Archive for the ‘Express 91’ Category

Profile: Professor Anthony Giddens

Posted by admin on January 13, 2010
Posted under Express 91

Profile: Professor Anthony Giddens

“We have to innovate in international relations at this point if we are successfully to come to terms with climate change and hold the global average temperature increase to 2C”. Professor Anthony Giddens proposes that the countries that worked together to reach the Copenhagen Accord should continue to act, even outside the UN framework, “because it recognises core geopolitical realities and works with, rather than against, them”.

Professor Anthony Giddens in The Australian (12 January 2010):

EVEN if they degenerated into squabbling, the climate-change meetings in Copenhagen in December were one of the signal events of 2009. They were supposed to establish a global deal to which all participant countries would sign up. It didn’t happen. The Copenhagen Accord, a brief statement of principles and commitments, produced by a small cluster of states, was the only tangible output of the negotiations.

Two main responses came from commentators in the immediate aftermath. Some argued along the lines of: Well, it falls far short of what we hoped for, but we have to look for the positives and make the best of a bad job. Others – a large majority – declared the outcome a catastrophe.

My reaction, different from both, is that the world might have inadvertently stumbled on the most hopeful way of starting to counter climate change rather than just talking about doing so. It is not a route that will necessarily command general approval, and the UN to some extent is sidelined. Yet it is one that carries promise, because it recognises core geopolitical realities and works with, rather than against, them.

The countries that met to establish the accord were the US, China, India, Brazil and South Africa. Leaving aside South Africa, the others are the three biggest beasts of the developing world in terms of greenhouse-gas emissions, plus the most polluting industrialised country. A diversity of other states has indicated a willingness to come on board.

We have to innovate in international relations at this point if we are successfully to come to terms with climate change and hold the global average temperature increase to 2C. The accord is only a beginning, but it can be built upon, and in principle far more rapidly than would have been possible with the cumbersome scenario envisaged at Copenhagen. If the agreement can be a given a robust form in short order, it could help break the logjam in which each nation or group of nations is waiting for others to take the lead.

Much will depend on how solid and practical are the proposals that, according to the terms of the accord, the industrial countries will present by January 31 for cutting their rates of emissions. The plans must be plausible and robust, not just a wish list.

For all their rhetoric, most have accomplished rather little so far; the rest of the world is right to be unimpressed. At the same date, developing countries wishing to accept the accord will be required to flesh out their plans for cutting emissions. For the first time, some sort of sanctioning mechanism will be established. Proposed action in developing countries funded by money from the richer ones will be internationally monitored.

What kind of framework might emerge from this in the short and medium terms? Will it mean that the smaller and poorer countries will suffer as the larger ones progress? I don’t think it necessarily will, at least if the overall architecture is right, and if they organise to represent their specific concerns.

What happened with the World Trade Organisation can provide useful hints. Anticipating what would happen at Copenhagen, I developed a series of proposals along these lines in my book The Politics of Climate Change, published nine months ago. Failure to conclude a universal set of trading agreements has spawned a variety of measures and organisations. The diversity of groups and regions involved has proved as much a source of strength as of weakness. The same could be true in the case of climate change.

If successfully elaborated over the next few months, the accord can provide an anchoring agreement, but we will also need a diversity of bilateral and regional agreements and coalitions of the willing. The US and China must continue to negotiate bilaterally, whatever more general agreements they commit themselves to.

Let’s suppose that 190 countries had reached a binding consensus in Copenhagen, but that the two left out were the US and China. The agreed-upon framework wouldn’t have been of much value, since these states between them contribute more than 40 per cent of total greenhouse-gas emissions. Much better, as it were, to start with these two nations, together with the other big emitters, and ensure they are prepared to work with one another in a serious and committed way.

There should be a G3 as well. The European Union found itself sidelined at Copenhagen, because it does not speak with one voice and could not deliver the rapid decision-making that had to take place late in the negotiations to get anything from them at all.

Yet with 550 million citizens, it has to have a key, and hopefully vanguard, role. The initiators of the accord bypassed the unhealthy divide that has arisen between the developed and the developing countries, in which each is seen as a homogeneous bloc; this emphasis must continue. The 20 largest polluters (which include several large developing nations) have contributed almost 90 per cent of total emissions; they too should be getting together regularly. Plenty of other new departures could be thought of. There are obvious dangers in an approach that does not focus on getting all nations to sign up to a common template. Yet at this point there is no alternative. Such an emphasis does not signal the demise of multilateralism, since many forms of co-operation will need to be initiated and furthered.

Anthony Giddens is a former director of the London School of Economics and a member of the advisory board of The Centre for the Study of Global Governance, London.

He was educated at the University of Hull and the London School of Economics. At the LSE, he wrote a dissertation on ‘Sport and Society in Contemporary Britain’. He has taught at the University of Leicester and subsequently at Cambridge, where he was Professor of Sociology. From 1997 to 2003 he was Director of the LSE. He is currently a Life Fellow of King’s College, Cambridge. He was made a Life Peer in May 2004. He has honorary degrees from 15 universities. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Science and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. He was the BBC Reith Lecturer in 1999. His books have been translated into some forty languages. He has sat on the board of various public organisations, including the Institute of Public Policy Research.

Giddens’s impact upon politics has been profound. His advice has been sought by political leaders from Asia, Latin America and Australia, as well as from the US and Europe. He has had a major impact upon the evolution of New Labour in the UK. He took part in the original Blair-Clinton dialogues from 1997 onwards.

