June 7 news: S. Korea Aims to Create 1.5 Million Jobs From ‘Green Energy’

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S. Korea Aims to Create 1.5 Million Jobs From ‘Green Energy’

The South Korean government and businesses aim to bolster their share in the world’s renewable energy market to 18 percent by 2030, and create 1.5 million jobs to cut reliance on fossil fuels.

The government selected solar and wind power, fuel cells, biogas, energy storage and nuclear energy as 15 key “green energy” industries to provide technology research support to companies, the Knowledge Economy Ministry said in an e-mailed statement that carried details of a 20-year roadmap.

The plan would create 1.5 million jobs and 328 trillion won ($304 billion) in exports and 94 trillion won in domestic sales, the ministry said. South Korea, Asia’s fourth-largest economy, forecast the commitment would help reduce 210 million metric tons of CO2 by 2030.

An estimate of investments wasn’t provided after a 40 trillion won investment plan by 2015 was announced in 2010. Korean companies have a 1.2 percent share of the world’s renewable market, according to the statement.

The government’s drive to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels is spurring companies to boost their investments in renewable energy. They invested 3.56 trillion won in 2010, compared with 719 billion won in 2007, according to the statement. Their sales from clean energy rose to 8.1 trillion won in 2010 from 1.25 trillion won in 2007.

Hundreds march to Blair Mountain

On Monday morning, hundreds of people began a weeklong, 50-mile trek to protest mountaintop removal mining and defend labor rights.

Nearly 250 marchers and supporters of the Appalachia Rising March on Blair Mountain gathered at the Marmet Baseball Field for a rally on Monday morning. An hour later, shortly after 10 a.m., they headed toward Blair, a town near the Boone-Logan county border, where their march will end on Friday.

As the marchers began, several people driving through Marmet honked their horns in support of the marchers. Two small groups of counter-demonstrators held up signs including “Friends of Coal” and “I Love Coal.”

The marchers plan to walk the same route more than 10,000 coal miners took between Aug. 24 and Sept. 4, 1921, marching to Logan County to organize non-union miners.

The 1921 March on Blair Mountain was the biggest armed conflict in American labor history. After several days of battles, federal troops arrived and ended the conflict.

Environmental coalition wants to save whales by reducing ships’ speed in marine sanctuaries

A coalition of environmental groups is asking the federal government to require ships traveling through California’s marine sanctuaries to slow down to avoid fatal collisions with whales, a problem they say has climbed to “unsustainable levels.”

Four groups filed a petition Monday asking the U.S. Department of Commerce to establish a 10-knot limit for large commercial vessels traveling through California’s four National Marine Sanctuaries in the Channel Islands, Monterey Bay, Gulf of the Farallones and Cordell Bank. Some freighters travel through those waters at more than twice that speed.

Nearly 50 whales have been hit by ships off the California coast in the last decade, according to experts, who believe the number is probably much higher because many accidents go unreported.

Herman Cain to join rally against climate alliance

GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain will headline a Wednesday rally in downtown New York to protest a regional global warming compact.

Cain joins the Koch-affiliated Americans for Prosperity’s rally, which is scheduled for noon and is expected to draw a couple of hundred tea party supporters who want to put an end to the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.

10 Million U.S. Roofs With Solar By 2020?

While the GOP controlled House was busy slashing clean energy program budgets last week, a Senate subcommittee was occupied with drafting a bill that, among other efforts, aims to make solar power system installations faster and cheaper for the nation.

The “10 Million Solar Roofs Act of 2011″ is a piece of legislation spearheaded by Senators Bernie Sanders and John Boozman of the Senate Green Jobs and New Economy Subcommittee. If passed, the bill would establish a goal of powering 10 million homes and businesses with solar energy by 2020.

China on track to cut energy intensity by 20 percent

As of 2009, the most recent year considered in the report by the non-governmental Climate Policy Initiative, China is on its way to meeting its own ambitious targets for 2010, according to Qi Ye, the group’s director at Tsinghua University in Beijing.

China’s overall emissions of climate-warming carbon dioxide are rising fast as its economy grows but more energy efficiency is helping to bring down energy intensity, Qi said at a briefing at the Brookings Institution think tank.

Qi attributed the progress to a renewable energy law that spurs development of hydro-electric and solar power, the construction of large-scale power plants and the closing of small, inefficient power plants.

He said the problem now is that China’s next five-year plan calls for continued cuts: a 16 percent reduction in energy intensity and a 17 percent decrease in carbon intensity — the amount of carbon emitted for each unit of economic output, usually gross domestic product.

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