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Fossil Fuels Subsidies

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Fossil fuel subsidies are 10 times those of renewables, figures show

New analysis shows that government support for fossil fuel industry is about 10 times that offered to renewable energy firms

Alberta tar sands
Aerial view of Shell Albian mine north of Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada. Photograph: Jiri Rezac/Jiri Rezac /eyevine

Despite repeated pledges to phase out fossil fuel subsidies and criticism from some quarters that government support for renewable energy technologies is too generous, global subsidies provided to renewable energy and biofuels are dwarfed by those enjoyed by the fossil fuel industry.

of a major report released late last week by analyst Bloomberg Ne

The report concludes that in 2009 governments provided subsidies worth between $43bn (£27bn) and $46bn to renewable energy and biofuel industries, including support provided through feed-in tariffs, renewable energy credits, tax credits, cash grants and other direct subsidies.

That is the conclusion of a major report released late last week by analyst Bloomberg New Energy Finance, which analyses subsidies and incentive schemes offered globally to developers of renewable energy and biofuel technologies and projects.

In contrast, estimates from the International Energy Agency (IEA) released in June showed that $557bn was spent by governments during 2008 to subsidise the fossil fuel industry.

Michael Liebreich, chief executive of Bloomberg New Energy Finance, said the study revealed that investors reluctant to finance renewable energy industries because they believe them to be heavily subsidised were operating under a misapprehension.

“One of the reasons the clean energy sector is starved of funding is because mainstream investors worry that renewable energy only works with direct government support,” he said. “Setting aside the fact that in many cases clean energy competes on its own merits – for instance in the case of well-situated wind farms and Brazilian sugarcane ethanol – this analysis shows that the global direct subsidy for fossil fuels is around 10 times the subsidy for renewables.”

However, the report predicted that the gap between fossil fuel and renewable energy subsidies should “narrow considerably” this year as support for renewable and biofuels increases as a result of green government stimulus packages worth an estimated $188bn, and fossil fuel subsidies operated by countries such as China are cut in line with falling oil prices.

The study said sizeable renewable energy subsidy schemes were emerging, with the US providing $18.2bn in renewable energy and biofuel subsidies in 2009, China offering direct subsidies worth $2bn alongside low-interest loans from state banks, and Germany providing about $19.5bn worth of support through its widely adopted feed-in tariff scheme.

However, the report will further increase pressure on G20 countries to make good on their recent pledge to phase out fossil fuel subsidies – a move that the IEA believes could single-handedly slash global carbon emissions by up to seven per cent.



August 8, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

This review of climate engineering proposals aims to provide a comprehensive resource of up to date information and ideas for people concerned about the development of large-scale technical fixes to counter the problem of global warming. The proposals fall into three main categories: increasing the reflection of solar radiation back to space, enhancing natural sinks of carbon dioxide, and direct disposal of carbon dioxide captured at source. In addition, proposals involving weather modification

August 8, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Environmental research: Nature’s choreography

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Environmental research: Nature’s choreography

Researchers have shown how the Amazon rainforest depends on the Sahara desert for half of its fresh mineral nutrients

Deserts cover a third of the world’s land surface, they have a powerful role in the planetary climate machine, and they are home to 500 million people. And – as the International Union for the Conservation of Nature has been saying at the world heritage committee meeting in Brasilia, which finished last week – deserts are unique and fragile environments that are home to a remarkable array of plants and animals. The dust whipped up by storms in the Sahara or the arid highlands of Asia absorbs sunlight and darkens the skies, but at the right altitude the same dust also provides surfaces on which water vapour can nucleate as ice to fall as rain. The same dust storms have been linked to outbreaks of respiratory disease in the US and Europe, and to sudden eruptions of plant and animal disease across the distant oceans: one gram of Saharan dust carries a burden of a billion microbes, and some of these are certainly plant and animal pathogens.

But the world heritage meeting also hailed one of the most remarkable discoveries of the last decade: the role of deserts as deliverers of nutrients to the rainier parts of the planet. Around 40m tons of dust is carried by prevailing winds from the Sahara to fertilise the Amazon basin each year. This is a very satisfying finding, since the extraordinary fertility of the Amazon rainforest – one of the richest and most biodiverse places on earth – has been a puzzle. Tropical rains leach nutrients from jungle soils, and the soils of the Amazon forest are notoriously poor, which is why clearance for cattle farming is such a bad idea. Biologists had calculated that the forest needed at least 50m tons of fresh mineral nutrient each year to keep its trees tall and in leaf. In 2006 an international team of researchers established that at least half of this annual mineral supply is quarried from one tiny location in the Sahara, the Bodélé depression in Chad. A combination of fortuitously placed mountain ranges that flank a basin of diatomite sands so focus the winter winds as to scour the depression and lift from it an average of 700,000 tons of dust each day, and air-freight it across the Atlantic.

