Climate Change Corp newsletter

August 2, 2007 at 9:09 pm | Posted in Business news, Climate change, Public attitudes | Leave a comment

Monthly summaries of climate change news for business and weekly climate news in brief from ClimateChangeCorp (CCC) are worth skimming. A few examples are shown below my comments.

Although the CCC website is UK-centric, it does cover world news. The more that businesses, groups and individuals can share useful information—especially that which helps us identify and use best practices (to avoid wasting time and energy reinventing products and processes to deal with climate change)—the better.

The number of climate positive initiatives at so many different levels is encouraging. There is a definite need to communicate more of this climate-favourable action in brief notes to members of the public. Some people are scared into inaction when they are presented with the more alarming climate scenarios and turn off the subject completely (proving the maxim that the quickest way to end a dinner party nowadays is to ask what each invitee is doing to fight global warming). Others express their gloom by sharing Eeyore-worthy comments that they believe mankind is pretty much doomed. Rather than operate like a donkey-under-a-grey-cloud, however, some doom ‘n’ gloomers argue they will party to the end, in order to make the most of the western over-consuming lifestyle while it lasts. Unfortunately, this over-zealous desire to enjoy oneself at the expense of others is not the best way to deal with an issue that affects the world community …

I guess it will have to become cool to be frugal! (Or as Jonathan Ross declared during LiveEarth “Don’t be green, be MEAN!”)

May 2007

June 2007

July 26th – August 2nd 2007

Weekly roundup of climate news from around the world

Companies

No runway activists

BAA, operator of London’s Heathrow Airport, is seeking an injunction against activists affiliated with the Camp for Climate Action, a protest camp set to take place near the airport in August. BAA seeks to stop nearly five million protesters from approaching the airport, banning them from all relevant transportation including trains, the Underground and sections of motorway.

HSBC’s new climate leader

HSBC has appointed Nick Robins as head of its Climate Change Centre of Excellence, a new agency that will be the bank’s central source of climate knowledge and collect expert input for translation into business opportunities. Robins has over 17 years experience promoting sustainability in business practice and is an acknowledged leader in socially responsible investment.

Carbon labelling

The Carbon Trust’s carbon reduction label will appear on all flavours of Walkers crisps in the UK this month, as well on Botanics shampoos in Boots stores across the country. Euan Murray, carbon footprinting general manager of the Carbon Trust, says that the label’s new scope is a step toward giving consumers the opportunity to understand the climate impacts of their purchasing decisions.

Prius is greenest, say Swiss

The Swiss government has rated Toyota’s hybrid Prius as the world’s greenest car, giving it the highest rating in a study evaluating the environmental impact of about 6,000 different vehicles. Government officials say they hope the list, which will be finalised next year, will convince drivers to buy cars with the smallest environmental impact.

World’s largest wind farm

Shell WindEnergy and TXU Corp’s power generation company Luminant have proposed building a 3,000 MW wind power project in Texas, 50 miles southeast of Amarillo. If completed, the project would double the current wind power generation in Texas, already the top wind power producer in the US.

Energy

Dirtiest US power plants

All of the 50 dirtiest power plants in the US – those with the highest CO2 emissions – are coal-fired, and five of them are in Texas, according to the Environmental Integrity Project’s annual study. Indiana and Pennsylvania each have four, while New England and the Pacific coast areas had no plants on the list.

Policy

APEC tackles climate issues

At a five-day meeting of APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation) finance ministers in Queensland this week, the agenda will centre on climate change and its economic challenges. In the APEC chair, Australia

‘Braver’ climate change plans for UK

A report from the UK House of Commons Environmental Audit select committee has said that emissions from air travel and shipping should be included in the UK government’s proposals for dealing with climate change. The omissions were two of a number of “weaknesses” identified in the climate change bill due to enter Parliament this autumn.

On their bikes

The city of Paris has launched a bike subscription programme called “Velib” (short for “free bike”) allowing riders 30 minutes free and an entire day for one euro. Over 600,000 users have signed up already to pick up bikes from more than 750 points in the city. City administrators hope the plan will ease traffic gridlock and air pollution.

UK’s car comparison site

A new website from the UK department of transport lets consumers compare vehicle models by category, transmission and fuel type to find an environmentally friendly vehicle that fits their needs. The “Act on CO2” site uses rankings developed with emissions data from the Vehicle Certification Agency to list low-emitting models that fit the entered criteria.

Biofuels in NZ

Gull New Zealand launched the first commercially available biofuel in New Zealand this week, pre-empting the government’s Biofuels Sales Obligation that takes effect in April 2008. The obligation requires biofuels to make up 3.4% of fuel companies’ sales by 2012 in an attempt to reduce the country’s overall carbon dioxide emissions from vehicles.

UK builders’ guide

The UK government has set out targets for the construction industry – to help it implement more sustainable methods – in the Government and Industry Sustainable Construction Strategy, released this week. Aims include reducing on-site waste, using sustainable materials and reducing the carbon footprint of activities within the construction sector.

Environment

Warmer seas, more storms

Compared to a century ago, about twice as many hurricanes are occurring in the Atlantic due to warmer sea surface temperatures and altered wind patterns associated with global climate change, according to new research. The conclusions come in a study by Peter Webster of Georgia Institute of Technology and Greg Holland of the National Center for Atmospheric Research that will be published in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London.

Climate risks for Nigerians

About 13 million Nigerian citizens are extremely vulnerable to climate change and may have to relocate, concludes a report from the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. The report says those living in the nation’s coastal areas and in the desertification zone are at serious risk from floods and erosion due to sea-level rise.

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