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PM warns on power of first-world consumers

PM warns on power of first-world consumers, calls for business leadership

Prime Minister Helen Clark put heavy emphasis on the power of first world consumers to determine our future when she spoke to 60 Business Council executives and their guests on December 7. "The power of consumers to drive demand for sustainable products and services, and bypass those which are produced unsustainably, is a force for change we would be foolish to ignore," she says in these remarks. In answer to a question about whether regulation will be needed to make agriculture reduce emissions, the PM said there is room for leadership and Fonterra, for example, will drive change if the co-operative becomes the point of obligation, responsible for its sector's emissions, under the proposed emissions trading scheme. Her comments on this are here, along with her support for the idea of backing a publicity campaign to promote sustainable investment.

ETS bill emerges

The Climate Change (Emissions Trading and Renewable Preference) Bill has emerged from interim consultation with business and other groups and been introduced at Parliament, along with proposed changes affecting electricity generation from non-renewable sources. Climate Change Minister David Parker's comments on the proposed new law are here. Importantly it provides for a review to protect the country's competitiveness in the light of other countries actions. The Business Council is inviting its members to a December 18 meeting to discuss submissions on the bill. Submissions are likely to close in mid-March. Bill details, background material and submission times are advised at

National firm on need to tackle climate change

National's environment spokesperson MP Nick Smith returned from an International Parliamentary Conference on Climate Change saying in this memo, circulated to all MPs: "We should not kid ourselves we are a world leader (or fast follower) when the UNFCCC reports show our growth in emissions are among the worst of developed countries. Our own house is going to have to be in good order, environmentally, if we are to hold back the protectionist urges of Europe over food."

Media fires pot shots at business groups

Herald on Sunday business columnist Fran O'Sullivan continues her campaign, including attacks over the Business Council's support for carbon pricing in this article, while her counterpart with the bigger circulation Sunday Star Times, sustainability specialist Rod Oram, fires back at the bill's business opponents in this article published on the same day. O'Sullivan's article refrains from mentioning this reply sent by Business Council Chief Executive Peter Neilson in response to earlier articles . Sir Nicholas Stern has also been speaking out further. In this lecture before the Royal Economic Society in a nticipation of the Bali world summit on climate change he says "targets and trading must be at the heart of a global agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions."

Public firm on climate change leadership, emissions trading

The public, meantime, remain firm that the country should be a global leader on climate change and, along with business decision makers, remain supporters of emissions trading and firmly of the view it will encourage businesses to cut emissions, according to this latest result of ShapeNZ nationwide climate change policy monitoring. Interestingly, New Zealand business people believe climate change will result in more - rather than fewer - economic opportunities being available for the country. In response to a request from the New Zealand Climate Change Science Coalition, ShapeNZ also asked New Zealanders directly whether they agreed or disagreed with the view that climate change or global warming is being caused by human activity. Some 76% agree it is (77% of business decision makers), and 13% disagree (13% of business decision makers).

British business leadership on climate change

While business here debates the fine detail on emissions trading, Britain's top employers' organisation has pledged to help combat climate change, saying the issue is an urgent priority for business, government and consumers alike. The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has placed global warming at the heart of its agenda and called for fundamental change in British business. It issues a series of pledges to help companies adopt greener practices. more »

Rudd signs right away

New Prime Minister Kevin Rudd signed the paperwork on December 3 to ratify the Kyoto Protocol, making good on an election promise to overturn Australia's decade-long opposition to the international global warming pact. The China Post reports, the dramatic step just nine days after Rudd was elected looked likely to send Australia's standing soaring at international climate change talks in Indonesia, and to intensify pressure on Washington to join the Kyoto framework. The United States and Kazakhstan remain the only signatories to the Kyoto treaty that are yet to ratify the treaty.

Guide to Australian political parties' energy and climate change policies

Australia's Clean Energy Council has published this "comparator guide" to Australian political parties' energy and climate change policies - and handy reference to what can be expected from the new Labor Government.

