Satellite launch

On April 8th the European Space Agency (ESA) launched its first mission dedicated to study the Earth’s ice from the polar orbit. The CryoSat-2 satellite will sent new information to improve our understanding of how ice is responding to climate change and what role it actually plays for global climate. It is expected this should help determine the effect of human activity on natural processes.

Such Earth Explorers are launched as a direct response to urgent issues identified by the scientific community and the mission’s objectives are to measure changes in the thickness of the vast ice sheets that cover Greenland and Antarctica and the exact measurement of the variations in the thickness of the relatively thin ice floating in the polar oceans.  Satellites such as Envisat have been mapping the extend of the Earth’s ice cover for decades, but this mission should examine the ever-changing thickness of the polar ice.small_sun.gif

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10.000 € Award for energy projects in sub-Saharan Africa

The POWEO Foundation Award awards energy projects with 10,000 Euros in sub-Saharan Africa. Deadline for applications: September 30, 2010.

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China has taken the lead…

Talking about the Pew study about “who’s winning the race” it appears China really has taken the lead now, even by global perception.

G-20 states have more than doubled their investment in the past 5 years, 90% of clean energy finance came from G-20 members. In China, such investments totaled $34.6 billion, while in the United States it totaled $18.6 billion.factory.gif

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Who’s winning the race?

For the past 20 years, the clean energy sector has continuously grown. Due to the worldwide recession investments have declined about 6.6% in 2009 (163 billion $). The Pew Charitable Trusts has released its report “WHO’S WINNING THE CLEAN ENERGY RACE? Growth, Competition and Opportunity in the World’s Largest Economies” on Thursday, and it predicts a growth of 25% in clean energy investment for 2010 in G-20 countries.

For the first time, China has overtaken the U.S. and now leads in terms of investments for renewable energy projects. The report shows that China invested some 34.6 billion $, the U.S., coming second, 18.6 billion $. China’s administration has made the stratistic decision to become a world leader in the field, and has set some of the most ambitious targets.co2.gif

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Assessing the Role of Microfinance in Fostering Adaptation to Climate Change

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has recently published a new report on “Assessing the Role of Microfinance in Fostering Adaptation to Climate Change” which I would like to recommend to our blog-readers.

This report, authored by Shardul Agrawala and Maëlis Carraro, offers an assessment of the linkages between microfinance supported activities and adaptation to climate change. Specifically, the lending portfolios of leading microfinance institutions in two climate vulnerable countries – Bangladesh and Nepal – are analysed to assess the synergies and potential conflicts between microfinance and adaptation.

Download at http://www.oecdilibrary.org

Efficiency at the core

A new report, the Energy Vision Update 2010 – Towards a More Energy Efficient World, by the World Economic Forum, found that energy efficiency can contribute most towards a new, green energy mix that is affordable. In fact, it concludes that efficiency is at the core of several energy related issues.

The report also finds that energy efficiency seems to be misunderstood in its crucial role and needs some sort of “rebranding” in order to launch its full potential. “Efficiency is often incorrectly associated with sacrifice,” noted Daniel Yergin, Chairman, CERA, Executive Vice-President, IHS, USA.  But in reality efficiency means getting out more of the things we use by improving efficiency and productivity of energy use. It means that  we preserve or even enhance our lifestyle but need less energy due to technical or behavioral innovation. Efficiency can therefore contribute “supply” while at the same time help reducing cost and emissions as well as improving energy security.

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