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Clean Energy News Vol. 12, Number 30, September 26, 2012

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Clean Energy News
Vol. 12, Number 30, September 26, 2012
CE News is a weekly e-publication that features news, information and events related to clean energy, clean air and climate change. CE News is published by Clean Energy Nepal. For more information on our campaign please visit www.cen.org.np
In this Issue
Himalayan avalanche kills nine climbers
Nepal Avalanche Caused by Recent Heavy Snow Fall: Experts
Government turning to renewable energy in east Nepal
‘Successful’ 1st month for night buses
Road expansion: Government to prove missions’ building code breach
Climate change is already damaging global economy, report finds
Climate Change Deaths Could Total 100 Million By 2030 If World Fails To Act
China consumes more clean-energy-generated power
Most EU city dwellers suffer bad air day

Link Of The Week
Did You Know?
Media Watch
QUIZ Of The Week # 527
Answer Of Quiz Of The Week # 526

News about Nepal
Himalayan avalanche kills nine climbers
23 September, 2012
theguardian 
At least nine climbers have been killed and another four are missing after one of the deadliest avalanches in recent years tore down a Himalayan peak obliterating everything in its path.
One tented camp nearly 7,000 metres above sea level was levelled and a second, 500 metres further down, was damaged. The identity of the casualties on Mount Manaslu, the eighth highest mountain in the world at 8,163m, remains unclear, but they are thought to include up to four Frenchmen, a Nepalese guide, a German, a Spaniard, and an Italian.
Basant Mishra, a police official, told Reuters that the bodies of a German climber and a Nepalese guide had been recovered from slopes of the mountain, which lies about 60 miles (100km) north-west of Kathmandu. "Rescue pilots have spotted seven other bodies," he said. Helicopters were dispatched to the remote area to look for those missing after the early morning accident, but cloud and fog complicated the rescue efforts, Mishra said.
According to Le Parisien newspaper, a source at the French ministry of foreign affairs said, "There were several groups ascending, among them two French groups." Four French climbers are believed to have died, but the ministry has refused to make any confirmations. The Dauphiné Libéré newspaper named three of the missing and presumed dead as Rémy Lécluse and Gregory Costa, who had intended to descend the mountain on skis, and Ludovic Challéac, a guide from the French ski resort of Chamonix. Two French climbers have been flown by helicopter to Kathmandu for treatment.
Organisers of one US expedition said they had received a call from their lead guide on Manaslu saying there had been a large avalanche on the upper mountain in the Camp Three area. Their expedition's team was lower down on the mountain but had moved up to help with the rescue, Gordon Janow of Alpine Ascents said. "[The] weather was good. [It] was a large serac [ice cliff] that fell," he told the Guardian. Glen Plake, a celebrity in the world of extreme sports known for his mohican and boundary-pushing skiing, narrowly escaped the avalanche, according to French website EpicTv. Plake, 48, said he was in his tent reading his Bible when he heard a roar. Within moments, the tent had been carried hundreds of metres down the mountain's slopes. "It's a war zone up here," Plake told the site.
Hundreds of foreign climbers flock every year to Himalayan peaks in Nepal, which has eight of the world's 14 highest mountains, including Mount Everest. September marks the beginning of the autumn, post-monsoon climbing season, which runs through November. Manaslu was particularly popular this year after Chinese authorities restricted access to Cho Oyu, another 8,000m peak.
The deaths will undoubtedly provoke further argument about whether big Himalayan mountains favoured by large, fee-paying or sponsored expeditions are becoming too crowded and too commercialised. Several climbers high on the mountain were aiming to be the first-ever to ascent Manaslu without oxygen and ski down. Two teams with around 20 climbers appear to have been waiting at Camp Three for the weather to clear when the avalanche struck.
Massive snow falls have made conditions treacherous on and around Manaslu recently. Several climbers had expressed concerns over the avalanche risk before heading up the mountain last week.
Dawa Steven Sherpa, a well-known Nepalese mountaineer, said the avalanche might have been caused by heavy snowfall last week. "The incident might have taken place as snow hadn't yet settled properly," he said. Ang Tsering Sherpa, former president of the Nepal Mountaineering Association who has climbed Manaslu several times, said the mountain was regarded as one of the easiest of the 14 peaks that top 8,000m but the accident was not linked to the number of climbers.
"Such avalanche takes place normally if it's too hot or if there is heavy snow fall. Climate change, of course, had some effect but avalanches are uncertain and there is no any exact reason for any one avalanche."

Nepal Avalanche Caused by Recent Heavy Snow Fall: Experts
24 September, 2012
CRI English
Experts in climate change and the changing environment of the Himalayan region said Sunday's avalanche that left at least nine dead and five others missing in northern Nepal was caused by large quantity of soft snow that had piled up since Sept. 14.
"In the past three days, the mercury went on increasing in the Himalaya region and it was so hot in the region and it slowly started melting new snow which were accumulated in the region, resulting in an avalanche," said Dr. Arun Bhakta Shrestha, a climate change expert and member of the International Center for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) Nepal.
Pradeep Kumar Moor, president of ICIMOD and climate change expert also attributed the avalanche to after a disturbance created on a heavy snow accumulated after week-long snowfall in the region for the past one week.
There is always more risk of avalanche in hilly region of Nepal after the region witnessed continuous snowfall, said Moor.
Rajendra Shrestha, senior meteorologist at the Department of Meteorology and Hydrology, said soft snow which formed within a week after heavy snowfall will not be so hard and it can be easily melted after increase in the temperature and disturbance will be created there.
At least nine people including foreign climbers were killed while five others remained missing after an avalanche hit the base of Mt. Manaslu in northern Nepal Sunday morning.
The avalanche fell off from an altitude of 7,400 meters and came down to 6,000 meters, said Aang Tshering Sherpa, member of the Nepal Mountaineering Association. It took place at a time while tourists were taking a sleep in their respective tents at around 4:00 a.m., he said.
So far the police have recovered the bodies of the dead and identified one German citizen, Crispian Hermen, and one Nepalese citizen, Babu Dorje Sherpa. The body of deceased German national has been brought to Kathmandu by a helicopter. About 18 other tourists were injured in the avalanche, most of them from Germany, the police said.

Government turning to renewable energy in east Nepal
By Rohit Rai
25 September, 2012
Republica
In an attempt to better manage the daily solid waste generated by the major cities of eastern Nepal, the government has initiated studies to extract alternative energy through technology that uses accumulated waste.
Alternative Energy Promotion Centre (AEPC), which is under the Ministry of Environment, has already started a formal study of the possibilities of this project in Dharan, Itahari, Biratnagar, Ilam and Dhankuta.
The government´s efforts received a boost only after the World Bank showed interest in the project. "Today, when cities are in need of supplementary energy sources, the success of this project can be very vital. For this reason, discussions are in progres regarding the use of technology promoting alternative energy," said Anupam Bhusal, chairman of AEPC.
In the 16 years since its establishment, AEPC has been promoting renewal energy technology in rural areas. It has installed 270,000 bio-gas facilities in numerous villages.
According to Bhusal, bio-gas created out of solid waste can replace diesel as electricity can be produced from it. Countries like India and Germany have benefited immensely from similar technology, informed Bhusal.
Moreover, the by-product from bio-gas generation can be used as compost fertilizer. "Loads of money being spent on waste management can be saved through application of this technology and the environment will also become cleaner," said Bhusal.
According to Yam Nath Dahal, a bio-gas technician, this technology should be applied at public toilets, land field sites and slaughter houses. Results have shown that 50 cubic meters of bio-gas and two units of electricity can be produced out of one ton of bio-degradable waste. Bhusal informed that the problem of waste management is worse in Itahari and Dharan compared to Ilam and Dhankuta.

‘Successful’ 1st month for night buses
By Samik Kharel
17 September, 2012
The Kathmandu Post 
Despite initial hiccups, the night bus service ‘successfully’ completed its first one month operation in the Kathmandu Valley. Operators say by providing an uninterrupted service to commuters the night bus service has made a world of difference.
They also say its success shouldn’t be measured in terms of commercial value. “The bus users are very happy with the service. We haven’t received any complaint from customers till now,” said Niraratna Newa, Bagmati Coordinator of National Federation of Nepal Transport Entrepreneurs (NFNTE).
Currently, 16 night buses are plying on six routes starting 8 pm. According to bus operators, the night buses are not making income as expected. They, however, say the bus service will continue despite a meagre earning. “The first trip is lucrative than the second trip. On an average, the first trip makes Rs 600-Rs 800 while the second one makes Rs 300-Rs 500. The most successful Chakrapath (Ring Road) route makes around Rs 1,600 on each trip, which is an encouragement to us,” said Newa. “We have to come up with a careful planning to, at least, meet the operation cost.”
Additional routes have been added such as Gangalal Hospital to Galfutar and Jorpati to Nepal Medical College. The route from Bhadrakali to Singha Durbar to Koteshowre will now include the Anamnagar area too.
Metropolitan officials say the night bus service is providing a huge relief to those working at odd hours in particular. Kedar Bahadur Adhikari, chief at the Kathmandu Metropolitan City, said the service has been a successful endeavour. “We have to call it a success because it is still in the initial phase.” “Transport entrepreneurs have been very cooperative. We together plan to make it a long-term service by creating a pool fund, which will be based on revenue sharing.”
The bus operators are planning to construct 25 stations before the Dashain festival. “Right now we have built one model station in front of Bir Hospital. There will be plenty more by the end of this month. We also plan to put a route map containing information and a time card in all the stations and also distribute pocket maps to people,” said Adhikari.
Adhikari said the bus service has been gaining more popularity with the Valley denizens. “The customers are feeling secured to travel by night buses. Night workers use the service on a regular basis. Many of them have discarded their cycles.”
Transport entrepreneurs say the night buses have taught owners of day buses a lesson. “There is a very healthy competition now. Even the day operators are servicing the costumers till late in the evening. Earlier, they used to ply buses till eight. Now we can see some day buses on roads till 10 o’clock. The privately owned buses and micro buses have been showing positive and healthy competition, which is a good news for us and the costumers,” said Newa.
Taxi drivers, however, are not happy with the night buses as they have been trying to disrupt the service. “Some of the taxis even attempt to block our routes saying that the night bus service dwindled their customers,” said Newa.
More plans are in the offing to make the night bus service a popular and draw more passengers. The idea to introduce time cards have been conceived. Operators are planning to round each short route in 45 minutes and long routes in 75 minutes. If things go well, an SMS service will also be unveiled to view the arrival and departure timing of night buses.


Road expansion: Government to prove missions’ building code breach
25 September, 2012
The Kathmandu Post 
The government is all set to write to Kathmandu-based diplomatic mission s and furnish “proof” of its claim that the embassies have flouted construction codes while building their boundary walls.
Government officials said separate letters will be sent to seven missions along with “evidences” and maps of the land they occupy in Kathmandu and thus seek cooperation in the government’s efforts to widen roads. Government agencies concerned are digging into documents at the Land Registrar’s Office to ascertain when these seven diplomatic mission s purchased the land and began building walls and other infrastructure.
The exact picture will, however, come up only after the government officials dig out the evidence to validate their claim. 
The bid to expand roads has hit a snag with the embassies of the US, China, Germany, Japan, Russia, Australia and France objected to the expansion drive along the missions.
All the embassies, except for the German mission in Gyaneshwor, are in the Lazimpat-Maharajgunj-Baluwatar area. “Many of them (missions) complained that they failed to understand the technical clarifications the government made. Now, we are going to write to them again, this time with the evidences and maps,” a senior government official told the Post.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Kathmandu Valley Development Authority (KVDA) are in touch with these diplomatic mission s, said a source privy to the developments.
The diplomatic mission s say they are confused over how much an area they need to part with for the road expansion . “We have decided to send them the maps of the land they are occupying and will ask them to cooperate,” said a government official.
Citing security reasons, some missions like the US have demanded a compensation of US$ 5 million. “The wall across the American Embassy is bullet proof and it is very costly. Even we do not have the expertise to repair it once demolished. But officials at the US Embassy have told us that they have informed the matter to the State Department, seeking funds to repair the wall,” said another informed source at the Foreign Ministry.
Some missions say property owned by diplomatic mission s falls under the Vienna Convention and comes under the Diplomatic Immunities and Privileges, ‘inviolable diplomatic premises’.

