Tag Archives: Vietnam

Coffee is on a high

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Do you wince every time you pay for your triple caramel macchiato, almond milk-flavoured café latte or regular espresso? Prepare for a shock: the price of that daily coffee fix is likely to be going up even more. Changes in climate in key coffee-growing regions are an important factor driving a surge on world markets. LONDON, 26 April – In recent days Arabica coffee beans – by far the most popular variety of coffee – have been fetching around US$2 a pound on the world market. That’s nearly double the price of a year ago. Several factors seem to be driving the market upwards: in Central America, a significant production area, an outbreak of a disease called leaf rust – believed to be linked to changes in climate – has severely damaged the crop. A prolonged period of drought and some unseasonably cold weather in Vietnam – now the world’s second biggest coffee-producer – has cut back crop forecasts for robusta beans, mainly used for instant coffee. A lack of rain has also hit coffee-producing areas in East Africa. But it’s climate-related events in Brazil, the world’s biggest coffee grower – responsible for about 40% of global production – which seem to be causing the most froth amongst international market traders. Minas Gerais state, in the south-east of Brazil, produces about 25% of the country’s coffee crop. Rainfall during December, January and February – the usual period of most precipitation – was about 10% of normal, while temperatures rose well above average. Coffee & Climate (C&C) helps coffee farmers around the world adapt to climate change. “Data from 68 meteorological stations and 264 rain gauges tell us that the climate in Minas Gerais is changing”, it said in a recent report. “Nearly all parts of the state experienced significant warming over the 1960-2011 period, with warm extremes increasing and cold extremes decreasing.”

Big drops

Events in Minas Gerais over recent months have been exceptional, says C&C, with parts of the state experiencing mean maximum temperatures in January of between 3°C and 4°C above the long-term average. The result has been a disaster for many coffee growers. Without adequate water, berries have dried or have become so-called floaters – virtually empty husks. In recent weeks the rains have arrived in the form of torrential downpours: that might do more harm than good with the harvest fast approaching, though coffee farmers are still hoping for a last-minute turnaround in fortunes. Commodity experts say there’s likely to be a drop of up to 35% in Minas Gerais production this year – and an overall drop of 18% in Brazil’s output of Arabica beans. As global demand for coffee has surged over recent years, farmers have rushed to plant more coffee trees. It is these young trees which are most susceptible to water shortages. Coffee farmers and traders are also concerned that the quality, as well as the quantity, of the crop might be affected by the adverse weather.

Worse than thought

The pattern of Brazil’s climate has been undergoing considerable change in recent years. A 2013 NASA-led study says the drought rate in Amazonia over the past decade is unprecedented over the past century. The study also suggests that the effect of what scientists call a mega-drought in 2005 in an area of Amazon rainforest twice the size of California is far more serious than previously thought, with indications that the forest is taking many years to recover. The fear is that drought conditions – and increasingly volatile weather patterns – will hit a large part of Brazil, one of the world’s major agricultural producers. In its latest report the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says coffee production is likely to decrease worldwide as temperatures rise. One possible bright spot for coffee drinkers is that prices are unlikely to rise this year – or by not much, at least. Most of the big coffee houses tend to buy on what’s called the futures market – locking in a set price for their goods, often for years in advance. Traders are also holding large stockpiles of beans after a bumper harvest last year. But there are signs that speculators are piling into the market, anxious not to miss out on what could be a big step up in prices. So the advice is – drink that coffee now. Don’t wait any longer. – Climate News Network