Source: and

Job Creation Needed in Climate Change Plans

Posted by admin on January 13, 2010
Posted under Express 91

Job Creation Needed in Climate Change Plans

An environmental policy that fails to promote jobs isn’t going to do anything for the atmosphere because it isn’t going to get off the ground. So Jeffrey Ball in the Wall Street Journal thinks the US is heading in the right direction – driving renewable energy and energy efficiency projects, giving tax breaks, and thereby creating green jobs.

Jeffrey Ball in the Wall Street Journal (11 January 2010):

If the public has to choose between creating jobs and spending billions to scrub invisible heat-trapping gases from the sky, jobs will win. That’s why the campaign to combat climate change is morphing, at least politically, into an economic-development drive with an environmental twist.

Many billions of dollars are being spent on clean energy, even amid the recession. One key to combating climate change will be increasing that investment so the economy keeps growing but coughs out less carbon. Most talk focuses on a “cap and trade” system, in which companies would buy and sell permits to emit dwindling amounts of greenhouse gases.

But nations gathered at last month’s Copenhagen climate summit declined to create a global cap-and-trade scheme. They couldn’t agree on which countries should reduce their emissions the most. In Washington, proposals to launch a U.S. cap-and-trade program are crashing into similar fights among regions and industries.  

So what’s the alternative? A grab bag of more granular steps, each sold as creating “green jobs.” One example: $2.3 billion in federal clean-energy manufacturing tax credits, whose recipients President Barack Obama announced last week.

Michael Morris, chief executive of American Electric Power Co., an Ohio-based utility and one of the country’s biggest carbon-dioxide emitters, doubts the U.S. will soon adopt a cap-and-trade program. Unless big developing countries like China accept an emissions cap — something unlikely — a U.S. cap, which would saddle American industry with higher energy costs, would make it less competitive, he said.

“I think there is no potential for a global approach to this issue anytime soon, and because of that, it’s almost illogical that there would be a U.S. approach anytime soon,” Mr. Morris said. “Having said that, I don’t think there’s any reason we as a country can’t do some constructive and positive things.”

He suggested that instead of harnessing the market by putting a price on carbon, the U.S. government could require utilities to produce a certain percentage of their electricity from renewable sources — a cost they would pass on to their consumers in the form of higher electricity bills. To succeed, he said, the government would have to exercise more authority to allow the construction of power lines to take that clean juice to market. “The transmission piece is, in fact, a jobs bill,” Mr. Morris said, previewing a message that was likely to be heard more often given today’s 10% unemployment rate in the U.S.

Fans of a cap-and-trade system tout it as the ultimate jobs program. By driving business toward ever-cheaper ways to curb emissions, they said, it would create more jobs than it kills. They said it was the only way to prod U.S. industry to develop low-carbon technologies to compete against China, which was boosting its renewable-energy and energy-efficiency industries to nurture new exports and curb its foreign-energy bill.

“A market guided by a cap is the most powerful tool we have to match the focus of China’s industrial policy,” said Fred Krupp, president of the Environmental Defense Fund, an advocacy group that often works with business. Polls show that voters are even less willing than they were before the recession to spend extra money to help the environment. Any cap-and-trade proposal, Mr. Krupp said, must contain “something that jump-starts a lot of jobs.”

Markets aren’t as popular as they once were. And one aspect of a cap-and-trade system is emerging as a political liability: the chance for Wall Street traders to profit from the buying and selling of greenhouse-gas emission permits.

Many advocates of a cap-and-trade system said it was necessary, but not sufficient on its own, to control climate change. Research suggests it would produce most of its emission from power producers, because they have more flexibility than most other industries to switch to lower-carbon fuels.

The world still would need big emission cuts elsewhere — namely from more-efficient cars, appliances and buildings — to slash emissions as deeply as many scientists are calling for. Achieving that, many studies conclude, would require tougher mandates for the energy efficiency of various products.

It isn’t clear that any politically viable environmental policy would meaningfully curb greenhouse-gas emissions. In Copenhagen, the U.S., China and several other countries pledged to cut their emissions or slow their growth. Even if those countries kept their Copenhagen promises, the average global temperature would rise 3 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels by later this century, according to the International Energy Agency.

Many scientific panels have said that allowing temperatures to rise more than 2 degrees above pre-industrial levels could trigger dangerous consequences from climate change.

Some scientists said the computer models projecting those temperature increases and those consequences were flawed, and that any environmental effect from rising carbon emissions would be manageable.

“There’s still a major gap between the current pledges and the desired outcome,” said Fatih Birol, the IEA’s chief economist.

Yet an environmental policy that fails to promote jobs isn’t going to do anything for the atmosphere, either, because it isn’t going to get off the ground.


More Climate Hopes for 2010 & Beyond

Posted by admin on January 13, 2010
Posted under Express 91

More Climate Hopes for 2010 & Beyond

Global green energy leader Jeff Harding (Ceramic Fuel Cells & Carnegie Corporation) hopes that in 2010 the view that “climate change is real and caused by man and therefore able to be tackled by man”, becomes the consensus in Australia, while Peter Stewart, General Manager of Carbon Market & Eco Voice, would like to see 2010 as “a watershed year of action whereby all facets of society recognise and work towards a sustainable existence”.

Hopes and Comments from Jeff Harding and Peter Stewart

Jeff Harding, who is Chairman of Ceramic Fuels Cells and Director of Carnegie Corporation, and former CEO of Pacific Hydro, provided this message:

“I hope that 2010 sees the view becomes the consensus in Australia that climate change is real, caused by man and therefore able to be tackled by man, as it is in most of the educated western world.

I am amazed by the number of people I meet who believe it is a lefty plot aimed at getting research funds from the government. Someone recently said it was a hoax in the same way as the 2000 bug fiasco was a hoax. God help us.  

Unfortunately Australia continues to be controlled by the coal lobby – infecting both sides of politics.

