09 June 2010

American attitudes, Chinese transparency, fossil fuel subsidies and other business green news

Top Stories

The Climate Majority.reliability medium.
"national surveys released during the last eight months have been interpreted as showing that fewer and fewer Americans believe that climate change is real, human-caused and threatening to people. But a closer look at these polls and a new survey by my Political Psychology Research Group show just the opposite: huge majorities of Americans still believe the earth has been gradually warming as the result of human activity and want the government to institute regulations to stop it." New York Times OpEd piece. [Good discussion of the meaning of various poll results that bear on Americans' feelings about climate change.]

Poll: American opinion on climate change warms up.reliability high.
"Public concern about global warming is once again on the rise, according to a national survey released today by researchers at Yale and George Mason Universities. The results come as the U.S. Senate prepares to vote this week on a resolution to block the EPA from regulating carbon dioxide as a pollutant. Since January, public belief that global warming is happening rose four points, to 61 percent, while belief that it is caused mostly by human activities rose three points, to 50 percent. The number of Americans who worry about global warming rose three points, to 53 percent. And the number of Americans who said that the issue is personally important to them rose five points, to 63 percent." See EurekAlert. Access results here.

Companies, Industries, Markets and Supply Chains

Toyota surprised by swift India response to Prius hybrid.reliability high.
"The Toyota Prius hybrid, the world’s largest selling one, has caught the imagination of environment-friendly and deep-pocketed Indians in just three months of its debut on Indian roads. Priced at Rs 26.5 lakh and Rs 27.86 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), the sales have gone well beyond the company’s expectations in India. Toyota Kirloskar Motors has received bookings for 80 cars; it has delivered 45 units since its launch in March. This is far more than the average monthly sales of 12 units estimated by Toyota when it had introduced the vehicle in India." From Business Standard. [The wealthy want to be seen to be green in India too. How many went to film stars?]

Assessing the State of Environmental Transparency in China.reliability medium.
Comments on implementation of "China’s Open Government Information Regulations and Open Environmental Information Measures, which went into effect on May 1, 2008. ... The workshop in Weihai, which we co-sponsored with Environmental Protection Magazine, the Wendeng Municipal Government and the Institute for Public and Environmental Affairs (IPE), was a chance for government officials responsible for open information work to come to share their experiences and exchange ideas." From NRDC blogs. [Good discussion of developments in China, with links.]

Government and Regulation

IEA: To promote efficiency, cut fossil fuel subsidies.reliability high.
"The International Energy Agency on Monday published an analysis that found subsidies for fossil fuels are higher than previously thought. Cutting subsidies would encourage energy efficiency and low-carbon fuels, it said. The amount of money paid to subsidize fossil fuels around the world was $557 billion in 2008, which is up from $342 billion in the previous year. The key findings on fossil fuel subsidies (click for PDF) were published in advance of the IEA's annual World Energy Outlook report, which is due in November." See CNET News. PDF of analysis here.

OECD tells G20 fossil fuel subsidies should end.reliability high.
"The OECD urged governments to end fossil fuels subsidies in a statement on Wednesday that argued this could cut greenhouse gas emissions by 10 percent and help deliver on G20 promises to combat global warming. ... 'Many governments are giving subsidies to fossil fuel production and consumption that encourage greenhouse gas emissions, at the same time as they are spending on projects to promote clean energy,' OECD chief Angel Gurría said. 'This is a wasteful use of scarce budget resources.' Ending fossil fuel subsidies could lower global greenhouse gas emissions by 10 percent from the levels they would otherwise reach in 2050, said the OECD, a government-funded agency that was asked to advise the Group of 20 on the issue." Reuters story.

Clean Energy Policies Achieving Mixed Results in Brazil, China, India, South Africa.reliability high.
"Policymakers in the world’s major developing countries are achieving mixed results in their efforts to stimulate clean energy investment, the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) has found. ... The report maps the extent to which corporations in BASIC countries are investing in these areas, investigates the drivers of this investment and specifically evaluates how national government policy affects private investment and what lessons can be learned from national approaches to policy. 'Tackling climate change will require massive private sector capital flows into energy efficiency and renewable energy,' notes Marianne Osterkorn, REEEP’s Director General, 'so it is very important to understand what government policies are most effective in enabling this to happen.' " See Sustainable Business. PDF of report here.

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