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Clean Energy News Vol. 12, Number 29, September 19, 2012

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Clean Energy News
Vol. 12, Number 29, September 19, 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 campaigns please visit www.cen.org.np
In this Issue
Adaptation to climate change goes local
Floodwater wreaks havoc in Kailali
Flood displaces over 18 families
Sajha Yatayat to resume services from mid-Feb
Govt action plan to avert road accident deaths on the cards
Francois Hollande: EU should adopt 40% emissions reduction target by 2030
Enough Wind to Power Global Energy Demand: New Research Examines Limits, Climate Consequences
Kyoto Protocol May End With the Year
‘Major portion of foreign aid eaten up by politicians, corrupt officials‘
Paris mayor bans vehicles to reduce traffic

Link Of The Week
Did You Know?
Media Watch
QUIZ Of The Week # 526
Answer Of Quiz Of The Week # 525

National News
Adaptation to climate change goes local
13 September, 2012
IRIN 
In the next few months Nepal will start implementing local adaptation plans for climate vulnerable communities in its impoverished far-and mid-western region under the National Adaptation Programme of Action (NAPA).
NAPAs, submitted to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, provide a process for Least Developed Countries to identify priority activities that respond to their urgent and immediate needs to adapt to climate change, and are seen by many as a defining step towards delivering climate finance to those most vulnerable.
Nepal was the first country in the world to officially endorse a Local Adaptation Plan of Action (LAPA) as part of its 2010 NAPA framework. The bottom-up approach will be Nepal’s first attempt at translating central-level climate adaptation plans into tangible projects on the ground, including input from vulnerable communities.
“Government actions on climate change so far are focused at the international and national level. There are no specific actions at the local level,” noted a study conducted in 2010 to inform the LAPA piloting phase.
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.
Less densely populated, the mid-and far-western region has the highest human poverty and lowest human development levels in the country.
In a 2010 government climate change vulnerability mapping study, the area was found to be highly vulnerable to landslides and drought, as well as rainfall, temperature and ecological changes.
For each LAPA, communities prioritized projects they felt would improve their adaptive capacity. The plans reflect the precarious environment in the region, many focusing on improved drinking and irrigation water supply, landslide protection, and new agricultural techniques.
“The action plan was developed based on our needs,” said Govinda Pun, a Village Development Committee official in Hansipur town of mid-western Dang Deukhuri District for whom climate change was a new concept. “We are ready to implement it.”

Floodwater wreaks havoc in Kailali
15 September, 2012
The Himalayan Times 
DHANGADHI: Floodwater triggered by incessant rainfall for the past two days has inundated various parts of the district and rendered hundreds of families homeless.
Kailali’s Dhangadi Bazaar has been submerged. More than 200 households in Bishalnagar, Hasanpur and Shivnagar areas in Dhangadi Municipality are under water. Many families are trapped inside their houses. Rainwater gushed into two dozen shops in Dhangadi Bazaar and destroyed goods worth millions. Patients have been hit hard after water entered Seti Zonal Hospital. The floodwater has inundated Wards 1, 2 and 3 of Urma VDC. Hundreds of displaced families are sheltering inside the Postal Highway building. Local Ishwora Kadayat said people were forced to leave their houses after water gushed in.
District Police Office Kailali said that floodwater has submerged 200 and 82 houses respectively at Chaumala VDC’s Purano Bazaar and Rajipur.
Navraj Dhakal, a local, said the Chaumala River had swept away the wooden bridge hitting mobility. As many as 60 families are trapped inside their houses at Basauti VDC.
The Department of Meteorology at Attariya said that Kailali received 61.5 mm rainfall today.
Kailali Red Cross said a rescue team was ready to be deployed in flood-hit areas.

Flood displaces over 18 families
19 September, 2012
The Kathmandu Post
18 more families have been displaced in Jhapa district due to the floods and land erosion triggered by rainfall since five days.
The Kankai River has flooded and washed away swathe of paddy fields at Korobari-2. Six houses at the village are at risk from the swollen Kankai River. These families have been moved to safer places
Some 20 families in Korobari-2 have already been displaced from their houses due to the threat of floods caused by the swollen river.
The overflowing river has damaged the paddy fields, depositing sand and causing massive erosion. Settlements have become waterlogged. Other rivulets in the district have also caused damage to houses and fields in different places of the district, it is learnt.

