Biking is booming globally

La Vie Vélo - Courrier InternationalI wrote a few months ago that vehicles are getting more and more efficient as efforts are being made in the USA, China and Europe. In the conclusion I was noting that it was good news but that more had to be done in biking among others.

It seems to be the case as Courrier International shown last July. Around the world, from Buenos Aires to Hangzhou and from New York to Moscow or Copenhagen, more and more people are biking.

This is good news as bikes are a great solution to many problems that are plaguing our communities : obesity, traffic congestion, energy use and air pollution.

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Cleantech represents 2% of global energy

As Industry Intelligence Inc notes, cleantech is accelerating as the share of solar and wind energy and biofuels took 12 years to go from 0.5 to one percent of the global energy production but only six years to double that.

In 2011, these energy sources accounted for 2.1 percent. The total emissions avoided are about about 800 million tonnes of CO2 emissions avoided, or the equivalent of Germany’s total CO2 emissions in 2011.

So cleantech is booming, and this despite many factors that could prevent a much higher support. It is time to remove the barriers to the start of the cleantech revolution.

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How the EU could go for 30% emissions reduction

Yesterday I was fortunate to attend a conference given by Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet – known here by her initials, NKM –  the incumbent Minister for Ecology and Sustainable Development of France.

Green causes are going forward in France as she is at the top of this most important Minister and I am sure that the many achievements of the Grenelle de l’Environnement are just the beginning for a more sustainable France.

During the Q&A session after the conference, I was able to ask her opinion on how the European Union could go for more ambitious emissions reduction targets.

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A bad omen for the Cancun climate talks

You may not remember it, but the Copenhagen climate talks will be followed by a series of conferences in Cancun, Mexico between November 29 and December 10. Contrary to Copenhagen, little is currently said about the preparations.

And the media aren’t encouraging. To AP : ” In two days of talks, major economic powers discussed ways to move ahead in slowing and coping with climate change, but no one sees a grand global deal anywhere on the horizon “

“(…) no one is expecting or anticipating in any way a legal treaty to be done at Cancun this year.” This situation is puzzling as there are many reasons to act fast and big.

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Siemens’ European Green City Index

Europe is often considered at the forefront of the environmental scene as the EU keeps working on energy efficiency, renewables, biodiversity and other related issues. However not all countries are equal and so are their capital cities.

Siemens published a study – the European Green City Index – which “measures and rates the environmental performance of 30 leading cities from 30 European countries, as well as their commitment to reducing their environmental impact.”

The study evaluates the 30 cities in eight categories: CO2 emissions, energy, buildings, transportation, water and air quality, waste and land use and finally environmental governance.

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Which countries are taking the lead in the low carbon economy ?

AccountAbility in association with the UNEP released their Climate Competitiveness Index 2010. This report analyses the progress of 95 countries accounting for similar shares of greenhouse gases emissions. To the CCI :

” (i)n spite of uncertainty surrounding international climate negotiations (…) One third of countries show promising gains in low carbon economic growth since Copenhagen climate accord.

Change is indeed occuring, and occuring faster and faster as China, the United Kingdom, Spain and many other nations have fully understood that cleantech is the new arms race.

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Are we intelligent enough to prevent climate change ?

I really liked The Revenge of Gaia and have a profound respect for its author, the famous scientist and environmental thinker James Lovelock and this, even if I find him particularly pessimistic.

This won’t change as for his first interview in a long time and after the huge failure of the Copenhagen climate summit, Lovelock believes Humans as a species can’t solve climate change.

Please read the full article as it is a great reflection on climate change and the necessary actions we need to take to address the issue.

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The huge failure of the Copenhagen conference

The Copenhagen climate conference failed in preparing the future of the Kyoto Protocol. This is even more enraging as at first positive signs kept on piling : the United States and  many developing nations proclamed they would act.

I saw it coming as still too many are elected representatives around the world that don’t understand the benefits a strong climate change accord could bring us all in terms of employment and sustainable energy.

I won’t point fingers at any particular country or group of countries as I believe this is a collective failure. In today’s post you will find a selection of links on this event.

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The Copenhagen climate conference explained

If like many people you don’t understand much about the Copenhagen climate conference which begins today, I have some posts that will help you understand what it’s all about. TreeHugger explains in ten points how we could reach a successful agreement and Good also proposed a series of articles : a primer, the introduction,  the … Read more

Follow the Copenhagen negotiations

COP 15 blue logoFor the duration of the Copenhagen Climate Conference – due to prepare the future of the Kyoto Protocol – I added to the sidebar of this blog the Climate Scoreboard proposed by Climate Interactive.

To the graph the business as usual scenario would increase temperatures by 4.8°C by 2100, current proposals would bring increase in temperatures of 3.8°C while we need to limit these increases to less than 2°C. (see why there)

This means that we already did one third of what we need to do. We have less than two weeks to reach an agreement that would allow us to do the two remaining thirds.

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Developing nations to cut emissions

India, the most populated nation and largest democracy announced it would cut its greenhouse gases emissions by 20 to 25 percent by 2020 or 2030. As you can see, the targets are very wide. This happens as China decided to cuts the carbon intensity of its growth by 40 to 45 percent by 2020. CleanTechies … Read more

Europe to go beyond its Kyoto Protocol goals

European UnionThe European Union 15 first members already achieved their Kyoto Protocol goals and will even go beyond. Meanwhile, the 27 members already cut their emissions by 13.6 percent.

These excellent results date of 2007. With the economic recession of the past months, the industrial activity have drastically decreased and thus the emissions and thus slashed even more the pollution.

This is a tremendous success that shows that cutting greenhouse gases emissions is possible with a real political will. If only this could inspire our representatives in Copenhagen in December.

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