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Clean Energy News Vol. 11, Number 41, December 21, 2011

Clean Energy News
Vol. 11, Number 41, December 21, 2011
CE News is a free weekly e-mail publications that features news, information and events related tp clean energy, clean air and climate change. CE News is published by Clean Energy Nepal. For more information on our campaign please visit
•    Though Plans Abound, Sustainable Transport System a Pipe Dream
•    Revival Of Sajha Yatayat: Sajha Buses To Ply Valley Roads In Four Months
•    Village in Nawalparasi Illuminated by Wind Power
•    PM Directs Energy Ministry to Bring Thermal Plants     
•    Tinkune-Suryabinayak Six-Lane Road: Construction of Four Overhead Bridges Begins
•    US Investors Interested to Invest In Solar Energy, Civil Aviation, Telecom: US Envoy
•    Govt Okays Trans-Asia Railway Network Pact
•    Climate Change May Bring Big Ecosystem Shifts, Nasa Says
•    Aerosols Increasing Over India
•    After 40-Year Decrease, Figures Show Rise in UK Acid Rain Pollution
•    Study Finds Link between Air Pollution and Increase in DNA Damage
•    EU Lawmakers Back Plan to Withhold Carbon Permits
•    Russia Slams Kyoto Protocol
•    Link Of The Week
•    Did You Know?
•    Media Watch
•    QUIZ Of The Week #  503
•    Answer Of Quiz Of The Week # 502

Local News
Though Plans Abound, Sustainable Transport System a Pipe Dream
By Pragati Shahi
“A city is more civilised not when it has more highways but when a child on a tricycle is able to move about everywhere with ease and safety.”
The remarks of Enrique Penalosa, who was elected as the mayor of Columbian city Bogota in 1988, aptly capture the significance of an efficient transport system. Indeed, Penalosa transformed the city’s transport system and made the urban areas competitive on several fronts. But Kathmandu has a sorry state when it comes to sustainable transport system that could have made the life in the capital city more fulfiling and hassle-free. 
It is interesting to note that the first Physical Development Plan for the Kathmandu Valley was formulated in 1969, much earlier than Bogota city started implementing the sustainable urban transport system, Bus Rapid Transit (BRT). “However, we lacked leadership to implement the plan,” says Kamal Pande, joint secretary at the Ministry of Physical Planning and Works (MoPPW). B B Pradhan, then secretary at the Ministry of Public Works, Transportation and Communications, had underscored the need to come up with a coordinated plan for the development of Kathmandu and for addressing an array of problems confronting the capital city. Since the launch of the first development plan for the Valley, over a dozen plans and programmes have been formulated with a view to addressing problems resulting from rapid population growth and haphazard urbanisation. Unfortunately, no plans have been able to address the haphazard urbanisation and improve the transport system so far. The National Urban Policy 2007, Kathmandu Valley Plan, Kathmandu Valley Transport Master Plan, Public Roads Act, 1974, Motor Vehicles and Transport Management Act, 1993 and National Transport Policy 2058 were some of the plans formulated for sustainable transport system in the city. “Although we have best plans at hand, they have failed to bring about discernible positive results due to lack of coordination, shared vision and strong political will,” added Pande.
According to Bhusan Tuladhar, the regional technical advisor at the UN-HABITAT, Sustainable Urban Transport (SUT) can be launched in the Kathmandu Valley. Being a relatively small city, which can be easily walked along or cycled through, SUT can be promoted in the Valley. Besides, the success in the operation of electric vehicles such as SAFA tempos and electric cars has added to the possibility of SUT here. “We can also improve the public transport to improve the overall transport system of the Valley,” he said. Meanwhile, since October 2010, MoPPW, with the financial and technical support of the Asian Development Bank and Global Environment Facility, is working on Kathmandu Sustainable Urban Transport Project, a four-year plan that was initiated in 2011. The project launched with an estimated cost of US $ 30.7 million aims to achieve the sustainable urban transport vision of the country. Promotion of public transport, ‘pedestrianisation’, improvement in traffic management, air quality and transport equity are the plan’s short-term goals, while long-term goal include possible establishment of Light Rail Mass Transit System in the capital city.
Plans in the pipeline
Mass Rapid Transit 
The government has selected Chungsuk Engineering Company (CEC) of South Korea to conduct a feasibility study for the proposed Kathmandu Metro, a mass rapid transit (MRT), an underground and elevated railway system, in the Capital. The MRT project is estimated to cover a total length of around 75 kilometres with 27 KM track going around the Ring Road and the rest making up eight lines connecting locations on the Ring Road to the city’s centre. The project plans to start construction from fiscal 2012-13 and complete 50 km of the track in five years. As per the preliminary plan, the railway network in Kathmandu will link Maharajgunj with Lagankhel and Koteshwor with Kalanki with the tracks crossing somewhere around Thapathali or Tripureshwor. The MRT system has been successfully adopted in several cities, including Singapore, Hong Kong, New Delhi, Jakarta and Manila. 
Night-time metro buses
Though the Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) has been mulling over the idea of operating metro buses, the plan has not materialised yet. KMC officials had announced that the office was set to operate few buses from December 15. However, this has not come to fruition although another stakeholder Metropolitan Police Division has assured to provide security to such buses.
Flyovers plan in offing
The Department of Roads (DoR) will be working on project to construct flyovers and underpasses roads at Kalimati, Tripureshor, Thapathali, New Baneshwor and Old Baneshwor by the end of this fiscal year and that it will be completed in five years. DoR officials believe that the construction will ease the traffic system for the next 20 years in the Capital.   
Valley factsheet
Vehicle increase is 13 percent per year
74 percent vehicles are motorcycles
Air quality above limit by 66 percent
Urbanisation rate 2.3 percent
Total population 2.4 m (2011Census)
Source: December 19, 2011
Revival Of Sajha Yatayat: Sajha Buses To Ply Valley Roads In Four Months
By Binod Ghimire

