OECD wary on biofuel policies
January 14, 2008 09:25 AM - Reuters

PARIS (Reuters) - Governments may be getting a clearer picture of the shortcomings of current biofuel policies but the likelihood they can remedy any wrongs looks far from certain, a senior OECD official said on Monday.

Abu Dhabi unveil plans for sustainable city
January 14, 2008 09:24 AM - WWF

WWF and the government of Abu Dhabi today launched a Sustainability Strategy to deliver the world’s greenest city. Masdar City will be the world’s first zero-carbon, zero-waste, car-free city, meeting or exceeding a set of stringent sustainability goals established under the “One Planet Living┢” programme established by WWF and environmental consultancy BioRegional.

Biofuel impact on farm prices overplayed
January 14, 2008 08:42 AM - Reuters

The recent price rally in farm commodities such as grains, oilseeds and sugar beet can be attributed partly to higher biofuel demand but their share of the blame has been exaggerated, a top official of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Loek Boonekamp, a division head in the Agro-food Trade and Markets Division at the Paris-based OECD, said the surge in farm product prices -- with cereals more than doubling last year -- would have happened even without the rise in biofuel production.

UK biofuels push lacks greenhouse targets
January 14, 2008 07:07 AM - Reuters

A government directive requiring fuel suppliers to use more biofuels will do little to combat climate change because the measure lacks targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, British scientists said on Monday. In a report focusing on the British directive set to take effect in April 2008, the Royal Society said biofuels should play an important role in cutting greenhouse gas emissions linked to global warming.

China still building "energy-guzzling" buildings
January 14, 2008 06:47 AM - Reuters

BEIJING (Reuters) - China's developers are still building "energy-guzzling" buildings, flying in the face of sustainability pledges made during their design, state media reported on Monday. China, facing an uphill battle to secure energy and resources to feed its booming economy, has set targets to make new buildings 50 percent more energy efficient by 2010.

Asian biodiesel plants sit idle as costs soar
January 14, 2008 04:37 AM - Reuters

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - For many of southeast Asia's struggling biofuel makers, the global debate over using crops for food or as transport fuel is irrelevant -- a surge in palm oil prices has brought the industry to a standstill. Even oil prices at $100 a barrel aren't helping companies who have invested tens of millions of dollars into plants that convert Indonesian or Malaysian palm oil into near zero-pollution diesel -- at a cost some 30 percent higher than regular diesel.

Beijing car ownership soars along with traffic woes
January 13, 2008 06:25 AM - Reuters

More than 400,000 new cars hit the roads in China's capital in 2006, state media said on Monday, or more than 1,000 a day, snarling Beijing's efforts to control the city's notorious traffic ahead of the 2008 Olympics. Beijing authorities expect the number of cars in the city to continue to grow by about 10 percent a year for the forseeable future, Xinhua news agency reported.

Next-generation biofuels edge to center
January 12, 2008 09:43 AM - Reuters

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The quest by executives and venture capitalists to build a next-generation biofuels industry has made strides this year as oil reached $100 a barrel and the world's largest energy consumer laid down ambitious new mandates for alternative fuels.

It is too early to sell carbon offsets: scientists
January 11, 2008 09:07 AM - University of East Anglia

Prof Watson said: "While we do envision the possibility of iron fertilisation as an effective form of carbon offsetting, we believe larger scale experiments are needed to assess the efficiency of this method and to address possible side effects. "There remain many unknowns and potential negative impacts."

Energy Saving Program in Seattle Puts Consumer in Control
January 11, 2008 08:57 AM - , Environmental Graffiti

Today, the New York Times reports on such a pilot experiment involving 112 homes in the Seattle area. The project by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory of the Energy Department, showed that ‘if households have digital tools to set temperature and price preferences, the peak loads on utility grids could be trimmed by up to 15 percent a year. Over a 20-year period, this could save $70 billion on spending for power plants and infrastructure, and avoid the need to build the equivalent of 30 large coal-fired plants.’

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