Clean-tech investors, like those that swarmed the U.N. headquarters last week, have been drooling over investment prospects in suddenly-green China. Maybe it’s time to curb the enthusiasm.
“China expects local capital to fund 90 percent of the infrastructure and other investment needed to meet its goal to get 15 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2020,” a top Chinese environmental official told Reuters at a climate-change shindig in Monaco (following Bali and Honolulu, yet another hardship destination for climate negotiators.)
China recently passed a renewable-energy law similar to the European Union’s that mandates a big increase in the use of clean energy like wind- and solar power over the next decade. And in China, a big percentage increase means a big increase: To make wind power 10% of the installed electricity capacity — an amount that the wind industry says is realistic – China needs to install 120 gigawatts of wind turbines. Perspective check: That’s more wind power than currently installed worldwide, or two entire Spains, or roughly 120 mid-sized nuclear plants.
Environmental Capital – WSJ.com : China: Going Green, Going It Alone.
America’s 50 Greenest Cities
Want to see a model for successful and rapid environmental action? Don’t look to the federal government—check out your own town. Here, our list of the 50 communities that are leading the way. Does yours make the cut?
America’s 50 Greenest Cities | Popular Science.
The fate of the Judean Desert’s separation fences have apparently been decided. The recent terror attack in Dimona placed added pressure on green groups to withdraw their objections. Opposition to a barrier in the southern area, near the Dead Sea, has in particular diminished, and some activists are even starting to see advantages to having a fence. The defense establishment has yet to decide where and when a fence will be built in the northern desert, near Ma’aleh Adumim; there, too, it will surround at least part of the desert. The Palestinians will once again find themselves facing a new fence. Meanwhile, the security establishment is planning to pave a bypass road dubbed “the fabric of life.”
The good, the bad and the ugly fence – Haaretz – Israel News.
They have helped to calm the traffic-choked streets of Paris and spawned hundreds of romances among strangers. Now the French capital’s free bicycle hire scheme is coming to Central London, where 6,000 sturdy bikes will be deployed outside Tube stations and other locations.
Read more at 6,000 free ‘granny’ bikes will bring continental success story to capital – Times Online.
Brian Lewis looks at ‘farm to plate’ in Richmond British Columbia, Canada and how garden cities can help
Read more @ Canada.com – Garden City lands eyed for urban food research.
Last year, the city undertook out major projects in transport infrastructure and water drainage, all of which will reduce traffic jams as well as contribute to the city’s socio-economic development.
To ease the burden caused by construction projects, the department is strictly fining investors. For example last year the department collected VND636 million (US$39,745) in fines from 225 violations in a water environment improvement project and VND157 million ($10,000) from the Nhieu Loc-Thi Nghe Canal project.
Read more @ Viet Nam News.
Last November, a southern Italian village of Torraca proclaimed itself as the world’s first “LED city.” The town installed 700 LED street lamps that are powered by photovoltaic panels, making it a self-sustainable system.
South Korean towns and regional governments are fast catching up. Along with many other towns, Bucheon city has replaced its old halogen street lamps on the city hall plaza with Fawoo’s LED bulbs. The new lamps have six times the life expectancy of halogen lamps, and consume about 28,000 won of electricity per year, compared to 85,000 won. Such a low maintenance cost, the firm says, is enough to offset the hefty price of 160,000 won per lamp in a few years, compared to 40,000 won of halogen lamps.
Read more @ The Korea Times Environmentalism Sheds Brighter Light on Low-Energy Lighting