Yageshwor Sharma, 56, was happy when he heard the news about the revival of Sajha Yatayat (SY) last month. The news made him nostalgic and reminded him of the days when he used to have a cozy journey in double-engine azure buses. As long as Sajha Yatayat was in operation, he never took other buses to travel to his hometown Dang, though he had to queue up for hours at the ticket counter. Like Sharma, thousands of people are eagerly waiting for the resumption of Sajha buses that are likely to come into operation soon.

Sajha Management Board, with the government’s support, has intensified work to operate buses under a cooperative model within the next four moths. Putting an end to almost half-a-century of government control, SY has now been transformed into a cooperative with directly elected board of directors from the ordinary shareholders.

According to Kanak Mani Dixit, the newly appointed chairperson of the Board, they are already two months behind the schedule as the search for an ‘ideal’ candidate for the post of chief executive officer (CEO) is on. The seventh annual general meeting of SY in May had mandated the board to resume the service with new buses under a new management after the election of the new board of directors within six months. “We are making another announcement and the operation process will start once we get the CEO,” said Dixit.

SY Cooperative plans to procure around two dozens new buses in the initial phase to operate in the Valley and gradually expand the service to other parts of the country. SY Manager Mahendra Pandey informed that they have already managed funds to purchase 20 to 30 buses. During its heyday in the 1980s, SY controlled 60 percent of the transport routes with 182 buses, and generated up to Rs 0.5 million every day. However, corruption, irregularity, and political intervention put to an end to its four-decade-long glorious history in 2002. It has been completely dysfunctional for the last four years after attempts to bring Kathmandu-Lhasa route into operation turned futile. Meanwhile, Sajha loyalists have urged the Board to maintain financial transparency. “It became the centre for recruiting party cadres that led to its downfall. Present leadership should take this fact into account to revive and maintain its glorious history,” said renowned comedian Hari Bansa Acharya, who is also a member of Sajha Saathi Samuha that advocated for SY revival. Acharya believes that revival of Sajha Yatayat will help ease the problems of public transport in the country. He has also sung a song hailing Sajha buses as the most popular form of transport. Dixit also vows to maintain transparency in the operation of Sajha buses.

