Germany, Mexico, US top the list in smart energy initiatives: study
Friday 06 November 2009
Germany, Mexico and the United States have crafted some of the world's smartest policies for improving energy use, according to a study released on Thursday on the sidelines of the UN climate talks here.
Making buildings more energy-efficient and providing tax breaks and tariff guarantees for renewable sources topped the "green new deal" policies scrutinised by two environment groups.
The scorecard examined energy initiatives launched by the European Union and six EU countries plus Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey and the United States.
The schemes were measured chiefly for their capacity to reduce or save greenhouse-gas emissions, for their cost and their spur to economic activity.
Germany grabbed the top two spots with a programme to beef up energy efficiency in buildings through tougher construction standards supported by loans and grants, and with a "feed-in tariff" by which suppliers of renewable energy enjoy guaranteed price levels for 20 years.
The two initiatives scored 17.2 and 15.0 points out of 20, respectively.
Mexico came next with an urban bus system launched in Mexico City in 2005 that started to phase out creaky old buses.
Even though the programme was low technology, its environmental and economic effectiveness was extremely high when compared with the investment, earning 14.2 points out of 20.
In third place was the United States, which won plaudits for its "weatherisation assistance programme" to insulate the homes of low-income families, and for its tax breaks for energy from wind, solar, geothermal and bio-energy. These rated 13.8 and 13.7 points respectively.
China gained a medium score of 10.2 points for its "1,000 Enterprise Programme," which aims at getting the country's 1,000 most energy-intensive companies to reduce carbon emissions by 250 million tonnes during the 2006-2010 five-year plan.
The best policies not only help combat the greenhouse effect, they also stimulate economies and create thousands of new jobs, said the report, compiled by WWF International and E3G.
"The economic recovery packages put forward by many countries involve very large sums of money. But economic recovery packages so far have not generated a green new deal," it said.
"This report clearly shows that a well-designed climate policy will not adversely affect economic welfare."
On the downside, the report dished out "minus" scores for subsidies for coal mining and energy-gobbling industries, branding these the least effective both environmentally and in economic spinoffs.
It also said that arguments for supporting nuclear power to help mitigate emissions from fossil fuels were undermined by the hidden cost of dealing with long-term storage of radioactive waste.
It gave only 10.3 points to the EU's carbon market, the much-trumpeted outcome of the Kyoto Protocol
The emissions trading scheme was flawed for its start-up phase, which delivered windfall profits to power producers and other companies enrolled in the scheme yet provided "little environmental impact."
"Although the policy has considerable potential to achieve emissions reductions in the long-term, the short-term implementation of the scheme led to little reductions so far," the report said bluntly.
Sales of the tablet are set to fall again, say analysts
Met Police confirm there was a 'minor disturbance' and that no-one was arrested
George Lucas criticises the major Hollywood film studios
Does Chris Grayling realise what a vague concept he is dealing with?
Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets
Parties threaten resort's image as a family destination
I Am Bread could actually be a challenging and nuanced title
- 1 Indian footballer Peter Biaksangzuala dies after injuring spine doing somersault celebration
- 2 Jack the Ripper: Scientist who claims to have identified notorious killer has 'made serious DNA error'
- 3 Banksy arrest hoax: Internet duped by fake report claiming that the street artist's identity has been revealed
- 4 Drink alcohol and eat meat to improve male fertility - but cut down on coffee, studies suggest
- 5 Brian Harvey turns up at Downing Street and 'demands to speak to Prime Minister'
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Sorry Judy Finnigan – Ched Evans is no less sickening than an alleyway rapist
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Workers 'could be forced to pay £5 a week' to get benefits
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
London bus driver allegedly kicks gay couple off for kissing
£80 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Year 5 Teacher KS2 teaching job...
£35000 - £45000 Per Annum Pensions Scheme After 6 Months: Clearwater People So...
£35000 - £37000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Systems Analyst / Busines...
£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ampersand Consulting LLP: Senior Change ...