Last news & crossword blog (By now, running a testing site)

Oct. 1, 2016

New Politics for Clean Energy - Find out about the Low Emission Development Strategies (LEDS) Global Partnership through the Closed Looped Cycle Production in the Americas Program (CLCP) as a driver thread and custom made solution to implement a transition path to achieve a Circular Economy framework approach. The CLCP initiative aims to 'close the loop' by complementing the measures contained in the policy and legislative proposals (eg. Extended Producer Responsibility - EPR and Design for Reverse Logistics - DFRL, other) and to contribute to meeting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) adopted in 2015, in particular, Goal 12 on sustainable consumption and production and Goal 14 on conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development by challenging misconceptions about the global economy.

Efficiency is doing things right, effectiveness is doing the right thing. Peter F. Drucker.


Reference: Opinion

See attached note:

(i) Following a circular economy development path would reduce negative externalities.

  • "Do you have the choice to refuse plastic when buying products such as food, drinks and cosmetics?". The only way to stop plastic pollution is for big companies to move away from single-use plastic! Tell them to invest in the "Circular Economy" business model solutions. 

    The European Commission has presented a global strategy to try to stop the production of plastic waste that floods our oceans... And our bodies. Find here the main measures.

(ii) Decarbonization Not a Risky Business.

(iii) A. Shahrizalia, P. Loganatham et al. Transforming the water sector: National Integrated water resources management plan. Strategies and road map. Volume 1 – Main report. Akademi Sains Malaysia. June 2016.

(iv) Have a look to the latest on SMART-E Project led by The University of Salford in UK on "Sustainable Manufacturing through Advanced Robotics Training in Europe", creating the advanced technologies at the heart of Industry 4.0. #LeanManufacturing

  • A vision for a better future: "For some, a circular economy is a renaming of some very familiar activities, like recycling, going to zero waste or making something useful from waste. That all seems pretty easy to grasp, and once people realise this must be about closing the loop then they get busy with marketing the new label. Unfortunately, this interpretation is incomplete and misses out on the most powerful aspects of the circular economy and its potential to transform the way our economy works. Here's how a circular economy could change the world by 2030." K. Webster

(v) "Cradle-to-Cradle (C2C) is the creation and qualification of a Circular Economy. It allows us to share the present with the future with grace and dignity. It’s really about Quality first and making sure that things are designed to be Safe and Healthy in Biological or Technical Cycles. It’s about ensuring that things are designed to go back to soil safely, or back to industry safely without contaminating each other. That’s the first order of business because if we recirculate poisonous things, it’s even worse." W. McDonough (MBDC)

  • Check out the brand-new Co/Lab, designed by William McDonough + Partners. It's the first commercial Mass Timber building in the D.C. metro area. It includes circular materials that are Cradle to Cradle Certified, which meant the building earned U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) LEED v4 Platinum certification: “We designed HITT’s Co|Lab based on our concept of building like a tree. Instead of just talking about the minimal environmental footprint we talk about beneficial environmental footprint – not just minimizing negative emissions – we talk about optimizing positive emissions.” said WM+P’s founder, William McDonough.

(vi) Regulatory Indicators for Sustainable Energy 2018 (RISE) is a policy scorecard and an important tool to help governments assess whether they have the necessary policy and regulatory frameworks in place to drive progress on the energy transition. It enables governments to measure their performance against regional and global peers. The report can also be used by the private sector to identify investment opportunities for sustainable energy projects, products and services in national markets.

RISE 2018 is the second edition produced by Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP) of the World Bank Group and contains many new features over the inaugural 2017 report, including policy time trends since 2010, a greater emphasis on tracking policies that support enforcement, broader coverage of the heating and transportation sectors, and a pilot assessment of the policy environment for clean cooking in a dozen large access-deficit countries.

Aug. 23, 2016

IPPR analysis says capital will eventually need to phase out diesel cars and buses in order to meet EU air pollution targets.

Diesel vehicles must be banned from London if the UK is to meet its air pollution targets, a thinktank warned on Monday.

Cars, vans and buses using diesel fuel are the leading cause of air pollution in the capital, and although steps are being taken to discourage their use, through the congestion charge and clean air zones, this will not be enough to clear the air, the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) found in a new report.

The number of diesel vehicles on the capital’s streets has been increasing in recent years, according to research published earlier this year.

Any phase-out of the vehicles will be controversial, as many drivers bought diesel cars in the belief that they were better for the environment. Diesel engines produce less carbon dioxide than their petrol equivalents, but they also produce nitrogen oxides and small particles, which pollute the air and can cause breathing difficulties in vulnerable people, such as the elderly and the young, and people with existing respiratory conditions.

