07 September 2010

Green strategies report, $2.2 trillion markets, damming China and other sustainability news

Top Stories

Should Carbon Management Be a Strategic Priority for Companies?reliability high.
GreenBiz writes about "a new report from the Carbon Disclosure Project that examines the question: Should carbon management be a strategic priority for companies?" The report "explores the business case for 10 large companies that have put carbon management near the top of their agendas. For these companies, whose annual revenues top $1 billion, carbon management has helped them reduce a range of long-term business risks that may one day threaten their bottom lines," according to the article. Gives some examples. See Greener World Media. Access the report here. [From the executive summary: "As leading firms force broad action on carbon management in their markets and value chains, those companies that ignore the issue risk being left behind." Looks like this report is worth a read. Quantitative.]

Labor to form minority government, pursue climate bill.reliability high.
Julia Gillard will remain PM of Australia having gained support of the one Green and of two Independents in the lower house. The Independents both said her Labor Party's commitment to climate change legislation was key to their support. Greens also hold the balance of power in the Senate, where climate change legislation foundered earlier. Labor wants to get a climate bill through, but their one-vote edge will not make it easy. See BusinessGreen. [A climate change committee of legislators and scientists will stretch things out.]

Related item: Australian election: Greens key to success of new government.reliability high.
According to this Guardian story, "Julia Gillard's new minority government in Australia means that the country's green party will take a pivotal position in the nation's politics for the first time. Like the UK and Germany, a surge in popularity has given the environmental movement an unprecedented parliamentary presence in Australia this year, prompting suggestions that electorates are punishing mainstream parties for failing to act decisively on climate change." More about Greens in Australian politics. See The Guardian. [Given Labor's 1-vote majority in Australia, "decisive" action may still be beyond reach.]

Companies, Industries, Markets and Supply Chains

Low-carbon market to treble by 2020: HSBC.reliability high.
A report prepared by HSBC, "Sizing the climate economy", is the basis for a Reuters story that says the market for "low-carbon energy and efficiency technologies will at least double to $1.5 trillion from $740 billion now, but HSBC analysts expected that it would more likely treble to $2.2 trillion". Electric vehicle sales will grow most, reaching $473 billion by 2020. More highlights of report. See Reuters for more.

Insurers demand key role in climate adaptation.reliability high.
"Over 100 of the world's leading insurance companies joined forces yesterday to urge world leaders to draw on the industry's expertise to shape climate adaptation policies for developing countries being worked on as part of the UN's climate change negotiations," reports BusinessGreen. They issued a statement that "calls on governments to formally acknowledge the role of the insurance industry in the on-going UN climate change negotiations and deliver funding and regulatory frameworks that enable the wider rollout of climate-related insurance products" for developing countries. See BusinessGreen for story. PDF of Global insurance industry statement on Adapting to climate change in developing countries.

Shanghai powers up EV hub with £2.8bn investment programme.reliability high.
"Shanghai announced plans to invest 30bn yuan (£2.86bn) in the sector by 2012. According to reports in the China Daily newspaper, the city will build 25,000 charging stations for battery or hybrid power vehicles over the next two years," says story in BusinessGreen. It quotes Wang Zhe, of Shanghai's new energy automobile promotion office: "With government support in purchasing, R&D and infrastructure, Shanghai will be able to produce 100,000 new energy vehicles every year, including 60,000 passenger vehicles by 2012. About 20,000 of them will be for private use." Article at BusinessGreen.

Government and Regulation

China aims to increase hydropower 50 per cent by 2015.reliability high.
"According to local reports, officials said they were aiming to increase hydropower capacity from 200 million kilowatts currently to 300 million kW by 2015," says BusinessGreen story. China produces more hydropower than any other country already. see BusinessGreen.

Science and Economics

Melting rate of ice caps in Greenland and Western Antarctica lower than expected.reliability high.
A recent paper in Nature Geoscience used gravity measurements to improve precision of estimates of the amount of ice being lost from the Greenland and West Antarctic ice sheets. They "combined data from the GRACE mission, GPS measurements on land and sea floor pressure measurements." The authors say "The corrections for deformations of the Earth's crust have a considerable effect on the amount of ice that is estimated to be melting each year. We have concluded that the Greenland and West Antarctica ice caps are melting at approximately half the speed originally predicted." See EurekAlert. Both the report and the accompanying editorial are behind $32 pay walls.