I would like to see action to encourage energy efficiency – at the generation and the consumer end.

Ceramic Fuel Cells, for example,  has an excellent product that generates energy in the home at more than 60% efficiency, compared with the 30% efficiency from conventional generation by the time the power is delivered.

There are no government programs to assist the installation of these units.

We need to encourage distributed generation as well as new technology renewables such as wave and geo-thermal generation.”

From Peter Stewart, General Manager of Carbon Market/Eco Voice:

“In the decade ahead I would like to see a recognition by business and government to the plight of the planet. To show leadership, encouragement and a consciousness to address the issues of climate change and the environment, and maintain a solution based ethic that can only help to create a positive outlook.

I would like to see 2010 as a watershed year of action whereby all facets of society recognise and work towards a sustainable existence. In this time of post Copenhagen confusion, it would be a sad state of affairs if we were to slide backwards when so many have fought to recognise that there is a need for immediate action.

We have the opportunity and indeed the responsibility, to implement change on a local and worldwide basis that can snowball in to the next decade. The willingness of governments to prop up banks with billions of dollars in a short time last year, indicates that there is a worldwide mechanism already in place to help bankroll the necessary changes required to avoid catastrophe.

Why is it then that there is an inability for governments to make the desired decisions? There are departments dedicated to climate change, yet there is still a debate on whether or not it is actually happening.

It seems politicians are reluctant to commit to anything until climate change becomes an issue which will keep them in or out of office. The responsibility for making a difference rests solely on the shoulders of every individual on the planet, so the time is now to get moving and make this year the beginning of the decade of sustainable progress.”

Will the Asia Pacific Partnership Rise to the Challenge?

Posted by admin on January 13, 2010
Posted under Express 91

Will the Asia Pacific Partnership Rise to the Challenge?

The international strategy to tackle climate change truly hinges on cooperation between the United States and the developing Asian economies. This relationship, as represented in the Asia-Pacific Partnership (APP), is controversial to environmental analysts. In two papers published in WIREs Climate Change, analysts debate the significance of the APP and its role as an alternative to the Kyoto treaty. reports (11 January 2010):

The Asia-Pacific Partnership and the Kyoto Protocols: In conflict or cooperation?

President Obama’s visit to China before December’s Copenhagen conference underlined views that the international strategy to tackle climate change truly hinges on cooperation between the United States and the developing Asian economies. This relationship, as represented in the Asia-Pacific Partnership (APP), is controversial to environmental analysts. In two papers published in WIREs Climate Change, analysts debate the significance of the APP and its role as an alternative to the Kyoto treaty.

Published in association with the Royal Meteorological Society and the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), WIREs Climate Change brings together experts from across the climate change spectrum, including the social sciences as well as the physical and environmental sciences, to offer authoritative reviews, discussions and debates on every facet of climate change research.

Launched in 2006, the APP is a non-treaty agreement between the United States, Australia, Canada, India, Japan, South Korea and, perhaps most importantly, the People’s Republic of China. It is increasingly seen as a viable agreement between the United States and the emerging Asian economies, yet is criticised for not being legally binding.

“[The APP] has been hailed as a new model for an international climate agreement and as an alternative to the Kyoto protocol,” said Ros Taplin from Bond University in Australia. “However implementation has had challenges. As an opposing model to Kyoto it is a contravention of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s (UNFCCC) principle of common, but differentiated responsibilities.”

The APP’s significant difference to Kyoto with regard to greenhouse gas emissions is that it requires participation by developing nations. This is seen as crucial by both the United States and Australia, who contend that it would be economically untenable for their countries to significantly cut their emissions without all countries taking action.

“The APP is based around public private taskforces organised on a sectoral basis. In legal terms the partnership is a nonbinding, soft law” said Taplin, “It is a contributor to the crumbing of climate governance.”

Australia and the United States have also attempted to divert debate away from targets and timetables by adopting this sectoral approach. 170 projects have been initiated by taskforces, yet by mid-2009 only 7 had been completed.

However, according to Aynsley Kellow from the University of Tasmania, the APP is far from dead and is an improvement over the “failure” of the Kyoto Protocols, providing important lessons for future climate change negotiations.

“[Kyoto] has failed. It failed horizontally to secure commitments from important players and it failed vertically because of the lack of delivery of outcomes to those who did accede to it,” said Kellow. “In comparison the APP represents a useful way forward.”

The Kyoto Protocols launched what Kellow calls “a rush to targets and timetables”, and promised clear reductions in greenhouse gas emissions of around 5% by industrialised nations. However, between 1997 and 2004, emissions from countries that ratified the protocol increased by 21.1%, whereas emissions from the United States increased by 6.6%.

“This is hardly a picture of policy success,” said Kellow. “In contrast the APP is a non-binding initiative aimed at fostering technological development and transfer on a sectoral basis and sits alongside the G8+ 5, launched during the Gleneagles summit in 2006.”

Expectations for international cooperation post-Copenhagen may now be modest, but, argues Kelow, initiatives such as the APP and G8+5 should be seen as helping rather than hindering these negotiations.

“We should be looking for silver buck-shot rather than a silver bullet in the quest for an adequate response to the risks of anthropogenic climate change.” concludes Kellow, “The APP is one piece of shot, but a significant and helpful one nonetheless.”

About WIRE’s Climate Change:

Climate change is a phenomenon that extends far beyond science, with fundamental implications for economics, politics, sociology and environmental ethics. It is a phenomenon that changes how people understand the world around them and their own futures. This understanding epitomises the multi-disciplinary approach of WIREs Climate Change, the latest interdisciplinary review project from Wiley-Blackwell.

