Tag Archive | "chile"

Clean energy investment falls

Global investment in clean energy was US$45.9billion in the third quarter of 2013, down 14% on the second quarter of this year and 20% below the number for Q3 2012, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

This suggests that investment in technologies such as smart grid, efficiency, storage and electric vehicles will end this year below 2012′s US$281 billion. This total was in turn11% down from the record established in 2011.

The third quarter data showed weakness almost across the board, with investment in China, the US and Europe all down on the equivalent period of 2012. The only region to show a rise in activity on both the quarter and the year was the Americas outside the US and Brazil, due to firm figures from Canada, Chile and Uruguay.

However, the installation of solar photovoltaic power capacity worldwide is set to hit a new record in 2013 at 36.7GW.

“After the slightly more promising second quarter, we now have a very disappointing third quarter figure for investment,” said Michael Liebreich, chief executive of Bloomberg New Energy Finance. “US$45.9 billion is still a substantial amount of money, greater than that invested in the whole of 2004, but the loss of momentum since 2011 is worrying.

“The latest setback reflects policy uncertainty in Europe, the lure of cheap gas in the US, a levelling-off in wind and solar investment in China, and a general weakening of political will in major economies. Governments accept that the world has a major problem with climate change but, for the moment, appear too engrossed in short-term domestic issues to take the decisive action needed.”

Among the major countries, the US saw its total fall to US$5.5 billion in Q3 from US$9.4 billion in Q2, China was down at US$13 billion from US$13.8 billion, India was at US$1.2 billion from US$1.5 billion, and Japan US$7.3 billion from US$7.4 billion. Brazil showed a modest rise, from US$950 million to US$1.1 billion.

In Europe, German investment was US$1.6 billion, down from US$1.7 billion in Q2 and far below the quarterly figures seen in recent years. France saw a fall from US$1.2 billion in Q2 to US$727 million in Q3, Italy a rebound to US$1.3 billion from US$1.2 billion, and the UK a somewhat rally from US$1.6 billion to US$2.6 billion.

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UNEP urges lead paints to be phased out

Children in the developing world are still exposed to “astonishingly high and dangerous levels of lead” through unsafe paints, finds a study by the UN Environment Programme, released Tuesday during the International Lead Poisoning Prevention Week of Action.

The study analysed enamel decorative paints from: Argentina, Azerbaijan, Chile, Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kyrgyzstan, Tunisia and Uruguay. The research was organised by the Global Alliance to Eliminate Lead Paint, a group co-led by UNEP and the World Health Organisation.

Most of the paints tested would not meet regulatory standards established in most industrialised countries. Generally, white paints had the lowest lead content, while red, green and yellow paints had the highest lead levels.

Both Chile and Uruguay have national executive decrees that prohibit the production, import, distribution, sale and use of decorative paints with a lead concentration above 600 ppm, and all of the paints tested in these two countries had low total lead concentrations.

But in each of the other seven countries studied, two or more of the samples of enamel decorative paints had lead content greater than 10,000 ppm.

Lead in paint is a problem because painted surfaces deteriorate with time and disturbance, releasing the lead into household dust and soil outside.

An estimated 143,000 deaths a year result from lead poisoning, according to WHO data; lead paint is a major contributor to this death toll.

Worldwide, 30 countries have phased out the use of lead paint. The Global Alliance to Eliminate Lead Paint has set a target of 70 countries by 2015.

Over the last seven years, similar studies found high average lead concentrations in Cameroon, Egypt, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa and Tanzania.

The UNEP report recommends:
National efforts to promote the establishment of legal and regulatory frameworks to control the manufacture, import, export, sale and use of lead paints and products coated with lead paints.

Paint manufacturers are encouraged to eliminate lead compounds from their paint formulations, and participate in programs that provide third party certification that no lead has been added to their paint. They are encouraged to label products to help consumers identify paints free of added lead.

 

 

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