Obama’s nuclear play

Allen Greenberg | Nov 29, 2015

Here’s a nice bit of irony:

Energybiz – James Hansen, the scientist who was first to raise the alarm about climate change, fueling calls to shut down coal-fired power plants, will later this week urge the expansion of nuclear power.

In other words, depending on how things work out, utilities that were forced to close down or convert their coal-powered operations because of Hansen’s work, could soon find themselves thanking him for encouraging policymakers and regulators to approve plans to build new nuclear plants.

Hansen will issue his call in Paris, during the two-week climate conference that kicks off Monday. The conference is expected to draw some 20,000 attendees, including President Obama and 120 or so other world leaders.

Also read: First U.S. small modular reactor inches ahead

The hope of the climate talks is to keep global temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels. Few, however, expect the conference to deliver anything meaningful. That’s because the pledges being made to cut greenhouse gas emissions are voluntary and are unlikely to be enough to stave off environmental catastrophe. Tiếp tục đọc “Obama’s nuclear play”

How clean is clean coal?

16 November 2015Articles and blogs
Ilmi Granoff and Sam Pickard

ODI – The coal industry argues that more efficient and less polluting ‘advanced coal’ will help reduce carbon emissions and other pollution. What we can’t forget, ahead of next week’s World Coal Association meeting and OECD talks on coal policy, is that there are cheaper and cleaner options.

Burning coal generates about 40% of fossil fuel emissions. Current G7 and Chinese plants, alongside a dramatic expansion of coal power planned in the developing world, stand to blow our carbon budget.

To address this threat, the coal industry proposes replacing the most polluting coal technologies with advanced ‘high-efficiency, low emissions’ coal technologies. It claims that this will reduce emissions enough to keep global mean temperature under two degrees while taking advantage of coal as a cheap energy source.

Some also advocate that ‘climate finance’ should cover the price mark-up from conventional to advanced coal. For this to make sense, advanced coal would either need to be cleaner or cheaper than the alternatives – it is neither.

Advanced coal pollutes far more than alternatives Tiếp tục đọc “How clean is clean coal?”

Will the SDGs influence domestic policy? Some lessons from the MDGs

20 November 2015 Articles and blogs

ODI – With the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agreed, the next big question is: are governments going to use them?

Despite many years of experience implementing the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), we still know surprisingly little about how national governments actually use these kinds of international frameworks.

How countries responded to the MDGs

A new qualitative study of five governments finds that they used the MDGs in three ways:

  • They set up new institutions to track progress – for example, since 2012 Nigeria has convened a quarterly committee of over 25 state governors, heads of ministries and other government officials to monitor national progress towards the MDGs;
  • Some, such as Indonesia, referenced the MDGs in national development strategies;
  • They saw the MDGs as an opportunity to show international leadership – Mexican politicians, for example, used them to raise the country’s profile across the region.

However, it took countries up to 10 years to translate the MDGs into domestic institutional commitments – they often waited until they had to renew existing domestic targets before doing so. UN-led efforts, particularly the MDG Acceleration Frameworks established in 2010, may have helped prompt eventual action.

Did the MDGs influence government priorities and budgets? Tiếp tục đọc “Will the SDGs influence domestic policy? Some lessons from the MDGs”

Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights

This publication contains the “Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights:
Implementing the United Nations ‘Protect, Respect and Remedy’ Framework”, which
were developed by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on the issue
of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises. The
Special Representative annexed the Guiding Principles to his final report to the
Human Rights Council (A/HRC/17/31), which also includes an introduction to the
Guiding Principles and an overview of the process that led to their development.
The Human Rights Council endorsed the Guiding Principles in its resolution 17/4
of 16 June 2011

Trường phổ thông chỉ dạy 4 môn!

05:13 AM – 28/11/2015 TN

Học sinh Trường THPT tư thục Hai Bà Trưng - Ảnh: Bích Thanh

Học sinh Trường THPT tư thục Hai Bà Trưng – Ảnh: Bích Thanh

Chỉ học những môn thi ĐH, những môn khác không học nhưng vẫn có điểm trong học bạ. Những điều này đang diễn ra tại một số trường phổ thông ngoài công lập tại TP.HCM.

“Không phải học, chỉ cần cuối năm có điểm”

Học bạ vẫn có đầy đủ điểm và yên tâm là thi có hướng dẫn hết. Gia đình không phải lo

Ông H.M.H (Chủ tịch HĐQT Trường  THPT tư thục Hai Bà Trưng, Q.Tân Bình, TP.HCM )

Chiều 26.11, trong vai phụ huynh đi xin chuyển trường cho đứa cháu lớp 12 có định hướng thi khối C từ Cà Mau lên TP.HCM, chúng tôi đến Trường THPT tư thục Hai Bà Trưng (đường Nguyễn Thị Nhỏ, P.9, Q.Tân Bình, TP.HCM) tìm hiểu. Chúng tôi được đích thân Chủ tịch HĐQT của trường là ông H.M.H dẫn đi tham quan cơ sở vật chất cũng như hướng dẫn các thủ tục cần thiết cho việc chuyển trường. Chính vị Chủ tịch HĐQT tư vấn: “Cứ cho cháu lên học trước, không nhất thiết phải có hồ sơ mới học, miễn sao dưới đó họ cho rút hồ sơ là trên này nhận”. Tiếp tục đọc “Trường phổ thông chỉ dạy 4 môn!”

