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05/09/2012 02:46 PM     print story email story  

Vietnam Plans Carbon Trading, Tibet Gets Big Solar, Asia Must Move Quickly on Climate Change News

Vietnam plans to decrease greenhouse gas emissions 20% by 2020 (from 2005 levels) by such measures as changing the diet of livestock, collecting and recycling agricultural waste for biogas, and implementing water-efficient rice farming.

The draft plan, developed by the Ministry of National Resources and Environment, focuses on its two biggest pollution sources, the agriculture and forestry sectors. It is expected to cost just $9.9 million.

The plan includes developing a cap-and-trade market.

Vietnam ranks fifth in the world for Clean Development Mechanism projects, with 112. Those projects are funded by carbon offsets polluters buy as an alternative to reducing their own emissions.

And in Tibet

A 100 megawatt (MW) solar PV complex is rising near Xigaze, Tibet's second-largest city.

It consists of three plants, which together, are the largest in China. LDK Solar is building a 60 MW plant, Chaorisolar is building a 10 MW plant and Linuo Power Group is building a 30 MW plant.

Asian Development Bank Issues Warning

The Asian Development Bank is calling on governments to create a carbon market, establish a free-trade zone for low carbon technologies, and phase out fossil fuel subsidies.

The Bank warns that if current trends in the region continue, carbon emissions will more than triple by 2050, putting an "unbearable strain" on the Earth's ecosystems.

Since the mid-1990s, the region has become the world's largest resource consumer, responsible for 35% of energy-related greenhouse gas emissions, up from 17% in 1990.

And that could reach 45% by 2030 without strong steps on energy efficiency and renewable energy.

"We are increasingly using resources at the cost of environment. Unless we change, the hard-won gains in reducing poverty and improving the quality of life for Asian people could be reversed," says Bank President Haruhiko Kuroda.

Ironically, seven of the 10 nations at greatest risk from climate change are in Asia, according to the U.N. University Institute for Environment and Human Security.

The Bank, which invested $2.1 billion in renewable energy last year, says the region needs to spend $40 billion a year to build low-carbon, climate-resilient economies.

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