Will Reading be the European Green Capital 2017?

Rdg CAN!

– Have a well-established record of achieving high environmental objectives.

– Commit to ambitious goals for future environmental improvement and sustainable development.

– Inspire other cities through new ideas, best practices and experiences.

LOGO CE_Vertical_EN_quadri

Will your city be the European Green Capital 2017? The Commission has launched its search for the 2017 European Green Capital. The European Green Capital Award recognises cities that are at the forefront of environmentally-friendly urban living. The..

Read more here: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/europeangreencapital/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Will-your-city-2017_Web-Copy-F01.pdf

“The Swedish government goes against its environmental objectives and increases emissions”

New research has found that At 18 sites, the Swedish government’s actions have led to sharply increased emissions of greenhouse gases. This comes despite their pronounced high climate ambitions. Their talk of leadership on climate change cannot be seen as anything but empty words that have no basis in the actual policy, write the think tank Cogito.

The UN climate panel has now published two new sub-reports; one on the impact of climate change and proposals for measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. According to the IPCC, it becomes increasingly clear that humanity is causing climate change while our chance to meet the two degree target and avoid an escalating climate change is drastically reduced.

The Swedish government has a high tail carriage in climate policy. The government writes in its latest climate bill in 2009 that “the two-degree target is the starting point for the measures now need to be taken” and that “Sweden should show leadership by what we do here at home, at work as well as in the EU and internationally.”

All 18 areas:
1. Government has little ambition and unclear goals for climate policy
2. The Government does not seem acting for sufficient climate goals in Europe
3. The Government conducts not proposed measures from their own climate investigations
4. The Government does not have a roadmap to Sweden without climate emissions by 2050
5. The Conservatives appeared and stopped the proposal to strengthen the EU’s emissions trading scheme
6. The Government sold the surplus of allowances (Offsetting)
7. The Government has scrapped the CO2 tax for cogeneration in industry
8. The Government does not coordinate traffic planning with climate objectives
9. Government approves new traffic construction of Stockholm
10. The Government allows the expansion of airports and supports increased flying
11. The Government will allow Waterfall’s investments in coal power
12. The Government will let the State pension funds to invest in the world’s largest oil companies
13. The Government subsidizes fossil fuel
14. Government betrays the promise of climate finance to developing countries
15. The Government supported oil exploration in the Arctic
16. The Government saw its own regulatory proposals for reduced meat consumption
17. The Government has scrapped the tax on fertilizers
18. The Government does not support the expansion of solar energy and offshore wind

The government does, however, remarkably little to live up to these climate ambitions. Decision after decision leads us in the wrong direction, which means that Sweden will continue to fall in the Climate Action Network’s international ranking of countries’ climate policies.

The green think tank Cogito In its report the Government’s climate black list examined the Government’s climate policy over the past two legislative periods. We can at 18 sites show how the government’s actions resulted in dramatically increased greenhouse gas emissions. It involves direct political decisions but also for failing to take action when the government had the opportunity. Here we present seven points from the report:

A principle for all climate finance within the UNFCCC is that the money should be additional, meaning that they cannot be taken from the aid budget. Despite this all means that the government used to climate-related assistance taken from the regular aid budget.

The Swedish government says it wants to be a leader in climate work but Cogitos report rather show great reluctance to take the decisions needed to achieve climate goals, both nationally and internationally.

Although we have not taken the figures for the emissions from all the locations surveyed, shows our summary to the government’s actions have led to higher greenhouse gas emissions of at least 25 million tonnes in Sweden during the last two legislative periods. This represents almost half of Sweden’s annual emissions.

If we add in all the decisions that affect global emissions, such as the government’s actions in Waterfalls and National Pension Funds, the greenhouse gas emissions many times greater. The talk of leadership on climate change cannot be understood as anything other than empty words that have no basis in the government’s actual policies and Sweden will thus leave the responsibility to solve the climate crisis to other countries and future generations.

via “The government goes against its environmental objectives and increases emissions” – DN.SE.

How Sweden can reduce emissions for real

Published March 28, 2014

How Sweden can reduce emissions for real

Sweden’s emissions of greenhouse gases are increasing instead of decreasing, if we include the aviation and our imported consumption. The government’s response is to hand over responsibility to the consumers. But the government should look at themselves  to reduce Sweden’s carbon footprint both at home and abroad, writes Pia Björstrand and Samuel Jarrick, Klimataktion.

SVT’s newscast last Thursday asked Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt a question that he has never had to consider: Why potray the government continually insures Sweden is a climate model with emissions falling, when our overall impact on the climate is actually increasing?

It is quite correct that Sweden’s emissions, according to official UN statistics dropped by 20 percent since 1990. Partly it’s because Sweden early introduced a carbon tax and invested in heating and more, partly due to emissions of heavy industry moved overseas.

