International Day of Forests 21 March
2017 Theme: Forests and energy
This global celebration of forests provides a platform to raise awareness of the importance of all types of woodlands and trees, and celebrate the ways in which they sustain and protect us. This year we highlight the importance of wood energy in improving people's lives, powering sustainable development and mitigating climate change.
Wood is a major renewable energy source - Wood provides the world with more energy than solar, hydroelectric or wind power, accounting for roughly 40 percent of current global renewable energy supply. It plays an important role in both developing and in some industrialized countries. About 50 percent of global wood production (around 1.86 billion cubic meters) is used as energy for cooking, heating, and electricity generation. For 2.4 billion people, wood fuel means a cooked and more nutritious meal, boiled water, and a warm dwelling.
Wood energy powers economic development - Almost 900 million people, mostly in developing countries, are engaged in the wood-energy sector on a part- or full-time basis. Modernizing the wood energy sector can help revitalize rural economies and stimulate enterprise development – greater investment in wood energy production and advanced wood fuels can provide revenue to finance better forest management, more growing forests and more jobs.
Wood and trees contribute to optimal urban living and lower energy bills - Strategically placed trees in urban areas can cool the air by between 2 to 8 degrees C.
Wood energy mitigates climate change and fosters sustainable development - Globally, forests hold an energy content approximately 10 times that of the world’s annual primary energy consumption. They thus have significant potential as renewable resources to meet global energy demand.
Forests for energy, now and in a future global green economy - Greater investment in technological innovation and in sustainably managed forests is the key to increasing forests’ role as a major source of renewable energy. In this way, we invest in our sustainable future, in meeting several Sustainable Development Goals and in growing a green economy. Increased areas of sustainably household and community woodlots and the use of clean and efficient wood stoves can give millions more people in developing countries access to cheap, reliable and renewable energy.
America Doesn’t Have to Choose Between the Economy and the Climate
by Helen Mountford and Joel Jaeger - March 06, 2017
Solar panels at Curtis H. Stanton Energy Center. Photo by OUC Reliable One/Wikimedia Commons
This post is part of WRI’s blog series, The Trump Administration. The series analyzes policies and actions by the administration and their implications for climate change, energy, economics and more.
New EPA Secretary Scott Pruitt recently said “I believe that we as a nation can be both pro-energy and jobs, and pro-environment. We don’t have to choose between the two.” While we don’t always see eye to eye with Mr. Pruitt, on this one we have common ground.
For many years, we’ve heard that economic growth and environmental protection are in conflict. However, there is growing and compelling evidence that this simply is not the case: A strong economy and a healthy environment are not only complementary, but each depends on the other.
The Economic Case for Climate Action
The negative economic impacts of environmental damage are becoming clearer. Risky Business, a project founded by Mike Bloomberg, Hank Paulson and Tom Steyer, has mapped the potential costs of climate change, finding that states like Missouri and Illinois risk up to a 70 percent decline in average annual crop yields by the end of the century due to rising temperatures. Billions of dollars of property in states like Florida and California will likely be underwater by midcentury. And it is not just climate change that poses a cost to our economy and our communities. Nationwide, the health impacts of air pollution are estimated to be equivalent to 4 percent of GDP each year. By acting now, we can avoid increasing costs down the road.
But it’s not just about preventing risks. Climate action can actively benefit the economy, according to new work from the New Climate Economy. The key drivers of economic growth – resource efficiency, infrastructure investment and innovation – can be harnessed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It’s a logical connection: a more efficient economy is a more productive economy, and a more efficient economy also emits less carbon.
The economic case for climate action is only becoming stronger as time goes on and the costs of clean energy and other technologies continue to drop. Since 2008, the cost of utility-scale solar energy in the United States has fallen 64 percent and the cost of wind energy has fallen 41 percent, making them increasingly cost-competitive with traditional fossil fuel power, even without subsidies. Even without considering the air pollution and climate benefits, clean energy makes economic sense.
The US Is Decoupling Economic Growth from Carbon Emissions
Many U.S. states are already proving that it is possible to have a strong economy and a strong environment. Thirty-three states and the District of Columbia expanded their economies while reducing energy-related carbon emissions from 2000 to 2014, according to Brookings. This includes red states like Kentucky, Alaska and Georgia, as well as blue states like California, New York and Massachusetts. This is an economic issue, not a political one.
