International stories were the most read Energy and Climate Report stories for the week ending Jan. 30, including those covering developments in Mexico, India, France and China.
1. Environmentalists Urge Mexican Senate to Pass Law to Spur Renewable Development
As covered in this story, environmental groups are calling on Mexico's Senate to pass a law that would encourage development of renewable energy, saying the legislation is needed to ensure sustainable development of the sector.
The Energy Transition Law, referred to as the “green package,” would require a 35 percent use of renewable energy by 2024, further codifying the goals established in 2012 by climate change laws. The measure was passed by the House of Deputies Dec. 15, 2014, and awaits Senate approval.
Several environmental groups—including the Mexican Environmental Law Center, Greenpeace and the Regional Climate Initiative for Latin America—say the law's passage will be key for the future of renewable energy in Mexico.
2. India Clean-Energy Investments Rose 13 Percent to $7.9 Billion in 2014
As detailed in this story, clean-energy investments in India increased to $7.9 billion last year and are expected to surpass $10 billion in 2015.
Investments in clean technologies, including solar and wind power, rose almost 13 percent in 2014 from a year earlier, according to estimates Jan. 23 from London-based Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
That makes India the seventh-largest investor in the industry worldwide, BNEF said. Investments should rise further this year to more than $10 billion, it said.
3. France to Absolutely Guarantee Security at End-of-Year Global Climate Talks in Paris
France announced details—as covered in this story—of its plans to host international talks scheduled for Paris at year-end, saying it would “absolutely guarantee security” when delegates from some 200 countries meet with hopes of finalizing a pact to control emissions of climate-warming greenhouse gases.
In a Jan. 28 statement following the weekly Council of Ministers, Laurent Fabius, French minister of foreign affairs and international development, and Segolene Royal, minister of ecology, sustainable development and energy, said the event will be held in a suburb northeast of Paris.
They said the government expects some 40,000 people to attend the climate talks, scheduled to run from Nov. 30 through Dec. 11. Local and national authorities will collaborate to “absolutely guarantee security, without putting a damper on conviviality and convenience,” they said.
4. France to Aid Vulnerable Developing Nations in Run-Up to Year-End Paris Climate Summit
France will make a concerted effort to provide technical assistance ahead of the Paris climate summit to help poor developing nations craft the contributions they can make to a global climate accord, according to its ambassador to the U.S., whose remarks are covered in this story.
“France will make a special effort to provide technical assistance to the most vulnerable countries” as they develop and implement their “national contributions” to the global agreement, Gérard Araud, Ambassador of France to the U.S., said. More than 190 nations are expected to conclude the final round of negotiations, to be held in Paris Nov. 30 to Dec. 11, with a global deal in which developed and developing nations alike agree to actions curbing greenhouse gas emissions.
The bulk of emissions reductions under the deal are expected to come from industrialized countries, such as European nations and the U.S., and from rapidly developing nations such as China, the world's top emitter, with only modest contributions from the poorest developing nations.
5. Shenzhen Pilot Program to Rate Local Officials Partly on Gross Ecosystem Product
As covered in this story, the south China city of Shenzhen will begin evaluating some local officials not just on traditional measures like economic growth, but also on how the area ranks on a long list of environmental indicators.
The pilot “gross ecosystem product” program applies to officials in the city's Yantian District and will be used to gauge how they are managing environmental protection goals, officials said Jan. 21. Yantian District includes Shenzhen's main port terminal area and is a key logistics hub for the city and Guangdong province.
Liu Weixiang, deputy mayor of the Yantian District government, said at a news conference that the district will combine 41 “urban GEP” indicators with more traditional evaluation systems to determine advancement of officials.
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