It might be difficult to imagine that there is any connection with the sudden demise of Osama bin Laden and climate change. Well, we’ve found it and have it for you. Even more unlikely, surely, would be a link between Royal weddings and climate change. You have to believe it. We have secured that one too. Then you would also expect us to find that the raging tornadoes which have ravaged the US also feature in the extreme weather scenarios of climate scientists. So this issue we also have a report on the sad state of affairs for farming, food security issues in Asia and elsewhere, as well as the dreaded link between “safe” ozone gases and “dangerous” greenhouse gas emissions. The UK coalition Government has a few things on its mind which are obviously distracting it from its climate commitments, while the elections in Singapore gave a boost to the Workers Party which had a comprehensive clean and green policy platform. There’s hopeful signs that renewable energy investments are heading up, WWF also weighs up what’s going into clean tech and ethical investments are on the rise. The Rainforest Alliance is giving bananas a boost, while the Shangri-la hotel group produces its first Sustainability Report. Seems there’s no stopping one high profile sceptic from spreading his words, reports Graham Readfearn, while one of the East Anglia team comes clean in this issue’s profile. The good, the bad and the ugly! – Ken Hickson
Archive for the ‘Express 143’ Category
Profile: Mike Hulme
Climate scientists frustrated at the reception of their science have started to wonder why the presentation of dispassionate data has not proved so convincing that governments and the public have immediately swung into action. Professor of Climate Change in the School of Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia Mike Hulme says it all comes down to framing – or effective communication. One of his six climate “frames”: Like asbestos or nuclear waste, CO2 emissions are a potentially toxic side effect of our modern technologies. This view advocates improved energy technologies to allow us to continue our modern life, but without the hazardous side-effects.
Floating your boat on climate change
By Sara Phillips on ABC Environment (5 May 201):
The Federal Government’s plans for climate change action are desperately incomplete. So too are the Opposition’s. And the Greens’. That’s if Mike Hulme’s analysis is anything to go by.
Mike Hulme is a bit of a star in climate change circles. He is Professor of Climate Change in the School of Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia. That’s the same university that was at the centre of the scandal involving hacked emails from climate scientists in November 2009. He featured in some of the emails.
He spoke on Tuesday night at the University of Melbourne to a packed lecture theatre. But it was not on climate science, rather it was on why climate science causes such debate.
If it’s not brawling about whether or not climate change is man-made, it’s wrestling – as the government, the opposition and the Greens are – about how to address it.
As a man who’s had a fair bit of up-close and personal experience with the global debate, he’s in a fair position to comment.
He said the differences of opinion come down to framing. He defines framing as, “The deliberate way of structuring complex issues which lend greater importance to certain considerations and solutions over others.”
For example, ‘frankenfoods’ feels more frightening than ‘genetically modified crops’, and so some green groups frame the issue in that way in order to further their campaign against them.
Hulme offered a sample of six different ways of framing climate change.
1) A market failure
In this view, business emits carbon dioxide to the atmosphere for free, but there are ultimately costs associated with that waste disposal. So to ensure the market is operating efficiently, carbon dioxide emissions should be priced.
2) A technological hazard
Like asbestos or nuclear waste, carbon dioxide emissions are a potentially toxic side effect of our modern technologies. This view advocates improved energy technologies to allow us to continue our modern life, but without the hazardous side-effects.
3) A global injustice
Climate change when viewed through this framework is seen as a problem where the West dominates and controls the global agenda, leaving the developing world out of the picture. A solution to climate change for this world view would involve what Aubrey Meyer describes as ‘contraction and convergence’, or an equal sharing of the carbon dioxide budget between all countries, regardless of their wealth.
If our environmental impact is a function of our consumption, our population, and the technologies we use, then solving climate change through this framework would involve finding a path to a prosperous but non-growing economy, or improving contraception.
5) Mostly natural
If climate change is mostly natural, then the solution in this framework is to spend money on adaptation to the new environment.
6) A planetary tipping point
And finally, if climate change is viewed as leading to a planetary tipping point at which life on Earth becomes untenable, then no holds must be barred, and solutions would include massive geoengineering projects.
This analysis presents two interesting points. The first is how much climate change is contributing to our broader social studies. Climate scientists frustrated at the reception of their science have started to wonder why the presentation of dispassionate data has not proved so convincing that governments and the public have immediately swung into action. And so the folks in lab coats have started studying how humans receive and interpret data.
According to Hulme, our pre-existing values, beliefs, upbringing and maybe even genes cause us to frame climate change in a certain manner. Even before the scientists have whipped out the first graph, people are already disposed to interpret the data in a particular way.
Probably, reading through that list of six frames, one of them closely aligned with your own views on climate change. Whichever one you picked is a function of your own unique biases.
The other thing that is apparent with this analysis is that all the Australian political approaches to climate change are incomplete.
If everyone frames the climate change question differently, then everyone believes the solutions are different. At the moment we are really offered only two solutions: a carbon price, which addresses the first framing; and direct action, which addresses the second.
If you believe in lifting the developing world from poverty, reducing growth, adapting, or bringing in the big guns then your particular framework has not been highlighted by the mainstream Australian political parties.
That’s not to say that a single party should try to add a little bit of each into their policies. But if, for example, you firmly believe that climate change is all part of a natural process, then there is no party catering for you by campaigning on a platform of adaptation (the Greens include it, but as part of a suite of ideas).
So far, the policy options for addressing climate change are one dimensional. Some commentators have argued that this is insufficient to truly make a dent in our greenhouse gas emissions. But with the latest Newspoll results showing the government has not convinced Australians about the benefits of a carbon price, the single-dimensional nature of the policy offerings are perhaps not addressing the frameworks most important to the Australian public.
It’s possible that the public has not engaged on climate change because their framework, and the solution that it decrees, has not been articulated by those offering ideas for solving the problem.
Perhaps their particular boat has not been floated.
Like a film that will make you laugh, make you cry, with a car chase and a kiss at the end, the best policy approach may need to include something for everyone.
A multi-faceted policy on climate change could address more frameworks pertinent to more Australians and enjoy a greater popularity.
