Top Stories

July 09, 2012

Policy & Research

Renewable energy “comes of age”

Global renewable energy will increase by 40% as green power “comes of age”, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). In its first ever report on the market, the IEA has forecast “rapid growth” over the next five years with global power generation from hydropower, solar, wind and other renewable sources projected to rise by more than 40%. The report comes after a study released last week by the UK’s Committee on Climate Change, arguing that the government must vastly step up its investments in wind power if it is to meet its carbon targets. Meanwhile, a survey commissioned by the Department of Energy and Climate Change reveals that 82% of British people support the development of a “mix of energy sources” in the UK. (Edie; BusinessGreen)

Corporate Reputation

McDonald’s Olympics sponsorship was queried, reveals president

Top Olympics officials questioned whether it was appropriate to allow fast-food chain McDonald’s to continue sponsoring the games amid mounting concern about the global obesity crisis, the International Olympic Committee president has admitted. Jacques Rogge said in an interview with the Financial Times that the growing financial demands of the Olympics were making it harder for the movement to hold on to its long-cherished values. He said there had been a “question mark” over the sponsorship of the Olympics by McDonald’s and Coca-Cola, a sponsor of the games since 1928, but that the companies’ “grassroots-level” support for the games had won over the committee. (Financial Times*, p1)


South African-owned firms sign climate pact

Eight state-owned companies in South Africa signed the United Nations Global Compact on Thursday, pledging their commitment to the environment and human rights. Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba said the symbolic signing was evidence of the government’s dedication to combating problems caused by climate change. South Africa’s industrial economy is ranked as one of the 30 largest emitters of greenhouse gases in the world. “We have now adopted a pro-active approach so as to ensure that South Africa plays a leading role in combating the global challenges associated with climate change,” said Gigaba. (IOL)

Apple drops green electronics standard

Apple has pulled all of its products from the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT), the standard for green consumer electronics which was created jointly in 2006 by manufacturers, including Apple, advocacy groups and US government agencies. One of Apple’s latest products, the MacBook Pro, was the first of its devices not to be submitted to the standard since 2007. The device uses glue to fix the battery into place in order to make it thinner, meaning that it would have failed standards for ease of disassembly. According to iFixit, a website that provides directions for users to repair their own machines, it is a case of “design superseding the environment”. (Wall Street Journal; iFixit)

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