Published in association with the Royal Meteorological Society and the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), WIREs Climate Change brings together experts from across the climate change spectrum, including the social sciences as well as the physical and environmental sciences, to offer authoritative reviews, discussions and debates on every facet of climate change research.

“Climate change has to be understood both as physical change and increasingly as an idea that is changing society and the way people think of the future,” said Editor-In-Chief Professor Mike Hulme. “Researchers have to understand and illuminate the ways different facets of the phenomenon are shaping each other.”

Recent events in Copenhagen attest to the lack of global consensus on many issues surrounding mitigation and adaptation to climate change. In the inaugural issue of WIREs Climate Change, debates over the ethics of climate change can be found alongside reviews of the political effectiveness of the Kyoto Protocol.

“Interdisciplinary research is a widely lauded aspiration and a frequently claimed necessity in advancing human understanding of troubling or important phenomena, and climate change is without doubt one of these,” adds Hulme. “We believe that WIREs Climate Change is a project that can play an active role in the construction of new knowledge about climate change by stimulating research reviews that demand new ways of thinking in both author and readers.”

Source: and

Electric Cars Shine at the Detroit Auto Show

Posted by admin on January 13, 2010
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Electric Cars Shine at the Detroit Auto Show

At this year’s North American Auto Show, a number of new electric, plug-in hybrid electric, and other fuel efficient offerings are being unveiled. There’s a 37,000-square-foot feature called the Electric Avenue, where more than a dozen new electrified vehicles are showcased. Jeff Siegal gives his personal view for the Green Chip Review.

By Jeff Siegel in Green Chip Review (11 January 2010):

In 1986, I bought my very first car. It was a red 1980 Chevy Chevette. And I loved that thing.

I drove it everywhere — from to Boston to DC to Atlanta, that little red Chevette gave me a sense of freedom that I had never before experienced. And I treasured that freedom.

Sure, I had to work a lot of overtime at the pizza shop to afford it ($600 seemed like a fortune back then). And insurance is never cheap for a 16-year-old kid…

But none of that mattered. Because as long as I had my car, I could go anywhere at anytime. And it’s that sense of freedom that I believe every 16-year-old feels the first time he gets behind the wheel of his very first car.

As an adult, little has changed for me.

Sure, these days I take the light rail to work. (Why pay for gas and parking if you don’t have to?) But I still love taking those long road trips from time to time. And I still love checking out all the new cars coming to market.

Especially the latest electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. And there’s certainly no shortage of them this year at the 2010 North American Auto Show (Detroit).

GM’s Voltage Continues

At this year’s 2010 North American Auto Show, a number of new electric, plug-in hybrid electric, and other fuel efficient offerings are being unveiled.

In fact, we’re even seeing the debut of a 37,000-square-foot feature called the Electric Avenue. It is here, on the main floor, where more than a dozen new electrified vehicles will be showcased.

Of course, everyone knows about the Chevy Volt, which is expected to roll out later this year. But GM Vice President Bob Lutz did announce yesterday that GM is now making a Cadillac version of the Chevy Volt.

Using technology developed for the Volt, the Cadillac Converj is expected to hit showrooms in 2013.

The Converj originally debuted as a concept car at last year’s Detroit Auto Show.

Nissan Electrifies

Also expected to hit showrooms this year is the Nissan Leaf.

This is Nissan’s electric hatchback that boasts a 100-mile all-electric range, with a top speed of about 76 mpg.

While I’m definitely excited to see the LEAF zipping through the streets of Baltimore, it should be noted that this is an all-electric vehicle — not an extended range electric vehicle, like the Chevy Volt. So cost comparisons should be taken lightly when read in press releases.

Yes, the Nissan will likely cost about $15,000-$20,000 less than the Chevy Volt. But it is not really meant for trips longer than 100 miles… unless you have a few hours to stop each time and charge up.

The Chevy Volt, on the other hand, can road trip with the best of them; once the initial charge on the Volt is depleted, the gas engine kicks in.

That being said, if you’re not looking for anything more than local driving, certainly the LEAF could be an excellent vehicle.

A few other exciting vehicles on display in Detroit this week include:

•          An electric version of the Fiat 500 minicar boasting 150 miles per charge (according to British magazine AutoExpress.)

•           The Volvo C30 Electric Car — 90 miles per charge

•           BMW Concept ActiveE — 100 miles per charge

•           Mitsubishi MiEV — 80 miles per charge

•           Think City — 100 miles per charge.

In Another 10 Years…

Ten years ago, highlights at the 2000 Detroit Auto Show included gas hogs like the Chevrolet SSR and the Hummer H2.

There was only one electric offering back then, and that was the Think City.

As an interesting side note, the Think City was originally owned by Ford at the time of the 2000 Detroit Auto Show. But in 2003, the company sold it to a Swiss company called Kamkorp Microelectronics. Then in 2006, Norwegian investment group InSpire bought it.

Now, just last week, Think announced it would build its first car for the U.S. market in Indiana starting in 2011. The company plans on selling its vehicle in the U.S. in late 2011 by importing vehicles assembled in Finland. The import sales will arrive before U.S. production starts.

While it’s great to see these things built and sold in the U.S. — finally! — that was one hell of a runaround to get from point A to point B.

Nonetheless, here we are today at the North American Auto Show, and there are nearly 20 electric offerings.

So just imagine where we’re going to be in another 10 years…

According to research firm CSM Worldwide, nearly half of all vehicle name plates sold around the world (about 20 million vehicles) will offer some form of electrified propulsion technology by 2020.

Now, only one million are expected to be built with electrified propulsion systems in the U.S. — and most of those will be mild or full hybrids. But in Japan and Korea, electrified vehicles will account for about 3 million; in Europe, about 15 million!

