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MEIO AMBIENTE EUA - The New York Times

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EUA - The New York Times

U.S. Officials Press China on Climate


BEIJING — The top American energy and commerce officials called in speeches here on Wednesday for China to do more to address global warming, contending that the country was particularly vulnerable to a changing climate.
Energy Secretary Steven Chu warned in a speech at Tsinghua University, China’s top science university, that if humans did not reverse the rising pace of their emissions of greenhouse gases, more people would be displaced by rising sea levels in China than in any other country, even Bangladesh.
If China’s emissions of global warming gases keep growing at the pace of the last 30 years, the country will emit more such gases in the next three decades than the United States has in its entire history, said Mr. Chu, a winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics.
While Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and other Obama administration officials have mentioned China’s contribution to global warming during visits here this year, the remarks by Mr. Chu and Commerce Secretary Gary Locke were by far the strongest public criticisms yet, and the clearest demands that China take action.
Mr. Locke said in a speech to the American Chamber of Commerce that China shared a special responsibility with the United States to address global warming. China passed the United States two years ago as the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases, and together the two countries account for 42 percent of emissions caused by humans.
“Fifty years from now, we do not want the world to lay the blame for environmental catastrophe at the feet of China,” Mr. Locke said.
Mr. Chu and Mr. Locke, who are both of Chinese heritage, called for the United States and China to work together to develop new technologies to generate clean energy and to improve energy efficiency.
After meeting Wednesday afternoon with senior Chinese officials, they announced that each country would put up $15 million for a joint research center on clean energy, with headquarters in each country at locations not yet decided.
They are to meet again with Chinese officials on Thursday.
Xinhua, China’s official news agency, from which the other news media in China tend to take their cue, carried a long article on the two cabinet secretaries’ speeches and a shorter one on the creation of the joint research center.
But while the long article included a quotation from Mr. Locke in which he acknowledged that the United States had been emitting greenhouse gases for 150 years, neither Xinhua article included any mention of China’s role or of the American criticisms of that role.
The longer article made only a passing mention that China and the United States were the top two emitters, but did not say that China had surpassed the United States in that regard. Chinese officials issued no response to any of the secretaries’ remarks.
In separate interviews, Mr. Chu and Mr. Locke also said they wanted China to show respect for American intellectual property and to remove trade barriers to American energy technologies.
As China seeks to develop and shelter its own energy industries, its growing trade restrictions are a potentially serious obstacle to such cooperation, a factor underlined by the signing of a General Electric contract that Mr. Locke attended in Beijing.
G.E. signed a contract with the Pucheng Clean Energy Chemical Company to license G.E.’s technology for turning coal into a gas for use in a Chinese chemical factory.
The Chinese government prefers technology licensing agreements, in which Western companies transfer technology to Chinese factories, to buying finished goods from factories abroad.
The chemical factory licensing agreement is also a small transaction, estimated at $20 million, compared with the construction of a $375 million power plant China recently started on the outskirts of Tianjin, 90 miles from Beijing, that will turn coal into a gas before burning it.
G.E. executives spent more than a decade trying to win a contract to build such a power plant in China, sharing extensive technical information with Chinese power engineers on how they would go about it.
But at a ceremony in Tianjin on July 6, Chinese officials announced that they were ready to build the 250-megawatt power plant themselves and that they would no longer need to buy Western technology.
Jack Wen, the president of G.E.’s China energy division, welcomed the Pucheng contract and said his company was interested in working with China to build a similar power plant even bigger than the one now under construction in Tianjin.
Chinese officials have strenuously opposed binding limits on emissions of greenhouse gases by developing countries, most recently at the Group of 8 meeting in Italy last week. They have emphasized that industrialized countries are responsible for most of the emissions already in the atmosphere, and that emissions per person remain higher in rich countries than in developing ones.
Mr. Chu acknowledged these points by presenting charts showing that Chinese emissions per person were still roughly a quarter of American emissions per person and showing that the United States had put three times the amount of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere as China since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. He also acknowledged that China had more stringent automotive fuel economy standards than the United States.
But Mr. Chu and Mr. Locke were clearly trying to hone counterarguments, based mainly on the dangers to China and the world if Chinese emissions continued to rise quickly.
“We’re not talking about their giving up prosperity; we’re talking about their using energy in a more efficient way,” Mr. Chu said in an interview.