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Do you wince every time you pay for your triple caramel macchiato, almond milk-flavoured café latte or regular espresso? Prepare for a shock: the price of that daily coffee fix is likely to be going up even more. Changes in climate in key coffee-growing regions are an important factor driving a surge on world markets. LONDON, 26 April – In recent days Arabica coffee beans – by far the most popular variety of coffee – have been fetching around US$2 a pound on the world market. That’s nearly double the price of a year ago. Several factors seem to be driving the market upwards: in Central America, a significant production area, an outbreak of a disease called leaf rust – believed to be linked to changes in climate – has severely damaged the crop. A prolonged period of drought and some unseasonably cold weather in Vietnam – now the world’s second biggest coffee-producer – has cut back crop forecasts for robusta beans, mainly used for instant coffee. A lack of rain has also hit coffee-producing areas in East Africa. But it’s climate-related events in Brazil, the world’s biggest coffee grower – responsible for about 40% of global production – which seem to be causing the most froth amongst international market traders. Minas Gerais state, in the south-east of Brazil, produces about 25% of the country’s coffee crop. Rainfall during December, January and February – the usual period of most precipitation – was about 10% of normal, while temperatures rose well above average. Coffee & Climate (C&C) helps coffee farmers around the world adapt to climate change. “Data from 68 meteorological stations and 264 rain gauges tell us that the climate in Minas Gerais is changing”, it said in a recent report. “Nearly all parts of the state experienced significant warming over the 1960-2011 period, with warm extremes increasing and cold extremes decreasing.”

Big drops

Events in Minas Gerais over recent months have been exceptional, says C&C, with parts of the state experiencing mean maximum temperatures in January of between 3°C and 4°C above the long-term average. The result has been a disaster for many coffee growers. Without adequate water, berries have dried or have become so-called floaters – virtually empty husks. In recent weeks the rains have arrived in the form of torrential downpours: that might do more harm than good with the harvest fast approaching, though coffee farmers are still hoping for a last-minute turnaround in fortunes. Commodity experts say there’s likely to be a drop of up to 35% in Minas Gerais production this year – and an overall drop of 18% in Brazil’s output of Arabica beans. As global demand for coffee has surged over recent years, farmers have rushed to plant more coffee trees. It is these young trees which are most susceptible to water shortages. Coffee farmers and traders are also concerned that the quality, as well as the quantity, of the crop might be affected by the adverse weather.

Worse than thought

The pattern of Brazil’s climate has been undergoing considerable change in recent years. A 2013 NASA-led study says the drought rate in Amazonia over the past decade is unprecedented over the past century. The study also suggests that the effect of what scientists call a mega-drought in 2005 in an area of Amazon rainforest twice the size of California is far more serious than previously thought, with indications that the forest is taking many years to recover. The fear is that drought conditions – and increasingly volatile weather patterns – will hit a large part of Brazil, one of the world’s major agricultural producers. In its latest report the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says coffee production is likely to decrease worldwide as temperatures rise. One possible bright spot for coffee drinkers is that prices are unlikely to rise this year – or by not much, at least. Most of the big coffee houses tend to buy on what’s called the futures market – locking in a set price for their goods, often for years in advance. Traders are also holding large stockpiles of beans after a bumper harvest last year. But there are signs that speculators are piling into the market, anxious not to miss out on what could be a big step up in prices. So the advice is – drink that coffee now. Don’t wait any longer. – Climate News Network

Bank curbs won't slow coal's comeback

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Several big banks have said they will apply much more stringent conditions to funding for coal-burning plants, but despite that coal use is rising in many parts of the world.

LONDON, 30 July – For those concerned about the impact of coal-burning power plants on the world’s environment, the good news seems to have been arriving thick and fast lately.

Coal is the most polluting of fossil fuels and, according to the International Energy Agency, accounts for about 45% of global energy-related CO2 emissions.

In mid-July, the World Bank announced it was significantly scaling back funding for coal-fired power stations due to concerns about emissions and global warming. In future, said the Bank, it would limit such financial assistance to “only rare circumstances.” Then the US Export-Import Bank announced it had decided not to support funding for a multi-million dollar coal-fired power plant in Vietnam.

A few days later the European Investment Bank (EIB) – the world’s biggest public bank – followed the World Bank’s lead, introducing new lending criteria which, if properly implemented, would rule out future financial support for lignite and so-called “dirty coal” power plants. There were also indications the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) could be bringing in coal-lending restrictions.

But, as a pessimist might say, every silver lining has a dark cloud attached to it.

