Why China’s big plan to cut emissions is good for tech business

What China does to curb its emissions is good both for the environment and for tech companies looking for a large market. So it’s worth paying attention to a report released Monday that argues that the world’s largest polluter could double its renewable energy use between 2010 and 2030 by investing $145 billion annually.

China Blocks All of YouTube

China implemented a site-wide block of YouTube today, for reasons still unknown. The country has blocked portions of YouTube before as part of its censorship programs, but blocking the entire site is something new.
Wired’s Epicenter blog lists some recent events that could have triggered China’s censorship officials’ massive blockade, including footage of Chinese soldiers beating Tibetans, or videos released by the U.S. Navy of Chinese ships attempting to interfere with a sonar array cable being dragged behind the USNS Impeccable.
Regardless, Chinese citizens currently can’t watch videos on YouTube, and while parent company Google (s GOOG) is working to restore access, it doesn’t know what its next steps will be.
The Chinese government exerts strict control over content and has denied the required licenses to different Chinese video-sharing sites in the past. During a recent visit to our offices, Youku CEO Victor Koo said that officials in charge of censoring content had been more permissive as of late.
Last year, all of YouTube went down after technical error occurred when Pakistan attempted to block access to a particular video clip to the site.

Web-based Tools Can Help Cut Vehicle Emissions by 10%

driving-change-logoNearly a year ago, 400 Denver residents and city employees had their vehicles rigged with greenhouse gas-tracking systems in order to find out whether online feedback regarding how idling, sudden braking and rapid acceleration increase carbon dioxide emissions and fuel costs would change driving habits. Today, the preliminary results are in: Participating drivers have cut idling by more than 35 percent and reduced emissions by 10 percent.

Slated to conclude in March, the pilot program got funding from the Denver subsidiary of EnCana Corp. (s ECA). The Canadian oil and gas company said last year that it would spend about $400,000 on the “Driving Change” program, and it turned to California-based Enviance Inc. for measuring emissions. Communication equipment — an accelerometer and a modem for communicating data to drivers’ online dashboards — came from Denver’s Cartasite Inc., which makes GPS systems for the oil and gas industry.
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California to Rate Cars on Global Warming in the New Year

Car buyers in California could be getting a different kind of sticker shock in the new year. Starting Jan. 1, every 2009 model year and newer car sold in California will be required to carry a label that ranks, in addition to the existing requisite smog ratings, the vehicle’s global warming impact.

California’s Air Resources Board said the new label will have two scores on a scale of 1-10 — one for smog and the other for global warming — with the average new car scoring five on both. The higher the score, the more environmentally friendly the car.

1The Global Warming Score is based on the vehicle’s greenhouse gas emissions, with 1 being 520 CO2-equivalent grams per mile and up, and 10 being less than 200. The board said the scores are adjusted to reflect the contribution of emissions from the production and distribution of the fuel used.
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