Archive for Global Warming

>> Everything’s Going Green – slowly but surely >>

In terms of renewables, it looks like the UK is surely moving in the right direction. While government policy on renewables hasn’t (so far, at least) been exactly what you’d call ‘radical’, there have been some encouraging signs that the main parties are united in their commitment to getting the country where it needs to be, or to the starting line, at least. The UK electorate (as if anyone needs reminding) even returned a Green member of parliament for one of its constituencies way back last month (how long ago the general election seems now…!)

And while much good work has been done, there are always reminders around us that there is still the majority of the progress yet to be made. So it was with mixed emotions that I read the latest findings by Cambridge Econometrics, who have forecast that renewables will account for seven percent of elecricity sales to final users by the end of 2010.  While this is a move in the right direction, it actually falls pretty far short of the ten percent target. Assuming that certain economic conditions are as expected, the figure is predicted to rise to 11 percent by 2015 – but since the 2015 target is fifteen percent, we will still be wide of the target.

There is always a good news/ bad news element to this type of forecast, and this one’s no exception. The good news? Carbon emissions are predicted to continue fallling. The bad news? They’re going to fall only by a fraction of a single percent, and even only then because of changes to coal-fired power station equipment. The obverse of the good news v. bad news scenario is the bad news v. good news one – and so it has been predicted that the knock-on effects from the economic downturn of 2008 will provide a significant drop in CO2 emissions, rendering the figure lower than initial projections. And the UK will as a result be likely to meet its Kyoto target without much difficulty.

UK Green Energy policy - going in the right direction.

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‘Sustainable Energy – without the hot air’, fantastic free book

Sustainable Energy - without the hot air

This is amongst the best books ive read on the energy sector in a long time – ‘Sustainable Energy – without the hot air‘ by David Mackay (a Professor in the Department of Physics at the University of Cambridge). I really can’t do the work justice in a short blog post and i don’t really need to as you can download the entire book in PDF format for yourselves. There is a 10 page synopsis available for anyone who doesn’t fancy downloading 27mb. I would recommend that anyone with an interest in sustainable energy get hold of this text somehow – you can also buy a copy from Amazon for £19.99.

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Copenhagen Summit Live – Today’s the Day

copenhagen logo

Copenhagen Summit - Decision day

Well,  it was probably always going to come down to this – todays the day that the Copenhagen Summit will either produce an agreement of some kind or not. President Obama has deemed it worthy enough to warrant an appearance. We will update this post throughout the day with the breaking news as it happens………apologies for the rather rambling nature –  we’ll have a proper summary once the dust has settled……..

Watch live Copenhagen coverage here.

Watch live video from OneClimate on

UK readers can watch live coverage from Copenhagen here.

The Guardian is Live Blogging from the conference as well – probably alot more succinct than we are!

11.40 – China holding up talks, Sarkozy


President Obama at Copenhagen

There is no time to waste. America has made our choice. We have charted our course, we have made our commitments, and we will do what we say. Now, I believe that it’s time for the nations and people of the world to come together behind a common purpose.

We must choose action over inaction; the future over the past – with courage and faith, let us meet our responsibility to our people, and to the future of our planet. Thank you.

12.26 – Look out Mr President, Indie Hero Thom Yorke is after you!

Radiohead Singer interviewed by The Guradian.

12.45 – Obama’s speech hasn’t exactly went down too well…..

ActionAid’s climate expert, Raman Mehta, said:

Obama has said nothing to save the Copenhagen conference from failure.

The US is the one major player yet to move. Developing countries have come here to negotiate in good faith but feel they have been cheated and it looks like they will leave empty handed.

Greenpeace US’s executive director Phil Radford said:

The world was waiting for the spirit of yes we can, but all we got was my way or the highway.

He said all parties must move, but he offered no movement. He said the decades long split between the rich world and poor needs to end, but his vision of a deal here would give us a 3C temperature rise and devastate Africa and the small island states.

Friends of the Earth is “deeply disappointed” by Obama’s speech.

Andy Atkins, Friends of The Earth

The President is right that the endeavours in Copenhagen will go down in history – but unless we see a massive shift in the US position, it will be for all the wrong reasons.

