The [Japanese] government will promote “Green New Deal” policies to expand the nation’s markets related to environmental conservation and build a society where environmental policies will not hamper economic growth, according to a draft of the 2009 white paper on the environment.
The annual report on the environment, recycling society and biodiversity, penned by the Environment Ministry, will call for such policies as the promotion of environmentally friendly consumer appliances for replacement demand. The Cabinet is set to approve the paper June 2.
The Green New Deal strategy, officially unveiled by Environment Minister Tetsuo Saito on April 20, is designed to expand Japan’s environment-linked market 1.7-fold from the 2006 level to 120 trillion by 2020 and double employment in the market to 2.8 million.
In one of the main features of the new policy, the government will provide interest of up to 3 percent on loans to be taken out by businesses for introducing natural energy and equipment with low carbon dioxide emissions…..
The paper also refers to Prime Minister Taro Aso’s pledge in early April to boost Japan’s solar power output capacity 20-fold by 2020.
[Note: If anyone can find this white paper, especially an English-language version, please post the link.]
Russia, already a large supplier of nuclear-reactor fuel to Europe and Asia, is expected on Tuesday to sign its first purely commercial contract to supply low-enriched uranium to United States utilities.
With the signing, Russia’s nuclear-fuel trade with the United States will shift to a commercial footing, similar to Russia’s dealings with other consumers of fuel, like France and the Netherlands, both longtime buyers of Russian uranium.
For the United States, the change is a sign that Washington is acquiescing to the idea of a major Russian role not only in the international nuclear power market, but also in the domestic market. Russia’s outsize role in supplying uranium to American utilities had previously been justified because the fuel was a byproduct of a program to eliminate nuclear weapons. Now the Russians will be selling nuclear fuel from virgin uranium.
It’s worth noting that we import the vast majority of the uranium we use.
My amendment establishes a competitive matching grant program for retail power providers to support new and existing tree-planting programs by non-profit organizations “” like garden clubs, the Boy Scouts, and Keep America Beautiful. Matching grant programs, which require that federal monies be matched dollar-for-dollar by private donations, actually encourage charitable corporate contributions. I expressed to my colleagues that Congress should set standards for the utilities to ensure the money is well spent and energy efficiency is prioritized.
The definition of renewable energy seems clear cut: The sun continues to shine, so solar energy is renewable. The wind continues to blow, so wind turbines churn out renewable power.
But industries are now pushing to have a growing number of other technologies categorized as renewable “” or at least as environmentally advantageous. They include nuclear power plants and the burning of garbage and even the waste from coal mines.
The lure of the renewable label is understandable. Federal tax breaks for renewable energy have been reauthorized, and quotas for renewable energy production have been set in 28 states, accompanied by extensive new grants, loans and other economic advantages. And legislation is moving through both houses of Congress to establish national quotas for renewable energy sources, including the climate bill passed by the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Thursday.
With billions of dollars at stake, legislators have been besieged by lobbyists eager to share in the wealth.
Edward Regan, an assistant general manager at Gainesville Regional Utilities in Florida, spent 10 days in Germany last year on a trip with other utility executives. Among the things that struck him were Germany’s “feed-in tariffs” “” requirements that utilities pay a fixed, above-market price to producers of renewable power. Upon returning to the United States, Gainesville implemented the first citywide feed-in tariff in the United States.
It’s one thing to put up a LEED-certified building, but quite another to develop an entire urban community with enough energy-efficient bells and whistles that its on-site emissions are actually less than zero.
That’s the ambitious objective of the new Climate Positive Development Program, a joint venture between the Clinton Climate Initiative and the U.S. Green Buildings Council, unveiled last week at the C-40 Cities Climate Leader Group summit in Seoul, South Korea.
The program will help support 16 large-scale urban re-development projects on six continents, including the London Development Agency’s $2.4 billion Elephant & Castle regeneration and San Francisco’s long-standing plan to put thousands of new housing units on the decommissioned naval base on Treasure Island.
Scientists are, for the first time, objectively evaluating ways to help species adapt to rapid climate change and other environmental threats via strategies that were considered too radical for serious consideration as recently as five or 10 years ago. Among these radical strategies currently being considered is so-called “managed relocation.” Managed relocation, which is also known as “assisted migration,” involves manually moving species into more accommodating habitats where they are not currently found.
US House of Representatives speaker Nancy Pelosi said Tuesday that the fight against climate change was a “game changer” in China-US relations, as she visited Beijing on a trip focused on energy.
Pelosi, a tough critic of China’s human rights record and a vocal advocate of environmental protection, is leading a delegation from the US Congress to China on a working visit devoted to energy and climate change.
“I think that this climate change crisis is a game changer in US-China relations, it is an opportunity that we cannot miss,” she said at a clean energy forum in Beijing.
WORLD population is projected to reach seven billion early in 2012, up from the current 6.8 billion, and surpass nine billion people by 2050, reveals the 2008 Revision of the official United Nations population estimates and projections.
In July 2009, the world population will reach 6.8 billion, 313 million more than in 2005 or a gain of 78 million persons yearly. Assuming that fertility levels continue to decline, the world population is expected to reach 9.1 billion in 2050 and to be increasing by about 33 million persons yearly at that time, according to the medium variant.
Most of the additional 2.3 billion people will enlarge the population of developing countries, which is projected to rise from 5.6 billion in 2009 to 7.9 billion in 2050, and will be distributed among the population aged 15-59 (1.2 billion) and 60 or over (1.1 billion) because the number of children under age 15 in developing countries will decrease.
Compiled by Max Luken and Carlin Rosengarten