World Energy Outlook 2015

 WEO-2015 cover
Order online here
WEO-2015 Table of Contents
WEO-2015 Acknowledgements
Introduction and ScopeExecutive SummaryArabic | Chinese | English | French | German | Italian | Japanese | Korean | Polish | Russian  | Spanish | ‌Turkish

Press Release
Presentation to the Press

The precipitous fall in oil prices, continued geopolitical instability and the ongoing climate negotiations are witness to the dynamic nature of energy markets. In a time of so much uncertainty, understanding the implications of the shifting energy landscape for economic and environmental goals and for energy security is vital. The World Energy Outlook 2015 (WEO-2015) presents updated projections for the evolution of the global energy system to 2040, based on the latest data and market developments, as well as detailed insights on the prospects for fossil fuels, renewables, the power sector and energy efficiency and analysis on trends in CO2 emissions and fossil-fuel and renewable energy subsidies.

In addition, the WEO-2015 is informed by in-depth analysis on several topical issues:

— A lower oil price future? The decline in oil prices and changed market conditions have prompted a broad debate over how and when the oil market will re-balance. This analysis examines the implications for markets, policies, investment, the fuel mix and emissions if oil prices stay lower for longer. Tiếp tục đọc “World Energy Outlook 2015”

MOOC: Powering Agriculture—Sustainable Energy for Food

poweringag.org – We are happy to announce that the global initiative “Powering Agriculture: An Energy Grand Challenge for Development” (PAEGC) is launching a free Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) in cooperation with TH Köln – University of Applied Sciences. The 8-week course, which will run from Feb. 1 – Mar. 27, 2016, introduces challenges and solutions for sustainable energy use in the agriculture and food industry.


Around one third of the energy used worldwide goes into the production and processing of food from field to table. Given the current energy system mix, the agrifood industry sector is however heavily dependent on fossil fuel inputs for production, transport, processing and distribution, and contributes significantly to greenhouse gas emissions. With a continuously growing world population the need for food and for energy to produce it is increasing. At the same time millions of farmers and processors in developing countries and emerging economies lack access to clean energy technologies for irrigation, drying, cooling, storage and other processes.

How can these needs be met sustainably?

We have to produce more food with less energy, make energy use more efficient, and introduce and upscale more clean energy technologies.

About the Course

This MOOC will introduce participants to the Energy-Agriculture Nexus and introduces approaches for sustainably providing energy throughout all stages of agricultural value chains. Challenges but also solutions will be analyzed, concrete technologies will be examined focusing on their utility to promote access to clean energy. Participants will further be familiarized with relevant external influences such as market conditions, politics, and financing schemes of “powering agricultural” projects. Learning materials, developed by well-known experts, will be available as texts as well as videos on a week-by-week basis and are accompanied by assignments that will require the application of the newly learned skills. Tiếp tục đọc “MOOC: Powering Agriculture—Sustainable Energy for Food”

China Burns Much More Coal Than Reported, Complicating Climate Talks

Beijing is currently pushing a rule-of-law campaign, but the reality is drastically different


Philippe Lopez—AFP/Getty Images Protesters holding pictures of detained Chinese human-rights lawyer Pu Zhiqiang march to the Chinese Liaison Office in Hong Kong on May 14, 2014, asking for his release

Time.com – In late November, Ren Jianyu, once a budding civil servant in China’s southwest, received his results for China’s National Judicial Examination: a sterling score well above what he needed to pass China’s bar. The triumph was bittersweet: for 15 months, Ren, like tens of thousands of others, had been forced to undergo “re-education through labor,” as time spent in China’s gulags is known.Ren’s offense was to have reposted on his microblog comments critical of China’s government and its leaders. He also purchased online a T-shirt emblazoned with the motto: “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death.” For these transgressions, the now 28-year-old was never given the courtesy of a proper trial. He spent his days assembling cardboard for boxes and lived 11 people to a room in a camp filled with more than 1,000 inmates. But after a local justice board deemed his case improperly handled, Ren was released early in 2012 and later compensated less than $15,000 for his suffering. “After experiencing so many things all these years,” he says, “I am not afraid anymore.”

Despite — or perhaps because of — this injustice, Ren decided that he needed to familiarize himself with China’s legal system. After he was released, families of other legal victims came to him, asking for counsel. “At the time, I didn’t understand the law,” says Ren. “When I read the piles of materials they showed to me, I didn’t know which parts were useful, which were not.” Tiếp tục đọc “Beijing is currently pushing a rule-of-law campaign, but the reality is drastically different”