Monday, September 30, 2013
New Books: Environmental and Human Security in the Arctic Edited by Gunhild Hoogensen Gjørv, Dawn Bazely, Goloviznina Marina, Andrew Tanentzap (30 Sep 2013)
Sunday, September 29, 2013
Publications: Energizing Hong Kong: A Comprehensive Study of Hong Kong People’s Attitudes Towards Power Sources and Climate Change by Michael E. Degolyer (24 Sep 2013)
DATE: 24 Sept 2013
This survey report captures how Hong Kong people view issues related to energy and climate change, as well as their environmental behaviours and knowledge.The survey is in hope of informing us on how best to approach energy policy deliberation in Hong Kong. Where appropriate, comparisons were made between the current survey’s findings and previous environmental surveys in order to give additional information on how perceptions and behaviours have changed over time. Download full report
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Events: Swedish Clean-Tech Solutions Seminar in Hong Kong organized by Consulate General of Sweden in Hong Kong, the Swedish Trade and Invest Council (Business Sweden), and the Government Offices of Sweden on 9 Oct 2013
9/29/2013 11:16:00 PM air quality , events , green building , Hong Kong , Low Carbon , waste management No comments
Event Date: 9 Oct 2013
Venue: Oasis Room, 8/F, Renaissance Hong Kong Harbour View Hotel, Hong Kong
Contact: Miss Carrie Chan
Telephone: 2521 1215
Business Environment Council is happy to be a supporting organisation of Swedish Clean-Tech Solutions Seminar in Hong Kong which is organised by Consulate General of Sweden in Hong Kong, the Swedish Trade and Invest Council (Business Sweden), and the Government Offices of Sweden. - See more at: http://bec.org.hk/events-current/swedish-clean-tech-solutions-seminar-in-hong-kong#sthash.Cg3MCkJi.dpuf
About the Seminar
Within Hong Kong´s ambitions to transform into a low carbon economy, green buildings, waste management and air quality are key areas that have become more prioritized and gained extra attention. Sweden as a country has a strong brand and is well known for its knowledge and experience when it comes to environmental technology and Swedish companies can provide various solutions. The purpose of this seminar is to further strengthening cooperation within Cleantech between Sweden and Hong Kong.
Ms. Anna-Karin Hatt´s, Swedish Minister for Information Technology and Energy and Dr. Christine Loh, JP, OBE, Under Secretary for the Environment, HKSAR Government, will be the keynote speakers at the seminar. Mr. Mats Denninger, High Representative for the Environmental Technology Cooperation with China, and Dr. William Yu, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, World Green Organisation will also be the co-moderators of the event.
Please visit here for event and registration details.
Beijing Plans Gas-fired Future to Solve Problem (Sep. 28, 2013)
By Jiang Xueqing and Wu Wencong (China Daily)
China will reduce its consumption of coal and gradually increase the use of natural gas during the next few years, according to the Airborne Pollution Prevention and Control Action Plan (2013-17), which was released by the State Council on Thursday.
Total energy consumption is measured in tons of coal, irrespective of the method of generation. In 2011, China's total energy consumption was 3.48 billion metric tons of coal, out of which coal consumption contributed 68.4 percent, while natural gas contributed just 5 percent, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.
In 2012, the country consumed nearly 2.5 billion tons of coal, more than all other countries combined, according to the Ministry of Environmental Protection.
The central government has decided to reduce the amount of coal being burned to less than 65 percent of total energy consumption by 2017, while consumption of natural gas will rise to 7.5 percent of the total by 2015.
The country will employ a number of measures to achieve the reduction in coal use, including increasing the use of non-fossil energy. Coal consumption is expected to decline in areas such as the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei cluster, the Yangtze River Delta region and the Pearl River Delta region, often known as the "three key districts".
Supplies of natural gas, coal gas and coalbed methane will also be increased. Between 2011 and 2015, 44,000 kilometers of natural gas pipelines will be built, raising the annual receiving capacity of coastal-based liquefied natural gas terminals by more than 50 million tons, according to the 12th Five-Year Plan on Energy Development (2011-15).
Natural gas pipeline capacity will rise by 150 billion cubic meters by 2015, covering the three key districts, and urban residents will have priority use of the power generated by the newly added supply.
China's huge coal consumption has resulted in serious air pollution. In Beijing, coal use contributed about 20 percent of a primary pollutant called PM2.5 - particles up to 2.5 microns in diameter, small enough to enter the lungs and blood stream. However, that figure rises to approximately 30 percent if emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide - which can produce PM2.5 during the burning process - are taken into consideration, said Jiang Kejun, senior researcher at the Energy Research Institute of the National Reform and Development Commission.
About 50 percent of the coal burned in China is used for homes, small-capacity boilers and small businesses, according to Chai Fahe, vice-president of the Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences.
"These pollution sources are always close to the ground, and have very poor pollution-control technologies," he said.
Chai emphasized the importance of "efficiency control", or the way the coal is burned, in addition to controlling the total amount of fuel being burned.
Some environmental scientists and industry experts have suggested that the current price of coal - which averaged 565 yuan ($94) to 575 yuan per ton of thermal coal with a calorific value of 5,500 kcal/kg at Qinhuangdao Port by the end of July - is too low and doesn't include the costs of reducing carbon dioxide emissions, controlling air pollution and restoring public health.
As air pollution has become a serious problem in China, and attracted unwelcome attention worldwide, it's inevitable that coal will be replaced by natural gas. However, the low price means major State-owned oil companies are unenthusiastic about exploring for natural gas, said Yang Fuqiang, senior advisor on climate and energy at the Natural Resources Defense Council.
