Friday, November 13, 2009

eNews Friday 13 November 2009

ACEEE: California Leads the Country in Energy Efficiency Policies (EERE News, 11 November 2009)

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) has released its 2009 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard, which ranks states according to their energy efficiency policies, incentives and standards. California topped the scorecard, followed by Massachusetts and Connecticut. Several other states were lauded for greatly improving their score through increased energy efficiency policy activity, new building codes, or the setting of energy-saving targets.

U.S. climate bill needs strong border measure: Senator Baucus (Reuters, 10 November 2009)

Citing competitiveness and carbon-leakage concerns, US Senate Finance Committee chairman Max Baucus called for climate change legislation to include a “border measure”, consistent with WTO rules. Without indicating any preference for the type of measure, Senator Baucus said US lawmakers should take the lead on determining its shape, rather than letting it be worked out by trade negotiators.

Brazilian state gov't approves law on greenhouse emissions cuts (People’s Daily, 10 November 2009)

Brazil’s Sao Paulo State government announced a target of reducing GHG emissions 20% from 2005 levels by 2020. The emissions reductions would focus on the transport sector, with fines imposed on those not meeting targets.

200M euro for renewable energy and energy efficiency in 2010 (The Sofia Echo, 10 November 2009)

The Bulgarian government is planning an overhaul of its administrative and application procedures to better roll-out funding for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects under the EU’s Operational Programme “Development of the Competitiveness of the Bulgarian Economy". 632 projects with a value of BGN 358 million are still waiting to be processed. Bulgaria expects a further EUR 200 million to be available for such projects in October 2010.

Environment Agency to propose individual carbon ration cards (BusinessGreen, 9 November 2009)

The debate on individual carbon rationing rather than carbon taxes has reopened in the UK, after the UK Environment Agency will propose the system at the organisation’s annual conference. A feasibility study on rationing by Defra last year was shelved, after a study found it would be expensive to implement and may not benefit from public support, despite being technically possible and potentially engaging individuals. The Environmental Agency’s proposal would see each citizen awarded a “carbon account”, that would keep track of carbon-intensive purchases. Statements showing the carbon impact of each purchase and the person’s remaining carbon budget would be provided, and those exceeding their ration would need to buy credits from those that haven’t used up their full allowance.

Japan may meet CO2 goals, but only due to recession (Reuters, 9 November 2009)

Lower GHG emissions due to economic recession may mean that Japan could meet its 2008-12 Kyoto Protocol emissions target; however, some are concerned at how more ambitious targets, beyond 2012, will be met in the face of recession and lack of government policy.

EPA C02 endangerment finding to White House (Reuters, 9 November 2009)

The US EPA has sent its final endangerment finding, on whether carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions pose a danger to human health and welfare, to the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB). It also sent the EPA’s findings on whether cars and trucks “cause or contribute to that pollution”, which if approved could pave the way for stricter vehicle mileage requirements. The OMB has 90 days to review the proposal, though the EPA is hoping for an expedited review.

As nations haggle over CO2 cuts, measurement is tough (Reuters, 9 November 2009)

Scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Center for Atmospheric Research say there is a disconnect between emission reduction schemes and trading, and what can actually be measured. New measurement systems, satellites and computer models are getting more accurate, but they say we are still many years away from being able to accurately monitor national and regional emissions, particularly those produces and absorbed naturally in forests and oceans.

Japan and China sign major green agreements (Cop15, 9 November 2009)

As part of the Japan-China energy-saving and environmental forum, 42 cooperative projects were signed, covering energy-saving, recycling, sewage, water purification and other environment-related projects. Japan’s Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Masayuki Naoshima also said he hoped China would make an “international commitment” to reduce GHGs as part of a new global climate change agreement.