Obama has deeply disappointed not just those listening to his speech at the UN talks – he has disappointed the whole world.

20.49 – In a similar vein to the negotiations in Copenhagen, we have been sidelined by technical issues today, apologies. Nothing much has happened really – we are now on the fourth draft of the ‘accord’ which you can read here (although there’s probably another one being uploaded as i type). The ‘highlights’ of the deal (ripped shamelessly from Auntie Beeb):

  • “Recognises the scientific view” on keeping temperature rise below 2C (3.6F) but does not set it as a target
  • No date for peaking emissions – just “as soon as possible”
  • Developing countries to monitor and verify their own emissions without international oversight
  • “Support a goal” of raising $100bn per year by 2020, not commit to achieving that goal
  • No date for concluding a detailed agreement, nor whether it should be legally binding

Sounds a bit watery to me.

21.17 – We have a ‘meaningful deal’ apparently

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Copenhagen Off To Stormy Start

Copenhagen is only officially three days old and has almost managed to draw as much controversy as Tiger Woods private life. Here’s a quick summary of the main stories so far from Copenhagen……

  • Email scandal – even before the conference kicked off we had the leaking of a controversial group of emails from the University of East Anglia which seemed to suggest that academic research from climate change “deniers” should be supressed. This was immediately seized upon by sceptics to paint the entire climate change movement with the same brush, and rubbish the entirity of scientific evidence for man-made Climate Change. Not the best of starts then……….
  • Developing countries have been “outraged” by draft agreement that would see the bulk of decision making powers of the future switch to the developed nations and remove the power of the UN in situations such as these. Not exactly the unified front that was hoped for before the conference began then. Infact, the developing nations have even began to bicker amongst themselves (something that rarely happens at big summits like these, they normally stick together). However, hope may come in the shape of billionaire investor George Soros, who has a proposal the rich countries hand their $150bn (£92bn) of Special Drawing Rights to poor countries for immediate use to combat climate change – will they agree to this?
  • Sarah Palin has produced an editorial denouncing Copenhagen and all it stands for, urging President Obama to forget about it. Is she right?

Quite a first couple of days! and we haven’t even reached the critical point of the conference yet!

What are your thoughts on the first few days of Copenhagen 2009?

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Copenhagen 2009 – Conference Coverage On The Web

Copenhagen 2009 - 7th - 18th December

The United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen is just under three weeks away (Dec 7th to Dec 18th) and the last few days have seen some high stakes political games going on behind the scenes. UK Foreign Secretary David Miliband has described the negiotiations as:

………..the most complex set of international negotiations ever, on any issue

With a conference dealing with such complex issues it can be difficult to track what exactly is going onopinion on what will actually be achieved at the conference seems to be shifting constantly. There are screeds of  Copenhagen coverage around the web – these are what we will be checking in the run up to and during the conference itself.

Official Pages

News Coverage


The Blogosphere

Hopefully there will be a channel that will provide you with the latest news from Copenhagen to meet your requirements. We are aiming to post on all the major developments as they happen.

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IEA warns of huge cost for energy ‘revolution’

Climate Change Is Needed Now

Climate Change

The IEA has warned everyone to brace themselves for the biggest energy revolution the world has ever seen.  The economic crises gives us and the electricity suppliers the opportunity to make things right in the world by spearheading  a worldwide low carbon energy surge that will fight global warming and ensure we have enough energy supplies around the globe.

A Very little amount of people actually realize the size of the tasks we face in the next few decades to tackle global warming whilst still supplying the energy that we have become so reliant on over the last 100 years.

The International Energy Agency said:“But it can and must be met,” it said. “The time to act has arrived.”

The reality of the damages that climate change “will” cause is starting to became clear, yet while everyone is making a lot of noises about it and setting targets the question has to be asked: Are we doing enough? We all know the answer to that is no, but countries who laughed at the idea 10 years ago (including the United States of America) are starting to come round and year by year we have more and more countries signing up to agreements to reduce our carbon footprint.

Just next month (December 2009) the landmark international Conference will be held in Copenhagen. The IEA is expected to tell the top 30 industrialized countries that they along with the rest of the planet will face dire consequences if they continue with their current policies on energy and climate change.