A big test of the World Bank’s resolve will likely be made early next year when it will decide whether to give funding guarantees to a highly controversial power plant using “dirty” coal in Kosovo.

Burgeoning growth

The EIB’s new criteria on coal lending – tied to specified limits on fossil fuel power plant emissions – have been criticised as being too generous to polluters, while the US Ex-Im Bank continues to back coal-fired power stations in many parts of the world.

And then there’s the bigger picture: the world is using coal for energy generation like never before, and projections are for consumption to grow by at least a third by 2040, possibly by a half if the worst case scenarios are fulfilled.

The US Federal Energy Information Administration (EIA) has just released its comprehensive International Energy Outlook 2013.

The EIA says world energy consumption is likely to grow by more than 50% over the period 2010 to 2040, with fossil fuels supplying 80% of the total, despite a growth in renewables and nuclear power.

It sees coal as remaining dominant in the electricity generation sector: global consumption will rise by 1.3% a year  – from 147 quadrillion British thermal units (Btu) of energy in 2010 to 180 quadrillion Btu in 2020 to 220 quadrillion Btu in 2040.

While much of that growth will come from the rapidly growing economies of China and India, coal consumption is at present rising rapidly in other parts of the world.

Coal makes a comeback

The shale gas boom in the US means record amounts of relatively cheap US coal are now available for export. The EIA says US coal exports were more than 115 million tons in 2012, more than double the 2009 figure.

The EU is by far the biggest customer for US coal, with exports to the UK alone going up by about 70% in 2012.  A big jump in UK coal use is deemed to be largely responsible for a 4% rise in UK CO2 emissions last year.

Meanwhile Germany, the EU’s economic powerhouse and a country often regarded as a leader in cutting CO2 emissions, is gradually upping its coal use.

It all makes grim reading for those hoping to limit CO2 emissions and prevent runaway global warming. Even in the US – where much has been made of the switch away from coal to less carbon-intensive gas – coal is making a comeback.

With coal prices falling and natural gas prices rising, the EIA says coal’s share of US power generation in the first four months of 2013 averaged 39.5%, compared with 35.4% in the same period last year.

US greenhouse gas emissions have been falling over the past four years: watch out for a rise this year. – Climate News Network

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Several big banks have said they will apply much more stringent conditions to funding for coal-burning plants, but despite that coal use is rising in many parts of the world.

LONDON, 30 July – For those concerned about the impact of coal-burning power plants on the world’s environment, the good news seems to have been arriving thick and fast lately.

Coal is the most polluting of fossil fuels and, according to the International Energy Agency, accounts for about 45% of global energy-related CO2 emissions.

In mid-July, the World Bank announced it was significantly scaling back funding for coal-fired power stations due to concerns about emissions and global warming. In future, said the Bank, it would limit such financial assistance to “only rare circumstances.” Then the US Export-Import Bank announced it had decided not to support funding for a multi-million dollar coal-fired power plant in Vietnam.

A few days later the European Investment Bank (EIB) – the world’s biggest public bank – followed the World Bank’s lead, introducing new lending criteria which, if properly implemented, would rule out future financial support for lignite and so-called “dirty coal” power plants. There were also indications the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) could be bringing in coal-lending restrictions.

But, as a pessimist might say, every silver lining has a dark cloud attached to it.

A big test of the World Bank’s resolve will likely be made early next year when it will decide whether to give funding guarantees to a highly controversial power plant using “dirty” coal in Kosovo.

Burgeoning growth

The EIB’s new criteria on coal lending – tied to specified limits on fossil fuel power plant emissions – have been criticised as being too generous to polluters, while the US Ex-Im Bank continues to back coal-fired power stations in many parts of the world.

And then there’s the bigger picture: the world is using coal for energy generation like never before, and projections are for consumption to grow by at least a third by 2040, possibly by a half if the worst case scenarios are fulfilled.

The US Federal Energy Information Administration (EIA) has just released its comprehensive International Energy Outlook 2013.

