Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 34 n° 316

Posts Tagged ‘emissions’

Drones for the study of inaccessible volcanic emissions

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 11 novembre 2020

An international team led by University College London (UCL, UK), which saw the participation of the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV) with the Volcanology research group of the DiSTeM Department of the University of Palermo, developed and used a new technology based on the use of drones to measure the volcanic gases emitted by active volcanoes, thus demonstrating that even in inaccessible, active and dangerous volcanoes such as Manam (in Papua New Guinea), drones are the only way to implement important measures to characterize the state of activity in safe conditions. The research results were published in the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) journal, Science Advances.Today, technology offers scientists the means to conduct research that was previously only a dream. What was apparently out of reach over the years is now within reach, as demonstrated in a new international project titled Aerial-Based Observations of Volcanic Emissions (ABOVE).This project used innovative technologies, i.e. drones (Unmanned Aerial System – UAS) with miniaturized gas sampling equipment to collect volcanic gas measurements at the volcanoes of Manam and Rabaul in Papua New Guinea. These volcanoes are strong emitters of gas, but little is known about them because their plumes are difficult to access using terrestrial techniques, especially in the event of eruptions.ABOVE is changing the way scientists sample volcanic gas emissions through research conducted by the Deep Carbon Observatory, a global community of scientists engaged in decades of research aimed at a better understanding of Earth’s natural carbon cycle.Taking advantage of recent advances in drone technology, the UAS are able to acquire aerial measurements of volcanic gases directly from plumes. This project transcends traditional disciplinary boundaries, bringing together scientists, engineers and pilots to study some of the most inaccessible but heavily degassing volcanoes in the world.In May 2019, an international team of scientists embarked on an ambitious campaign of measurements at the two volcanoes – in Papua New Guinea – both of the most prodigious sulfur dioxide emitters on Earth, yet lacking any measurement of carbon emitted into the atmosphere.The team includes scientists from the UK, Italy, the US, Papua New Guinea, Sweden, Germany and Costa Rica. The project unites several groups working on drone measurements of volcanic gases around the world.The groups deployed various types of drones (fixed-wing, rotary-wing and combined systems) equipped with gas sensors, spectrometers and sampling devices to acquire measurements near the emissions of carbon dioxide and other gases, and the different methods were compared to verify the areas of optimal use.The Italian team has made available the geochemical instrumentation developed in its laboratories, for the installation on board of drones developed by a team of the Bristol University, both fixed-wing, more suitable for long-distance flights and to make composition measurements by crossing the plume gases, as well as rotary wing, more versatile for gas sampling at fixed points. Systems integration was carried out in close collaboration between the two teams. Already from the preliminary stages of the project, a rotary wing drone complete with geochemical sensors and other portable instruments were left at the disposal of the volcanological observatory of Papua New Guinea, the Rabaul Volcanological Observatory. Using new gas sensors and miniaturized spectrometers, and designing innovative sampling devices that can be activated automatically, the researchers were able to fly drones up to 2 km high and 6 km away, and to reach the inaccessible areas where to perform the measurements.In fact, the campaign on the Manam volcano was particularly challenging. The volcano has a diameter of 10 km and an elevation of 1800 m above sea level, with most of the summit areas totally inaccessible, and is located on an island 13 km from the Northeast coast of Papua New Guinea.This volcano was known from satellite measurements to be one of the largest sulfur dioxide (SO2) emitters in the world, but before this project nothing was known about its CO2 production, much more difficult to measure from afar due to the high concentrations in the background atmosphere.Finally, the abundance ratio between these CO2 and SO2 species turns out to be fundamental for determining the probability of the occurrence of an eruption, because it correlates with the depth in which the magma resides, and both species were detected during the campaigns of measure.

