Choosing Amazon protection over greed, for now

A wading bird on the the giant water lilies at Tapajós National Forest, west of Pará state in Brazil.

We didn’t know which way the axe would swing today, so to speak, regarding the extension of a landmark agreement about soya cultivation in the Amazon. And fortunately, it wasn’t the rainforest that got hit. Neither did the soya traders, though, who smartly agreed to renew the Soya Moratorium until the end of the year, but then that’s it.

Until that time, major traders will not sell soya that may be linked to deforestation in the Amazon for the rest of the year. Since deforestation has been on the rise in the rainforest recently, this is a significant outcome.

The Soya Moratorium was the result of a Greenpeace campaign in 2006, which exposed big brands that were purchasing crops linked to deforestation in the Amazon. And it has, without doubt, helped protect the Amazon, while proving to be good for business too.

From the time the moratorium was only being bandied about as an idea to now, a growing coalition of businesses, third sector organisations and the Brazilian government has been for it. McDonald’s led the way in calling for the moratorium to continue beyond January 2014, and was joined in this by Carrefour, Nestlé, Tesco, Ahold, Marks & Spencer, Waitrose, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Unilever among others.

Deforested Area in the Amazon. Single tree in a soy field next to rainforest, south of Santarem and along the road BR163. Cutting through the Brazilian Amazon from north to south over a vast distance of 1700 km is a federal highway called the BR 163. For the past 20 years the highway has been one of the major drivers of deforestation in the region.

Deforestation in figures

A couple of months ago, the Brazilian government announced a 28 per cent increase in Amazon deforestation rates. This was the first data on Amazon deforestation to see the light of day since Brazil controversially changed its Forest Code in 2012. This move, backed by the country’s powerful agriculture lobby, weakened legislation on forest conservation and land use.

Worryingly, the two states that produce the most soya, Para and Mato Grosso, have experienced the greatest increase in deforestation since 2012. Deforestation in Mato Grosso went up by over fifty per cent in one year, and jumped more than a third in Para. Only 2 square kilometers, representing 0.08% in Para, were actually authorized for clearing. In Maranhao, a new frontier in soya production, deforestation has increased by over forty per cent.

By renewing the moratorium this time around, the soya traders have shown they recognise the progress made regarding Amazon conservation as well as the need to do more. They are also being business savvy as they are clearly listening to their customers’ demands for Brazilian soya without deforestation.  

It will be an enormous challenge to ensure sufficient safeguards are worked out and agreed by the end of 2014, especially with deforestation on the rise again and new soya export infrastructure being in the pipeline at the heart of the Amazon.

The Soya Moratorium currently monitors 62 municipalities responsible for almost all of the soya produced in the Amazon. In this immense region, over 8 million hectares are covered by forested lands suitable for soya cultivation, but none of it is officially protected. That’s three times the size of Belgium.

Image Gallery.. 

What needs to be done in 2014

Brazil’s altered Forest Code centres on a system where farmers register their properties called the Rural Environmental Registry (CAR). It’s still being developed and needs to be fast-tracked to be in any way effective.

The task ahead for the Soya Working Group (GTS) is to design a mechanism to replace the moratorium once it expires. This is to be developed and tested over 2014. It will focus on the implementation of the Federal CAR (SICAR), but much more is needed.

Ultimately, any agreement that replaces the Soya Moratorium must be an even more robust system to prevent these forests being lost to greed.


Map showing what the Amazon soya moratorium is hepling to protect.

