Archive for September, 2009

Profile: Hugh Jackman

Posted by admin on September 26, 2009
Posted under Express 77

Profile: Hugh Jackman

Actor Hugh Jackman joined high profile forces to put the ‘heat’ on the 100 world leaders in New York for the talks this week ahead of a summit in Copenhagen in December, saying that poor communities need a ‘fair, just and equitable’ agreement which meets their needs as well as those in developing countries.

At the launch of Climate Week at the New York Public Library on Monday, Mr Jackman provided the star power, telling of his experience on a trip to Ethiopia earlier this year where he met coffee grower Dukalee, his wife and family of five.

Jackman said he promised poor families like Dukalee’s that he would use his voice to urge negotiators not to overlook poorer countries.

‘I’m going to use the best weapon I have which is not the Wolverine claws or my mutant powers but my voice to speak on behalf of Dukalee and a billion other people in developing countries who contribute the least to climate change and yet they are hit the hardest by it,’ Jackman said.

‘Simply stated, we must not forget the poor in our negotiations here at the UN this week and in Copenhagen.’

Jackman said poor communities need a ‘fair, just and equitable’ agreement which meets their needs as well as those in developing countries.


Dennis Shanahan, Political editor of The Australian in New York (22 September 2009):

A FAMOUS Australian grabbed centre stage in New York yesterday, giving a clear and succinct argument for battling climate change.

The Aussie accent and broad smile warmed the hearts of some of the biggest players in climate change - UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, former British PM Tony Blair and Sir Nicholas Stern – as a compelling story of drought and poverty induced hardship in Ethiopa unfolded into a personal drama of methane-fuelled success and hope.

As Chinese, Indian and Danish negotiators were thrown open to the scores of US and international media at the launch of the New York City Climate Week to coincide with the UN’s biggest leaders’ conference on climate, it was the boy from Oz that got most of the attention and requests for interviews.

But it wasn’t Kevin Rudd hogging the limelight, it was the star of “Australia”, Hugh Jackman.

After playing down reports he could “bench press 300 pounds” the star of film and stage, who’s acting as an ambassador for World Vision and in New York for the UN conference with Tim Costello, set out his personal experience as a roving ambassador for World Vision and the linking of poverty with climate change.

Wolverine star Mr Jackman told the story of a young father of five and coffee farmer, Ducalee, living in Ethiopa who had started to use the manure from his cows to capture methane gas which powered his cooking stove, coffee roaster and now a light for his children to do homework and read after dark.

“Ducalee doesn’t have anything materially and is doing it tough so I told him I would do my part to help and that’s why I am here today,” Mr Jackman said.

“I will use the best weapon I have which is not Wolverine claws or mutant powers but the public,” he said.

“I have seen development that works but all that will be lost if world leaders do not come to Copenhagen and reach a fair, just and equitible agreement,” he said.

Mr Ban “commended” him, and other film stars, celebrities and members of royal families, who used their fame to help UN causes.


Actor and World Vision Ambassador Hugh Jackman has joined forces with The Climate Group, Mayor Bloomberg, and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to support Climate Week NY°C, a week-long series of events being held throughout New York City to address the urgent need for action on climate change.

Jackman, known for his feature roles in films such as “X-Men” franchise and “The Prestige” and theatre, including the new Broadway production, “A Steady Rain” and his Tony award winning role in “The Boy from Oz,” is an advocate for action on climate change: for cutting emissions and for adaptation, the need for societies and natural environments to respond to climatic events brought about, or intensified, by climate change.

Jackman participated in the Opening Ceremony of Climate Week NY°C, on Monday, September 21, along with world leaders including the Rt Hon Tony Blair, Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

“I’m honored to join the many government, business and civil society leaders who are calling for urgent action to address climate change,” said Jackman. “I hope to be a voice for the billion people in developing countries who will be the hardest hit by changing weather patterns; by the droughts and floods that destroy their crops and threaten their food security. Climate Week NY°C provides an ideal forum to help underscore the urgency for world leaders to secure and fund an ambitious global climate change deal in Copenhagen that is effective, fair and binding.”

“We’re grateful for the enormous support we’ve already received for Climate Week NY°C, and to Hugh Jackman for adding his voice to those calling for world leaders to agree a green New Deal to tackle climate change and to unlock green jobs and green growth,” said Steve Howard, CEO of The Climate Group, the secretariat of Climate Week NY°C. “With so much at stake in December, business leaders, policy-makers and citizens must make it clear to leaders of all our nations that now is the time to unite in the best interests of the planet and our future prosperity.”

Climate Week NY°C was a partnership comprised of global non-profit The Climate Group, the United Nations, the UN Foundation, the City of New York, the TckTckTck campaign and the Carbon Disclosure Project. HP is the Premier Sponsor and Swiss Re the Founding Sponsor of Climate Week NY°C, with additional support from HSBC.


Taking place less than 80 days before the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, Climate Week NY°C provides a platform for leaders from government and business, as well as everyday citizens, to demonstrate their support for a global deal on climate change in Copenhagen.