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Increasing the EU’s 2030 emissions reduction target is necessary and feasible

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 3 ottobre 2020

The Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety held a debate with Mr Frans Timmermans, Executive Vice-President of the Commission, on stepping up Europe’s 2030 climate ambition.Mr Timmermans presented the Commission’s plan to reduce EU greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55 % by 2030 compared to 1990 levels, as announced on 17 September in the State of the Union speech by the President of the Commission Ursula von der Leyen. Currently, emissions are not going down fast enough, Mr Timmermans said, but he underlined that becoming carbon neutral is both feasible and beneficial for the EU. He invited Parliament to confirm the proposed 55 % 2030-target as the EU’s new Nationally Determined Contribution under the Paris Agreement, and to submit this to the UNFCCC by the end of this year. The Chair Pascal Canfin (Renew, FR) reminded MEPs that next week Plenary will vote on a report by the Environment Committee on the EU Climate Law, which calls for 60 % emission reductions in 2030.Several MEPs expressed concern that the new 2030-target proposed by the Commission is a net-target, making it less ambitious since actual reductions would be smaller because emissions removed through carbon sinks would also count towards reaching the target. Mr Timmermans defended a net 2030-target, saying carbon sinks are needed to achieve carbon neutrality and are fully in line with international commitments.MEPs also questioned Mr Timmermans on the likelihood of getting other non-EU countries to follow the EU’s example and increase their climate ambition. Mr Timmermans replied that we need to make climate action a “race to the top”, informing MEPs that there are interesting initiatives to increase ambition being put forward or in the pipeline in many countries.Mr Timmermans finally informed MEPs that the Commission would come up with proposals by June 2021 to revise key EU legislation such as the EU Emissions Trading System, energy efficiency and renewable energy policies and strengthening CO2 standards for road vehicles to enable the EU to reach a more ambitious target.

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COVID-19 pandemic adds uncertainty on future emissions

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 8 agosto 2020

The Climate Action Tracker today published updated assessments for 12 of the 36 countries it assesses, and has included projections of the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on 2020 emissions.The CAT team has updated Argentina, Chile, Costa Rica, Germany, Ethiopia, Morocco, Norway, Singapore, South Korea, Turkey, Ukraine and the USA (see below for details).
ect, but there does appear to be a worrying trend where countries are protecting their fossil fuel industries,” he said.For the US, the Trump Administration continues to systematically walk back climate policy now even more using the pandemic as justification. If the new rule rolling back the Obama-era vehicle emissions standards withstands legal challenges, a 12% share of electric vehicle sales in 2025, projected by the last CAT assessment, will drop to 7%.The USD 2 trillion recovery package goes without support for climate. But renewables continue to dominate in terms of new investment. The CAT’s US emissions projections for 2030 are 5%–10% lower compared to our previous projections in December 2019, mainly due to the impact of the pandemic on emissions and the greening of the electricity sector due to market forces.Chile’s rating has been upgraded from “Highly Insufficient” to “Insufficient” based on its updated Paris Agreement target submitted to the UNFCCC. Chile was one of the first countries to officially submit an updated target.“Chile is one of the few countries that followed the specific request of the Paris Agreement to submit an updated target that is more ambitious than the first. More countries have to follow suit,” said Deborah Ramalope, head of climate policy analysis at Climate Analytics. The CAT grades government’s Paris Agreement 2030 targets with one of five possible ratings, based on its “fair share” methodology: 1.5˚C Paris Agreement compatible, 2˚C compatible, Insufficient, Highly Insufficient and Critically Insufficient.

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UK, Japan commit to net zero emissions by 2050

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 24 giugno 2019

Two of the world’s largest economies, Japan and the United Kingdom, have announced that they are aiming for carbon neutrality by the middle of the century, as momentum gathers towards a wider commitment towards achieving net zero carbon emissions in industrialised nations.Japan is hosting this year’s meeting of the G20 group of nations, and its commitment has raised hopes that others will follow suit. France is pushing for the European Union to declare a similar goal ahead of a major UN climate summit in September.
Global emissions of greenhouse gases continue to rise, despite rhetorical commitments by governments to reduce them. Currently, the combined carbon emission reductions proposed under nations’ Paris Agreement pledges are not sufficient to prevent global heating of 2ºC above pre-industrial levels, a threshold at which climate change is likely to have severe consequences.In the UK, the outgoing prime minister Theresa May laid legislation before parliament last week enshrining the net zero target in law.“Now is the time to go further and faster to safeguard the environment for our children. This country led the world in innovation during the Industrial Revolution, and now we must lead the world to a cleaner, greener form of growth,” May said. “Standing by is not an option. Reaching net zero by 2050 is an ambitious target, but it is crucial that we achieve it to ensure we protect our planet for future generations.”
In May, the UK’s Committee on Climate Change, an independent body established by the government, said that carbon neutrality by 2050 was achievable, if the country can shift to all-electric vehicles by 2035 and encourage the retrofitting of buildings for energy efficiency.Professor Phil Longhurst, head of the Centre for Climate and Environmental Protection at Cranfield University, said: “This is an important and achievable target but what we now need is a plan as to how meet this, otherwise there is a danger that the target will be missed. Which technologies are going to be invested in, which behaviours are we going to try and change and what innovations are we going to back?

