Archive for October, 2009

Profile: James Cameron

Posted by admin on October 25, 2009
Posted under Express 81

Profile: James Cameron
Cowardly, he calls them. Carbon finance guru James Cameron says that Australians who call themselves business leaders are simply protecting the status quo and protecting the value they have in the high-carbon economy.
“They do this as if there are no alternatives, as if they can’t afford to make the change. I don’t think that is leadership, that is cowardly.”
Lest Cameron’s words be read as the predictable warnings of yet another climate change warrior, it is important to point out that this is a businessman who has put considerable amounts of money where his mouth is.
James Cameron is an Executive Director and Climate Change Capital’s Vice Chairman. He is responsible for strategic and sector development and represents the firm at the highest levels of business and government.
James is a pre-eminent expert in developing policy responses to climate change. Prior to CCC he was Counsel to Baker & McKenzie and was the founder and the head of their Climate Change Practice.
James has spent much of his legal career working on climate change matters, including negotiating the UNFCCC and Kyoto Protocol as an adviser to the Alliance of Small Island States. He has held academic positions at Cambridge, London, Bruges and Sydney and is currently affiliated with the Yale Centre for Environmental Law and Policy.

Here’s the story from PAOLA TOTARO for Business Day and The Age (24 October 2009):
JAMES Cameron is seated at the conference table in his company’s swish offices beside the Thames, smack bang opposite the architectural folly that is London’s Tower Bridge.
A key player in the feverish world of climate change politics, Cameron’s manner exudes the easy confidence of the Cambridge-educated international lawyer and the passion of a pioneering environmental activist.
Today, however, with the Copenhagen summit just around the corner, this Anglo-Australian is not in the mood to mince words: ”One of my difficulties is that Australian business people that call themselves business leaders are simply protecting the status quo and protecting the value they have in the high-carbon economy,” he says in his perfectly modulated lawyer’s voice.
“They do this as if there are no alternatives, as if they can’t afford to make the change. I don’t think that is leadership, that is cowardly.”
Lest Cameron’s words be read as the predictable warnings of yet another climate change warrior, it is important to point out that this is a businessman who has put considerable amounts of money where his mouth is.
He is founder and chairman of Climate Change Capital, a unique British financial house that specialises in investing in companies that combat global warming. Six years after its inception, CCC has £1.7 billion ($A3.05 billion) in funds under management, 130 staff and offices in China as well as the US.
Cameron argues that it is the world of business that can – and must – find innovative ways to help save the planet from climate change and that there is money, big money, to be made from backing ventures that are the forefront of forging solutions.
This long-standing personal conviction about the need for business-led solutions is reflected in the company’s credo, ”creating wealth worth having”, and saw him join forces six years ago with two like-minded fellow entrepreneurs – Briton Mark Woodall and an old friend, Gareth Hughes.
They launched CCC from nothing, raising money from others on a model that Cameron says is most akin to a 19th-century merchant bank. Now, six years on, CCC also offers strategic, financial and policy advice in its niche area to government and financial institutions raising and deploying capital for myriad low-carbon activities, from capturing coalmine methane in China to investment in clean technology businesses throughout Europe. Its most recent moves were a €10 million ($16.2 million) investment into the Italian solar company Enerqos, and just this week, Cameron sent a team to Australia to talk to super funds about the huge investment opportunities available in creating commercial property investment portfolios structured around ”clean, green, energy-efficient” buildings.
In Britain, he says, post-credit crunch property prices offer investment opportunities in premium buildings as well as older buildings ripe for retro-fitting. Once they are made energy efficient, clean and green, these office complexes become particularly attractive for long-term tenants such as government and municipal authorities that are themselves shifting to implement energy-efficiency targets.
“I am convinced that that strategy works anywhere in the world … there are many examples of buildings of high environmental quality sold at premium. But it works particularly well here in Britain right now – and I think Australian super funds will get it because there is probably more evidence of the value of green buildings in Australia than anywhere else in the world.”
Cameron’s long-term philosophical commitment to environmental protection stems from his time as a young academic lawyer working at Cambridge in the late 1980s. When the Chernobyl nuclear reactor sent a radioactive plume from the former Soviet Union over the Ukraine and then across northern Europe, for the first time satellite images recorded the effect of an environmental catastrophe that transcended national jurisdictions.
He and his fellow lawyers pondered new models of international law practice, writing a blueprint that would address the issues thrown up by Chernobyl, from human rights, trade, the international movement of money and environmental protection.
“By then, we had already started to organise our work around the environment and I did a piece of work with Greenpeace on whether the international court of justice could bring the US to task for failure to act on climate change. That was 1988. While the argument was sound and the evidence of serious societal risk posed by climate change was there, we argued that the best way to use the law and evidence was not to litigate but to negotiate an international agreement on climate change.” That led to a publication in the university’s Journal of International Lawin 1990 that argued for a protocol, ”the first in the legal literature”.
Then a legal adviser to Greenpeace and to the Alliance of Small States, Cameron says he will never forget the words of Margaret Thatcher at the second world climate conference in 1990.
“She was the only powerful world leader to turn out at that event and there, she said, in a phrase that remains etched in my mind: ‘The climate science is so clear, the need for international co-operation so obvious that we should not be squabbling over who pays for it.’ Was she a left-wing radical? No. Did she have a problem with featherbedding industries? No. She was a hard-edged politician who got the science and was decisive and didn’t faff about. Her and my politics were not the same. But I saw her negotiate first hand that night, all night and she out-negotiated the room. She was determined to get that agreement.”
He says that was the precursor that paved the way for the work that began in Chantilly, Virginia, outside Washington in February 1991 and was complete by May 1992.
“It shows what you can do in a year … I might need treatment if after Copenhagen the document looks like what we negotiated in 1992.”
Cameron’s palpable sense of civic responsibility is reflected in his familial history. His great-grandfather and namesake, James O’Grady, was governor of Tasmania in the wake of the World War I, appointed by the British government after negotiating the release by the Bolsheviks of the White Russians after the Russian Revolution. An Irish immigrant who entered British politics through the union movement, he was also a member of Britain’s first Labour government.
Cameron’s father, John, was born in Government House in Tasmania but moved to Western Australia, to a farm in the wheat belt bought by his parents. A passion for flying rather than farming led him to the RAAF and he was one of the pilots who defended Darwin from the Japanese in World War II. Shot down over the Timor Sea, he survived and led the RAAF fly-past over Perth to mark the end of the war. The family moved around a lot during his later career as a commercial pilot but when the marriage broke up, James moved back to London with his mother, Valerie, and went to boarding school. He returned to study law at the University of Western Australia, then later at University College London and finally to Cambridge.
A highly successful career in international law followed, one that included many high-profile cases including the arrest and extradition of Chile’s General Pinochet. Cameron believes that a global agreement in Copenhagen is important but warns that it should not be seen as the be-all and end-all. What is important is that all the measures already on the table are adhered to, that targets can be translated to domestic legislation and that there is policy continuity for those who have already invested or are about to plunge into the new carbon market.
In the shorter term, he believes that Australia has no excuse for objecting to a “significant price for carbon”. “As one of the most vulnerable nations on earth to climate change, Australia also happens to be lucky enough to have the level of capital resources available to fund the transition to a low-carbon economy. Importantly, too, he says, the continent has access to a plethora of natural resources that are either carbon free or lower carbon, including wind and solar powered energies.
“Here is the thing: Australia is not going to be a poor and unsuccessful economy by switching the recipe to lower carbon. It won’t lose its markets for gas and coal and oil in China tomorrow either. There is plenty of time to make the transition but you have to start now.”
He argues that the notion that Australia’s interests are any different to those of China can only be described as “absurd”: “China cannot afford to continue on its current growth path, does not have sufficient energy, cannot manage the pollution it already generates and does not have enough water to ensure it can feed its burgeoning middle classes.
China has no option but to use climate change as a stimulus for a lower carbon trajectory for its economy and it is doing that.”
Cameron concedes that it will be at least a decade and probably much longer before the massive economy of China is turned to a different course but is adamant that this is China’s long-term intention.
“Australia … shares the same risk profile on the fundamentals of water and energy but has greater scope, today at least, to fund the transition because it’s a wealthy successful economy.”
Source: and