A full list of the more than 60 events taking place throughout New York City during the week can found at

World Vision is a Christian relief and development organization dedicated to helping children and their communities worldwide reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty. We serve the world’s poor – regardless of a person’s religion, race, ethnicity or gender.



Temperatures to Rise Faster

Posted by admin on September 26, 2009
Posted under Express 77

Temperatures to Rise Faster

Climate researchers now predict the planet will warm by 6.3 degrees Fahrenheit – or 3.5 degrees Celsius – by the end of the century, a much faster and broader scale of change than forecast just two years ago, according to a report released by Achim Steiner, UNEP’s executive director.

By Juliet Eilperin, Washington Post Staff Writer (25 September 2009):

Climate researchers now predict the planet will warm by 3.5° Celsius (6.3° Fahrenheit) by the end of the century even if the world’s leaders fulfill their most ambitious climate pledges, a much faster and broader scale of change than forecast just two years ago, according to a report released Thursday by the United Nations Environment Program.

The new overview of global warming research, aimed at marshaling political support for a new international climate pact by the end of the year, highlights the extent to which recent scientific assessments have outstripped the predictions issued by the Nobel Prize-winning U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in 2007.

Robert Corell, who chairs the Climate Action Initiative and reviewed the UNEP report’s scientific findings, said the significant global temperature rise is likely to occur even if industrialized and developed countries enact every climate policy they have proposed at this point. The increase is nearly double what scientists and world policymakers have identified as the upper limit of warming the world can afford in order to avert catastrophic climate change.

“We don’t want to go there,” said Corell, who collaborated with climate researchers at the Vermont-based Sustainability Institute, Massachusetts-based Ventana Systems and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to do the analysis. The team has revised its estimates since the U.N. report went to press and has posted the most recent figures at

World leaders at the July Group of 20 summit in L’Aquila, Italy, pledged in a joint statement that they would adopt policies to prevent global temperature from climbing more than 2 degrees Celsius, or 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit: “We recognize the broad scientific view that the increase in global average temperature above pre-industrial levels ought not to exceed two degrees C.

“The group took the upper-range targets of nearly 200 nations’ climate policies — including U.S. cuts that would reduce domestic emissions 73 percent from 2005 levels by 2050, along with the European Union’s pledge to reduce its emissions 80 percent from 1990 levels by 2050 –and found that even under that optimistic scenario, the average global temperature is likely to warm by 6.3 degrees.

Corell, who has shared these findings with the Obama administration as well as climate policymakers in China, noted that global carbon emissions are still rising. “It’s accelerating,” he said. “We’re not going in the right direction.”

Achim Steiner, UNEP’s executive director, told reporters at the National Press Club on Thursday that the report aims to update the IPCC’s 2007 findings to reflect both new physical evidence and a more sophisticated understanding of how Earth systems work.


“With every day that passes, the underlying trends that science has provided is . . . of such a dramatic nature that shying away from a major agreement in Copenhagen will probably be unforgivable if you look back in history at this moment,” Steiner said. He noted that since 2000 alone, the average rate of melting at 30 glaciers in nine mountain ranges has doubled compared with the rate during the previous two decades.

“These are not things that are in dispute in terms of data,” he said. “They are actually physically measurable.”

Other findings include the fact that sea level might rise by as much as six feet by 2100 instead of 1.5 feet, as the IPCC had projected, and the Arctic may experience a sea-ice summer by 2030, rather than by the end of the century.

While the administration is pressing this week for an end to fossil-fuel subsidies as part of the current G-20 summit in Pittsburgh — and Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner told reporters Thursday that world leaders appear open to such a proposal — activists such as director Bill McKibben said politicians worldwide are not taking aggressive enough steps to address climate change.

“Here’s where we are: The political system is not producing at the moment a result which has anything to do with what the science is telling us,” said McKibben, whose group aims to reduce the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to 350 parts per million, well below the 450 ppm target that leaders of the Group of 20 major nations have embraced.

Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), co-sponsor of the House-passed climate bill that researchers included as part of their new temperature analysis, said, “As sobering as this report is, it is not the worst-case scenario. That would be if the world does nothing and allows heat-trapping pollution to continue to spew unchecked into the atmosphere.”

Michael MacCracken, one of the scientific reviewers for the IPCC and a contributor to the UNEP report, said that if developed nations cut their emissions by half and the developing countries continued on their current path, or vice versa, the world would still experience a temperature increase of about 2 degrees Fahrenheit by 2050.

“We face a situation where basically everybody has to do everything they can,” MacCracken said.


Supermodel to Save the Amazon

Posted by admin on September 26, 2009
Posted under Express 77

Supermodel to Save the Amazon

Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bundchen, appointed to the role of United Nations advocate for environmental awareness, says she has been working on environmental issues for a long time.“Now it’s about action on a global scale to secure a healthy future for the next generation, wherever they live in the world.”

Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bundchen has been appointed to the role of United Nations advocate for environmental awareness.

Bundchen told reporters that Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva should propose better laws to stop the razing of the Amazon, the world’s largest rain forest.