UK DECC: Strategic direction for overhaul of energy system (DECC press release, 9 November 2009)

The UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) presented six draft National Policy Statements (NPSs) before Parliament, which seek to reform planning procedures for fossil fuels, nuclear, renewables, transmission networks and oil and gas pipelines, with the sixth NPS comprising the Government’s final Framework for the Development of Clean Coal. The nuclear power strategy proposes 10 new nuclear power sites, while the clean coal framework proposes that all new coal-fired plants be required to demonstrate CCS capacity on at least 300 MW of their total output.; National Policy Statements consultation pages

Climate top of the agenda at EU-India summit (European Presidency press release, 6 November 2009)

At the Tenth India- EU Summit, the goal of limiting global temperature increase to 2 degrees from pre-industrial levels was agreed, and a cooperation agreement signed in the field of nuclear energy for the exchange of data, information, researchers and specialists. In addition, one of two loans provided by the European Investment Bank (EIB) at the summit was of EUR 100 million for a car factory using European environmental technology allowing the cars to emit fewer GHGs.

Subsidizing green buildings reduces greenhouse gases and creates jobs (Cop15, 6 November 2009)

WWF and E3G have released “scorecards”, assessing the best and worst policies in G-20 countries that work towards creating a “Green new deal”: helping the economy while reducing GHG emissions and moving towards a low-carbon economy. In first place are Germany’s policies targeting the building sector, covering its standards, subsidies, grants and retrofit programmes. In the worst policies, subsidies for coal production took first place.; WWF/E3G Report:

EU-US summit yields energy cooperation (EurActiv, 5 November 2009)

A new EU-US Energy Council established at the ministerial level met last week, to boost cooperation on energy policy and technology research, as well as provide a new framework for bilateral discussions on energy security and shifting to low-carbon energy.

India, Sweden to sign MoU on environment (Indian Express, 5 November 2009)

At the 10th India-EU summit this week, it is expected that a MoU will be signed on climate change, clean technology, CDM, environmental protection and governance, and air-water quality. The Indian Express says “sources” indicate a possible energy sector deal that could pertain to nuclear power.

Senate panel approves Democratic climate bill (Reuters, 5 November 2009)

After waiting two days for Republican Senators to participate in the mark-up of climate change legislation, the US Senate’s Environment and Public Works Committee passed the legislation, with 10 Democratic Senators voting for it and one against. Committee Chairman Barbara Boxer opened the session by reading a letter from Exelon’s Chief Executive, urging that the bill be reported for consideration before the full Senate.

South Korea drops weakest 2020 emissions cut target (Reuters, 5 November 2009)

South Korea has dropped the weakest of its three potential GHG emissions target – that of an 8% increase from 2005 levels by 2020. It will finalise its 2020 target on 17 November, choosing between maintaining 2020 emissions at their 2005 levels, or reducing them 4%. Hyung-kook Kim, chairman of the presidential committee on green growth, said the second option would “probably show our definite willingness for green growth”.

Green policies will hit gas demand, says energy agency (Financial Times, 5 November 2009)

In an “unauthorised draft of the World Energy Outlook” cited by the Financial Times, the IEA projects that implementation of policies to reduce GHG emissions today could significantly reduce gas demand, 5% by 2015 and 17% by 2030 compared with the business-as-usual scenario. PFC Energy’s Robin West said the prediction of the US LNG market’s demise was to be taken with “a pinch of salt”, arguing that technologies allowing for “clean coal” and CCS were far from being commercial.

Carbon has no place in global trade rules (Financial Times, 4 November 2009)

In an opinion piece, the OECD’s Angel Gurria says countries should stop calling for border taxes on imports from countries without GHG targets; fears around loss of competitiveness and leakage are for the most part unfounded. The issue is harmful for current climate change negotiations, and Gurria argues the best solution to such fears is by broadening participation in a climate change agreement.