Mike Hulme’s biography – in his own words:
I am Professor of Climate Change in the School of Environmental Sciences at UEA, and was the Founding Director (2000-2007) of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research. I recently (2006-2009) led the EU Integrated Project ADAM: Adaptation and Mitigation Strategies, which comprised a 26-member European research consortium contributing research to inform the development of EU climate policy. I am Editor-in-Chief of the newly launched academic journal Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews (WIREs) – Climate Change. My two most recent books are Why We Disagree About Climate Change and (edited with Henry Neufeldt) Making Climate Change Work For Us, both published by CUP.
I have prepared climate scenarios and reports for the UK Government (including the UKCIP98 and UKCIP02 scenarios), the European Commission, UNEP, UNDP, WWF-International and the IPCC. I was co-ordinating Lead Author for the chapter on ‘Climate scenario development’ for the Third Assessment Report of the UN IPCC, as well as a contributing author for several other chapters. Earlier in my career I worked on the evaluation of climate models, the development of global and national observational climate data sets, and climate change and desertification in Africa. I have published over 120 peer-reviewed journal papers and over 35 book chapters on climate change topics, together with over 250 reports and popular articles. I have advised numerous government bodies, private companies and non-governmental organisations about climate change and its implications. I was jointly awarded the Hugh Robert Mill Medal in 1995 by the Royal Meteorological Society for work on global precipitation and I delivered the prestigious Queen’s Lecture in Berlin in 2005. For 12 years, I wrote a monthly climate column for The Guardian newspaper.
A new study finds that global production of corn and wheat would have been 5% higher if not for global warming. Scientists have long predicted that — eventually — temperatures and altered rainfall caused by global climate change will take a toll on four of the most important crops in the world: rice, wheat soy and corn. Now, as world grain prices hover near record highs, a new study finds that the effects are already starting to be felt.
World’s Farmers Feel The Effects Of A Hotter Planet
by Richard Harris on NPR (7 May 2011):
A new study finds that global production of corn and wheat would have been 5 percent higher if not for global warming.
Scientists have long predicted that — eventually — temperatures and altered rainfall caused by global climate change will take a toll on four of the most important crops in the world: rice, wheat soy and corn.
Now, as world grain prices hover near record highs, a new study finds that the effects are already starting to be felt.
“For two crops, maize (corn) and wheat, there has actually been a decline in yields, if you account for the trend in climate — especially the warming trend that we’ve observed over the last 30 years,” says Wolfram Schlenker, who teaches environmental economics at Columbia University. He’s a co-author of the study, along with David Lobell and Justin Costa-Roberts at Stanford University.
The scientists looked specifically at places where there are warming trends, and sure enough, they found these staple crops weren’t doing quite as well.
For rice and soy, declines in some places were offset by productivity boosts elsewhere in the world, so there was no overall change. But they did see a change for wheat and corn.
The losses caused by warming thus far are still smaller than the gains made though improved agriculture.
“We’re not saying yields have gone down, just to make this clear,” Schlenker says. “What we’re saying is yields are lower than they would have been without the climate trend. So yields have still been going up over the last 30 years.”
The study is published online by Science magazine. It shows that these crops have declined about 5 percent over what they would have been in the absence of warming. That sounds small, until you consider that globally, these crops are worth about a trillion dollars a year. Five percent of a trillion dollars is $50 billion, “which I think is quite sizeable,” Schlenker says.
And that number is probably just the beginning. Gerald Nelson at the International Food Policy Research Institute in Washington, D.C., says that as the planet heats up in the coming decades, the 5 percent loss today could easily grow to 20 percent.
“Definitely do not consider shrugging that off,” he says. “We can expect to see higher prices that are going to cause problems around the world.”
And most of those problems hit people who can afford it the least.
“Who gets hurts most are people those who spend most of their money on food and who spend most of their money on eating commodities directly,” Nelson says.
Here in the United States, a doubling of wheat prices might only add a dime to the cost of a $2 loaf of bread, he says. But double the price of rice and people who fill their food bowl with that grain every day will really feel it.
Americans are also insulated from this effect for another reason. The new study found that the effects of warming have not been felt evenly around the world.
“The one big exception we actually found is the United States,” Schlenker says. “This is the one place that doesn’t have a big temperature trend.”
And since America’s breadbasket has not warmed, American grain farmers have been fortunate. Professor Gene Takle at Iowa State University says farmers in the Midwest have instead dealt with a long-term trend of additional rainfall in that area.
“Farmers are very good at adapting to climate change,” he says. “And when the ranges of climate are not too extreme, they can and they are adjusting.”
Midwestern farmers have adapted to the added wetness by spraying more pesticides to control fungus, by planting more per acre, and by buying bigger machines to cope with the wetter fields, he says. And Takle says the farmers will surely be able to adapt to at least some degree of warming, which is likely sooner or later.
“That’s a real critical issue — what is the range of temperature or climate conditions to which we can adapt, and when do we exceed those?”
Many other farmers around the world are already starting to find out where those limits lie as they confront higher temperatures.
Climate Impact & Food Resilience
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, as this year`s ASEAN Chair, says “left unchecked, the food crisis will badly undermine recent gains in poverty reduction made in Asia,” he said as reported by BBC. Three Asia`s most populous countries – China, India and Indonesia – are seen as especially vulnerable to a further surge in the price of staples such as rice and wheat. Rice is the staple food for most ASEAN peoples, therefore Indonesia has called on ASEAN member countries to increase rice reserves to strengthen food resilience amid the climate change impact threat.
9 May 2011 Jakarta (ANTARA News) –
The current global food and energy price hikes have concerned President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono as this year`s ASEAN Chair, calling for clear and concrete cooperation among ASEAN member countries to secure food supplies for their peoples.
“Food security will become a great challenge for ASEAN,” the Indonesian head of state said in his opening speech at the 18th ASEAN Summit being held in Jakarta, May 7-8, 2011.
He suggested that one of the steps that ASEAN must immediately take is the implementation of “The ASEAN Integrated Food Security Framework” comprehensively especially in the research and development field, and investment in food.
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) leaders adopted the ASEAN Integrated Food Security (AIFS)Framework and the Strategic Plan of Action on ASEAN Food Security (SPA-FS) in the 14th ASEAN Summit in Thailand in 2009.
The two ASEAN food security deals, which are planned for a five-year period (2009-2013), are formulated to ensure food security and to improve the livelihoods of farmers in the region.
The AIFS Framework comprises four intertwined components, namely, Food Security and Emergency/Shortage Relief, Sustainable Food Trade Development, Integrated Food Security Information System, and Agricultural Innovation.