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The EU can more than halve emissions by 2030 by acting in just three sectors – report

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 7 dicembre 2018

Katowice, Poland The European Union could reduce its emissions by more than 50% by 2030 compared to 1990 by scaling up climate action in just three sectors: electricity supply, residential buildings and passenger road transport, according to a new analysis released today by the Climate Action Tracker.These three sectors account for around 60% of the EU28’s emissions. The report, “Scaling Up Climate Action: European Union” sets out a pathway for the EU to decarbonise all three sectors by mid-century, which would make its emissions trajectory Paris Agreement-compatible, and create hundreds of thousands of additional jobs, improve health, and reduce expensive energy imports. The report is the second in the CAT’s new series of analyses that identify the most promising sectoral pathways for countries to achieve Paris Agreement 1.5˚C compatibility (1). It clearly shows that the most ambitious emissions reduction pathways presented in the recently published draft of the EU’s long-term climate strategy could not only be achieved, but would also come with significant co-benefits.“Our analysis shows the EU can—and needs to—ratchet up its 2030 target to make it consistent with the Paris Agreement,” said Bill Hare, CEO of Climate Analytics. “Decarbonising electricity is the key to decarbonising the economy. The EU’s first step must be to phase out coal by 2030, and many EU member states are well on the way to achieving this.”By the middle of this year, ten of the 28 EU member states—accounting for 26% of EU coal capacity—had already set 2030 coal phase-out goals. In addition, Germany and Spain, accounting for over 39% of EU coal capacity, are both considering phase out decisions.“Why should the EU increase its action? The IPCC has clearly shown that keeping warming to 1.5˚C will reduce negative climate impacts like the extreme heatwaves, drought and flooding that are already being felt in the region. If the EU weans itself off fossil fuels, it will also reduce air pollution and premature deaths,” said Hare. New EU policies—including the binding target of 32% for the share of renewable energy in overall total energy demand—would lead to a 48% share of renewable energy in electricity generation by 2030: a good step in the right direction, but still not consistent with the Paris Agreement.“The whole of the EU needs to – and can – move faster than best players in the region: Denmark has so far been the frontrunner for scaling up renewable energy and renovating buildings, Norway for electric mobility, and Austria and Czechia for public transport,” said Prof Niklas Höhne, of NewClimate Institute.
The report concludes that the Paris Agreement 1.5oC compatible scenario would create up to 350,000 additional direct jobs between 2020 and 2030 in the electricity sector alone, particularly in wind and solar energy.To decarbonise its passenger road transport sector, the EU needs to increase the share of electric vehicles (or other emissions-free vehicles) in new car sales from today’s 2% to 100% in 2035, apply stringent CO2 emissions intensity standards for new vehicles, and increase public transport to the same kinds of levels as seen in Czechia and Austria.This means that no more internal combustion vehicles should be sold after 2035. Some member states such as Netherlands, UK, France, have adopted phase out targets around this time—others need to follow.“Road transport is responsible for 30% of the EU’s NOx emissions. Decarbonising the transport sector would not only help the EU become Paris Agreement-compatible, it would also significantly decrease the EU’s reliance on energy imports, and help reduce air and noise pollution,” said Yvonne Deng, of Ecofys, a Navigant company.With more than a third of the EU’s emissions coming from the residential buildings sector, the EU must increase both its building renovation rates and efficiency. With full electrification and phasing out fossil fuels for heating and cooling, this could result in an almost complete decarbonisation of the sector. In this sector, too, the whole of the EU needs to go further than the “best in class”—Denmark.

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Climate Action Tracker warming estimate update

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 19 novembre 2017

climateBonn While US climate policy has been rolled back under President Trump, India and China have moved ahead, making significant progress in climate action over the past year, the Climate Action Tracker (CAT) said. Actions in China and India have made a difference to the CAT’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions projections based on government policies currently in place, leading to a 0.2°C decrease in projected warming—to 3.4˚C by 2100, compared with 3.6˚C in November 2016.
This is the first time since the CAT began tracking action in 2009 that policies at a national level have visibly reduced its end of century temperature estimate and reduced the 2030 emissions gap between policies and what is needed to meet the Paris Agreement 1.5°C temperature limit.China’s emissions growth has slowed dramatically: in the first decade of this century, its emissions grew by 110%, but between 2010–2015, growth had slowed to only 16%. China is set to far overachieve its climate commitment or Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC). The CAT’s estimate of emissions from China in 2030 is 13 GtCO2e—0.7 GtCO2e lower than its 2016 estimate. If China continues with its coal abatement, this could drop by another 0.7 GtCO2e. Equally, India has increased its climate action. If India fully implemented its Draft Electricity Plan, its emissions in 2030 would be 4.5 GtCO2e—almost 1 GtCO2e lower than the CAT predicted last year. If it were to strengthen its NDC to match the ambition level of its Draft Electricity Plan, India’s targeted emissions level would be moving much closer to the “1.5˚C Paris Agreement compatible” range.
The Climate Action Tracker now projects global emissions under current policies in 2030 to be 1.7 GtCO2e per year lower than last year’s projection. An optimistic case assuming implementation of planned, but not yet implemented, policies is even lower—at 4.1 GtCO2 a year, which would lead to a warming estimate of 3.1˚C.Due mostly to the USA’s announced withdrawal from the Paris Agreement, there has been a significant deterioration in progress to limit expected warming. If all governments fully implemented their commitments made under the Paris Agreement (NDCs) the projected global temperature increase in 2100 would be 3.2˚C above pre-industrial levels, up from last year’s 2.8˚C, and largely due to the fact that the US is walking away from its 2030 target and long-term 2050 goal.

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China forecasts fourth year of stable or declining CO2 emissions, as world awaits Trump climate action

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 1 marzo 2017

Beijing, China is forecasting a significant drop in CO2 emissions of approximately 1%, according to GreenpeacBEIJINGe East Asia’s analysis of China’s National Energy Administration forecasts for 2017. This would be the fourth year in a row of either zero growth or a decline in CO2 emissions.The encouraging news reinforces China’s growing status as a global climate leader, and sends a strong signal to US President Trump that his dirty energy agenda will send the American economy in the wrong direction as the rest of the world moves forward.Statistics released today from the Statistical Communique on Economic and Social Development show that coal consumption in 2016 fell for the third year in a row, by approximately 1.3%. Data released in January shows that China is also smashing records for solar panel installations, installing enough panels to cover three football pitches every single hour of the year. “China is ploughing money into renewables and reining in its addiction to coal. As Trump’s rhetoric leaves the world in doubt over what his plan is to tackle climate change, China is being thrust into a leadership role,” said Li Shuo, Greenpeace Global Policy Advisor. “These trends give some hope that the global peak in emissions might well be within reach, but only if all major emitters break free from fossil fuels and reduce emissions.” Greenpeace USA Executive Director Annie Leonard said:“The United States should be one of the countries leading the world on climate action, doubling down on renewable energy and drastically cutting emissions. Instead, we are a global roadblock, thanks to Trump and his cabinet of billionaires.” “While the Trump administration proposes huge cuts to federal climate-change programs and vows to ‘cancel Paris’, the majority of the people in the United States want action on climate change. Trump would know this basic fact if he listened to anyone but the last fossil fuel executive he dined with at Mar-a-Lago, or if he listened to facts at all. The United States Congress has to listen to what the people want and stop our delusional President from sabotaging global progress on the most urgent issue facing the human species.”
Greenpeace East Asia’s analysis shows that China is virtually certain to overachieve its 2020 climate targets and could be on track to a much earlier CO2 peak if the rapid shift to clean energy and away from over-reliance on polluting industries continues. After almost two decades of relentless growth, China’s CO2 emissions have remained stable since 2013, after leveling off in 2014 and falling for the first time in 2015. [4] 2016 saw another year of zero growth, while 2017 is expected to see a substantial decline in CO2 emissions. This trend has enabled global emissions to stay stable since 2013.Preliminary information indicates that China’s total energy consumption grew 1.4% in 2016, a slight pick-up from 2015 but continuing the dramatic slowdown since 2013. Coal consumption fell by approximately 1.3%, while coal output shrank by a dramatic 9%. Non-fossil energy continued to grow at a rapid 12%, having covered all of China’s electricity demand growth since 2013.

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Greenpeace: Two degree target only attainable with drastic CO2 reductions – China’s coal decline leads the way for G7

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 8 giugno 2015

elmauElmau. To stay below the two degree climate target, the G7 countries will have to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions quickly and significantly. This will only be possible if climate-harming coal-based power generation is reduced, as shown by Greenpeace at the beginning of today’s G7 summit [1]. Based on the size of their populations, the G7 members only have about 60 billion tons of CO2 out of a total budget of 565 billion which they can release into the atmosphere until 2050 if global warming is to be kept under the two degree Celsius mark. Based on the member countries’ latest annual emissions, the remaining 60 billion tons will be used up in less than seven years.Between 1990 and 2013, the G7 group has reduced the share of coal in their energy mix by 8.2%. As a result, the 1.3% reduction of CO2 emissions between 1990 and 2012 was meagre. Recently, even China was able to show that emissions from coal-powered plants can be reduced rapidly. While the country was responsible for 50% of the increase of global CO2 emissions between 2000 ad 2010, energy-related emissions dropped for the first time by 1% in 2014. With a lowering of 5% this promising trend has continued in the first four months of this year. For years the G7 leaders hid their unambiguous climate targets behind China. “For years the G7 has used China’s climate protection paralysis as an excuse to do nothing, but now China is starting to reduce its emissions. The ball is now in the G7’s court to get serious about rapidly getting rid of coal,” said Kaiser.Worldwide, more and more experts agree with climate science’s assertion that large parts of coal and oil resources have to stay in the ground to keep global warming under the limit of 2 degrees. Only last Friday the Norwegian Parliament decided unanimously that the country’s pension fund – one of the largest independent funds globally – will pull its investments out of companies that are doing business with fossil fuel energy. Companies such as the insurance group AXA, the Rockefeller Foundation or the Church of England have come to similar conclusions. “The G7 could stymie any unified attempt at climate protection. The success of the summit in Elmau depends on Merkel and her six colleagues kick-starting the phase-out of coal,” said Kaiser. German Minister of Economic Affairs, Sigmar Gabriel (SPD), proposed a fee that would curtail the oldest and dirtiest coal power plants. But Chancellor Merkel is keeping silent about this available solution. “Without the Chancellor’s clear commitment for tackling climate change, Merkel will not be in the position to demand more climate protection from her G7 partners in Elmau,” added Kaiser.

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Greenpeace response to the IEA World Energy Outlook

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 10 novembre 2011

Ambassador Simons hosted Nobuo Tanaka, Executi...

Image by US Embassy Santiago, Chile via Flickr

Amsterdam. Greenpeace responded to today’s publication of the World Energy Outlook by the International Energy Agency, which warns leaders of the need for strong action to reduce greenhouses gases within five years, by calling for energy demands to be met by renewable energy, and for a phase-out of nuclear power. “The IEA’s report reflects what Greenpeace has been saying for years; the increase in average global temperature must be kept to 2 degrees Celsius. It also moves closer to Greenpeace’s analysis that the world urgently needs an Energy [R]evolution [1], with much more of our energy demands filled by renewable energy, along with energy conservation”, said Greenpeace International senior energy campaigner Sven Teske.“However, the IEA is once again putting politics ahead of science by suggesting that a reduction in nuclear power will lead to higher energy costs and emissions – the opposite is the case. A combination of energy efficiency and renewables would be the way forward and could lead to a complete phase-out of nuclear power by 2035, while lowering electricity costs and carbon emissions”.

Posted in Economia/Economy/finance/business/technology, Estero/world news | Contrassegnato da tag: , , , | 1 Comment »

New World Bank report

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 26 febbraio 2011

Warsaw.  The report is part of the World Bank’s series of low-carbon growth studies. Poland’s greenhouse gas emissions are not large by global standards, constituting just one percent of the total. Moreover, its per capita emissions now stand similar to the EU average, at ten tons of emissions per capita, a reflection of the sharply reduced emission that accompanied the transition to a market economy in the 1990s. However, given its lower income levels, Poland’s economy remains today among the least emissions-efficient in the EU. Over the next few decades, Poland appears to face a particular difficult test: catching up to EU income levels while becoming less dependent on abundant domestic coal for energy needs. The international agreement on climate change that is expected to eventually supersede the Kyoto Protocol and, more immediately, compliance with EU energy and climate policies, pose policy challenges for Poland. The EU 20-20-20 package requires Poland’s energy-intensive sectors, covered by the EU Emissions Trading Scheme, to contribute to the EU-wide target of a 21 percent reduction (compared with 2005) while allowing Poland’s othersectors’ emissions to increase by only 14 percent until 2020. If Poland were to take no action (the “business-as-usual scenario”), the models developed in the Transition to a Low-Emissions Economy in Poland report suggest that overall greenhouse gas  emissions in 2020 will stand roughly 20 percent above 2005 levels, while 2030 levels will be 30 to 40 percent higher. report notes that:
• Costs to the economy will peak in 2020; but by 2030, the shift towards low emissions will augment growth. Overall, this abatement will lower GDP by an average one percent through 2030 from where it otherwise would have been.
• The economic cost in output and employment of Poland’s required abatement by 2020 under EU rules is higher than for the average EU country; and the restrictions on emissions trading between sectors aggravate that cost.• The energy sector currently generates near half of Poland’s emissions; but the transport sector — with precipitous growth and the need for behavioral change in addition to the adoption of new technologies — may end up posing the tougher policy challenge.
The combination of technologies chosen or new investments will depend not only on capital costs, operational savings, and emissions abatement potential, but also energy security, domestic sourcing, and a raft of other issues. With lower capital costs and earlier returns, energy efficiency measures hold out the promise of relatively low cost abatement that works directly to delink emissions from growth, the essence of a low-emissions economy.

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New Industrial Emissions Directive

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 10 luglio 2010

The European Parliament is due to adopt the Industrial Emissions Directive (IED) during the July plenary  (second week in Strasbourg) , following a compromise reached with representatives of the European institutions (Council of Ministers, Commission and Parliament). Dealing with emissions as diverse as those  from poultry industries, chemical plants or cement factories, this legislation is likely to impact  on the natural and economic environment of many of us. One of the key  elements of the directive proposal is the major aim to prevent  emissions from  the very first steps of  processes.  The effective completion of the IED aims will remain linked to a balanced implementation of its provisions.  That means two things: first, a harmonized implementation of the IED is essential to guarantee that high environmental performance  does not impair a company’s competitive position. Second, setting performance ambitions in the whole of Europe must be done with  justified flexibility, taking into consideration local aspects such as geography or climate and the variety of processes or of raw materials. E.g. emissions differ in importance depending on whether    in dry or wet climates. This justified flexibility is  needed here for an adaptation of permits to the individual situations. This principle has been endorsed by the compromise to be voted on. The time scale, presently foreseen in the IED, i.e. four or five years for implementing new Best Available Techniques standards is much shorter than the EU chemical industry’s typical investment cycles. Chemical plants are among the most expensive industrial installations.  Industries depend on longer investment cycles to earn back the investment, in a highly competitive environment. As such, this draft does not guarantee that all conditions for a sustainable protection of the environment shall be met. But it does not exclude them. (with ecology)

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Copenhagen Accord recycles old climate commitments

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 2 febbraio 2010

Amsterdam With the passing of the Copenhagen Accord’s 31 January deadline for its supporters to submit their pledges to curb greenhouse gas emissions, the absence of strengthened commitments has failed to meet the Accord’s stated objective of taking action to limit global warming to under 2 degrees C (3.6 degrees F), a critical threshold for avoiding the worst impacts of climate change. As summarised in a new Greenpeace briefing that examines the implications of current emissions pledges, warming of even half this level would have devastating social, environmental and economic impacts. Existing industrialised country targets amount to only an 11-19% reduction in their emissions. The effect of proposed forestry credits mean effective cuts in emissions from fossil fuel use would be lower still. To stay well below the critical warming threshold of 2 degrees C beyond which there may be irreversible large-scale impacts on the environment requires far greater commitment by all countries. Industrialised nations must cut their greenhouse gas emissions by 40% below 1990 levels and developing countries need to reduce their
projected growth in emissions by 15-30%, both by 2020. The industrialised world also needs to provide developing countries with new and additional funding of at least USD 140 billion annually to support clean energy and other mitigation activities, forest protection and adaptation. All of which must be enshrined in a legally binding agreement. The Copenhagen Accord is no more than a weak political declaration. Having not delivered on its 31 January deadline for effective emissions pledges, this raises the question as to whether its other ambitions, such as realising fast-track funding by 2012 and multibillion dollar long-term support for developing and vulnerable nations, will suffer the same fate.

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Climate Change Conference

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 13 dicembre 2009

Copenhagen, At a press conference today in Copenhagen to coincide with the United Nations COP15 meetings, IDC announced the results from a special report on the role Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) can play to curb almost 5.8 billion tons (GT) of CO2 emissions by 2020. In addition to the results of the study, IDC released its first ICT Sustainability Index, in which the G20 nations have been ranked on their ability to reduce their CO2 emissions through the focused use of ICT. Japan received the highest ranking in the Index and was identified as the only top-tier country. The landmark research was conducted by IDC and jointly sponsored by Fujitsu, Hitachi, HP, Intel, and Schneider Electric. The study examined the potential of seventeen technologies to reduce CO2 emissions in four major economic sectors (Energy Generation and Distribution, Transport, Industry and Building) across the G20 nations. Within the Energy Generation and Distribution sector, which has the biggest potential savings, Renewable Energy Management Systems (part of “Smart Grids”) offer the best opportunity to reduce CO2 emissions. The research also concluded that China has the biggest opportunity in this sector, with the potential to save almost 200 million tons of CO2 using these technologies. Within the Transport sector, the leading investments in ICT would be within the supply chain logistics and private transport optimization. IDC has identified that the United States has the largest opportunity within this sector and could reduce its 2020 CO2 emissions target by over 500 million tons.  ICT-based solutions for Buildings have as much CO2 savings as the Energy and Transport sectors do. Energy Management Systems and Intelligent Building Designs offer up the most opportunity of all technologies or nearly 12% of all G20 energy savings. Finally, for the Industry sector, savings might be made using Intelligent Motor Controllers, with China having the largest opportunity to reduce the CO2 emissions. “As expected, China and the United States have some great opportunities ahead of them,” said Roberta Bigliani, research director at IDC Energy Insights. “The use of software solutions offering energy management systems should be a key focus for them and all of the G20 nations.” In announcing the results of the first ICT Sustainability Index, IDC Associate Vice President Chris Ingle noted that, “The Sustainability Index was created to allow nations to be fairly compared to each other on their ability to reduce CO2 emissions and to sustain their economies and environments through the investment in and application of ICT solutions.” The ICT Sustainability Index is part of IDC’s holistic Green initiative, designed to help decision makers understand the role of technology in addressing the challenges and opportunities amidst today’s energy, environment, and sustainability requirements. Since being launched in 2008, the initiative has produced important research on data center power management and automation, the promotion of green procurement in Asia/Pacific, and document management policies in the enterprise. IDC’s Industry Insights companies have also done ground-breaking research on how vertical industries from manufacturing and healthcare to retail and government can use the latest IT tools and services to support a company’s overall green initiative. Finally, IDC’s Green Recycling and Asset Disposal for the Enterprise (G.R.A.D.E.) certification process assesses the functions and tasks IT Asset Disposal (ITAD) vendors to ensure that they meet the strictest regulatory, security, and environmental standards.

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Rail freight transport in France

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 13 agosto 2009

Given the chronic congestion of the road and motorway networks and the rising cost of fuel, the transport of goods by rail is a competitive alternative to road transport and should become the preferred means of transport in the future. Legislation proposed as a result of the Grenelle Environment Forum held November 2007, which aims to increase the percentage of freight that is not transported by road to 25% by 2012 (it is currently 14%) and reduce carbon emissions by 20% by 2020, is a step in this direction. In addition to the deregulation of passenger transport, European authorities have voted for the progressive liberalization of freight transport, starting with international transport between Member States, and this in the general context of a more favorable business climate in France. Since 2003, independent operators have been allowed to operate on French soil. The management of freight links is the responsibility of the French Rail Network (RFF), which issues operating and safety licenses to transport operators and provides manpower training. Railway freight transport has been deregulated since March 31, 2006, and a Railway Regulatory Commission (CRAF), responsible for ensuring open access to all railway operators, is currently being set up. Private operators have also appeared alongside the traditional national operators in the specialized train, chemical products, foodstuffs (cereals) and bulk load (cement, gravel, iron) sectors. The new operators are often subsidiaries of traditional operators, for example DB Schenker (German), Euro Cargo Rail (subsidiary of the British EWSI group), BLS Cargo (Swiss), CFF Cargo (subsidiary of Swiss railways), CFL Cargo (Luxemburg railways and ArcelorMital), VFLI (subsidiary of the French SNCF), Veolia Cargo (subsidiary of Veolia Transport), Rail 4 Chem (German BASF), and Europorte 2 (subsidiary of Eurotunnel). These operators are also developing their activities in the part loads market, which provides an alternative to HGV goods transport. Combined rail-road, or multimodal, transport is well developed in the container sector. The transfer of HGV trucks onto rail networks is expanding with the development of wide-load (B+) capacity on major axes and the introduction of specialized rolling stock using traditional technology (German and Swiss rolling roads) or new technology such as the Modalohr (Lorry Rail) trailer wagon. Classic combined transport is represented in France by Naviland (ex CNC) and Novatrans. These technological developments are accompanied by infrastructure works, such as the opening of the Perpignan-Luxemburg rail link, major trans-alpine tunnels such as the Lötschberg or the Gothard railway tunnel running from north to south, which will be completed by connections running north to west and south to east, for example (Alpine rolling road) that is currently being built, as well as wide-load adjacent tunnels between Lyon and the new Modane entrance. In addition, the launch of the Lyon-Turin railway tunnel is a key link in the European railway transport network, linking regions lying between Barcelona and Budapest. The opening up of docks platforms to the general rail network, via the modernization of bundles and sidetracks, and their operation by operators that are also authorized to run on plain track (Rail 4 Chem, Veolia, VFLI…) aims to attract flows of freight traffic, especially on new specialized links which connects the ports to their surrounding areas. One example would be the modernization of the line that connects to the Le Havre docks, which circumvents Rouen and the narrow-load Seine corridor and avoids the bottleneck of Paris triage. Invest in France Agency (IFA) promotes and facilitates international investment in France. The IFA network operates worldwide. IFA works in partnership with regional development agencies to offer international investors business opportunities and customized services all over France. For more information, please visit

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Climate change

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 23 Maggio 2009

The European Commission has released provisional figures showing that the EU chemical industry is exposed to international competition and therefore entitled to free, performance-based CO2 allocations. While the analysis remains to be completed, the aim is to prevent ‘carbon leakage’ or the relocation of production to regions without similar carbon constraints or -costs.  From mid-June to mid-July, the European Commission will be finalising internal discussions among its different Directorates General about the status of industrial sectors exposed to international competition and come up with a definitive recommendation towards the Council and European Parliament, for decision end of 2009. In the Emissions Trade Scheme (ETS) to manage post Kyoto CO2 emissions in the period from 2013 to 2020, such sectors recognised as exposed would benefit from free allocations of emissions throughout the trading period up to the benchmark of the 10% best performers. This is to limit the loss of competitiveness against companies outside the EU that could emit CO2 for free or without binding targets.

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