International News
Climate change is already damaging global economy, report finds
By Fiona Harvey
26 September, 2012
theguardian 
Economic impact of global warming is costing the world more than $1.2 trillion a year, wiping 1.6% annually from global GDP
Climate Change is already contributing to the deaths of nearly 400,000 people a year and costing the world more than $1.2 trillion, wiping 1.6% annually from global GDP, according to a new study. The impacts are being felt most keenly in developing countries, according to the research, where damage to agricultural production from extreme weather linked to climate change is contributing to deaths from malnutrition, poverty and their associated diseases.
Air pollution caused by the use of fossil fuels is also separately contributing to the deaths of at least 4.5m people a year, the report found.
The 331-page study, entitled Climate Vulnerability Monitor: A Guide to the Cold Calculus of A Hot Planet and published on Wednesday, was carried out by the DARA group, a non-governmental organisation based in Europe, and the Climate Vulnerable Forum. It was written by more than 50 scientists, economists and policy experts, and commissioned by 20 governments.
By 2030, the researchers estimate, the cost of climate change and air pollution combined will rise to 3.2% of global GDP, with the world's least developed countries forecast to bear the brunt, suffering losses of up to 11% of their GDP.
Sheikh Hasina, prime minister of Bangladesh, said: "A 1C rise in temperature [temperatures have already risen by 0.7C globally since the end of the 19th century] is associated with 10% productivity loss in farming. For us, it means losing about 4m tonnes of food grain, amounting to about $2.5bn. That is about 2% of our GDP. Adding up the damages to property and other losses, we are faced with a total loss of about 3-4% of GDP. Without these losses, we could have easily secured much higher growth."
But major economies will also take a hit, as extremes of weather and the associated damage – droughts, floods and more severe storms – could wipe 2% of the GDP of the US by 2030, while similar effects could cost China $1.2tr by the same date.
While many governments have taken the view that climate change is a long-term problem, there is a growing body of opinion that the effects are already being felt. Scientists have been alarmed by the increasingly rapid melting of Arctic sea ice, which reached a new record minimum this year and, if melting continues at similar rates, could be ice free in summer by the end of the decade. Some research suggests that this melting could be linked to cold, dull and rainy summers in parts of Europe – such as has been the predominant summer weather in the UK for the last six years. In the US, this year's severe drought has raised food prices and in India the disruption to the monsoon has caused widespread damage to farmers.
Connie Hedegaard, the European Union's climate chief, warned that extreme weather was becoming more common, as the effects of climate change take hold. "Climate change and weather extremes are not about a distant future," she wrote in a comment for the Guardian last week. "Formerly one-off extreme weather episodes seem to be becoming the new normal."
Michael Zammit Cutajar, former executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, said: "Climate change is not just a distant threat but a present danger – its economic impact is already with us."

Climate Change Deaths Could Total 100 Million By 2030 If World Fails To Act
By Nina Chestney
26 September, 2012
Huffington Post

More than 100 million people will die and global economic growth will be cut by 3.2 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) by 2030 if the world fails to tackle climate change, a report commissioned by 20 governments said on Wednesday.
As global average temperatures rise due to greenhouse gas emissions, the effects on the planet, such as melting ice caps, extreme weather, drought and rising sea levels, will threaten populations and livelihoods, said the report conducted by humanitarian organisation DARA.
It calculated that five million deaths occur each year from air pollution, hunger and disease as a result of climate change and carbon-intensive economies, and that toll would likely rise to six million a year by 2030 if current patterns of fossil fuel use continue.
More than 90 percent of those deaths will occur in developing countries, said the report that calculated the human and economic impact of climate change on 184 countries in 2010 and 2030. It was commissioned by the Climate Vulnerable Forum, a partnership of 20 developing countries threatened by climate change.
"A combined climate-carbon crisis is estimated to claim 100 million lives between now and the end of the next decade," the report said.
It said the effects of climate change had lowered global output by 1.6 percent of world GDP, or by about $1.2 trillion a year, and losses could double to 3.2 percent of global GDP by 2030 if global temperatures are allowed to rise, surpassing 10 percent before 2100.
It estimated the cost of moving the world to a low-carbon economy at about 0.5 percent of GDP this decade.
The full report is available at: http://daraint.org/ (Editing by Janet Lawrence)