Daniela Montalto is the Amazon Campaign Project Leader for Greenpeace International.

via Greenpeace news

Rewriting the Solar Energy Rules in One Small Town

What will be far and away New Hampshire’s largest solar energy system is beginning to take shape in the town of Peterborough. Its story could inspire other municipalities searching for answers to infrastructure and energy problems, and it could also help rewrite the state’s new policies on energy and net metering.

via Renewable Energy News –

Super Bowl Solar: NFL Stadiums Produce Onsite Energy with PV Projects

On February 2, MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, will host Super Bowl XLVIII. During the game, aerial footage will likely show 916 external LED fixtures powered by 1,350 solar photovoltaic (PV) panels with a total generating capacity of 276 kilowatts (kW).

via Renewable Energy News –

Wind Turbine Maintenance: Protecting Your Investment

Wind power capacity in the U.S. has been steadily climbing recently. Wind farms were the leading source of new power generation in the county in 2012, representing around $25 billion in investments. Although uncertainty about the federal production tax credit slowed growth in 2013, renewable portfolio standards and an overall interest in new sources of clean energy indicate wind power will continue to be an important source of generation in the U.S. for the future.

via Renewable Energy News –

Army Disposal Experts Lend Expertise to Offshore Wind Turbine Industry

Army disposal experts are drawing on knowhow in handling hazards from improvised explosive devices to unearthed bombs to detect threats to offshore wind projects from millions of tons of World War II-era ordnance dumped at sea.

via Renewable Energy News –

How Many Electric Utilities Does A Market Need?

Del Mar, population ~4,100, is an affluent beach city just north of San Diego. Solana Beach, also on the ocean and just north of Del Mar has ~12,000 residents. Carmel Valley is a master-planned adjoining community with a population of ~40,000. Can Del Mar, Solana Beach, and Carmel Valley each have their own micro-electric utility (MEU), providing cleaner, cheaper, and more reliable power than the current San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E)? Can Carmel Valley have four or five MEUs, and the city of San Diego one hundred?

via Renewable Energy News –

The State of Renewables Is Strong and Congress Needs to Keep It That Way

In his State of the Union speech, President Obama reaffirmed our country’s moral obligation to protect our kids from the dangers of climate change. And in doing that, he gave a shout-out to one of America’s fastest-growing industries, a critical tool in this fight—solar power: “Every four minutes,” he observed, “another American home or business goes solar — every panel pounded into place by a worker whose job can’t be outsourced.”

via Renewable Energy News –

Will a new lawsuit finally give some justice to the victims of Fukushima?

Fukushima Anniversary Protest in TokyoGreenpeace activists wearing “nuclear scream” masks and holding a banner with the text “They profit, you pay” next to the logos of nuclear companies Hitachi, GE and Toshiba, demonstrate in front of the Japanese parliament in the lead up to the second anniversary of the Fukushima meltdowns. The three companies have paid nothing for the nuclear disaster despite designing, building and maintaining the known dangerous Fukushima Daiichi plant, while Japanese taxpayers are being forced to shoulder the vast majority of the disaster costs. Greenpeace is calling for laws to be changed to ensure all companies involved to be accountable for nuclear disasters.03/07/2013 © Noriko Hayashi / Greenpeace  

A joint lawsuit filed in Tokyo this week offers a glimmer of hope that those responsible for the Fukushima disaster might finally face justice

The 1,415 plaintiffs, including 38 Fukushima residents and 357 people from outside Japan, said the manufacturers – Toshiba, GE and Hitachi – failed to make needed safety improvements to the four decade-old reactors at the Fukushima plant. They are seeking compensation of 100 yen ($1) each, saying their main goal is to raise awareness of the problem.

This is something Greenpeace has been demanding for a long time – that the companies that designed, supplied and built the reactors that melted down after the Japan’s 2011 catastrophic earthquake and tsunami be held responsible.

Almost three years after the Fukushima disaster began the costs are proving to be enormous. Yet, General Electric, Toshiba and Hitachi have walked away without paying a cent towards the compensation for the many thousands of victims or the enormous cost of decontaminating the radioactivity spewed from their reactors.

The Fukushima disaster has shown us the shameful defects and human failures in a system that only requires nuclear reactor operators to pay a fraction of the costs of a disaster and doesn’t require the suppliers of reactors to pay anything.

The nuclear liability system in Japan must be reformed to make nuclear operators and suppliers fully responsible for their failures. 