ASEAN, which groups Brunei, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam, must also pay attention to the formulation of food reserve system that could help farmers out of poverty, according to President Yudhoyono.
“The competition for energy, food and clean water will become part of the global competition,” he said, warning that scarcity of resources of daily needs could occur globally when the world population would grow from seven billion to nine billion by 2045.
“History has shown that food and energy price hikes will directly increase the number of poor people. In the meantime, we really understand and feel that reducing poverty is not as easy as it seems,” the head of state said.
Indonesia`s Cabinet Secretary Dipo Alam in Jakarta on May 4 said a World Economic Forum survey entitled Global Risk 2011 put together water, food and security as one of three factors that can cause global risks, apart from macroeconomic imbalances and illegal economies.
The food price index in February 2011 rose 2.2 percent compared to January in the same year.
Food and energy prices were determinant factors for the inflation rate. “If the prices cannot be controlled, they will have a negative impact on people`s purchasing power, especially the poor,” Dipo said.
Spiking food price is the biggest challenge facing developing countries nowadays, World Bank Group President Robert Zoellick said in Washington DR, last April 2011.
He contended that the global community should put food safety first, as food volatility hurt the poor and the vulnerable most, transnational media reported.
New World Bank Group numbers released in Washington DC, US, on April 14, 2011, showed that global food prices are 36 percent above their levels a year ago and remain volatile, pushing people deeper into poverty, partly driven by higher fuel costs connected to events in the Middle East and North Africa.
The latest edition of the World Bank`s Food Price Watch revealed that a further 10 percent increase in global prices could drive an additional 10 million people below the $1.25 extreme poverty line. A 30 percent price hike could lead to 34 million more poor.
This is in addition to the 44 million people who have been driven into poverty since last June as a result of the spikes. The World Bank estimates there are about 1.2 billion people living below the poverty line of US$1.25 a day.
As for Indonesia, the bank reminded that despite a bright economic outlook, increases in commodity prices also bring risks for Indonesia.
In the launch of the World Bank`s March 2011 Indonesia Economic Quarterly entitled “2008 Again?”, in Jakarta, last March 16, Shubham Chaudhuri, the World Bank`s Indonesia Lead Economist, said that rising commodity prices may bring positive benefits for the country`s GDP as a whole because of Indonesia`s resource wealth.
“However, risks lie for poor households who may be greatly affected by sharp increases in living costs,” he warned, adding that rising food price inflation can pose a risk to progress on poverty reduction in Indonesia.
President Yudhoyono had emphasized the importance of establishing cooperation to overcome the worldwide food price hike and energy crisis,
The problems could not be addressed by one country alone, but must be done by a group of countries, for instance in the ASEAN context, Yudhoyono`s special aide for international relations, Teuku Faizasyah, said following a meeting between Yudhoyono and Helen Clerk, the administrator of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and former prime minister of New Zealand, in Jakarta, on April 28, 2011.
The Manila-based Asian Development Bank (ADB) recently issued a warning that rising food and energy prices could impact the expected growth of the Asian economies.
Overall, economies in Asia were among the first to recover from the global recession and have experienced robust growth. However, with food prices estimated to have increased 10 percent this year and unrest in the Middle East forcing fuel prices higher, the concern is that price inflation will reverse much of the recent gains.
According to the ADB`s chief economist, Changyong Rhee,
“for poor families in developing Asia, who already spend more than 60% of their income on food, higher prices further reduce their ability to pay for medical care and their children`s education.”
“Left unchecked, the food crisis will badly undermine recent gains in poverty reduction made in Asia,” he said as reported by BBC.
Three Asia`s most populous countries – China, India and Indonesia – are seen as especially vulnerable to a further surge in the price of staples such as rice and wheat.
Rice is the staple food for most ASEAN peoples, therefore Indonesia has called on ASEAN member countries to increase rice reserves to strengthen food resilience amid the climate change impact threat.
“We hope ASEAN member countries would agree to increase food reserves in the region which could be used to assure food resilience as well as for stabilizing the price,” Indonesian Minister of Agriculture Suswono said after attending a meeting between the ASEAN Economic Community Council and the European Union Commissioner for Trade in Jakarta, on May 6, 2011.
The minister said, in fact the commitment of ASEAN member countries to maintain food security had become a topic of discussion between ASEAN and three other countries, namely Japan, South Korea and China (ASEAN Plus Three Emergency Rice Reserve/APTERR).
Total reserve that has been agreed upon reaches around 878,000 tons with each country responsible to provide certain amount of it.
The three countries outside ASEAN, namely Japan, China and South Korea would provide more than 200,000 tons with the rest to be provided by each ASEAN member country.
“Indonesia is responsible for providing around 12,000 tons but we have expressed readiness to provide up to 25,000 tons,” he said.
He said ASEAN`s readiness to meet the rice reserve was expected to be one of kind of recommendations to be submitted to the ongoing ASEAN summit 2011 and signed at the 33rd ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Agriculture and Forestry (AMAF) to be held in Jakarta in October 2011.
“President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has given directives that Indonesia as the host of AMAF in October must be able to encourage on how the rice reserve could be used not only for anticipating climate change but also stabilizing food price,” the minister said.(*)
Terror Aside, Now for a Climate Fix
In the US, former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson says that the death of Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden can open the door for climate change legislation in Congress. He said this at a Climate Leadership event hosted by the Earth Day Network in Washington. Meanwhile, the UK government’s chance of being the “greenest ever” – as the prime minister has claimed – is “vanishingly remote”, a former adviser Jonathon Porritt says. The former head of the Sustainable Development Commission, carried out a review, funded by Friends of the Earth, which examined 75 policies, finding little or no progress in 55.
By Matthew Reichbach in New Mexico Independent (4 May 2011):
Former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson says that the death of Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden can open the door for climate change legislation in Congress. Richardson made the statements at a Climate Leadership Gala hosted by the Earth Day Network in Washington, according to Politico.
“My hope is that from this success in the foreign policy arena two days ago, that he will be emboldened to take once again to the Congress legislation — not just to increase a renewable energy standard — but climate change legislation that this country and the world need,” Richardson said.
The foreign policy success that Richardson referred to was the death of Osama bin Laden, who was killed by United States forces in Pakistan on Sunday.
