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FYI..Deb

 

Debra Sachs, Executive Director

Alliance for Climate Action

585 Pine Street

Burlington, VT   05401

802-865-7330

www.10percentchallenge.org

 

  _____  

From: Bolduc, John [mailto:[log in to unmask]] 
Sent: Friday, December 02, 2005 11:58 AM
Subject: Cambridge Climate Protection Actin Committee Bulletin & meeting
notice

 

City of Cambridge Climate Protection Action Committee

CPAC Bulletin

December 2, 2005

 

 


NEXT MEETING:  The next meeting of the Climate Protection Action Committee
is on Thursday, December 8th, at 6:00 pm at City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway,
4th Floor meeting room.  This is the start of the new schedule (2nd
Thursdays of the month).

 


Events & Meetings


*  Green Roofs Conference - The 4 <http://greenroofs.org/boston/index.php>
th Annual Greening Rooftops for Sustainable Communities Conference and Trade
Show is coming to Boston, May 11-12, 2006.  The conference is sponsored by
Green Roofs for Healthy Cities and the City of Boston.

 


News


*  Pfizer Becomes Cambridge Climate Leader - Pfizer, Inc. has enrolled its
research facility at 620 Memorial Drive into the Cambridge Climate Leader
program.  The Climate Leader agreement was signed by Phil Vickers, VP and
Site Head.  Peter Norris, Associate Director of Environment, Health, and
Safety is the Pfizer's designated representative.  Pfizer joins Genzyme in
the program.

*  State & Local US Climate Protection Matters - Researchers at the
University of Vermont <http://www.uvm.edu/theview/article.php?id=1834>
published a brief communication in Nature (11/17/05), reporting on their
analysis of state and local climate protection efforts.  They reported that
24 to 35 percent of the US population lives in jurisdictions that are
currently or shortly will be engaged in policies directed towards
significantly reducing human-generated climate change.  The population
resides in areas that account for 27 to 49 percent of the US gross domestic
product.  At the low end, 27 percent of US GDP accounts for 10 percent of
the global economy.  The researchers classified as "adopters" California,
New York, Massachusetts, Vermont, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Connecticut,
Maine, and New Mexico who comprise 70 million people (about a quarter of US
population) and 27 percent of US GDP.  New Jersey, Oregon, and Washington
were classified as "probable adopters".  "Possible adopters" included 25 US
municipalities that participate in the ICLEI CCP program.  If you would like
to see the original article from Nature, contact John Bolduc
<mailto:[log in to unmask]> .

*  2005 Atlantic Hurricane Season Sets Records - It's official.  The
National Oceanic and <http://www.noaanews.gov/stories2005/s2540.htm>
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced that 2005 was the busiest
Atlantic hurricane season on record.  The 2005 season is part of the active
hurricane cycle that began in 1995.  NOAA expects that this cycle will
continue for 10 to 20 more years, as the Atlantic appears to be on a decadal
cycle.  The year produced the equivalent of two hurricane seasons over the
course of one season.  Several records were set including:  26 named storms
exceeded the previous record of 21 in 1933; 13 hurricanes formed, compared
to 12 in 1969; 4 major hurricanes hit the US mainland the most since 3 hit
in 2004; and 3 hurricanes achieved Category 5 intensity for the first time.
While the increased frequency of storms is attributed to a decadal cycle,
there is now debate over whether global warming has contributed to the
increased intensity observed in recent years.  NOAA did not speak to this
point in its review.  Officially, the tropical storm season runs from June
through November.  However, warm ocean temperatures can continue to support
storm formation into December.  NOAA will make its 2006 forecast in May,
although it is expected that next year will be another active season.

*  COP-11 Begins - The 11 <http://unfccc.int/meetings/cop_11/items/3394.php>
th Conference of the Parties, or United Nations Climate Change Conference,
began on November 28 in Montreal and runs until December 9.  The conference
brings together the signatories to the 1992 UN Framework Convention on
Climate Change, which includes the U.S.  The conference is expected to begin
addressing the post-Kyoto Treaty period which starts after 2012.
Information about the conference, including webcasts of certain sessions, is
on the UN website.  ICLEI will be holding the 4
<http://www.iclei.org/index.php?id=1575> th Municipal Leaders Summit on
Climate Change in parallel with COP-11.  The municipal meeting is
co-sponsored by the City of Montreal.