As a whole, from 2000 to 2015, the United States grew its GDP by 30 percent while reducing its energy-related emissions by 10 percent.
Can the United States Achieve a Low Carbon Economy by 2050?
Thursday, March 9
2:00 pm - 3:30 pm
Room G11 – Dirksen Senate Office Building
Constitution Avenue and 1st Street, NE
A live webcast will be streamed at 2:00 PM EST at www.eesi.org/livecast (wireless connection permitting)
The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) invites you to a briefing showcasing two new reports on how to transition the United States toward a low carbon economy. The reports, From Risk to Return: Investing in a Clean Energy Economy and the United States Mid-Century Strategy for Deep Decarbonization, present a range of pathways that can achieve deep reductions in greenhouse gas emissions between now and 2050. These pathways involve mixtures of: energy efficiency, renewable energy, nuclear power, carbon capture and storage, increased carbon sequestration in U.S. lands, and reductions in non-CO2 emissions. These pathways rely on commercial or near-commercial technologies that American companies are adopting and developing. The briefing will explore how deeper investment in clean energy can yield long-term dividends for the American economy.
In a low carbon economy, total electricity generation could double between now and 2050, presenting a prime opportunity to reap the benefits of investing in clean energy. An average of $320 billion a year in additional private sector investment would be needed between now and mid-century to reduce total energy sector CO2 emissions by 80 percent by 2050. This bold step forward could in turn yield an average of over $360 billion in annual savings from reduced spending on fossil fuels.
Karl Hausker has worked for 30 years in the fields of climate change, energy, and environment in a career that has spanned the federal government, research institutions, NGOs, and consulting. Much of his work has focused on the energy and transportation sectors and on low carbon, resilient development strategies.
At WRI's U.S. Climate Initiative, Noah Kaufman focuses on carbon pricing and other market-based climate solutions. He has previously served as Deputy Associate Director of Energy & Climate Change at the White House Council on Environmental Quality and as a Senior Consultant at NERA Economic Consulting.
This event is free and open to the public. Please RSVP to expedite check-in.
European Energy Centre - Independent Educational Body for the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Sectors
"Promoting knowledge-sharing and best practice in Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency with leading universities and the United Nations (UNEP) through professional Training Courses, Qualifications, Conferences, Publications, European Projects, Global Partnerships, Membership Programmes and the Internationally Recognised Galileo Master Certificate."
Training Courses and Qualifications
The European Energy Centre (EEC) has been running training courses since 1975 and has a wealth of experience in education for the renewable energy and energy efficiency sectors.
The professional renewable energy and energy efficiency training courses are organised in collaboration with leading European and International Universities.
Participants benefit from the practical and theoretical knowledge of a range of renewable energy and energy efficiency systems, taught by University professors and leading experts in their field with more than 30 years of theoretical and practical experience.
The EEC Accredited Centre is an Independent Professional Body and trains around 5000 individuals a year in over 300 training courses at 21 universities across Europe.
Galileo Master Certificate (GMC)
The internationally recognised Galileo Master Certificate (GMC) is awarded to successful course participants, as important evidence of the theoretical and practical skills required of professionals and quality technicians in the industry. It provides a clear gateway to a career in the renewable energy sector.
The teaching, which leads to the GMC, is based on the European Project EMTEU (Energy Management Technician in Europe).
Previous participants of our courses include representatives from Mitsubishi, Siemens, British Army, Solar Power Scotland, Nestle, Coca Cola, and NATO amongst others.
The list of some of the participants who have been awarded the GMC can be viewed here https://www.euenergycentre.org/clients-partners
International Conferences and Summits
The European Energy Centre organises leading Conferences, Summits and Round Tables, with the support of European Governments and in partnership with the United Nations (UNEP) and the intergovernmental IIR, on the latest technologies in renewable energy and energy efficiency across Europe and internationally.
Participants of the Summits include leading researchers, authorities from universities, Members of the European Parliament, European Commission, Greenpeace, Presidents of leading organisations and intergovernmental Institutes such as the IIR, the American ASHRAE, AHARI, the Chinese CAR, the European Partnership for Energy and the Environment and AREA which represents 130,000 professionals working in the sector.
