03 December 2009

Europe on a different green planet from U.S.? But U.S. companies are moving greenward. Other industry, government news

Top Stories

European Legislation Creates 62 MPG Gas Cars… From Ford.reliability medium.
"Imagine a gas-fueled car that gets 62 miles to the gallon: 'With start-stop, regenerative brakes and an Eco Mode system, the new Focus gets 62 MPG (U.S.) on the European scale and emits just 99 grams of CO2 per kilometer' Available in Europe next Spring." European regulation, driven by European public opinion, call forth serious efforts to improve mileage and cut emissions. Not so in the U.S. "Europe’s Ford buyers are offered a Ford Focus Econetic that is capable of (US) 62 MPG: available next month. Americans are offered a Fiesta getting just 40 MPG, that won’t even be available till 2011." From Green Options Media Gas 2.0. [European methods of estimating fuel economy are different from those used in the U.S., and drivers don't actually get the mileage estimated in such tests, but between 55 and 70 MPG isn't too shabby. See next item.]

EU, US citizens split over climate change.reliability high.
"The overwhelming majority of EU citizens consider climate change as a serious problem and call for more action against global warming. More than one third of Americans say instead that climate change is not an issue, and only a minor percentage think that it is the consequence of human activity, international polls reveal." Quotes figures from recent polls. See EurActive. [Not really news, but see previous item. We will not be speaking the same language in Copenhagen.]

Companies, Industries, Markets and Supply Chains

Best Buy: An Emerging Green Giant.reliability medium.
"Best Buy has become America's biggest collector of electronic trash." "The company would like to help customers make their homes smarter and greener -- part of a shift away from just selling boxes to providing services." From GreenBiz blog. See related Fortune piece by same author here.

Kohl's Department Stores Announces Carbon Neutral Goal.reliability high.
"To achieve this goal of being carbon neutral, Kohl's will continue to invest in projects to reduce the same amount of greenhouse gas emissions that the company emits into the atmosphere." "The goal accounts for U.S. emissions at all Kohl's facilities, including stores, distribution centers and corporate offices, as well as emissions resulting from business travel." The program also includes purchase of green power (number 1 U.S. retailer), solar energy (world's largest retail host of solar power), energy management, improved energy efficiency, etc. See CSRwire.

GM Details Volt Rollout Plan.reliability high.
The Volt "rollout will begin in California (other early adopter markets will be announced later), where utilities will test more than 100 Volts in their fleets over the course of two years and install some 500 charging stations, according to GM’s press release today. GM will load the vehicles with its OnStar telematics system and 'collect vehicle performance data and driver feedback that will be reported to the DOE and used to improve customers’ experiences with the new technology.' " From earth2tech. GM press release here.

Government and Regulation

Europe's biofuels policy is costly and protectionist says report.reliability high.
"In a new study of the European Union’s biofuels policy, economist Fredrik Erixon shows how biofuels policy, once motivated by environmental concerns and the desire to shift away from fossil fuels, has become an industrial policy using various measures to protect domestic producers from foreign competition. If the Renewable Energy Directive is implemented in the way the legislation has proposed, the EU is likely to run afoul of its obligations in the World Trade Organisation (WTO)." From Biofuel Review. Access study here. [Of course the same is true of U.S. biofuels policy.]

India to reduce carbon intensity by 24% by 2020.reliability high.
"India could reduce its carbon intensity by 24% by 2020 compared with 2005 levels, government sources revealed today." "Sources told the Indian media that the reduction in carbon intensity could go up to 37% by 2030, compared to 2005. India's environment minister, Jairam Ramesh, is expected to make a statement in parliament tomorrow to announce the targets". See The Guardian.

UK Government unveils smart meter master plan.reliability high.
"The government today unveiled its long-awaited plans for smart meters and smart grids, pledging to ensure real-time energy meters are installed in every home and business by 2020 and releasing a report detailing the case for a nationwide smart grid." "In addition, the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) announced the launch of a new £6m fund designed to support businesses developing smart meters and smart grid technologies such as energy storage systems." See Business Green. More details of plan here. Report on smart metering opportunity here.

Massachusetts Creates One-Stop Resource for Renewables Development.reliability high.
"Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick this week signed legislation that transfers the state’s Renewable Energy Trust to the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, streamlining support for the Commonwealth’s green economy by making a single agency responsible for fostering the development and installation of clean energy technologies." See Sustainable Business.

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