Policy & Enforcement Briefing: Rio+20, Natural Gas Lobby, NRC, Camp David Declaration

by | May 23, 2012

The World Business Council for Sustainable Development has released a policy report directed toward the Rio+20 conference that outlines a set of policy recommendations from the business community. The report has seven categories of action including defining clear and specific goals, a public education plan, the establishment of performance standards and codes of conduct, and investment for efficient infrastructures.

The natural gas industry is lobbying for support against a DOE rule more than a year in the making – the Fossil Fuel-Generated Energy Consumption Reduction – which aims to cut out the use of fossil-fuels in all new and renovated federal buildings by 2030. The House is considering a move to block the funds needed to complete the rule, Inside Climate News reported.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission chairman Gregory Jaczko announced his resignation after three years as head of the nuclear agency. Jaczko, who approved the first new nuclear power reactors in decades, has been a divisive figure in Washington, and has been accused of bullying female staffers. He will lead the agency until a successor is named, The Hill said.

The Camp David Declaration from the weekend’s G8 summit includes an action plan for reducing short-lived climate pollutants — black carbon, methane, ground-level ozone, and hydrofluorocarbons. Addressing these pollutants could slow climate change by decades, The Daily Telegraph writes.

North Carolina governor Bev Perdue issued an executive order directing a workgroup, led by the state Division of Energy and the state environment department, to make regulatory recommendations for fracking, which is currently banned in the state. As well, the state General Assembly is expected to begin debate on the policy, writes The Fayetteville Observer.

New Jersey governor Chris Christie is backing the EPA’s order for a GenOn Energy plant in eastern Pennsylvania to make big cuts in its sulfur dioxide emissions. The state wrote tp GenOn and the regional transmission authority, PJM, saying that running two units at the plant beyond 2015 would be illegal and unfounded, Politico said.

Though waiting for final audit numbers, the Alberta government said that it has most likely missed its 2010 GHG reduction goal, but it will change strategy to meet future targets. The goal was to cut emissions by 20 megatons below business-as-usual projections in 2010, the Calgary Herald said.

China is drafting its own rules to regulate the aviation sector through a trading scheme. Two private Chinese companies are formulating the rules, Point Carbon says.

Bavaria’s stock exchange will cease carbon emissions certificate trading operations in the EU ETS on June 30. Reasons cited were the 60 percent decrease in value over the past year and a lack of policy action, Reuters said.

France is considering a revival of former President Sarkozy’s plans for a carbon tariff at the EU borders. The policy would aim to protect local industry from competition, primarily from countries where industries are not subject to CO2 emission limits, Euractiv said.

Europe’s food safety agency EFSA rejected the French request for a temporary ban on a Monsanto genetically modified corn, MON 810, finding no evidence of risk to humans or animals, writes Industry Week.

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