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Climate Change Initiative Newsletter
March 2003 (33)

Table of Contents

U.s. CLIMATE CHANGE ACTIVITY

1. Bush Administration Announces NEW GHG mitigation Initiative

2. US farmers see ethanol as substitute to foreign oil

INTERNATIONAL CLIMATE CHANGE NEWS

3. Czech Republic could earn billions selling pollution rights

4. UK bets on green energy, efficiency to curb emissions

5. Russia urged to rescue Kyoto pact

6. Denmark to invest abroad

7. Business moves to middle ground on Kyoto

8. Japan and Russia eye pact over CO2 emissions reduction

9. Wind power boost in 2002

10. The size of the EU carbon market

11. Coal mine methane fails to ignite UK energy policy

12. CCAP will help EU Accession Countries to Prepare for GHG Market

13. Biomass holds promise for clean energy

14. Climate Plan 2003 implemented in France

15. New concept in Augsburg: BAYERN Regenerativ is now RENEXPO

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1. Bush Administration Announces NEW GHG mitigation Initiative

Washington, DC - Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham and Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs Paula Dobriansky announced that the United States is taking the lead in forming an ambitious new international effort to advance carbon capture and storage technology as way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The two Departments outlined plans for creating the "Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum" which will bring together ministerial-level representatives to discuss the growing body of scientific research and emerging technologies for permanently isolating carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.

Leaders from participating nations are scheduled to hold the Forums inaugural meeting in Northern Virginia in June.

The Forum could also provide an international venue for planning future, multilateral carbon sequestration projects, including the new Futuregen project also announced by Energy Secretary Abraham. Secretary Abraham said the United States will use the opening meeting of the Forum to invite other nations to join the Futuregen initiative.

"We have made remarkable progress in the last few years in understanding the science of carbon capture and storage and in conducting projects that apply our knowledge in real-life applications", Secretary Abraham said. "Research, however, is still in its infancy and because sequestration will likely be essential in limiting global carbon emissions, we need global effort that will marshal the talents and resources available from around the world. The Forum is first step to achieve this."

Carbon sequestration is rapidly advancing area of study that has been singled out by President Bush as one of the most promising approaches for reducing the emission of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. It encompasses variety of new methods for capturing carbon dioxide from the energy plant exhaust or extracting it directly from the atmosphere, then permanently isolating it.

(DOE, February 28)

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2. US farmers see ethanol as substitute to foreign oil

CHARLOTTE, N.c. - As oil prices continue to rise, legislation that would triple U.s. ethanol production was expected to dominate the late February meeting of two major farm groups. Some 3,000 members of the National Corn Growers and the American Soybean Association gathered for an annual meeting focused on U.s. renewable fuels as well as traditional topics such as corn and soybean prices.

Ethanol is distilled mostly from corn and used as an additive for cleaner-burning automotive fuel. It is also seen by some lawmakers as way to stretch U.s. oil supplies at time when crude has jumped above $36 barrel and headed higher in the event of U.s.-led war against Iraq. Fred Yoder, president of the National Corn Growers Association, said ethanol, biodiesel and other cleaner-burning fuels were the best fix for the countrys dependency on foreign oil. The United States imports more than half of its oil supplies.

U.s. farmers want Congress to pass legislation boosting corn-based ethanol use to 5 billion gallons by 2012, more than double last years 2.13 billion gallons. The industry, which is dominated by Archer Daniels Midland Co. (ADM.N), was expected this year to use about 1 billion bushels of corn for ethanol.

Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle, along with dozen U.s. farm state senators, earlier this month reintroduced renewable fuels bill. The Senate passed similar legislation last year with 69 votes, but it ultimately died when Congress failed to pass comprehensive energy bill.

U.s. President George W. Bush has also endorsed legislation boosting the use of ethanol. Soybean growers say their crop could also be used for fuel, if tax incentives were offered to help develop the industry. Biodiesel can be used in its pure form or blended with petroleum diesel to power heavy trucks and other vehicles.