EUA - The Washington Post

Asian Nations Could Outpace U.S. in Developing Clean Energy

American Markets' Slump Feeds Worry

By Steven Mufson
President Obama has often described his push to fund "clean" energy technology as key to America's drive for international competitiveness as well as a way to combat climate change.
"There's no longer a question about whether the jobs and the industries of the 21st century will be centered around clean, renewable energy," he said on June 25. "The only question is: Which country will create these jobs and these industries? And I want that answer to be the United States of America."
But the leaders of India, South Korea, China and Japan may have different answers. Those Asian nations are pouring money into renewable energy industries, funding research and development and setting ambitious targets for renewable energy use. These plans could outpace the programs in Obama's economic stimulus package or in the House climate bill sponsored by Reps. Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.) and Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.).
"If the Waxman-Markey climate bill is the United States' entry into the clean energy race, we'll be left in the dust by Asia's clean-tech tigers," said Jesse Jenkins, director of energy and climate policy at the Breakthrough Institute, an Oakland, Calif.-based think tank that favors massive government spending to address global warming.
Energy Secretary Steven Chu and Commerce Secretary Gary Locke are visiting China this week to discuss cooperation on energy efficiency, renewable energy and climate change. But even though developing nations refused to agree to an international ceiling for greenhouse gases last week, China and other Asian nations are already devoting more attention to cutting their use of traditional fossil fuels such as oil, natural gas and coal.
South Korea recently said it plans to invest about 2 percent of its GDP annually in environment-related and renewable energy industries over the next five years, for a total of $84.5 billion. The government said it would try to boost South Korea's international market share of "green technology" products to 8 percent by expanding research and development spending and strengthening industries such as those that produce light-emitting diodes, solar batteries and hybrid cars.
China and India are kick-starting their solar industries. India aims to install 20 gigawatts of solar power by 2020, more than three times as much as the photovoltaic solar power installed by the entire world last year, the industry's best year ever. And China's new stimulus plan raises the nation's 2020 target for solar power from 1.8 gigawatts to 20 gigawatts. (A gigawatt is about what a new nuclear power plant might generate.)
"China is trying to catch up in a global race to find alternatives to fossil fuels," the official China Daily said in an article last week.
"A lot of people underestimate how focused China is on becoming a global leader in clean technology," said Brian Fan, senior director of research at the Cleantech Group, a market research firm. China now provides a $3-a-watt subsidy upfront for solar projects, he said, enough to cover about half the capital cost. Fan said it is "the most generous subsidy in the world" for solar power.
China is also expected to boost its long-term wind requirement to 150 gigawatts, up from the current 100 gigawatt target, by 2020, industry sources said. Jenkins said China could provide $44 billion to $66 billion for wind, solar, plug-in hybrid vehicles and other projects. Fan said China also plans to make sure that many of the orders go to its own firms, Gold Wind and Sinovel.
The big Asian research and investment initiatives come as U.S. policy makers boast about their own plans, giving ammunition to those who say this country needs to do more.
"That R&D represents America's chance to become the world's leader in the most important emerging economic sector: energy technology," said House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) in a May 13 speech to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. "In the years to come, I hope that America will be selling clean technology to China and India and not the other way around."
Confident that the United States will develop top-notch technology, the House voted overwhelmingly on June 10 to oppose any global climate change treaty that weakens the intellectual property rights of American green technology.
"We can cede the race for the 21st century, or we can embrace the reality that our competitors already have: The nation that leads the world in creating a new clean energy economy will be the nation that leads the 21st century global economy," Obama said on June 29.
But countries in Asia are not standing still waiting for U.S. advances.
That both excites and worries U.S. manufacturers torn between opportunity and fear of a boost for Asian competitors at a time when the world's biggest market, the United States, has slowed down sharply. "This is heavy manufacturing business. The U.S. has had a great position over the last several years," said Vic Abate, vice president of renewables at General Electric, the world's number two wind turbine company. "If it slows down and if investment doubles down in China, it will be a lot harder to catch up."
"We have already been left behind in some areas," said Mark Levine, director of the environmental energy technologies division at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. "But . . . there remain many opportunities," he said, adding that "the U.S. can carve out key areas in clean energy technology."
Although GE is the only U.S. company among the world's top 10 wind turbine makers (China has two, Germany has three), Levine said "there are areas in wind energy where we are likely to develop crucial technologies that we will both exploit and likely license to others." He cited advanced materials that would permit stronger rotors and techniques for taking advantage of higher wind speeds at greater heights.
Levine said the United States is unlikely to "become the or even a leading photovoltaic manufacturer. But our scientific talent . . . has a good chance of developing the next-generation PV systems which we could either manufacture in China or another country . . . or license to foreign companies. . . . Even if the manufacturing is done abroad, this will lead to very real and large benefits to the U.S. from licensing fees, not to say sales in the U.S. and elsewhere."


Portugal - Agência Lusa

Reunião com Lula deve lançar base para operadora lusófona

Lisboa, (Lusa) - O presidente Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva e o presidente da Portugal Telecom, Zeinal Bava, vão discutir nesta quinta-feira, em Brasília, entre outros assuntos, o que podem ser bases para a criação de uma grande operadora lusófona.

