05 July 2010

Half of India's carbon credits bogus? Green corruption, China markets and more sustainability news

Top Stories

Analysis: Japanese firms hawk green tech to global polluters.reliability high. 

"Japanese engineering companies, leapfrogging limited demand in matured domestic markets, are selling their energy-saving expertise directly to the world's biggest CO2 emitters including China, carving a niche in a market potentially worth at least $100 bln. ... 'The Chinese market is steaming hot,' said Masaaki Sawa, director of the plant and machinery division at Nippon Steel Engineering, referring to the sales of its CDQ system, thanks to Beijing's recent energy-saving drive in the steel sector." Story at Reuters.

Will chief sustainability officers be the next big thing in the boardroom?reliability high.
"Growing numbers of blue-chip firms have started hiring dedicated executive officers to oversee their companies' sustainability strategies, leading to the potential sidelining of traditional corporate social responsibility  (CSR) managers. The emerging chief sustainability officer (CSO) role requires a set of leadership skills that mark a clear distinction from the middle management role performed by many CSR executives, according to experts speaking at a roundtable event" See BusinessGreen. [Sustainability is fundamentally more critical to the enterprise than is CSR, and will be managed at a higher level and with greater authority. CSR is peripheral, while sustainability is central.]

Companies, Industries, Markets and Supply Chains

Obama commits nearly $2 bln to solar companies.reliability high.
"President Barack Obama, under pressure to spur job growth, said on Saturday two solar energy companies will get nearly $2 bln in U.S. loan guarantees ... . ... All told, 5,000 jobs are expected to be created through use of $1.85 bln in money taken from the $787 bln economic stimulus". Reuters story.

Survey Finds Consumers Still Buying 'Green' Products.reliability high.
"U.S. consumers are buying the same or more environmentally responsible products, regardless of region, age, gender or state of the economy, according to a second annual survey commissioned by SCA and conducted by Harris Interactive." More highlights of survey results. From Environmental Leader.

Government and Regulation

UN panel recommendation may make India lose half carbon credits.reliability high.
"A UN panel on methodologies called Meth Panel this week said that many companies were producing more HFC for a tonne of HCFC produced than technically feasible. Some companies were only producing HCFC in a bid to earn credits, the panel said in a report to CDM executive board. The board is expected to consider the report at end of July. Seeking a proper investigation into the carbon credits earned, the panel has recommended revision of the rate at which carbon credits from HFC is calculated. As against the present waste rate of three percent of the total chemical burnt, the panel has recommended a rate of 1.4 per cent." "Certified Emissions Reduction Units (CERs), also called carbon credits, for the destruction of hydroflourocarbons (HFC) represent over 80 percent of the total credits issued till date under UN’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) to India." Story at Hindustan Times.

Motoring body wants green light for 'inevitable' road pricing.reliability high.
"One of the UK's most influential motoring organisations has today predicted the widespread adoption of road-pricing schemes as "inevitable", arguing that it represents the only viable way of tackling congestion and curbing carbon emissions while also raising funds to maintain the road network. The recommendation is set out in a new report from the RAC Foundation charity, Governing and Paying for England's Roads, in which the organisation's director Professor Stephen Glaister says that a major overhaul of the UK's road policy is required to address rising levels of congestion." See BusinessGreen story. PDF of report here.

United Nations warned that corruption is undermining grants to stop logging.reliability high.
"Human rights and environment groups yesterday called for a radical rethink of the United Nations scheme, known as Redd (Reduced emissions from deforestation and degradation), after it emerged that many countries were trying to cheat the system. ... analysis of the 16 forestry reform plans so far submitted by Redd countries to the World Bank shows that many intend to abuse the system in order to collect the money while carrying on logging as usual." See The Guardian.

Special Report: Europe finds politics and biofuels don't mix.reliability high.
"Read in their entirety, the documents -- emails, letters and research reports released after Reuters invoked transparency laws -- not only expose a huge rift in Brussels over biofuels policy, but also undermine Europe's ambition of using alternative fuels to wean the continent off oil. Beyond this, they raise serious questions about whether some European Commission officials have deliberately skewed the findings of scientific studies to fit their policies." "Most damaging for the European Commission is a leaked letter from the head of its own agriculture unit, Jean-Luc Demarty, in which he refers to mounting evidence that biofuels do serious harm to the climate. Unless handled carefully, Demarty writes, that scientific perspective could 'kill biofuels in the EU'." See Reuters feature.