Her comments were published in major Brazilian newspapers that covered her comments as she was named a goodwill ambassador for the UN Environment Program.

Silva said his new proposal to limit sugarcane production in the Amazon and other ecologically sensitive areas is proof of his commitment to Amazon preservation.



The face of some of the world’s most exclusive products has now become the new face of global environmental action.

On 20 September, Brazil-born Gisele Bündchen, one of the most recognized top models of all time, was designated Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

As Goodwill Ambassador, Gisele Bündchen will help UNEP in its mission to raise awareness and inspire action to protect the environment. The new Goodwill Ambassador will help focus attention on some of the biggest threats facing the planet, climate change and environmental degradation.

The designation of Gisele as Goodwill Ambassador took place at New York’s Washington Square Park Fountain, where hundreds of fans and journalists assembled to witness the supermodel accept her new role.

Gisele Bündchen, a true environmentalist in her own right, said:

“I’m really honoured to join UNEP’s work on the environment. The environment has always been my passion. I grew up in a small town and I had the opportunity to live surrounded by nature. I couldn’t have asked for a better childhood. We must act now, so future generations have the same opportunity. Mother Earth is our fundamental life-support system, and by becoming aware and responsible now, we can assist in preserving the planet.”

She added: “I have been working on environmental issues for a long time and agreed to become a Goodwill Ambassador to be part of a global and far-reaching organization. Now it’s about action on a global scale to secure a healthy future for the next generation, wherever they live in the world.”

On climate change, Gisele noted, “Climate change is something we can’t deny? It affects all of us. At the end of the day, it’s our planet.  We all have to feel accountable.”

Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director said: “Gisele is among a handful of talented individuals and personalities that have a truly global reach. She is also a committed and passionate environmentalist. UNEP is delighted to welcome her on board as a Goodwill Ambassador so that with her help, we can make environmental action a global brand and a life-style choice, from New York to Nairobi and from Sao Paolo to Shanghai.”


Climate Triggers for Conflict

Posted by admin on September 26, 2009
Posted under Express 77

Climate Triggers for Conflict

‘My greatest fear is that once people stop negotiating, once diplomacy fails, that’s potentially a prelude for war. That could mean conflict over carbon tariffs, over the mass migration of climate-affected people or over serious water shortages.’ Meaningful words of warning from Professor Tim Flannery.

If the world fails to reach agreement on tackling climate change soon then it could end in war, climate scientist Tim Flannery has warned

Like many others, he’s concerned at a lack of progress ahead of a crucial UN climate summit in Copenhagen in December.

If there is no deal some time in the next year then there is a risk of momentum fading and the problem getting beyond the reach of world leaders, said Prof Flannery, who is in New York for climate talks.

‘My greatest fear is that once people stop negotiating, once diplomacy fails, that’s potentially a prelude for war.’

That could mean conflict over carbon tariffs, over the mass migration of climate-affected people or over serious water shortages, Prof Flannery said.

It might not happen for decades but it was a real threat if Copenhagen failed.

‘The triggers are there for conflict,’ the former Australian of the Year said.

He gave some support for Australia’s proposal to go easier on developing countries in the Copenhagen process, by exempting them from having to make economy-wide commitments to restrain emissions growth.

The Greens say the plan is a cop-out but Prof Flannery said it should be looked at because current approaches were not working.

‘It does hold the promise at least of unlocking further cooperation from those so-called developing countries,’ he said, adding that countries like China and Brazil were not really developing countries any more.

‘We haven’t got time to let the perfect be the enemy of the good.’

Prof Flannery strongly backed Australia voting in its emissions trading scheme before Copenhagen.

The opposition wants a vote delayed.

But it’s not all good news for the government – Prof Flannery also says Australia must cut emissions by at least 25 per cent.

The government’s target is a 5 to 25 per cent cut.


Creation of 10 million Jobs

Posted by admin on September 26, 2009
Posted under Express 77

Creation of 10 million Jobs

Action to cut CO2 emissions can increase both GDP and employment in all major economies, with global collaboration significantly cutting the cost of climate change mitigation, according to a new report published by Tony Blair and The Climate Group earlier this week.


Action to cut CO2 emissions can increase both GDP and employment in all major economies, with global collaboration significantly cutting the cost of climate change mitigation, according to a new report published by Tony Blair and The Climate Group today.

The findings indicate that, under a global deal involving all countries, ambitious efforts to cut emissions can:

• Create as many as 10 million new jobs by 2020;
• Generate additional economic growth worth as much as the green stimulus packages recently adopted by major governments;
• Enable a more than 15-fold reduction in carbon price (from $65 per tonne of CO2 to $4 per tonne of CO2).

It also shows that adopting low carbon technologies will accelerate sustainable development in developing countries.

Tony Blair, Founder of the Breaking the Climate Deadlock Initiative, says: “The enormous cost savings that can be achieved if countries act together are striking. Even ignoring the costs of climate change itself, the world can benefit economically from action to cut emissions. Forging and implementing a global deal will not be easy but world leaders can be confident that reaching a deal is both achievable and consistent with their measures to promote economic recovery. In fact, though of course an economic as well as political challenge, if crafted right, an ambitious global deal can create millions of new jobs and be a key part of this recovery.”