Europe Maps Out Higher Targets

Posted by admin on October 25, 2009
Posted under Express 81

Europe Maps Out Higher Targets

Europe is reasserting its leadership to combat global warming by offering to slash its greenhouse gas emissions by up to 95% by 2050 and by 30% by 2020 if a pact is sealed in Copenhagen, while British Foreign Secretary David Miliband has unveiled an interactive map which shows graphically how climate change could lead to water and food shortages, mass migration and conflict.

Ian Traynor in Sydney Morning Herald (23 October 2009):
BRUSSELS: Europe has attempted to reassert its leadership of the campaign to combat global warming by offering to slash its greenhouse gas emissions by up to 95 per cent by 2050 and by 30 per cent by 2020 if a climate-change pact is sealed in Copenhagen in six weeks’ time.
”This should be seen as a clear message to the world,” said Andreas Carlgren, the Swedish environment minister.
”We expect to reach an agreement in Copenhagen,” he said after environment ministers from the 27 European Union countries met to finalise a common negotiating position.
His optimism contrasts with growing doubts that there is enough time to deliver a binding agreement in Copenhagen.
The EU still has to settle how to pay the developing world to cope with the impact of global warming and disputes over the EU emissions trading scheme.
On Tuesday European finance ministers failed to agree on a funding package for developing countries, with Poland and other poorer east European countries unhappy about being asked to subsidise action in countries such as China and India. Poland is also leading dissent on the emissions trading scheme.
The EU proposal offers to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 80 to 95 per cent by 2050 in the event of a satisfactory deal.
Ministers reiterated pledges to deepen cuts from 20 to 30 per cent if other world powers signed up for similar action.
Campaigners denounced the accord as inadequate. ”The level of ambition demonstrated by environment ministers will not deliver a fair and just global climate agreement in Copenhagen,” said Sonja Meister, climate campaign co-ordinator for Friends of the Earth.
”Europe must go much
further than this and live up to its historical responsibilities by committing to cut emissions by 40 per cent domestically by 2020.”
Greenpeace said: ”The EU’s position is not strong enough to unlock the stalled negotiations.”
Given the reluctance of the US, China and India to unveil targets or specific figures for a pact, the EU was divided over tactics. But Britain, Denmark, Sweden and the Netherlands believe Europe can gain from seizing the leadership before Copenhagen.
Guardian News & Media
October 23, 2009
Article from: Agence France-Presse

BRITISH Foreign Secretary David Miliband has unveiled an interactive map demonstrating the impact of global warming in decades to come, to underline the looming threat.
The map, presented at London’s Science Museum, shows graphically how climate change could lead to water and food shortages, mass migration and conflict if action is not taken at a landmark summit in Copenhagen in December.

“The reason for publishing this map is that for many people, not only in our own country but around the world, the penny hasn’t yet dropped that this climate change challenge is real, it’s happening now,” Mr Miliband said.

The effects of climate change are not in “some far flung future” but would affect hundreds of millions of people within his lifetime, he added, unveiling the map with his brother Ed, Britain’s climate change minister.

A 4 degree celsius increase could happen in his children’s lifetime, Mr Miliband warned.

“The penny hasn’t dropped that Copenhagen is the chance to address – on a global scale – the challenge,” he said.

The map shows sea level rises and storm surges with temperatures rising up to 15 degrees, bringing increased risks of forest fires and droughts in Europe, and slashing harvests by up to 40 per cent in southeast Asia and Africa.

Vicky Carroll of the Science Museum said: “We thought it was important for visitors to understand the whole picture.

“There’s so much information about climate change but many people are still confused, so this gives them the evidence in a clear and accessible way.”

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown warned on Monday the world faces “catastrophe” if action is not agreed to curb the greenhouse gases held resposnible for global warming at the UN talks in Copenhagen.

Climate Catastrophe Can Be Avoided

Posted by admin on October 25, 2009
Posted under Express 81

Climate Catastrophe Can Be Avoided

The world has just five years to initiate a low carbon industrial revolution before runaway climate change becomes almost inevitable. But the good news is that it can be done and that the long term benefits will be immense, according to new analysis by Climate Risk for WWF.

