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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Climate in Europe in October 2,2008

In today's edition:
  • EU announces next eco-design product priorities
  • EU clinches deal on promoting clean road transport
  • Divided EU wants poor countries to join climate pledge
  • Battery chargers switch to low energy consumption mode
Finally we see some actions toward the goal of green Europe. For once, we see some totally good news. Yeah, there probably could be more but even this way, it's nice. Enjoy!

EU announces next eco-design product priorities

24 October 2008

The European Commission has unveiled a list of ten priority energy-using product groups for which it wants energy-efficiency standards to be established in the next three years.

According to the Commission's plans, adopted on 21 October, the product groups under investigation will be included in the EU's 2005 Eco-design Directive, which defines binding minimum standards for energy performance. The final list includes such product groups as air-conditioning and ventilating systems as well as food preparation and refrigeration equipment.

This is the second batch of product groups to be selected. A first instalment of 19, including heating equipment, lighting, domestic appliances and electric motors, was selected for energy-efficiency standards during the transitional phase following the directive's adoption in July 2005. Eco-design standards are expected to be finalised for five of these by 2009.

The candidates for the list were chosen on the basis of their primary energy consumption in order to select the products that would make the most significant contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Volume of sales and trade in the EU as well as the environmental impact and potential for energy savings were also important considerations.

The EU executive also works on the assumption that no excessive costs will accrue from improving the environmental impact of these product groups, but that no progress can be expected on the market unless either mandatory or voluntary requirements are introduced.

In the meantime, the Commission is calling on industries that manufacture energy-using products to develop self-imposed measures, which are given priority in regulation under the Eco-design Directive if they are deemed to be more efficient.source

My comment:Ok...It's not the first, nor the last time, I'm gonna say it-energy efficience is ESSENTIAL!!! It's actually the easiest way to decrease carbon emissions as well as heat polution and make appliances more economical. Eh, ok, I said it again. Whatever, I'm glad they are working on the issue. I'll say more when I see the final list.

EU clinches deal on promoting clean road transport

23 October 2008

The European Parliament has endorsed a Commission proposal to make public authorities use 'green' criteria, including energy consumption and CO2 and pollutant emissions, when procuring vehicles for public transport fleets.

The proposed directive, which aims to facilitate market-wide introduction of clean and efficient vehicles, received overwhelming support in the vote on 22 October. The directive will require all public and private authorities which contract for public transport to consider the environmental impact of the vehicles they purchase in addition to their price. The operational lifetime costs will be monetised and calculated according to a uniform methodology, which should provide for transparent comparison.

MEPs decided to make the criteria mandatory to all member states but offered them some flexibility as to the details of implementation.

Nevertheless, the vote strengthens the Commission's original proposals, advancing implementation by two years to 2010. MEPs also obtained an increase in the costs related to CO2 emissions, which are to be factored in at a price of at least €30 per tonne, while the EU executive proposed €20 per tonne (EurActiv 20/12/07).

The Commission expects that the high visibility of public procurement will ensure that the directive will have an influence "well beyond its immediate scope". It hopes that business and the private sector will follow by investing in the procurement and development of environmentally-friendly vehicles. The resulting reduction in prices should then bring energy-efficiency gains and a reduction in CO2 and pollutant emissions.

However, the industry has expressed concerns about green procurement measures driving up the purchase, maintenance and operating costs of the whole system. Indeed, the Commission has estimated that including lifetime costs for fuel and pollutant emissions would increase the overall price of a normal bus from around €150,000 to €594,030. It insists that the gap will be made up by improved fuel efficiency. source

My comment: I like this! Seriously, it's too easy to get overwhelmed by excuses and apologies. As for the additional costs-first, I can't believe a bus can cost that much. It's unbelievable, what's so expensive in it? It's like a private plane. Or something like this. Anyway, I don't believe in that additional cost. Sure, there will be some cost in the beginning, but with time, producers will simply find a way to produce cheaper buses. This is the market-way, people claim it works, so I'll trust it this way.