New Study Shows Reducing Energy Intensity is Critical in Curbing CO2 Emissions (World Bank, 4 November 2009)

Looking at data from over 100 countries from 1994 to 2006, a new World Bank study looks at several factors that explain why levels of GHG emissions increase or decrease. It finds that growth of GDP per capita and growth in population have contributed the most to the net increase in emissions. It also finds that reducing energy intensity (amount of energy required to produce a unit of GDP) has contributed the most to the net decrease in emissions.,,contentMDK:22377865~menuPK:51062075~pagePK:34370~piPK:34424~theSitePK:4607,00.html; Report

Industry, business and utilities

Recession increases investment in clean technologies (BusinessGreen, 10 November 2009)

A study undertaken among 308 executives in global companies across the Americas, Europe and Asia-Pacific indicate that large corporations are more interested in investing in clean technologies since the global recession. The foremost factor in developing a clean tech strategy was cost reduction through operational efficiency, followed by meeting internal sustainability and climate change goals. Increasing revenues through new or existing products and services was also a factor. Manufacturing, transportation, IT and logistics were sectors for whom efficiency is high on the agenda.

Eurelectric: Carbon-neutral electricity by 2050 possible; efficiency key (Eurelectric press release, 10 November 2009)

Power industry body Eurelectric released a Power Choices study, using the PRIMES energy model to examine how a commitment to carbon-neutral power by 2050 could be realised. The study underlines that all low-carbon technology options must be available and receive adequate investment, but found that the major driver would come from energy-efficient electric systems – including vehicles and heat pumps - on the demand side.;; Preliminary report:

Putin warns oil firms: cut flaring or pay fines (Reuters, 10 November 2009)

In an attempt to reduce gas flaring, Russian gas companies must increase their gas utilisation rate to 95% by 2012, or else pay fines. Companies are investing in order to meet the target. Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin also said that flare gas used for electricity production would be provided with preferential access to the national electricity grid.

Canada seen funding new carbon capture plans (Reuters, 10 November 2009)

Canada’s Natural Resources Minister Lisa Raitt said the government was looking to fund CCS for gas projects, following funding for projects in Alberta with TransAlta (coal-fired power plant) and Royal Dutch Shell (crude upgrading plant). Minister Raitt said CCS was “the best tool” available at the moment to deal with the environmental sustainability of hydrocarbon projects, such as the oil sands, which she said will continue to play an important role in North American energy security.

Spain's windfarms set new national record for electricity generation (Guardian, 9 November 2009)

Due to favourable weather conditions, Spain’s wind farms broke a new record, covering 53% of the country’s total electricity demand for more than five hours on Sunday 8 November. While in previous years such massive output led to turbines being turned off, the spare electricity is now exported or used by hydroelectric plants to pump water back into their dams.

US Export-Import Bank Adopts Carbon Policy (Van Ness Feldman, 9 November 2009)

The Export-Import Bank of the United States (ExIm Bank) has released a “Carbon Policy” to guide more of its financing activities (that support US exports) towards less GHG-intensive sectors. This includes enhanced provisions for measuring and reporting GHG emissions resulting from projects receiving ExIm Bank support, and efforts to engage other OECD members on appropriate incentives for low-carbon exports and projects. ExIm Bank is now the first official export credit agency to adopt a GHG policy.; Policy statement:

Britain unveils nuclear energy expansion plans (Reuters, BBC, 9 November 2009)

The UK has approved proposals for 10 new nuclear power plant sites, meant to replace those currently operating, of which all but one will be shut down by 2025. The planning process to approve the plants is to be streamlined; the Infrastructure Planning Commission will make a decision on each application within a year of receipt. All but two of the proposed new sites are either next to existing or shut-down nuclear power plants.;

UK DECC: Strategic direction for overhaul of energy system (DECC press release, 9 November 2009)

The UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) presented six draft National Policy Statements (NPSs) before Parliament, which seek to reform planning procedures for fossil fuels, nuclear, renewables, transmission networks and oil and gas pipelines, with the sixth NPS comprising the Government’s final Framework for the Development of Clean Coal. The nuclear power strategy proposes 10 new nuclear power sites, while the clean coal framework proposes that all new coal-fired plants be required to demonstrate CCS capacity on at least 300 MW of their total output.; National Policy Statements consultation pages

China eyes closing coal-fired power plants in capital (Reuters, 9 November 2009)

According to China Energy News, four coal-fired power heating plants in Beijing may be “moved”, and replaced by gas-fired plants “with advanced environmental protection technologies”. Beijing’s power consumption reached 14 GW in August, with 2/3 of supplies generated outside Beijing. If implemented, the plan would further increase Beijing’s gas demand, with PetroChina already starting early-stage work for a third pipeline to send gas into the city in order to meet future demand.

OECD Global Forum on Environment on Eco-Innovation (6 November 2009)

Last week’s OECD Global Forum on Eco-Innovation brought together delegates from business and government to exchange views on policy issues related to promoting eco-innovation. Presentations and background papers are available online.

European patent office to study green innovation (EurActiv, 6 November 2009)

The European Patent Office (EPO) will publish early results in April 2010 of a project to study how new patents for environmentally sound technologies have evolved in response to incentives and policy signals following the Kyoto Protocol. Raw data from the EPO indicates that patent applications for new energy innovations grew by an average of 6% per year from 1998 to 2008. At a seminar on eco-innovation, the EC’s Marcel Haag pointed to public private partnerships (PPPs) as central to eco-innovation, while EIB’s Tom Barrett said they were not always the right solution.

Accessing credit a daunting task for eco-innovators (EurActiv, 5 November 2009)

European companies called on the public sector to improve the flow of information to facilitate bank loans for eco-innovation projects, because banks typically lack the technical knowledge to grant such loans. The probably is particularly acute for SMEs, and for “un-glamorous” projects in energy efficiency and grid investments. One company suggests setting up a network of experts, contracted by the EU, which would issue guarantees for projects after assessment, which could then be brought to a bank for easier access to capital.

RWE makes Denmark-sized mistake in CO2 emissions (Environmental Finance, 5 November 2009)

A wide range of methods to report GHG emissions, confusion about how to report which emissions, and companies not keeping up to date with changes in reporting methods, means companies can end up reporting inaccurate figures. Utility RWE overstated its emissions by 70 million tonnes, International Power reported them as 52 Mt on its website and 84.4 Mt to the Carbon Disclosure Project – after which a figure of 68.3 Mt was considered accurate. Environmental data firm Trucost’s managing director Simon Thomas said: “The GHG Protocol is well thought out. It sits behind most of the standards out there. I really don’t see the need for local embellishments.”

German nuclear policy skirts a taboo (Reuters, 5 November 2009)

Germany’s new coalition is opening the nuclear policy debate by proposing an extension of nuclear reactors scheduled for decommissioning. With 52% of the population still preferring the existing nuclear phase-out policy, the government is including in its plan a requirement that nuclear power profits be used for public purposes, such as research, safety and grid efficiency. It will also ensure that renewable sources are given priority over nuclear for grid access.

Appliances and equipment

Sainsbury's will switch to CO2 to save CO2 (BusinessGreen, 10 November 2009)

UK retailer Sainsbury’s is planning on reducing its GHG emissions by tackling refrigeration, by far its largest source of emissions in supermarkets. It will replace fridges currently using ozone-depleting HCFCs and global-warming HFCs by more energy-efficient equipment that run on carbon dioxide. It plans to convert all stores to the new fridges by 2030, and said the lack of skilled engineers to build and maintain the equipment was a serious barrier to wider uptake.