The EIA says world energy consumption is likely to grow by more than 50% over the period 2010 to 2040, with fossil fuels supplying 80% of the total, despite a growth in renewables and nuclear power.

It sees coal as remaining dominant in the electricity generation sector: global consumption will rise by 1.3% a year  – from 147 quadrillion British thermal units (Btu) of energy in 2010 to 180 quadrillion Btu in 2020 to 220 quadrillion Btu in 2040.

While much of that growth will come from the rapidly growing economies of China and India, coal consumption is at present rising rapidly in other parts of the world.

Coal makes a comeback

The shale gas boom in the US means record amounts of relatively cheap US coal are now available for export. The EIA says US coal exports were more than 115 million tons in 2012, more than double the 2009 figure.

The EU is by far the biggest customer for US coal, with exports to the UK alone going up by about 70% in 2012.  A big jump in UK coal use is deemed to be largely responsible for a 4% rise in UK CO2 emissions last year.

Meanwhile Germany, the EU’s economic powerhouse and a country often regarded as a leader in cutting CO2 emissions, is gradually upping its coal use.

It all makes grim reading for those hoping to limit CO2 emissions and prevent runaway global warming. Even in the US – where much has been made of the switch away from coal to less carbon-intensive gas – coal is making a comeback.

With coal prices falling and natural gas prices rising, the EIA says coal’s share of US power generation in the first four months of 2013 averaged 39.5%, compared with 35.4% in the same period last year.

US greenhouse gas emissions have been falling over the past four years: watch out for a rise this year. – Climate News Network

Bank curbs won’t slow coal’s comeback

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Several big banks have said they will apply much more stringent conditions to funding for coal-burning plants, but despite that coal use is rising in many parts of the world. LONDON, 30 July – For those concerned about the impact of coal-burning power plants on the world’s environment, the good news seems to have been arriving thick and fast lately. Coal is the most polluting of fossil fuels and, according to the International Energy Agency, accounts for about 45% of global energy-related CO2 emissions. In mid-July, the World Bank announced it was significantly scaling back funding for coal-fired power stations due to concerns about emissions and global warming. In future, said the Bank, it would limit such financial assistance to “only rare circumstances.” Then the US Export-Import Bank announced it had decided not to support funding for a multi-million dollar coal-fired power plant in Vietnam. A few days later the European Investment Bank (EIB) – the world’s biggest public bank – followed the World Bank’s lead, introducing new lending criteria which, if properly implemented, would rule out future financial support for lignite and so-called “dirty coal” power plants. There were also indications the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) could be bringing in coal-lending restrictions. But, as a pessimist might say, every silver lining has a dark cloud attached to it. A big test of the World Bank’s resolve will likely be made early next year when it will decide whether to give funding guarantees to a highly controversial power plant using “dirty” coal in Kosovo.

Burgeoning growth

The EIB’s new criteria on coal lending – tied to specified limits on fossil fuel power plant emissions – have been criticised as being too generous to polluters, while the US Ex-Im Bank continues to back coal-fired power stations in many parts of the world. And then there’s the bigger picture: the world is using coal for energy generation like never before, and projections are for consumption to grow by at least a third by 2040, possibly by a half if the worst case scenarios are fulfilled. The US Federal Energy Information Administration (EIA) has just released its comprehensive International Energy Outlook 2013. The EIA says world energy consumption is likely to grow by more than 50% over the period 2010 to 2040, with fossil fuels supplying 80% of the total, despite a growth in renewables and nuclear power. It sees coal as remaining dominant in the electricity generation sector: global consumption will rise by 1.3% a year  – from 147 quadrillion British thermal units (Btu) of energy in 2010 to 180 quadrillion Btu in 2020 to 220 quadrillion Btu in 2040. While much of that growth will come from the rapidly growing economies of China and India, coal consumption is at present rising rapidly in other parts of the world.