Deadlines loom for creating new economy to avoid climate catastrophe

Gland, Switzerland – The world has just five years to initiate a low carbon industrial revolution before runaway climate change becomes almost inevitable. But the good news is that it can be done and that the long term benefits will be immense, according to new analysis from WWF.

Climate Solutions 2 (CS2) is the first analysis to put timetables to the industrial transformations needed to limit global carbon emissions to below the 2˚C level scientists identify as presenting unacceptable risks of runaway climate change. It was prepared for WWF by Climate Risk, a company known for its work on climate change for global insurers and infrastructure providers.

The report found that beyond 2014, the feasible upper limits of industrial growth rates will make it impossible for market economies to meet the carbon targets required to keep global warming below 2°C. The report also found that market measures alone will not be enough to deliver emissions reductions on the scale required and that delays will increase the levels of direct intervention needed in the economy.

“Climate Solutions 2 tells us that we need to start making the change to a low- carbon economy today,” said Kim Carstensen, leader of WWF’s Global Climate Initiative. “The transformation will require sustained growth in clean and efficient industry in excess of 20 per cent a year over a period of decades.

“The report’s modelling shows how we can sustain these growth rates but also makes it clear this will be the fastest industrial revolution witnessed in our history.

“Its findings offer a pragmatic, sobering and urgent warning to world leaders that the window of opportunity to act on climate change is rapidly closing. The time for playing politics with our future is long past.”

The way forward, according to the report, is simultaneous action on all greenhouse gas emissions from all sectors, with market measures backed with a full range of other policies including energy efficiency standards, feed-in tariffs for renewable energy and an end to “perverse “ subsidies for fossil fuel use.

According to the report, countries not pursuing all carbon abatement options in all sectors will tend to develop least-cost industries first and only develop other low carbon industries as they become affordable.

Computer modelling and historical records agree that sequential development of industries, which would result from undue reliance on a single mechanism such as a rising carbon price, will make it impossible to meet emissions targets on time. Industries that come online later will have to grow considerably faster because of the delays in start-up and will be hit harder by constraints on available resources, labour and expertise.

“This analysis shows that we can win the fight against runaway climate change by transforming all sectors of our economies concurrently, by creating stable long- term investment environments that don’t seek immediate returns and through focusing on key industry sectors,” said Dr Stephan Singer, who leads WWF’s Global Energy Initiative.

The industries that will lead the transformation are renewable energy generation, carbon capture and storage, energy efficiency, sustainable low- carbon agriculture and sustainable forestry. With the clean industrial revolution under way and sustained by a strong policy framework all renewable energies become competitive with fossil fuels between 2013 and 2025 – a highly conservative estimate based on just 2% annual rises in fossil fuel prices and no price on carbon.

“The wind, the sea and the sun will cost the same today, tomorrow and into the future, unlike coal,” said Singer. “They can be the basis for a cleaner world where energy supplies are more secure and where we have the best chance of preventing dramatic climate changes that could endanger our cities, our food supplies and the natural environment that we have always depended on.”

Climate Solutions 2 calculates that the extra investment worldwide is expected to be US$17 trillion up to 2050 – or less than 15% of the funds currently managed by institutional investors. The returns on that investment are expected to flow back into investor’s pockets from 2027 and in some cases even earlier.

For renewable technologies, the cumulative investment to 2050 worldwide will total US$7 trillion, but it is expected generate returns to investors of around six times as much.

“Climate Solutions 2 draws a line in the sand that we cannot cross,” said Castensen. “It reinforces that we have reached a pivotal moment in our history where the window of opportunity which remains to prevent runaway climate change will soon disappear entirely.

“Most immediately and importantly, the basis for this transformation has to be laid in Copenhagen in December with a fair, binding and effective new global deal on climate change.”

For further information:
A copy of Climate Solutions 2, an executive summary, backgrounder and some graphs can be downloaded from

About WWF
WWF is one of the world’s largest and most respected independent conservation organizations, with almost 5 million supporters and a global network active in over 100 countries. WWF’s mission is to stop the degradation of the earth’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by conserving the world’s biological diversity, ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable, and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption.

Source: and

350 Key for Climate Crisis

Posted by admin on October 25, 2009
Posted under Express 81

350 Key for Climate Crisis
“Civilization is what grows up in the margins of leisure and security provided by a workable relationship with the natural world. That margin won’t exist, at least not for long, as long as we remain on the wrong side of 350. That’s the limit we face,” says Bill McKibben, who started, prompting 5200 actions in 181 countries for International Day of Climate Action on 24 October. We hear from Salil Jose in India.
Bill McKibben is a writer, activist, and co-founder of A scholar-in-residence at Middlebury College, McKibben is the author of The End of Nature, the first book for a general audience on climate change.
Salil Jose reports from India on (22 October 2009):

The number 350 has become very crucial in the present-day world. Scientists say unless we reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to 350 parts per million, there will be irreversible damage to the planet.

Climate champions, scientists and people who care for the mother earth have come together to bring the world`s attention to the number 350. This international campaign or movement is called It`s striving to inspire the world to rise to the challenges of the climate crisis. is coordinating more than 4,000 actions in different countries on October 24 as part of its mission to make people aware of the climate crisis. In India, the progarmmes are oraganised in different cities like Bangalore and tourists spots like the Taj Mahan and the Dal Lake in Srinagar.

In an interview to, South East Asia campaign coordinator of Roselin Dey speaks about the mission of the movement.

What does stand for? is an international campaign to unite the world to find solutions to the climate crisis. Our mission is to inspire the world to rise to the challenges of the climate crisis — to create a new sense of urgency and of possibility for our planet.

Our focus is on the number 350 — as in parts per million (ppm), the level scientists, including Dr James Hansen from NASA, have identified as the safe upper limit for carbon dioxide in our atmosphere. But 350 is more than a number. It`s a symbol of where we need to head as a planet.

Making way for bicycle

How far succeeded in creating climate awareness?

The 350 campaign has helped unite and strengthen the international movement to fight climate change in some massive ways.

