14 December 2009

Cap-trade prototype works, clean energy tech to be third-largest manufacturing sector by '20, other supply chain, company and government news

Top Stories

1st World Ranking of Clean Energy Technology (CET) Sales — CET to Become 3rd Largest Global Sales Sector by 2020.reliability medium.
"The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) just released a comprehensive global report, and the first country by country ranking, of clean energy technology sales." "Clean energy technology sales were about $921 billion in 2007 (€630 billion), but are expected to become about $2339 billion per year (€1600 billion) in 2020. At that volume, the sector is expected to only be behind automobiles and electronics in global sales. This is even without a strong, binding deal in Copenhagen." See CleanTechnica. PDF of report here.

Cap & Trade Cut Emissions 50% in 20 years.reliability medium.
The U.S. cap and trade program to reduce acid rain caused by sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions from power plants has reached its 2010 target, having cut emissions in half from 1990 levels. The 2008 Highlights report from the EPA gives details. Article lists benefits of cap and trade system. See CleanTechnica. EPA report here.

Review: E-mails show pettiness, not fraud.reliability high.
Extensive feature: "E-mails stolen from climate scientists show they stonewalled skeptics and discussed hiding data — but the messages don't support claims that the science of global warming was faked, according to an exhaustive review by The Associated Press. The 1,073 e-mails examined by the AP show that scientists harbored private doubts, however slight and fleeting, even as they told the world they were certain about climate change. However, the exchanges don't undercut the vast body of evidence showing the world is warming because of man-made greenhouse gas emissions." A team of AP reporters studied all the emails and sent many of the problematic ones to experts for comment. At MSNBC from AP.

Companies, Industries, Markets and Supply Chains

Unilever cuts palm oil supplier ties after report.reliability high.
"Unilever, which uses palm oil in such products as Dove soap, Ben & Jerry ice cream, and margarines like Stork, cancelled its annual 20 million pound ($32.6 million) contract with Sinar Mas after a critical report by environmental group Greenpeace." "Unilever said an independent audit of palm oil suppliers in early 2009 had highlighted areas of concern which were being addressed on an individual basis, but the Greenpeace report had prompted the group into immediate action." From Reuters. [What this says is that Unilever knew of the problems with its supply chain but still wanted to buy palm oil cheap, until someone blew the whistle. What about the other suppliers with dubious practices that it has identified but that Greenpeace didn't happen to expose?]

Exxon Mobil moves into natural gas with XTO Energy buyout.reliability high.
"America's largest oil company, Exxon Mobil, is vastly expanding its position in natural gas by paying $41bn (£25bn) for a Texas-based production company, XTO Energy, in one of the largest corporate takeovers of 2009." See The Guardian. [As coal and petrol wane, natural gas gains.]

Toyota to Sell Plug-In Hybrid in 2011.reliability high.
"Toyota Motor said Monday that it planned a widespread release of its plug-in hybrid car in 2011 as the company scrambled to gain the upper hand in an increasingly crowded battle over next-generation 'green' technology." "Toyota’s rivals are surging ahead. General Motors plans to build as many as 60,000 Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrids a year, starting in late 2010. Other automakers, including Ford and Volkswagen, have announced their own plug-in models, and Nissan plans to mass-produce a fully electric car in 2010. Toyota is now increasing its pace. “Several tens of thousands” of the plug-in version of its Prius hybrid will go on sale in 2011". See The New York Times.

US energy group joins hunt for Shanks.reliability high.
British waste management group Shanks is attracting interest from a range of potential buyers. "The economics of waste management in the UK will be transformed in coming years with levies on companies and local authorities that send rubbish to landfills dramatically rising. The UK is also in line to face harsh fines from Brussels if it does not sharply reduce the 56% of all rubbish it currently sends to landfill. . . . New recycling technologies to convert waste into energy will be increasingly seen in the UK, giving waste management firms a renewed lease of life. The UK is seen as the most attractive market for waste management firms as it has made such little progress with recycling compared with other European countries." See The Guardian.

Not so fair trade.reliability medium.
Commentary piece says "Fairtrade effectively ensures that people 'get charity as long as they stay producing the crops that have locked them into poverty'. Fairtrade reduces the incentive to diversify crop production and encourages the utilisation of resources on marginal land that could be better employed for other produce. . . . Farm units must remain small and family run, while modern farming techniques (mechanisation, economies of scale, pesticides, genetic modification etc) are sidelined or even actively discouraged." Details many other criticisms of Fairrade system. From The Guardian.

Government and Regulation

Government spends nearly £3m on UK flights for civil servants.reliability high.
"The government spent nearly £3m flying civil servants to meetings and events within the UK last year, according to ministerial answers revealed to parliament." "Sixteen of 21 government departments responded to Hughes's parliamentary questions. Between them they spent £2,947,437 on domestic flights. Those that answered said their civil servants made a total of 6,503 return flights." From The Guardian. [Agencies take into account cost and value of civil servants' time, but not cost of carbon emissions.]

UN's CDM Executive Board Mulling New Panel To Reduce Delays.reliability high.
"The executive board of the United Nations' Clean Development Mechanism is looking at a proposal to set up a new independent panel to speed up the project approval process, which currently can take up to two years, the head of the CDM executive board said Friday." This could speed up the approval process. See NASDAQ.com from Dow Jones newswire. [This could be revolutionary.]

[Crossposted from HaraBara.com courtesy of HaraBara, Inc. Copyright © 2009 HaraBara, Inc.]