19 November 2010

Who will pay huge adaptation bills? Worry on agricultural impacts, green jobs analysis and other news

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"Climate aid said focused too heavily on C02 cuts"reliability high.
"Under the non-binding Copenhagen Accord agreed at a U.N. summit in December 2009, donors agreed that money to give a quick push to efforts to slow climate change from 2010-12 would have a 'balanced allocation between adaptation and mitigation.' But only 11 to 16 percent of the money promised so far will go to adaptation actions such as building sea walls and promoting new farming practices, according to the report by the London-based International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED)." From Reuters. IIED press release here. Access the report here. [Of course rich-nation funding of mitigation (reduction of greenhouse gas emissions) might help the whole world, including those rich nations. On the other hand funding for adaptation (dealing with the local effects of global warming) has mainly local benefits in the poor nations themselves. There may also be a bias toward technological fixes where some of the technology bought with the funding will be supplied by the donor nations. This is an old foreign-aid trick.]

"Report: India faces major climate changes by 2030"reliability high.
A recent study by the Indian Network for Climate Change Assessment says that t average temperatures in India could climb 2 degrees C (3.6 F) within two decades, with even higher temperatures projected for some coastal regions. "'There is no country in the world that is as vulnerable, on so many dimensions, to climate change as India is,' Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh said in a statement released with the report on Tuesday. 'We must continue this focus on rigorous climate change science.'" Some highlights of the report. See The San Francisco Chronicle. More highlights of the report are here. PDF of the report here. [The India press had a range of reactions to the report, even claiming such warming would be a "blessing" to some states. Google it. The message for the nation, however, is that it will have to come up with lakhs of crores of rupees annually for adaptation.]

"Climate change and disease will spark new food crisis, says UN"reliability high.
The FAO's latest Food Outlook Report warns of projected increase in prices for staples in 2011. "Price hikes of 41 per cent in wheat, 47 per cent in maize and a third in sugar are foreseen". "Climate change, speculation, competing uses such as biofuels and soaring demand from emerging markets in East Asia are the factors that will push global food prices sharply higher next year, claims the FAO." More highlights of report. In particular it notes "an expansion in food production is the potentially more lucrative use of crops for biofuels and non-grain or non-food crops such as sugar, cotton and soya" and "the FAO explicitly acknowledges climate change as a factor in jeopardising food supplies." It says, "adverse weather effects are undoubtedly a primary driver of wheat production shortfalls and, with climate change, may increasingly be so". From The Independent. PDF of the Food Outlook Report here.

Companies, Industries, Markets and Supply Chains

"Pacific Northwest's Puralytics Wins National Cleantech Open"reliability high.
Oregon-based Puralytics, a developer of photochemical water purification products, has been awarded the Cleantech Open's national business competition top prize. It will receive "the national prize of $250,000 -- comprised of $100,000 cash and $150,000 in-kind startup services." See Marketwire. [In addition to its LED-phochemical water purification machine, Puralytics also displayed a portable plastic pouch with an enclosed pad embodying its photochemical system, where the light can be provided by the sun, enabling purification of a couple of liters of water in two hours. Impressive technology.]

"New Study Shows Wind Energy Supply Chain Means Manufacturing Jobs and Corporate HQs for Illinois"reliability high.
"The Environmental Law and Policy Center has released a new study of Illinois’ wind energy supply chain showing more than 100 Illinois companies with a total of over 15,000 employees." The report notes that while most nacelles are assembled domestically many of their components are imported. However, "domestic production of subcomponents such as bearings, electrical components and hydraulic systems" are increasing in Illinois. From Environmental Law and Policy Center. PDF of report here.

"IT to Drive Vehicle Energy Efficiency"reliability medium.
John Gartner posts about the many ways information technology will become more integrated into vehicle management and lead to greater transportation efficiency. Computers and communication technology increasingly transfer information between vehicles, drivers, and transportation infrastructure. Gives examples. See CleanTechies blog.

Government and Regulation

"A Call to Action on Ocean Acidity"reliability medium.
John Rudolf posts that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has declared in a memo that states bordering water bodies that are becoming more acidic from the absorption of carbon dioxide should list them as impaired under the Clean Water Act. "The E.P.A.’s declaration, which also urges states to gather data on ocean acidification in their coastal waters, is a result of a successful lawsuit by the Center for Biological Diversity, an environmental advocacy group. Under the Clean Water Act, states that list bodies of water as impaired must take action to curb the pollution responsible for the impact." See New York Times green blog.

"'Green stealth tax' carbon reduction scheme delayed"reliability high.
The UK government has "announced it would delay the implementation of a scheme to encourage businesses and organisations to save energy, after controversially changing the programme last month into what critics described as a "green stealth tax"." The program has required large carbon emitters to register would have required them to buy allowances for their emissions. The revenues from sale of allowances was to have been returned to participating emitters according to a formula that would reward those minimizing their emissions. Recently the government had announced that it would instead just keep the revenues from sale of allowances. Now "the government will delay the implementation of the scheme, so that the first sale of permits to cover energy use will not take place next year, but in 2012." See The Guardian.

"Norway climate deal to drive Indonesia reform"reliability high.
"A $1 billion dollar deal with Norway to save Indonesia's forests and cut planet-warming carbon emissions will trigger a much-needed shake up of Indonesia's notorious bureaucracy, a top official said on Thursday." Discussion of implementation of red-tape-and-corruption-reducing efforts connected with the vast foreign aid and forest protection program. From Reuters.

Science and Economics

"USAID Study Says Climate Impact on Himalayas Remains Unknown, but Worrisome"reliability high.
.Highlights of a recent report by the U.S. Agency for International Development that calls attention to uncertainties on impacts of melting of glaciers in "High Asia". "The agency says more information about the glaciers' behavior is needed to help communities adapt to climate change-driven changes in glacier melt and the region's water cycle. ... 'it is important to start looking now at how to make communities more resilient,' said Kristina Yarrow, a health adviser to the agency's Asia and Middle East bureaus." At The New York Times from ClimateWire.