Already there have been hundreds of actions taken all around the world, spreading the number 350 from rallies to workshops to cycling actions. The movement is building, and it is growing at a tremendous rate. At present, 90 countries officially support the 350 target.

There are dozens of top UN scientists like Dr R K Pachauri, activists like Vandava Shiva and dozens of top notch people with years of experience who have extended their support to Thousands of communities have joined the movement.

What are you planning to do on October 24?

We are observing October 24 as the International Day of Climate Action. Over 200 organisations including WWF International, Oxfam, Indian Youth Climate Network, Delhi Greens, Sanctuary Asia and IndyACT are supporting and organising actions on the day. is coordinating more than 4,000 actions in 160 countries on the day. There will be thousands of events happening simultaneously around the world – from the Taj Mahal to the Great Barrier Reef – united by a common call to action for 350.

People, communities, organisations are free to hold any kind of action that is suitable in their region and brings about awareness about the larger issues of climate change and the importance of 350.

At each event, organisers will take a photograph or video that shares the number 350 in an inspiring and creative way.

What are the highlights of the programme?

The highlights include Chinese students holding 350 banners at the Great Wall, the President of the Maldives leading 350 of his citizens in the world`s largest underwater scuba action, 350 Masaii herdsmen dancing in their parched Kenyan fields, and Israelis, Palestinians, and Jordanians gathering at the dead sea to form a giant human 350.

In the spirit of international collaboration, cities will come together to form global 350s, with a giant 3 in Sydney, a 5 in London, and a 0 in Quito, near the 0 latitude mark at the Equator. All of these photos would be telecast at the United Nations headquarters and the Times Square on October 24.

Are you planning any out-of-the-box protest programmes, like the underwater meeting held by Maldivian ministers?

Lots of such actions are happening. As I have already said, just a week after holding an underwater cabinet meeting calling for world leader`s to commit to 350 ppm CO2, President Mohamed Nasheed of Maldives will lead 350 of his fellow Maldivian citizens in a 24 hour action — a relay of teams diving in the shallow waters of the capital of Male to form an underwater 3, then 5, then 0, to be stitched together by day’s end.

Images: Maldivian ministers hold underwater meeting

The fastest climbers in Nepal will be venturing to the highest point in the world on Mount Everest with a banner declaring `350: Save Our Himalayas.`

Chinese students will hold 350 banners at the Great Wall while hundreds more universities take action simultaneously across the country.

In the Dal Lake in Srinagar, we plan to take a 350 aerial image with boats on the lake after a clean up drive of the river with children.

350 children will be undertaking a plantation drive along the Yamuna banks. Also they will make a 350 formation beside the Taj.

What should the developing countries like India do towards safeguarding environment?

It is very important for developing countries like India to strike a balance between development and over consumption of resources. To get back on the path to 350, several strict measure are required like to switch from the use of coal to renewable energy sources, investing in solar technologies, and reducing the overall carbon footprint of the countries.

What are your future plans, apart from the campaign on October 24?

This campaign aims at making people aware of what humanity should aim for if it needs to survive: 350 ppm. The next step would be to translate this dream into reality by taking all possible steps to bring down the amount of carbon dioxide by both the developed and developing countries, which requires a massive ongoing effort from everyone`s end.

In Brisbane, Ken Hickson took part in a programme at Indooroopilly Library on Saturday and organised by Sustainable Jamboree. Besides drawing attention to the people and events involved in raising climate change awareness and action from his book “The ABC of Carbon”, he also highlighted upcoming events including the Climate Change @ Work Conference, the launch of Sustainability Challenge and the first Electric Vehicle Conference. His talk was followed by a screening of the documentary “The Age of Stupid”.

Source: and

It’s Electrifying! Cars Switch On

Posted by admin on October 25, 2009
Posted under Express 81

It’s Electrifying! Cars Switch On

Futuristic concept cars, ultra-efficient hybrids, zero-emission electric vehicles and even a hydrogen-powered scooter jostled for the limelight at the Tokyo Motor Show in a week which also saw Mayor Nir Barkat and Shai Agassi, founder and chief executive of California-based Project Better Place, unveil the first part of an electric car network in Jerusalem (pictured). Australia’s first Electric Vehicle Conference is on in Brisbane 11 November.

Daniel Rook reports from Tokyo for The Age (21 October 2009):

Futuristic concept cars, ultra-efficient hybrids, zero-emission electric vehicles and even a hydrogen-powered scooter jostled for the limelight as the Tokyo Motor Show kicked off on Wednesday.

From a super-skinny Nissan electric car that leans when going around bends, to a lightweight Toyota sports car and a Daihatsu vehicle with a design based on a basket, Japanese makers showed off their visions of the future.

While hybrids are still a big feature, electric cars are competing for attention at this year’s show as technological breakthroughs in rechargeable batteries bring mass-produced zero emission cars closer to reality.

Despite the success of the hybrid, car makers are still hedging their bets on green technology, with biofuels, clean diesel and fuel cells also seen as potential alternative power sources.

With foreign makers almost entirely absent, the show is dominated by the Japanese makers, which are pinning their hopes on growing interest in fuel-efficient automobiles to rescue them from a brutal industry slump.

Toyota, the world’s largest automaker, is displaying a new version of its electric concept car — the FT-EV II — along with a new lightweight, sporty concept car inspired by the iconic Corolla AE86 coupe of the 1980s.

With a low centre of gravity and a special two-litre boxer engine developed by partner Subaru, the rear-wheel drive FT-86 is said to handle like a race car but with less damage to the environment.

“Everyone thinks sports cars won’t sell but there is a huge demand, particularly among middle-aged men who have fond memories of the Corolla 86 and who would like to drive it once again,” Toyota engineer Tetsuya Tada said.

Nissan showed off an electric concept car that leans to the side when going around bends.

The “Land Glider”, just 1.1 metres (3 feet 7 inches) wide, seats two people — one in the front and one in the back. Inspired by motorbikes and glider aircraft, it has tilting wheels that enable it to lean by up to 17 degrees.

“Although you are driving on the road, you feel as if you are flying,” Nissan’s Ryusuke Hayashi, who is overseeing the project, said at a preview.

