E-news update September 19 2005 In this issue: POLICY 1.1. UN ...


E-news update September 19 2005 In this issue: POLICY 1.1. UN ...

E-news update September 19 2005

In this issue:


1.1. UN World Summit: Empty Words on Climate Change

1.2. MEPs call for more investment in hydrogen

1.3. Canada Doesn't see Breakthrough at Post-Kyoto Meet

1.4. EU pushes biofuel to fight climate change, high oil

1.5. EU Commissioner urges U.S. climate change rethink


2.1. World Bank bending the carbon credit rules in Czech Republic


3.1. Global warming could end Sahara droughts, says study

3.2. CO2 from soil across Britain a 'disaster'


4.1. 'Blueprint for a Changing Climate

4.2. "Climate or Development"


5.1. Release of four Lines of Inquiry papers by IISD

5.2. A Ten-Year Rule to Guide the Allocation of EU Emission Allowances

5.3. European Environment Outlook (EEA Report No 4/2005)


6.1. Invitation for comments: JI project in Poland

6.2. Invitation for comments – Wind Farm JI project in Estonia

6.3. The Carbon Disclosure Project report available

6.4. New web site features climate news

6.5. Vacancy: senior campaigner on power, Greenpeace International


1.1. UN World Summit: Empty Words on Climate Change

16 September 2005, press release FoE

The United Nations (UN) Summit which ends today in New York looks set to agree no firm action on

climate change despite broad recognition that it will have devastating impacts especially for the

world's poorest countries, Friends of the Earth International said today. The Summit, held at UN

Headquarters, is the largest gathering of world leaders in history and brings together some 150 heads

of state to discuss UN reforms, challenges for the 21st Century, as well as to evaluate the progress

towards the UN Millennium Development Goals. The final outcome document of the Summit does not

convey the immense challenge to stabilise our climate, and the threat that climate change poses upon

reaching the UN Millenium goals by 2015. The Summit text being put forward today reveals that no

progress has been made on climate change. Circulation of previous drafts demonstrates that the

outcome document has been significantly weakened through the negotiation process. The final

Summit document rightly refers to the role of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and

the Kyoto Protocol. But it does not go far enough in recognising the authority of the November 2005

UN Climate Summit in Montreal (Canada) to begin negotiations for the post 2012 international climate

commitments. Friends of the Earth International's Climate Campaigner Catherine Pearce said: "World

leaders have clearly failed to face up to the urgent need to take action on climate change. This

Summit was a golden opportunity for the UN to commit resources to and support some of the world's

poorest countries who will face the harshest impacts of the world's changing climate. "The

international community must recognise the need to assist poorer countries in dealing with the

impacts of climate change. Money must be made available to help countries adapt to the changing

climate, and also to cope with climate disasters," added David Waskow, international program director

at Friends of the Earth US. The scientific evidence clearly shows that climate change is happening and

that greenhouse gas emissions must be curbed. Unless urgent action is taken by the richest,

industrialised nations to reduce emissions, the poverty reduction envisaged by the Millennium

Development Goals will not be achieved. The potential and capacity for renewable sources of energy,

in terms of their contribution to poverty alleviation and sustainable development in developing

countries is poorly acknowledged in the final Summit outcomes. Friends of the Earth International also

criticised the final text for failing to recognise that the conservation and sustainable use of the natural

environment is a pre-condition for poverty eradication and human well-being, as concluded by the

Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. The recommendations on international environmental governance

that were agreed at the 2000 UN Millennium Summit form a clear mandate for the UN General

Assembly to discuss the transformation of the UN Environment Program into a specialized agency

financed by assessed mandatory contributions from UN member states.


1.2. MEPs call for more investment in hydrogen

14 September 2005, Environment Daily 1940

Europe should increase its investment in renewably produced hydrogen to reduce CO2 emissions, oil

dependence and urban pollution, according to a group of MEPs launching a 'hydrogen platform'

manifesto in Brussels this week. Among the measures proposed is support for "fiscal incentives and

financing schemes" to promote hydrogen, as well as increased investment in hydrogen pilot projects.

