Malaysian locals, environmentalists, and RAEL Director Dan Kammen have won the battle against a controversial coal plant in the Malaysian state of Sabah in northern Borneo. The Malaysian State and Federal government announced today that they would "pursue other alternative sources of energy, namely gas, to meet Sabah's power supply needs." Proposed for an undeveloped beach on the north-eastern coast of Borneo, the coal plant, according to critics, would have threatened the Coral Triangle, one of the world's most biodiverse marine ecosystems, and Tabin Wildlife Reserve, home to Critically Endangered Sumatran rhinos and Bornean orangutans. Local fishermen feared that discharges from the plant would have imperiled their livelihood.
RAEL researchers Dan Kammen and Gang He have published their second Op-ed in the China Daily: This time they promote stronger cooperation between the US and China in the field of energy efficiency standards:
While there has been high profile conflict between the United States and China over energy issues, quiet cooperation does exist, in the form of decades of joint work on energy efficiency standards and through a new, but under-funded, US-China Clean Energy Research Center.
2009 ended with an unproductive US-China standoff at the Copenhagen Climate Summit and high-level tensions have developed over China's rapidly scaled-up production and global sales of renewable energy technology - specifically solar panels, wind turbines, and batteries for the burgeoning electric vehicle markets - and China's dominance in the production of rare earth elements for advanced electronics.
However, China's incredible acceleration of production and sales of clean energy technology is the result of necessity. China has become the world's largest energy consumer, and while its coal resources are vast, 70 percent of China's energy and 80 percent of its electricity come from coal, no other nation pays as high an environmental cost for energy than China, which has no other path to continued growth and energy security than through renewable energy efficiency. To meet the rising demand, China invested more than $50 billion in clean energy in 2009, twice as much as the US.
This second workshop on Physics of Renewable Energy is being organized because of the enthusiastic reception of the first such workshop, held in March 2008. Once again, international experts will give the technical background to understand the issues connected with using energy more efficiently and producing it renewably.
The attachments have registration information and the agenda for both days. If you're interested in attending, don't delay getting registered since this event is almost sold out.
While attending the CITES (Convention on Trade in Endangered Species) biodiversity summit in Nagoya, Japan, late last year, World Bank President Robert Zoellick said that we must foster development and reduce poverty, and at the same time preserve and improve the planet’s biodiversity and ecological resilience. He noted during a speech at the Cancun COP16 Climate Convention that “empty forests are greatly diminished.” He is completely right, but globally efforts to achieve ecologically sustainable development have been difficult and fraught with failure. Sadly, to some the issue is yet another complication to be ignored or avoided.
"Clean energy cooperation will be a key litmus test of the ability of China and the United States to build a partnership based on mutual needs and opportunities. The outcome is of long-lasting global economic, environmental and geopolitical importance.
While quiet cooperation does exist between the two countries in the form of decades of joint work on energy efficiency standards and through a new but under-funded US-China Clean Energy Research Center, far higher profile actions, however, point toward conflict.
First, 2009 ended with an unproductive US-China standoff at the Copenhagen Climate Summit.
Second was China's rapid scale-up of production and global sales of renewable energy technology - specifically solar panels, wind turbines and batteries for the burgeoning electric vehicle markets.
Third are the high-level tensions over Chinese dominance in the production of rare earth metals for advanced electronics.