Nissan will put its electric car, the Leaf, on display to the public for the first time at the show, which opens to general visitors in Makuhari Messe, east of Tokyo, on Saturday. The mid-sized car will go on sale in late 2010.

“Leaf will make waves in our industry as the world’s first affordable zero-emission car,” Nissan chief executive Carlos Ghosn said at the show.

“The time is now for zero emissions. Sustainable mobility is within our reach. We stand on the threshold of a new era in the automotive industry.”

While Nissan lags behind its bigger rivals in hybrids, it is one step ahead in electric cars. Toyota has said it aims to launch an electric car by 2012.

From Honda comes the EV-N, a cute new electric concept car that can store a one-wheel personal mobility device inside its door.

Fuel cells, which run on hydrogen and emit only water, also make an appearance as Honda and Suzuki put on display cars powered by the technology. There is even a fuel-cell scooter and a fuel-cell wheelchair from Suzuki.


Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat and Shai Agassi (R), founder and chief executive of California-based Project Better Place, stand beside an electric car during a ceremony unveiling the first part of an electric car network in Jerusalem October 22, 2009.

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – California-based electric car operator Better Place unveiled plans on Thursday to build a charging system for electric vehicles in Jerusalem, in addition to a network it has installed in the Israeli city of Tel Aviv.

About 100 charging stations will be placed on Jerusalem streets by 2011, when Israel plans to have electric cars available for mass consumption, Shai Agassi, CEO of Better Place, said. Twenty of the stations have already been placed.

At a ceremony where he signed the agreement with Israeli officials, Agassi said a transition to greener means of transportation could make for cleaner air, and called Israel “a leader in the road to sustainable mobility.”

Electric car batteries used in Israel will have a range of 160-200 km (100-125 miles), sufficient to cover the distances among most of the small country’s main urban centers. They would take 3-4 hours to charge, Better Place said in a statement.

Israel regards Jerusalem as its indivisible capital, including the eastern sector it captured in a 1967 war and annexed in a move not recognized internationally. Palestinians want the city as capital of a future state.

Better Place, a $200-million venture-backed company, is in an early stage, testing charge spots in Israel with plans to follow in Denmark, and is working with Renault and Nissan to develop electric car infrastructure.

The firm has also announced partnerships with Australia, California and Hawaii, worth about $2 billion in total, to expand its network in the coming years as markets search for alternatives to cut carbon emissions and pricey fuel imports.

Source: and

The first National Electric Vehicle Conference will be held in Brisbane on 11 November. For more information and to book for it, go to the website.


Undermining Emissions Reduction

Posted by admin on October 25, 2009
Posted under Express 81

Undermining Emissions Reduction

The Investor Group on Climate Change, representing some of Australia’s largest institutional investors, has criticised the Opposition’s amendments to the Government’s emissions trading scheme. They argue this could defeat the purpose of the scheme to find the cheapest and most efficient way to cut greenhouse pollution.

By Jennifer Macey for AM on ABC (22 October 2009):

Investors say too much compensation for big polluters will undermine emissions trading. Some of Australia’s largest institutional investors have criticised the Opposition’s amendments to the Government’s emissions trading scheme.

The Investor Group on Climate Change includes AMP and Goldman Sachs. The investors say the proposed changes would compensate, or exclude, too many sectors of the economy.

They argue this could defeat the purpose of the scheme to find the cheapest and most efficient way to cut greenhouse pollution.

The list of those industries who may be in or out of the emissions trading scheme is growing. The Opposition says the Government’s proposed CPRS is too costly and it wants agriculture and gassy coal mines left out. More compensation would also go to coal fired power stations and the food processing industry.

Nathan Fabian is the chief executive of the Investor Group on Climate Change which represents firms like AMP, Goldman Sachs and the industry super funds.

“Agriculture, transport, mining has potentially significant compensation, the list is getting short for sectors that have to deal with the effect of the carbon price,” he commented.

“The idea of the emissions trading scheme is to find the least cost abatement, so the most efficient way to reduce emissions throughout the economy.

“Now if you start chopping sectors out of the scheme, then the market mechanism isn’t working efficiently, we’re not finding the least cost abatement, and the abatement options are going to be more expensive.”

He says unless a broad section of industry is covered by the scheme the burden may fall on a small part of the economy.

“Buildings is one area that may have a disproportionately high burden for reducing emissions, now luckily this sector is doing reasonably good work, but as it gets harder to reduce emissions in that sector, even if it costs more, the burden will fall there,” Mr Fabian said.

Lack of incentive

The building sector says it can easily cut emissions through energy efficiency but there is not enough incentive in the current scheme.

“Basically by 2030 the potential of our sector was to abate up to about 60 mega tonnes a year, now that’s a big number, that’s probably 10 per cent of Australia’s current emissions,” said David Parken, the chief executive officer of the Australian Institute of Architects.

“But that’s just the potential of it, and unfortunately the CPRS, in terms of our modelling, will only deliver about 8 mega tonnes from our sector.”

However, he does support the Coalition’s plans for a national white certificate scheme to allow households and businesses to earn credits for improving energy efficiency.

“We’re not sitting out there with a begging bowl, we’re not wanting compensation, we can make a major contribution and we could actually soften the blow on some of the sectors in the economy,” Mr Parken added.

Farmers and the coal mining sector have welcomed the Opposition’s amendments.

“It’s a big improvement on what’s currently proposed by the Government, it will maintain the competitiveness of the Australian coal industry and thus maintain jobs in regional Australia,” said Ralph Hillman, the executive director of the Australian Coal Association.

He says there are some 23 gassy coal mines that release methane during the mining process that could be unfairly taxed.

“It proposes to remove fugitive emissions from coal mining from the emissions trading scheme, but it does propose to regulate them, including quite a stiff target of a 30 per cent reduction in fugitive emissions by 2025,” he said.

“That’s quite a challenging target, because the technology for actually capturing and abating these emissions is very limited indeed, particularly in respect of open cut mines.”

But Nathan Fabian from the Investor Group on Climate Change says the earlier the economy gets used to a carbon price, the better.

