One of the casualties of the cuts that the Republicans demanded to end the stalemate over the US Budget is the US Governments role in measuring Carbon Emissions. The move is part of a $38 billion raft of cuts carefully selected by the Republicans in areas they don’t believe the US Government should be active.
Edie.net reports that European Union carbon emissions increased by slightly more than 3% last year as the continent’s economy improved. Europe estimated that an increases 1,935 million tonnes (Mt) of greenhouse gases were emitted by the 27 countries in the European Union’s Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) and Norway. The rise, which is attributed to an improved economic outlook, is however 50 Mt below the 2010 EU ETS cap of 1,985 Mt, meaning the scheme is oversupplied for the second year in a row and the fifth time in six years.
ESB International (ESBI) has applied for foreshore exploration licences to develop a 5 Megawatt wave energy project off the west coast of Ireland. The licences will allow ESBI to conduct marine surveys and resource measurements at two locations, Killard Point, Co Clare and the Achill Area, Co Mayo. The proposed project, named the WestWave project, aims to generate an initial 5MW of electricity from wave energy by 2015.
UK Landfill tax has risen by £8 (on April 1st 2011) per tonne as the UK’s first environmental tax marks another milestone. The tax, originally introduced by the Conservative environment minister Lord Gummer in 1996, aims to force local authorities to recycle by making the cost of landfilling prohibitive. From today the tax is now £56 a tonne and will continue to rise by £8 a year until at least 2014 after measure brought in by the coalition government in its first emergency budget.
Bolivia is set to pass new laws which grant nature equal rights with humans – the laws of Mother Earth. The new laws are designed to reduce pollution and environmental damage and control industry – in particular ‘development projects that affect the balance of of ecosystems and the local inhabitant communities’. Its not clear how effective the new laws will be court but a new ombudsman will be appointed and they do give local communities certain rights to monitor and control polluting industries. More on the effects of climate change in Bolivia from the Guardian here http://www.guardian.co.uk/global-development/video/2011/apr/10/bolivia-fighting-the-climate-wars .
China, currently the world’s largest investor in renewable energy, is increasing its resources after buying 24 more wind turbines. Danish wind turbine manufacturer Vestas has signed its first order in 2011 with China Longyuan Power Group, the country’s largest renewable business in terms of generation, for 24 2 MW wind turbines. The turbines, which are the V80 model and will generate a total of 48 MW of power, will be installed in Zhongmen, Putian County in the coastal province of Fujian in south eastern China.
The UK government has said that the farming industry must live up to its commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Department of Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) agriculture minister, Jim Paice was speaking at the launch of the farming industry’s Greenhouse Gas Action Plan (GHGAP). Agriculture currently contributes around 9% of the UK total of greenhouse gas emissions and it is the single largest emitter of nitrous oxide (76% of the UK total) and accounts for 38%of the UK’s methane emissions.
The Eden Project has announced plans to cut its carbon emissions by more than half by 2015. In four years Cornwall’s Eden wants to reduce emissions by 55%, which is also a reduction of 80% in CO2 against a 2008 baseline. The cuts will be made by reducing power use by implementing a raft of new efficiency measures designed to cut its CO2 emissions and also new initiatives such as the biggest installation of LED lights in the country.
Four sailors on-board a raft made of polyethylene pipes and a pig shelter have crossed 3,000 miles of the Atlantic and raised thousands of pounds for a WaterAid. The raft, named An-Tiki, was captained by 85-year-old Anthony Smith with a three-man crew – aged between 56 and 61 years old. See more at http://www.justgiving.com/antiki
Edie.net report that the UK’s Department of Transport has announced £46 million worth of funding for 542 new low carbon buses. The money is part of the Government’s drive to target investment in new projects that promote green growth and encourage use of sustainable local transport. The Green Bus Fund lets bus operators and local authorities bid for the grants to help them purchase the low carbon buses.