source: December 19, 2011
Village in Nawalparasi Illuminated by Wind Power
The people of Dhaubadi village in Nawalparasi district have been using electricity in their homes twenty four hours a day at a time when the country is reeling under harsh load shedding.
Altogether 46 households are using the electricity through Nepal's first Micro Wind-Solar Electricity System. The people now need not go to the forest searching for fire wood or to market for kerosene. Students of the schools in the village have now the opportunity to operate computers, use telephones and watch television.  A 43.6 kw of power was generated from wind and solar at a cost of Rs. 18 million of Asian Development Bank (ADB) assistance. The five-kw wind turbines and two solar PV used here are the first of this kind of technology in Nepal, the Bank said.  The Bank cooperated to assist the 'Energy for all' programme of the government by promoting the renewable energy, said ADB's South Asian Department Director General S. Hafiz Rahman. The women of the village have now been undertaking vegetable cultivation through irrigation, said one Ramesh BK.  Planning Officer of the Alternate Energy Promotion Centre Surya Kumar Sapkota said the technology was used for sustainable operation and a cooperative was also established to run this. The Cooperatives will resolve problems in technology and repair, and will raise electricity tariff. As the community has accepted the ownership, it will run sustainably, said Environment Ministry Secretary Krishna Gyawali. Minister for Environment Hemraj Tated and State Minister Durga Devi Mahato had jointly inaugurated the project on December 16.
Source: December 21, 2011
PM Directs Energy Ministry to Bring Thermal Plants 
By Prem Dhakal
Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai has directed the Energy Ministry to make preparations for immediate installation of thermal plants to reduce the scourge of load-shedding that is expected to go up to 19 hours a day this dry season if not addressed immediately.
Following the prime minister´s directive the Energy Ministry is exploring options to purchase diesel plant of 100 MW. Energy Secretary Balananda Paudel said the ministry is doing homework for purchasing thermal plant. "Thermal plants producing up to 10 MW are available in the international market, but those producing 6 MW seem to be optimal for us," secretary Paudel said revealing that a 100 MW plant would have an installation cost of around six billion rupees. Secretary Paudel said a liter of diesel would produce about 3.65 units of electricity which puts the cost of per unit of electricity at around Rs 25 per unit at the existing diesel price. The high operating cost of diesel plant is bound to put further burden on the financially teetering Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) which sells a unit of electricity at Rs 6.81 on average. Paudel said the government can provide subsidy on diesel and he revealed that the ministry can also talk with industrialists, who themselves run smaller diesel plants at even higher operating cost, to buy electricity at higher rate from NEA. He said NEA will start importing 100 MW of energy from India by March next year which can limit power cuts to 14 hours per day. He said the diesel plants cannot be operated round the clock and running diesel plants of 100 MW for a maximum of 20 hours during the driest times can bring load-shedding down to around 11 hours a day.
Reduction in load-shedding, no doubt, is expected to have positive impact on the economy but energy experts say doing so through thermal plants would have greater negative impact. "We purchased around Rs 74 billion worth of petroleum products last year and that may rise up to Rs 100 billion this year even without operating thermal plants. If we operate thermal plants that would push it much further," an expert said. He argued the government must focus on importing more power from India at a far lower rate than the cost of thermal production by increasing the capacity of the transmission line. He suggested that the government would be better served by providing diesel subsidy to private companies which have around 150 MW of diesel plants than spending a huge capital on installing big thermal plants and also providing diesel subsidy to NEA on top of the capital expenditure. "Bringing thermal plants is the worst option for the government and if at all thermal plants have to be installed it would be far better to hire such plants at a slightly higher rate for electricity than making such huge investment in purchasing plants," the expert insisted.
Source: December 21, 2011
Tinkune-Suryabinayak Six-Lane Road: Construction of Four Overhead Bridges Begins
The government has started the construction of pedestrian overhead bridges in busy intersections of the Tinkune-Suryabinayak six-lane road.
Four overhead bridges in Jadibuti, Lokanthali, Kaushaltar and Gathaghar junctions will be built in the first phase. The Tinkune-Suryabinayak stretch of the Araniko Highway (9.14 km) was widened under the Rs 2 billion grant assistance from the Japanese government, which completed this May. However, the construction of the overhead bridges delayed due to long preparatory work, according to Saroj Pradhan, project manager of the Kathmandu-Bhaktapur Road Improvement Project. The project plans build 15 overhead bridges at various major junctions of the road. “The construction of the first four bridges is targeted to be completed by the end of the current fiscal year,” said Pradhan, adding that they have also sought additional funds for the construction of remaining 11 bridges from the Ministry of Finance. An overhead bridge is estimated to cost Rs 5 million to Rs 6.5 million. According to the Department of Roads, Rs 90 million to Rs 100 million is required for the construction of all 15 bridges. The department said the bridges will not be used for commercial purposes. Pradhan said based on the availability of resources, the construction work will be carried out one after another—from Jadibuti to Suryabinayak. “The Koteshwor intersection, being a major one, will need a separate special design,” he added.