“We’ve got exposure to all these sectors, emissions intensive and non-emissions intensive, we think we need to start getting the Australian economy ready for a time when there’s a fair dinkum price on carbon because that’s not far away.”

Source: and

Tide Turns for Carbon Investment

Posted by admin on October 25, 2009
Posted under Express 81

Tide Turns for Carbon Investment

The time is right for investors to leap on board the green bandwagon, says Robin Bromby in The Australian and he draws on comments from Ken Hickson (author The ABC of Carbon, and a weekly carbon sector newsletter), saying individual investors have the choice of an increasing number of new funds targeting ways to combat climate change.

Robin Bromby in the Wealth section of The Australian (21 October 2009):

So you’re a global warming sceptic? Never mind, this is business: there’s a very large amount of money to be made from the big carbon surge.

And another thing: we’re talking ethical investment here. You know, clean air, clean water, the planet safe for our grandchildren.

All of these are good objectives and ones worth achieving even if the earth is not heating up due to human activity. See this as a bonus to the profits to be made.

And the beautiful thing is we are still in the early stages. This is ground-floor territory for the investor. One fund manager likens it to the beginning of the railway or computer eras.

Possibly true, but it may be worth remembering that huge sums of money were lost in Britain’s railway mania of the 1840s and a similar bubble in US railroad stocks later that century. And we all remember the 2002 aftermath of the dotcom bubble.

So, just like anything else, the climate change business will hold some disappointments for investors.
But, as the Python boys said, always look on the bright side of life.

Alternative energy and carbon trading, while seemingly having been with us for years, are only just beginning to gain traction as investment vehicles.

Brisbane-based Ken Hickson, author of a new 580-page book, The ABC of Carbon, and a weekly carbon sector newsletter, says individual investors have the choice of an increasing number of new funds targeting ways to combat climate change. His book quotes fund managers describing this shift away from a carbon-based economy as a “mega trend that will shape the asset management industry for many years”.

Of course, most of the money to be made is coming from us in higher prices for energy, food, transport and, in fact, almost everything we need and consume. It’s a tax, pure and simple. That’s why it is so big.

As if on cue, just as this was being written, Novus Capital launched what it described as an “innovative energy fund” seeking to raise $30 million.

The announcement carried a tag: “Suitable for self-managed super funds.” So we can see this as an emerging business opportunity for both sides. For the person managing their own super, here’s an easy way to get aboard the carbon bandwagon. For the fund managers, it’s a whole new business opportunity.

While the Novus fund will take positions in coal, it is also targeting coal-seam gas, coal gasification, coal and carbon technologies: all sectors that will expand dramatically (and profitably) as the world seeks cleaner energy. Governments everywhere are throwing money at the cause of reducing carbon pollution and encouraging alternative energies. The federal government here has earmarked $1.5billion for solar power, and recently allocated another $300m for renewable energy grants.

Australia’s renewable energy demonstration program is aimed at pushing commercial use of ocean, geothermal and other technologies. Each of the grants is expected to be between $50m and $100m. And this is just the beginning.

As Richard Gere said to the Sunset Boulevard store manager in the movie Pretty Woman, “We’re going to be spending obscene amounts of money in here.” One estimate is that carbon credit trading worldwide 11 years from now will be sitting at $US3 trillion a year. Consider that a conservative estimate.

There are signs in the US that the green technology business is picking up after being trounced during the recent financial crisis, with $US1.9bn ($2.1bn) in deals recorded during the September quarter, more than double the business written in the first quarter of 2009.

It is not just funds that will be expanding exponentially.

As Hickson points out, a new range of innovative, green financial products are coming on the market: green car loans, mortgages tailored to energy efficient homes, alternative energy venture capital, eco-savings deposits and green credit cards. He cites Barclays Bank in Britain, which targets people who fly a lot. To offset their share of aircraft carbon emissions (and assuage their consciences), these people can support investment funds that put money into developing countries for energy efficient projects, renewable energy and reforestation.

From November 24, you’ll be able trade futures and options contracts on the Australian Securities Exchange for renewable energy certificates. This is ahead of the federal government’s plan to have 20 per cent of our electricity coming from renewable sources by 2020. The ASX has also received regulatory clearance for certified emissions reduction certificates futures and options contracts, and these will be listed by next March. It’s all aimed at helping Australian and New Zealand companies get into carbon trading, finance and investment.

Terry McLennan, head of distribution at CVC Sustainable Investments, says investors should think in terms of the big five: air and water purification, clean power, cleaner fuels, sustainable food production and waste management.

Unsustainable industries are the enemy from now on, he adds.

Inevitably, we follow the US. This carbon business is in its formative stage there, too. Looking at mutual funds and exchange-traded funds, there are now close to 40 dedicated green portfolios from which to choose, according to The Wall Street Journal.

But, the paper adds, investors need to tread carefully. Look, it points out, at the bankruptcy of many ethanol and biofuels producers. (Closer to home, remember the recent collapse of Mildura-based Solar Systems and its plans to build the country’s largest solar power station.)

Australia still has a long, long way to go. According to the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the investment in greenhouse mitigation remains subdued as business continues to focus on getting through the global financial crisis. Its survey showed 23.3 per cent of businesses have no climate change plans and a further 52.9 per cent are not at present motivated to do anything about greenhouse mitigation.

Sounds bad, but it could be good news for the investor. It may be that, in terms of carbon profits, we are at the same stage as the early railway period or when most companies had yet to buy computers.

Remember the old dictum: just follow the money.