Farmers at the conference also heard from the chief U.s. agriculture trade negotiator, Allen Johnson, who is expected to discuss the European Unions ban on new biotech crops. The Bush administration is mulling whether to file formal trade complaint against the EU for refusing to approve new genetically modified foods. There is broad support among agriculture groups for filing such complaint as U.s. farmers claim to be losing $300 million year in sales to the EU because of its policy. About 70 percent of U.s. soybeans and one-third of U.s. corn are grown from genetically modified seeds. The National Corn Growers will also review its position on the use of bioengineered corn to manufacture components for industrial or medical uses. Both farm groups support tougher federal regulations for these experimental crops to prevent accidental contamination of corn used for human or livestock food.

(REUTERS, February 28)

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3. Czech Republic could earn billions selling pollution rights

Prague - The Czech Republic stands to earn billions of crowns through trading its right to pollute. Under the terms of the Kyoto Accord the CR vowed to cut its 1990 emissions of greenhouse gases 8 % by 2012. It has already cut them 25 %. This means it can literally sell its right to pollute to other industrial countries struggling to meet their Kyoto commitments.

The United Nations Trade and Development Agency UNCTAD has been working on the framework of an emissions trading system for years. The plan has faced stiff opposition from critics, especially environmentalists, who say its simply giving big businesses carte blanche to continue polluting. UNCTAD, however, says the system is intended to help businesses and governments by lowering the cost of reducing emissions.

UNCTAD has said it can see the system beginning with power companies and sulphur dioxide emissions, then expanding to other industrial sectors and other gases. A truly global system - involving all nations and all industrial sectors -- is the goal, but its long-term goal. The Czech Environment Ministry doesnt see emissions trading happening before 2008.

Another possibility would be the addition of an emissions futures market, allowing companies to plan the financing and implementation of emissions cuts. But analysts warn that the existence of market is not enough in and of itself. People must feel that the market is fair and that they will not be cheated.

UNCTAD notes on its web site that private companies worldwide have begun trading emissions, in an attempt to cut their own emissions and to encourage the development of the emissions trading mechanism. Some examples of private sector emissions trading include:

  • BP Amoco: As of 1 January 2000, the company launched group-wide emissions trading system as method of reaching its greenhouse gas target.
  • Centre Financial Products Ltd and the Government of Costa Rica: In May 1997, the US company purchased 1,000 metric tonnes of carbon (the average annual carbon emissions of 900 US cars) in the form of Certifiable Offsets (Ctos) from the government of Costa Rica.
  • Ontario and Star Lake Partnership: Ontario Power purchased almost 90,000 tonnes Co2 emissions reductions generated during 1999 by the Star Lake Partnership.

The Czech Republic will sell its emissions capacity to other countries, and so far, according to the Environment Ministry, Japan, Austria, the Netherlands, Denmark, and Europes biggest producer of greenhouse gases - Germany - have expressed interest. The CR has signed memorandum of understanding on the issue with Austria and others are in the works. Deutsche Bank has estimated the total annual value of emissions trading at USD 60 bn, of which the CR could stand to earn billions of crowns.

(Natsource, Interfax Information Services, B.v. February 20)

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4. UK bets on green energy, efficiency to curb emissions

LONDON - Britain said it plans to curb greenhouse gas emissions by saving energy and boosting the use of renewable technology rather than building more nuclear power stations.

"Weve set this enormously important target of cutting carbon emission by 60 percent by 2050", said Trade and Industry Secretary Patricia Hewitt. "Well do it though energy efficiency, through renewables." she told BBC radio.

Hewitt, speaking ahead of the publication of government white paper on energy policy, said building new nuclear power stations, which do not emit greenhouse gases, would damage the prospects of the countrys renewable energy industry. "What we could have done of course was to say were going to embark on whole new programme of nuclear build now, thats what some people were urging us to do", said Hewitt. "If we had done that we would have destroyed the incentives for energy efficiency and renewables..." she added. "We are not absolutely ruling out new nuclear build forever, I think that would be quite an irresponsible things to do as well", she added.