China consumes more clean-energy-generated power
20 September, 2012
China Daily
China consumed 615.5 billion kilowatt-hours (kwh) of electricity generated by clean energy sources in the first eight months of the year, according to statistics from the State Electricity Regulatory Commission.
The figure accounted for 19.3 percent of the country's total on-grid power during the period, an increase of 1.1 percentage points from the same period last year, the commission said.
In breakdown, electricity produced from hydropower, wind power and nuclear power expanded 20.6 percent, 32.4 percent and 10.5 percent, respectively, to 489 billion kwh, 63.5 billion kwh and 63.3 billion kwh during the January-August period.
As of the end of August, China's hydropower generation capacity rose 6.7 percent year on year to 203.83 million kilowatts, while wind and nuclear power generation capacity added 37.2 percent and 5.6 percent, respectively, to 54.37 million kilowatts and 12.57 million kilowatts.
To meet the target of cutting energy use per unit of GDP by 16 percent by 2015 from the level in 2011, China has taken a slew of measures, including increasing investments in clean energy, to boost the share of non-fossil fuels in its power structure.

Most EU city dwellers suffer bad air days
24 September, 2012
EurActiv.com 
Most residents of European cities breathe noxious pollutants that exceed international health standards, says a study released today (24 September) by the European Environment Agency, giving ammunition to health and environmental groups that demand far tougher EU standards.
While some of the European Union’s deadliest air can be found in Bulgaria and Romania, few urban areas escape unhealthy pollutants such as particulate matter, ozone and nitrogen. Transport, energy and agriculture are the main culprits.
Jacqueline McGlade, EEA executive director, said in releasing thee report that economic inefficiency and the failure of many EU countries to meet their binding commitments to reduce pollution had both health and economic consequences.
“Almost one-third of Europe’s city dwellers were exposed to excessive concentrations of airborne particulate matter,” McGlade said, adding that many EU countries were failing to meet commitments to improve air quality.
The EEA 2012 Air Quality in Europe report shows that in addition to high levels of particulate matter – smoke, dirt and dust as well as metals and toxic vehicle and industrial exhaust - some 17% of urbanites are exposed to high levels of ozone, the ground-level cocktail of pollutants that causes smog.
But the figures underscore the large gulf between what existing EU law and the World Health Organisation consider to be unhealthy. When the far more stringent WHO limits are applied, the figure for EU city dwellers rises above 80% for particulate matter and 97% for ozone.
The EEA report also shows 7% of urban residents are exposed to nitrogen dioxide levels above the EU’s recommendations. Nitrogen and ozone levels affect more than human health, damaging vegetation, soil, water and even buildings, experts say.
Link of the Week
Managing Hospital Waste: Smells like trouble
http://myrepublica.com/portal/index.php?action=news_details&news_id=42170
Did you Know ?
The government adopted a national LAPA framework in 2010, based on pilots conducted with DFID support in 10 of the country’s 75 districts. Nepal is now finalizing designs for 70 village-level LAPAs to address the needs of 400,000 people in 14 mid- and far-western districts, as part of a US$21 million commitment by DFID and the European Union.
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 # 527
A recent climate change vulnerability study by DARA ranks the countries using the the scores obtained from 9 different parameters. However, it has not used one important parameter, what is that?
a) Sea Level rise
b) Economy
c) Temperature rise
d) Biodiversity

While sending your answer please mention “Quiz of the week#” in the subject line and please send your answer in cenews@cen.org.np
One lucky winner will get an attractive prized from Clean Energy Nepal.
Answer of the week # 526
According to 2009 data from the US Energy Information Administration, the top 10 CO2 emitting country is
b) China

The following participants provided correct answer:
Aakash Shrestha
Arbin Shrestha
Basanta Sharma
Prashanna Muni Tamrakar
Rakesh Guragain
Rupa Rai
Shreedhar Aryal

Aakash Shrestha is the winner of the week. Please contact CEN office with your valid ID card within a week.
Congratulations to the winner and thanks to all the participants.
 


Compiled and Edited by:
Sunil Acharya and Prashanta Khanal

Clean Energy Nepal (CEN)

140 Bulbule Marg, Thapagaon, Kathmandu, Nepal.
Tel: 977-1-4464981