Of course, the folks in Europe also have the unfamiliar burden of paying a more realistic price for their gasoline and diesel. And to be honest, until we start paying a more realistic price for our gasoline, the U.S. will likely lag and continue to hand off progress to other parts of the world.

As a U.S. citizen who loves to drive, this is certainly a point of frustration. However, as an investor, we know that borders don’t present obstacles for us when it comes to profiting from the electric car revolution.

From high-performance battery manufacturers in China to electric propulsion system companies in Canada, we will continue to profit from this movement every step of the way.


Ecolodges Indonesia welcomes the International Year of Biodiversity

Posted by admin on January 13, 2010
Posted under Express 91

Ecolodges Indonesia welcomes the International Year of Biodiversity

“We are all an integral part of nature and our fate is tightly linked with biodiversity, the huge variety of other animals and plants, the places they live and their surrounding environments” says Dr Alan Wilson, Chairman of Ecolodges Indonesia (ELI) as he echoed words from the 2010 International Year of Biodiversity initiative.

Article from Travel Mole (11 January, 2010):

Safeguarding irreplaceable natural wealth and reduce biodiversity loss through small-scale ecotourism.

Bali, Indonesia: ‘We are all an integral part of nature and our fate is tightly linked with biodiversity, the huge variety of other animals and plants, the places they live and their surrounding environments’ stated Dr Alan Wilson, Chairman of Ecolodges Indonesia (ELI) as he echoed words from the 2010 International Year of Biodiversity initiative being led by the United Nations Environment Program and the Commission for Biological Diversity.

Ecolodges Indonesia has a strong corporate social responsibility agenda to conserve endangered wildlife and contribute to local communities in Indonesia. The company currently operates four Ecolodges in Sumatra, Kaliamantan, Bali and Flores, with plans underway to open three more in environmentally sensitive regions of the country.

Dr Wilson said ‘There continues to be formidable challenges to protecting or rehabilitating the rich biodiversity of Indonesia. A key objective of Ecolodges Indonesia is the optimal use of environmental resources that constitute the key elements in tourism development, maintaining essential ecological processes and helping to conserve biodiversity as well as the natural and cultural heritage.’

‘We continuously work towards viable, long-term economic operations which provide socioeconomic benefits of stable employment and income-earning opportunities to host communities, and contributing to poverty alleviation.’

The Ecolodges Indonesia has committed to support the Secretariat of the Convention for Biological Diversity’s primary objectives1 for the International Year of Biodiversity, namely:

(a) Enhance public awareness within Indonesia and in source markets on the importance of conserving biodiversity and on the underlying threats to biodiversity;

(b) Raise awareness of the accomplishments to save biodiversity that have already been realized by communities, governments and partners of Ecolodges Indonesia;

(c) Support the call on individuals, organizations and governments to take the immediate steps needed to halt the loss of biodiversity in Indonesia;

(d) Promote innovative solutions to reduce these threats through sustainable ecotourism operations;

(e) Engage in dialogue among stakeholders within Indonesia for the steps to be taken in the post-2010 period.

As part of its support for the International Year of Biodiversity, Ecolodges Indonesia has finalised a comprehensive new collaboration with the global not-for-profit sustainable development and responsible travel organisation, Sustainable Travel International, to draw upon, promote and apply respective products and services to enhance their brands, professional product delivery and business models to do good for local communities and biodiversity conservation (especially wildlife) in Indonesia. (

Furthermore, in support of the 2010 International Year of Biodiversity, ELI will:

(i) Promote and share resources such as:

• Sustaining life on Earth: How the Convention on Biological Diversity promotes nature and human well-being.

• The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity: TEEB is an initiative to draw attention to the global economic benefits of biodiversity and the costs of biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation.

• WAZA’s (World Association of Zoos and Aquariums) Educational Manual: A guide for zoo and aquarium educators, teachers and environmentalists. A resource about biodiversity in support of the International Year of Biodiversity, 2010 and beyond.

(ii) Incorporate the International Year of Biodiversity logo and message on letter head, reports and posters and follow the campaign’s Communication Guidelines

(iii) Create multi media links on the Ecolodges Indonesia website such as the YouTube Action Now for Life on Earth and Biodiversity and Climate Change

(iv) Send our success stories including pictures, artwork, videos and other creations to link to the ELI website and to share with the rest of the world via the UN Secretariat  for the Convention on Biological Diversity

As the International Year of Biodiversity is a unique opportunity to increase understanding of the vital role that biodiversity plays in sustaining life on Earth, Ecolodges Indonesia will encourage as many people as possible to participate using the guidelines available at.

Source: and

Innovation Challenges: Sustainable Consumption & Carbon Product Labels

Posted by admin on January 13, 2010
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Innovation Challenges: Sustainable Consumption & Carbon Product Labels

The need to develop new consumption patterns is the mother of all innovation challenges. The race to dematerialize is on, says Aron Cramer. Some of this will come from the digital revolution and some from redesigning business models. While according to new research by the Newcastle Business School in the UK, 72% of consumers want carbon labels on food products.
By  Aron Cramer for BSR, a global business network and consultancy focused on sustainability.This article first appeared in World Media (12 January 2010):

With climate negotiations reaching an inconclusive end in Copenhagen, the action swings back from national governments and the intergovernmental process to you and me.

For many years, the idea of sustainable consumption has been embraced by NGOs and others, but widely shunned by business.

This is changing fast. Not only that, the signs of growing interest are coming from unlikely locations.

In Bentonville, Ark., last summer, new Wal-Mart CEO Mike Duke called on his company to “develop the tools to help enable sustainable consumption.” Who would have guessed that the chief executive of the world’s largest retailer, which sells US$400 billion of goods each year, would say that?

Recently in Dubai (just before the recent bond crisis struck the Emirate), under the auspices of the World Economic Forum, I chaired a Global Agenda Council on this subject. A dozen experts from business, academia and NGOs from the United States, the U.K., Brazil, Germany and elsewhere were asked to deliver recommendations on how to shift to more sustainable consumption patterns. We developed three priority recommendations: Mobilize and inspire consumers, explore new business models, and create innovative public policy. The topic will be on the agenda again at the WEF’s annual meeting in Davos this month.

Why has this issue come out of the shadows now? After all, the UN has been working on this issue for almost a decade, through the Marrakech Process, which aims to develop guidelines for production and consumption.

The answer may well lie in the pre-recession events of 2008. Before the financial crisis hit late last year, we experienced a mash-up of food/fuel/water-security problems. All the graphs and charts that predicted a disconnect between the supply and demand of basic commodities came to life in the form of shortages and price shocks in the months before Lehman Brothers collapsed. This meant higher prices for companies, and higher prices for consumers, who saw their food and energy bills rise.

And while the recession has brought a temporary pause to all this, the long-term trends suggest that the question of whether existing business models can-literally-be sustained is squarely on the table. To address the coming consumption crunch, new products, services and production processes are needed.

The keys to progress rest in the same formula I discussed in my recent e-blast about climate change: Innovation, efficiency, mobilization and collaboration.

The need to develop new consumption patterns is the mother of all innovation challenges. The race to dematerialize is on. Some of this will come from the digital revolution, as newspapers can now be delivered wirelessly to e-readers instead of plopping dead trees on the doorstep. But some of the innovation will come from redesigning business models. Electronics retail leader Best Buy is looking to enter the transportation business. Through its emerging business unit, the company is experimenting with electronic transportation devices like “e-bikes,” building a mobility business to capitalize on its expertise selling and servicing very different kinds of consumer devices. One well-known beverage maker is looking at selling packets of soluble powder to avoid the need to ship water and containers around the globe.

Efficiency holds additional promise. That is why the zero-waste movement is gaining steam, with the New York Times proclaiming in November that it has moved from the fringes to the mainstream. Companies including Nestlé, Wal-Mart, and Honda are taking aim at garbage by revamping production and distribution processes. Cities across the United States, which maintains the crown as the world’s biggest per capita garbage producer, have set targets of zero waste by 2020.

The holy grail, however, may come in mobilizing-and inspiring-consumers. This is the only way to develop markets that de-emphasize natural resource use, which in turn will create rewards for companies that make the shift. SAP, Siemens, and Coca-Cola are the founding partners of, an effort to build a global consensus for strong action on climate change at the recently closed summit. Coca-Cola, in addition to experimenting with plant-based bottles, has invested in RecycleBank, a start-up that rewards consumers for recycling products.

Collaboration is the only way to get this done. New business models will mean new partnerships. Google and GE have gotten immense attention for their initial efforts to create smart energy grids. Shai Agassi’s Better Place, a potentially disruptive force in private transportation, is partnering with auto incumbents Renault and Nissan, as well as the governments of Israel and Denmark, to build the needed infrastructure for an electric vehicle network. Ford and AT&T are working together on low-emission vehicles. These unlikely partners are looking across established industry lines to innovate.

Strangely enough for an idea that hinges on less consumption, progress may rest on marketing. After all, “sustainable consumption” is one of those “eat your spinach” phrases that hardly inspire people, and that’s a problem.

In fact, this is an idea that can be very exciting-maybe even sexy. After all, it may be that a resource crunch is the spark that catalyzes innovative ways to meet human needs-for all 7 billion of us. And that’s a lot more exciting than a plate of spinach.

Source:, and

Daniel Palmer in Australian Food News (11 January 2010):

As some of the world’s largest grocery retailers look at ways to put carbon labels on their products, research has showed strong consumer interest in the idea.

According to new research by the Newcastle Business School at Northumbria University in the UK, 72 per cent of consumers want carbon labels on food products.

The news supports assertions from UK-based Tesco and American-based Walmart that shoppers are actively looking to cut their carbon footprint. Tesco has already begun adding carbon labels to their range of private label goods while the world’s largest retailer – Walmart – is looking to add an eco-label to every product in their stores within a decade.

Zaina Gadema, a logistics and supply chain management researcher at Newcastle Business School, completed the first stage of her study to gauge consumer perceptions on green issues when food shopping at the end of December.

The shoppers surveyed across all of the UK’s major supermarkets were questioned on their demand for carbon labelling, their knowledge of their personal carbon footprints, whether they think climate change is an important issue when buying food, and whether current carbon labels are easily understood.

Around four-in-five of shoppers do not know their own personal carbon footprint, but almost three quarters of respondents said that clearer carbon labelling on food products would help them to think ‘green’, the study concluded. Additionally, 63% thought that carbon labels were a useful indicator for comparing environmental standards, although quality and taste (76%) were still deemed more important when purchasing food than environmental issues such as carbon (44%) and food miles (42%).

However, 68% claimed their purchasing behaviour had changed significantly in the past ten years. Consumers stated that their spending habits had shifted towards purchasing more free range (46%), more fair trade (42%), more locally sourced food (32%), and more organic and less processed food products (32%).

“In light of the high proportion of consumers expressing a definite shift in shopping habits, these initial findings suggest that concern is indeed high with respect to climate change and food purchasing simultaneously,” Ms Gadema said.

“Overall the dominant theme arising from this research is that consumers would generally like carbon labels on their food products. However, because there is little understanding or knowledge surrounding such information, as well as little in terms of availability of products with carbon footprints, it is difficult for consumers to compare environmental standards via carbon labels even though the majority of respondents think labels would help to do so.”


