SE4All High-Level Event, on 27 September 2015 – Implementing Sustainable Development Goal 7: The Role of partnerships in ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all

By Magdalena A K Muir, Advisory Board Member, Climate

Please find attached the followup report and weblinks and videos for the recent meeting on partnerships for sustainable energy, which was held in conjunction with the recent UN Summit. EUCC was a registered participant in this event. 

EUCC has been historically engaged in sustainable energy issues in coast and marine areas with  Europe, UN, SE4ALL and regionally for the North and Mediterranean Seas. See the EUCC webpage for more information: http://www.eucc.net/en/climate_change/index.htm
Please find a webcast of the full event here
and here
Photos and a summary of the event can be found at 
News and other relevant materials, including film clips used during the event, can be found on www.se4all.org.
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SDG Compass: Consultation on A Guide for Business Action to Advance the Sustainable Development Goals

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By Magdalena A K Muir, Climate Editor

The Coastal and Marine Union (EUCC) has been active in the development and implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and particularly for the standalone oceans goal. There is now an opportunity to participate in related business action through consultations with SDG Compass, which is a guide on business action to advance the UN SDGs.

The second draft of SDG Compass was released for public consultation, and the consultation will run until 31 July 2015. Feedback is being sought on the following documents:

  • The SDG Compass Guide. Please note that the guide’s Annex includes two examples of 2-page SDG references (SDG 4 and SDG 13). 2-pagers will be developed for each SDG towards the final publication of the guide.
  • An inventory of existing business indicators mapped against the SDGs
  • An inventory of existing impact assessment tools mapped against the SDGs

Feedback can be provided on these documents using this link: www.collaborase.com/sdgcompass
This platform allows reviewers to provide comments on the draft, as well as view and react to other reviewers’ comments. It can also be accessed using a mobile device.

Alternatively, the documents can be downloaded below and feedback may be provided at one or more of the below email addresses.

Switch-Med Connect 2015 in Barcelona from Oct 29 – 30, 2015. Register by Sept 15th to go free

SwitchMed Connect 2015 is the first annual gathering of more than 300 stakeholders from Mediterranean countries to build synergies, exchange knowledge, and scale up eco and social innovative solutions. Organised by the EU-funded programme SWITCH-Med (Switching to more sustainable consumption and production in the Mediterranean), the event will bring together leading start-ups and entrepreneurs, industry agents, change agents, policy and financial institutions working on applications of productive, circular and sharing economies in many Mediterranean countries on 29-30 October 2015 in Barcelona. Participation is free for those who register before September 15th.
The SWITCH-MED programme aims to promote a switch of the Mediterranean economies towards sustainable consumption and production patterns and green economy, including low emission development, through demonstration and dissemination of methods that improve resource and energy efficiency. It also seeks to minimise the environmental impacts associated to the life cycle of products and services, and to promote renewable energy.
Sustainable consumption and production is also a long standing UN theme, with information found here; and one of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. There it is defined as  “the use of services and related products, which respond to basic needs and bring a better quality of life while minimizing the use of natural resources and toxic materials as well as the emissions of waste and pollutants over the life cycle of the service or product so as not to jeopardize the needs of further generations” (Oslo symposium, 1994).
Further information:

SOER 2015 — The European environment — state and outlook 2015

Source: EEA

The synthesis report informs future European environmental policy in general and its implementation between 2015 and 2020 in particular. It includes a reflection on the European environment in a global context, as well as chapters summarising the state of, trends in, and prospects for the environment in Europe.

Read more

IRENA/Leonardo Energy Webinar: Scaling Up Renewable Energy Deployment in Island Regions: Insights and Lessons

 Upcoming free webinar on how to scale up renewable energy deployment in island regions. The webinar, organized jointly by IRENA and Leonardo Energy, will share insights from the recent training workshop held in Fiji for the Pacific Islands.

 Topic: Scaling Up Renewable Energy Deployment in Island Regions: Insights and Lessons

 Date/Time: Thu, February 12, 2015 – 12:00 | 1.5 hours (Central European Time)

 Background: Due to their limited land area and remote and dispersed geographical location, many Small Island Developing States are facing compounded challenges in delivering reliable, sustainable and affordable energy services. Various sources have quoted the extreme petroleum dependency with indicative figures as high as over 95% of commercial energy consumption being sourced from imported petroleum in the Pacific Islands. Electricity consumption accounts for about a quarter of imported petroleum in the Pacific, mostly in the form of diesel and heavy fuel oil (HFO).

Many islands have announced their commitment to accelerate the transition to renewable energy in the form of renewable energy targets. Adopting binding, credible targets with clear accountability structure provides the foundation for the basic tenets of sound policy design, namely: transparency, longevity and certainty. However, fulfilling the targets carries a host of challenges. This webinar will address common questions that policy makers often face when scaling up renewable energy deployment in Small Island Developing States.

 Registration link: http://www.leonardo-energy.org/webinar/scaling-renewable-energy-deployment-island-regions-insights-and-lessons?mkt_tok=3RkMMJWWfF9wsRokv63KZKXonjHpfsX87OQtWKWg38431UFwdcjKPmjr1YEDT8F0aPyQAgobGp5I5FEKTbnYSbZjt6QKWA%3D%3D

Further information

The Special Edition on Islands contains information on the countries of the Caribbean plus information for Malta, Bahrain, Comoros, Belize, Cape Verde, the Cook Islands, Fiji, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Palau, Kiribati, the Maldives, Nauru, the Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Niue, the Federated States of Micronesia, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, São Tome and Principe, and the Seychelles
Read more: http://energy-l.iisd.org/news/irena-releases-renewable-energy-profiles-for-sids-and-the-caribbean/

Special edition on the occasion of the Renewables and Islands Global Summit
http://www.irena.org/DocumentDownloads/Publications/Country_profiles_special_edition-islands.pdf

Adaptable Monitoring Package is new tool monitoring effects of tidal, wave energy on marine habitat

New tool monitors effects of tidal, wave energy on marine habitat Researchers building a new underwater robot they’ve dubbed the “Millennium Falcon” certainly have reason to believe it will live up to its name.

The Millennium Falcon robot maneuvers underwater in a testing tank on campus. The monitoring instruments (white box in the middle) are guided by the robot's thrusters toward a docking station on the bottom of the tank. Researchers controlled the machine from above.From left to right: UW researchers Ben Rush, Nick Michel-Hart, James Joslin and Paul Gibbs prepare to test the monitoring device underwater in a tank on campus.

The robot will deploy instruments to gather information in unprecedented detail about how marine life interacts with underwater equipment used to harvest wave and tidal energy. Researchers still don’t fully understand how animals and fish will be affected by ocean energy equipment, and this instrument seeks to identify risks that could come into play in a long-term marine renewable energy project. “This is the first attempt at a ‘plug-and-socket’ instrumentation package in the marine energy field. If successful, it will change the way that industry views the viability of environmental research and development,” said Brian Polagye, a University of Washington assistant professor of mechanical engineering and one of the project’s leaders.

The UW research team tested the Millennium Falcon and the instruments it transports, called the Adaptable Monitoring Package, underwater for the first time in January in a deep tank on campus. Researchers will continue testing in Puget Sound under more challenging conditions starting this month. They hope this tool will be useful for pilot tidal- and wave-energy projects and eventually in large-scale, commercial renewable-energy projects.“We’ve really become leaders in this space, leveraging UW expertise with cabled instrumentation packages like those developed for the Ocean Observatories Initiative. What’s novel here is the serviceability of the system and our ability to rapidly deploy and recover the instruments at low cost,” said Andrew Stewart, an ocean engineer at the UW Applied Physics Laboratory.

The instrument package can track and measure a number of sights and sounds underwater. It has a stereo camera to collect photos and video, a sonar system, hydrophones to hear marine mammal activity, sensors to gauge water quality and speed, a click detector to listen for whales, dolphins and porpoises, and even a device to detect fish tags. A fiber optic cable connection back to shore allows for real-time monitoring and control, and the device will be powered by a copper wire.The breadth of sensors and various conditions this instrument can measure is unprecedented, researchers say. The tool also is unique for its ability to attach to most types of underwater infrastructure, ranging from tidal turbines to offshore oil and gas rigs. This allows researchers to easily deploy the instrument far offshore and recover it quickly at a relatively low cost compared with other approaches. “It could be a first step toward a standardized ‘science port’ for marine energy projects,” Polagye said.

This speedy deployment and recovery — sometimes in rough seas — is possible because the instrument fits inside a remotely operated vehicle, or ROV, that can maneuver underwater and drop off the instrumentation package at a docking station integrated onto a turbine or other existing subsea infrastructure. The vehicle is about the size of a golf cart, and the research team outfitted the off-the-shelf Falcon underwater surveying machine with five extra thrusters on an external frame to give it more power to move against strong currents. Actuators on the vehicle latch the monitoring instruments onto a subsea docking station, and then the Millennium Falcon can disengage, leaving the instruments in place, and travel back to the water’s surface.

This project is a collaboration between researchers in mechanical engineering and the Applied Physics Laboratory, within the larger Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center, which is a multi-institution organization that develops marine renewable energy technologies through research, education and outreach. The center and the Applied Physics Laboratory recently received $8 million from the U.S. Navy to develop marine renewable energy for use at its facilities worldwide. Development of this environmental monitoring instrument was prompted by a long-running tidal energy pilot project with the Snohomish County Public Utility District in Admiralty Inlet that recently was dropped because of ballooning costs. Going forward, researchers expect to use the same device to monitor marine-energy projects cropping up around the world and help to reduce the cost of future developments.

“Snohomish PUD was really at the forefront of projects grappling with this problem of monitoring a tidal turbine in deep, fast moving water. But as other projects in the U.S., Europe and Canada have faced similar monitoring scenarios, the instrumentation package is shaping up as a strong candidate to meet their needs,” Polagye said. Other lead researchers are UW mechanical engineering graduate students James Joslin and Emma Cotter. The project is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Naval Facilities Engineering Command, the Snohomish County Public Utility District and the UW.

Video on  Adaptable Monitoring Package

Further information

News release: New tool monitors effects of tidal, wave energy on marine habitat

http://www.washington.edu/news/2015/02/05/new-tool-monitors-effects-of-tidal-wave-energy-instruments-on-marine-habitat/

Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global dumps 114 companies on environmental and climate grounds

Responsible investment

Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG), worth $850bn (£556bn) and world’s biggest sovereign wealth fund was founded on the nation’s oil and gas wealth. It revealed a total of 114 companies had been dumped on environmental and climate grounds in its first report on responsible investing, released on Thursday. The companies divested include tar sands producers, cement makers and gold miners.

As part of a fast-growing campaign, over $50bn in fossil fuel company stocks have been divested by 180 organisations on the basis that their business models are incompatible with the pledge by the world’s governments to tackle global warming. But the GPFG is the highest profile institution to divest to date.

A series of analyses have shown that only a quarter of known and exploitable fossil fuels can be burned if temperatures are to be kept below 2C, the internationally agreed danger limit. Bank of England governor Mark Carney,World Bank president Jim Yong Kim and others have warned investors that action on climate change would leave many current fossil fuel assets worthless.

“Our risk-based approach means that we exit sectors and areas where we see elevated levels of risk to our investments in the long term,” said Marthe Skaar, spokeswoman for GPFG, which has $40bn invested in fossil fuel companies. “Companies with particularly high greenhouse gas emissions may be exposed to risk from regulatory or other changes leading to a fall in demand.”

She said GPFG had divested from 22 companies because of their high carbon emissions: 14 coal miners, five tar sand producers, two cement companies and one coal-based electricity generator. In addition, 16 coal miners linked to deforestation in Indonesia and India were dumped, as were two US coal companies involved in mountain-top removal.

Further information: 

Information about the GPFG

http://www.nbim.no/en/the-fund/about-the-fund/

GPFG Report on Sustainable Investing

http://www.nbim.no/en/transparency/reports/2014/responsible-investment/

GPFG Consultation with Experts on Investments in Coal and Petroleum Companies

http://www.nbim.no/en/transparency/submissions-to-ministry/2015/hearin—report-from-expert-group-on-instrumets-and-investments-in-coal-and-petroleum-companies-of-the-government-pension-fund-global/

Guardian news article : World’s biggest sovereign wealth fund dumps dozens of coal companies

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/feb/05/worlds-biggest-sovereign-wealth-fund-dumps-dozens-of-coal-companies