clean energy nepal

Clean Energy News Vol. 13, Number 16, 18 April, 2013

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Clean Energy News
Vol. 13, Number 16, 18 April 2013

Clean Energy News (CE News) is a weekly roundup of news, views and analysis about clean energy, clean air and climate change issues with focus on Nepal. To view the past volumes of CE News, click here.

In this Issue

National News
Parties Pledge to Develop Hydropower
Sajha Begins Bus Service
Wildfires Affect 35 Districts
Committee to Begin Work on Underground Fuel Pipeline

International News
Arctic Will Be Almost-Completely Ice-Free By 2020Nepal, India & Bangladesh to Make Most of Ganga Water, Hydropower
Biofuel Emissions “Worse than Fossil Fuels” – Report
Clean Energy Progress Too Slow, Warns International Energy Agency
New Battery Design that’s 2,000 Times More Powerful, Recharges 1,000 Times Faster
US Climate Finance Workshop Branded a “Dog and Pony”

Opinion, Analysis and Resources
Against All Odds
Climate Negotiation Skills Vital
Joint U.S.-China Statement on Climate Change
Before I leave Kathmandu
When it Comes to Climate Adaptation LDCs are the Leaders
EU Adaptation Strategy Package

National News

Parties Pledge to Develop Hydropower
The Himalayan Times, 11 April 2013
Major political parties today made a commitment to develop hydropower in the country. During the 47th Annual General Meeting of the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry here, leaders of six major political parties — the Unified CPN-Maoist, Nepali Congress, CPN-UML, Madhesi Janaadhikar Forum-Nepal, Rastriya Janashakti Party and Madhesi Janaadhikar Forum-Democratic — and the Chairman of the interim election government Khil Raj Regmi signed a commitment paper, pledging not to disturb hydropower development in the country.
Read more...

Sajha Begins Bus Service
By Samik Kharel, The Kathmandu Post, 13 April 2013
omedy artist duo Haribansa Acharya and Madan Krishna Shrestha, the bus conductors, ticketed Rs 15 to Chief Secretary Lilamani Poudel as the latter boarded a dashing green bus amid people’s cheers in Kathmandu. The Maha duo was, however, not shooting for another comedy series for the screens. The occasion was the much-anticipated launch of the Sajha bus service in the Capital. Poudel became the first passenger as Sajha Coope-ratives officially flagged off the buses. The service, which was defunct for around five years, started anew under a new management with 16 hi-tech buses that will ply on two different routes. Launching the service, Poudel said Sajha should set a benchmark in the public transport system. “Sajha should live up to its name and set an example,” he said. He emphasised on the need to promote mass public transport system and urged Sajha to expand its services.
Read more...

Wildfires Affect 35 Districts
By Om Astha Rai, Republica, 14 April 2013
Wildfires engulfed forests in as many as 37 districts of Nepal by Saturday, reported the International Center for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD). Wildfires, which were restricted to mostly Tarai districts until a few days ago, spread not only in hills but also in mountain districts like Humla and Solukhumbu on Saturday. According to ICIMOD, which uses satellite images to report forest fires, altogether 149 wildfires were detected in different parts of the country on Saturday, which is one of highest numbers of forest fires detected by NASA satellites this year.
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Committee to Begin Work on Underground Fuel Pipeline
RSS, 17 April 2013
The Government has initiated the preliminary process towards installing a pipeline from the Raxaul depot of Indian Oil Corporation to the Amlekhgunj depot of Nepal Oil Corporation. Following an agreement in principle by the Council of Ministers, a seven-member committee has been formed under the convenorship of the Vice-chairman of National Planning Commission to move the process ahead, said member-secretary of the Committee Suresh Kumar Agrawal. The pipeline will be of 41 kilometers and a proposal on the same from the IOC is being studied, he added.
Read more...

International News

Arctic Will Be Almost-Completely Ice-Free By 2020
By Carl Franzen, The Verge, 12 April 2013
It's been apparent for several years now that the Arctic is melting. But it's melting much faster than most studies previously predicted. As early as 2020 and no later than 2050, it will be almost completely ice-free, according to a new paper out this week. "It's pretty scary how rapidly all this Arctic change is happening," said James Overland, lead author of the new study, and a research oceanographer with the US National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). "The Arctic is a real indicator of global change here, that's why we wrote the paper," he told The Verge. Specifically, Overland explained that the loss of the majority of Arctic sea ice during future summer melt seasons will have three major impacts: it will open the door for drilling and shipping in the region, it will ruin the habitats for polar bears and marine mammals, and eventually, it could cause more extreme weather events for us who live down in the more southern latitudes.
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Nepal, India & Bangladesh to Make Most of Ganga Water, Hydropower
By Sujay Muhdudia, The Hindu, 15 April 2013
In a significant development indicating a sub-regional strategic alliance, Nepal, India and Bangladesh (NIB) have decided to join hands to cooperate and exploit the hydropower sector and use water resources management for mutual advantage, including jointly developing and financing projects in the Ganga river basin. Indicating its seriousness to give a boost to this initiative, India has already approved the composition of a working group on water and power that will coordinate with Bangladesh and Nepal. According to a note prepared by the Ministries of Power, Water Resources and External Affairs, the Ganga Basin has tremendous potential for development of water resources and hydropower. Therefore, the role of the Ganga in the agriculture, hydro-power, fisheries, navigation, and environmental sectors and in the economy of the co-basin countries is vital. The joint initiative will contribute to poverty eradication and better socio-economic integration.
Read more...