Manifesto signatory and European parliament president Josep Borrell said Europe should concentrate

particularly on hydrogen research in the transport sector. Claude Turmes MEP, another signatory, said

the platform could not be used as a way to promote nuclear power. "We are very clear that we are

only talking about green hydrogen, produced from renewables". He also cautioned against "hydrogen

hype", saying that first of all Europe had to focus on improving energy efficiency and on moving to a

renewables energy system. Hydrogen would only be a long-term solution, "in 30 to 40 years". In a

related development, Mr Turmes last week presented a report criticising the current state of EU

electricity and gas market regulation, which he said was favouring a few large utilities and squeezing

out "new sustainable energy producers". The European Commission should propose legislation

tackling unfair market dominance in this sector, he said. Follow-up: European parliament

http://www.europarl.eu.int/, plus manifesto http://www.environmentdaily.com/docs/50914a.doc and

Borrell press release http://www.environmentdaily.com/docs/50914b.doc. See also market

concentration press release http://www.greens-efa.org/en/press/detail.php?id=2685&lg=en and study



1.3. Canada Doesn't see Breakthrough at Post-Kyoto Meet

13 September 2005, Planet Ark

A major Montreal meeting charged with starting to draft a successor to the Kyoto climate change

accord is unlikely to produce a breakthrough, a senior Canadian official said on Monday. The

conference, which runs from Nov. 28 to Dec. 9, will try to find common ground between those

countries that signed on to Kyoto and those that did not, including the United States, China, India and

Australia. "We don't expect outcomes on this at Montreal because this is the first discussion of the

post-Kyoto regime," the official told a briefing. "But what we want to do is build bridges between

developing countries and industrial countries -- including the industrial countries that are not members

of Kyoto -- as to the kind of regime which might exist in the future." Kyoto, designed to curb

emissions of greenhouse gases blamed for global warming, formally expires in 2012 and the task of

forging a new treaty will be immense. Many of the 152 signatories have had trouble meeting their

targets. The United States, the world's biggest polluter, walked away from Kyoto in 2001, saying it

would harm economic growth. It also complained the accord does not cover developing countries such

as China and India. "We want this to be something which is remembered as the start of serious

negotiations with the countries that are not part of Kyoto," said the Canadian official. "I don't think

we're going to have another Kyoto in which not all industrial countries and no developing countries

establish targets for themselves ... If you were to negotiate Kyoto today you would want China in it."

Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin will be at the United Nations this week, the official said, where he

will raise the subject of the Montreal conference with leaders such as Prime Minister John Howard of

Australia, who also walked away from Kyoto. The official said Martin's message to Howard would be:

"It's very important that you take these discussions seriously ... it's up to you to come up with

something in Montreal as to how to bridge the gap". Australia agreed in July to work with the United

States, China, India, Japan and South Korea to curb global warming but the six countries did not set

targets for emissions cuts. Another challenge at Montreal will be dealing with developing countries,

which are likely to demand help to meet emissions targets, the official said. "The Indian (approach) ...

is 'You give us the technology with no royalties to pay and we'll start doing something'... It'll be a very

complicated process," he said. Story by David Ljunggren.


1.4. EU pushes biofuel to fight climate change, high oil

11 September 2005, Reuters

The European Union must increase the amount of biomass, a green fuel, in its energy mix as concerns

about high oil prices and climate change mount, the EU executive said on Sunday. EU Agriculture

Commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel said the European Commission would develop a "biomass action

plan" by the end of 2005, which would propose ways to increase the use of the alternative energy

source. New "ambitious" biofuel policy proposals could follow next year, she said. "We can reduce our

dependency on energy imports and contribute to the Kyoto objectives while offering farmers new

market opportunities," Fischer Boel told a news briefing after a meeting of EU agriculture and

environment ministers. The Kyoto Protocol, which EU states have signed, is an international

environmental agreement that obliges countries to limit their emissions of gases scientists say get

caught in the atmosphere and heat the earth. Farming contributes 10 percent of the EU's greenhouse

gas emissions, Fischer Boel said. She said official EU figures showed the use of biomass in the 25nation

bloc had risen to 68.8 million tonnes of oil equivalent in 2003 from 46.8 million tonnes in 1993.