Don’t Let Sustainability be Dwarfed by Your Job

Posted by admin on January 13, 2010
Posted under Express 91

Don’t Let Sustainability be Dwarfed by Your Job

Are you one of the seven dwarfs looking for your own Snow White or are you in one of the seven important jobs and ready to make your “sustainability resolution” for the year and decade ahead. Some tips from Robert Pojasek, an internationally recognized expert on the topic of business sustainability and process improvement.

By Robert Pojasek for (5 January 2010):

T’is the season for making resolutions!

In case you work for a company and have not made your sustainability resolution yet, maybe this will help.

Just search for your job title below and consider how you can help with your company’s sustainability program.

1. Environmental Health Safety & Sustainability Manager (EHS&S): Resolve to broaden the scope of your sustainability program beyond environmental stewardship (please do not call it environmental sustainability) and climate change to include your social and economic responsibilities, even if you personally do not control the response to these other necessary responsibilities. Introduce yourself to someone who is working in those areas and resolve to start the cross-linking process.

2. Corporate Responsibility Officer (CRO): Resolve to move beyond issue management, corporate strategy and messaging to help each facility or other “point of presence” establish a sustainability management system based on the soon-to-be-released ISO 26000 (social responsibility standard) and an operational base of ISO 14001 or ISO 9001. Remember that it is not necessary to certify to these standards in order to use them to help make sustainability part of what every employee does every day.

3. Corporate Risk Manager: Resolve to include the loss of your social license to operate as a significant risk to your operation and reputation, and involve the EHS&S Manager and CRO as you implement ISO 31000 (risk management standard) and integrate it within your new sustainability management system. All corporate officers should cite the three responsibilities (environmental stewardship, social equity and well-being, and economic vitality of the corporation and the communities within which you do business) as significant risks that need to be treated.

4. Supply Chain Manager: Resolve to work with your suppliers to create a value chain based on sustainability, rather than based on fear that sourcing will be replacing them if they do not conform to a dictum of requests immediately. Your educational resources may want to help the suppliers learn about the development of a functional sustainability management system that will help them help you.

5. Senior Leaders: Resolve to provide the direction to create a performance framework (the Baldrige model provides leading indicators to help drive leadership performance) that will provide the sustainability action plan to implement your sustainability strategy to your facilities and supply chain. You should also include your leadership in providing the resources necessary to maintain the social license to operate in every community within which you do business.

6. Chief Financial Officer: Resolve to review the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) sustainability framework and use the information to work closely with your colleagues to ensure the economic responsibility of the enterprise — both at the corporate level and within each community where you are doing business.

7. Facility Managers: Resolve to create your own sustainability management system and align it with the corporate strategy. This blog will be providing information that focuses on the local implementation of sustainability as a means of maintaining that ever-important license to operate. Involve your employees in the planning and implementation of this program. There is an open-enrolment, distance learning course at Harvard University that can help you with this very important task.

These are reasonable resolutions and the tools for addressing sustainability at the facility level are widely available. Many of these tools are already being used in your facilities, but without knowledge that they are useful for sustainability and meeting the three responsibilities that each of your facilities have every day as they seek to maintain their license to operate.

Look beyond the fancy slogans and strategy to find something that will be practical for your operation. Read the blog and share your ideas as we continue to explore the “Five Basics of Sustainability” at the local level.

Happy New Year! I hope you will be able to keep all of the important resolutions that you made.

Robert B. Pojasek, Ph.D., is the sustainability practice leader at Capaccio Environmental Engineering and an internationally recognized expert on the topic of business sustainability and process improvement.


Tata Group Goes Global & Green in Tourism, Transport & Energy

Posted by admin on January 13, 2010
Posted under Express 91


If globalisation was the driving factor for Tata Group in the last decade, going green may well be the buzzword for the present one for the organisation that owns Taj Hotels. One of the eco-ventures is Indica EV, an electric car that Tata Motors plans to introduce in select European markets this year.     

By Reeba Zachariah, in the Times of India, and  by Valere Tjolle in Travel Mole  in (10 January, 2010):       

TATA Gets Green Mantra

If globalisation was the driving factor for Tata Group in the last decade, going green may well be the buzzword for the present one for the organisation that owns Taj Hotels.

From being on the fringe, the green movement is gaining momentum within the group. India’s oldest industrial house is stepping up efforts to reduce its carbon footprint across the value chain — from manufacturing processes to distribution networks to eco-friendly consumer products.

For instance, Tata Steel aims to reduce carbon dioxide emissions at its Jamshedpur plant from the current 1.8 tonne to 1.7 tonne per tonne of liquid steel made by 2012. The ideal global benchmark though is 1.5.

Tata Motors is setting up an eco-friendly showroom using natural building material for its flooring and energy-efficient lights. Tata Motors said the project is at a preliminary stage.

The Indian Hotels Company, which runs the Taj chain, is in the process of creating eco rooms which will have energy-efficient mini bars, organic bed linen and napkins made from recycled paper. But there won’t be any carpets since chemicals are used to clean those. And when it comes to illumination, the rooms will have CFLs or LEDs. About 5% of the total rooms at a Taj hotel would sport a chic eco-room design.

One of the most interesting innovations has come in the form of a biogas-based power plant at Taj Green Cove in Kovalam, which uses the waste generated at the hotel to meet its cooking requirements.

Tata Group chairman Ratan Tata had said during Swatch launch, a low-cost water a low-cost water purifier made from natural ingredients: “We have embarked on a group-wise initiative to create awareness and implement eco-friendly processes wherever it is possible and, in fact, look at some of our older processes to see how we can ensure that they are in compliance with the state-of-the-art exhibits. This is going to be a long and expensive journey and we are fairly committed to it.”