More than 9,000 premature deaths a year are caused by polluted air in the capital.

While applauding the measures announced in recent weeks by Sadiq Khan, the recently elected Labour mayor of London, IPPR said it was likely that much more drastic steps would need to be taken if the capital is to meet clean air regulations set out by the EU.

“London’s air is both lethal and illegal,” said Harry Quilter-Pinner, a researcher at IPPR. “This is a public health crisis and it should be ignored no longer. Only bold action will make the capital’s air safe to breathe again.”

He added: “[Our] analysis suggests Khan will ultimately need to phase out diesel cars and buses in order to reach a legal compliance.”

This would require the cooperation of the national government, as the mayor lacks the power to achieve this result alone. The report, entitled Lethal and Illegal, found that under the current air pollution regime, London would fail to meet its legal requirements on air quality until 2025 or later. It is the only area of the UK forecast to take so long to meet air quality standards.

Phasing out diesel vehicles from London’s street would “not be easy” but would “not be impossible”, the thinktank said. The report’s authors called for a new Clean Air Act to be passed by parliament, to counter the uncertainty over whether the UK will adhere to EU air quality regulations after Brexit.

Khan did not say whether he would seek to ban diesel vehicles altogether but stressed his intention to clean up the capital’s air. “Protecting Londoners from our toxic filthy air is an issue of life and death,” he said. “Rather than turn a blind eye to this growing health crisis, it is high time ministers faced up to their responsibilities.”

He said he was conducting a public consultation on air pollution, and urged people to make their views known.

The analysis was backed by Greenpeace and ClientEarth, the activist charity which has taken the government to court on the issue.

Alan Andrews, a lawyer for ClientEarth, said: “An ambitious and bold Clean Air Act is needed for the whole country. It should phase out diesel across the country and accelerate the shift to zero emission transport. This would help our cities clean up their air and achieve legal limits as soon as possible.”

Barbara Stoll, the senior campaigner at Greenpeace, added: “The writing’s on the wall for diesel. We need vital leadership from the government is phasing out diesel cars over the coming years. London can’t stand alone in this fight. We need urgent action from Theresa May and her new team to clean up the car industry, who’ve got away with polluting our streets for too long, and help people make the switch [away from diesel vehicles].”

See attached note:

(i) Cheap and clean - Australian company creates hydrogen with near-zero emissions.

(ii) USEPA Green Vehicle Guide - transportation down the road & federal climate data and reports.

(iii) "Transport is responsible for 32% of the overall CO2 emissions in the Emilia-Romagna region. A project called MHyBus funded by LIFE Programme (ClimateAction), showed that by using a mixture of hydro-methane could help reduce emissions (by 2526 tones) while saving money (419 per year, per vehicle)". 

  • ARENA backs "Project H2GO" – a trial that will inject renewable hydrogen into existing gas networks, for domestic use and storage.  

(iv) Reykjavík, the geothermal city that aims to go carbon neutral in less than 25 years and it includes public transport as well as walking, cycling and waste management initiatives and programs, is as a fact known as a key measure to achieving carbon neutrality. As the capital of Iceland, it has the  Deep Drilling Project which is tapping steam so hot and so pressurized, so its power potential is 10 times that of conventional geothermal wells.

(v) A courageous step to mitigate climate change, Germany votes to ban the Internal Combustion Engine.  Emissions-free passenger vehicles are on the way. Deal with it, auto lobby.#Prost2that #wow

(vi) South Korea will award Costa Rica three more fast-charging stations for electric vehicles, for the time being, CNFL inaugurated a second charging station in San Jose as a legislation initiative would also force state institutions to buy only electric vehicles from 2020. Meanwhile, "CRs-GAM red cabs are going electric" as the Congress approves a new law framework that exempts from the payment of taxes and fees among other policies to eMobility. More Q&As about the new "Electric Transportation Incentive Act" available here, enclosed also a reports findings on a promising renewable future for mobility aligned as the recent fast pace of the "first hydrogen bus that starts in Liberia, Guanacaste" were each load allows travelling 340 kilometres. 

No doubt for the actions taken that China will lead the charge, but it will be quite interesting from the Costa Rican side as a fact get to know the different lessons learned and holistic solutions from the California palestra by lead a systemic process in the global context, having as a possible goal to ban all fossil fueled vehicles after 2040! For now, in the final days of 2017 Shenzhen concluded an impressive transformation of its bus fleet: all 16,359 buses are now electric, the city’s 17,000 taxis are next (63% of them are already electric) and from such experiences know the reason why these technology are hurting the Oil Industry! #FormulaEChampionship

(vii) "Gondola renaissance since 2004" evangelizing at full steam and "driverless technology just moved one step closer to becoming every reality".

