23 June 2010

Energy taxes? iPhone pollution? Indian companies perform and other green business news

Top Stories

Europe Considers New Taxes to Promote 'Clean' Energy.reliability high.
"David Cameron, the British prime minister, suggested Tuesday new taxes on the heaviest emitters of greenhouse gases, the latest measure in Europe aimed at promoting 'cleaner' technologies like nuclear power and biofuels. Mr. Cameron’s announcement came as the European Commission debated whether to pursue a Europe-wide minimum tax based on emissions from motor fuels and heating oil. The European measure would be aimed at spreading the burden of meeting targets for greenhouse gas reduction beyond heavy industry to households and farms." Story in The New York Times. [Such a tax was recently beaten back in France.]

iPhone 4 and Apple's silence on pollution in China.reliability high.
"On April 16, 2010, 34 Chinese environmental organizations, including Friends of Nature, the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs, and Green Beagle, questioned heavy metal pollution in a letter sent to CEO Steve Jobs. 50 days have passed, and though the significant problems with the IT industry's violations of heavy metals standards have been reported through media, Apple has not given a word in response." See The Guardian from China Green News. Apple is not the only non-responsive company--see Pacific Environment blog. PDF of report "IT Brands’ Responses and Consumers’ Green Choice".

Companies, Industries, Markets and Supply Chains

Nine Countries Expected to Surpass 250MW of Solar in 2010.reliability high.
"Nine countries will reach solar market sizes over 250 megawatts (MW) in 2010, up from six in 2009, according to new analyses. Rapid growth in Italy, Czech Republic and France will generate some 3 gigawatts (GW) of European demand in 2010, Solarbuzz said in releasing its three Downstream Regional Reports. ... The race is now on between Italy, Czech Republic, United States, and potentially even Japan, to become just the third country member of the elite club to install 1 GW of PV in a single year." See Sustainable Business. From a commercial report.

Stellar show by stocks of 'socially responsible' Indian companies.reliability high.
"It is often believed that companies that are particular about their environmental social and corporate governance practices cannot be fetching very good returns for their investors. But the fortunes of the S&P ESG (environmental, social and corporate governance) India Index show otherwise. This index returned 140 per cent in calendar 2009 almost double the 75.8 per cent plus return for the C&P CNX Nifty, said Ms Koel Ghosh, Director of Business Development (South Asia), S&P Indices." From The Hindu Business Line.

Report: Trucking Industry Needs to Improve Carbon Accounting.reliability medium.
"the American Transportation Research Institute ... reviewed and analyzed a range of greenhouse gas reporting tools and emissions models to assess their consistency and applicability to the trucking industry, and the organization found that current methods of carbon accounting are often inadequate for today's U.S. trucking fleets. ... Even the reporting of Scope I emissions are variable. For instance, the report states that emission factors for biodiesel were not consistent and leakage rates among refrigerants varied by a factor of five." From 2Sustain. PDF of report summary here.

Government and Regulation

Experts demand European action on plastics chemical.reliability high.
"In an open letter to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), a group of 60 scientists and health campaigners from 15 countries said they feared exposure to the chemical Bisphenol-A (BPA) could damage health, particularly among vulnerable groups such as babies and pregnant women. ... The EFSA is expected to publish a new "scientific opinion" on the safety of Bisphenol A in food packaging next month, after it was asked by the European Commission to re-assess the risks." From Reuters. [BPA is probably in your supply chain.]


India fury over US 'double standards' on BP and Bhopal.reliability high.
"Indians have reacted with fury to President Barack Obama's tough stance against BP, accusing the US of double standards over industrial accidents after the failure to convict Americans involved in the Bhopal disaster of 1984 or to obtain what many view as adequate compensation for victims. The anger goes beyond that of campaigners or activists with some of India's best-known writers and journalists weighing in. ... "It seems ridiculous that there are such small punishments for [Bhopal] and at the same time we are watching the US getting so agitated about the spill," Haider said." Story in The Guardian. [Bhopal has been a focus in India in recent weeks with the verdict and the Group of Ministers recommending various actions. It is also a political issue between the government and the opposition. Twenty-five years after the disaster it is still a hot issue, with a large anti-U.S. component.]

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