Making Sustainable Enterprise Work

Posted by admin on October 25, 2009
Posted under Express 81

Making Sustainable Enterprise Work
Malcolm McIntosh, writer, broadcaster and teacher on corporate citizenship, sustainability and accountability, now heads the new Asia Pacific Centre on Sustainable Enterprise at Griffith Business School. He is one of the speakers at the land-mark Climate Change@Work Conference in Brisbane on 29 October.
The Climate Change @ Work conference focuses on the key human element of sustainable development. It promotes achieving sustainability in the workplace through sustainable leadership and management practice.
Malcolm McIntosh is the General Editor of the Journal of Corporate Citizenship, a Trustee of, Visiting Professor, Institute for International Policy Analysis, University of Bath, Visiting Professor at the International Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility at Nottingham Business School, England, and Professor Extraordinary at the Sustainability Institute, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa, Chair of the Strategic Advisory Board to the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Bristol and a member of the European Council on Corporate Citizenship for the US Conference Board. He is also on the UK Sustainable Development Commission’s Panel.
Now he is at Griffith Business School to run the new Asia Pacific Centre for Sustainable Enterprise.
The Asia-Pacific Centre for Sustainable Enterprise is a highly collaborative entity with strong national and international connections to industry, academe, government and relevant non-government organisations. It includes a vibrant research culture, innovative teaching and learning programs, industry and community engagement activities.
Earlier this year Australian economist Professor Ross Garnaut stated the first strength of Australia in the context of effective sustainable development is the strength of our human resource base.
The Climate Change @ Work conference focuses on this key human element of sustainable development. It promotes achieving sustainability in the workplace through sustainable leadership and management practice.
From important HR Management issues, such as how sustainability practices will affect workplace relations, skill demands and jobs, to operational issues such as achieving carbon reduction in the workplace. Another key management issue presented at the conference is how to promote, communicate and engage your employees in sustainable development.
Sustainable development in the workplace is something that needs to be addressed by management across the company, John Buchanan, Director of the Workplace Research Centre states, and the HR Function has to be one of the driving forces behind it. A recent study by Auckland University of Technology shows that HR practitioners are too passive when it comes to driving environmental sustainability in the workplace, the report states “the HR field has thus far largely failed to engage”. This conference promotes strategic sustainable development in the workplace, and this means commitment from all areas of management.
The Workplace Research Centre, University of Sydney has been running the Climate Change @ Work Conference for two years in Sydney and now looks forward to bringing it to Brisbane. The conference presents the latest insights into sustainable development in the workplace from key thought leaders in Australia.
Topics and speakers include:
The need for change
• Greg Withers, Assistant Director-General, Office of Climate Change Qld

Green Skills and Green Jobs: the implications for the labour market

• Camille Carroll, Acting Director, Climate Change and Green Skills Taskforce, Department of Education Employment and Workplace Relations
• Rohan Anderson, Manager, Skills Formation Strategy, Energy Skills Queensland

Tackling Climate Change @ Work in Queensland
• Alex Scott, General Secretary, Qld Public Sector Union
• Aaron Johnstone, Policy and Pubic Affairs Manager, Australian Industry Group Qld

Achieving Change: the case studies
• Amanda Keogh, Environment and Sustainability Manager, Fuji Xerox
• Andrew Petersen, Partner, PwC
• Scott Delzoppo, Sustainability Manager, Fosters Group

Achieving Change: the facilitators
• Prof. Malcolm McIntosh, Director, Asia – Pacific Centre for Sustainable Enterprise, Griffith University
• Ken Hickson, Director, ABC Carbon
• Richard Cassels, Director, Climate Leadership

Chairing the Day
• John Buchanan, Director, Workplace Research Centre

The Climate Change @ Work Brisbane Conference will take place on the 29th of October. This is a once off opportunity for you to attend the conference at South Bank, Brisbane so book your tickets before they are sold out. There are still some places available.

There’s Gold in the Carbon Market

Posted by admin on October 25, 2009
Posted under Express 81

There’s Gold in the Carbon Market
A one-day key summit planned for the Gold Coast on Monday will seek to co-ordinate climate change action across all levels of government, while Greg Combet, Minister Assisting the Minister for Climate Change will headline Australia’s presenters at the three day Carbon Market Expo, as pressure mounts on Government decisions regarding the highly topical climate change stance.
The event sponsored by major organisations Macquarie, Ernst & Young, Ecofund Queensland, and Baker & McKenzie will commence on Monday and is being held at the Gold Coast Convention Centre running from October 26-28.
“Carbon Market Australasia is the biggest event of its kind and a diverse range of business is involved in the event including energy providers, banks, superannuation funds, carbon off-set, and technology providers,” said Michael Whitehead, Carbon Expo Director.
“The Hon Greg Combet AM MP, Minister Assisting the Minister for Climate Change attendance at the event will draw much debate on the topic of climate change and is expected to attract all the key players in Australia,” said Michael.
Some key highlights of the conference include;
Monday 26 October
5.25pm: Hon Kate Jones MP, Queensland Minister for Climate Change & Sustainability
Tuesday 26 October
9.30am: The Hon Greg Combet AM MP Minister Assisting the Minister for Climate Change
9am -12.30pm: Tony Jones, moderator of high level plenary sessions with global leaders throughout the day such as Robert Hill, Chair, Australian Carbon Trust; former Australian Environment Minister; former Australian Ambassador to the UN, His Excellency Mr Fernando de Mello Ballero, Brazilian Ambassador to Australia, James Grabert, Manager, Joint Implementation, Sustainable Development Mechanisms Programme, UNFCCC, Germany
Sudipta Das, Global Lead Partner, CDM, Ernst & Young, India.
Wednesday 28 October
9.00am: Martijn Wilder, Partner, Baker & McKenzie, and other global carbon market expat experts will present on the perspectives of Australian expats working in global carbon markets, of carbon market developments & trends, and the global financial situation.
Other key note speakers include;
• Vanessa Guthrie – Vice President – Sustainable Development, Woodside
• John Marlow – Global Head of Environmental Financial Products, Macquarie Bank, London
• Garth Taylor – Trade Commissioner for ASEAN, Austrade, Kuala Lumpur
• Rodrigo Sales – Partner, Baker & McKenzie, Sao Paulo, Brazil
• Scott McGregor – CFO, Camco Global, London
• Helen Robinson – Managing Director, Markit Environmental Registry, New York
• David McInnes – Group Manager, Environment and Climate Change, Linfox
• Tim Harcourt – Chief Economist, Austrade
• Patrick Birley – Chief Executive, European Climate Exchange, London
• Geoff Leeper – Deputy Secretary, Australian Climate Change Regulatory Authority (ACCRA) Group, Australian Department of Climate Change
• Susie Smith – Principal Sustainability Advisor, Santos
• Dr Martin Blake – Head of Sustainability, Royal Mail Group, London
• Mina Guli – Vice Chairman, Peony Capital, Beijing
• Will Steffen – Executive Director, ANU Climate Change Institute
Carbon Market Expo Australasia 2008 attracted 1100 delegates, 104 speakers, 81 exhibitors from 27 countries over 3 days. Australia’s biggest and most respected carbon trading expo is on again and starts Monday.
ABC Carbon will be at the show and Ken Hickson will be on hand with his book “The ABC of Carbon”
A one-day key summit planned for the Gold Coast on Monday (26/10) will seek to co-ordinate climate change action across all levels of government.
Coming in the lead-up to international climate change talks in Copenhagen, close to 80 delegates from across all tiers of government, academia, science, business and the community will meet to agree on a set of themed principles for co-operation.
These will then be communicated to Federal Climate Change Minister, Penny Wong.
Initiated by Gold Coast City Council as part of its five-year Climate Change Strategy, the summit will feature opening remarks by Director of the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility, Professor Jean Palutikof, from Griffith University.
Queensland Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability, Kate Jones, will wrap up proceedings at 5 pm.
Council’s Chair of Sustainable City Future Committee, Councillor Peter Young, said the summit would identify ways all levels of government, business and the community could work co-operatively to make a difference on climate change.
“There are numerous actions being undertaken by governments across Australia, different research being carried out at various institutions, and plenty of activities and goodwill within the community,” Cr Young said.
“We want to discuss ways to harness these efforts to ensure that we are better prepared to deliver real environmental improvements, particularly on what is agreed at Copenhagen.”
“The summit will seek to develop a set of agreed, practical and robust principles for cross-governmental management and co-ordination.
“We will then communicate these outcomes to Federal Climate Change Minister Penny Wong, ahead of the Copenhagen deliberations.’
He said a broad cross-section of Federal and State government departments, business, academia and community would be represented, with a strong contingent from local governments and universities.
“Leading academics and researchers will come from the University of Melbourne, Queensland University of Technology, Griffith and Bond Universities.
“Also participating will be experts from CSIRO’s Climate Adaptation Flagship and the Queensland Climate Change Centre for Excellence.
“Business, Professional and Community organisations will include the Australian Youth Climate Coalition, the Brisbane Institute, Tourism Queensland, the Community Climate Network Australia, Energex, Oxfam, World Wildlife Fund Australia, GECKO, Greenfleet and the Planning Institute of Australia.”
“At a local government level Gold Coast City Council will be joined by delegates from Brisbane, Toowoomba, Mackay, Moreton Bay, Sunshine Coast and Ipswich Regional Councils as well as the South East Queensland Council of Mayors and Local Government Association of Queensland.”

