BusinessGreen brings you this week's green business headlines from around the world
Indonesian government proposes moving capital
The Indonesian government has confirmed it is actively considering moving the country's capital from Jakarta - the fastest sinking major city in the world.
President Joko Widodo this week tweeted that "Jakarta now bears two burdens at once: as a centre of government and public services as well as a business centre". He then asked the public "where do you think Indonesia's capital should be?"
Widodo made no direct mention of climate risks, but Jakarta is regularly highlighted as one of the most vulnerable cities in the world in the face of rising sea levels.
Unlicensed groundwater extraction and illegal development has further contributed to subsidence that has led to some neighbourhoods sinking at a rate of nine inches a year. Half the city is already below sea level and climate models suggest the combination of rising sea levels and subsidence could see 95 per of the city below sea level by 2050.
Presidential hopeful Jay Inslee debuts 100 per cent Clean Energy Plan
Governor Jay Inslee, the Democrat presidential hopeful who has vowed to put climate action at the heart of his campaign, has today unveiled a new plan to make the US a clean energy economy by 2030.
"Climate change is the defining challenge of our time - and it demands a bold and aggressive national policy for America," the new plan declares. "The next president must enact the most ambitious clean energy policy in American history, building on the success of states to create a 100 per cent clean energy economy."
The new plan features goals to ensure that by 2030 the US boasts 100 per cent zero emissions in new light- and medium-duty vehicles and all buses; 100 per cent zero-carbon pollution from all new commercial and residential buildings; and a new national 100 per cent Clean Electricity Standard, requiring 100 per cent carbon-neutral power by 2030.
The plan provides further evidence climate action will be a key battleground for Democrat candidates and follows the launch of a new net zero emission strategy this week by rival Democrat candidate Beto O'Rourke.
Could green shipping fuels drive development?
A new report from the Environmental Defense Fund has revealed how emerging green fuels could both cut emissions across the shipping industry and drive investment in developing countries.
The study highlights how shipping's pursuit of low carbon fuels could drive trillions of dollars of investment opportunities in renewable energy infrastructure, the bulk of which could be located in developing countries.
It argues that green ammonia is the most likely carbon neutral marine fuel to take off, and solar power is its mostly likely production route, making developing nations with strong solar resources well placed to meet growing demand. .
The report calculates that covering 88,000 square kilometres with solar panels - less than one per cent of the Sahara desert - would generate enough solar electricity to produce green ammonia to power the entire international shipping fleet, not just now but throughout a high growth scenario out to 2050.
"Emissions-free shipping can be the engine that drives green development across the world," said Aoife O'Leary, senior legal manager at Environmental Defense Fund Europe. "The abundance and falling costs of untapped renewable resources like solar and wind energy in developing countries make the production of maritime fuels that emit no greenhouse gases a big potential investment opportunity where such production is undertaken by additional renewable capacity. And shippers can look forward to future running on the air, water, wind and sunlight that go into manufacturing new fuels like green ammonia."
France unveils draft energy law
The French government has unveiled its long-awaited draft energy bill, providing a boost to clean energy projects while deferring controversial decisions over the country's longer tern decarbonisation pathway.
Reuters reported that the draft 'energy transition law' strengthens long term emissions goals, pledging to reduce carbon emissions by a factor of more than six by 2050 compared to 1990. The current target proposes cutting emissions by a factor of four under the existing 2015 energy law.
However, under pressure from the 'yellow vest' movement the draft bill contains few new decarbonisation policies. It also defers a target date to reduce France's reliance on nuclear power to 50 per cent to 2035 and waters down an election promise to phase out coal power plants by 2022.
Solarcentury eyes Italian expansion
UK-based solar developer Solarcentury has announced plans to expand its presence in Italy in support of the government's goal to deliver 50GW of installed solar PV capacity by 2030.
"The Italian solar power market is now entering a very exciting stage," said Frans van den Heuvel, chief executive at Solarcentury. "Just as we've seen elsewhere across Europe, solar in Italy no longer requires subsidies to be competitive, making this market an increasingly attractive choice for investors. With this changing market picture, we are delighted to be able to continue the growth of our European operations into Italy."
The move follows news last month the company had moved into the French solar market after winning 57MW of solar power capacity in the country's latest solar auction.
Thai power plan downgrades coal reliance
The Thai government has this week approved a new power plan that looks set to curb investment in coal power and increase the country's reliance on renewable energy.
Reuters reported that the new strategy aims to see Thailand significantly increase itspower generation capacity, adding 56,431MW of new capacity through to 2037 delivering 77,211MW in total.
The government envisages that by 2037 53 per cent of the country's power capacity will come from natural gas, 20 per cent will come from renewables, and 12 per cent will come from coal, with the remainder from imports and other sources.
In contrast, the previous plan from 2015 envisaged coal power delivering a quarter of the country's power by 2036.
The news came in the same week as Reuters also reported Japanese utilities have shelved a series of new coal power projects in recent months.
Ørsted approves plan for Taiwan offshore wind farm
Danish renewable energy giant has taken a much anticipated Final Investment Decision (FID) to move forward with plans for the 900MW Changhua 1 and 2a offshore wind farms in Taiwan.
Analysts said the project represented a further boost to the company's plans to expand into the fledgling Asian offshore wind market.
Octopus Energy Investments to deliver first unsubsidised wind farm project
Octopus Energy Investments this week announced it has partnered with VALOREM to form a joint venture to deliver 71.4MW of wind capacity in Finland. The deal covers two wind farms in the south-west of Finland called Saunamaa and Suolakangas. The projects represent the first Nordic transaction and first unsubsidised onshore wind development for UK-based Octopus.
California restaurant's introduce climate surcharge
CNN reported this week on a new initiative from Restore California Renewable Restaurant program, which will give diners the opportunity to pay a one per cent surcharge on their meals to help curb greenhouse gas emissions.
The resulting funds will be handed to the California Air Resources Board to support projects that help farmers deploy emissions reducing measures. Under the scheme, farmers will be paid $10 per ton of carbon they remove from the atmosphere.
Environmental activists accuse oil company of 'fueling' climate emergency
A collaboration between Neste, Air BP, and Braathen's Regional Airlines fuelled a pioneering low-carbon commercial flight across Sweden on Friday
CEO at the world's largest renewable diesel supplier speaks to BusinessGreen about shipping, aviation, trucks, and turning waste plastic into fuel
With the Environment Agency warning Britain could run out of water by 2050, water companies are trialing smart home technology to reduce water waste.