Other 11 junctions are Koteshwor Chowk, Gathaghar, Chardobato Thimi, Shankhadhar Sakhwa Chowk, Balkumari Chowk, Radhe Radhe Chowk, Srijananagar, Sallaghari Chowk, Sangam Chowk, Pandu Bazaar and Suryabinayak Chowk. These junctions are chosen based on predestination movements and accident risks. After the completion of the road widening work in May, traffic congestion in the country’s busiest trunk road linking the northern neighbour China has gone down significantly. The section witnesses an estimated traffic volume of over 80,000 vehicles every day on an average.
Source: December 19, 2011
US Investors Interested to Invest In Solar Energy, Civil Aviation, Telecom: US Envoy
As Nepal is making final preparations to launch two-year long campaign Nepal Investment Years, US ambassador to Nepal Scott H. DeLisi said US investors are showing interest in investing in solar energy, civil aviation, and telecommunications and urged the Nepal government to create conducive environment for foreign investments.
 “Our investors are ready to invest in Nepal in different sectors, mainly solar energy, civil aviation and telecommunications. So, an investment-friendly environment through favorable policies is necessary to lure the investments,” said DeLisi at a meeting with Anil Jha, Minister for Industry (MoI), on Tuesday. A source at the MoI said the US envoy also asked the government to ensure sustainable favorable climate for investment to boost investor confidence in Nepal. DeLisi, who had played a key role in inviting India-based US investors to Nepal for a meeting with the government and the local business community, said more US investment can be brought to Nepal during the upcoming Nepal Investment Years - 2012 and 2013 if the investors feel their investments secure here. He also urged the government to treat all foreign investors equally. Responding to the DeLisi´s concerns, minister Jha assured him of creating favorable conditions for foreign direct investments to Nepal. “We are in favor of ending political transition by bringing the peace process to a logical end so as to create more investment-friendly environment in our country,” the source quoted minister Jha as saying to the US ambassador. He also informed the government is coming up with a host of programs to mark the two-year long investment campaign.
Source: December 20, 2011
Govt Okays Trans-Asia Railway Network Pact
By Prabhakar Ghimire
The government has endorsed the Inter-governmental Agreement on Trans-Asia Railway Network a pact that will enable Nepal to connect the railway lines, which it is planning to develop, with railway networks of Asia and Europe, facilitating uninterrupted movement of people and goods.
The cabinet meeting held last week approved the crucial agreement proposed by the Ministry of Physical Planning and Works (MoPPW) after seeking consent from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), Ministry of Law and Justice (MoLJ) and Ministry of Finance (MoF). Following the cabinet approval, the MoPPW on Monday forwarded the agreement to the parliament for ratification via MoLJ. The ratification was much delayed mainly as the government showed apathy to endorse the pact signed at a meeting of Transport and Railway Ministers of 17 Asian countries in Busan in 2006. "Approval of the agreement is the demonstration of the government commitment to enter into the Trans-Asia Railway Network. This will greatly facilitate movement of people and goods via Nepal to other Asian and European countries," Ram Kumar Lamsal, director general of Department of Railway, told Republica. "We will immediately send the ratification paper to UN once the parliament ratifies it."
If ratified, the agreement will not only pave the way for increasing trade with partner countries in the region, but also facilitate the development of internal network of railway. It was signed in Busan, South Korea under the initiation of UN Economic and Social Commission Asia and the Pacific (UNSCAP). Along with Nepal, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Laos, Mongolia, Nepal, South Korea, Russia, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Thailand, Turkey, Uzbekistan and Vietnam are also signatories to the agreement. Hence, it is regarded as a major breakthrough in the planned development of cross-continent transportation system across the Asia-Pacific region. The inter-governmental agreement is expected to ensure greater connectivity for wider mobility of goods and persons through further link with the 81,000-km trans-continental railway network in Eurasia region. "This agreement is crucial for landlocked countries like Nepal that are facing different problems in transit of goods," added Lamsal. The proposed railway network starts on the Pacific seaboard of Asia and ends up on the doorstep of Europe. It will cover 28 countries, which are the members of UNSCAP, and will provide greater regional connectivity between the two continents," said Lamsal. So far, one and half a dozen countries in the region including China, India, Thailand, Cambodia, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Russia and South Korea - have ratified the agreement. The pact would be effective once at least eight of the member countries ratify it.
Source: December 21, 2011
International News

 Climate Change May Bring Big Ecosystem Shifts, Nasa Says
By 2100, global climate change will modify plant communities covering almost half of Earth's land surface and will drive the conversion of nearly 40 percent of land-based ecosystems from one major ecological community type -- such as forest, grassland or tundra -- toward another, according to a new NASA and university computer modeling study
Researchers from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, Calif., investigated how Earth's plant life is likely to react over the next three centuries as Earth's climate changes in response to rising levels of human-produced greenhouse gases. Study results are published in the journal Climatic Change. The model projections paint a portrait of increasing ecological change and stress in Earth's biosphere, with many plant and animal species facing increasing competition for survival, as well as significant species turnover, as some species invade areas occupied by other species. Most of Earth's land that is not covered by ice or desert is projected to undergo at least a 30 percent change in plant cover changes that will require humans and animals to adapt and often relocate. In addition to altering plant communities, the study predicts climate change will disrupt the ecological balance between interdependent and often endangered plant and animal species, reduce biodiversity and adversely affect Earth's water, energy, carbon and other element cycles. "For more than 25 years, scientists have warned of the dangers of human-induced climate change," said Jon Bergengren, a scientist who led the study while a postdoctoral scholar at Caltech. "Our study introduces a new view of climate change, exploring the ecological implications of a few degrees of global warming. While warnings of melting glaciers, rising sea levels and other environmental changes are illustrative and important, ultimately, it's the ecological consequences that matter most."
When faced with climate change, plant species often must "migrate" over multiple generations, as they can only survive, compete and reproduce within the range of climates to which they are evolutionarily and physiologically adapted. While Earth's plants and animals have evolved to migrate in response to seasonal environmental changes and to even larger transitions, such as the end of the last ice age, they often are not equipped to keep up with the rapidity of modern climate changes that are currently taking place. Human activities, such as agriculture and urbanization, are increasingly destroying Earth's natural habitats, and frequently block plants and animals from successfully migrating.
Source: December 20, 2011
Aerosols Increasing Over India
By T. V. Padma
Aerosols particles or droplets suspended in the air that impact climate by scattering or absorbing the sun’s radiation are increasing across India, new research shows.
The findings by S. Ramachandran and colleagues from the space and atmospheric sciences division of the Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad, were published online last month (20 November) in Atmospheric Environment. Previous Indian studies on aerosols considered India as an entire region or north India as a unit. They also took in just one season, such as winter or the pre-monsoon period from March to May. In contrast, the new research studied aerosols in 35 locations across India and over the summer and winter seasons, from March 2000 to February 2010. Scientists measured the 'aerosol optical depth' (AOD), the degree to which aerosols prevent light transmission by absorbing or scattering it, using data from MODIS (MODerate resolution imaging spectrometer), a key instrument aboard two US remote sensing satellites, Terra and Aqua. They found a rise in annual AOD across 30 locations, while four Trivandrum in the south and Chandigarh, Dehradun and Shimla in the north showed a decline. The trends were higher in west and south India. The annual mean (average) AOD increased by over 40 per cent between 2000 and 2009 in Jaipur, Hyderabad and Bengaluru cities. They rise in AOD over Hyderabad and Bengaluru was attributed to urbanisation, and in Jaipur to increased wind speeds that threw up dust from arid soil.
Similarly, the scientists reported a rise in AOD over New Delhi, attributing it to the burning of fossil fuel and biomass, and an increasing trend in AOD in India’s northeast due to biomass-burning and forest fires. The study found both AOD and rainfall increased in the last decade in most locations.  "Trends in aerosol characteristics on regional and seasonal scales in India, the focus of this study, are important to examine, understand and explain the effects aerosols have on summer monsoonal rainfall, and the inter-annual variations and trends in rainfall," the report said. The seasonal and annual trends in AOD over different locations in India will prove useful in the assessments of regional and global climate impact due to aerosols, the scientists concluded. Jayaraman Srinivasan, chairman of the Divecha Centre for Climate Change and professor at the Centre for Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences at the Indian Institute of Sciences, Bengaluru, expressed some reservations. "The use of satellite data to study trends in aerosols over land is not reliable due to the large uncertainties involved in the satellite retrieval of AOD over land," Srinivasan told SciDev.Net. "One must be wary of mistakenly interpreting noises and biases in satellite aerosol products as legitimate signals in long-term trends analysis," said Srinivasan, who heads a mega Indian research project on black carbon or soot and its environmental impact.
Source: December 15, 2011
After 40-Year Decrease, Figures Show Rise in UK Acid Rain Pollution
The UK Government has revealed a year-on-year increase in the amount of sulphur dioxide emissions, which reverses a 40-year downward trend.
