MAC/20: Mines and Communities

Emissions and Omissions

Published by MAC on 2007-05-10


Emissions and Omissions

10th May 2007

Last week Tony Bliar called the country he'd appropriated for ten years "the greatest in the world". Hopefully that's the last lie to be peddled by the delusional former prime minister. On the environmental front, at least, the myth of Britain's greatness received another blow this week with the publication of a report by WWF on the country's contribution to global greenhouse gas emissions .

Added to which, the UK fell in Ernst & Young's "Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness" rankings, while China and India increased their's.

Meanwhile, Bliar's fellow crook across the pond continues heading an administration which - according to the latest available figures - increased its global greenhouse gas emissions in 2005 to a record seven and a quarter billion tonnes.


Germany, UK Home to Most of EU's Dirty Power Plants

PlaetArk SWITZERLAND

10th May 2007

GENEVA - Most of the European Union's 30 most polluting power stations, which together account for 10 percent of the bloc's carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, are located in Germany and Britain, the WWF said on Thursday.

In a report entitled "Dirty Thirty", the conservation group said Germany and Britain were each home to 10 of the least environmentally efficient plants in the EU.

The two dirtiest power stations in the EU are in Greece: Agios Dimitrios and Kardia, both run by Greece's largest power utility Public Power DEH, according to the Swiss-based WWF. The 30 plants, which are all coal-fired, produce 393 million tonnes of heat-trapping CO2, equal to 10 percent of all EU CO2 emissions, it said. Carbon dioxide, mainly from burning fossil fuels, is widely blamed for stoking global warming.

"The facts are clear: the power sector needs to phase out dirty coal as soon as possible," Stephan Singer, head of WWF's European Climate and Energy Unit.

The WWF backs an EU emissions trading scheme to encourage investment in cleaner, more efficient plants. This would help the EU achieve its target of up to 30 percent reduction in CO2 emissions by 2020. There was a "historic window of opportunity" to reduce emissions over the next 20 years as most of the EU's dirtiest coal power stations will have to be decommissioned during that period, it said.

The WWF advocates replacing coal-fired plants by less CO2-intense natural gas or CO2-free renewable energies.

The 3rd dirtiest EU plant is Niederaussern in Germany, which altogether has six of the top 10 polluters, it said.

Among British-based plants, Longannet, which is owned by Scottish Power, is the worst offender with a rank of 15th.

Poland is also home to four of the 30 dirtiest, WWF said.

REUTERS NEWS SERVICE


US, Russian Greenhouse Gas Emissions Up, EU's Dip

PlanetArk GERMANY

10th May 2007

BONN, Germany - US and Russian greenhouse gas emissions rose in 2005, more than cancelling out a dip in the European Union's emissions despite growing calls to limit global warming, official data shows.

Combined emissions by the United States, Russia and the EU, accounting for about half the world total, rose by 0.4 percent to 14.55 billion tonnes in 2005 from 2004, according to data compiled by Reuters from the UN Climate Change Secretariat.

"Emissions trends are continuing upwards, which contradicts political rhetoric globally," Bill Hare, a Greenpeace adviser who also works at German Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, said during 166-nation UN climate talks in Bonn.

And experts say that emissions by developing nations led by China and India, which do not have to report 2005 data to the Bonn-based Secretariat, are rising far faster as they use more coal and oil to power their fast-growing economies.

A report by UN climate panel last week said the world was running out of time to make the deep cuts needed to combat global warming, which could bring widening droughts, heatwaves, floods, spread disease and push up world sea levels.

It said world emissions would have to peak by 2015 and fall by 50 to 85 percent by 2050 to reach a goal of limiting temperature rises to 2 to 2.4 Celsius (3.6 to 8.6 Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels.

"Deep emissions cuts by industrialised countries are needed," Yvo de Boer, head of the UN Climate Change Secretariat, told 1,000 delegates at the opening of the May 7-18 talks in Bonn on ways to slow warming.

And Germany wants to use a meeting of leading industrialised and developing nations it will host next month to push for new commitments to cap greenhouse gases.