Burning wood for cooking is the oldest example of using biomass, a term for any sort of vegetation,

such as grass, trees, leaves or even municipal waste that can be burned on its own or co-fired in

power plants to generate electricity. Biomass can also be used to produce liquid fuels, for example,

ethanol from sugar cane, and gaseous fuels, such as methane from rubbish dumps. Environment

Commissioner Stavros Dimas said skyrocketing oil prices were probably enough to spur demand for

the fuel. "With the price of oil going up and up, perhaps tax and other incentives will not be needed,"

Dimas told a news briefing.


1.5. EU Commissioner urges U.S. climate change rethink

10 September 2005, Reuters

U.S. climate change policy is not succeeding in lowering greenhouse gas emissions, the EU's

environment chief said on Saturday. European Union Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas said

although he did not think specific disasters like hurricane Katrina could be linked to climate change, he

thought the storm would make America think more closely about its environmental stewardship. He

said the EU approach to climate change -- signing up to a cap on carbon dioxide output and allocating

emission rights through a market -- was lowering emissions, whereas U.S. emissions were rising.

"They claim that they have a different approach to climate change," Dimas said of the United States.

"The fact is that their approach and our approach have different results. We are cutting our

greenhouse gas emissions ... while the Americans are increasing their greenhouse gas emissions," he

told reporters. EU environment and agriculture ministers are in London to discuss links between

farming and climate change. Climate change policies sharply divide the United States from its allies in

Europe, who have signed up for caps on emissions of greenhouse gases under the U.N.'s Kyoto

protocol. The U.S., which pulled out of Kyoto in 2001 saying it was too expensive and wrongly

excluded developing countries from the initial caps, emphasises climate change technology and does

not want binding limits on emissions of gases that scientists say get trapped in the atmosphere and

heat up the earth. "It (Katrina) was a great shock for the Americans, I think, for everybody, for us,"

Dimas said. "It will make people think ... not for climate change only, but about environment for sure.

They should be more careful about the environment, about policies connected to the environment."



2.1. World Bank bending the carbon credit rules in Czech Republic

15 September 2005, press release CEE Bankwatch

Only three out of the sixteen World Bank carbon projects in the Czech Republic are eligible for carbon

credit sales, finds a new analysis produced by CEE Bankwatch Network and the Centre for Transport

and Energy, a Prague based environmental group. In spite of this the World Bank Prototype Carbon

Fund is moving forward and wants to obtain carbon credits of around USD 1.5 million for electricity

generation from small hydropower plants in the Czech Republic. Confirming widely held doubts about

the World Bank as a major player in carbon trading, "An Analysis of Additionality" uncovers serious

flaws in the economic assessments of 13 of the Czech hydropower plants, in violation of international,

national and even the World Bank's own criteria. Petr Hlobil, Campaigns coordinator of CEE

Bankwatch Network, commented: "The roots of this reside in a major conflict of interest within the

World Bank. While theoretically the World Bank should support client countries, in the case of the

Prototype Carbon Fund the main interest of the World Bank is to protect the interests of investors.

And the main focus for investors is to obtain credits as cheaply as possible." Klara Sutlovicova, of the

Centre for Transport and Energy, added: "Our analysis of this World Bank project unfortunately also

shows that the Czech authorities are unable to either negotiate a fair price or monitor the application

of their own rules and procedures for the Joint Implementation projects."



3.1. Global warming could end Sahara droughts, says study

16 September 2005, The Guardian

David Adam, environment correspondent: Global warming could significantly increase rainfall in

Saharan Africa within a few decades, potentially ending the severe droughts that have devastated the

region, a new study suggests. The discovery was made by climate experts at the Royal Meteorological

Institute in De Bilt, the Netherlands, who used a computer model to predict changes in the Sahel

region - a wide belt stretching from the Atlantic to the horn of Africa that includes Ethiopia, Somalia

and Djibouti. Global warming will heat the land more than the sea, leading to changes in air pressure

and weather. When the Netherlands team simulated this effect and combined it with warming caused

by the expected rises in greenhouse gas emissions between 1980 and 2080, they found Sahel rainfall

in the July to September period jumped 1-2mm a day. Some scientists suspected that global warming

might increase rainfall in the region, causing the so-called greening of the Sahara, but these are the

biggest predicted increases so far. Writing in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, the scientists

say the increased rainfall could "strongly reduce the probability of prolonged droughts". Reindert