Nuclear accounts for about 15 percent of the current energy mix but much of the existing capacity is earmarked for closure by 2020. Hewitt said coal, which fuels about 35 percent of the countrys power stations, would continue to play role in Britains energy mix, along with gas. "Coal is an extremely flexible fuel, it makes very good sense to use it as part of the electricity mix but of course it does have to be clean", she said. "And thats why were investing quite substantially in the existing and possible new clean coal technologies." Hewitt said gas, which accounts for about 35 percent of the energy mix, would continue to play key role and the government would need to ensure it secures future supplies from foreign markets.

"Of course great deal of out present and indeed future electricity will also be coming from gas " she said. "And thats why its important that central goal of our foreign policy and our Euorpean policy in future is to ensure that we can get the gas and the oil that we need."

(REUTERS, February 25)

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5. Russia urged to rescue Kyoto pact

Pressure on Russia to ratify the Kyoto protocol is intensifying amid fears in the European Union that Moscow may scupper the agreement to combat climate change by refusing to sanction it. Vladimir Putin, Russias president, promised last year that the ratification process would be under way by now in the duma, the lower house of the countrys parliament, but no progress has been made.

The United States and Australia have already withdrawn their support, putting Russia in crucial position. Its support will make or break the pact. Gerhard Schröder, the German chancellor, and Tony Blair have separately written to Mr Putin in the past two months asking him to act, so far without success. So concerned is the EU about the lack of progress that delegation of the leaders of three countries will be sent to see Mr Putin in March.

Russian doubters about the value of ratifying the Kyoto protocol have organised world climate conference for September 29 in Moscow. This conference is to "re-examine" the science on the issue. Behind the conference are the two scientists who lead for Russia in the climate talks, Alexander Bedritski and Yuri Israel. Both are respected members of the Russian Academy of Sciences, but they apparently believe that climate change might be good for their country. They believe global warming might pep up cold regions and allow more grain and potatoes to be grown, making the country wealthier. They argue that from the Russian perspective nothing needs to be done to stop climate change.

The EU hopes that Mr Putin, having promised that the protocol would be ratified this spring, will bring his reluctant scientists into line. The energy and economic ministries are said to still be in favour of the treaty because they expect to make money out of it.

To try to counter establishment scientists who believe climate change could be good for Russia, report on how the country will suffer will be circulated in the coming weeks. The report, produced jointly by scientists from Kassel University in Germany, Moscow State University and the centre for ecology and forest production of the Russian Academy of Sciences, contradicts the establishment view. It says that previous calculations that more warmth and rain will be bring more crops for Russia fail to take into account regional variations. It says that only 15 out of the 89 administrative regions of Russia provide the rest of the country with much of its food. Under the most likely climate change calculations these 15 areas in the south and west will suffer summer heat and droughts. The number of people affected by these droughts is 58 million. It will rise to 77 million by the 2020s and 141 million by 2070. "The possibility of more frequent bad harvests is threat to Russias food security that should be taken seriously", the report says. Although rainfall is set to increase in much of Russia, increasing river flows and groundwater levels, and incidentally the risk of flooding, the southwest will suffer the opposite. There is already pressure on water supplies because of large withdrawals for cities and irrigation. Lack of rain will reduce river flows even further. The report concludes: "Our findings challenge the belief that climate change will generally benefit Russian agriculture and water resources. Instead they point out how extreme events such as droughts may become more frequent in key areas of Russia and may pose threat to the food and water security of its people."

(The Guardian, February 26)

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6. Denmark to invest abroad

COPENHAGEN - The Danish government has announced plans to invest in environmental protection abroad, in particular in eastern Europe, in order to meet its international climate obligations.

According to forecasts published in December by the European Environment Agency, Denmark is among the European Union member states that will have hard time meeting its obligations if it only takes national measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Liberal-conservative coalition government acknowledged that it would take Denmark longer than expected to reach its Kyoto Protocol obligation to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 21 percent from 1990 levels in the period 2008-2012. It also said it would be more expensive than initially expected.

