Low Carbon News

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Scottish govt launches £70m wind investment fund

on Fri, Nov 05, 2010

Wave power device generates energy off Orkney

on Fri, Nov 05, 2010

Study: Algae biofuels need 10 years of R&D to compete

on Fri, Nov 05, 2010

Energy Biosciences Institute says that sustained R&D is needed to make algae biofuels cost-competitive with fossil fuels.

Is enterprise energy management the new CRM?

on Tue, Nov 09, 2010

Corporations crunch a lot of numbers on a lot of things but businesses, just like consumers, don't have a very good grasp on energy spending. Software start-up ENXSuite today is releasing an updated version of its energy management software, one of many companies trying to bring stricter accounting to costs related to natural resources, including water, waste, and greenhouse gas emissions. ENXSuite, which has some 24 announced customers, competes with start-ups Hara Software, which launched last year, and C3, a still stealthy company with Tom Siebel and Condoleezza Rice on its board. Companies in more specialized areas, such as building management or demand response, are trying to bring better control over natural resources. ENXSuite's software is designed for understanding energy consumption and managing efficiency or sustainability projects. The activity reflects how...

Can the UK learn from Hungary's Green Ombudsman?

on Mon, Mar 01, 2010

On Thursday I went to an event at the Ministry of Justice to hear a talk by the world's first ever green ombudsman, a Hungarian called Dr Sandor Fulop. Officially his title is the Hungarian Parliamentary Commissioner for Future Generations which sounds beautifully sci-fi. His role is to scrutinise legislation to ensure that it doesn't damage the right of Hungarian citizens to a healthy environment. This might sound duller than watching the English rugby team, but was in fact fascinating. The highly entertaining and engaging Dr Sandor made it clear from the outset that he fights for the rights of citizens to a healthy environment. This is far different from the UK's view of an ombudsman who invariably act as honest brokers in disputes. It was also interesting that he has to consider the environmental rights of future generations. This inter-generational responsibility is a whole...

Carbon Disclosure Project aims to 'improve corporate sustainability management'

on Tue, Feb 23, 2010

The latest Carbon Disclosure Project aims to provide companies with improved data to allow them to reduce their carbon emissions.

CO2 certificates to inform used car purchasers

on Tue, Feb 23, 2010

People who are looking to buy used cars could benefit from new certificates which will explain the carbon emissions and fuel efficiency of the vehicle.

Wal-Mart plans to green its supply line

on Fri, Feb 26, 2010

Wal-Mart - one of the biggest supermarket chains in the world - has announced plans to green its supply line.

Report: one in five US jobs to turn green

on Mon, Oct 26, 2009

One in every five US jobs could be green by 2030, according to a major new report published last week by the American Solar Energy Society (ASES) that estimates the emerging energy efficiency and renewable energy (EE&RE) industries could employ 37 million people over the next two decades. The report, Tackling Climate Change, argues that even when the jobs lost from carbon intensive sectors such as coal and oil are taken into account the development of a low carbon economy will deliver a net boost in employment of around 4.5 million jobs. It also warns that failure to develop effective low carbon policies will lead to further job losses as emerging clean tech industries migrate overseas. "If we fail to invest in EE&RE, the United States runs the risk of losing ground to EE&RE programs and industries located in other nations," said the report. While many...

Met Office unveils climate catastrophe map

on Thu, Oct 22, 2009

BusinessGreen.com staff, BusinessGreen, Thursday 22 October 2009 at 15:56:00 Interactive map illustrates dire consequences of four-degree increase in global temperatures The Met Office has today unveiled a new interactive map designed to illustrate the impact of an average rise in global temperatures of four degrees Centigrade....

Consultants outline CRC changes

on Thu, Oct 22, 2009

The Impact of the October changes to the Carbon Reduction Commitment and Energy Efficiency scheme came under the spotlight at a breakfast briefing in London this week.

CA jumps into eco-software market

on Wed, Oct 21, 2009

CA next week will unveil an integrated sustainability suite designed to track carbon emissions, environmental assessments, metering, and compliance to policies in one dashboard. CA calls the suite EcoSoftware and will launch it Monday, according to Christopher Thomas, vice president of energy and sustainability. I ran into Thomas at the Gartner IT Symposium, where the carbon-monitoring software caught my eye. There are other efforts designed to track carbon emissions. For instance, Hara and SAP have various applications and others use metering to measure sustainability efforts. Read more of "CA jumps into eco software market; Plans to launch carbon tracking suite" at ZDNet's Between the Lines. Larry Dignan is editor in chief of ZDNet and editorial director of CNET's...

Where the clean-tech jobs are

on Thu, Oct 15, 2009

General unemployment may be on the rise, but the clean-tech sector should be a bright spot for job seekers, according to a report released Thursday by Clean Edge research. The clean-technology sector was one of the largest recipients of venture capital last year, raising about $3.35 billion in the U.S., according to New Energy Finance statistics in the the "Clean Tech Job Trends 2009" report (PDF). Unlike most reports from research firms, this one is free to download in full. The 29-page report, which also draws on statistics from other organizations such as the Pew Charitable Trusts, includes a plethora of useful information for the clean-tech job hunter, including schools offering green career training, job posting and social media sites dedicated to clean-tech jobs, a list of the largest clean-tech employers, and a list of the best green-tech blogs. Based on the number of job...