*  RGGI Update - According to a Boston Globe article, most of the states
involved in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, are preparing to move
forward without Massachusetts and possibly Rhode Island.  RGGI involves
establishing a cap and trade system for greenhouse gas emissions from power
plants in the Northeast.  Reportedly, Governor Romney is concerned about
potential impacts on energy costs and is seeking a cap on how much power
generators would have to pay for pollution allowances.  The other states -
New York, Deleware, New Jersey, Vermont, Maine, Connecticut, and New
Hampshire - are apparently opposed to such a cap or are at least willing to
go forward with the plan.  Massachusetts has not yet abandoned participating
in RGGI and is seeking a compromise.  [Boston Globe, 12/2/05]

*  World Energy Demand to Surge - The International Energy Agency, in its
most recent World Energy <http://www.iea.org/textbase/npsum/WEO2005SUM.pdf>
Outlook, projects that energy demand will rise by more than 50% over the
next 25 years if governments stick with current policies.  Over 60% of the
increase would come from oil and natural gas.  The Middle East and North
Africa will supply an increasing share of the energy demand.  Oil production
from the region will increase from 35% today to 44% in 2030.  Saudi Arabia
will maintain about the same portion of the total output; Iraq, Kuwait,
United Arab Emirates, and Libya will see larger shares.  Increased output
from the Middle East and North Africa is dependent on increased investment
in production and refining capacity on the order of double that of the past
decade.  If production from the region does not increase as projected, there
would be significant market effects on the price of oil and gas.  The IEA
notes that more vigorous government policies in the consuming countries,
such as those considered at the G8 meeting in Gleneagles this year would
reduce projected demand significantly, but global energy demand would still
rise 37% higher than today and dependence on the Middle East and North
Africa would also continue to grow.  More radical policies and technology
breatkthroughs are needed to reverse the trends.  [Planet
<http://www.planetark.com/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/33365/newsDate/8-Nov-200
5/story.htm>  Ark, 11/8/05]

*  GHG Emissions Down - According to the United Nations Framework Convention
on Climate Change Key
<http://unfccc.int/files/essential_background/background_publications_htmlpd
f/application/pdf/key_ghg_dta_exec_summary_eng.pdf>  GHG Data report,
developed nations' GHG emissions were down 5.9 in 2003 compared to 1990.
However, the reduction was largely due to the collapse of the Eastern
European economies.  Between 1990 and 2003, individual countries' GHG
emissions performed as follows:  Spain +41.7%; Portugal +36.7%; Greece +
25.8%; Ireland +25.6%; Canada +24.2%; Australia +23.3%; New Zealand +22.5%;
Finland +21.5%; United States +13.3%; Japan +12.8%; Norway +9.3 %; Denmark
+6.8%; Netherlands +1.5%; France -1.9%; Sweden -2.3%; Britain -13%; Germany
-18.2%.  Also, see the UNFCCC
<http://unfcc.int/files/press/releases/application/pdf/press051116_key_ghg_d
ata.pdf>  summary statement.

*  Greenhouse Gases in Atmosphere Highest in 650,000 Years - Scientists
working in the European Project for Ice Coring in Antarctica published in
Science their findings of greenhouse gas concentrations measured in ice
cores collected in Antarctica.  The new data goes back 650,000 years.
Previous studies from the Vostok ice cores went back 400,000 years.  Based
on the measurement of gases trapped in bubbles in the ice, the scientists
found that carbon dioxide levels are 27% higher today than seen in the peak
of the previous millennia.  In other words, current GHG concentrations in
the atmosphere are higher than at any time in the past 650,000 years.
Similar results were found for methane.  The findings cover 8 cycles of
alternating ice ages and warm periods.  The studies also demonstrated the
strong relationship between temperature and GHG concentrations.  [CBS
<http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/11/25/tech/main1075640.shtml>  News,
11/25/05]

*  Renewable Energy Market Growing - According to the Worldwatch
<http://www.worldwatch.org/press/news/2005/11/06/>  Institute, global
investment in renewable energy set a new record of $30 billion in 2004.
Currently, renewable energy technologies provide about 4 percent of the
world's electricity.  Government support for renewables is growing, with 48
countries having some type of renewable energy promotion policy, including
14 developing nations.  The fastest growing energy technology in the world
is grid-connected solar photovoltaics, which grew by 60% per year from 2000
to 2004.  PV covers more than 400,000 roofs in Japan, Germany, and the US.
Wind is the second fast growing energy technology, which grew by 28% last
year.  Biofuels (ethanol and biodiesel) exceeded 33 billion liters in 2004
with ethanol displacing 3 percent of the 1200 billion liters of gasoline
globally.  Over 4.5 million consumers bought green power in Europe, the US,
Canada, Australia, and Japan through the purchase of renewable electricity
or certificates in 2004.  Market leaders in renewable energy in 2004 were
Brazil in biofuels, China in solar hot water, Germany in solar electricity,
and Spain in wind power.

*  Scientists Detect Weakening in North Atlantic Current - Oceanographers
from the United Kingdom's National Oceanography Centre report in the
scientific journal Nature that they detect substantial weakening of the
North Atlantic current system that carries warm water from the tropics
north, including the Gulf Stream, and returning cool water to the south.
The current system is responsible for moderating the weather of western
Europe.  The researchers took temperature and salinity measurements in the
North Atlantic along the 25 degree North latitude in 2004.  Readings were
previously taken along the same latitude in 1957, 1981, 1992, and 1998.  No
changes were previously observed except for a slight decline in circulation
in 1998.  The researchers estimate the 2004 readings indicate about a 30
percent slowing of circulation since 1957.  The weakening in the current is
thought to be related to more fresh water entering the ocean due to
increased river flows and melting of ice sheet, which are related to global
warming.  The weakening raises concern that if the Atlantic conveyor current
completely shuts down, temperatures in western Europe could decline by about
10 degrees Fahrenheit over a period of years.    No direct impact of the
weakening current has been observed in Europe so far.  The researchers
caution that there are large uncertainties in the measurements and that
there is not enough data yet to prove a long-term trend.  Sensor-equipped
moorings have been deployed across 25 locations in the subtropical Atlantic
to monitor continuously the circulations at all depths.  It is expected that
results will indicate in the next 4 years or so whether the Atlantic current
system is sill working well.  [Nature,
<http://www.nature.com/news/2005/051128/full/051128-9.html> 11/30/05; CNN,
<http://www.cnn.com/2005/TECH/science/11/30/climate.study/index.html>
12/1/05; Los
<http://www.latimes.com/news/local/state/la-me-current1dec01,1,5547801.story
?coll-la-news-state>  Angeles Times, 12/1/05; RealClimate website
<http://www.realclimate.org/> ]

 


Resources & Ideas


*  Winter Energy Tax Incentives - In response to the anticipated high winter
energy costs, Massachusetts and the federal government are offering tax
incentives for energy efficiency improvements and heating costs.
Massachusetts incentives <http://www.dor.state.ma.us/>  include:  up to $800
for home heating costs incurred between 11/1/05 and 3/31/06 for joint filers
earning $75,00 or less or single filers earning under $50,000; tax credits
for purchasing energy-efficient heating products such as new windows,
programmable thermostats, furnaces and hot water systems; state subsidy for
interest on private loans taken for energy efficiency upgrades; and a
corporate excise tax credit for businesses that purchase solar hot water
heating systems.  The federal government
<http://www.energytaxincentives.org/>  is offering incentives for the 2006
and 2007 tax years up to $500 total in income tax credits over the two years
for certain energy efficiency improvements.

*  NSTAR Offers Increased Lighting Incentives - In response to anticipated
pressure on the electricity grid this winter, NSTAR is offering  "Enhanced
Lighting Incentives" for its small and large commercial accounts.  The
program expires March 31, 2006.  NSTAR would cover potentially 100% of the
costs.  The upgrades would be performed by NSTAR's contractor, DJM Harris.
For more information, check the NSTAR
<http://www.nstaronline.com/your_business/solutions.asp>  website or call
Steve Quatromoni at 617-371-4514.

*  Climate Basics - Oxford University has put together a short web
presentation explaining the basics of climate and climate prediction, called
"Climate
<http://www.begbroke.ox.ac.uk/begbroke/display/page/climate.basics.html>
Basics".  Macromedia Flash is needed to run the presentation.

*  The Local Climate Newsletter - Clean Air - Cool Planet distributes an
electronic newsletter entitled "The Local Climate", which summarizes
resources and news on climate protection in the Northeast.  To see the
latest issue, see the Clean Air
<http://www.cleanair-coolplanet.org/for_communities/> - Cool Planet website.
To receive the newsletter regularly, contact Amelia Ravin, at
[log in to unmask]

*  Urban Forest Canopy Assessment - The final report of the Cambridge Urban
Forest Canopy Assessment is on the City <http://www.cambridgema.gov/climate>
's climate protection webpage.  Look under the "City Initiatives" section.
If you would like a printed copy, contact John
<mailto:[log in to unmask]>  Bolduc.

 


	
	


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