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News: Archive for July, 2009

Film warns of ‘world without fish’ | BBC NEWS

Friday, July 31st, 2009

‘They are dramatic images to make a dramatic point. The End of the Line is a film packed with footage of big-scale fishing in oceans around the world.’

via BBC NEWS | UK | Film warns of ‘world without fish’.

Exxon Outspends Clean-Energy Industry on Washington Lobbying – Bloomberg.com

Friday, July 31st, 2009

‘Exxon Mobil, based in Irving, Texas, spent $14.9 million lobbying in the six months, 23 percent more than the $12.1 million laid out by companies that make solar panels or wind turbines to generate electricity, London-based New Energy Finance said today in a note to clients. Oil and gas companies spent a total of $82.2 million on Washington lobbyists, according to the report.’

via Exxon Outspends Clean-Energy Industry on Washington Lobbying – Bloomberg.com.

Op-ed by John Kerry: Who Lost the Earth?

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

John Kerry’s Huffingon Post Op-Ed on U.S. / China Cooperation on Climate Change.  His key summary of scientific details sounds very much  in line with the narrative presented by the scientists at Copenhagen’s Climate Congress last March:

‘And make no mistake, unless we act dramatically — and act fast — science tells us our climate and our way of life are literally in jeopardy. Just the basics: In the industrial era, atmospheric carbon dioxide levels have risen from 280 to 385 parts per million. Scientists have drawn a red line at 450ppm — which represents a warming of 2 degrees Celsius. Anything beyond that presents an unacceptable risk. But unless we take dramatic action — now — we are actually headed to 1,000 ppm by century’s end. And today, over 40% of those emissions belong to the United States and China.’

via John Kerry: Who Lost the Earth?.

McKinsey Report: Energy Efficiency in the US Could Abate 1.1 Gigatones of Greenhouse Gases Annually

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

A report released by McKinsey Wednesday calls for increased energy efficiency in the United States as a means to abate up to 1.1. gigatones of greenhouse gases annually by 2020.

Expanding upon their widely referenced 2007 chart of the comparative costs of different approaches to mitigating greenhouse gas, McKinsey’s new report makes a strong case for energy efficiency, already an important component of Obama’s energy and climate plan. Just last week Obama’s energy advisor Steven Chu commented in the Richmond Times-Dispatch, “In fact, energy efficiency is not just low-hanging fruit; it is fruit that is lying on the ground. And energy efficiency means money back in your pocket because you pay less on your energy bills.”

While there are enormous potential benefits, the report sites persistent barriers to implementation: “By their nature, energy efficiency measures typically require a substantial upfront investment in exchange for savings that accrue over the lifetime of the deployed measures.”

Excerpt:
“The central conclusion of our work: Energy efficiency offers a vast, low-cost energy resource for the U.S. economy – but only if the nation can craft a comprehensive and innovative approach to unlock it. Significant and persistent barriers will need to be addressed at multiple levels to stimulate demand for energy efficiency and manage its delivery across more that 100 million buildings and literally billions of devices. If executed at scale, a holistic approach would yeild gross energy savings worth more than $1.2 trillion, well above the $520 billion needed through 2020 for upfront investment in efficiency measures (not including program costs). Such a program is estimated to reduce end-use energy consumption in 2020 by 9.1 quadrillion BTUs, roughly 23 percent of projected demand, potentially abating up to 1.1. gigatones of greenhouse gases annually.”

A key report perspective appears to elevate energy efficiency to the standing of solar, wind, and other renewables: “Recognize energy efficiency as an important energy resource that can help meet future energy needs while the nation concurrently develops new no- and low-carbon energy sources”

Read executive summary (PDF – 1.52 MB)
Read full report (PDF – 6.37 MB)

Also see:
New York Times – McKinsey Report Cites $1.2 Trillion in Potential Savings From Energy Efficiency
Reuters – Energy efficiency could save U.S. $600 billion

U.S. and China sign memorandum on climate change | Reuters

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

‘WASHINGTON Reuters – The United States and China, the world’s largest emitters of greenhouse gases, signed an agreement on Tuesday that promises more cooperation on climate change, energy and the environment without setting firm goals.’

via U.S. and China sign memorandum on climate change | Green Business | Reuters.

BBC NEWS | Video | Getting a grip on Greenland’s future

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

Video: ‘The BBC’s Stephen Sackur analyses how fast the Greenland Ice Sheet has retreated and whether it is evidence of global warming.’

via BBC NEWS | Science & Environment | Getting a grip on Greenland’s future.

Offshore wind could be next wave for U.S. | Reuters

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

‘The United States has experienced a surge in investment in wind power over the past four years, more than tripling its ability to turn wind into electricity. But construction has been entirely on land and largely in America’s rural midsection — leaving open the costly challenge of how to transmit power to the densely populated coasts where it is most needed.’

via Offshore wind could be next wave for U.S. | Green Business | Reuters.

China says rich nation CO2 cuts key to Copenhagen | Reuters

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

‘BEIJING (Reuters) – Rich nations must agree to large, measurable cuts in their greenhouse gas emissions, if the world is to set a framework to tackle global warming at U.N.-led talks in December, a senior Chinese official said on Wednesday.’

via China says rich nation CO2 cuts key to Copenhagen | Green Business | Reuters.

India to unveil 20GW solar target under climate plan | Reuters

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

‘NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India will unveil its first solar power target as soon as September, pledging to boost output from near zero to 20 gigawatts (GW) by 2020 as it firms up its national plan to fight global warming, draft documents show.’

via India to unveil 20GW solar target under climate plan | Green Business | Reuters.

House climate bill was flooded with last-minute changes – LA Times

Monday, July 27th, 2009

‘Reporting from Washington — Less than 24 hours before the House approved its landmark energy and climate bill last month, Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-Colo.) got several paragraphs added to the 1,200-page measure — additions expected to be worth millions of dollars to companies that install solar panels.’

The article mentions several of these amendments, which were added to consolidate crucial support for the bill:

“…There were about 300 pages of last-minute amendments, many designed to make money for industries and constituencies important to fence-sitting lawmakers.”

via House climate bill was flooded with last-minute changes – Los Angeles Times.