Haarsma, who led the research, said: "We were surprised that it was such a big rainfall signal. There

is a lot of uncertainty in this kind of prediction but it is possible the Sahara region could benefit from

climate change." Sediments from the region suggest the semi-arid Sahel region, which borders the

southern edge of the Sahara desert, was filled with lakes and lush vegetation as recently as 5,500

years ago. Countries in the Sahel have suffered unpredictable swings in rainfall, leading to severe

drought between the 1970s and 1990s. The cause of the droughts remains a mystery: some blame

climate change and others say it is down to farmers destroying surface vegetation. Satellite images

suggest vegetation in the region has recovered significantly over the last 15 years, pushing the

southern Sahara into retreat. Professor Haarsma cautioned against reading too much into the new

results. The computer models were simple and did not include confounding factors like vegetation.

Peter Cox, of the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology in Dorset, said: "This looks like an interesting

study. However, the conclusion that Sahellian rainfall will increase under climate change must be

considered as highly uncertain. Models differ in their predictions, with about as many showing

decreases in rainfall as increases." Special reports: Special report: climate change

Special report: G8 .

Useful links: IPCC UN framework convention on climate change



3.2. CO2 from soil across Britain a 'disaster'

8 September 2005, The Irish Times

Dick Ahlstrom, Science Editor: Scientists have described as a "disaster" a research finding that shows

soils across Britain are discharging carbon dioxide into the environment due to global warming.

Moreover, this release, in turn, could speed up climate change as warmer weather accelerates the

rate that carbon in the soil moves away into the atmosphere. The surprise finding by researchers at

Cranfield University also reduces the hoped for benefits expected to come from the carbon control

measures introduced by the Kyoto greenhouse gas agreement. Even as efforts are made to bring

carbon emissions under control soils across Britain are annually releasing an estimated 13 million

tonnes of carbon a year. Britain's Kyoto carbon target from all industrial sources is 150 million tonnes

a year. A similar release from temperate zones could be happening right around the world according

to Prof Guy Kirk and Prof Ian Bradley who publish their findings this morning in the journal Nature. "If

our findings are correct we expect it will be happening in other temperate areas," Prof Kirk said

yesterday at a session of the BA Festival of Science, underway this week at Trinity College Dublin.

Their results are based on a National Soil Inventory carried out between 1978 and 2003. An initial

5,600 sites across Britain were measured for carbon content and then a follow up was done to see

how levels had changed over the intervening years, given a 0.5 degree increase in average annual

temperatures. They found that soils of all types were losing on average about 0.6 per cent of their

carbon a year, arising mainly as carbon dioxide gas. This represents about 15 per cent of soil carbon

since the study began, Prof Kirk said yesterday. Soil gains carbon when dead plants and other organic

material work their way into the ground. It loses carbon when microbes digest this material, in the

process emitting carbon dioxide, Prof Kirk explained. Plants grow better when carbon dioxide is

plentiful, so researchers have long maintained that more rapid plant growth would soak up perhaps

25 per cent of the extra carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Climate change helps microbes however

who produce carbon dioxide faster as the weather warms. Researchers have also found that the

hoped for 25 per cent "buffer" is less than expected. This process looks set to accelerate with more

carbon dioxide producing higher temperatures which in turn encourages microbes to produce more

gas. The finding is a "disaster" Prof Kirk said. "The consequence is there is more urgency about doing

something. "The consequences of global warming will arrive faster. This is the scary thing about it,

the amount of time we have to do something." The losses in Britain appear to be happening

regardless of how the land is used, which adds weight to the idea that climate change is to blame, the

researchers said. Soils with the most carbon seem to be losing carbon faster however. "The more

organic the soil the greater the loss," Prof Bradley said.



4.1. 'Blueprint for a Changing Climate: how the planning system can deliver adaptation to climate


UK EU Presidency Event: The ESPACE (European Spatial Planning: Adapting to Climate Events) project

invites you to it's 2nd International Technical Conference on the 29th of November in Winchester, UK.

