Summit Notebook

Exclusive outtakes from industry leaders

BrightSource CEO talks about building carbon-free future

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John Woolard, the chief executive of solar thermal energy company BrightSource, sat down at Reuters’ Global Climate and Alternative Energy Summit in San Francisco to talk about energy efficiency, project financing and the future  of carbon-free power.

His advice: build fast!

(Editing/video by Courtney Hoffman)

U.N. climate deal in Copenhagen, or København?

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A new U.N. deal to step up the fight against climate change is to be agreed this December in the Danish capital ‘Copenhagen’, or should that be ‘København’?

British and American English speakers often differ about whether to pronounce it “Copen’hay’gen” or “Copen’haa’gen”. And interviews for the Reuters Global Climate and Alternative Energy summit this week are bringing varieties in between.

Exclusive look inside Sweden’s greenest paper mill

For most of us, printing e-mails or making copies is just part of the daily routine in the office. But, the paper we use does come from somewhere. Last week, we had the opportunity to visit Stora Enso’s Nymolla Mill in southern Sweden to get an exclusive look at how MultiCopy paper is made. Nymolla is an integrated mill (it produces pulp and paper on the same site) and most of the wood used is sourced locally. Also interesting, the mill is the only one I could find in the world that emits zero carbon dioxide from fossil fuels during the paper making process. Check out my look inside the Nymolla Mill.

Inside Sweden's greenest paper mill from Reuters TV on Vimeo.

Kinder: wind, solar not the answer to U.S. energy needs

Rich Kinder, CEO of Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, says the Obama Administration’s push to develop alternative energy sources such as wind and solar are not the answer to reducing the nation’s dependence on oil or reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Click below to hear where Kinder thinks the U.S. should be focusing its attention.

Kinder: wind, solar not the answer from Reuters TV on Vimeo.

White House opposes mandating switch to specific energy efficient lightbulb

China plans to replace some 50 million incandescent lightbulbs in government buildings this year in a bid to cut greenhouse gas emissions but the United States has no plans to mandate such a change, a top White House official said on Wednesday.
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While a fluorescent lightbulb may cost four times as much as an incandescent lightbulb and lasts 10 times longer, the industry is working on new technology that could be even better, said James Connaughton, chairman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality.
 
“Our perspective in general is that it’s better to set a performance requirement through new building codes than dictate specific technologies and approaches for achieving that performance because it varies stunningly from building to building and geographic area to geographic area,” he told the Reuters Global Environment Summit. 
 
“It’s one of these ‘be careful because you might block innovation,’” Connaughton said of the decision not to favor a country-wide swap. “So we have favored standards-based approaches based on performance.”
 
Still, the Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday kicked off its “Change a Light” bus tour that will go to 10 cities to ecourage every U.S. household to change one standard light bulb for an Energy Star bulb, saving $600 million in energy costs annually and preventing greenhouse gas emissions equal to the emissions spewed from more than 800,000 cars..
 
Legislation passed the U.S. House of Representatives earlier this year that would bar the government from buying lightbulbs that were not energy efficient. 

– Photo credit: Hyungwon Kang
 

Audio – U.S. says some progress made in environment talks despite criticism

connaughton.jpgJames Connaughton, chairman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality told the Reuters Global Environment Summit that progress was made at talks in the United States last week on climate negotiations despite criticism from some overseas participants.

He said the meeting served as a useful discussion during which all parties expressed a willingness to consider new ideas on how to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

Audio – “It looks bad and this is not good for the world”

At least 16,000 species worldwide are threatened with extinction, the head of a global wildlife conservation network told Reuters on Wednesday.

Julia Marton-Lefevre, director general of the World Conservation Union (IUCN)“50% of turtles, 33% of frogs, 25% of mammals and 12% of birds all face a high risk of extinction in the near future,” Julia Marton-Lefevre said at the Reuters Global Environment Summit.

Audio – Is a 2 degree global temperature rise too generous?

Rajendra Pachauri, head of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)Governments may need to impose tougher curbs on climate change than the most stringent now under consideration to help safeguard the planet, the head of the U.N. climate panel told Reuters on Wednesday.

“People are actually questioning whether the 2 degree Celsius benchmark is safe enough,” Rajendra Pachauri, head of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), said during the Reuters Global Environment Summit.

Audio – Comprehensive energy bill not likely under Bush, current Congress

odonnell.jpgFrank O’Donnell, president of Clean Air Watch, told the Reuters Global Environment Summit that he doesn’t believe the current administration or U.S. Congress will enact new comprehensive energy legislation. He said real action won’t take place until new U.S. leaders bring forward a fresh viewpoint.

To hear more, click below:

 

Audio – Lessons to learn from Montreal

A second installment of our Global Environment Summit interview with Achim Steiner, Executive Director of the UN Environmental Programme (UNEP).
Achim Steiner, Executive Director of the UN Environmental Programme (UNEP)

In this audio clip, Steiner, citing the Montreal Protocol as an example, explains how an accelerated phasing-in of a proper regulatory environment under the Kyoto Protocol can initiate the development of a universal market economy mechanism that also acts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

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