(viii) After a year's hard work, leading a great team at WRI, we just launched the new report from the Risky Business Project: "From Risk to Return: Investing in a Clean Energy Economy."  Our analysis finds that the U.S. economy can reduce CO2 emission by 80% by 2050. It's technically and economically achievable using commercial and near-commercial technology. This transition is necessary in order to reduce climate risk to the American economy. ‪Hausker.K 

(ix) Technical Pre-feasibility Analysis of a Mass Transportation System in San Jose, Costa Rica

Sources: The GuardianUSEPAClimateAction


Jul. 18, 2016

Coal Keep it in the ground:

The history of the fossil fuel industry can feel like it is told in complicated deals the public isn’t meant to understand. This is what is happening in Sweden. The government-owned energy company, Vattenfall, is demanding the sale of its coal mines and power plants based in Germany to a Czech company, EPH. The deal includes some of Germany’s largest coal mines – and three of the top 10 most polluting coal plants in Europe. They are going to a deeply unattractive buyer – EPH, a company hell-bent on burning as much coal as possible.

In the next couple of weeks, Swedish prime minister, Stefan Löfven, is facing a stark choice. On one hand, he could approve the sale of the most climate-destroying assets in Europe, breaking his own election promises in the process. Or, he could promote a transition to keep coal in the ground – and support a liveable climate – in an unprecedented decision by a government to keep fossil fuels in the ground. Coal is the most polluting of all fossil fuels, and lignite or ‘brown coal’ is the most polluting type of coal and the greatest threat to EU climate goals.

The deal has implications much wider than just European policy. If it goes ahead, it will give an excuse for countries like Australia and Japan to continue burning coal, multiplying the negative climate impact – and shredding Sweden’s ‘clean’ image in the process.

By selling off these filthy coal assets, they will no longer be on Sweden’s books but the mines will be expanded and the brown coal will be burnt by someone else, imperilling humanity. If you applied this approach to slavery, a trading company would sell their slaves to a more brutal owner to clear their conscience while undermining abolition.

For the last four years, EPH has been buying up dirty coal mines and plants across Europe. It now has one billion tonnes of coal and 5GW of coal power plants.

The company has proved to be faceless, brandless, shareholders-less, unaccountable – and already responsible for 6% of European power sector C02 emissions. EPH exploits the loopholes in the EU climate and energy package, which allows it to keep burning fossil fuels despite European agreements to limit emissions from coal power stations.

Löfven’s sale would put four power plants in EPH’s hands as well as five open cast mines.

EPH says it will expand the mines – something, which all Swedish parties promised that they wouldn’t allow during the elections. The whole deal could add a billion tons of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. This is equivalent to 24 years of emissions from Sweden.

Löfven is hoping the world isn’t paying attention to this deal. But we are. Just last month, 4,000 people shut down Vattenfall’s coal operations in Ende Gelände – the world’s largest ever act of civil disobedience against fossil-fuel burning.

The Vattenfall sale brings to mind the fight to stop the Keystone XL pipeline – a point at which we draw a line in the sand and say no to fossil fuels. This only happened after an unprecedented wave of actions and President Obama saw the writing on the wall. Since then, he has been bold in standing up to the coal and tar sands industry.

A large majority of Swedes oppose the sale of brown coal. The positive global impact of transitioning the brown coal regions away from a business that threatens human survival and towards new cleaner economies cannot be underestimated. Another future is possible. Will prime minister Löfven listen to public opinion and live up to the promises he has made?

  • is joining workers and communities in calling on the Swedish government to stop this sale. You can join too. The next demonstration against the sale will take place in Stockholm on 3 June.

Sources: The Guardian

See attached note:

(i) KICKING GOALS! Sweden's new Climate Act makes it illegal not to prioritise the climate. A climate plan backed by an overwhelming majority in parliament makes the country the first to significantly upgrade its target since the Paris agreement and sets a goal to phase out greenhouse gas emissions by 2045 with the aim to be carbon neutral by written into law.  Read available here, how to decarbonize from nordic experience.

(ii) Dutch electric trains become 100% powered by wind energy. The national railway company, NS, said that its renewables target had been met a year earlier than planned


Jul. 18, 2016

Reference: Shoho ensō