This conference is a UK EU Presidency Event and aims to: Provide an understanding of where we

currently stand in terms of adapting to climate change and how this is being delivered by the planning

system in England; Identify what more the planning system both in England and in the wider

European context can do to help society adapt to climate change. To debate these issues, experts

from two sides of the planning system have been invited to speak- those who are a part of the

administration of the planning system and those who use it. This will set the scene for an interactive

transnational debate to identify what needs to be done to assist the planning system to deliver climate

change adaptation (and mitigation). The ESPACE Project aims to recommend improvements to all

levels of spatial planning policy - from the European to the local level. At the end of this conference,

we are hoping to have a clearer idea of the areas of policy that need to be addressed and at what

level. The outcomes of this conference will help influence and shape an International Policy

Conference being hosted by ESPACE Partner, VROM (the Dutch Ministry of Spatial Planning) in 2006.

This conference is targeted at anyone involved or interested in how the planning system can deliver

adaptation (and mitigation) to climate change. To register on-line for the conference and to download

a programme, visit: http://www.espace-project.org/conf2info.htm.


4.2. "Climate or Development"

which will be held at the Hamburg Institute of International Economics on October 28 - 29, 2005.

Further information on the conference is available at:

http://www.hwwa.de/Forschung/Klimapolitik/Veranstaltungen.htm. Please register asap with Ms.

Heike Kern, Phone +49 40 42834 337, Fax, +49 40 42834 367, heike.kern@hwwa.de.



5.1. Release of four Lines of Inquiry papers by IISD

In preparation for the Montreal Climate Conference, the Government of Canada identified four themes

or "lines of inquiry" along which common understanding among negotiating blocs might be

established: Climate Change and Sustainable Economic Growth, Climate Change and Technology,

Climate Change and the International Carbon Market, Climate Change and Adaptation. Common

understanding of issues related to each of these four lines of inquiry should support the emergence of

reasonable approaches to a post-2012 regime. The International Institute for Sustainable

Development (IISD) has prepared discussion papers on each of these four lines of inquiry in support

of Canada's efforts to prepare for COP-11/MOP 1. All four papers, in full and summary versions, are

now available at http://www.iisd.org/climate/unfccc/loi.asp. A short abstract of each paper is provided

below. The purpose of these papers is to explore how best to create an effective and inclusive

international climate change regime that in the long-term will: achieve large reductions in global

emissions necessary to avoid the dangerous environmental impacts of climate change while adapting

to a changing climate; and fairly and equitably reflect the diverse circumstances of countries while

promoting sustainable economic growth. They are intended for any one interested in becoming further

informed on the status of the research/thinking on the fascinating and complex challenge of

establishing an effective global climate change regime after 2012: from Ministers to graduate

students; from environmentalists to industry stakeholders.


5.2. A Ten-Year Rule to Guide the Allocation of EU Emission Allowances

By Markus Åhman, Dallas Burtraw, Joseph Kruger, and Lars Zetterberg. Abstract: Member States in

the EU are responsible for National Allocation Plans governing the initial distribution of emission

allowances in the CO2 Emission Trading System. The European Commission has provided guidelines

to discourage the use of allocation methodologies that provide incentives affecting firms’ compliance

behavior, for example by rewarding one type of compliance investment over another. EU guidelines

prohibit ex post redistribution of emission allowances within an allocation period based on behavior in

that period. This paper analyzes how treatment of closures and new entrants should be handled in a

cap and trade system, with a focus on the efficiency of the trading scheme and the connection to

changing of allocation rules between trading periods in the EU ETS. We examine the efficiency

implications of different policies and report how EU Member States have addressed closures and new

entrants. We find that the treatment of closures and new entrants is inconsistent with the general

guidelines provided by EU by providing incentives that are likely to affect firm behavior. We propose a

Ten-Year Rule as a component of future EU guidance that resolves these inconsistencies and balances

fairness with efficiency in the initial distribution of allowances. Åhman (markus.ahman@ivl.se)and

Zetterberg (lars.zetterberg@ivl.se) are with the IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute,

Stockholm. Burtraw (burtraw@rff.org) is a senior fellow and Kruger (kruger@rff.org) a visiting scholar

at Resources for the Future, Washington, DC. This research was performed under the Emissions

Trading in Climate Policy project (ETIC) as part of Mistra's Climate Policy Research Programme

(Clipore). Additional funding was provided by the Swedish Energy Agency. The paper is available at:




5.3. European Environment Outlook (EEA Report No 4/2005)

published at: http://reports.eea.eu.int/eea_report_2005_4. Abstract: Protecting our environment is a

key element in ensuring sustainable livelihoods for today's and future generations. Indeed, the most

recent Eurobarometer surveys show that as Europeans we regard the protection of our environment

to be one of the six key priorities for the European Union. Issues of particular concern are water and

air pollution, man-made disasters, and climate change. In addition, new challenges arising from

diffuse sources of pollution, changing consumption patterns, and the possibility of sudden extreme

environmental changes all need to be addressed.