EU issues green vision for electrical engineering (ENDS Europe Daily, 9 November 2009)

The European Commission’s “Electra” communication outlines how the electrical engineering sector can contribute to climate and energy goals by delivering energy savings, notably in buildings, transport systems, industrial processes and power supplies. According to the commission key applications include smart energy meters, more efficient electric motors, and new high-power density batteries for electric cars. The commission is calling on the sector to commit to a voluntary agreement on the energy performance of several products under the Eco-design directive, without which the commission may propose minimum efficiency standards for transformers and other energy distribution infrastructure.

Electra communication:


Trials start for innovative scheme to cut carbon from at least 200,000 London's homes by 2012 (City of London, 10 November 2009)

The City of London is launching a trial programme to bring various home retrofit programmes into a single scheme across London, aiming to undertake both simple and more substantial energy-saving measures to 200,000 homes by 2012. GBP 9.5 million have been made available to kick-start the programme, which will hopefully attract more capital.

U.S. EPA sticks Energy Star label on millionth home (Reuters, 10 November 2009)

The US EPA’s Energy Star label for homes has been awarded to 1 million homes as of Tuesday (10 November). The labelling programme for homes began in 1995, and Energy Star homes are at least 15% more energy efficient than traditional houses. Though more expensive to build, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson says owners recover the expense within 5 years from savings on their energy bills. In 2008, 17% of single-family homes built had an EPA label, up from 12% the year before.

Subsidizing green buildings reduces greenhouse gases and creates jobs (Cop15, 6 November 2009)

WWF and E3G have released “scorecards”, assessing the best and worst policies in G-20 countries that work towards creating a “Green new deal”: helping the economy while reducing GHG emissions and moving towards a low-carbon economy. In first place are Germany’s policies targeting the building sector, covering its standards, subsidies, grants and retrofit programmes. In the worst policies, subsidies for coal production took first place.; WWF/E3G Report:


China approves methanol-based "clean coal" fuel for use in vehicles (BusinessGreen, 11 November 2009)

China’s national and provincial governments have been promoting the use of methanol as a fuel for automobiles, through subsidies for engine conversion, a standard for M85 fuel to be effective 1 December, and a line of dual-fuel cars planned by automaker Geely. Methanol is touted as a domestically produced fuel source with lower tailpipe emissions. However, 70% of methanol’s feedstock comes from coal, it has half the energy content of gasoline, and costs USD 260/tonne to produce, vs. USD 150/tonne for methanol made from natural gas.

Low-emission Vehicles Catch On Faster Than Expected (JFS, 8 November 2009)

In an assessment of a 2004 policy target of increasing the number of low-emission vehicles to 10 million and the number of fuel cell vehicles to 50,000 by the year 2010, Japan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIAC) in June found that the target for low-emission vehicles had been reached in 2005, and that low-emission vehicles owned by the end of fiscal year 2007 reached 16 million. However, only 42 fuel-cell vehicles had been sold by 2007. Natural gas and electric vehicles still only made up a small portion of low-emission cars, the majority being ministry approved fuel-efficient and low-emission vehicles, as well as hybrid and biofuel cars.

Sainsbury's flicks switch on London electric car recharge network (BusinessGreen, 6 November 2009)

UK supermarket chain Sainsbury’s is installing electric vehicle recharging stations at 11 stores across London, which they say means that drivers in the city will never be more than a few miles away from a recharging station. The London stations are the first part of a broader strategy to install electric vehicle recharge stations across Sainsbury locations in the UK. Sainsbury's expects the need for convenient recharge facilities to become important, and plans that all stores in large cities will offer the free service in 10 years’ time.

F1 designer unveils electric car (BBC, 5 November 2009)

A former Formula 1 designer has launched prototype electric cars using a manufacturing process known as iStream. Rather than stamped out of metal sheets, the components are computer designed and then welded together. The cars are lightweight, and the latest model is designed to travel up to 100 miles between recharges and can travel 60m/h. The car is designed for urban use.