We bring together leading experts and researchers to share knowledge and ideas over a stimulating programme of events and activities.
|United Nations UNEP with European Energy Centre EEC - 16th EU Conference: Director interviewed on the importance of education in renewable energy
||Peter W. Egolf, University of Applied Sciences of Western Switzerland, interviewed on the importance of the conference
Publications United Nations (UNEP) - EEC
The EEC works with the United Nations UNEP to produce a series of publications and articles detailing and disseminating the latest technical innovations on renewable energy and energy efficiency to professionals across the world.
The official technical journal of the EEC is Energy Learning – a leading journal launched to run parallel to the International Special Issue (ISI), published in print by the EEC Accredited Centre and the United Nations UNEP.
To access the Energy Learning Journal please visit www.energy-learning.com
The European Energy Centre (EEC) has always been at the forefront of innovation in the energy sector. The EEC actively participates and shapes European Projects at the EU level for the benefit of the Community Member States. For more information visit European Projects
Professional Membership Programmes
Recent research carried out by the European Energy Centre (EEC) showcased the increasing importance for energy professionals to keep up to date with the latest technology, innovation, networking and recognition with the sector.
This gap has been filled by the global Renewable Energy Professional Membership Programme. Visit www.energycpd.co.uk for more details or email
The EEC has always been a centre for international partnerships with government organisations, universities, research institutes and the industry. The EEC is always keen to expand this network further to disseminate knowledge and education in renewable energy and energy efficiency throughout local communities worldwide.
For more information regarding our activities, training courses, conferences, qualifications or the latest news and information on Renewable Energy contact us using our contact form.
You can email us at
Or call the UK secretariat on +44 (0)131 446 9479
The first green public building in Turkey: Cezeri Green Technology Technical and Industrial Vocational High School
Feb 6, 2017
A school complex, which belongs to Ministry of National Education is constructed in line with the principles of integrated building design approach as a part of the project on Promoting Energy Efficiency in Buildings in Turkey and will be a model for public sector.
Cezeri Green Technology Technical and Industrial Vocational High School is the first environment-friendly public building and creates a model for showing how to reduce energy consumption in public buildings in Turkey and related GHG emissions in a cost-efficient way.
Cezeri Green Technology Technical and Industrial Vocational High School complex belongs to has a land area of 17.030 m² and indoor area of 21.940 m² and the school complex has 26 classroom, 6 laboratory, 10 ateliers, sports hall, a dormitory building with 52 rooms with 147 bed capacity.
Technical aspects of the school campus are as follows:
- Green roof
- Photovoltaic solar panels and wind turbine
- Rainwater collection system and grey water usage
- High performance building envelope
- Natural lighting with solar chimney
- Appropriate sunshade settlements
- Efficient soil borne based heat pump
- Trigeneration chiller and trigeneration unit
- Solar wall
- Underground pipe system
- Natural ventilation
Promoting Energy Efficiency in Buildings Project is being executed by General Directorate of Renewable Energy (YEGM) of Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources in cooperation with UNDP with the financial support of Global Environment Facility (GEF). The Ministry of Environment and Urbanization, and Ministry of National Education are other partners of the project.
For further information please watch our video on the first green public building in Turkey: Cezeri Green Technology Technical and Industrial Vocational High School
Dr. Joe Romm is Founding Editor of Climate Progress, “the indispensable blog,” as NY Times columnist Tom Friedman describes it.
Trump’s EPA policies risk more Alzheimer’s cases, doctors warn
Two new studies support findings that polluted air causes dementia.
Researchers have found that particulates from coal plants (like this one in Kansas) and vehicles increase the risk of dementia. Credit: AP Photo/Charlie Riedel
Two new studies add to the growing body of evidence that air pollution is causing higher rates of Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Particulate matter may be responsible for more than one in five dementia cases, as the smallest particles appear to travel directly from the nose to the brain, where they do considerable damage.
Tragically, the new president campaigned on rolling back Clean Air Act rules and boosting coal use, which, along with vehicle exhaust, is the principal source of particulates.
“If people in the current administration are trying to reduce the cost of treating diseases, including dementia,” physician-epidemiologist Dr. Jiu-Chiuan Chen told the L.A. Times, “then they should know that relaxing the Clean Air Act regulations will do the opposite.”
Indeed, many studies find serious health impacts even at particulate levels below current EPA standards, Chen told ThinkProgress.