The government said it therefore intended to take advantage of Kyoto regulations allowing country some flexibility in reducing its own carbon-dioxide emissions if it helps another country to pollute less. Copenhagen stressed that it would not abandon its own national plans to reduce emissions. "It is much cheaper to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions abroad than in Denmark, and the effect on the climate is the same since pollution knows no borders", the Danish ministers of finance, trade and industry and environment wrote in joint statement.

Environmental investments outside Denmark will allow Copenhagen to save two to three billion kroner (269 to 403 million euros, 290 to 434 million dollars) per year. Last month, the government signed framework agreement concerning cooperation with Romania, following similar agreement signed with Slovakia last year. Copenhagen is also currently in negotiations with Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Estonia and Bulgaria.

Denmark and Romania signed Joint Implementation (JI) agreement in January, providing Denmark with 720,000 tco2e worth of carbon credits under the Kyoto Protocol. Environment Minister Hans Chr. Schmidt said that Denmark needs concrete experiences from concrete projects. The price estimates for the credits are at 5.40-8.10 /tCO2e.

(AFP, Pointcarbon, March 7)

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7. Business moves to middle ground on Kyoto

Business support for the Federal Governments hardline position on climate change is crumbling, with the Business Council scrapping its outright opposition to the Kyoto protocol. Despite the move, the Government is adamant it will not officially endorse the protocol and its raft of measures to combat global warming.

After passionate debate that cut across industry sectors, the Business Council of Australia adopted "neutral" stance on the protocol. The councils early opposition to the protocol is said to have influenced the Governments position. But in an earlier speech to conference on climate change, the Environment Minister, David Kemp, confirmed the Government would stand with the United States on climate change against Europe, Canada, Japan and other developed countries.

"The truth is that Kyoto itself will achieve little... the Government has decided that it is not in Australias interests to ratify the Kyoto treaty at the present time", Dr Kemp said. It is not clear whether Dr Kemp was informed of the imminent change in the Business Councils position. While Dr Kemp claims to be on target to meet Australias special target of 108 per cent of 1990 emissions, other assessments show emissions are already 31 per cent above 1990 levels.

The chief executive of the business council, Katie Lahey, said the organisation had previously opposed ratifying the protocol because China, Japan and other big polluters had declined to commit themselves.

But the international dynamics changed at the Earth Summit in South Africa last year, she said. Ms Lahey expects Kyoto to become international law when or if Russia signs later this year. While she said businesses remained divided, she said the challenge had shifted to grappling with the protocols practical challenges such as improving greenhouse efficiency and establishing carbon trading systems.

The Federal Government agrees with supporters of the protocol that global warming is harmful and caused by rising carbon and methane emissions. "The world is warming, and warmer world is going to impact on many aspects of our lives, including our occupations, industries, and the risks we face", Dr Kemp said. But the Government disagrees on whether the Kyoto protocol is the best solution

(Garnaut, SMH, March 1)

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8. Japan and Russia eye pact over CO2 emissions reduction

MOSCOW -- Japan and Russia have reached an accord over the need to conclude an intergovernmental agreement to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions as part of efforts to curb global warming, Russian government sources said.

The sources said the two sides concurred on the need for such an agreement, in line with the 1997 Kyoto Protocol on global warming, during talks held in Moscow in late January between Japans Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry and Russias Ministry of Energy.

Should the agreement be formally concluded, it will mark the first full-fledged transaction on emissions reduction on national level, the sources said. To work toward this goal, the two nations will set up task force of experts and conduct feasibility studies, according to the sources. Japan and Russia have been engaged in preliminary consultations since the Russian authorities initiated the move in June last year, they said.

The initiative will be under the framework of "Joint implementation", which is one of three Kyoto protocol flexible mechanisms. Under the joint initiative between Japan and Russia, Japan is envisioned to take responsibility for construction projects at coal-fired power plants in Russias Sakhalin and Khabarovsk for converting fuel into natural gas, the sources said. As trade-off, Japan would get all the credits for CO2 emissions reductions produced from these projects, they said, adding the project in Khabarovsk alone is expected to reduce CO2 emissions by 1 million tons annually. Russia, for its part, will help Japan operate the projects smoothly through such steps as tax reduction and exemption clauses, the sources said.

The Japanese government, however, maintains that Russias ratification of the protocol is prerequisite for the conclusion of such an intergovernmental agreement.

(Co2e.com, March 3)

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9. Wind power boost in 2002

A record 6,868 megawatts (MW) of new wind power capacity was installed worldwide in 2002, increasing generating capacity by 28% last year, according to new figures released from the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) and European Wind Energy Association (EWEA). Wind power technology worth 6.8 billion ($7.3 billion) was installed globally in 2002, driving total wind power installation to over 31,000 Megawatts (MW), enough to power 7.5 million average American homes (16 million average European homes).

Global wind power capacity has quadrupled over the past five years, growing from 7,600 MW at the end of 1997 to more than 31,000 MW at the end of 2002 - an increase of over 23,000 MW. Wind is the worlds fastest-growing energy source, with installed generating capacity increasing by an average 32% annually for the last five years (1998-2002). 93% of the additional wind power capacity installed in 2002 was in Europe and the United States, and worldwide 90% of capacity is found in those two regions.

This is just the tip of the iceberg; the global wind power market could be worth 25 billion year by 2010. Wind power currently meets 2% of total European electricity demand. That share will increase rapidly as the technology continues to develop, costs continue to fall, and the need to secure and diversify energy supply becomes increasingly evident to decision makers", said EWEA chief executive Corin Millais.

"Wind energy grew by 10% in the United States in 2002, good performance given the poor state of the U.s. energy market and the stop-and-go-and-stop-again policy signals directed at our industry", said AWEA executive director Randall Swisher. "With steady supportive policies, wind power could grow at sustained pace closer to that of Europe, and provide well over 6% of U.s. electricity by 2020."

The lull in the U.s. market was primarily due to the uncertain status of the wind energy production tax credit (PTC), key federal incentive.

Over three-fourths of the worlds wind power is generated in Europe, and the region again fuelled the bulk of last years growthan achievement that flows from steady commitment to developing renewable sources of energy. A total of 5,871 MW worth 5.8 billion ($6.2 billion) was installed in the E.u countries. Total wind power capacity in the region grew 33% to 23,056 MW. The United States added 410 MW ( 10% increase), and Canada about 40 MW.

The countries with most wind power capacity are Germany - by far the largest, with just over 12,000 MW - followed by Spain, the United States, Denmark, and India.

Analysis by the EWEA shows that there are no technical, economic, or resource limitations for wind power to supply 12% of the worlds electricity by 2020. Today wind power supplies approximately 0.4% of world electricity demand. With stronger political commitments worldwide, the wind energy industry could install an estimated 230,000 MW by 2010, and 1.2 million MW by 2020.

(AWEA-EWEA)

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10. The size of the EU carbon market

The EU carbon market could grow from some 1 billion in 2005 to about 7.4 billion in 2007, concludes new report from Point Carbon. - It seems prudent for companies likely to be affected by the EU emissions trading scheme to develop an effective trading strategy and prepare the organisation for carbon-constrained future, noted Atle Christiansen, Head of Analysis, Point Carbon.

This conclusion is based on the combination of mathematical modelling and policy analysis, where amongst others the following aspects have been taken into account: the total volume of emissions to be covered by the scheme; reduction targets; choice of base year; potential participation of new Member States and Third countries; the extent of opt-outs; market turnover ratio; and market liquidity.

Depending on these factors, the EU carbon market could be worth somewhere between 4.2 billion and 8.9 billion in 2007, with 7.4 billion as the mean estimate.

The high estimate is based on inclusion of all covered sectored in the current 15 EU Member States as well as in the potential new members of the EU, and linkages to the emissions trading schemes of Switzerland and Norway. However, there is an opt-out clause in this first period of the scheme, and it is possible that some members, such as the UK and Germany, may use that clause for their energy sectors. The clause can be used if companies are already under regulations with similar emissions reduction targets as the EU emissions trading scheme (ETS), or are part of voluntary schemes.

Even though potential new EU Member States in principle will have to adopt the emissions trading directive, they could ask for transitional arrangements that effectively will delay implementation. Some of the accession countries, e.g. Poland, the biggest potential seller of emissions allowances into the market, seem quite unprepared to take part in the market from 2005.

Thus, the low estimate is based on participation in the market from the current EU members with the exception of UK and German energy industry, along with Switzerland and Norway who are likely to find link to the EU ETS regardless.

The mean estimate is based on participation from Eu15, Slovakia, Hungary and Croatia of the members, and Switzerland/norway.

(Poitcarbon, March 5)

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11. Coal mine methane fails to ignite UK energy policy

LONDON - British pioneers of coal mine methane say by generating power from the potent greenhouse gas as it seeps from abandoned mines they could help the UK reach tough targets for cutting emissions.

But they are battling against record-low power prices with no help from the government, which says coal mine methane (CMM) is not renewable energy source. Cameron Davies, Chairman of the Association of Coal Mine Methane Operators (ACMMO), told Reuters the governments latest energy policy paper offered the industry no concrete support. "Theres no action, its basically just aspirations. Methane is going into the atmosphere now and they (the government) have done absolutely nothing to stop it, and its their gas, their liability through the Coal Authority."

In its strategy paper, published late February, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) recognised CMM as "Legacy to be managed" but said "The longer-term decline of methane emissions mean that CMM electricity generation will not offer significant long-term help to the reliability/diversity of UK energy supplies."

Coal mine methane operators say some 1,000 abandoned mines will expel minimum of 600,000 tonnes of methane year for the next 50 to 100 years. And the white paper which set out energy strategy for the next 50 years said: "Methane is significantly more damaging to the environment in terms of its global warming potential than carbon dioxide."

But DTI spokesman said CMM was not renewable energy source because it was derived from fossil fuel and that it did not qualify for green energy subsidies. Davies said CMM could contribute around one tenth of the governments self-imposed renewables share target but that without government funding and under current market conditions CMM exploitation was uneconomic. The government said CMM projects could qualify for funding through European Emissions Trading Scheme, but the DTI spokesman said that was "still some time off."

Davies said: "What we need is help now. Its ridiculous, there are operating coal mines which are subsidised (for burning methane). We are capturing gas emissions from abandoned mines and getting absolutely nothing."

(REUTERS, March 6)

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12. CCAP will help EU Accession Countries to Prepare for GHG Market

Brussels: The Center for Clean Air Policy (CCAP) has been asked by the European Commission to help accession countries prepare for participation in the Eu-wide greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions trading scheme, which is due to begin in 2005.

The Washington-based environmental think tank is to organise series of workshops between April and June this year in Slovenia, Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. Representatives from government, industry, non-governmental organisations and academia will be invited to participate.

These eight countries alongside Cyprus and Malta are due to join the currently 15 nation European Union next year. Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey are also looking to join the EU.

As result of this training in the principles of emissions trading and the details of the proposed EU scheme, it is hoped the participants will be better placed to develop the domestic institutions needed to participate effectively in the new market, the CCAP says.

Representatives from other accession countries will also be invited to take part in the workshops and one-day 'Expert group' meeting to discuss some of the more complex issues will be held in the autumn.

As part of the project, CCAP will develop 'blueprint' of decisions and actions necessary for accession countries to participate effectively in the EU GHG market and prepare report on the outstanding needs of these countries.

(March 7)

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13. Biomass holds promise for clean energy

Biomass has come into the spotlight as clean energy source as the nation seeks ways to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide it emits in accordance with the Kyoto Protocol on global warming. Japan lags behind many Western countries in the area, but numerous projects have been initiated to develop technologies to promote the use of biomass in everyday life.

According to study by Kyoto University researcher, the amount of biomass stocked unused in the nation is 77 million tons per year, and 7 to 10 percent of fossil fuel will be replaced with it if it is effectively used.

