Following on a EU initiative mainly spearheaded by Industry Commissioner Guenter Verheugen, European Union officials reached a deal with ten of the world’s leading mobile-phone makers Monday to introduce a universal charger for smart phones This will increase efficiency and will be to the benefit for consumer, as it will lower hardware costs and for the environment, as there will be less waste. Although this might seem like not major news it’s still a very interesting intervention by the EU Commission; one that makes sense to a lot of people. Manufacturers that are included in the deal are Apple, LG, Motorola, NEC, Nokia, Qualcomm, Research in Motion (BlackBerry), Samsung, Sony Ericsson and Texas Instruments, which means most of the main producers; the one missing here is Palm (Treo). The new inter-chargeable mobile phones will reach the EU market from 2010 onwards. Will be interesting what this will mean for the other markets too.
Related Articles: EU, Phone Makers to Introduce Universal Charger, WSJ JUNE 30, 2009, Commission welcomes industry’s commitment to provide a common charger for mobile phones, June 29, 2009, EU mobile phone makers face deadline over chargers, Wed Mar 25, 2009
The use of green investment to stimulate growth in Europe is falling substantially short of efforts in the U.S. and China, the head of the European Commission’s environmental arm said. “EU states spent 3% to 13% of recovery aid on what we would call green activities,” Karl Falkenberg said. “On the U.S. side, we come up with about 14% … but we see China in the upper 30s.” This verifies that beyond ambitious plans, where Europe has among the first to set the pace, and good intentions what’s required for the green revolution to happen is the existence of financial support from the government (either in terms of tax incentives or direct investment). This is more pressing in emerging economies. I chaired a very interesting discussion on that in 2008 organized by the EU-USA NGO in New York. In this China’s robust programme in protecting the environment was highlighted.
Related Articles: China’s National Climate Change, Programme, Europe’s green investment falls behind U.S., China, Reuters, 15 June 2009, Sustainable Development in Eurasia, EUUSA Newsletter (Past Events, May 2008), Combating the Climate Change, EU
Secretary of state Hillary Clinton said in a visit to Europe in March that the Obama administration was committed to take EU-US co-operation to a new level, particularly in regards to climate change and the current economic crisis, which had to be dealt with together.
“We are committed to a cap-and-trade system, but also to a number of other things. We are making major investments now in our stimulus package in alternative energy, in basic science research, in new forms of fueling transportation, as well as upgrading our grid. The European Union is taking a similarly broad approach,” Ms Clinton told a press conference after meeting with EU representatives.