answering

The Green Deal has the potential to transform the UK’s building stock, but with three months to go important questions remain unanswered. Environment blogger for the UK Guardian explores these questions.


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Industry, business and utilities

Japanese Team to Start Verification Test on Sewage Heat Pump

Japan’s Kansai Electric Power Company, Osaka City University, Sogo Setsubi Consulting Co. and Chuo Fukken Consultants Co. announced on March 7, 2012, that they have completed building facilities for verification tests on sewage heat recovery and heat accommodation technology using urban sewage networks, and will start operation of the facilities soon. This project is part of the Project on Research and Development of a Next-generation Heat Pump System promoted by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO).



NEDO Launches Project to Improve Automotive Recycling in Beijing

Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) announced on 21 March 2012, the launch of a project to develop and demonstrate a strategy to introduce a Japanese automotive recycling system to the Chinese market, where the volume of in-use vehicles is drastically increasing. Toyota Tsusho Corp., a trading company of the Toyota Group, was assigned to undertake the project, with a budget of roughly 470 million yen (USD5.7 million) from FY2011 to FY2012.



New York Adopts CO2 Rules That Limit New Coal Power Plants

New York environmental regulators on Thursday adopted carbon dioxide emissions (CO2) limits for new and expanded power plants that are slightly stricter than proposed federal limits and make it nearly impossible to build a new coal unit in the state. The new regulation will take effect July 12.



EBRD Invests in Energy Efficiency Upgrades in Slovakia

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has approved a 8.5 year loan of US 150 million to the ?entral European energy company MOL Group to modernize its Slovakian member, Slovnaft Group, a refining and petrochemical company. 



EC clears free EUAs for Czech, Romanian and Bulgarian utilities

The EU has given permission for Bulgaria, the Czech Republic and Romania to give their power companies a total of 233 million carbon allowances for free over the next seven years, according to a statement on the Commission website.



Old district heating systems ‘at risk of bankruptcy’

District heating systems have not been modernised in many EU member states, although they currently provide over 60% of heat and hot water in Nordic and Eastern European countries.


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UK MPs Give Green Light to Loan Plan for Home Insulation

New law will allow homeowners to borrow up to GBP10,000 at 7.5% interest rate.



Saitama Prefecture Introduces First “Green Roof” Convenience Store Project

Saitama Prefecture in central Japan announced the introduction of a green roof project on the top of a major convenience store, the first such attempt in the prefecture to plant vegetation on a roof as a greening initiative. The prefecture and Ministop agreed on comprehensive cooperation in 13 areas, including environmental conservation, starting in 2010.



Benefits of Insulation Quantified New Zealand

New Zealand’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) delivers the Warm Up New Zealand: Heat Smart Programme, under which subsidies are provided towards the costs of retrofitting insulation and/or installing clean heating for pre-2000 houses. A series of reports on the results of the programme, commissioned by the Ministry of Economic Development, found that insulating houses leads to significant savings on the country’s health bill.


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Tokyo Suburb Starts Car & Bike Sharing Program

Fussa City, located in a suburban area of Tokyo, launched an electric car and electric-assisted bicycle sharing service in 2012. The service, which is available to tourists as well as residents, is the first attempt of its kind in Tokyo.



EEA Highlights Increase in Sale of Fuel-Efficient Vehicles in the EU

The European Environment Agency (EEA) has released a report titled “Monitoring CO2 emissions from new passenger cars in the EU: summary of data for 2011” which indicates that fuel efficiency of new vehicles increased by 3.3% in the EU from 2010-2011.



Sustainable Urban Mobility: Commission Campaign Boosts Support to Fight Congestion & Pollution

The Commission’s Sustainable Urban Mobility campaign was launched and represents a three-year initiative aiming to support sustainable urban mobility campaigners in 31 countries. Activities began today with the opening of a registration system to support outstanding actions for fostering positive change in attitudes and behaviour.



Fiat clashes with German carmakers on EU CO2 law

Proposals to toughen EU standards on car emissions have put the giants of the German auto industry on collision course with makers of lighter vehicles, including Italy’s Fiat.


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Appliances and equipment

Developers Target Canadian Air Conditioning Equipment for Carbon Credits

Project developer Blue Source Canada has become the first company in Canada to generate carbon credits for destroying emissions of ozone depleting substances in old heating, ventilation and air conditioning equipment, units the developer hopes will be allowed to be used in Quebec’s emerging carbon market.



Appliance Makers Press for Eco-Design Legislation

Electronics giants Electrolux, Philips and the Bosch and Siemens Group said yesterday (June 21) that the European Commission must speed up the ecodesign legislation to help businesses and consumers save billions of euros through more efficient products.



Doubt Cast over Consumer Benefits of Smart Meters

The European Commission has asked member states to present before September their cost-benefit analyses on the deployment of smart meters that could lead to 80% of consumers being equipped with intelligent metering systems by 2020. But a recent study casts doubts over their cost-effectiveness and the benefits they bring to consumers.



EU wants carbon labels to do what they say on the tin

A European Commission review of carbon dioxide labelling methodologies for commercial products, due later this year, is likely to propose a grading system similar to the EU energy consumption labels for products, goods and services based on a life cycle assessment of their carbon footprint.



LED Lighting to be Eligible for Tokyo Metropolitan Government Tax Incentives for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government, Bureau of Environment has announced that it would be adding LED (light-emitting diode) lighting to the list of devices eligible under the Energy Saving Tax Incentives for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises as of July 1. The purpose of this program is to provide tax breaks to small and medium-sized enterprises that purchase energy-saving equipment as a measure against global warming.



Energy Consumption and Climate Change App Wins World Bank Competition

The World Bank has announced that “Ecofacts” has won its “Apps for Climate” competition. This software application developed in Argentina teaches about energy consumption, climate change and the actions needed to reduce carbon emissions. 


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Emissions trading/Carbon market

Carbon Market in Australia

Australia will levy a carbon tax and thereby set the price of carbon for the Carbon Pricing Mechanism (CPM) that is to be initiated on July 1, 2012. The impact will only be on about one-half the number of companies originally expected which may limit the economic and political impact of the carbon tax.



EU CO2 Price Support Plan Meets Internal Opposition

A European Commission plan to force carbon prices higher by cutting supply of allowances has been met with internal objections, according to an official document seen by Reuters Point Carbon, a move analysts say could delay changes to the scheme.



Australian PM campaigns to sell unpopular carbon tax

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard began an election-style campaign on Monday to promote a tax on carbon emissions, with her political survival hanging on a program highly unpopular with both industry and voters.



EU ETS Rejig Could Save 6.7 Bln Euros a Year: Report

Redesigning the way credits are freely allocated in the EU’s Emission Trading Scheme (ETS) could earn indebted euro zone countries 6.7 billion Euros a year and help to safeguard thousands of jobs, according to study by the London School of Economics.



How to Find a Cure for the Emission Trading Scheme without Killing It

Reports of the death of the EU Emissons Trading Scheme (ETS) have been greatly exaggerated. That was one of the key messages from European policymakers at an “Energy Policy Breakfast” organised by European Energy Review and public affairs agency Interel in collaboration with Italian energy company Enel on the 21st of June in Brussels. This article reviews the discussion on how to fix the EU ETS.





EU Faces Prolonged Wait in Aviation ETS Row

A global resolution to Europe’s battle with China and other countries over curbing aviation emissions is unlikely before October 2013, risking growing pressure from domestic airlines and trade partners.



Shell Executive: We Must Reform the Emissions Trading System

Shell has joined with other ‘progressive’ businesses to lobby the EU for a much stronger carbon price to incentivise clean energy investments. But Graeme Sweeney insists that it will not compromise on its support for tar sands, gas, and opposition to new efficiency and renewables targets.



New Zealand extends carbon trade rules until 2015

New Zealand’s government said on Monday it would continue allowing carbon emitters to offset just half of their emissions until at least 2015 to avoid putting New Zealand firms under more financial pressure as the economy struggles to improve.



FACTBOX – The New Zealand emissions trading scheme

New Zealand this week announced a number of changes to its emissions trading scheme (ETS).



Chinese developers cautious on domestic CO2 offset scheme

Ambiguous Chinese policy on emission markets and EU rules that ban most new emission reduction projects from supplying the EU’s CO2 market with offsets may deter investors from financing clean energy projects in the world’s biggest emitting nation.


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Climate change negotiations

UNFCCC Publishes GHG Synthesis and Assessment Report

The UNFCCC Secretariat has published the synthesis and assessment report (FCCC/WEB/SAI/2012) on the greenhouse gas (GHG) inventories submitted in 2012.


Colombia Eyes Greenhouse Gas Cuts through Forest Protection

Colombia plans to have in place 10 months from now a new system to measure deforestation, which it hopes will drastically improve its ability to establish a national policy to reduce emissions from deforestation (REDD), the country’s environmental minister said.



NGO Coalition Demands Ban on Super Greenhouse Gas

Six NGOs are calling for the European Commission to propose a ban on some uses of the most potent greenhouse gas known to humankind, sulphur hexafluoride (SF6), after a new report found that existing alternative technologies were no more expensive.



Exxon Boss Speaks Out Against Climate Change ‘Fear Factor’

Fears about climate change are overblown and shifting weather patterns and rising sea levels should be considered an engineering problem, said the head of the world’s largest oil refiner, ExxonMobil.