And this could happen again anywhere in the world since the nuclear industry offers little or no help for its failures. For far too long, the nuclear industry has profited while the people pay.

(Check out our report – Fukushima Fallout: Nuclear business makes people pay and suffer – which shows how the nuclear sector evades responsibility for its failures.)

Three years of struggle is three years too many for the 150,000 Fukushima evacuees. They remain in limbo without adequate compensation and many trapped in temporary accommodation that is deteriorating.

They must be properly compensated and the companies responsible for the accident held accountable. We must get down to the inevitable job of phasing out nuclear power in favour of renewable energy, both in Japan and across the world.

Greenpeace wishes the plaintiffs in the Toshiba/GE/Hitachi lawsuit the very best of luck.

(Image: Fukushima Anniversary Protest in Tokyo. Greenpeace activists wearing “nuclear scream” masks and holding a banner with the text “They profit, you pay” next to the logos of nuclear companies Hitachi, GE and Toshiba, demonstrate in front of the Japanese parliament. © 03/07/2013 Noriko Hayashi / Greenpeace)

via Greenpeace news

Samsung Announces Chip-on-Board LED Packages with Industry’s Highest Efficacy

The improved COB type LC series offers a light efficacy of 130lm/W at 3000K CCT (Correlated Color Temperature) and 143lm/W at 5000K with a CRI (Color Rendering Index) over 80. This represents a significant improvement from 120lm/W at 3000K and 129lm/W at 5000K respectively, the light efficacy levels that Samsung has been offering with its LC series since April. Using its leading-edge phosphor technology and chip fabrication techniques, Samsung developed the LC series enhancement to provide greater differentiated value to its customers.

Samsung’s LC series is also Zhaga-compliant, making the packages highly convenient in assembling most LED lighting products. By enabling exceptional design efficiency for LED lighting, Samsung’s latest LC series is expected to be applied in a wide range of interior LED lighting applications including downlights, spotlights and directional retrofits such as MR/PAR lamps.

In addition, by leveraging the chromaticity control standard 3-step MacAdam ellipses, the LC series offer high color uniformity and light quality. The packages also provide low thermal resistance and superior heat dissipation which enable high reliability, and have successfully completed LM-80 testing, a widely observed test method for lumen maintenance developed by the Illuminating Engineering Society.

The Samsung LC series has been available in 2700K, 3000K, 4000K and 5000K versions, with a 3500K version now added. Samsung’s latest LC series also offers a diversity of wattages coming in 13W, 26W and 40W versions depending on the LED product with which the packages are used.

The LC013B, LC026B and LC040B with improved light efficacy will be available in the market beginning next month and will be updated to have a CRI above 90 in the first half of the year.

About Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. is a global leader in technology, opening new possibilities for people everywhere. Through relentless innovation and discovery, we are transforming the worlds of televisions, smartphones, personal computers, printers, cameras, home appliances, LTE systems, medical devices, semiconductors and LED solutions. We employ 270,000 people across 79 countries with annual sales of US$187.8 billion. To discover more, please visit


About Samsung Semiconductor Europe

Samsung Semiconductor Europe, a wholly owned subsidiary of Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. Seoul, Korea, is headquartered in Eschborn near Frankfurt/Main, Germany and operates offices all over Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA). The European headquarter is handling the marketing and sales activities of Samsung Electronics’ component businesses units including Memory, System LSI, LED and Display business in EMEA. For more information, please visit


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Samsung and the stylized Samsung design are trademarks and service marks of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. Other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

via LED-professional

Osram Opto Semiconductors Switches to 6-Inch Wafers for Red and Yellow LEDs

Osram Opto Semiconductors of Regensburg, Germany reports that it is
switching its fabrication of red, orange and yellow light emitting diodes to
6-inch wafers. For this reason, the company says it is extending the
fabrication of all large-wafer LEDs to the indium-gallium-aluminum-phosphide
(InGaAlP) material system and expanding its production capacity. The company
began switching fabrication …

Category: inframaterialsubstrate

via Solid State Lighting Net: