Energy

Energy taxes in Italy seen falling as CO2 rises
February 15, 2008 09:41 AM - Reuters

ROME (Reuters) - Taxes on energy in Italy have fallen by almost a quarter in the last decade while greenhouse gas emissions have soared, environmental group Legambiente said on Friday, calling for greater action against climate change. In its annual report on the state of the environment, Italy's leading green group said successive Italian governments had failed to discourage growing energy consumption or encourage renewable power such as wind and solar.

U.S. moving toward ban on new coal-fired power plants
February 15, 2008 09:39 AM - Lester Brown, Earth Policy Institute

In a report compiled in early 2007, the U.S. Department of Energy listed 151 coal-fired power plants in the planning stages and talked about a resurgence in coal-fired electricity. But during 2007, 59 proposed U.S. coal-fired power plants were either refused licenses by state governments or quietly abandoned. In addition to the 59 plants that were dropped, close to 50 more coal plants are being contested in the courts, and the remaining plants will likely be challenged as they reach the permitting stage.

“Green Economics”: Turning Mainstream Thinking on Its Head
February 15, 2008 09:28 AM - , Worldwatch Institute

A few years ago, a homeowner in Las Vegas—a place that gets maybe five inches of rainfall a year—was confronted by a water district inspector for running an illegal sprinkler in the middle of the day. The man became very angry. He said, “You people and all your stupid rules—you’re trying to turn this place into a desert!” Ideas about how the world works that don’t accord with reality can be unhelpful. That’s especially true about mainstream economics, which is based in part on ideas that made a lot of sense at some point in the last 250 years but that have outlived their time and usefulness.

Time is up for coal: environmental analyst
February 15, 2008 07:27 AM - Reuters

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The United States should leave its estimated 200 years' supply of coal in the ground and invest in wind farms and solar technology for its power-generating needs, a leading environmental analyst said on Thursday. Wall Street, politicians and public opinion have all turned so dramatically against coal in the last year over climate concerns that it is probably "the beginning of the end of the coal industry," said Lester Brown.

Beijing to clean up gas stations before Olympics
February 15, 2008 06:44 AM - Reuters

BEIJING (Reuters) - Beijing plans to shut down 144 petrol stations by the end of May, about 10 percent of the city's total, to help clean up its air before the August Olympic games, state media reported on Friday. These gas stations, and nine oil depots, are mostly owned by China's state oil major Sinopec and by CNPC, the official Xinhua News Agency reported, citing the city's environmental authority.

Nobel winner urges oil execs to help cut emissions
February 13, 2008 09:37 AM - Reuters

HOUSTON (Reuters) - Rajendra Pachauri said he thought he was "walking into the lion's den" on Tuesday when he told oil executives they need to take a lead in cutting greenhouse gas emissions in order to save the earth. Pachauri, chairman of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with former Vice President Al Gore, said the oil industry has been both lion and lamb when it comes to seeing the need to cut greenhouse gas emissions to prevent global warming.

Sweden says application for Baltic pipeline incomplete
February 12, 2008 11:10 AM - Reuters

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Consortium Nord Stream's application for Swedish permission to build a gas pipeline under the Baltic Sea is too incomplete to take a stance on, the Swedish government said on Tuesday. Sweden's Environment Ministry said it had on Tuesday asked Nord Stream to augment its application with environmental impact assessments along with consideration of possible alternative routes, among other things.

Bloomberg slams U.S. energy law over corn ethanol
February 11, 2008 03:39 PM - Reuters

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - A new U.S. energy law will cause an increase in global food prices and lead to starvation deaths worldwide because it continues to promote corn ethanol, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said on Monday. "People literally will starve to death in parts of the world, it always happens when food prices go up," Bloomberg told reporters after addressing a U.N. General Assembly debate on climate change.

Judging a Book By Its Cover
February 11, 2008 10:02 AM - , Ship Green

By Amy Westervelt With Wal-Mart mandating reductions in packaging, the cost of fuel for freight shipments increasing every day, and everyone realizing that the “other” petroleum product—plastic—should be used more efficiently too, the past year has brought a sudden interest not only in product ingredients, but in how products are packaged. At a very basic level, the more packaging there is on a product, the heavier the product becomes, and the more it costs to ship, both in terms of fuel costs and in terms of carbon emissions. Extra packaging also has the potential to result in extra end-of-life waste, and then there are concerns about unhealthy chemical, such as PVC, found in some packaging materials.

Financing the Transition from a Brown to a Green Global Economy
February 11, 2008 09:51 AM - United Nations Environment Programme

Nairobi/Monaco, 11 February 2008 - The biggest gathering of environment ministers to take place since the climate change breakthrough in Bali will be happening in Monaco later this month under the theme "Mobilizing Finance for the Climate Challenge". More than 100 ministers from across the globe are scheduled to attend the Global Ministerial Environment Forum (GMEF) - the world's forum for environment ministers -alongside senior figures from industry and economics; science; local government; civil society, trades unions and intergovernmental bodies.

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