Chen is the senior lead author for a new 11-year epidemiological study in the Nature journal Translational Psychiatry. His team of researchers found that older women breathing air pollution that exceeds the EPA’s standard for fine particles (PM2.5) “are 81 percent more at risk for global cognitive decline and 92 percent more likely to develop dementia, including Alzheimer’s.”
PM2.5 is particulate matter (PM) smaller than 2.5 micrometers in diameter. In comparison, a strand of human hair is more than 20 times wider than PM2.5.
“Microscopic particles generated by fossil fuels get into our body directly through the nose into the brain,” co-author Prof. Caleb Finch, a leading expert on dementia, said in a statement. “Cells in the brain treat these particles as invaders and react with inflammatory responses, which over the course of time, appear to exacerbate and promote Alzheimer’s disease.”
This gif accompanied the study’s news release. CREDIT: University of Southern California
The other key study released last month was published in the journal Lancet and found “living close to heavy traffic was associated with a higher incidence of dementia.”
Canadian researchers found that those living within 50 meters (160 feet) of high-traffic roads “had a seven percent higher likelihood of developing dementia compared to those who lived more than 300 meters (984 feet) away from busy roads.”
The air near major roads has been found to have particulate levels 10 times greater than the air just a few hundred feet away.
Given the devastating impact that dementia has on individuals and families — not to mention the enormous economic costs — this evidence suggests the country should tighten Clean Air rules for fossil fuel plants, especially coal plants.
Since even low levels of the smallest particles are dangerous to humans, Trump’s plans to kill the Clean Power Plan and gut the EPA’s ability to enforce Clean Air rules are even more cruel and immoral than they first appeared.
“It is really a policymaker’s responsibility to make sure that the air everyone breathes is clean and safe,” Chen said. “This is a time when everyone needs to speak up, including scientists.”
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EPA enforcement office may be next on the Trump team’s hit list
This story was originally published by the Huffington Post and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.
The Trump administration is considering closing down the enforcement division of the Environmental Protection Agency, according to a report Wednesday evening from Inside EPA.
The new administration is reportedly looking to close the Office of Enforcement & Compliance Assurance, or OECA, and instead let individual program offices (such as the air program, the water program, and others) handle enforcement. The outlet Inside EPA quoted “a source familiar with the plan” who says the Trump administration intends to “disassemble the enforcement office … take it, break it up, and move it back into the program offices.”
In a statement emailed to the Huffington Post, the agency’s press office said the “EPA does not have a confirmed administrator and we cannot speculate on future plans for the agency.”
Closing the office would almost certainly mean less enforcement work happens at the agency. OECA handles both civil and criminal enforcement of the country’s core environmental laws, including the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Oil Pollution Act, and the Safe Drinking Water Act. The office is an independent body with about 3,000 employees who “work to advance environmental justice by protecting communities most vulnerable to pollution.”
“Dissolving OECA would have a disastrous effect on EPA’s ability to do its job,” said Nicholas Conger, who served as communications director for OECA from July 2013 through March 2016 and later worked in the EPA administrator’s public affairs office. Conger is now the press secretary of the Natural Resources Defense Council. “Americans depend on a strong federal enforcement presence, and that depends on having a program that is directly focused on holding polluters accountable and ensuring they fix their problems.”
Myron Ebell, a climate change denier who led the Trump administration’s transition at the EPA before returning to the conservative Competitive Enterprise Institute, noted in an email with HuffPost that most environmental enforcement efforts were largely the responsibility of individual offices before the creation of the OECA in the 1990s. Ebell has previously recommended the agency slash its workforce by two-thirds, from about 15,000 to 5,000 employees, and cut the EPA budget in half.
Environmental advocates were quick to point out that Scott Pruitt — the Oklahoma attorney general Trump picked to lead the EPA — made almost the same move back home. Pruitt closed his office’s Environmental Protection Unit not long after he took office in 2011.
Pruitt’s online biography describes him as “a leading advocate against the EPA’s activist agenda,” and says he “established Oklahoma’s first federalism unit to combat unwarranted regulation and overreach by the federal government.” Republicans voted Pruitt’s nomination out of committee last week over a Democratic boycott; he is expected to go up for a vote in the full Senate, though a date for the vote has not been scheduled.
“Scott Pruitt endangered the health and welfare of Oklahomans when he closed his own environmental enforcement unit there, and now it looks like he wants to do the exact same thing at the EPA, imperiling families across America,” Liz Perera, climate policy director at the Sierra Club, said in a statement.
