Other News

Tighter pollution rules demanded in EU after VW diesel scandal


The pressure is mounting on the European Union to tighten rules on pollution from cars after Volkswagen AG admitted it built a system to undermine tests in the US. Members of the European Parliament’s environment committee urged the European Commission to propose more stringent checks amid the widening scandal over emissions controls on VW’s diesel engines. VW has cheated on US air pollution tests for years, the Environmental Protection Agency said Friday. “We must assume that there are many tricks going on in Europe without us realizing because the Americans check more than we do,” said Peter Liese, a German member of the parliamentary committee, said in parliament in Brussels on Wednesday. “We need more realistic, stringent procedures not only for NOx but also for carbon dioxide and fuel consumption. We all know that our cars use more fuel than in the test cycle and people are losing patience.”

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EPA moves to reduce emissions in the oil and gas sector


The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is expected to propose regulations which will be aimed at reducing methane emissions by between 40 and 45% from the oil and gas sector over the next decade. The move is part of a wider strategy in place which is looking to reduce both greenhouse gases as well as combating climate change.

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Australia to reduce carbon emissions by more than a quarter by 2030


Australia is expected to announce plans to reduce its carbon emissions by at least 26% of 2005 levels by 2030. The move could see the country trail ahead of other regions. Australia is the world’s largest exporter of coal and iron ore and is one of the largest carbon emitters on a per capita basis due to its reliance on coal-fired power plants.

Renewables/Energy Transition

Dutch court orders cut in emissions


A Dutch court ordered the government to cut the country’s greenhouse gas emissions by at least 25% by 2020. Activists hope that the groundbreaking ruling will now set a worldwide precedent. The Hague District Court made the ruling in a case brought by a sustainability organisation on behalf of some 900 citizens, claiming that the government has a duty of care to protect its people against looming dangers - including the effects of climate change on this low-lying country.

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Plea on global goal on emissions


Countries must set a global goal to slash carbon emissions to unlock more than £30 trillion needed in energy investments to tackle climate change, a report has urged. The World Energy Council study, which draws on insights of more than 2,500 industry leaders and policy makers, also calls for a global carbon price polluters must pay for their emissions, to level the playing field between traditional and clean energy schemes. Released ahead of key United Nations climate talks in Paris in December, the report warns uncertainty over global policies is one of the biggest obstacles to unlocking £31- £34 trillion in investments in the energy sector needed to address the problem.

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Japan to set emissions cut target


Japan is proposing to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by up to 26% by 2030 amid international efforts to set a new framework for addressing climate change. The final draft of the government target, released today, says Japan will aim to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 26% by 2030 compared to 2013 levels, or 25.4% from 2005 levels. That is below the US target of a 26-28% cut by 2025 from 2005 levels, and the European Union’s target of 40% from 1990 levels.

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Labour ‘would create one million green jobs’


A Labour government would bring in a legal target to slash carbon emissions from the power sector and improve energy efficiency for five million homes, as it seeks to create a million new “green” jobs. Setting out details of Labour’s “green plan”, shadow energy and climate change secretary Caroline Flint said that “building a more equal society means tackling climate change and protecting nature”. The plan includes a legally binding target to decarbonise electricity supplies by 2030, delivering energy efficiency upgrades to at least five million homes over 10 years and developing a green industrial strategy to create a million new jobs.

Renewables/Energy Transition

UK emissions down by 8.4% in 2014


The UK’s greenhouse gas emissions dropped by more than 8% last year in the face of lower electricity use and less burning of coal to generate power, provisional figures show. Renewables such as wind, solar, bioenergy and hydropower generated almost a fifth (19%) of the UK’s electricity in 2014, a new record high for the clean technologies. There was a drop in emissions of 8.4% in 2014 compared with 2013, while output of the main greenhouse gas - carbon dioxide - fell by nearly a tenth (9.7%), statistics from the Department of Energy and Climate Change showed.