"O encontro servirá para reiterar que o mercado brasileiro é estratégico para o grupo Portugal Telecom", disse à Agência Lusa fonte oficial da operadora, sem adiantar mais detalhes sobre o encontro.
A criação de uma grande operadora para os países de língua portuguesa é um projeto que tem sido defendido nos últimos tempos, dada a importância crescente que os conteúdos têm no setor das telecomunicações.
Nos últimos dez anos, a Portugal Telecom já investiu mais de 5,4 bilhões de euros (R$ 14,82 bilhões), sendo o maior investidor português no Brasil.
Atualmente, a Portugal Telecom detém em partes iguais com a Telefónica a Vivo, a maior operadora móvel do Hemisfério Sul, com presença em todos os estados brasileiros.
Na Espanha, os debates em torno a uma possível aliança, primeiro entre a Telefónica e a Telecom Itália e que poderia, posteriormente, ser ampliada à Portugal Telecom, começaram a ser citados na semana passada na imprensa online.
Blogs de analistas do setor e a imprensa digital, como o espaço Hispanidad, referem-se diretamente a essa aliança dando conta de uma "cúpula secreta", realizada nos arredores de Madri nos últimos dias, entre dirigentes das empresas espanhola e italiana.
"A aliança Telefónica-Telecom também sonha com a incorporação da Portugal Telecom ainda que, isso sim, mantendo a sua independência corporativa", diz o Hispanidad.
No encontro da semana passada, encabeçado pelo espanhol César Alierta e pelo italiano Franco Bernabé, as duas empresas teriam discutido a implantação de um plano conjunto que já foi debatido no passado e estaria estagnado. O objetivo seria avançar para investimentos conjuntos.
De fora, segundo a imprensa, ficaram debates sobre a questão das participações acionistas das empresas numa altura em que se mantém a oposição em Itália à ampliação dos 8% que a Telefónica detém na Telecom.

Portugal - Portugal Digital

Presidente da Portugal Telecom reafirma a Lula investimentos no Brasil

A audiência do presidente executivo da PT com Lula acontece numa conjuntura de intensas movimentações no setor.

Da Redação
Brasília - O presidente brasileiro, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, deverá receber nesta quinta-feira (16), em Brasília, o presidente-excutivo do grupo Portugal Telecom (PT), Zeinal Bava, que controla, em parceria com a espanhola Telefónica, a operadora de telefonia móvel Vivo.
Bava pretende informar Lula sobre a disposição do grupo português continuar a investir no Brasil. Desde a sua entrada no país, em 1998, os investimentos da PT já somam mais de 5,4 bilhões de euros, informou a assessoria de imprensa da PT no Brasil.
Em várias ocasiões, o grupo manifestou junto do governantes brasileiros interesse na criação de parcerias de capitais portugueses e brasileiros para operar não só na área de telecomunicações no Brasil mas também em países africanos, onde a PT tem vindo a consolidar posições. O fortalecimento das posições em países africanos e no Brasil é considerado um dos principais objetivos estratégicos do grupo.
O ano passado, durante o processo de compra da Brasil Telecom pela ex-Telemar, que levou à criação da Oi, chegou a ser avançada a entrada da PT.
Recentemente, analistas do setor brasileiro de telefonia voltaram a referir conversações entre a PT e a Oi, o que foi desmentido, em junho, pela empresa portuguesa. Em comunicado, a PT negou a existência de "quaisquer contatos entre a Portugal Telecom e a Oi (ex-Telemar) ou os seus acionistas”.
No Brasil, além da Vivo, o grupo português controla a empresa de call-center Dedic e tem participação minoritária no capital do provedor Uol.
A audiência do presidente executivo da PT com Lula acontece numa conjuntura de intensas movimentações no setor, depois de a Agência Nacional de Telecomunicações (Anatel) ter anunciado novas restrições à participação da Telefônica - a parceira da Portugal Telecom na Vivo - no capital da operadora de telefonia celular TIM, filial brasileira da Telecom Italia.
Entre as novas restrições se encontra a proibição de que os membros do conselho de administração de qualquer empresa da Telefônica sejam escolhidos como integrantes de qualquer companhia da Telecom Italia e vice-versa.
A Vivo e a TIM respondem por cerca de 50% do mercado de telefonia móvel no Brasil, somando cerca de 78 milhões de linhas de celulares.
A Vivo é a líder do mercado, com mais de 46 milhões de clientes. A receita operacional líquida em 2008 foi de R$ 15,8 bilhões.
A audiência, prevista para a manhã desta quinta-feira, deverá decorrer na Presidência da República, atualmente a funcionar no Centro Cultural do Banco do Brasil, devido a obras de reforma do Palácio do Planalto.