How to boost fuel efficiency? Raise taxes, executives say (Reuters, 4 November 2009)

Auto industry executives propose a simple but politically difficult solution to get Americans to buy fuel-efficient cars: raise the fuel tax to the level at which people start caring about energy efficiency. The only way this can be done, they argue, is if tax increases are done slowly and predictably. Some also suggested the strain could be limited through rebates and subsidies.

Emissions trading/Carbon market

Australian government: carbon deal will be difficult (Reuters, 10 November 2009)

While Australia’s opposition leader Malcolm Turnbull seeks a deal with the government on cap-and-trade legislation currently stuck in the Senate, the Senate opposition leader has stepped forward to say that the majority of the party did not believe in anthropogenic climate change, while others say they will simply not vote for cap-and-trade legislation. Such infighting has reduced the prospect of a political deal on the legislation by December’s Copenhagen climate talks.

US Senator Stabenow Releases Domestic Offsets Bill (Van Ness Feldman, 9 November 2009)

The Clean Energy Partnerships Act of 2009 (S. 2729) was released in the Senate by Democratic Senator Debbie Stabenow. The bill would create a domestic offsets programme within a federal cap-and-trade programme, along with other financial incentives to the agriculture and forestry sectors for GHG emissions reduction. Offset provisions are generally more flexible then in the existing Kerry-Boxer and Waxman-Markey bills. Well received by industry and pro-offset groups, the Environmental Defense Fund qualified their support for the bill by saying it had to do more “to guarantee that offsets are environmentally effective.”

Environmentalist-Industry Alliance Demands Tighter GHG Market Regulation
(Van Ness Feldman, 9 November 2009)

A group of over thirty environmental organizations, agricultural and petroleum marketers, and consumer advocates sent a letter to Senators John Kerry and Barbara Boxer, for climate change legislation to include stronger regulation of carbon markets than would be provided under legislation approved by the House Financial Services and Agriculture Committees. The letter asked that all allowances and derivatives be traded on exchanges; for GHG markets to exclude index funds and other large investment funds from trading; and for the relationship between GHG markets and other commodities markets to be studied. The letter emphasised that regulatory frameworks must be in place before legislation creating markets for allowances and offset credits is enacted.

Poland’s first Green Investment Scheme agreed with Spain
(EIB press release, 9 November 2009)

Poland has completed its first sale of AAUs worth EUR 25 million to Spain, to be facilitated by the EBRD and EIB’s Multilateral Carbon Credit Fund. The sale will be co-financed by the EIB in the amount of EUR 75 million, bringing the total amount Poland will invest in GHG mitigation activities to EUR 100 million. The greening programme will be managed by Poland’s National Environmental Fund, and will include grants to biomass, biogas electricity and heat production projects, as well as electricity transmission network expansion.

Study suggests peat CO2 credits more valuable (Reuters, 5 November 2009)

Scientists are finding that emissions from peat lands are more important than previously thought. The uncertainty surrounding estimates of how much carbon is stored in peat lands has meant they cannot be accurately valued on the carbon market. A team of peat experts is now developing a method to estimate emissions from tropical peat lands, a joint Australian-Indonesian project that was launched a year ago.

EU lawmakers approve helping industry with CO2 cost
(Reuters, 4 November 2009)

The European Parliament approved a list of industrial sectors and sub-sectors that will qualify for free allocation of permits as of 2013 under the next phase of the EU ETS. These include metals, textiles, building materials and ceramics. The list will be combined with a benchmarking selection to be finalised next year, which will provide free permits to the 10% most efficient installations in each trade-exposed sector. Less efficient installations will need to purchase 20% of their permits in 2013.

Halt global carbon trade expansion: Friends of the Earth (Reuters, 4 November 2009)

Environment group Friends of the Earth (FoE) is arguing that carbon markets should not be reformed or expanded: the world simply does not have enough time to establish a global cap-and-trade scheme in a way that would avoid dangerous climate change. FoE argues for direct regulation over plants or sectors, taxation, and more government spending on renewable energy.