Republican-led efforts in Congress have already begun to roll back much of the environmental progress made under the administration of President Barack Obama. Last week, leaders in the House voted to overturn a rule meant to protect waterways from coal mining operations and another that requires energy companies to disclose payments from foreign governments.
The Most Important Environmental Stories of 2016
by Maureen Nandini Mitra – December 28, 2016
The past year brought a lot to agonize about, but also some news to cheer and draw inspiration from
It’s been quite a year. I wouldn’t put 2016 down as a particularly great trip around sol, but it has definitely been an eventful, historic year. As we began drawing our annual tally of the most important environmental stories of the year at the Journal, it was hard to look past the dark cloud cast on our movement by the recent election. But look past we did, and we found that it’s been a mixed bag — while the year offered us much grim news, there have also been and some positive, inspiring events and developments that remind us that all hope is never lost. Here’s our list of the most important stories of 2016. These stories aren’t necessarily headline-grabbers, but they are likely to have long-term impacts on the environment, on us, and on our fellow living beings.
The Upset Victory of Donald Trump
Photo by Tony Webster Trump's election has been a major setback to the environmental movement. We have to gear up for at least four years of vigorous battles to protect our lands and waters.
The unexpected victory of climate change denying Donald Trump has definitely been a major setback for the environmental movement in the US. There’s a high chance that many of the environmental protections we have fought so hard for in the past might get rolled back. At immediate risk are Obama’s Clean Power Plan, the Paris climate accord, and the powers of the EPA. Trump has also prioritized removing restrictions against coal, oil, and natural gas extraction and reviving “vital energy infrastructure projects” like the Keystone XL pipeline. Given the fossil fuel execs and climate deniers Trump has been tapping for key positions in his administration, the coming years are sure to bring increased federal leasing of lands for fossil fuel extraction, cuts to clean energy research programs, and fewer protections for critical lands and ecosystems.
Looks like, come January, we have to gear up for at least four years of vigorous battles to protect our lands and waters.
Some Thought on the Deep Ecology Movement
by Alan Drengson
In 1973, Norwegian philosopher and mountaineer Arne Naess introduced the phrase “deep ecology” to environmental literature. Environmentalism had emerged as a popular grassroots political movement in the 1960s with the publication of Rachel Carson's book Silent Spring. Those already involved in conservation and preservation efforts were now joined by many others concerned about the detrimental environmental effects of modern industrial technology. The longer-range, older originators of the movement included writers and activists like Henry David Thoreau, John Muir and Aldo Leopold; more mainstream awareness was closer to the “wise-use” conservation philosophy pioneered by Gifford Pinchot.
In 1972, Naess made a presentation in Bucharest at the Third World Future Research Conference. In his talk, he discussed the longer-range background of the ecology movement and its concern with an ethic respecting nature and the inherent worth of other beings. As a mountaineer who had climbed all over the world, Naess had enjoyed the opportunity to observe political and social activism in diverse cultures. Both historically and in the contemporary movement, Naess saw two different forms of environmentalism, not necessarily incompatible with each other. One he called the “long-range deep ecology movement” and the other, the “shallow ecology movement.” The word “deep” in part referred to the level of questioning of our purposes and values when arguing in environmental conflicts. The “deep” movement involves deep questioning, right down to fundamental root causes. The short-term, shallow approach stops before the ultimate level of fundamental change, often promoting technological fixes (e.g. recycling, increased automotive efficiency, export-driven monocultural organic agriculture) based on the same consumption-oriented values and methods of the industrial economy. The long-range deep approach involves redesigning our whole systems based on values and methods that truly preserve the ecological and cultural diversity of natural systems.
Climate Change Threats and Solutions
What Can We Do to Make a Difference?
Climate change is already beginning to transform life on Earth. Without action, the impacts of climate change threaten to catastrophically damage our world. But by rallying people around the world to be a part of the solution, together we have the power to limit the effects of climate change.
Learn more from TNC's leaders about how we're meeting the challenges of a changing planet.
Read our Science Blog to find out what's emerging in the world of conservation science around climate change.
Earth’s temperatures in 2015 were the hottest ever recorded (source: NASA). Why does this matter? Because a change of even 1 degree Fahrenheit – which may sound small – can upset the delicate balance of ecosystems, and affect plants and animals that inhabit them.