Public back tighter vehicle emissions controls, want incentives to dump their dirty cars

This new poll shows New Zealanders are worried about air quality and back the Government's new moves to bring in tougher emissions controls on imported vehicles. more »

China wants to freeze emissions at 2005 levels: Wen

AFP, 21 November 2007 - China will seek to increase cooperation with Asian nations on climate change and will try to freeze its key pollution emissions at 2005 levels, Prime Minister Wen Jiabao says in this report.

'Carbon' import duty proposal fails to impress

A French proposal to impose a tax on imports of industrial goods from countries with less stringent environmental regulations met with scepticism from EU ministers in late November. However, voluntary sectoral agreements to reduce CO2 emissions appear to be gaining favour. more

Urgent Couriers lives up to its slogan

An Auckland courier company says it's living up to its marketing slogan - Faster. Smarter. Greener. The kiwi-owned Urgent Couriers say in this TVNZ story that its operations are now officially carbon neutral, an achievement recognised by Landcare Research.

Want a million dollar job in the carbon market?

Million dollar jobs in the infant global carbon market, which will double in value to $60 billion this year, are standing vacant because of a lack of suitable talent, according to senior recruiters in the industry, reported here by Reuters.

Kiwis worry about air quality and vehicle emissions

New Zealanders are worried about air quality and back the Government's new moves to bring in tougher emissions controls on imported vehicles according to this exclusive national research by ShapeNZ. And while New Zealand was tightening vehicle emissions, Arizona and four other US states have announced plans to adopt California's tougher new vehicle emission standards

Bali launch for EU renewables fund

The European Commission's long-awaited renewable energy fund is slated for a launch in Bali, backed by an expected 100 million Euro (US$148 million) of public money, with hopes of up to 900 million Euros in co-investment.

Termite guts may hold key to better biofuels

The back-end of a termite is an odd place to look to solve the world's energy crisis but scientists believe the insects' guts may hold the key to better and cheaper biofuels. More

New Carbon Standard Brings Integrity and Transparency to Carbon Offsets

The Climate Group, the International Emissions Trading Association and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development have launched this new global carbon offset standard at the London Stock Exchange to increase participation and confidence in the global voluntary carbon market.

Contact confirms binary geothermal plant

Contact Energy has confirmed the company's intent to develop an about 20 megawatt geothermal electricity generation binary plant at Centennial Drive in Taupo. Chief Executive David Baldwin says in this statement that the plant has by resource consents and will take geothermal steam from the Tauhara steam field and produce enough renewable electricity to power nearly 20,000 homes.

TrustPower Ltd and Electrabel sign emission reduction purchase agreement

Electrabel has signed an Emission Reduction Purchase Agreement with the New-Zealand based company TrustPower Ltd. Under the ERPA, Electrabel will purchase 228 000 carbon credits from TrustPower's Tararua II Wind Farm over the period 2008-2012. The Tararua II Wind Farm is an eligible project under the Joint Implementation mechanism of the Kyoto Protocol yielding Emission Reduction Units. Electrabel will use the Emission Reduction Units to cover its commitments under the European emission trading scheme. More

Methane-eating bug

Kiwi innovation is to the fore again. A methane-consuming microorganism that lives in geothermal areas in Rotorua has attracted international attention for its ability to live in extremely acidic conditions, according to its discoverer GNZ science. Meantime, US researchers have developed a method of producing hydrogen gas from biodegradable organic material, potentially providing an abundant source of this clean-burning fuel, according to a newly released study.

The future of insurance looks green

IAG NZ, New Zealand's largest insurance company trading under the State and NZI brands, has released its third sustainability report, called See. The company's commitment to be carbon neutral by 2012 underlies many of the initiatives discussed in the report.

Auckland's Watercare Services Ltd Picks Up Two Engineering Honours

New Zealand's largest wastewater treatment plant received two 2007 New Zealand Engineering Excellence Awards. Using new technology solutions never used before in New Zealand, consultancy Maunsell Ltd designed and engineered the Biogas Cogeneration Plant which is attached to Watercare's Mangere plant, which treats all of Auckland's wastewater. The plan now generates up to 6.776MWe electricity and 8MW(th) hot water from methane gas (biogas) extracted from the digestion process. More

Business Council welcomes 13 new member companies

Another thirteen chief executives and their companies have joined the New Zealand Business Council for Sustainable Development in the past year. The new members are welcomed in this release.


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