Coal makes a comeback

The shale gas boom in the US means record amounts of relatively cheap US coal are now available for export. The EIA says US coal exports were more than 115 million tons in 2012, more than double the 2009 figure. The EU is by far the biggest customer for US coal, with exports to the UK alone going up by about 70% in 2012.  A big jump in UK coal use is deemed to be largely responsible for a 4% rise in UK CO2 emissions last year. Meanwhile Germany, the EU’s economic powerhouse and a country often regarded as a leader in cutting CO2 emissions, is gradually upping its coal use. It all makes grim reading for those hoping to limit CO2 emissions and prevent runaway global warming. Even in the US – where much has been made of the switch away from coal to less carbon-intensive gas – coal is making a comeback. With coal prices falling and natural gas prices rising, the EIA says coal’s share of US power generation in the first four months of 2013 averaged 39.5%, compared with 35.4% in the same period last year. US greenhouse gas emissions have been falling over the past four years: watch out for a rise this year. – Climate News Network

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Several big banks have said they will apply much more stringent conditions to funding for coal-burning plants, but despite that coal use is rising in many parts of the world. LONDON, 30 July – For those concerned about the impact of coal-burning power plants on the world’s environment, the good news seems to have been arriving thick and fast lately. Coal is the most polluting of fossil fuels and, according to the International Energy Agency, accounts for about 45% of global energy-related CO2 emissions. In mid-July, the World Bank announced it was significantly scaling back funding for coal-fired power stations due to concerns about emissions and global warming. In future, said the Bank, it would limit such financial assistance to “only rare circumstances.” Then the US Export-Import Bank announced it had decided not to support funding for a multi-million dollar coal-fired power plant in Vietnam. A few days later the European Investment Bank (EIB) – the world’s biggest public bank – followed the World Bank’s lead, introducing new lending criteria which, if properly implemented, would rule out future financial support for lignite and so-called “dirty coal” power plants. There were also indications the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) could be bringing in coal-lending restrictions. But, as a pessimist might say, every silver lining has a dark cloud attached to it. A big test of the World Bank’s resolve will likely be made early next year when it will decide whether to give funding guarantees to a highly controversial power plant using “dirty” coal in Kosovo.

Burgeoning growth

The EIB’s new criteria on coal lending – tied to specified limits on fossil fuel power plant emissions – have been criticised as being too generous to polluters, while the US Ex-Im Bank continues to back coal-fired power stations in many parts of the world. And then there’s the bigger picture: the world is using coal for energy generation like never before, and projections are for consumption to grow by at least a third by 2040, possibly by a half if the worst case scenarios are fulfilled. The US Federal Energy Information Administration (EIA) has just released its comprehensive International Energy Outlook 2013. The EIA says world energy consumption is likely to grow by more than 50% over the period 2010 to 2040, with fossil fuels supplying 80% of the total, despite a growth in renewables and nuclear power. It sees coal as remaining dominant in the electricity generation sector: global consumption will rise by 1.3% a year  – from 147 quadrillion British thermal units (Btu) of energy in 2010 to 180 quadrillion Btu in 2020 to 220 quadrillion Btu in 2040. While much of that growth will come from the rapidly growing economies of China and India, coal consumption is at present rising rapidly in other parts of the world.

Coal makes a comeback

The shale gas boom in the US means record amounts of relatively cheap US coal are now available for export. The EIA says US coal exports were more than 115 million tons in 2012, more than double the 2009 figure. The EU is by far the biggest customer for US coal, with exports to the UK alone going up by about 70% in 2012.  A big jump in UK coal use is deemed to be largely responsible for a 4% rise in UK CO2 emissions last year. Meanwhile Germany, the EU’s economic powerhouse and a country often regarded as a leader in cutting CO2 emissions, is gradually upping its coal use. It all makes grim reading for those hoping to limit CO2 emissions and prevent runaway global warming. Even in the US – where much has been made of the switch away from coal to less carbon-intensive gas – coal is making a comeback. With coal prices falling and natural gas prices rising, the EIA says coal’s share of US power generation in the first four months of 2013 averaged 39.5%, compared with 35.4% in the same period last year. US greenhouse gas emissions have been falling over the past four years: watch out for a rise this year. – Climate News Network