If we instead look at our total consumption, the picture is quite different. Then, total emissions increased by 15 percent during the same period, according to the Environmental Protection Agency statistics from 2012. Increased consumption of harmful climate imported goods and services, electronics, meat, long holidays, etc., have eaten up all climate efforts we made at home.

SVT’s story got the Prime Minister therefore asked whether we Swedes really are living more and more climate-friendly. His response: I think we are largely getting more and more tools that enable to reduce our carbon footprint, but then of course there is also a personal responsibility.

Common political commitment

Fredrik Reinfeldt suggesting that it is up to us consumers to ensure that the carbon footprint is reduced. But it is unrealistic to think that we as individual consumers should be able to do what is needed to meet climate challenges. According to a report from the Nordic Council of Ministers, Sustainable behavior must be promoted by the consistent message that is not only conveyed through information dissemination, but also through other strategies, such as infrastructure, marketing, pricing and social institutions. This calls for a common political commitment to the Swedes should be able to reduce their emissions from consumption.

There is an inconsistency in the government’s climate policy. The goal is to reduce emissions by 40 percent by 2020, where a third of the reduction shall be credited by actions in other countries. The government wants to count on the emission reductions our policies help in other countries, but do not want to take any responsibility for the emissions increases that our lifestyle causes in other countries.

Offensive climate policy

With an aggressive climate policies at home, we can tackle this inconsistency. We propose the following actions:

First Environmental Management across central and local government own procurement, where low carbon footprint given a higher priority than low prices, and where businesses are encouraged to sustainable consumption.

2nd Tax / VAT exchanges where low-carbon goods and services enjoy a more favorable tax treatment than carbon-intensive goods and services.

The third the face of a meat tax, slowing imports of climate-damaging concentrate and reduce the use of chemical fertilizers. Decrease in return VAT on vegetable, locally grown and organic food.

4th Facing a climate tariff on imported emissions heavy goods that provide an economic incentive for producers to shift and consumers to choose climate-friendly goods.

5th Replace consumption driven tax cuts, such as earned income tax credits and interest deductions of investments in climate adaptation and green jobs.

6th Count In international aviation in the national emissions statistics.

7th Let more message than encouraging consumption take place in the public sphere. Limit climate malicious advertising.

Stricter ambitions

The level of ambition needs to be tightened considerably even when it comes to the emissions created in Sweden. The decrease is not nearly as fast as is required if we are to take our justice responsibilities to meet the 2-degree target. Climate science shows that in countries like Sweden would have to be almost independent of fossil fuels in the coming decades about the risks of climate landslides are to be avoided.

The transition should be operated on, for instance through aggressive investment and a conscious use of pension funds for more rapid development of renewable energy sources and energy efficiency among residential and industrial.

If we Succeed the government can reduce both our domestic emissions and the imported emissions, Sweden can be a real role model in international climate policy.

Pia Björstrand and Samuel Jarrick

spokespersons for Climate Action

via How Sweden can reduce emissions for real – Debate – Gothenburg Post.

First ever global assessment of best practices in green growth reveals pathways for success – Regions 20

First ever global assessment of best practices in green growth reveals pathways for success

Category: News

Published on Tuesday, 11 March 2014

R20 is pleased to announce the release of the summary of key findings from the Green Growth Best Practice (GGBP) book, ahead of its full release in June 2014. This summary report was unveiled at the 1st Global Conference on Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE) in Dubai earlier this month.

The Green Growth Best Practice book is the result of an initiative led by the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), and was written by 75 authors in the field of green growth from a variety of organizations, including R20.

Lead authors Christophe Nuttall (R20’s Executive Director) and Tadashi Matsumoto (OECD Senior Policy Analyst), wrote the chapter on National and Subnational Integration that explores approaches to advancing green growth through coordinated national and subnational programs and across government. Several co-authors contributed to this chapter, including Denise Welch (R20’s Director of Research & Technical Initiatives).

By analyzing around 60 specific government programs from different countries and regions around the world, the GGBP makes recommendations for effective green growth approaches, based on the experience of early movers, and provides practical guidance for national and subnational policy planning.

Green growth strategies play vital roles in unlocking synergies between economic growth, environmental protection and poverty reduction, and enabling a transition to an inclusive green economy.

The Synthesis of Key Findings elaborates on nine key actions that enable effective green growth policy:

·      Use well-designed planning and coordination processes;

·      Establish clear visions, targets, and baselines;

·      Undertake robust analysis and balanced communication of the benefits of green growth;

·      Prioritize options and develop credible pathways towards targets;

·      Design policies to address multiple goals and respond to specific market failures;

·      Design public finance instruments to overcome barriers and mobilize private investment;

·      Tap the power of public-private collaboration;

·      Pursue mutually reinforcing action across all levels of government;

·      Build and maintain strong monitoring and evaluation systems.

