Wednesday, 25 April 2007

China to Become World's Biggest Climate Polluter

In 2004, the International Energy Agency predicted that China would overtake the U.S. in 2025 as the largest source of CO2 emissions. Last year they predicted this would happen in 2010.

According to the Independent, China's CO2 emisssions will surpass the United States sometime this year.

Said the UK's special representative on climate change, John Ashton:

"I think what this does is increase even more than we understood hitherto the urgency of the process and the scale of the response needed. It is about a structural transformation of the global economy, from high-carbon to low-carbon, that we need to make together. It is even more urgent than we thought it was."

Monday, 23 April 2007

Sending the Right Signals

It's official. Any home sold in Britain from June 1st must include an official Energy Performance

Certificate. The ratings will assess whether the house has double-glazed windows, loft insulation, and other measures, with the very greenest homes receiving an "A" grade and the very worst getting a "G". Unfortunately, about 70% of Britain's homes would only get a "D" grade without extensive (and expensive) retrofitting. With so little to choose from, experts believe that the energy efficiency rating will not have much effect on home prices in the near term.

So why bother?

Firstly, these information packs are useful because they send a message that energy efficiency matters.

Energy efficiency will become part of the regular vocabulary of builders, estate agents, home buyers and sellers. And that increased awareness will hopefully start to affect how houses are built in future.

The main reason I like these ratings, though, is because they help make the things that drive our energy consumption more visible. If your house is like mine, the gas and electricity meters are hidden in a cupboard or under the stairs. The quarterly utility bill only gives one number and doesn't tell you whether it's poor insulation, an inefficient furnace, or something else that's the culprit for high fuelcosts.

This is important because, while some of the energy we consume is truly useful, some of it is a waste.

Leaving the television on standby doubles its total electricity consumption, without providing any additional benefit. That's money down the drain - and carbon into the atmosphere.

The government-mandated energy ratings are good because they tell us where that energy is going. And that lets us figure out what to do about it.

At Carbon Clear we make a point of helping our customers get the right signals. Our carbon calculators help people see the impact of their everyday decisions, and our corporate carbon audits help businesses identify what's driving their greenhouse gas emissions. Then we provide practical advice and carbon credits from fantastic projects to help you control your carbon impact.

(Carbon Clear homepage)

Monday, 16 April 2007

Report: Climate Change a Security Threat

A U.S. think tank has just published an analysis by 11 retired admirals and generals, arguing that climate change is a "threat multiplier" leading to increased global instability.

The report, entitled "National Security and the Threat of Climate Change" argues that extreme weather conditions could heighten disputes over resources and lead to more conflicts and failed states in weaker countries.

The report's authors call on the United States to commit to measures that help stabilise climate change, and that help vulnerable nations cope with climate change impacts.

Commenting on the report, Marc Levy of Columbia University's Earth Institute said:

"It seems irresponsible not to take into account the possibility that a world with climate change will be a more violent world when making judgments about how tolerable such a world might be.

Wednesday, 11 April 2007

Why We Do What We Do

The New York Times paints a vivid picture of the human impacts of climate change in the Sundarban Islands of India. I encourage you to read it all, but here's a sample:

"Mr. Mandal stood in his yard and pointed to the water. In his mind’s eye, he could still see the two islands that have already sunk into the sea. And there, he said, on what was then the outer edge of Ghoramara, was his old house, and the paddies and the vegetable patch he had cultivated with his own hands. Now there is only water."

Similar stories can be found around the world. Carbon Clear is committed to helping companies and individuals tackle climate change. We will help you calculate your carbon footprint, find ways to reduce your emissions, and source carbon credits to balance out the rest.

At Carbon Clear, our aim is to protect more than the climate. We make it a point to invest in carbon-reducing projects that improve the quality of life in developing countries - helping many of the people most at risk from climate change.

(Carbon Clear Homepage)

Your Carbon Fitness Check

It's April, so those in the know will be getting a financial health check, reviewing their tax and pensions status and hopefully making some needed adjustments.

Why not take the time to get a carbon health check as well? Later posts will go into increasing detail on things you can do to live a control your carbon impact. This post has what I consider the most important advice:

Make changes that will make a difference, and with which you can live.

The fact is that not every change will make a big difference to your overall carbon footprint - installing five compact fluorescent bulbs will reduce the average household's 10-tonne carbon footprint by only one or two percent. On the other hand, some measures that would make a big difference might be hard to live with - giving up meat, for example. What will do both?

Consider relatively easy changes to big items. Take driving for instance. Stopped for more than a minute? Switch off the motor, and save 10% or more on your vehicle emissions. Then go online to or and sign up with a green electricity provider. That's another 1.4 tonnes taken care of. Not a bad start.

If you can't reduce your carbon impact to zero, Carbon Clear is here. We will help you control your carbon impact with an offset package that invests in fantastic carbon reducing projects from around the world.

(Carbon Clear Homepage)

Report: EU Should Auction CO2 Permits

A study produced at Oxford University recommends that companies should have to bid for their CO2 pollution permits under the European emissions trading schem

According to the Financial Times, Robert Ritz's study shows that governments could raise significant revenue and establish a clearer price for carbon by auctioning most pollution permits in the 2008-2012 period, instead of giving 90% of them away for free, as was done for the current emissions trading period.

Light Posting

It's been a busy past few weeks - sorry about the light posting.