Change is needed, and now.

Read and rewritten byGavin Boyd with his own views added.

Original Article

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Excellent Wind Power Infographic

Im sure that you are all too aware of the feeling you get sometimes: “i wish id thought of doing that!” – well, this sensation washed over me quickly this week when i came across this great illustration from US website Power and Energy.

Essentially, it encapsulates in one tidy design the questions regarding Wind Energy, the generation of which has been risen rapidly in the USA over the past two years. Although the statistics are all related to North America (and New York state in particular), the questions posed still hold relevance worldwide.

With scottish power suppliers and the government in this country pushing Wind Energy as THE answer to our energy needs, perhaps it would help them to consider this graph.

Is wind energy the answer?

Is wind energy the answer?

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Energy Firms Get Behind 10:10

10:10 - Can you take 10% of your carbon emissions?

10:10 - Can you take 10% of your carbon emissions?

Homes and Businesses urged to cut their carbon emissions by 10%

A new initiative by the people behind The Age of Stupid has been launched last week with the aim of getting as many homes, schools, universities, business and everything in-between to sign up and commit to reducing their carbon emissions by 10% in 2010 (hence the 10:10). Four of the ‘big 6’ of major UK energy companies have signed up (Centria, EDF, E.ON and Scottish and Southern – see the Scottish Hydro 10:10 project page here) already, and are pledging to introduce measures to assist homes and businesses meet this target in 2010, including energy use tracking equipment.

It’s not only large companies who are signing up though, a whole host of other organisations have already pledged their support, whilst individual members of the public can enroll themselves.

You can find out more information of the project on the 10:10 website.

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Elegant Green Energy Solution from a 15 Year-Old

Think back to what you were doing at the age of 15 ………… if you’re anything like us then you were at High School, struggling to grasp basic scientific and mathematical concepts, maybe playing some sports after school and at the weekend………

We’re willing to bet that you probably weren’t inventing in a complete Algae based green energy system.

Well, that’s what young Javier Fernández-Han from Houston, Texas has done. He won the Ashoka ‘Invent Your World Challenge’ with his algae energy system, named VERSATILE. Master Javier’s system incorporates 12 technologies in six subsystems. Each system can treat waste, produce methane and bio-fuel, and is a source of livestock and human food production. It also produces oxygen and sequesters greenhouse gases, and can also be a source of income.

Read the full details of Javiers amazing system over at Cleantechnica.

Here is a slide show featuring Javier and some of the other winners from the Ashoka challenge.

Inspirational stuff, we think you’ll agree…………

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Five Green Energy Stories of 2009 – so far

We can’t quite believe it but it is actually mid-April. Therefore, with one-quarter of the year gone we thought that it would be interesting to compile our top 5 green energy related stories of 2009 so far. It has definitely been an eventful start to the year, the majority of energy news is understanably resonating from the new US administration and the continuing global economic situation. These combined events have seen some of the biggest institutions in the world begin to adapt their policies and practice in order to fall in line with the green revolution. Anyway, here are five of our top green stories of Q1 2009.

  • The Pentagon turns green! – Not exactly renowned for making either cost or energy efficiciency savings, the news that the US Defence HQ was installing 4,200 LED lights in Wedge 5 of the labyrinthyne building is a strong indication of the level of green agenda penetration. The new lights use 22 percent less power than the fluorescent bulbs replace, which will pay back their extra expense in 4 years.
Green Pentagon

Green Pentagon

  • Oil giant Shell drops green investments – You know that an economy is in trouble when giants such as Shell stop investing in anything – sadly, in this case it is their green energy initiatives which have bourne the brunt of cost-saving.


President Obama - early green initiatives

President Obama - early green initiatives

  • China orders Governments to focus on Green Energy – The importance of China grabbing the green initiative shouldn’t be underestimated. The country which houses 20% of the world’s population can have a huge impact on the environment of planet earth.
China - going green

China - going green

  • We have saved the Ozone Layer – is this right!? – For years the central message of the CO2 emission reductiuon policies has been to ‘save the Ozone Layer’ – well, according to the latest research we have actually managed to do it. Is this right, it all seems a bit improbable.

Thats our five top green stories of 2009 so far – what would be your choices?

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