Climate change negotiations

Climate takes back seat at APEC (Reuters, 11 November 2009)

A draft leaders’ declaration of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum obtained by Reuters indicates limiting temperature increase to 2 degrees, as well as emissions peaking within the next few years (with a longer time-frame for developing countries) and reducing 50% by 2050 from 1990 levels. The declaration would also reinforce an earlier goal of reducing energy intensity by at least 25% by 2030 and boosting trade in green goods and services. Analysts believe climate change will not be a major issue at this weekend’s APEC forum, and it remains to be seen what elements will remain in the final declaration.

Kenya says makes climate effort before Copenhagen (Reuters, 11 November 2009)

Kenya’s Prime Minister Raila Odinga said the country would not wait for Copenhagen, and will explore renewable energy options as well as restore its forest cover, including reforestation programmes and the preservation of the Mau forest. The government will need to relocate 20,000 families living in the Mau forest.

U.S. eyes deal with China on climate change monitoring (Reuters, 10 November 2009)

A top US State Department official, Robert Hormats, told Reuters that at meetings in Beijing next month the US would look for progress on the “internationalisation” of domestic commitments and actions on climate change, both on how these can be recorded, followed-up on, and monitored, “to keep each of our countries aware of what we've done and to categorize what we've done." He also said some clean energy projects may be unveiled, including “green” cars.

Maldives fails to convince peers to go "carbon neutral" (Reuters, 10 November 2009)

A group of developing countries – among the world’s lowest GHG emitters and those most vulnerable to climate change impacts – agreed to “commence greening our economies as our contribution toward achieving carbon neutrality." While the Maldives were looking for all countries to commit to be carbon neutral within a decade, as its President Mohamed Nasheed has, he said the summit at least agreed that “development and green technology or less-carbon development is possible."

EPA head says "proud" of U.S. climate efforts (Reuters, 9 November 2009)

In an interview with Reuters, US EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said that despite final climate change legislation not being passed, she believed that "there is no one who can look at what we're doing and not think that the United States is engaged here." She pointed to progress with moving the legislation through Congress, and independent measures such as fuel efficiency standards and the promotion of renewable energy sources.

Obama will go to Copenhagen to clinch deal (Reuters, 9 November 2009)

US President Barack Obama said he was optimistic that the US and China, along with other large emitters such as Europe and future large emitters such as India, would be able to put together framework for an agreement on climate change that others could then buy into. He also said he was confident Copenhagen could create “a set of principles, building blocks, that allow for ongoing and continuing progress on the issue”. President Obama also said he would go to Copenhagen should his presence make a difference in getting agreement.

G20 makes little progress on climate financing (Reuters, 8 November 2009)

Following heated arguments and debates so intense that a French official said climate change risked not being mentioned in the final statement, G20 finance ministers finally agreed on the need “to increase significantly and urgently the scale and predictability of finance to implement an ambitious international agreement." This was disappointing to some EU officials, who said the EU had a concrete offer and would have liked to reach an agreement.

TIME: Russia is a safe haven for climate deniers (Cop15, 6 November 2009)

According to a story in TIME magazine, Russia will reluctantly sign on to a global climate change agreement, given it benefits from favourable conditions under the current regime. This combined with remaining scepticism regarding anthropogenic global warming and fossil fuel export revenues, may lead to foot dragging. The magazine quotes Elena Chistyakova, Chief Advisor to the Russian parliament’s foreign affairs committee: “Russia will drag out the ratification as long as they can. And if they ratify it, then they’ll drag out the implementation. There’s just no political will.”

China says studying weaker framework climate deal (Reuters, 6 November 2009)

China is currently weighing the possibility that Copenhagen will only result in a framework agreement rather than a legally binding treaty. In this case, China would want to ensure a future negotiations respect the principles laid out in the Kyoto Protocol. A framework deal would also need to reflect elements that have been agreed in principle, such as on technology transfer, funding, and emissions limitations.