Google SketchUp 'plug-in' offers energy analysis

on Wed, Oct 14, 2009

An updated software tool combines energy-use evaluation with Google's 3D-modeling program to help improve building design in its early stages. OpenStudio, a free, open-source tool introduced last year, now integrates EnergyPlus building analysis with Google SketchUp, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory announced this week. "OpenStudio is lauded around our office as one of the most complicated plug-ins ever written for SketchUp," Christopher Cronin, Google's strategist for SketchUp, said in a statement. While Google may see OpenStudio as a plug-in for SketchUp, OpenStudio's creators may instead see SketchUp as an add-on to its simulation program. The NREL, which is part of the U.S. Department of Energy, launched the original version of OpenStudio in April 2008. NREL reports an average of 700 OpenStudio downloads per month. OpenStudio's first version combined a graphical...

Google debuts climate modelling tools

on Thu, Sep 24, 2009

Business will soon have access to a simpler way of assessing how global warming could affect their operations, thanks to a new series of online tools launched this week by Google. The internet giant announced on its company blog that it has teamed up with the Danish government in the run-up to the crucial Copenhagen climate change conference to produce a series of layers and tours for its Google Earth tool that allow users to analyse the potential impact of rising temperatures. The new tools will also let users assess some of the measures proposed for adapting to inevitable levels of climate change. Writing on the blog, Benjamin Kott of Google's green business operations division and industry analyst Jonas Vang said that the company had worked with data from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to show "the range of expected temperature and precipitation...

Climate revenue soars 75 per cent as businesses lead global warming fight

on Fri, Sep 18, 2009

Global revenue at firms providing climate change-related products and services grew by a record 75 per cent during 2008 to $530bn (£324bn), making the fast-growing sector larger than the aerospace and defence industries. That is the conclusion of HSBC's annual review of its climate change indices, which assess the financial performance of firms that provide goods and services designed to cut carbon emissions or support climate adaptation measures. The report found that climate change-related revenue at listed firms has already exceeded the $500bn a year that economist Lord Stern predicted would be generated by the sector in 2050, while the number of people employed in climate-related activities globally has doubled since 2004 to more than 2.4 million. According to the report, there is now "compelling data" to indicate that climate change-related products and services...

World's largest investors demand global climate deal

on Thu, Sep 17, 2009

More than 180 of the world's largest investment firms and pension funds yesterday lent their voices to calls for a global deal to combat climate change to be agreed at the forthcoming UN conference in Copenhagen, signing up to a joint statement signalling their support for a robust international treaty built around binding emission targets and increased investment in clean technologies. The statement, which comes days ahead of a crucial meeting of world leaders in New York intended to revitalise the stalled negotiations to agree a successor to the Kyoto Treaty, is the largest of its kind and has been signed by investors with more than $13 trillion (£7.8tn) in assets under management. Speaking at the launch of the joint declaration at an event in New York, Peter Dunscombe, Chairman of European Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC), said that a robust deal...

One simple solution to the Carbon Reduction Commitment

on Thu, Sep 17, 2009

16 September 2009: This month the Environment Agency is distributing qualification packs to all UK electricity billing addresses with settled half hourly meters.

EU firms insist carbon caps have not damaged competitiveness

on Fri, Sep 18, 2009

The EU's high profile emission trading scheme (ETS) has had "minimal" impact on businesses competitiveness and in some cases has delivered commercial benefits, according to nine of the largest companies affected by cap-and-trade scheme. That is the conclusion of a report carried out by The Climate Group think tank and commissioned by the German Marshall Fund of the United States lobby group, which is likely to be seized upon by US environmental campaigners currently attempting secure support for a proposed US cap-and-trade scheme modelled on the EU ETS. The study, entitled The Effects of EU Climate Legislation on Business Competitiveness: a Survey and Analysis, was based on interviews with executives at blue chip firms that combined account for five per cent of the emissions covered by the ETS. It found that, to date, initial fears that the scheme would damage the competitiveness...

BRE Group signs up to new 10:10 carbon reduction commitment

on Thu, Jan 01, 1970

As part of the BRE Group’s continued drive to cut its carbon emissions, it has signed up to a new voluntary carbon initiative 10:10. In doing so BRE joins hundreds of other forward thinking individuals and organisations from across the country to deliver one goal – to cut 10% of CO2 emissions in 2010. Manager of BRE’s sustainability plan (the S-Plan) Stuart Blofeld commented ‘10:10 will sit very well alongside BRE’s current S-Plan targets. We are currently on track to meet our 2009 electricity emissions target. Signing up to 10:10 will give us the added impetus in 2010 to ensure we don’t take our eye off the ball.’10:10 was launched at the Tate Modern on 1st September and is backed by major national media partners. It is already supported by some of the biggest names in business, the arts, sport and politics.To find...