Divided EU wants poor countries to join climate pledge

21 October 2008

EU environment ministers want advanced developing states like China and India to "contribute adequately" to emissions reductions as part of a global climate change agreement next year. Meanwhile, a deal on the EU's own climate and energy package remains elusive following opposition from Italy.

In addition to comparable CO2 reduction commitments by developed states like the US, rapidly developing countries "would have to reduce their emissions by 15 to 30% below business as usual" by 2020 in order for the EU to sign up to a global emissions reductions regime in Copenhagen in December 2009, according to conclusionsPdf external adopted by EU environment ministers yesterday (20 October) in Luxembourg.

Such mitigation efforts by rapidly growing developing states, notably China, would produce significant "co-benefits in terms of reduced air pollution, protection of biodiversity and energy security," and emissions reduction credits obtained through afforestation or anti-deforestation efforts could provide a "major contribution" to reaching the targets, the conclusions state.

Least-developed states could be exempt from any constraints on emissions, while obligations on more advanced developing countries could be met through a variety of mechanisms, including sectoral industry agreements, according to the text.

The conclusions set the stage for discussions during the next major UN climate meeting, scheduled for 1 to 12 December in Poznan, Poland. The talks could become acrimonious, since rapidly developing countries like China, India and Brazil are likely to resist any calls for significant and binding emissions reductions on the grounds that developed states have not only got more financing and technological capacity to cut CO2 emissions, but also assume historical responsibility for the lion's share of existing greenhouse gas emissions.

EU states, meanhwile, have dug their heels in on several divisive points of the climate and energy package, and environment ministers failed to produce any major breakthrough during their talks in Luxembourg.

The UK and the Netherlands, however, are said to support the plans, and Davies is currently touring EU capitals to drum up support for the financing scheme, according to a source close to the file. source

My comment: Hehe, I want to see that happening-China will never sign this. But it sounds good, all right. For me, the most obvious decision is to sign the deal with everyone who wishes to participate and then put severe green taxes on products from not-participating countries. This way there won't be a carbon leakage and countries would be free to chose their destiny.

Battery chargers switch to low energy consumption mode

20 October 2008

Power chargers for a range of devices including mobile phones and laptop computers will have to meet stricter energy saving requirements following the adoption of EU-wide standards on Friday (17 October).

EU member states approved a proposal to improve the energy performance of external power supplies (EPS) that converts power for household and office products such as mobile and cordless phones, notebook computers and modems.

The adoption of the new rules was hailed by EU Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs, who said the measure would "drastically improve the energy performance of external power supplies, which everybody is using together with many household and office products".

The Commission predicts that the proposal will reduce electricity losses related to external power supplies by 30% by 2020, the "equivalent of Lithuania's yearly electricity consumption".

"It is a concrete contribution to reaching the EU's energy efficiency and climate protection targets, while saving citizens' money," Piebalgs said.

Furthermore, the EU executive believes the measure may indirectly lead to energy savings in other parts of the world, as chargers are sold and used worldwide.

The regulation will now be scrutinised by the European Parliament, and is scheduled for formal adoption in early 2009.

The decision was adopted at a meeting of the Eco-design Regulatory Committee, which was created to adopt implementation measures following the adoption of the Eco-design directive in April 2005.

It follows a recent decision by EU ministers to ban conventional light bulbs by 2010 (EurActiv 14/10/08) and another to increase electricity performance of lighting equipment and television 'set-top' boxes (EurActiv 29/09/08).

Further eco-design measures for other product groups are expected in the coming months. source

My comment:Lol, the last part sounds more like a threat than something else. Anyway, me likes. I said already I hate the thing with the light bulbs, but this one is good. Efficience, people!Yay!

1 comment:

Robin the Energy Saver said...

More energy efficient power supplies will definitely help. It might sound like a drop in the bucket but these chargers and power supplies each chew up a few watts of power continuously when plugged in. It really shouldn't be that hard to make chargers that detect when no current is needed, and switch themselves down to a super-low consumption like 1/10 of a watt.

The 5-15 watts most of these black bricks draw, if left in 24x365, works out to 44-131 kilowatt hours per year, which is the equivalent of burning between 16 and 48 kg of coal!


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