Steve Howard, CEO of The Climate Group, says: “A global climate deal with all countries on board will boost jobs and GDP growth in all major economies. Even a deal far more ambitious than any proposal currently tabled will drive net positive benefits for developed and developing countries alike. We also know that those countries first out of the starting blocks in the global low-carbon technology race will enjoy a competitive advantage. Countries whose leaders hold back low carbon development will lose out economically.”

The economic costs of tackling climate change have long been a point of debate for academics, politicians and business leaders and have proved one of the major obstacles to more ambitious international action on climate change, explaining in large part the world’s failure so far to put itself decisively on a low carbon development path.

Tony Blair presented the new report to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon at the opening ceremony of Climate Week NYC attended by lead climate negotiators from the US, China and India (Minister Su Wei China; Minister Jairam Ramesh, India and Todd Stern, US).

You can read Cutting the Cost: The Economic Benefits of Collaborative Climate Action


Marking World Green Building Day

Posted by admin on September 26, 2009
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Marking World Green Building Day

“According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), building-related greenhouse gas emissions could almost double by 2030,” says the Chair of both the WorldGBC and the Green Building Council of Australia, Tony Arnel, drawing attention to the role of buildings in mitigating climate change.

On Thursday 24 September, Melbourne played host to Australia’s World Green Building Day

activities, which coincided with a series of synchronised events around the globe to draw

attention to the role of buildings in mitigating climate change.


With the COP 15 negotiations in Copenhagen just around the corner, the World Green

Building Council (WorldGBC) is urging world leaders to ensure buildings play a central part in

any post-Kyoto framework.


“According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), building-related

greenhouse gas emissions could almost double by 2030,” says the Chair of both the

WorldGBC and the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA), Tony Arnel.


“This potential is not yet reflected in international priorities. For example, as of April 2009,

only 12 of the 4,500 projects in the Clean Development Mechanism pipeline were seeking to

reduce energy demand in buildings,” Mr Arnel said.


The WorldGBC is a coalition of 14 national green building councils, eight emerging councils

and over 30 applicant councils around the world. The network is transforming the global

property market and building industry through its endorsement of green building rating

systems, commitment to education and advocacy for the worldwide adoption of sustainable

building and construction practices.


“A sustainable built environment can – indeed, must – play a central role in the global

response to greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. The challenge is to realise the full

economic and environmental potential of the sector by overcoming some of the market

failures, skills deficits and institutional barriers that impede action. This must be urgently

pursued to ensure swift action on climate change,” Mr Arnel said.


A range of independent studies confirm that buildings certified by green building councils can

consume 85 per cent less energy and 60 per cent less potable water, and send 69 per cent

less waste to landfill than non-certified buildings. Certified green buildings also have a

superior market value – clearly demonstrating the enormous potential in the sector.


The WorldGBC has contributed to the development of buildings and climate change industry

call to action by the United Nations Environment Program Sustainable Buildings and

Construction Initiative (UNEP SBCI).


“Given that green buildings not only reduce GHG emissions but can also support economic

growth, reduce operating costs and improve urban environments, this platform has the

potential to bring together the twin agendas of action on global warming and alleviation of

urban poverty,” Mr Arnel said.


“Such a platform will be supported through the international aid programs of developed

nations, so that developing countries can also implement the platform.


“The member nations of the WorldGBC are undertaking a number of initiatives to highlight

the effectiveness of green buildings policies and the use of green building tools in reducing

GHG emissions, including the development of common carbon metrics between the leading

green building rating tools to enable consistent measurement of carbon savings from green

buildings,” Mr Arnel said.


The inaugural World Green Building Day was celebrated in Australia with the launch of a

new WorldGBC Asia Pacific Network in Melbourne.


As part of the day, the new WorldGBC Asia Pacific Network was officially launched by Bob

McMullan MP ,Parliamentary Secretary for International Development Assistance.


Together, the member nations of the WorldGBC have joined forces to highlight the

effectiveness of green building policies and the use of green building tools in reducing

greenhouse gas emissions.


The GBCA hosted the launch of the WorldGBC’s Asia-Pacific Network and presented a panel

discussion of green building leaders on Thursday in Melbourne. The event was

held in one of Australia’s greenest buildings, The Gauge.



About the World Green Building Council


The WorldGBC is a coalition of 14 national green building councils, eight emerging councils

and over 30 applicant councils around the world. The network is transforming the global

property market and building industry through its endorsement of green building rating

systems, commitment to education and advocacy for the worldwide adoption of sustainable

building and construction practices.


CEO Faces CCS Challenge

Posted by admin on September 26, 2009
Posted under Express 77

CEO Faces CCS Challenge       

Nick Otter, the CEO of the new Global Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) Institute, an international initiative led by Australia, will speak at a lunch in Melbourne on 1 October about how to reduce the amount of CO2 released into the atmosphere.