Before being elected New Mexico’s governor in 2002, Richardson served in Congress, as the Secretary of Energy and as the United States Ambassador to the United Nations.
Any climate legislation would face an uphill battle in the current Congress. Republicans control the House of Representatives, and the Senate was unable to reach 60 votes on climate legislation in the last Congress, which had a much higher percentage of Democrats.
PM’s pledge of greenest government ‘vanishingly remote’
By Roger Harrabin, Environment analyst, BBC News (7 May 2011):
The government’s chance of being the “greenest ever” – as the prime minister has claimed – is “vanishingly remote”, a former adviser has said.
Jonathon Porritt, former head of the Sustainable Development Commission, carried out the review which was funded by Friends of the Earth.
He examined 75 policies, finding little or no progress in 55.
The government said it remains committed to the environment, but the recession had affected its policies.
Mr Porritt said the government had scrapped a planned rise in aviation tax, failed to create a green investment bank with immediate borrowing powers and had watered down schemes promoting small-scale renewable electricity.
He added that Prime Minister David Cameron had failed to curb what he calls the Treasury’s fixation with economic growth, whether it damages the environment or not.
Mr Porritt believed that the position of the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) had been substantially weakened under the coalition government.
He noted that George Osborne, before the election, promised: “If I become chancellor, the Treasury will become a green ally, not a foe” – but Mr Porritt says that the opposite has proved to be the case.
“It is clear the ‘growth at all costs’ lobby has won out over the advocates of sustainable economic development,” Mr Porritt observed.
He added that there were growing fears that Treasury officials were pressuring ministers to reject new carbon reduction targets recommended by the government’s official advisory body, the Committee on Climate Change.
Mr Porritt’s report assessed the coalition government’s record on the five themes identified by ministers as central to ambitions to maintain sustainable development.
Building a Green Economy
Tackling Climate Change
Protecting and Enhancing our Natural Environment
Ensuring Fairness and Wellbeing
Building the Big Society
Of the 75 green policies examined in detail, 28 were judged to be “moribund”, 27 had “very limited growth”, 14 saw “encouraging progress” and “the birds were singing” for just six.
On the positive side, the report mentions: “Scrapping plans to expand airports in the south-east of England, agreeing to roll out smart meters to 30 million homes from 2014 and announcing the world’s first Renewable Heat Incentive.”
Mary Creagh, shadow environment secretary said: “The government has tried to sell off our forests, cut investment in flood defences by 27%, delayed on the waste review and Water White Paper, and abolished the Sustainable Development Commission.
“That’s not a green vision but an abject failure of the government to get to grips with the environment.”
The report was published as an annual survey by journal ENDS revealed that more than a third of organisations which responded to the survey were cutting jobs.
Also, it found that more than half of 2,000 environmental professionals that took part thought that UK green job opportunities would continue to shrink in 2011, and three-in-five expected public spending cuts to directly affect environmental employment in their organisation.
“This survey is a wake-up call for government,” said ENDS editor-in-chief Nick Rowcliffe.
“Real progress towards a greener economy is going to require exactly the multi-disciplinary skills that have built up over years in the environmental profession, and which are now under threat.”
A government spokesman said it stood by its “excellent record on green policies over the last year to protect the environment and deliver the low carbon economy”.
“Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman played a major role in securing an historic global deal to protect wildlife and habitats and, in a tough economic climate, increased the budget for farming environmental schemes by 80%, and provided hundreds of millions of pounds to clean up England’s rivers and support international forestry and wildlife projects,” he said.
“We are currently undertaking the biggest reform of the electricity market since privatisation to secure billions in investment for low carbon electricity generation.
“And there is legislation going through Parliament right now to bring about the green deal, the first scheme of its kind in the world, cutting carbon and bills in millions of homes across the UK.”
Billions of Dollars to Advance Renewable Energy Economies
A shift to a low-carbon economy based largely on Renewable Energy will require additional policies to attract significant increases in investment in technologies and infrastructure, says the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), providing four illustrative scenarios which estimate global investments ranging from $1.36 to $5.10 billion for 2011-20, and from $1.49 to $7.18 billion for the decade 2021-30. Denmark earns the biggest share of its national revenue from producing windmills and other clean technologies, the US is rapidly expanding its clean-tech sector, but no country can match China’s pace of green technology growth of 77% a year, according to a new report commissioned by the World Wildlife Fund for Nature.
By Arthur Max for AP (8 May 2011):
DENMARK earns the biggest share of its national revenue from producing windmills and other clean technologies, the US is rapidly expanding its clean-tech sector, but no country can match China’s pace of growth, according to a new report.
China’s production of green technologies has grown by a remarkable 77 per cent a year, according to the report, which was commissioned by the World Wildlife Fund for Nature and which will be unveiled tomorrow at an industry conference in Amsterdam.
“The Chinese have made, on the political level, a conscious decision to capture this market and to develop this market aggressively,” said Donald Pols, an economist with the WWF.
Denmark, a longtime leader in wind energy, derives 3.1 per cent of its gross domestic product from renewable energy technology and energy efficiency, or about 6.5 billion euros ($9 billion), said the report obtained by The Associated Press.
China is the largest producer in money terms, earning more than 44 billion euros ($60 billion), or 1.4 per cent of its gross domestic product.
The US ranks 17 in the production of clean technologies with 0.3 per cent of GDP, or 31.5 billion euros ($43 billion), but those industries have been expanding at a rate of 28 per cent per year since 2008.
“The US is growing substantially, so it seems the policy of (President Barack) Obama is working,” Pols said. But the US cannot compare with China, he said.
“When you speak to the Chinese, climate change is not an ideological issue. It’s just a fact of life. While we debate climate change and the transition to a low carbon economy, the debate is passed in China,” Pols said. “For them it’s implementation. It’s a growth sector, and they want to capture this sector.”
The report was prepared by Roland Berger Strategy Consultants, a global firm based in Germany. It gathered data on 38 countries from energy associations, bank and brokerage reports, investor presentations, the International Energy Agency and a score of other sources. It measured the earnings from producing renewables like biofuels, wind turbines and thermal equipment, and energy efficiency technology such as low-energy lighting and insulation.
“Clean technologies are really growing fast, but China is responsible for the majority of that growth,” said Ward van den Berg, who compiled and analysed the data for the consultancy firm.
