This week, climate policy headlines from around the world included Japan cutting emissions, Brazil responding to a spike in deforestation, and waves that could supply 11% of the UK’s power.

Rodney Boyd, Elinor Benami, and Brendan Pierpont contributed headlines to this edition of Policy Watch.

Japan may meet Kyoto emissions cut target, ministry estimates
Japan is on target to cut greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated average of 8 percent for the five years ending in March, meaning it will meet commitments under the Kyoto Protocol, the environment ministry estimated.

Kyoto’s binding obligations limiting the release of emissions among industrial nations stipulate Japan must cut greenhouse gas output by 6 percent from 1990 levels for fiscal 2008-2012. Emissions are projected to be 1.277 billion metric tons for fiscal 2011 and 1.316 billion tons in the twelve months ending March 31, 2013, Kentaro Doi, a ministry official in charge of emissions data, said by phone. Full article.

Brazil forms special environmental security force to combat spike in deforestation
Brazil will set up a special environmental security force in an effort to stem rising deforestation in the Amazon rainforest, reports AFP.In a statement, Environment Minister Izabella Teixeira said the new body will be backed by the army, the federal police and the Brazilian Environment Institution (IBAMA).

The force will be charged with “permanent” surveillance of the Amazon. Full article.

Cornwall and Scotland hold UK’s wave power potential
The Atlantic ocean off Cornwall and the west coast of Scotland show the greatest promise for generating electricity from the waves that crash around the British Isles, according to new research.

Rows of wave “farms” up to 1,000km long facing the Atlantic could generate around 11% of the UK’s current power generation, the Carbon Trust analysis suggests. While the theoretical resource is as high as 18GW, around 10GW of capacity is more realistic given practical and economic constraints, it said. Full article.

Europe faces looming headache on renewable energy transmission
Europe’s rush for renewable electricity sources to combat climate change has far outpaced the ability of the grid system to carry the new power to where it is needed. The problem is compounded by the fact that most energy policies remain firmly domestic, according to Daniel Dobbeni, head of the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity, ENTSO-E.

And the imbalance is likely to get much worse before it gets any better, he told a recent U.K. National Grid seminar on possible future energy scenarios. Full article.

World Bank begins to study costs and risks of ‘4-degree world’
A new World Bank action plan on climate change is in the works, at the request of newly appointed President Jim Yong Kim.

The report, a major focus of the bank’s new Climate Policy and Finance Department, will both take stock of how the institution has been helping countries grapple with climate change and offer proposals on ways to “accelerate action,” said department Director Mary Barton-Dock. Full article.



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