After lengthy and volatile negotiations in Durban at COP-17 — the United Nations climate change conference — a deal of sorts was reached in the early hours of Sunday 11 December.
Exhausted negotiators were able to hammer put a last-minute climate agreement that would see both developed and developing nations reduce toxic greenhouse gas emissions, caused mostly by burning fossil fuels.
According to a UN press release, the agreement would see governments adopting a universal legal agreement on climate change as soon as possible, but not later than 2015. The new agreement would not come into effect until 2020. In the meantime, the already lacklustre Kyoto Protocol would be extended by up to five years until the new legally binding agreement is adopted.
By Angelika Pullen, Communications Director, WindMade
Things are moving fast these days at WindMade – the first global consumer label identifying products and companies made with wind energy. In October, we published the first technical standard that sets out the requirements for companies to use the first wind power consumer label. Four weeks later, at an event in New York hosted by the UN Global Compact, we announced the first Pioneer companies that have already signed up to the program.
The WindMade Pioneers include some big names such as Motorola Mobility, Deutsche Bank and Bloomberg, and many others. They have all pledged to source at least 25 per cent of their corporate electricity use from wind power, and many of them will do much more.
Proponents of wind power in Canada got a huge boost of confidence recently when Dr. W. David Colby, the acting medical officer of the Ontario municipality of Chatham-Kent, announced there is no scientific evidence of a link between wind turbine sound exposure and health problems.
Colby, who is also an associate professor at the University of Western Ontario’s Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, said that the topic of wind turbine noise has become complicated because of a huge misinformation campaign.
It’s all happened so fast. A few years ago we used paper filing systems and looked up information in books. Now we have the internet and its wealth of information literally at our finger tips.
More and more wind energy companies are catching on, setting up blogs, Facebook accounts, Twitter feeds. But do we know what we’re doing? Does it have an impact? And is the impact worth the effort?
EWEA’s own blog was set up in 2010, and is updated four times a week. As word has spread, so has our number of readers, which now numbers around 2,500 amonth. Other wind energy blogs include Tuuleenergia from Estonia, and RenewableUK’s blog.
The European Commission must propose legally binding 2030 targets on carbon reductions, renewables and energy efficiency, Eneco, Dong Energy and Scottish and Southern Energy – energy utilities from the Netherlands, Denmark and the UK – have said in a joint declaration.
On 13 December the Commission is set to publish its draft legal proposals on its EU energy roadmap 2050 and an ambitious Second ‘Climate and Energy Package’ must follow, the trio said.
“It is essential to bridge the policy gap between 2020 and 2050 in order to allow the industry to create a sustainable and affordable pathway to reach the EU’s objective of 80-95% carbon emissions reduction by 2050,” their statement said.