Until recently, Chinese massive production of solar cells was aimed at the export market, but they are now making solar systems for the home market, as they have been doing for several years in wind energy, Van den Berg said.
Following Denmark and China, other countries in the top five clean-tech producers, in terms of percentage of GDP, are Germany, Brazil and Lithuania, the report said.
Reuters (4 May 2011):
Following are findings by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in a draft report about renewable energy (RE).
TOTALS – RE accounted for 12.9 percent of global primary energy supply in 2008. The top contributor was biomass (10.2 percent) — mainly firewood used in developing nations — ahead of hydropower (2.3), wind (0.2), direct solar energy and geothermal (0.1 each) and ocean (0.002 percent).
RECENT EXPANSION – Of about 300 gigawatts of new electricity generating capacity added globally in 2008 and 2009, 140 GW came from RE. Developing countries host more than 50 percent of global RE power generation capacity, with China adding more capacity than any other country in 2009.
OUTLOOK – “Studies have consistently found that the total global technical potential for RE is substantially higher than both current and projected future global energy demand.” Solar power has the highest technical potential.
CLIMATE CHANGE – Climate change could affect RE availability — trees might grow in different regions, cloud formation could affect solar power and rainfall shifts can affect hydropower. “Research into these possible effects is nascent,” it said.
COSTS/TECHNOLOGY – “The levelized cost of energy for many RE technologies is currently higher than market energy prices, though in other cases RE is already economically competitive.”
More RE technologies would be economically attractive if impacts such as greenhouse gases emissions were included.
“The cost of most RE technologies has declined and significant additional technical advancements are expected…further cost reductions are expected.”
Areas of potential improvement range from next-generation biofuels to turbine designs for offshore wind energy. Further cost reductions for hydropower are “likely to be less significant” than some other RE technologies.
DEVELOPMENT – RE can help development goals in poor nations. In poor rural areas lacking grid access, RE can lead to substantial cost savings already.
REVIEW OF 164 EXPERT SCENARIOS – Shows RE could give carbon dioxide savings of between 220 billion and 560 billion tonnes from 2010 to 2050 compared to 1,530 billion tonnes of cumulative fossil and industrial CO2 emissions in a reference scenario.
In most scenarios reviewed, RE makes a higher contribution to low-carbon energy supply by 2050 than the options of nuclear power and fossil carbon capture and storage.
In 2008, total RE production stood at roughly 64 exajoules (EJ). In contrast, projected levels of RE deployment in 2050 are greater than 100 EJ/yr in most scenarios and reach 200 EJ/yr to 400 EJ/yr in many scenarios.
“An increase of production level of RE (excluding traditional bioenergy) anywhere from roughly three-fold to twenty-fold is necessary,” it said.
“The scenarios indicate that even without efforts to address climate change RE can be expected to expand.”
“Scenarios do not indicate an obvious single dominant RE technology at a global level.”
POLICIES – “A shift to a low-carbon economy based largely on RE will require additional policies to attract significant increases in investment in technologies and infrastructure.”
Four illustrative scenarios estimate global investments ranging from $1.36 to $5.10 billion for 2011-20, and from $1.49 to $7.18 billion for the decade 2021-30. Real costs will be lower, partly because of savings in other energy investments.
“Policy mechanisms enacted specifically to promote RE are varied and can apply to all energy sectors. They include fiscal incentives such as grants and tax credits; public finance policies such as low-interest loans; and regulations such as quantity-driven policies like quotas and price-driven policies including feed-in tariffs for electricity; mandates for RE heating installations, and biofuels blending requirements.”
“Some policy elements have been shown to be more effective and efficient in rapidly increasing RE deployment, but there is no one-size-fits-all policy,” it said.
Why is the US Getting Even More Damaging Tornadoes?
“The strongest thunderstorms, the strongest severe storms and tornadoes are likely to happen more often and be stronger.” So said Tony Del Genio, a NASA research scientist in a study published in 2007. A unique combination of geography and weather patterns already makes the USA the world’s hottest spot for tornadoes and severe storms in spring and summer. The large land mass that warms on hot days, the contours of the atmosphere’s jet stream, the wind coming off the Rocky Mountains and warm moist air coming up from the Gulf of Mexico all combine.
By Doyle Rice, USA TODAY (29 April 2011):
A massive tornado moves through Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Two separate studies in 2007 reported that global warming could bring a dramatic increase in the frequency of weather conditions that feed severe thunderstorms and tornadoes by the end of the 21st century.
With any major weather disaster these days — from floods and hurricanes to wildfires and this week’s tornado outbreak in the South — people ask questions about its relation to the huge elephant that’s lurking in the corner, global climate change.
Two separate studies in 2007 reported that global warming could bring a dramatic increase in the frequency of weather conditions that feed severe thunderstorms and tornadoes by the end of the 21st century.
One study, in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that locations could see as much as a 100% increase in the number of days that favor severe thunderstorms.
“The densely populated regions of the South and East, including New York City and Atlanta, could be especially hard-hit,” reported study lead author Jeff Trapp of Purdue University.
The fuel for the more intense storms would be the predicted warming of the Earth caused by the burning of fossil fuels that release greenhouse gases.
Although the typically stormy spring could see more storms, “summer should have the highest increases in severe weather,” said Trapp. His team reported that by the end of the century, the number of spring days with severe thunderstorm conditions would increase mostly over the Southern Plains and Florida.
But in the summer, almost the entire eastern half of the country might see an increase in days conducive to more severe storms, with the largest increases likely near the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic coast.
In the other study, lead author Tony Del Genio, a NASA research scientist, said the basic ingredients for whopper U.S. inland storms are likely to be more plentiful in a warmer, moister world.
“The strongest thunderstorms, the strongest severe storms and tornadoes are likely to happen more often and be stronger,” Del Genio said when the study was published.
With a computer model, Del Genio looked at the forces that combine to make thunderstorms.
A unique combination of geography and weather patterns already makes the USA the world’s hottest spot for tornadoes and severe storms in spring and summer. The large land mass that warms on hot days, the contours of the atmosphere’s jet stream, the wind coming off the Rocky Mountains and warm moist air coming up from the Gulf of Mexico all combine.
Del Genio’s computer model shows global warming will mean more strong updrafts, when the wind moves up and down instead of sideways.
The paper he co-authored appeared in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.