Espanha - El País

La ONU critica a Italia por expulsar a Libia a inmigrantes 'sin papeles'

El presidente Napolitano promulga la Ley de Seguridad pese a su "perplejidad"

Laura Boldrini, portavoz del Alto Comisionado de la ONU para los Refugiados (ACNUR) en Italia, afirmó ayer que el Gobierno italiano está poniendo en riesgo el derecho de asilo de los inmigrantes con las expulsiones de sin papeles en alta mar aplicadas tras firmar el tratado bilateral con Libia.
Laura Boldrini, portavoz del Alto Comisionado de la ONU para los Refugiados (ACNUR) en Italia, afirmó ayer que el Gobierno italiano está poniendo en riesgo el derecho de asilo de los inmigrantes con las expulsiones de sin papeles en alta mar aplicadas tras firmar el tratado bilateral con Libia. Las críticas de la ONU siguen a las denuncias de varias ONG contra el uso de la fuerza por parte de la marina militar durante una operación de devolución de inmigrantes africanos realizada el 1 de julio.
"Hasta el 6 de mayo pasado", dijo Boldrini a la agencia Econews, "Italia siempre había cumplido un papel fundamental al salvar vidas humanas, llevando a tierra a los inmigrantes, identificándolos y dándoles la posibilidad de pedir asilo, y expulsando a quienes no tenían derecho a permanecer. Pero desde que empezó la nueva práctica de devoluciones está poniendo en serio peligro el derecho de asilo".
ACNUR entiende que "es difícil controlar las fronteras y al mismo tiempo garantizar el derecho de asilo", pero la portavoz añade: "Europa es el corazón de la Convención de Ginebra y no puede perder ese combate".
Según Gabriele de Grande, un periodista free-lance que ha visitado los centros de detención libios -financiados en parte por Italia y la Unión Europea-, ya lo está perdiendo. Los pasajeros de la barcaza rechazada en aguas de la isla de Lampedusa el 1 de julio "son en su mayoría eritreos que tenían derecho a pedir asilo en Europa, muchos de ellos desertores del Ejército que ahora arriesgan la repatriación o una detención por tiempo indefinido".
Se trata de 65 hombres, que están en el campo de detención de Zuwarah, y de nueve mujeres, ingresadas en el centro femenino de Zawiyah. Christopher Hein, director del Comité Italiano para los Refugiados, informó por su parte de que uno de los eritreos retenidos en Zuwarah "presenta heridas en la cabeza provocadas por una porra eléctrica".
En virtud del acuerdo firmado por Silvio Berlusconi y Muammar el Gaddafi el pasado 14 de mayo, Italia ha devuelto ya más de mil inmigrantes a Libia. En otro campamento, el de Misratah, 210 kilómetros al este de Trípoli, hay más de 600 inmigrantes detenidos, informa De Grande, entre ellos 58 mujeres, niños y bebés: "Llevan más de dos años allí, duermen en cuartos sin ventanas de cuatro por cinco metros cuadrados, y hay hasta 20 personas por celda".
El Gobierno italiano niega las acusaciones. El ministro de Defensa, Ignazio la Russa, ha dicho que se trata de "imputaciones repugnantes", y ha achacado la violencia al hecho de que algunos inmigrantes "intentaron usar la fuerza contra los militares".
Mientras, el presidente de la República Italiana, Giorgio Napolitano, promulgó ayer la Ley de Seguridad, aprobada por el Parlamento el 2 de julio, y envió sendas cartas al Gabinete en las que expresa su "perplejidad y preocupación" ante el texto.
Según Napolitano, las disposiciones de seguridad pública se han ampliado "de modo relevante" durante el trámite parlamentario, y ahora contienen "numerosas normas heterogéneas" y "carentes de organicidad y sistematicidad".
Además, escribe el jefe del Estado, hay normas de "dudosa coherencia con los principios generales del ordenamiento jurídico y con el sistema penal vigente". Napolitano llama también la atención sobre los problemas que comportará "la aplicación de la ley".

El líder de Italia de los Valores, Antonio di Pietro, criticó la iniciativa del presidente de la República porque, a su juicio, debería haber devuelto la ley al Parlamento "en vez de expresar lamentos que sólo son gritos al viento". El Partido Democrático pidió al Ejecutivo que lleve el polémico texto otra vez a las cámaras.

La nueva Ley de Seguridad introduce el delito de inmigración clandestina (penado con multas de 5.000 a 10.000 euros); da vía libre a las patrullas ciudadanas de ex agentes sin armas; prolonga a 180 días la estadía de sin papeles en los centros italianos, y restringe los derechos sociales y civiles (matrimonio, escolaridad, sanidad y ciudadanía) a los inmigrantes irregulares.

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