Sajha Yatayat to resume services from mid-Feb
17 September, 2012
Nepalnews.com 
Sajha Yatayat, the formerly state-owned transport service provider which is the oldest in the country, is planning to resume service in Kathmandu valley from February next year after four years of closure.
Sajha Yatayat has planned to use 20 TATA-brand vehicles on two routes in the Kathmandu valley. Manager of Sajha Yatayat Mahendra Raj Pandey said they were planning to re-launch service by mid-February.
Sajha has already applied to the Department of Transport Management for route permission.
TATA Motors Company had come up with lowest bid among companies from Hong Kong, China, Singapore and India in the global tender called by Sajha Yatayat for vehicle supply.
Sajha Yatayat officials said they would sign a contract by this week and the vehicles would be delivered within four months.
According to Department of Transport Management, Sajha has requested for permits for two routes — Harihar Bhawan-Tripureshwor-Ranipokhari-Kamalpokhari-Gaushala-Koteshwor-Satdobato-Lagankhel and Satdobato-Lagankhel-Jaulakhel-Tripureshwor-Teku-Kalimati-Kalanki.
Last year, the government decided to operate Sajha under a cooperative model, ending about five-decade long government control.
Chairman of Sajaha Yatayat, Kanak Mani Dixit said the management will try to make its services modern, well-managed, transparent, and responsible to the society.
The then King Mahendra had established the transport entity in 2018 B.S.
 
Govt action plan to avert road accident deaths on the cards
16 September, 2012
Ekantipur Report 
One year after adopting the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-20, the government has come up with a work plan to prevent road accident deaths. The United Nations General Assembly has endorsed the action plan that aims to prevent five million road traffic deaths globally by 2020.
The work plan, also called Nepal Road Safety Action Plan, will be initially implemented along the Naubise-Muglin section of Prithivi Highway.
According to Dr Baburam Marasini, senior official at the Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP), the government will focus on the specified five activities—road safety management, safer road design, safer vehicle design, safer road users and post crash care. The Ministry of Labour and Transport Management, the Department of Roads (DoR) and traffic police, among other stakeholders, will also be part of the project, Dr Marasini said.
He said the programme, if successful, will be gradually replicated in other parts of the country. The plan has envisioned operating a trauma centre at the earliest, imparting training related to an emergency rescue and management, ensuring availability of ambulances, conducting a detail study on the existing standard of roads and vehicles and taking proper measures for its improvements, among others.
Chandra Kumar Subedi, chief of DoR’s Road and Traffic Unit, said this action plan will bring all stakeholders working on road safety together. “We hope that the government will like our work plan so that we can translate our various ideas into action,” said Subedi.   
The MoHP estimates that 3,000 people lose their lives annually and around 10,000 are injured in road accidents across the country.
According to a Global Status Report on Road Safety, a study conducted by the World Health Organization, over 1.2 million people die each year on the world’s roads and 50 million suffer non-fatal injuries.
The report further states that more than 90 percent of the world’s fatalities on the roads occur in low-income and middle-income countries, which have only 48 percent of the world’s registered vehicles.