For the first time since the Seventies, official statistics show a small increase in the emissions of the sulphur dioxide of 2.3 per cent between 2009 and 2010. The Defra report blamed the rise on a harsher winter and resulting increases in fuel consumption for heating and electricity generation. However, the release pointed out that emissions of sulphur dioxide had still fallen by 89 per cent between 1990 and 2010, from 3.7 to 0.41 million tonnes. The main source of sulphur dioxide (SO2) emissions is from combustion in energy production and transformation (58 per cent in 2010), followed by combustion in manufacturing industries (18 per cent in 2010). It is these sources that have been the strongest drivers for the long term trend of falling emissions, by switching from coal to gas and improved efficiency. Sulphur dioxide triggers chemical reactions in the atmosphere, which creates acidic air pollution which can cause harm to vegetation and buildings, including as acid-rain. The report reveals the UK is still ahead of meeting current international targets to reduce emissions of sulphur dioxide and are 31 per cent below the lowest goal.
Source: December 16, 2011
Study Finds Link between Air Pollution and Increase in DNA Damage
A study in the Czech Republic has found a link between exposure to certain air pollutants and an increase in DNA damage for people exposed to high levels of the pollution.
They found that breathing small quantities of a polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH), called benzo[a]pyrene (B[a]P), caused an increase in the number of certain 'biomarkers' in DNA associated with a higher risk of diseases, including cancer. Air pollution is a major problem around the world, particularly in urban areas. In attempt to control regional air pollution levels, the EU has introduced legal limits for exposure to a variety of different airborne pollutants. For B[a]P , the EU air quality standard is 1 nanogram per metre3 (ng/m3) as an annual average that has to be attained where possible throughout the EU. To measure the risk of DNA damage and risk to health caused by exposure to chemicals, such as PAHs, researchers sometimes use 'biomarkers' these are biological features that can provide an indicative picture of risk and disease. Previous studies have suggested that 'DNA adducts' can be used as biomarkers to measure exposure to PAHs. These are, in effect, small molecules, such as PAHs, bound to the DNA. Similarly, 'chromosomal aberrations' - structural changes to a stretch of DNA - can be used as biomarkers to demonstrate the effect of some pollutants on DNA. To test whether there was a possible link between exposure to PAHs and the frequency of DNA adducts and chromosomal aberrations, the researchers, supported by the EU EnviRisk and INTARESE projects, examined DNA from 950 police officers and bus drivers in Prague. The participants, drawn from three separate studies conducted over a five-year period, all worked outdoors for more than eight hours a day. Each carried a device to measure their personal exposure to PAHs and DNA was extracted from the participants' white blood cells.
The researchers also tested a new technique for identifying chromosomal aberrations called 'fluorescence in-situ hybridisation', or FISH, which is much more sensitive than previous techniques.The results revealed, for the first time, a significant relationship between exposure to PAHs, the number of DNA adducts and the number of chromosomal aberrations detected using FISH. In particular, PAH levels and the occurrence of the two biomarkers were higher in winter than in summer.
Source: December 19, 2011
EU Lawmakers Back Plan to Withhold Carbon Permits
Proposal will prop up record low carbon prices by withholding 1.4bn permits from the third phase of the emissions trading scheme
European Union lawmakers backed a proposal on Tuesday to allow the European commission to prop up record low carbon prices by withholding 1.4bn permits from the third phase of the EU emissions trading scheme (ETS), sending prices 20% higher. The majority of the members of the European parliament's cross-party environment committee backed changes to an energy efficiency bill that could give the commission the power to intervene in the carbon market it set up, after it misjudged the amount of permits EU industry needed to cover their emissions. The EU ETS caps the emissions of some 11,000 factories and power plants in the bloc, forcing them to buy carbon permits to cover their emissions output. The commission, which oversees the scheme, overestimated the amount of permits the EU's heavy emitters would need to cover their emissions in the period 2008-12, resulting in over-supply.
The supply glut and concerns about the EU economy have driven prices for EU Allowances (EUAs) down by some 60% over the past six months to a record low of €6.30 last week. To try and rectify the problem, the commission will tighten the cap on emissions and auction the majority of permits in the third phase (2013-2020), instead of giving them away for free. Investors and environmental groups renewed calls for intervention, however, saying plans for increased energy efficiency in the bloc would reduce demand for permits, putting more downward pressure on prices. The vote is the first of three ballots that could lead to a cut of 8% in the supply of permits during the 2013-20 trading phase.
Source: December 20, 2011
Russia Slams Kyoto Protocol
Russia supports Canada's decision to pull out of the Kyoto Protocol, says its foreign ministry, reaffirming Friday that Moscow will not take on new commitments.
Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich told Friday's briefing that the treaty does not cover all major polluters, and thus cannot help solve the climate crisis. Canada on Monday pulled out of the agreement initially adopted in 1997 in Kyoto, Japan, to cut carbon emissions contributing to global warming. Its move dealt a blow to the treaty, which has not been formally renounced by any other country. "This is yet another example that the 1997 Kyoto Protocol has lost its effectiveness in the context of the social and economic situation of the 21st century," Lukashevich said, adding that the document does not ensure the participation of all key emitters. The protocol requires some industrialized countries to slash emissions, but doesn't cover the world's largest polluters, China and the United States. Canada, Japan and Russia said last year they will not accept new Kyoto commitments.
Source: December 16, 2011
Link of the Week