So for thousands of years, and without any fuss, a tiny part of one of Africa’s poorest countries has annually subsidised the growth economy of one of the world’s most richly endowed. This discovery is yet another insight into the intricate dance performed by earth, air, fire and water in the service of life; and another reminder of the enduring intercontinental interdependence that sustains human civilisation. We should respect the IUCN’s concern for the deserts. Without green things, we could not breathe. Without deserts, there might be no forests.



August 8, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Giving a voice to the industry

By Dr. Sabur Ghayur

The process of globalization and liberalization by virtue of removing tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade and services is linked with opening up wide opportunities for the manufacturing and services sector to penetrate in the export market. The monumental growth of China is testimony to this phenomenon. Few other developing countries – Brazil, India, Russia, Mexico, Vietnam, South Africa, etc. – have also demonstrated sustaining their successes in tapping the vast opportunities.

In addition to the presence of an effective and efficient government capable of ensuring rule of law, continuity of policies, well-defined property rights, institutional arrangement for enforcement of contracts, speedy settlement of disputes, well developed physical infra-structure and financial institutions; many of such countries boast of greater and effective integration of the representatives of industry in developing related policies. 

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) is the representative body of the British industry. In the process of becoming “one voice” of the industry, the Federation of British Industries (FBIs), the British Employers Confederation (BEC) and the National Association of British Manufacturers (NABMs) merged together.

In Malaysia, the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MITI) are known for providing greater access and say to the industry in policy design and change. In fact, the overseas visits of MITI ministers invariably have representatives of industry, as important part of the delegation.

It is well known that all industrial countries do have representative organizations with the aim to champion manufacturing and the country’s manufacturing sector. There is also grouping of countries boasting a collective voice and body for the industry, such as: the Confederation of European Industries (CEIs). The CEIs is collectively supporting the interests of its member countries in the European region.

As for the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), no policy is developed without an effective involvement of the representatives of industry and its workers. In fact, both of them are represented at the OECD through their respective advisory bodies.

The major regional blocks also do have greater and effective involvement of the industry representatives in their deliberations and policies. In case of Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), for example, a group of countries comprising of industrialized and developing countries across the Asia-Pacific rim – including China, Japan and Korea from Asia, as well as USA, Canada, Chile, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea – the annual assemblage of leadership invariably meets the industry representatives. The private sector’s APEC Business Forum has official recognition and given importance as the focus of APEC is promoting economic, business and industry cooperation. The APEC, it is important to note, covers a population of more than two-third of the globe, over three-fifths of the GDP and about half of the global trade.

Another regional group – sort of a reaction to APEC by Europeans, is the Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM). It has been established primarily on the demand of the industry from Europe. Meeting bi-annually, the ASEAN+3 from Asia and European countries, the focus of ASEM is on developing cooperation on the basis of three pillars, namely: political, cultural and economic. Here again, industry representatives and private sector is given prominence.

In contrast, there exists a number of regional blocks – such as South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc), Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO), etc – in addition to a large number of countries including Pakistan that have precisely displayed the opposite. Policies essentially meant for industry and manufacturing are designed, implemented and changed without giving any significant space to the industry to raise their voice or concerns. Take for example the oscillating attitude of the government on the imports of second hand cars and the adverse impact on domestic automobile, as well as associated vendor industry. Reactive responses from the industry are the only way available to them to seek remedial measures. But this is neither sustainable nor desirable. Many attribute that the poor state of industry and manufacturing and the “de-industrialization” process being witnessed in Pakistan in this era of deregulation and liberalization also to a lack of combined voice of the industry.

Even in our traditional cotton sector, value addition for the export market is largely dominated by thread and coarse cloth. Ready-made garments are being replaced by increasing imports from South East Asian countries, Bangladesh and even China. There is also decline, at best, stagnation in the exports of sports and surgical goods. Despite being in the top ten producers of major crops including sugarcane, we have become a sugar importing country.