In the Land of Royal Weddings, it is Hotter than Ever
In central England, where Prince William and Catherine Middleton wed, people have directly measured temperature for longer than anywhere else in the world. Ever since 1659 scientists have continuously taken thermometer readings in this region of England. For most places on earth, weather data stretches back only a few decades, here we have three and a half centuries of directly measured climate data. And Climate Central has plotted the average yearly temperatures and also marked Royal Weddings over the centuries. The two warmest Royal Wedding years were 1999 and 2005.
David Kroodsma.Data journalist, Climate Central (29 April 2011):
At Climate Central, we are excited about the Royal Wedding not because it’s an opportunity to fawn over the wealthy and powerful, but because of history. And not just because of history like the fact Queen Victoria was the first to popularize white wedding dresses when she donned one for her marriage to King Albert in 1840.
We are excited because in central England, where Prince William and Kate Middleton wed today, people have directly measured temperature for longer than anywhere else in the world. Ever since 1659 — more than a century before the U.S. Revolutionary war — scientists have continuously taken thermometer readings in this region of England. This data set has been compiled by the Met Office of the Hadley Center, and it represents the average temperature across a triangular area of the U.K. between Bristol, Lancashire, and London.
For most places on earth, weather data stretches back only a few decades. In central England, we have three and a half centuries of directly measured climate data.
Below we’ve plotted the average yearly temperature in Central England, and also marked Royal Weddings over the centuries. Click on a wedding to see what that year’s climate was like in Central England. Please note, we are not implying any relationship between Royal Weddings and climate change! In fact, you’ll see that the weddings are quite out of sync with the warming trend.
The first thing you will notice, besides the fact that Queen Victoria’s white wedding gown made its debut on a colder-than-usual year in 1840, or that King George V wedded Queen Mary during a warmer-than-average year in 1893, is that five of the ten warmest years have occurred in the past decade, with the warmest year in England’s history being 2006. The two warmest Royal Wedding years were 1999 (Prince Edward and Sophie Rhys-Jones) and 2005 (Prince Charles and Camila Parker Bowles).
The warming trend over the past few centuries is not that extreme — about half a degree per century, on average, with faster warming in the past fifty years. However, the fact that the past decade has been warmer than any on record has played out not just in Central England, but also on thermometers all over the world.
The projections for England, based on the average of climate models as reported by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, is for the average yearly temperatures in England to rise by an additional three to five degrees Fahrenheit this century.
What this means for Royal Weddings and proper Royal Wedding attire, only time will tell.
Sustainable Development Comes to the Aid of the Party
The People’s Action Party was returned to Government in Singapore with a comprehensive majority, and will continue its on-going commitment to manage the environment, energy, water and waste. On 24/25 May, the first National Energy Efficiency Conference takes place. But in one of the most keenly contested elections ever, the opposition Workers Party succeeded in getting six of its number elected as MPs and also put forward, for the first time, a sustainable development manifesto for the nation.
Sustain Ability Showcase Asia is an acknowledged supporter of the first National Energy Efficiency Conference in Singapore. One of the visiting speakers is David Solsky, CEO of Carbon Systems. For more information on the Conference, go to: http://www.neec2011.sg/
This summary of the Workers Party policy paper first appeared on the Olive Ventures website (29 April 2011):
The scarcity of land and resources in Singapore makes sustainability a top priority. While economic development is important, it should not overshadow the importance of environmental sustainability. A sustainable environment is essential to economic growth. Singapore’s economic development has taken a toll on our natural resources and created pollutants in our environment in the process. We are rapidly losing our natural heritage as a result of urbanization and rapid development. While we are mindful of the scarcity of land in Singapore for housing and economic development, we must balance the needs of urban development and preserving nature. Ecological awareness to protect and preserve our biodiversity is low in Singapore. Recycling is not yet a way of life in Singapore. Increasing recycling rates is key in extending the lifespan of our landfills.
Noise pollution is often a problem in Singapore. We should be mindful to ensure a ‘civic and gracious’ social environment. Climate change is a reality, and extreme changes in the weather can be expected in future. We should be ready to react to sudden changes in the environment. Most of Singapore’s food today is imported. There is little certainty that food supplies can be sustained through prolonged periods of emergency.
1. We should encourage research and implementation of the use of sustainable energy and related products.
2. Commercial users should be incentivised to conserve energy and water.
3. Corporations should be encouraged to exercise corporate social responsibility to protect the environment.
4. A rich ecosystem is necessary for a quality environment, and it is the responsibility of the government and our people to protect our natural heritage.
5. The government must educate and encourage greater awareness of indigenous flora and fauna, as well as marine life.
6. Natural habitats like the marshland habitats, mangrove swamps and coral reefs, marine animals and wild birds must be protected for our future generations.
7. A clean and healthy environment is also essential to ensure the physical wellbeing of our people. We need to do more to motivate every individual to take up environmental ownership and to care for the environment as a way of life.
8. The culture of recycling should be imbued from young.
9. There should be a more holistic approach to deal with noise pollution.
10. We have to explore ways to increase our self-sufficiency in food supplies.
11. We need to be prepared for extreme weather changes. Contingency plans should be drawn up according to various possible scenarios.
12. We require sustainable energy to ensure water sustainability for the country via technologies like NEWater. Energy costs should also be reined in; otherwise water costs will increase in tandem.
13. Budget should be provided for research into solar power usage for water reclamation plants. A possible investment in offshore water catchments and processing plants should be studied.
1. Natural habitats with ecological and educational value should be gazetted as permanent natural reserves.
2. We need to strive for more regional cooperation to contain environmental hazards such as forest fires or chemical leaks so as not to affect air quality.
3. Plans for projects likely to adversely affect the natural environment should be accompanied by Environment Impact Assessments (EIA) and mitigation plans before they are approved. This is especially important in the case of the feasibility study on nuclear power use in Singapore. Radiation monitoring capabilities should also be strengthened in view of this.
4. More programmes should be implemented to encourage local farming. We should explore vertical farming or high-rise farming technology to offset the problem of limited land for food production. We should also further diversify our food sources to enhance our food security.
5. As an equatorial country, we should explore alternative ways such as fuel cell and solar energy to mitigate the worldwide shortage of natural gases and fossil fuel. This has potential to create maintenance and engineering jobs and reduce expenditure on raw energy resources. We could also export our knowledge and products based on fuel cell and solar technology.
6. Green vehicle adoption should be encouraged via price incentives and improved refuelling infrastructure support.
7. We can provide tax relief and incentives for companies to encourage innovative ways to recycle waste and increase energy conservation.
8. “Social noise pollution” such as karaoke sessions at home, dog barks and children playing at common areas disturbs the comfort of others. We should cultivate civic awareness to prevent such noise pollution in a high-density living environment.
9. A comprehensive approach including a legal framework and a centralised agency to regulate noise pollution should be set up.
10. Noise meters should be installed around potential noise pollution ‘hot-spots’, including MRT/LRT rails and roads to ensure noise levels remain within the legal limits.
11. A dispute resolution mechanism should be set up at the Community Development Council level for greater accessibility.
12. A Climate Change Risk Assessment (CCRA) should be performed to understand the risk posed to Singapore by climate change. Adaptation policies should be communicated to citizens. As part of this, a task force needs to perform scenario planning for adverse and extreme weather changes. Contingency plans should be drawn up in response to these scenarios.
Repair the Ozone Hole with Climate Friendly Refrigerants
Refrigerants, Naturally! brings together four high-profile private companies – The Coca-Cola Company, McDonald’s, Unilever, and PepsiCo – and two international environmental organizations – Greenpeace and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) – to combat climate change and ozone layer depletion by developing natural refrigeration technologies that are safe, reliable, affordable, and energy efficient. Meanwhile, a Chilling Facts report shows that 239 stores in the UK are now using climate-friendly refrigeration, up from just 14 two years ago.
We saw it on a BBC documentary. We hear that so called safe gases to help reduce the hole in the ozone are in fact more damaging than CO2 for the atmosphere. We came up with two recent articles on this. One from the UK and one from the UK, including information of what some companies are doing to avoid the dangers to the atmosphere of refrigerant gases.
Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) UK (29 March 2011)
ASDA OUT IN THE COLD OVER GLOBAL WARMING
SUPERMARKETS in the UK are making significant strides to counter their impact on global warming – but the nation’s second biggest chain, Asda, has been sternly criticised for apparently turning its back on green commitments.
The new survey Chilling Facts III has found that 239 stores in the UK are now using climate-friendly refrigeration, up from just 14 two years ago.
However, Asda declined to participate in this year’s study and slumped to the bottom end of the league table, casting grave doubts over the sincerity of its 2007 public pledge to move away from using HFCs (hydroflurocarbons), which have a global warming impact many thousands of times worse than carbon dioxide (CO2).
The survey by the London-based Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) quizzed supermarkets on the global warming impacts of their refrigeration for warehouses, transportation and stores. For the first time this year, it also included air conditioning systems as an issue, many of which use HFCs despite viable alternatives.
The alarming results of the first survey, published in 2009, showed that as much as one-third of a supermarket’s carbon footprint came from refrigeration gases.
In the aftermath, several supermarket chains started to tackle the issue. The number of stores running on climate-friendly refrigeration increased from 14 in the first year to 46 last year, and to 239 in this year’s survey.
Furthermore, the judges are delighted to see that some retailers have pledged to drop HFCs altogether in a specific time-frame. And the leaders – Waitrose, Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Marks & Spencer – have said all new equipment will be HFC-free, showing the transition is both technically feasible and commercially viable.
There were also significant reductions in leakage of cooling gases, an important aspect of reducing the climate change impact of refrigeration. And companies were doing a lot more to monitor and maintain equipment, as well as to train engineers.
Ranking the supermarkets by performance revealed Waitrose is still at the top of the table, with Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Marks & Spencer close behind; Morrisons, Co-operative Group and Lidl are mid-field, while laggards Iceland, Asda and Aldi trail at the bottom.
Asda’s poor showing is worrying, considering the scale of its operation in the UK and the fact that its US parent Walmart is trumpeting its sustainability policies.
“We are very unhappy that Asda has not kept up with its original commitments to stop using HFCs, and disappointed that it refused to participate in the survey this year,” said EIA senior campaigner Fionnuala Walravens.
“It’s not unreasonable to ponder whether this was perhaps to hide the fact it has made little progress on this issue and deems it a low priority.
“As one of the UK’s biggest retailers, it is unacceptable for Asda to ignore such an important issue. It should be lambasted for what appears to be a major and unjustifiable U-turn on its previous climate commitments.”
Air conditioning in stores has also received little attention to date, with a heavy reliance on both HFCs and even HCFCs (hydrochlorofluorocarbons); HCFCs have a high global warming impact, damage the ozone layer and will be banned from December 2014.
EIA’s Chilling Facts campaign is being supported by Julia Hailes, sustainability consultant and author of nine books, including The New Green Consumer Guide.
“I’m so pleased to be working with the Environmental Investigation Agency on the Chilling Facts campaign,” she said. “Reducing the climate change impact of supermarket refrigeration is a really significant achievement.
“We’re delighted with the progress to date but recognise that there’s still a lot more to be done.”
Chilling Facts III research shows UK retailers to be ahead of their European counterparts in phasing out HFCs, putting them in a strong position to meet any challenging targets set by legislation.
URGENT CALL TO ACTION – FROM EIA
EIA calls on all supermarkets to:
1. Commit to fully phasing out HFCs by 2015;
2. Use HFC-free refrigeration in all new builds and refits;
3. Phase out HFCs in all air-conditioning systems, transport and distribution centres.
EIA calls on the UK government to:
1. Support an ambitious HFC phase-out as part of Europe’s F-gas regulation review;
2. Introduce a tax on HFCs;
3. Provide incentives for training refrigeration engineers to work with HFC-free technologies.
To read or download a copy of the Chilling Facts III report in pdf format, visit http://www.chillingfacts.org.uk/
1. The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) is a UK-based Non Governmental
Organisation and charitable trust (registered charity number 1040615) that investigates and campaigns against a wide range of environmental crimes, including illegal wildlife trade, illegal logging, hazardous waste, and trade in climate and ozone-altering chemicals.
2. The Chilling Facts Campaign has been set up by EIA to highlight the global
warming impacts of refrigeration and air-conditioning gases, and to promote
Press Release, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School (24 March, 2011):
Belfer Center Programs or Projects: Environment and Natural Resources
CAMBRIDGE, MA— The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University announced today that the 2011 Roy Family Award for Environmental Partnership will be given to Refrigerants, Naturally!, an alliance of corporations substituting environmentally-harmful fluorinated gases (“F-gases”, such as CFCs, HCFCs and HFCs) with natural refrigerants in their commercial refrigeration installations. Natural refrigerants are climate and ozone friendly gases that exist naturally in the biosphere, i.e. ammonia, carbon dioxide, and hydrocarbons.
The award is presented every two years to celebrate an outstanding public-private partnership project that enhances environmental quality through the use of novel and creative approaches. It will be presented to the recipients at a Harvard Kennedy School event later this spring.
Refrigerants, Naturally! brings together four high-profile private companies – The Coca-Cola Company, McDonald’s, Unilever, and PepsiCo – and two international environmental organizations – Greenpeace and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) – to combat climate change and ozone layer depletion by developing natural refrigeration technologies that are safe, reliable, affordable, and energy efficient.
In the 1990s, Greenpeace began a campaign to raise public awareness of the environmental impact of F-gas refrigerants and worked to lobby business to adopt HFC-free refrigeration solutions. Corporations, in turn, sought alternative refrigerants, but found that as manufacturers were not offering HFC-free options companies could not switch to natural refrigerants even if they wanted to do so. In 2004, Refrigerants, Naturally! was launched by McDonald’s , The Coca-Cola Company and Unilever to encourage manufacturers to make products using natural refrigerants and to share technological information. PepsiCo joined the initiative in 2006. Since 2004, Refrigerants, Naturally has focused its efforts on overcoming barriers to the use of natural refrigerants including worldwide availability, maintenance, cost and regulation. Greenpeace and UNEP have been supporters of this partnership from the beginning, by providing advice, information and linkages to their own activities.
In addition to sharing technical information and best practices, the corporate members have each worked within their businesses to accelerate the deployment of natural refrigerant technologies. It is estimated that hundreds of thousands of tons of greenhouse gas emissions have been prevented from entering the atmosphere as a result.
Further evidence of the group’s leadership is demonstrated by the focus on outreach to other influential groups and in 2010 the first ever sustainable refrigeration summit of the Consumer Goods Forum, a CEO-led organization of 600 global consumer goods manufacturers and retailers, led to a pledge to begin phasing out HFC refrigerants as of 2015 and replace them with natural refrigerants.
“Strong U.S. legislation on climate may not be passed by this Congress, but Refrigerants, Naturally! demonstrates that meaningful reductions in greenhouse gas emissions are possible if business and NGOs are creative and are prepared to work together,” said Henry Lee, director of the Environment and Natural Resources program at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, in announcing the 2011 award winner.
The partnership was selected from a group of highly qualified projects nominated from around the world that tackled tough environmental problems ranging from sustainable mining to responsible land stewardship. Experts from inside and outside of Harvard reviewed the nominees with the following criteria: innovation, effectiveness, significance and transferability.
Roy Family Award reviewers praised the impact of Refrigerants, Naturally! on an important and often overlooked problem – persistent F-gases in the Earth’s atmosphere – and held it up as a pragmatic example of corporations, a United Nations organization and a non-governmental environmental organization working together to reduce severe threats to the global environment.
Refrigerants, Naturally! has succeeded in creating a viable market for natural refrigerants for point-of-sale applications and has promoted F-gas-free technologies that are cost-efficient, energy saving and climate friendly.
The Roy Family has been a long-time supporter of the development of public-private partnerships to meet social goals. The Roy Family Award attempts to provide positive incentives for companies and organizations worldwide to push the boundaries of creativity and take risks that result in significant changes that benefit the environment.
Members and supporters of Refrigerants, Naturally!:
The Coca-Cola Company
United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP)
About the impact of f-gases and their use in refrigeration:
This edition of the Roy Family Award comes at a crucial time for climate protection. A recent UNEP report released at the Cancun climate negotiations highlighted that even if countries fully implemented the pledges and intentions associated with the Copenhagen Accord, in the best case scenario they could cut emissions to around 49 gigatonnes of CO2 equivalent by 2020. This leaves a gap of around 5 gigatonnes of CO2 equivalent that needs to be bridged over the coming decade – an amount equal to the emissions of all the world’s cars, buses and trucks in 2005. Cutting “non-C02 gases” including avoiding HFCs and improving energy efficiency of refrigeration equipment – as is being done voluntarily by the Refrigerants, Naturally! Partners – contributes to quickly close this gap.
In 1987, F-gases such as CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons) and later also HCFCs (hydrochlorofluorocarbons) were controlled under the Montreal Protocol due to their negative impact on the stratospheric ozone layer. Unfortunately, many of them were replaced with another generation of F-gas known as HFCs (hydrofluorocarbons). HFCs, which have a direct global warming impact more than a thousand times worse than the reference gas carbon dioxide, are currently used in much of the world’s commercial refrigeration to preserve food, maintain quality, and extend shelf life at all stages in the supply chain. Refrigeration is critical in food and beverage production, processing, storage, transportation and point-of-sale (e.g. supermarket cabinets, beverage coolers, ice cream freezers). Commercial refrigerants represent 41% of total refrigerant emissions.
The consequences of the rapid growth in HFC emissions are sobering. Because they are persistent in the atmosphere, HFCs will be responsible for between 9% and 19% of carbon-equivalent emissions by 2050 even if we do not act to reduce CO2 (carbon dioxide) emissions. If the reduction of CO2 remains the focus of climate change initiatives and nothing is done about HFCs, they will be responsible for between 28% and 45% of CO2 equivalent emissions by 2050.
About the Roy Family Award:
The purpose of the Roy Family Award for Environmental Partnership is to draw attention to an exceptional partnership and its achievements while inspiring others to replicate or expand upon its success.
In 2009, the Roy Award was presented to the Mexico City Metrobus, a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system that reduces air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, while improving the quality of life and transportation options in one of the largest cities in the world.The 2007 Award recognized the Hybrid Systems for Rural Electrification in Africa (HRSEA), a public-private partnership between Energiebau Solarstromsysteme, a German solar technology provider with international expertise, and InWEnt-Capacity Building International, Germany, a non-profit organization. HRSEA provides reliable, renewable electricity to rural African villages through a system of solar panel technology combined with modified diesel motors running on pure plant oil from the jatropha nut.