Biofuel Emissions “Worse than Fossil Fuels” – Report
By Alex Kirby, Climate News Network, 15 April 2013
Biofuels, widely seen as the green way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, may in some cases be worse for the climate than fossil fuels, a report says. Not only will they cost motorists more than ordinary petrol and diesel and increase fuel consumption: they will also make food more expensive. From 15 April, to meet European Union targets, suppliers in the UK are required to blend 5% of biofuel into the petrol and diesel they sell for transport. Rob Bailey, the author of the report, entitled The Trouble with Biofuels, says: “Current biofuels are at best an expensive way of reducing emissions. “At worst they produce more emissions than the fossil fuels they replace and contribute to high and unstable food prices. Policymaking needs to catch up with the evidence base.”
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Clean Energy Progress Too Slow, Warns International Energy Agency
By Nina Chestney, Reuters, 17 April 2013
The development of low-carbon energy is progressing too slowly to limit global warming, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Wednesday. With power generation still dominated by coal and governments failing to increase investment in clean energy, top climate scientists have said that the target of keeping the global temperature rise to less than 2 degrees Celsius this century is slipping out of reach. "The drive to clean up the world's energy system has stalled," said Maria van der Hoeven, the IEA's executive director, at the launch of the agency's report on clean energy progress.
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New Battery Design that’s 2,000 Times More Powerful, Recharges 1,000 Times Faster

By Sebestian Anthony, Extreme Tech, 17 April 2013
Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have developed a new lithium-ion battery technology that is 2,000 times more powerful than comparable batteries. According to the researchers, this is not simply an evolutionary step in battery tech, “It’s a new enabling technology… it breaks the normal paradigms of energy sources. It’s allowing us to do different, new things.”
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US Climate Finance Workshop Branded a “Dog and Pony” Show
By John Parnel, RTCC, 17 April 2013
A meeting of climate finance donors in Washington DC last week has been written off as a “technical dog and pony” show by observers.“From what we’ve heard from those inside the room, the climate finance mobilizer’s meeting convened by the US State department appeared to be more of a technical dog and pony show about how US agencies and organizations are engaging the private sector,” Janet Redman, from the DC based think tank the Institute for Policy Studies told RTCC.
Read more...
Read the chair's summary here...
 

Opinion, Analysis and Resources

Against All Odds
By Navin Singh Khadka, The Kathmandu Post, 12 April 2013
The Nepal-chaired least developed countries’ bloc aims to be a deal-maker in deadlocked climate negotiations. Ministry of Environment Joint Secretary Prakash Mathema, who holds that position under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, therefore, says: “For the new agreement to be reached by 2015, LDCs will perform a leadership role as a dealmaker whenever negotiations get stuck.” The ambition apparently stems from past experiences when least developed countries have indeed provided such crucial support. The most recent one was during the Durban climate conference in 2011, when the European Union got LDCs and the Alliance of Small Island States to rally behind it as conflicting positions of developed and fast-developing countries deadlocked negotiations.
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Climate Negotiation Skills Vital
By Batu Krishna Uprety, Spotlight, 12 April 2013
The years 2013 and 2014 are crucial as Parties to UNFCCC have agreed to adopt a protocol, another legal instrument or an agreed outcome with legal force by COP21 in 2015, and implement it by 2020. The Ad hoc Working Group on Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP) was established by the COP17 in 2011 in Durban, South Africa to develop this instrument. The ADP shall also take into consideration the IPCC fifth Assessment Report (AR5), outcome of 2013-2015 review and works of the Subsidiary Bodies while developing an instrument of legal force.Nepal as the Chair of the LDC Group has multiple challenges and the opportunities in these two years and could set a tone for 2015 negotiations. The primary challenge is to accommodate the concerns, interests and issues of all 49 LDCs representing mountains, dry-lands, islands and plains of Asia, Africa and the Caribbean island counties.
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Joint U.S.-China Statement on Climate Change
By Office of the Spokeperson, US  Departmane of State, 13 April 2013
The United States of America and the People's Republic of China recognize that the increasing dangers presented by climate change measured against the inadequacy of the global response requires a more focused and urgent initiative. The two sides have been engaged in constructive discussions through various channels over several years bilaterally and multilaterally, including the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change process and the Major Economies Forum. In addition, both sides consider that the overwhelming scientific consensus regarding climate change constitutes a compelling call to action crucial to having a global impact on climate change.
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Before I leave Kathmandu
By Shail Shrestha, The Kathmandu post, 14 April 2013
It has been some time since I had breathing problems. This is Kathmandu, who doesn’t have breathing problems here? Recent articles and reports about how Kathmandu is breaking records in air pollution make me wonder how much we have accepted this and become accustomed to the dust all around us. However, every city is prone to pollution. The more the city grows, the more it brings in pollution. And almost every city here appears to be directed towards the fate of Kathmandu.
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When it Comes to Climate Adaptation LDCs are the Leaders

Prakash Mathema, LDC Chair UNFCCC, RTCC, 16 April 2013
We believe that responses to climate change should not be seen as the problem but as a part of the solution. The LDCs acknowledge that the world is facing a severe crisis, which has affected developed countries, but the LDCs are hit even more seriously. The reality to be considered is that any effort to overcome the crisis that does not integrate effective climate solutions will prove inefficient. The central idea of all studies on the economics of climate change is that delayed actions will cost more tomorrow than today. Effective and adequate support to deal with mitigation and adaptation to climate change in developing countries, as well as deep cuts in emissions in developed countries must be part of the solutions to the crisis.
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EU Adaptation Strategy Package
European Comission, 16 April 2013
The European Commission presented a package to advance action on adaptation to climate change. The EU strategy on adaptation to climate change sets out a framework and mechanisms for taking the EU's preparedness for current and future climate impacts to a new level.
Download the documents here...

 

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