International News
Francois Hollande: EU should adopt 40% emissions reduction target by 2030
By Tierney Smith
14 September, 2012
RTCC 
The EU should adopt more ambitious targets to reduce its carbon emissions, French President Francois Hollande has said, calling for a global accord on climate change by 2015. Speaking at an environmental conference in Paris, President Hollande recommended the EU take on targets to cut their carbon emissions by 40% by 2030 and 60% by 2040, well beyond the current 20% target set for 2020.
“We have an ambitious strategy,” he said, adding that he would defend the targets at EU level.
The President also re-affirmed France’s commitment to achieving a new global climate deal to be agreed by 2015, as was agreed at the UN climate talks last year – to come into force by 2020. “Our next goal is to reach a global climate agreement in 2015. France is fully committed to achieving this,” he said. Hollande added that France would be happy to host the 2015 COP conference.
Earlier today Holland ordered a ban on shale gas exploitation in France, citing “the heavy risk to health and the environment” of fracking, which injects water, sand and chemicals under high pressure into rock to release oil and gas.
“As far as the exploration and exploitation of non-conventional hydrocarbons is concerned, this will be my policy throughout my term of office,” he said.
Hollande said the EU would continue to pledge a 20% cut target at the next round of UN climate talks in Doha at the end of the year.
At the UN’s latest climate meeting in Bangkok, the EU faced criticism after one of their negotiators said increasing its target to 25% by 2020 would be “wishful thinking”. The bloc did however, reiterate it would potentially move its current target to 30% by 2020, if other rich economies set out a similar level of ambition.

Enough Wind to Power Global Energy Demand: New Research Examines Limits, Climate Consequences
September 9, 2012
Science Daily 
There is enough energy available in winds to meet all of the world's demand. Atmospheric turbines that convert steadier and faster high-altitude winds into energy could generate even more power than ground- and ocean-based units. New research from Carnegie's Ken Caldeira examines the limits of the amount of power that could be harvested from winds, as well as the effects high-altitude wind power could have on the climate as a whole.
Led by Kate Marvel of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, who began this research at Carnegie, the team used models to quantify the amount of power that could be generated from both surface and atmospheric winds. Surface winds were defined as those that can be accessed by turbines supported by towers on land or rising out of the sea. High-altitude winds were defined as those that can be accessed by technology merging turbines and kites. The study looked only at the geophysical limitations of these techniques, not technical or economic factors.
Turbines create drag, or resistance, which removes momentum from the winds and tends to slow them. As the number of wind turbines increase, the amount of energy that is extracted increases. But at some point, the winds would be slowed so much that adding more turbines will not generate more electricity. This study focused on finding the point at which energy extraction is highest.
Using models, the team was able to determine that more than 400 terawatts of power could be extracted from surface winds and more than 1,800 terawatts could be generated by winds extracted throughout the atmosphere.
Today, civilization uses about 18 TW of power. Near-surface winds could provide more than 20 times today's global power demand and wind turbines on kites could potentially capture 100 times the current global power demand.
At maximum levels of power extraction, there would be substantial climate effects to wind harvesting. But the study found that the climate effects of extracting wind energy at the level of current global demand would be small, as long as the turbines were spread out and not clustered in just a few regions. At the level of global energy demand, wind turbines might affect surface temperatures by about 0.1 degree Celsius and affect precipitation by about 1%. Overall, the environmental impacts would not be substantial.
"Looking at the big picture, it is more likely that economic, technological or political factors will determine the growth of wind power around the world, rather than geophysical limitations," Caldeira said.

