Greenpeace Blog

Japan bans power crazy bulbs

Posted by saunvedan — 20 December 2007 at 1:52pm - Comments

Bulb Japan is the latest country to introduce a ban on inefficient incandescent light bulbs following the likes of Cuba, Venezuela, Australia and Ireland. Much to our delight, the Japanese government is keen to move from incandescent bulbs to energy-saving compact fluorescent ones to reduce carbon emissions and energy use. Why can’t our own government take inspiration from these countries and ban power hungry bulbs for good? The global trend is moving from conventional technologies to more eco-friendly ones as we saw in the case of Ireland where the incandescent bulb was banned a couple weeks ago. If we were to ban power crazy bulbs here we would cut our carbon emissions by 5 million tonnes.

We've reached the quota on bad decisions

Posted by tracy — 19 December 2007 at 1:53pm - Comments

Another year, another botched up decision by the EU fisheries ministers. Early this morning they agreed to increase next year's quota on cod fishing in the North Sea by 11 per cent.

They've been ignoring the science for the last seven years, why should this year be any different? The EU's own scientists have said that the stocks are in such trouble that the quota must be reduced, but we knew these bureaucrats couldn't be trusted to make the right decision - that's why we attempted to shut them out of the meeting on Monday.

Letter to the prime minister: your leadership is needed

Posted by bex — 19 December 2007 at 12:05pm - Comments

A couple of days ago, I wrote that leading climate scientist and director of Nasa's Goddard Institute James Hansen was planning to write to Gordon Brown, urging him to stop the new coal rush in the UK.

Here's the full text of that letter. It's powerful stuff, and piles the pressure onto Gordon Brown ahead of next month's decision by Medway Council, on whether to allow the first new coal plant in 30 years to be built at Kingsnorth.

Roundup from Bali: tears, jeers and a last minute U-turn

Posted by bex — 17 December 2007 at 3:37pm - Comments

It's all too depressingly familiar. The Bali consensus was watered down by low tactics from the US (supported by Japan, Canada, Australia and others). The strong science that should be driving the process was relegated to a footnote. And work to reduce emissions from deforestation still has a long way to go, thanks to the inclusion of a loophole that may allow some industrialised countries to swap binding targets for voluntary goals.

But the fact that we have a Bali Mandate at all - including a process, a deadline and a guarantee that several of the most important issues are on the agenda - is worth a celebration in itself.

No new coal (it's not rocket science, Gordon)

Posted by bex — 17 December 2007 at 3:02pm - Comments

No new coal

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to realise that building a load of new coal power plants probably isn't the brightest idea for the future of our planet, but it's nice when a rocket scientist comes out and says it.

The director of Nasa's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, Dr. James Hansen, has joined the debate on the UK's the new coal rush, and is writing to Gordon Brown to urge him to block plans to build up to eight new coal-fired power stations.

Fisheries ministers shut out to protect cod stocks

Posted by tracy — 17 December 2007 at 9:51am - Comments

Greenpeace volunteers shut out EU fisheries ministers in Brussels
Almost 200 Greenpeace volunteers shut down the EU fisheries quota meeting in Brussels

I remember when they closed the cod fisheries off the east coast of Canada. I was just finishing high school in a sleepy town in Nova Scotia. It was probably the first time an environmental disaster touched my life. You see, almost half my family are fishermen.

Even before the stocks were closed I remember my uncles talking about the dwindling fish, but rather than easing off they were hunting them down to cash in as the cost of the fish rose. I suppose it was unimaginable to them that these fish - which used to make the seas around the Grand Banks bubble - could ever disappear.

A nice bit of schadenfreude in the morning

Posted by bex — 14 December 2007 at 1:47pm - Comments

For environmentalists partial to a mild bit of schadenfreude over their tea and toast, this morning's Today Programme was a treat. You can listen to it here, if you're quick (Fiona and farnishk, I think you'll like John Humphreys' stance).

Environment minister Hilary Benn was invited on to talk about how things have been going in Bali (not so well). As Benn waxed lyrical about the urgent need for action to reduce emissions, Humphreys pulled him up on the yawning gap between the government's rhetoric and reality, what with the government wanting to build new runways and all. Then he pulled him up again. And again. And again. And again. It was a little like listening to a kitten being mauled by a teddy bear.

Ireland is banning the bulb, why can't we?

Posted by jamie — 14 December 2007 at 1:40pm - Comments

After last week's amazing news that Ireland is going to ban inefficient light bulbs in early 2009, we thought it was time to give our own government a squeeze on the issue. The speed at which our neighbour across the Irish Sea will be ditching incandescent bulbs has shown just how ineffective London has been so far.

Not only does Ireland now join the likes of Australia, Venezuela and Cuba who have already laid down bulb legislation, it also proves our own government is dragging its feet. Earlier this year, a voluntary phase-out of inefficient bulbs by the end of 2011 was announced which even at the time was pretty rubbish. Thousands of small retailers aren't covered by the scheme so incandescent bulbs will still be on sale beyond that date. Ireland's tough new legislation now makes this initiative look even more feeble.

Heating up in Bali

Posted by bex — 14 December 2007 at 12:01pm - Comments

The sparks are flying in Bali as the talks enter the final round. After the US tried to derail the negotiations, Al Gore took the stage and lambasted the Bush Administration for blocking negotiations.

"[M]y own country - the U.S. - is principally responsible for obstructing progress here in Bali,'' he said, before urging the delegates to "find the grace to navigate around this enormous obstacle" and move forward without the US.

US trying to destroy international efforts to save the climate

Posted by tracy — 13 December 2007 at 6:18pm - Comments

Our colleagues have been leaked information from a meeting in Bali tonight – the US is trying to destroy international efforts to tackle climate change. They are trying to insert text into the Kyoto Protocol that would make emissions cuts voluntary – as opposed to the current mandatory cuts.

The proposed US text includes the words ‘as appropriate’ and ‘may’ in reference to emissions cuts and is being presented to a meeting of the Friends of the President in Bali tonight. Here it is:

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