Another eco-friendly consumer product that is in the works is Indica EV, an electric car that will run on polymer lithium ion batteries. Tata Motors plans to introduce the Indica EV in select European markets this year.

The group’s large companies such as Tata Steel, Tata Motors, Tata Chemicals and Tata Consultancy Services contribute 80% of the group’s overall emissions and a panel, headed by Tata Sons director JJ Irani, has been formed to address this issue. Several companies have already or are in the process of implementing clean development mechanism (CDM) projects.

Tata Steel said it is currently working on more than 17 CDM projects with Ernst & Young and these projects are at various stages of approval at United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Tata Power has said that of the total power it would generate in the next 10 years, 25% would be from renewable energy sources.

Tata Motors is collecting environmental and energy data across its dealer and supply chain to compute their carbon footprint and identity opportunities for cutting down on carbon dioxide emission. This initiative will enable sharing and deployment of ideas throughout the value chain, said a Tata Motors spokesperson.

A source in Indian Hotels said that all of its domestic and international hotels would be certified by Green Globe, an international agency by the end of 2010.

Source: and

Germany Takes Lead in Emission Reductions & Protecting Wildlife

Posted by admin on January 13, 2010
Posted under Express 91

Germany Takes Lead in Emission Reductions & Protecting Wildlife

Germany will stick to a more ambitious goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2020 even though the UN climate conference in Copenhagen fell short of expectations, while German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged industrialised and emerging countries to invest more in protecting wildlife, saying the UN should create a body to refine scientific arguments for saving animal and plant species.

Erik Kirschbaum for Reuters World Environment News (12 January 2010):

BERLIN – Germany will stick to a more ambitious goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by 2020 even though the U.N. climate conference in Copenhagen fell short of expectations, a government adviser said on Monday.

Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, head of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, said it was unclear if the European Union as a whole would pursue a 30 percent target when it submits its plan to the U.N. Climate Change Secretariat by January 31.

Germany had hoped that its offer to raise its 2020 target from 30 to 40 percent, combined with an EU offer to raise its goal from 20 to 30 percent if other nations pledged substantial cuts, would spur a deal on worldwide reductions in Copenhagen.

The Copenhagen accord set a goal of limiting global warming to a maximum 2 degrees Celsius over pre-industrial times. But it failed to say how this would be achieved.

“Germany has a firm target that the government has even spelled out in its coalition agreement to cut its emissions by 40 percent,” Schellnhuber told a news conference. “That’s unconditional. Germany will continue to be a driving force.”

Germany is the world’s sixth largest emitter. Some industry groups have urged Berlin to drop ambitious emissions targets, saying they could jeopardise jobs. Germany has created hundreds of thousands of green tech jobs in the last decade.

Schellnhuber said it was hard to tell how the EU would react to the bare-minimum Copenhagen result in which delegates “noted” an accord struck by the United States, China and emerging powers that fell far short of the conference’s original goals.

“But if others hesitate, Germany will have the chance to make its economy more fit for the future,” said the adviser to German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the EU on climate change.

Schellnhuber, whose PIK institute calculated the Copenhagen accord will lead to a 3.5-degree rise in global temperatures, said he was optimistic the process would move forward in 2010.

An interim conference in June in Bonn could make progress and create momentum for a U.N. agreement in Mexico in November.

“The game isn’t over yet,” Schellnhuber said. “The dice haven’t fallen yet. We still have the chance in the multilateral system to reach a worthwhile agreement.”

At another climate meeting in Berlin on Monday, Achim Steiner, Executive Director of the U.N. Environment Program, said the failure to reach a deal in Copenhagen would cost economies around the world billions of dollars.

“Copenhagen was a setback. There was no deal. But maybe we can use the shock from that to overcome the hurdles in front of us,” he said.

Madeline Chambers for Reuters World Environment News (12 January 2010):

BERLIN – German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged industrialized and emerging countries to invest more in protecting wildlife and said the U.N. should create a body to refine scientific arguments for saving animal and plant species.

Researchers say preserving nature is crucial to the fight against climate change and warn that human activity is speeding up extinctions. They also argue that peoples’ livelihoods depend on natural assets worth trillions of dollars.

Extinction rates run at 1,000 times their natural pace due to human activity, research shows. Three species vanish per hour, according to U.N. figures.

“The question of preserving biological diversity is on the same scale as climate protection,” Merkel said Monday at an event to launch the United Nations’ Year of Biodiversity.

“We need a sea change. Here, now, immediately — not some time in the future,” she said. “This year has to be used to relaunch this effort.” Germany is chair of the U.N. Convention on Biodiversity and hands over to Japan later in the year.

Merkel said countries should invest more money in protecting species and create a network of wildlife protection areas.

She also suggested setting up a new body to deal with the science of biodiversity, similar to the U.N.’s panel of climate scientists, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

“It would be sensible to have an interface between the politics and the science to integrate knowledge, like the IPCC does with climate change,” she said, adding such a body could help drive forward the political work.

Achim Steiner, Executive Director of the U.N. Environment Program, agreed, saying the time had come to do something comparable to the IPCC on the subject of biodiversity.

Up to a fifth of plant and animal species risk extinction, according to experts, and nations have missed a goal set by the Convention on Biodiversity (CBD) in 2002 to significantly slow the loss of biodiversity by 2010.

Ahmed Djoghlaf, CBD Executive Secretary, said it was essential to set new targets this year.

“We have established a target and missed it… we have to learn the lesson to ensure that in 2020, we will not say ‘we have missed the target’.”

“The strategy must be not only about setting a target but about implementation, monitoring and evaluation and integrating targets into national plans,” said Djoghlaf.