6.1. Invitation for comments: JI project in Poland

DNV Certification is currently making a determination of the "LAKE OSTROWO WIND FARM, 30.6 MW"

project in Poland. This project, proposed as Joint Implementation (JI) consists of the reduction of CO2

emissions due to the installation of wind turbines in the Zachodniopomorskie Province/ Wolin

Commune. DNV herewith invites comments from Parties, stakeholders and observers in accordance

with the JI modalities and procedures. The Project Design Documents (PDD) of the above project is

published on http://www.dnv.com/certification/climatechange/ --> Project portfolio. Comments may

be provided during a period of 30 days until 13 October 2005 on the above webpage. After that the

project is closed for comments, but the project documentation is still available for review.


6.2. Invitation for comments – Wind Farm JI project in Estonia

Please note that as of today an opportunity to submit comments and information regarding the "Viru-

Nigula Wind Farm JI Project, Estonia" is provided by TÜV Industrie Service GmbH - TÜV SÜD Group.

The 24 MW Wind Farm Project is located near the town of Viru Nigula and feeds in the produced

electricity directly into the public Estonian electricity grid. Thus electricity mainly generated on basis of

fossil fuels is substituted by electricity from a renewable source.The document is open for comments

until October 15, 2005. You can find the PDD following the link:



6.3. The Carbon Disclosure Project report available

The Carbon Disclosure Project, a secretariat for the world’s largest institutional investor collaboration

on the business implications of climate change, is pleased to announce the availability of its third

annual report. CDP was launched five years ago to gather the information necessary for investors to

evaluate the winners and losers from a future impacted by climate change and responses to climate

change. CDP issued its third information request (CDP3) on behalf of 155 institutional investors with

more than $21 trillion assets under management to the Chairmen of the FT500 companies on

February 01, 2005. The disclosure request was sent to all FT500 companies, and corporate responses

were incorporated into the CDP3 report, which was unveiled yesterday during a launch event in New

York at JP Morgan Chase. We invite you to view the full report and research individual corporate

responses at the CDP website: http://www.cdproject.net.


6.4. New web site features climate news

The Cooperative Research Centre for Greenhouse Accounting has launched a redeveloped web site

with up-to-date news on climate change, details of the Centre’s research findings, and links to online

calculators, decision-support tools and models for natural resource management and agriculture. The

new website, at http://www.greenhouse.crc.org.au/, has sections on counting carbon in soils, forests

and trees, rangelands, wood products, and at continental scale; the impact of climate change on plant

growth, woody thickening, and changes to the water cycle; greenhouse in agriculture, including in the

dairy, grains and cotton industries, and with research into methane and nitrous oxide as well as

carbon dioxide; reducing greenhouse through carbon sinks and best management practices; and

online tools. It also carries up-to-date news on climate change, and includes a link to the Centre’s free

monthly emailed newsletter, eCarbon News, a digest of climate change, policy, energy, and emissions

trading news from around the world. Please take a look, make use of the resource, and pass any

suggestions or comments to Bruce Wright, bruce.wright@greenhouse.crc.org.au.


6.5. Vacancy: senior campaigner on power, Greenpeace International

Greenpeace International is seeking an experienced, talented, creative and energetic campaigner for

the role of Senior Campaigner on Power to be based at their international headquarters in

Amsterdam, Netherlands. For more information and job description go to

www.darylupsall.com/recruit/vacancies.html. To apply please send a full CV/resume (no photos) and a

covering motivation letter to recruitment@darylupsall.com . Deadline for applications is 5 October

2005.. Interviews will take place in the next two months in Amsterdam, Netherlands.


More magazines by this user
Similar magazines