Baker & McKenzie is proud to support the Australian British Chamber of Commerce event – Accelerating Carbon Capture and Storage, lunch with Nick Otter.

Nick Otter is the CEO of the new Global Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) Institute, an international initiative led by Australia, to speed up the development of carbon capture and storage technology, and reduce the amount of CO2 released into the atmosphere.

Over lunch, Nick will speak publicly for the first time about the enormous challenges we face: what do we do about the problem, the challenge, of coal? Where does the CCS Institute fit in terms of renewable energy targets and the emission trading scheme? How realistic is it for the CCS Institute to lead the way on a global scale?

Nick Otter’s experience in the energy and environment sector spans 37 years. He has facilitated the development of environmental technologies relating to carbon capture and storage, and emissions reductions.

Nick acted as an energy advisor to the UK Government for over a decade and also chaired the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Carbon Abatement Technologies for fossil fuel that has been actively involved in setting the UK strategy for CCS.

Baker & McKenzie are increasingly providing advice on CCS issues having been involved in a number of early carbon projects. Most recently, we have been selected by the Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute to provide legal advice on its initial CCS work, focussing on the legislative frameworks that are required to support CCS on a global level.

If you are interested in attending this event please register and pay online.


All Energy, IEA & Emissions

Posted by admin on September 26, 2009
Posted under Express 77


Recession has set the stage for the sharpest fall in world greenhouse gas emissions in 40 years. International Energy Agency (IEA) chief economist Fatih Birol says global output of carbon dioxide would fall by about 2.6% this year amid a tumble in industrial activity, while the All Energy Australia event kicks off in Melbourne on 7 October.


The future of the clean and renewal energy industry will come under the microscope when speakers representing more than a trillion dollars in private capital discuss the business of investing in the sector at a major conference in Australia next month.

To be held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre on October 7th and 8th, All-Energy Australia is the most prestigious clean energy event this country has seen and is modelled on a highly successful UK conference and exhibition.

Thursday, October 8th will see a 90-minute round table discussion that will involve the following industry heavyweights:

• Bob Welsh, CEO, VicSuper, a major investor in cleantech energy;

• Fred Buenrostro, former CEO of California Public Employees Retirement Scheme (CalPERS), USA. CalPERS is one of the world’s largest pension funds and a major “activist” investor in cleantech. Mr Buenrostro is one of the key architects of CalPERS cleantech investment strategy;

• Steve Gibbs, Investor Group on Climate Change, Australia;

• Jan Dekker, Principal, Cleantech Ventures Pty Ltd, who is in overall charge of the State of Victoria’s investment in cleantech energy;

• Peter Hanley, Division Director, Utilities & Climate Change, Macquarie Capital Advisers Limited, Australia, a venture capital investor in cleantech energy;

• Lisa Wade, Partner, ArkX Equity Partners, Australia, another venture capital investor in cleantech energy.

Regional director of All-Energy Australia, Boyd Dale, says it is likely that this is the first time that so much private investment capital has been represented in one place at the one time in Australia.

“It is not too much of a stretch to say that these finance leaders have the future of the clean energy sector in their hands,” Mr Dale says.

Free to registered delegates, this business-to-business event has attracted more than 100 Australian and international speakers and will showcase the latest technology and innovation in clean and renewal energy.

Among keynote speakers are

  • Olivier Druecke, President of the European Solar Thermal Technology Industry Federation
  • Brad Page, CEO of the Energy Supply Association
  •  Ian Gallet, who heads the Society of Underwater Technology
  • Victoria’s Energy and Resources Minister, Peter Batchelor

Others of note to address the two-day multi-stream conference will include Drew Clarke, Deputy Secretary of the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism, Richard Elkington, General Manager Power & Environment for Loy Yang Power and Bruce Harrison, CEO of the Biofuels Association of Australia.

Mr Dale says “All-Energy Australia will provide a forum for discussion and networking between those involved in the industry and a good opportunity to mix with other likeminded individuals and companies.”

“The event – hosted by the Victorian Department of Primary Industries and endorsed by the Australian Clean Energy Council and the Western Australian Sustainable Energy Association – will canvas all major themes relating to clean and sustainable energy development.”

Delegates are being drawn from around the world. Registrations to date include representatives from Europe, North America, the United Arab Emirates, China, India, Japan, Malaysia and Nepal.

The event organisers are also responsible for orchestrating All-Energy UK, Europe’s largest clean energy exhibition and conference, which has been staged annually in Aberdeen, Scotland, since 2001.

All-Energy UK ‘09 – held in May – was the most successful yet, attracting more than 5,000 global participants, including nearly 400 exhibitors, from 60 countries.



Gerard Wynn and Timothy Gardner for Reuters World Environment News (22 September 2009):

LONDON/NEW YORK – Recession has set the stage for the sharpest fall in world greenhouse gas emissions in 40 years, an estimate Monday showed, as world leaders gathered in New York to seek a way forward on a new climate change treaty.

