23 February 2010

Biggest payoff for emission reductions would be in road transport; better plan for more than 2 degrees C, And other company, industry and government info

Top Stories

U.N. says emissions vows not enough to avoid rise of 2 degrees C.reliability high.
"Emission cuts pledges made by 60 countries will not be enough to keep the average global temperature rise at 2 degrees Celsius or less, modeling released on Tuesday by the United Nations says. Yearly greenhouse gas emissions should not be more than 40 and 48.3 gigatonnes of CO2-equivalent in 2020 and should peak between 2015 and 2021, according to new modeling released on Tuesday by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Keeping within that range and cutting global emissions by between 48 percent and 72 percent between 2020 and 2050 will give the planet a "medium" or 50-50 chance of staying within the 2 degree limit, said the report, which was based on modeling by nine research centres. However, the same study found that the world is likely to go over those targets." See Reuters story for more details. [So, for your long-term planning purposes, we currently have around a 100% chance of overshooting 2° C, and the sky's the limit.]

E.P.A. Plans to Phase in Regulation of Emissions.reliability high.
"top Environmental Protection Agency officials said Monday that any regulation of such gases would be phased in gradually and would not impose expensive new rules on most American businesses." The letter said "that only the biggest sources of greenhouse gases would be subjected to limits before 2013. Smaller ones would not be regulated before 2016" The EPA is trying to minimize backlash by proceeding slowly and cautiously. From The New York Times. Another story with more detail is at SolveClimate blog.

Companies, Industries, Markets and Supply Chains

Air Liquide, BASF Top Chemical Industry Sustainable Value Ranking.reliability high.
"Global chemical companies could gain about one billion Euro ($1.4 billion) in cash flow if they increase their sustainability performance, according to a new study that evaluates the performance of nine global chemical companies through 2004 to 2007. . . . The study found that leading chemical companies such as Air Liquide and BASF use their resources up to five times more efficiently than their competitors, creating a sustainable value of about one billion Euro ($1.4 billion) in 2007. Researchers say this directly translates into about one billion Euro more in cash flow than competitors would have created with the same amount of resources. . . . Dow Chemical was ranked at the bottom of the report card, using resources only half as efficiently as its competitors on average. The study found that the Dow created a negative sustainable value of -2.2 billion Euro ($2.9 billion). DSM and AKZO also did not generate a positive sustainable value in the years assessed." See Environmental Leader. PDF of report here.

Intel: "Invest in America" & Greentech.reliability medium.
"Intel and a who’s-who list of VC heavyweights are putting together a little stimulus package of their own — and green technology is high on their wish list. Intel CEO Paul Otellini announced Tuesday that Intel Capital has put together a new $200 million investment fund that is aimed at “key innovation and growth segments such as clean technology, information technology and biotechnology,” and has roped in 24 VC firms — including Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Menlo Ventures, Mohr Davidow Ventures, New Enterprise Associates, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Khosla Ventures and North Bridge Venture Partners —to invest a total of $3.5 billion over the next two years." See earth2tech.

Government and Regulation

Solar water heaters come to the boil as cash incentive is dangled.reliability high.
"Government incentives are about to make solar water heating panels a financial no-brainer for millions of households across Britain, as long as they have a south-facing roof. . . . You can install it now, safe in the knowledge you'll get the incentive payments – expected to be around £400 a year – in 14 months." See The Guardian.

Science and Economics

Road Transportation Emerges as Key Driver of Warming.reliability high.
New study allocates climate change drivers by economic sector. "In their analysis, motor vehicles emerged as the greatest contributor to atmospheric warming now and in the near term. Cars, buses, and trucks release pollutants and greenhouse gases that promote warming, while emitting few aerosols that counteract it. The researchers found that the burning of household biofuels -- primarily wood and animal dung for home heating and cooking -- contribute the second most warming. And raising livestock, particularly methane-producing cattle, contribute the third most. " "The new analysis shows that emissions from the power, biomass burning, and industrial sectors of the economy promote aerosol-cloud interactions that exert a powerful cooling effect, while on-road transportation and household biofuels exacerbate cloud-related warming." From NASA. Access the report here, or an interview with the lead author here. [Important results that show where to get the most bang for your buck with regulation or other mechanisms.]

[Crossposted from HaraBara.com courtesy of HaraBara, Inc. Copyright © 2010 HaraBara, Inc.]