29 December 2009

Green on rails in China, and other corporate, industry, government news

Top Stories

World’s Fastest High-Speed Train is Now Running in China.reliability medium.
"The world’s fastest high-speed train, averaging 217 mph, was just launched in China. It blows away the competition, but may not be so special for long. The train will cover a distance of 663 miles (1,068 km) from Wuhan (central China) to Guangzhou (in the south). It will reduce the travel time between these cities from over 6 hours to about 2 hours and 45 minutes." See CleanTechnica.

93 of S&P 100 Provide Sustainability Information on Their Web Sites.reliability medium.
"93 of the S&P 100 now provide at least some sustainability information on their web sites, and 66 firms produced a formal sustainability report with performance data in 2008, according to a new report from the Sustainable Investment Research Analyst Network (SIRAN)." Some highlights of report. From 2Sustain. Access report here.

Emissions Disclosure as a Business Virtue.reliability high.
Feature on the Carbon Disclosure Project. "Boeing and other enterprises are voluntarily doing what some might fiercely resist being forced to do: submitting detailed reports on how much they emit, largely through fossil fuel consumption, to a central clearinghouse. By giving enterprises a road map for measuring their emissions and pointing out how they compare with their peers, experts say, the voluntary project is persuading companies to change their energy practices well before many governments step in to regulate emissions." From The New York Times.

Companies, Industries, Markets and Supply Chains

LG Electronics to enter increasingly crowded solar market.reliability high.
"South Korea's LG Electronics (LG) announced that it is to start commercial production of solar cells and modules next month" at a 120MW-capacity silicon wafer plant. "LG said that it planned to set up another production line for operation by 2011, increasing total output to 240MW." "LG sees the solar business as a key area of growth, and claimed that it had been preparing to enter the market since 2004. The firm will manufacture large-area thin-film solar cells, as well as the more widespread crystalline solar cells." At The Guardian from BusinessGreen.

Beef group challenges U.S. EPA climate finding.reliability high.
Large beef producers are challenging the EPA's endangerment finding on CO2. "The National Cattlemen's Beef Association filed a petition in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals this week, saying EPA climate regulations would hurt large farms. 'This unilateral move by the EPA jeopardizes our ability to remain competitive in the global marketplace,' said Tamara Theis, chief environmental counsel for the National Cattlemen's Beef Association." From Reuters.

Cleaning up: Green Reports from 2009.reliability medium.
Handy list of links to reports and studies from the past year. From Green Chemicals blog.

Amazon toys with rating gadgets' greenness — but only goes so far.reliability high.
Notes some of Amazon's green moves: noting whether some electronics items are EPEAT registered (but not giving their EPEAT ratings or data), trying to reduce packaging and use more recycled packaging materials, and launching "Amazon Green", where "eco friendly" products are aggregated. From GreenBeat.

Government and Regulation

Brazil keeps climate targets despite failed summit.reliability high.
"Brazil aims to reduce its projected 2020 greenhouse gas emissions by as much 39 percent. That amounts roughly to a 20 percent reduction from 2005 levels. According to the bill Lula is expected to sign into law later on Monday, those targets will be quantifiable and verifiable." "'We will fully comply with the targets. It doesn't matter that Copenhagen didn't go as well as we had hoped,' Environment Minister Carlos Minc told reporters after meeting with President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva." See Reuters story.

China cuts ethanol imports tariff.reliability high.
The China Finance Ministry announced cuts in the tariff on alcohol and other spirits denatured of any strength from 30% to 5%. This should benefit Brazil, the world's largest bio-ethanol exporter. "However, traders are cautious. 'The low tariff appears to make imports of fuel ethanol viable. But we are studying if there are other restrictions,' one trader comments, adding the industry is talking about an additional 5% of consumption tax on top of the tariff." From Biofuels International.

Where There's Smoke ... There's a Trade-In.reliability high.
Feature on efforts to retire older woodburning stoves, which are blamed for high levels of particulate pollution. "In return, the state [of New Hampshire] gave the residents $1,000 toward the cost of a new stove that meets current emissions requirements." See The New York Times.

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