The report and supporting case studies will also be available in the form of an online “living handbook,” which will feature an interactive interface.

Read the Synthesis of Key Findings here.

via First ever global assessment of best practices in green growth reveals pathways for success – Regions 20.

EU can do better

“What we are presenting today is both ambitious and something that we can afford” President Barroso stated while presenting the European Commission’s proposal on climate change for the EU by 2030.

Its main target is to reduce EU Carbon emissions by 40 percent by 2030. Also two previous cases regarding renewable energy and energy efficiency are not legislated at present. When comparing that to Stockholm’s current 50% slash since 2007 it is absurd to call a 40% reduce in emissions over the next 16 years as “ambitious”

The criticisms from environmental organizations have come in thick and fast.  Both Stefan Löfven (S), and Asa Romson (MP) have demanded in an article that all three goals should be mandatory not a “goal”.

There is every reason to be crital of the EU Commission’s lack of ambition. In the struggle to save the climate, it is not clear that the three goals are better than one.

We must look to be critical and push for more, as the more we do now the better infrastructure we will have to tackle climate change in the future.
 

How can we over achieve?
Renewable energy and energy efficiency is really the only means to achieve the main goal of reducing carbon dioxide emissions. With a functioning emissions offset trading system combined with a carbon tax. We will increase the amount of renewable energy and therefore energy efficiency will take off simply because it will be more profitable to do so. On the contrary, the more goals there are to fulfill. It will make it more expensive and more difficult than necessary to achieve the goal of reducing emissions,

The real scandal of the EU Commission’s proposal is rather than accepting the goal of limiting global temperature increase to two degrees is unattainable and creating a new achievable programme based on three point five global temperature increase. Environmental experts now say that it means that the EU now don’t actually stand behind their goal of limiting global temperature rise to two degrees and are looking into other less relevant methods.

Environment Minister Lena Ek, (C) claims (C) Are washing their hands of their responsibilities and she had a tougher global temperature increase target. However Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard said that no country raised any such requirements.

EU Commission’s proposal will now be discussed by the Government and the European Parliament. But the situation is indeed grim. A few years ago Barroso spoke with a strong voice on the EU to take on a leading role in climate change. Now it has died down in favor of defensive talk that Europe takes its share of responsibility. But it is only reasonable that the EU with its developed countries take the lead and provide more time for poor countries to adjust.

Although there are no guarantees that the big emitters like China would follow Europe if we embarked on a more ambitious climate path.  Are we really left with an alternative?

With climate threat hanging over us, we can hardly afford not to be ambitious.

expressen.se

EU Environment Briefing: ILUC, ETS, Emission Standards and Waste

Brussels Briefing on Environment: All you need to know for the month of October 2013


October 9, 2013 – Environment

In this latest Brussels Briefing on Environment, leading environment journalist Sonja van Renssen provides an overview of the latest developments in the field of EU Environment Policy.

Topics discussed include:

– Indirect Land Use Change (ILUC)

– European Emissions Standards for cars and vans

– Emissions Trading System

– Ban on F-Gasses

– Plastic waste and a Landfills ban proposal

Featuring statements by: Corinne Lepage MEP, ILUC Rapporteur and Jos Delbeke, Director-General for Climate Action at the European Commission.

via EU Environment Briefing: ILUC, ETS, Emission Standards and Waste.

The Power of 10

The Power of 10 is a concept PPS uses to start off a Placemaking process.  The idea is that it’s not enough to have just one great place in a neighborhood- you need a number of them to create a truly lively city or town.  It’s not enough to have only one superior neighborhood in a city- you need to provide people all over town with close-to-home opportunities to take pleasure in public life.  And, it’s not enough to have one livable city or town in a region- you need a collection of interesting communities.

via Project for Public Spaces | The Power of 10.

The Exhibition at the Crystal

FUTURE CLIMATE CHANGE NEWS

Margaret Thatcher: an unlikely green hero? | John Vidal

The former prime minister helped put climate change, acid rain and pollution onto the mainstream political map

Artist Lambert paints Britain's former Prime Minister Thatcher at his studio in Brighton

An artist paints a portrait of Margaret Thatcher. Her 11 years in power coincided with a decade of profound national and global environmental change. Photograph: Luke Macgregor/REUTERS

Margaret Thatcher will be remembered for her short lived “green period” in the late 1980s when she helped put climate change (or global warming as it was then known), acid rain and pollution on to the mainstream political map. Tutored by Sir Crispin Tickell, British ambassador to the UN in New York, she made several dramatic environment speeches..

Jonathon Porritt, head of Friends of the Earth in the late 1980s,

via Margaret Thatcher: an unlikely green hero? | John Vidal | Environment | guardian.co.uk.