Spotlight on Great Barrier Reef

Posted by admin on October 25, 2009
Posted under Express 81

Spotlight on Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier Reef might be the best managed reef in the world, and has the best chance of survival, but the Reef is at serious risk from land based pollution, over fishing and loss of coastal habitats. WWF Australia and the Reef & Rainforest Research Centre will bring this to the attention of a bigger audience in Brisbane on 10 November.
The Federal Government recently released a major report on the future outlook for the Great Barrier Reef.
While the GBR is the best managed reef in the world, and has the best chance of survival, the outlook is poor unless urgent action is taken. Based on the latest peer reviewed science, the Report explains how the Reef is at serious risk from land based pollution, over fishing and loss of coastal habitats.
Solutions to these threats are needed rapidly in order to give the Reef its best chance of surviving and adapting to climate change.
WWF is organising a briefing in Brisbane on Tuesday 10 November aimed at senior policy advisors, sustainability managers, conservation friends, journalists and high value supporters.
3.15pm: WWF / Reef & Rainforest Research Centre (RRRC) Essential Science Briefing: The Great Barrier Reef. Venue: Stamford Plaza Brisbane
The Reef and Rainforest Research Centre Limited (RRRC) was created in 2006 to implement the Australian Government’s Marine and Tropical Sciences Research Facility (MTSRF) in North Queensland.
Here’s what WWF said on the release of the Federal Government’s report last month:
Today’s inaugural release of the Outlook Report states the Reef’s future is “poor” and may not avoid “catastrophic damage” unless there are deep cuts to Queensland, Australian and global greenhouse emissions, WWF-Australia said today.
“Any Queensland or Australian senator who denies or dilutes the government’s climate reforms has the blood of the Reef on their hands,” said Nick Heath, WWF Reef spokesperson.
“Australians want the Reef saved – climate deniers in the Senate must get out of the way. There is no way we can expect the world to make deep emission cuts unless we do.”
Mr Heath said Queensland senators who failed to vote for the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme were failing to vote for 63,000 Queensland jobs that rely on the health of the Great Barrier Reef.
He said Kevin Rudd and Anna Bligh had shown great leadership today in committing to a 50 per cent cut in Reef water pollution – but they must now lead again to cut emissions.
“The fact is Queensland’s emissions are enormous, and this is largely to do with land clearing. If Queensland is serious about saving the Reef, it must cut land clearing rates immediately,” he said.
The report is also critical of Queensland’s poor contribution to Reef management, with its failure to police rising illegal fishing, protect sharks or protect islands and coasts from developers’ concrete.
“We need to manage the Reef as a whole ecosystem – protecting top predators like sharks and reducing pollution, climate change and bycatch,” Mr Heath said.
“State managed trawlers still throw back five tonnes of dead fish for every tonne of prawns caught.”
Written by some of the world’s best minds on reefs and released today by Environment Minister Peter Garrett, the Outlook Report is possibly the most authoritative report of its kind ever published.
The report shows coral growth rates in spectacular decline – and likely to deteriorate further from changes in ocean chemistry caused by excessive greenhouse gas emissions.
“This report shows unequivocally that the Great Barrier Reef is on the brink of disaster. We cannot sit back and let the world’s largest and most iconic reef system die on our watch,” Mr Heath said.
WWF has arranged events in Brisbane to provide briefings on the report and our solutions as well as to harness the support of business and community leaders to address these issues.
For more information or to attend contact Samantha Hardy Telephone 07 3012 7574 or
Source: and