Kyoto Protocol May End With the Year
by Marwaan Macan-Markar
9 September, 2012
IPS 
As government negotiators from the world’s poorest countries ended a round of United Nations climate change talks in the Thai capital, they sounded a grave note about what appears imminent when they assemble in November in Doha – the reading of the last rites of the Kyoto Protocol.
“We are concerned that the environmental integrity of the Kyoto Protocol, which is the only international treaty that binds developed nations to lower (greenhouse gas) emissions, and thus our lone assurance that action will be taken, is eroding before our eyes,” declared a statement released by the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and the Africa Group, which represent over a billion people vulnerable to the ravages of extreme weather.
Such concern about the fate of the Kyoto Protocol in the capital of Qatar, where negotiators from over 190 countries will gather for a U.N. climate summit, is with reason. The upcoming 18th conference of the parties (CoP 18) will be the last meeting before the clock runs out on Dec. 31for the world’s industrialised countries to meet their initial, legally-binding greenhouse gas emission reduction targets and to announce new legally binding cuts for the second period as 2013 dawns.
But as analysts who followed the week-long talks in Bangkok noted, the world’s richer nations appear determined to walk away from the leadership they have been expected to demonstrate under the Kyoto Protocol, the 1997 treaty, which entered into force in 2005 after nearly a decade of negotiations.
Under the Kyoto Protocol, a cornerstone of the U.N.’s international climate change architecture – the Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFFC) – the world’s 37 industrialised nations and the European Union (EU) pledged to reduce their greenhouse gases by five percent, measured against 1990 levels by the end of 2012, when the first phase of the protocol ends.
During the climate talks here, which ran from Aug. 30 to Sept. 5, the “Annex 1 countries” as the bloc of industrialised countries are dubbed under the Kyoto Protocol, offered little hope to the developing world that the talks will produce new, legally binding emission cuts that are higher than the prevailing five percent to cover a period from 2013-2020.
“The negotiations for the Kyoto Protocol need to be concluded successfully, and that means having the second commitment period in place by the Doha CoP,” says Martin Khor, executive director of the South Centre, a Geneva-based intergovernmental policy think tank of developing countries. “It was meant to be revealed at the last Cop in Durban, but it was postponed by a year.
“That is why the Doha talks will have to be about the Kyoto Protocol; if not what is the point in all these negotiations,” he tells IPS. “The disappointment of developing country negotiators was evident during the final session at the Bangkok talks. They realised that the developed countries are not showing any leadership to meet their obligations under the Kyoto Protocol.”
Even the EU’s offer to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent over an eight-year period from 2013 onwards was dismissed by environmental activists. “The Kyoto Protocol that the European Union wants here is one that is not legal, but merely a ‘political decision’,” says Asad Rehman, head of international climate at Friends of the Earth, a global green campaigner. “The 20 percent target the EU is offering is ‘business as usual,’ and business as usual is killing the climate – it is criminal.”
Environmental activists are fortified by scientific reports that call for more emission cuts to prevent the planet’s temperature from rising to levels that could cause environmental havoc. The Nobel Peace Prize winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has called for global emission cuts of 25 to 40 percent by 2020 to keep the world’s temperature from not rising about two degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial age mark.
And other critics of the industrial countries argue that a climate regime being pushed by the world’s biggest polluters, accounting for 70 percent of the GHGs from 1890 to 2007, could condemn the planet to a worse fate. “What was agreed (at the last CoP in 2011) in Durban is a regime of ‘laissez faire’ until 2020, where only ‘voluntary pledges’ for emission reductions will be done,” wrote leading members of Focus on the Global South, a Bangkok-based think tank, in a commentary in the Bangkok Post.
“The tragedy is that these pledges are going to represent only a 13 percent reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels,” says Pablo Solon, executive director, and Walden Bell, a co-founder, of Focus on the Global South. “This will lead to an increase in the global temperature of at least four to six degrees Celsius in this century.”
The United States, despite being the world’s worst polluter, stood its ground during the first phase of the Kyoto Protocol’s greenhouse gas cuts by refusing to sign onto the legally binding five percent target. And now, it is flexing its muscle to steamroll over expectations the developing world had for the second phase of the Kyoto Protocol.
“The U.S. government is opposed to a top-down structure under the Kyoto Protocol’s second commitment period,” says Meena Raman, legal advisor to the Third World Network, a think tank lobbying for developing country interests, based in Penang, Malaysia. “The U.S. is for a voluntary pledging system to cut emissions that is not based on science nor based on equity.”
Yet even if the deadlock over the future of the Kyoto Protocol is broken in Doha, the scenarios that will unfold leave little room for optimism for the worst affected from climate-related disasters – the world’s poor. “Even if we see a second commitment period emerge, it will look even bleaker, since the targets under the Kyoto Protocol’s first commitment period have not been met,” says Dorothy-Grace Guerrero, coordinator of the climate and environment justice programme at Focus on the Global South.
“AOSIS has placed numbers on the negotiating table for the survival of small island states from rising sea level,” she tells IPS. “They want Annex 1 countries to slash their emissions by 50 percent from 1990 levels for the second commitment period.”