In December, the government adopted the Biomass Nippon Strategy, the nations first action plan to develop the sector. The government set 78 goals to promote the biomass industry and predicts market potential of about 260 billion yen as of 2010. The goals include the streamlining of administrative procedures to build eco-generation plants and the testing of the quality of vehicle fuels made from biomass.

According to the national strategy report, about 80 percent of 91 million tons of livestock waste per year could be converted to fertilizer. However, livestock waste is also potential resource to produce biogas for electrical power and heat generation. Less than 10 percent of 19 million tons of biodegradable waste currently is used as feed or fertilizer, while the rest is apparently incinerated. The amount of paper consumed annually is about 31 million tons, but 14 million tons is incinerated, according to an advisory panel on the national strategy.

The municipal government of Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture, began research project with Sumitomo Heavy Industry Co., Ltd., last year to produce vehicle fuel from methane gas by processing biodegradable garbage, which forms 80 percent of the citys 147,000 tons of waste per year.

Research into the creation of biogas from garbage has also been conducted in other areas in the nation. Garbage was selectively collected from specific facilities, such as restaurants, hotels and schools, that produce large amounts of food waste.

As individual efforts, farmers have been building small plants on their farms to produce biogas from livestock waste. According to Mamoru Kuwabara, farmer, the cost of building plant that can process the waste of two cows per day is about 400,000 yen, but to build plant for 100 cows costs about 50 million yen. Kuwabara said: "In Japan, such plants cost too much to build. Im afraid itll be barrier in promoting biomass use. To solve the problem, biomass issues should be discussed under the greater framework of economic, energy, agricultural and forestry policies."

(Yomiuri)

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14. Climate Plan 2003 implemented in France

The French Government announced on 25th of February 2003, the implementation of reinforced Action Plan against climate change called "PLAN CLIMAT 2003".

This Plan aims at stabilizing the French Grennhouse Gas Emissions in 2008-2012, thus being in line with the internal agreement of the European Union on the implementation of the Kyoto Protocol.

The Plan will be within the frame of the PNLCC, the National Programme for Tackling Climate Change, which was approved by the government in January 2000, and builds on the first set of measures to respect the Kyoto Protocol. The "PLAN CLIMAT 2003" will actualize the PNLCC measures and will set up new ones to accelerate Grennhouse Gas Emissions reductions beyond 2012 and aims to reach 75% emissions reduction by 2050.

This new Plan will particularly focus on the Transport and Building sectors whose emissions rose respectively to 22% and 14% en 2001 in comparison to 1990 while the reduction of french emissions globally counted for 2.8% for the same period.

This Plan should be approved by the Government in November 2003, and its results will be published and evaluated on regular basis.

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15. New concept in Augsburg: BAYERN Regenerativ is now RENEXPO

In the past few years, the Environmental capital of Bavaria - Augsburg - has become one of the most important European locations for fairs and conferences for regenerative energy and energy-efficient construction & renovation. From 27-29 June 2003 this development will be underscored when RENEXPO moves from Berlin to Augsburg and joins forces with BAYERN Regenerativ.

A new strategic concept focuses on the 3 main topics of Regenerative energy, Energy-efficient construction and renovation, and clean energy solution center. There is incredible economic growth potential here. The development of the industry is entering more new markets in western, southern and eastern Europe.

The renovation days and the passive house expo are picking up where the successful concept of the previous year left off. Building with wood and solar construction are new special topics.

Numerous German and European trade organizations, research institutions, academies and organizations are supporting the event.

6,000 visitors and 200 exhibitors are expected during the three fair days in Augsburg. Both specialists and consumers are to be addressed.

At the same time, the conference on Friday and Saturday will be providing the latest information on Regenerative energy and energy-efficient construction and renovation. It will allow the 500 participants to exchange knowledge comprehensively.

The Center of Environmental Competence in Augsburg-schwaben (KUMAS) is one of the most important local cooperation partners of RENEXPO. KUMAS polls and networks environmental competence in the region of Augsburg-schwaben and sees RENEXPO as crucial project that will send signal far beyond the borders of Bavaria.

Contact and information:

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