For example, it costs 3.5 yuan per cubic meter to import natural gas from Central Asia to gas stations in Beijing, but the stations can only sell the gas to residents at a government-regulated price of 2.05 yuan per cu m. The loss of 1.45 yuan per cu m is covered by government subsidies, according to Yang.
"Low prices have become a key impediment to the exploration of natural gas. Who would want to invest when it's so difficult to cover the costs?" he said.
Supplying natural gas requires huge front-end investment for large-scale pipeline construction, and costs will increase as the sources of gas become more diversified, especially with the development of unconventional gases, said Zhou Dadi, vice-chairman of the China Energy Research Society.
He said the most significant bottleneck to the supply of natural gas is infrastructure construction, which has failed to keep pace with the rising demand for the fuel.
"This problem has led to a situation where anyone who invests will lose money," said Zhou.
Chen Weidong, chief energy scientist at the Energy Economics Institute of China National Offshore Oil Corp, said he learned from China National Petroleum Corporation that it loses an average 1.4 yuan on every cubic meter of natural gas it imports from Central Asia and an average 2 yuan on every cubic meter of liquefied natural gas.
Although imported natural gas loses money and domestically produced natural gas makes minimal profit, oil rakes in huge profits. It costs less than $50 on average to produce a barrel of oil in China, but each barrel sells at $100, said Chen.
"If the government could raise the price of natural gas to make it profitable, oil companies would increase their efforts to explore for it," he said, adding that China lags behind Western countries in terms of the strategic development of natural gas.
To ensure supplies of natural gas and promote energy saving and the reduction of emissions, the National Development and Reform Commission increased the wholesale price of natural gas for non-residential users from July 10. At gate stations, where trunk pipelines connect with local gas distribution networks, the average price of natural gas rose by 15 percent to 1.95 yuan per cubic meter.
However, the operators of some thermal power plants are worried that the costs of raw materials, facilities and operations will increase significantly when they replace their current coal-fired power- and heat-generating units with natural gas-fired ones.
"It costs 25 yuan per gigajoule to generate heat by burning coal, but almost 70 yuan by burning natural gas. We certainly cannot afford such a big hike in costs. Either the government or the public will have to pay for the transformation," said Du Chengzhang, vice-president of Huaneng Beijing Thermal Power Plant.
Similarly, the fuel cost of generating electricity will also rise to more than 0.4 yuan per kilowatt-hour from 0.25 yuan, excluding expenditure on water, labor and facilities, he added.
According to estimates provided by Du and his colleagues, Beijing's municipal government will have to provide the plant with subsidies of 700 to 800 million yuan per year just to keep it running once it switches to gas-fired power generation units.
"Beginning last year, we paid just 68 percent of the cost of natural gas to Beijing Gas Group. Otherwise, our plant would have closed," he said.
Last winter, the plant sold heat produced by coal-fired units to the local thermal power group for 33 yuan per gigajoule, while heat produced using gas sold for 79 yuan. When the plant jettisons its coal-fired power generating units in 2016, the price it charges for on-grid electricity will rise to 0.63 yuan per kWh from 0.49 yuan. In the end, the prices of electricity and heating for residential users will rise for sure, he said.
"Reform of the price of natural gas is not a one-step process. On the contrary, it should move forward in small, quick steps to avoid damaging sustainable consumption," said energy scientist Chen Weidong.
In the long run, as the pipeline network is expanded to cover more regions, steep rises in the cost of natural gas will cease, according to Zhou of the China Energy Research Society.
"It's just that for now, the cost must rise to allow industry to develop, but it will reach a balanced stage later on. Then we will be able to discuss the possibility of lowering the cost," he said.
Zhao Xu contributed to this story.
New Books: Civil Society in Water Governance in South Asia Edited by N. C. Narayanan, S. Parasuraman, Rajindra Ariyabandu (30 Sep 2013)
Civil Society in Water Governance in South Asia
Edited by N. C. Narayanan, S. Parasuraman, Rajindra AriyabanduDescriptions: Contents:
Publications: Climate Justice: Equity and Justice Informing a New Climate Agreement by Edward Cameron, Wendi Bevins, Tara Shine (Sep 2013)
This paper explores the links between climate change and justice. It establishes why climate change is an issue of justice, analyzes the potential role of justice in the agreement currently being negotiated for 2015, and explores climate justice narratives. This paper is written for climate negotiators, academic institutions and civil society organizations following the negotiations, and anyone interested in the justice aspects of climate policy.
This paper explores the role of equity in the climate negotiations. It establishes why climate change is an issue of injustice by examining the environmental challenges posed by climate change and links those challenges to socio-ecological and economic systems that undermine the rights of people, especially the poor, marginalized, and vulnerable.
The paper then analyzes the role of justice and equity in designing a new climate agreement by looking at how equity has been treated to now in the climate negotiations. It examines several perspectives on key equity issues to highlight those issues that must be addressed in the new agreement.
The paper concludes by exploring the potential of climate justice narratives in mobilizing domestic constituencies of demand for climate action. The authors suggest a variety of constituencies that can use climate justice narratives and how similar narratives have been used in other social movements.
This paper is the first publication of the Climate Justice Dialogue, an initiative led by the Mary Robinson Foundation — Climate Justice and the World Resources Institute. The initiative seeks to develop creative thinking and mobilize demand for a people-centered climate agreement in 2015.For more information:
Events: IGES Side Event at Smart City Week 2013 "Introducing Low Carbon Cities in Asia" organized by IGES on 22 Oct 2013
For more information: http://www.iges.or.jp/en/climate-energy/20131022.html
Saturday, September 28, 2013
Public Lecture by HKU: Marine Biodiversity and Conservation of Hong Kong: Past, Present and Future on 5 Oct 2013
9/28/2013 09:43:00 PM biodiversity , conservation , events , Hong Kong , lectures , marine No comments