   Challenges to Wine-making in a Warming World

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Did you Know ?
Financial Act 2002-2003 decided to collect pollution tax of 50 paisa from a unit of petroleum products sold in the Kathmandu Valley and provide it to EPF, but the provision has not been implemented. MoE data shows around Rs 690 million have been collected till now.
Media and Event Watch
Every Monday 8:30 pm on Nepal FM 91.8 MHZ “Climate Change Mero Bhawisya Mero Chaso”
Every Sunday at 7:30 am on Radio Sagarmatha 102.4 MHz "Batabaran Dabali"
Every Monday at 5:30 pm (re-telecast every Tuesday 11 am) on ABC Television “Climate Change
Every Alternate Friday at 2 PM on ENPHO Hall – “Green Discussion” Organized by Clean Energy Nepal, Nepalese Youth for Climate Action anGrnd Green Youth Network
Every Friday on The Himalayan Times “THT Green Plus”
Environment Cycle Radio F.M.104.2Mhz (ECR FM)
QUIZ of the Week # 503
On average, fossil fuel emissions have risen by .................... per cent each year between 2000 and 2010 three times the rate of increase during the 1990s.
a)    2.1
b)    3.1
c)    4.1
d)    5.1

While sending your answer please mention “Quiz of the week#” in the subject line and please send your answer in

One lucky winner will get a T-shirt with an Environmental Message from Clean Energy Nepal.
Answer of the week # 502
HFC-23 is a byproduct of the refrigerant HCFC-22, which is currently being phased out under the Montreal Protocol for its ozone-depleting and greenhouse gas properties. HFC-23 has a warming potential …………………. times that of carbon dioxide.
d) 1810

Aayush Pokhrel
Sushmita Dahal
Biraj Bastola
Ishori Prasad Sharma
Rahul Ghale
Dristy Shrestha

Aayush Pokhrel is the lucky winner for this week. Please contact the CEN office within a week with your identity card.

Congratulation to the Winner and thanks to all participants.

Prepared by: Suman Udas and Pabitra Basnet
Edited by: Bhushan Tuladhar
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