US RISE

US data submitted to the Secretariat show emissions rose by 0.7 percent in 2005 to a record 7.24 billion tonnes and were 16.3 percent above 1990 levels.

Russia's report shows that emissions, which plunged with the collapse of Soviet-era smokestack industries in the 1990s, rose by 2.2 percent in 2005 to 2.13 billion tonnes. But they were still 28.7 percent below 1990 levels.

Emissions by 27 EU members dipped by 0.8 percent to 5.18 billion tonnes and were 8.0 percent below 1990 levels, with big 2005 cuts by Germany, Finland and the Netherlands.

"The figures could still be adjusted slightly," said Andreas Barkman of the European Environment Agency.

The United States, the EU and Russia are the main emitters among industrialised societies. Nations including Japan and Canada have not sent in data for 2005.

The European Union and Russia are signatories of the UN's Kyoto Protocol, which seeks to cut emissions of greenhouse gases by 35 industrialised nations by 5 percent below 1990 levels by 2008-12 in a first small step to slow warming.

President George W. Bush opposes Kyoto-style caps on emissions, saying they would cost jobs, but is trying to cut the amount of carbon dioxide emitted per dollar of economic output by 18 percent in the decade to 2012.

Washington says it is on track to reach that goal. Some US states, such as California, and cities are embracing Kyoto-style caps. A 1992 UN climate convention, backed by Washington, set a non-binding goal of limiting emissions to 1990 levels by 2000.

Story by Alister Doyle, Environment Correspondent

REUTERS NEWS SERVICE


China, India to Lead Luring Green Projects by '12

PlabetArk UK

10th May 2007

LONDON - China and India will become the most attractive countries for investment in renewable energy projects by 2012, Ernst & Young [ERNY.UL] said in a report on Wednesday.

In its quarterly Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness rankings, the accounting firm said the two Asian countries are expected to share the top three spots along with the United States on its overall All Renewables Index within the next five years.

For the first quarter of 2007 the United States retained the top place as individual states there continue to adopt legislation favourable to wind and solar power.

Ernst & Young ranks countries for investment in all forms of renewable energy and by individual types including wind, solar and biomass.

China maintained sixth spot on the All Renewables Index, although it climbed to fifth spot from eighth on the Wind Index.

"Despite recent predictions by the International Energy Agency (IEA) that China may overtake the US as the world's biggest source of greenhouse gases within months, the Chinese government is showing a commitment to renewable energy sources," Jonathan Johns, Head of Renewable Energy at Ernst & Young, said in a statement.

"(China's) investment in renewable energy is increasing at an impressive rate, with the annual installation of wind turbines more than doubling in the last 18 months."

China is set to overshoot a 5 gigawatt target set for wind generation installed capacity in 2010 after it hit 2.6 GW at the end of 2006, experts from the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) and their Chinese colleagues said on Tuesday. [ID:nL08269047]

India held second place on the Ernst & Young overall index again this quarter, with tax exemptions and government legislation on compulsory renewable obligations stimulating growth in the sector, the report said.

NEW JOINERS

Five countries appeared on the 25-country index for the first time, with Poland ranking highest at 19. Brazil, Japan, New Zealand and Turkey were also placed, each developing their own renewable energy industries.

Poland has set renewable generation targets of 7.5 percent by 2010 and 14 percent by 2020, while Brazil aims to install 3.3 GW worth of renewable energy by 2008.

The UK was one of five EU nations to fall in ranking, dropping from fourth place to fifth on the overall index. Italy, the Netherlands, Finland and Austria also fell in the quarter.

"Although the UK has an abundance of natural (renewable) resources, it has not been as successful as it could have been in harvesting this energy," Johns said.

In March, the European Union resolved to slash carbon emissions by a fifth by 2020, and offered to go to 30 percent if other major nations follow suit.

The real issue is whether the UK will attempt to meet this EU target, Johns said.

"The heat and fuel sectors may struggle to reach these targets... one could argue that renewable energy requirements for electricity generation will need to rise well above the 20 percent to conpensate."

REUTERS NEWS SERVICE

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