The International Energy Agency said global output of carbon dioxide, the most common greenhouse gas produced by burning fossil fuels, would fall by about 2.6 percent this year amid a tumble in industrial activity.

It expressed hope that the world would seize on the decline to shift to lower-carbon growth despite worries that governments might take it as an excuse for inaction.

“This fall in emissions and in investment in fossil fuels will only have meaning with agreement in Copenhagen which provides a low-carbon signal to investors,” IEA chief economist Fatih Birol told Reuters.

World leaders are to meet at U.N. headquarters Tuesday for a one-day climate summit to try to unlock 190-nation negotiations on a new deal to combat global warming due to be hammered out in Copenhagen in December.

Chinese President Hu Jintao is expected to unveil on Tuesday new measures his country intends to take to tackle global warming, although experts say this may focus on goals for curbing “carbon intensity” — the amount of emissions per unit of economic output — rather than absolute cuts in emissions.

U.N. climate chief Yvo de Boer said the Chinese leader’s speech would thrust his country into a new leadership role.

“This suite of policies will take China to be a world leader on addressing climate change, and it will be quite ironic to hear that tomorrow expressed in a country (the United States) that is firmly convinced that China is doing nothing to address climate change,” he told reporters.

Negotiations among 190 nations are stalled over how to share the burden of curbs on gas emissions through 2020 between rich and poor nations and how to raise perhaps $100 billion a year to help the poor combat warming and adapt to changes such as rising seas or desertification.

Some experts expressed doubts that recession and falling industrial output could be a springboard to greener growth.

“When politicians talk about the financial crisis everything is about returning to growth, which means higher emissions,” said Paal Prestrud, director of the Center for International Climate and Environmental Research in Oslo.

“We have to reduce emissions in a planned way to avoid social problems, not through recession,” he said.

Aside from China, eyes at the summit will be on the United States. Environmentalists hope the pair, the top emitters which account for more than 40 percent of the world total, will find common ground to help spur the Copenhagen talks.

President Barack Obama will have to persuade the rest of the world that Washington is serious about cutting its emissions when it looks unlikely the U.S. Senate will pass climate legislation in time for Copenhagen.

The U.N. talks are “dangerously close to deadlock,” European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said in New York, challenging developing nations to do more in order to secure financial support from industrialized nations.

“This may not be a simple negotiating stand-off that we can fix next year,” according to notes from his speech. “It risks being an acrimonious collapse, delaying action against climate change perhaps for years.”

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown opened the possibility of turning the December 7-18 Copenhagen talks — due to be a meeting of environment ministers — into a summit of world leaders.

“If it is necessary to clinch the deal, I will personally go to Copenhagen to achieve it — and I will be urging my fellow leaders to do so too,” Brown wrote in an article in Newsweek magazine.

On September 24-25, leaders of the G20 will meet in Pittsburgh but Washington said it would not include a major discussion of how developed nations should provide financial support to developing nations to cope with climate change.


Charles’ Coalition, Green Rankings & Carbon Offsets

Posted by admin on September 26, 2009
Posted under Express 77

Charles’ Coalition, Green Rankings & Carbon Offsets

A coalition of more than 500 international companies, brought together by Britain’s Prince Charles,  urges rich countries to commit to “immediate and deep” cuts in greenhouse gas emissions. Newsweek’s first-ever  Green Rankings has Hewlett-Packard in the top spot, while  a survey of 300 global companies gives a snapshot of corporate attitudes toward the voluntary carbon market and the role of carbon offsets.

Peter Griffiths for Reuters World Environment News (22 September 2009):

LONDON – A coalition of more than 500 international companies on Tuesday urged rich countries to commit to “immediate and deep” cuts in greenhouse gas emissions at U.N. climate talks to help combat global warming.

The group of some of the world’s biggest energy companies, retailers and manufacturers said a failure to agree a strong new climate deal at U.N. talks in Copenhagen in December would erode confidence and cut investment in low-carbon technology.

In a statement issued as nations met for a climate summit at the United Nations in New York, the coalition said economic development will be impossible without a stable climate.

“These are difficult and challenging times for the international business community and a poor outcome from…Copenhagen will only make them more so,” it said.

“If a sufficiently ambitious, effective and globally equitable deal can be agreed, it will…deliver the economic signals that companies need if they are to invest billions of dollars in low carbon products, services, technologies and infrastructure.”

The statement was issued by companies who back a campaign by Britain’s Prince Charles, heir to the throne and environmental campaigner, to press for new government policies on climate change and “to grasp the business opportunities created by moving to a low climate-risk economy.”

Members of the prince’s Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change include Britain’s largest retailer Tesco, German insurer Allianz and Royal Dutch Shell, Europe’s largest oil company by market value. Launched in 2005, it is managed for the prince by the University of Cambridge.

Disagreements between rich and poor countries over emissions caps and how much money emerging economies should receive to cope with climate change have hampered preliminary talks before the U.N. negotiations in the Danish capital.

The business group urged nations to set aside their differences and confront climate change with the same urgent, joint approach they took during the economic crisis.

“Developed countries need to take on immediate and deep emission reduction commitments that are much higher than the global average,” the statement added.


By GreenBiz Staff

Published September 21, 2009

NEW YORK CITY, NY — In Newsweek’s first-ever  Green Rankings, Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Intel and IBM take up four of the top five slots; Johnson & Johnson is the only non-technology company in the top five.

The magazine’s list, which is made up of the 500 most valuable companies in the United States, was a joint project between Newsweek staffers and KLD Research and Analytics, the lead partner on the project, Trucost and Companies’ scores are developed by combining an Environmental Impact Score, a Green Policies Score and a Reputation Score for an overall Green Score.

In this year’s rankings, HP scored a perfect 100, Dell earned 98.97 and J&J scored 98.56. 

Unsurprisingly, oil and gas companies rank very low on the list, made up of the 500 most valuable companies in the United States. Three oil companies — Peabody Energy, NRG Energy and Allegheny Energy — round out the last three companies, with ranks of 500, 499, and 498, and overall “Green Scores” of 1.00, 22.75 and 25.04, respectively.
“If you rank companies solely on their environmental footprint or impact, certain industries would dominate that list,” Peter Bernstein, one of the founders of ASAP Media, which worked with Newsweek on developing the rankings, told executive editor Joel Makower.

“[T]echnology, health care, banking — they all don’t have as great as environmental impact as other industries. So, we had to adjust that with intentions and an industry bias.”

In addition to ranking firms based on their overall Green Score, Newsweek’s list also breaks out results by industry sector. Among the results from those rankings include: Wells Fargo, Citigroup and Travelers at the top of the Banking and Insurance group; Coca Cola Enterprises, Coca Cola, and Brown-Forman in the top three spots for Food & Beverage; Baxter International, Medtronic, and Becton Dickinson at the top of the Healthcare section; United Technologies, UPS and FedEx in the top spots of Transportation and Aerospace; and Kohl’s Staples and Gap taking top rankings for Retail.

Below is a list of the top 20 companies in Newsweek’s Green Rankings. For more coverage, read these two articles from Joel Makower: Inside Newsweek’s New Green Corporate Rankings and Who’s Invested in Newsweek’s Least-Green Companies? (Maybe You).

For the full rankings, as well as other insight from Newsweek staff, visit



Industry Sector

Green Score

1 Hewlett-Packard Technology 100
2 Dell Technology 98.87
3 Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceuticals 98.56
4 Intel Technology 95.12
5 IBM Technology 94.08
6 State Street Financial Services 93.62
7 Nike Consumer Products, Cars 93.28
8 Bristol-Myers Squibb Pharmaceuticals 92.62
9 Applied Materials Technology 91.79
10 Starbucks Media, Travel, Leisure 91.63
11 Johnson Controls Consumer Products, Cars 89.53
12 Cisco Systems Technology 88.59
13 Wells Fargo Banks and Insurance 88.53
14 Sun Microsystems Technology 88.11
15 Sprint Nextel Technology 88.06
16 Adobe Systems Technology 87.88
17 Advanced Micro Devices Technology 87.86
18 Kohl’s Retail 86.78
19 Allergan Pharmaceuticals 86.73
20 Staples Retail 86.37


By ClimateBiz Staff (21 September 2009):

Based on responses by more than 300 global companies, this report from EcoSecurities, ClimateBiz and Baker & McKenzie offers a snapshot of global corporate attitudes toward the voluntary carbon market and the role of carbon offsets within larger carbon management strategies.

It follows the inaugural “Carbon Offsetting Trends Survey 2008,” which was among the first to probe the buyer’s perspective of the voluntary carbon market.

The vast majority of multinational companies are pushing ahead with developing and implementing carbon management strategies despite a steep global recession that sent financial markets into a tailspin and took a toll on corporate balance sheets, the report found.

An average of 60 percent of companies in this year’s survey have taken stock of their greenhouse gas inventories, with more than three-quarters (76 percent) devising or executing carbon management strategies, which also include energy efficiency, waste reduction and recycling initiatives. Carbon offsets play a key role in these plans, with more than two-thirds reporting they have already bought offsets in the past, or expressed their intention of doing so before 2012.

Nearly 70 percent of all companies reported a positive view of carbon offsets, the purchases of which are motivated by the environmental benefits they offer (91 percent), in addition to carbon neutrality and marketing reasons (89 percent) and fulfilling their CSR commitments (79 percent).

By and large, buyers gravitate toward renewable energy projects, including solar (92 percent) and wind (86 percent). The most desirable region for projects tended to be those located in the U.S., likely a reflection of the respondents’ origins: Fifty-six percent of those in the survey hail from North America.

The free report can be downloaded here


Overstepping Three Planet Boundaries

Posted by admin on September 26, 2009
Posted under Express 77

Overstepping Three Planet Boundaries

Humanity risks causing catastrophic and irreversible environmental damage by crossing nine planetary boundaries. The Resilience Centre at Stockholm University finds humans have already stepped over three: climate change, species loss and nitrogen cycles. Will Steffen, chief author of the report, hopes by identifying the boundaries it would spark debate around humanity’s role on the planet.

Article in Sydney Morning Herald (24 September 2009)

HUMANITY risks causing catastrophic and irreversible environmental damage by crossing ”nine planetary boundaries”, 28 scientists have warned.

The study by the Resilience Centre at Stockholm University finds humans have already stepped over three of those boundaries: climate change, species loss and nitrogen cycles.

The boundaries are levels of environmental damage that humanity cannot cross without creating increasing risk of causing environmental damage and changing the Earth’s natural functions.

An Australian National University professor, Will Steffen, who was a chief author of the report, told the Herald from California that he hoped the boundaries would spark an ethical and philosophical debate around humanity’s role on the planet.

”Really what we are concerned about is maintaining a planet that humans can thrive on,” he said yesterday. ”The sort of planet in the last 10,000 years that we have been able to develop agriculture, villages, cities, civilisations.”

Professor Steffen stressed the boundaries were rough first drafts which, in some cases, required further extensive scientific research. Two of the boundaries – chemical pollution and atmospheric aerosol loading such as smog and dust storms – do not yet have a measurable boundary.

Other boundaries include ocean acidification, ozone depletion, air pollution, freshwater use and land use for agriculture.

The study will be released in the journal Nature.



(Santa Barbara, Calif.) –– New approaches are needed to help humanity deal with climate change and other global environmental threats that lie ahead in the 21st century, according to a group of 28 internationally renowned scientists.

The scientists propose that global biophysical boundaries, identified on the basis of the scientific understanding of the earth system, can define a “safe planetary operating space” that will allow humanity to continue to develop and thrive for generations to come. This new approach to sustainable development is conveyed in the current issue of the scientific journal Nature. The authors have made a first attempt to identify and quantify a set of nine planetary boundaries, including climate change, freshwater use, biological diversity, and aerosol loading.

The research was performed by a working group at UC Santa Barbara’s National Center forEcological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS), in cooperation with the Stockholm Resilience Centre at Stockholm University.

One important strand of the research behind this article is based in the global project known as IHOPE. The goal of the Integrated History and future Of People on Earth (IHOPE) project is to understand the interactions of the environmental and human process over the ten to hundred millennia to determine how human and biophysical changes have contributed to Earth system dynamics. The IHOPE working group is assembled at NCEAS today.

The scientists emphasize that the rapid expansion of human activities since the industrial revolution has now generated a global geophysical force equivalent to some of the great forces of nature.

“We are entering the Anthropocene, a new geological era in which our activities are threatening the earth’s capacity to regulate itself,” said co-author Will Steffen, professor at the Australian National University (ANU) and director of the ANU Climate Change Institute. “We are beginning to push the planet out of its current stable Holocene state, the warm period that began about 10,000 years ago and during which agriculture and complex societies, including our own, have developed and flourished. The expanding human enterprise could undermine the resilience of the Holocene state, which would otherwise continue for thousands of years into the future.”

Robert Costanza, director of the Gund Institute at the University of Vermont and one of the IHOPE project leaders at NCEAS, said: “Human history has traditionally been cast in terms of the rise and fall of great civilizations, wars, and specific human achievements. This history leaves out the important ecological and climate contexts that shaped and mediated these events. Human history and earth system history have traditionally been developed independently, with little interaction among the academic communities. The Nature article provides evidence of the necessities to establish a thorough, long-term historical understanding of the exchange between human societies and the earth system, in order to set standards for safe navigation within planetary boundaries and avoid crossing dangerous thresholds.”

Planetary boundaries is a way of thinking that will not replace politics, economics, or ethics, explained environmental historian Sverker Sörlin of the Stockholm Resilience Centre and the Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm. “But it will help tell all of us where the dangerous limits are and therefore when it is ethically unfair to allow more emissions of dangerous substances, further reduction of biodiversity, or to continue the erosion of the resource base. It provides the ultimate guardrails that can help societies to take action politically, economically. Planetary boundaries should be seen both as signals of the need for caution and as an encouragement to innovation and new thinking of how to operate safely within these boundaries while at same time securing human well being for all.”

Lead author Johan Rockström, director of the Stockholm Resilience Centre at Stockholm University, said: “The human pressure on the Earth System has reached a scale where abrupt global environmental change can no longer be excluded. To continue to live and operate safely, humanity has to stay away from critical ‘hard-wired’ thresholds in Earth’s environment, and respect the nature of the planet’s climatic, geophysical, atmospheric and ecological processes. Transgressing planetary boundaries may be devastating for humanity, but if we respect them we have a bright future for centuries ahead.”

In addition to the authors named above, the group of IHOPE-related scientists who contributed to the Nature article includes systems ecologist Carl Folke, of the Stockholm Resilience Centre, and archaeologist Sander van der Leeuw at Arizona State University. Among other authors are Katherine Richardson, an oceanographic biologist with the University of Copenhagen, and Nobel laureate Paul Crutzen, an atmospheric chemist with the Max Planck Institute, Mainz, Germany.