‘Major portion of foreign aid eaten up by politicians, corrupt officials‘
9 September, 2012
The Financial Express 
BANGLADESH: Academicians, development activists and experts Saturday said major portion of the foreign fund is being eaten up by politicians, corrupt government officials and influential people resulting in low effectiveness of the fund meant for climate affected people.
To prevent this leakage of climate fund and achieve the goal of effective climate change adaptation, they suggested to channel 20 per cent of the climate change adaptation fund directly to the local government institutions or union parishads by strengthening those to utilise the fund.
"Only 32 to 34 per cent of the total foreign aid coming to the country reach the common people," said Professor Abdullah Abu Sayeed, chair of the Action Aid Bangladesh.
He was speaking at the study findings sharing of 'Financing Local Adaptation: Ensuring Access for the Climate Vulnerable in Bangladesh' at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) in the city organized by ActionAid Bangladesh.
The study was jointly conducted by ActionAid Bangladesh, with support from International Centre for Climate Change, Development at Independent University and Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies (BCAS) and Danish Embassy.
The report focuses on Bangladesh as a case study in exploring how to bridge the divide between adaptation finance at national level and vulnerable communities at the local level.
Professor Sayeed said "We think that the money which has come and will be coming should be spent properly and effectively through expert hands."
Criticising the present trend of politics and the politicians he said 'dacoits' are everywhere in the name of politics and other names.
"If we can avoid the evil network of daylight burglary and send the money directly to the grassroot level, then at least there will be some progress in project implementation," Professor Sayeed said.
He said climate change fund cannot be ignored and to get the fund the country needs to continue fighting under an able leadership.
The report said, by some estimates, about 75-80 per cent of the total costs of climate change will fall upon developing countries through development countries are primarily responsible for global warming.
Several studies have projected, these costs will range between $ 4.0 and 109 billion annually, although the true costs may be much higher, the report added.
Developed countries have agreed to a goal of mobilizing jointly $ 100 billion in annual climate financing for developing countries by 2020 which would include substantial funding for adaptation.
Atiq Rahman, executive director of BCAS said Bangladesh is leading in the field of climate change adaptation and is ahead of most of the developing nations.
Climate has become a major development issue over the last 10-15 years as it undermines the development process, specially in climate vulnerable countries.
Mr Rahman said if Bangladesh can demonstrate money is being properly spent, more money can be expected.
Mahbubur Rahman Tulu, a union parishad chairman of Gaibandha said that in the present context, UPs cannot implement any project properly due to political and other groups' pressure and they cannot even spend the local government support programme (LGSP) fund due to interference.
Local government expert Salahuddin M Aminuzzaman said stealing of LGSP money is rampant and the union parishads are highly politicized. The Up's do not have any power to combat the political influence or bias and governance will be a major challenge if climate change fund is sent there.
Kevan Christensen presented the keynote paper while Actionaid Bangladesh country director Farah Kabir moderated the session.

Paris mayor bans vehicles to reduce traffic
17 September, 2012
Aljazeera 
Paris is often described as one of the world's most beautiful cities. However, like most capital cities, it suffers from choking traffic congestion.
Now, Mayor Bertrand Delanoe has come up with a radical solution. He is banning cars and lorries from what had been some of its busiest roads.
Watch the video report by clicking the link above.
Link of the Week
The Ultimate Climate Change FAQ
Did you Know ?
The price of carbon offset credits issued under the UN’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) had fallen 70% in the past year. The UN-backed carbon offsets now sell for less than $3: down from about $20 in 2008.
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 # 526
According to 2009 data from the US Energy Information Administration, the top 10 CO2 emitting country is:

a) India
b) China
c) USA
d) France
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 # 496
Nepal is implementing Local adaptation plans of action (LAPAs) in far and mid western regions of Nepal. What are LAPA about
a) Climate Change Adaptation

The following participants provided correct answer:

Arbin Shrestha
Aparajita Khatiwoda
Salik Sigdel
Shankar Sharma
Meena Bohora
Heera Kaji Majarjan
Aparajita Khatiwoda 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.
 


Edited and Compiled by: 
Sunil Acharya and Prashanta Khanal

Clean Energy Nepal (CEN)

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