It is sadly noted that our industry has been put to “destructive distillation” mode resulting into industrial contraction. Several sectors of the industry are closing down. This is also creating serious employment problems that are disruptive socially and politically.

It is perhaps the right time for the industry participants to seriously ponder over the pros and cons of a dedicated body for the industry representing and striving for the growth and modernization of the industry. An apex national organization – leading and representing industry – exclusively meant for development, modernization and strengthening of the whole industrial sector in the county as well as providing a forum for policy dialogue and advocacy. Let us give a collective voice to the industry.

August 8, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Imam Khamenei(HA) – US and Britain Responsible For Terrorism in the Middle East


In His Name, the Most High

The Leader of the Islamic Revolution Imam Khamenei(HA) says the intelligence services of the US, Israel and Britain were the main supporters of the recent terrorist attacks in Iran.

“One of the main objectives the enemy pursued through the terrorist attack in Iran’s southeastern city of Zahedan was to create division and religious dissension,” Imam Khamenei(HA) said on Wednesday (July 21, 2010).

At least 27 people lost their lives and more than 100 others were injured after two bombs went off in quick succession outside the Zahedan Grand Mosque in Sistan-Baluchestan Province on July 15, 2010. The attack has widely been blamed on extremist Wahabis and Salafis trained by US intelligence in Pakistan.

Imam Khamenei(HA) stressed that the Islamic Republic would not allow arrogant powers to obtain their objectives and urged all Iranian officials to “firmly and seriously” confront the enemies of the country’s solidarity and security.

“Their animosity with the Islamic Republic stems from Iran’s adherence to Islam and its repeated call for unity, strength and Islamic dignity,” the Leader(HA) said.

“[The Islamic Republic] is now the target of the evil conspiracies of the intelligence services of the US, the Zionist regime and Britain, who falsely believe that Iran will become entangled in religious dissension and Shia-Sunni conflict,” Imam Khamenei(HA) added.

The Leader(HA) stressed that the emergence and spread of “wild and blind terrorism” had been fathered by the evil policies conspiracies of the US and Britain and their mercenaries.

Imam Khamenei(HA) urged all Muslims to fight terrorism, saying it is an “ominous offspring” and a “clear sample of Moharebeh (waging war on God).”

“The Shia and Sunni elite in all Muslim and Arab countries should clarify the enemy’s objectives in creating and expanding sectarian terrorism. They should forewarn Muslims of the grave danger of religious dissention, which is the desired goal of the enemies of Islam,” the Leader(HA) stressed.

Imam Khamenei(HA) said the global arrogance aims to sow the seeds of discord among Muslims using Wahhabis and the likes of this extremist group.

August 8, 2010 Posted by | Britain, Israel | Leave a comment

Celebrating Nowroz

[20 Mar 2010 | No Comment | 194 views]

The Muslim community is blessed with having multiple “new years” throughout the year, in which we have the opportunity to take account of our actions and make a change in our lives. These occasions include the beginning of the Islamic new year – the 1st of Muharram which signals the true Islamic new year (rather than 1st January); the Night of Qadr during the Month of Ramadhan which signifies the spiritual New Year in which the affairs of the entire following year are decreed and the third is Nawroz – 

August 8, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Saudis set to help in big way Monday, August 09, 2010 By Mazhar Tufail The International News

Monday, August 09, 2010
By Mazhar Tufail

ISLAMABAD: Like in the past disasters, particularly the massive earthquake of October 8, 2005, Saudi Arabia has emerged as the biggest supporter of Pakistan in the wake of the devastating floods in the country.

“Although aid is pouring in from around the world in the wake of the devastating floods in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia is the biggest supporter of the country in this hour of trial,” a diplomatic source told The News here on Sunday.

The source said that Saudi Ambassador Abdul Aziz Saleh bin Ibrahim Al-Ghadeer has told the Pakistani officials that the Royal Saudi Air Force had dedicated planes for transportation of assistance to Pakistan after King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz ordered to establish an air-bridge between the two for uninterrupted supply of goods of immediate need for the flood-affected people in various parts of Pakistan.

“The Saudi authorities have already handed over 150 tonnes of high-quality dates for the needy people to cater to their urgent needs. The dates will also be used by them while fasting during upcoming month of Ramazan,” he said.

August 8, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Sistine Chapel

Sistine Chapel.

August 8, 2010 Posted by | cathedral, photography, religion | | Leave a comment

Check out Sistine Chapel


I want you to take a look at: Sistine Chapel 

August 8, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment