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by Oui (Oui) on Wed May 1st, 2024 at 10:06:32 PM EST
asia.nikkei  Japan's abandoned homes increase 80% in 20 years, 1 May
There were 3.85 million abandoned homes across Japan as of October 2023, according to a survey published Tuesday by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, an increase of 360,000 from the previous survey conducted in 2018.
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The tally also includes a growing number of apartments and condo units. Over 5.02 million, or 16.7%, of such units were vacant as of October, according to the new survey. Of that number, 846,800 were abandoned—an increase of 8.6% from 2018, or roughly 60% from 20 years prior.
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To better deal with the situation, the national government amended a law on condominium management in 2022 so that local authorities can issue advice and warnings to owners of improperly managed units.

Still, "only a few cases have been handled" under this law, a land ministry source said. Housing complexes often have residents of diverse ages and family composition. To facilitate better consensus-building, the Japanese government is working to bolster management associations and lower hurdles for renovations.

mainichi.jp | Japan's regional communities face rough road, many risk extinction, 2 May
A report analyzing the population trends of municipalities nationwide estimated that about 40% of all municipalities in Japan, totaling 744 cities, towns and villages, may face difficulty maintaining their communities due to population decline and risk disappearing in the future.
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While the population is declining nationwide, there is an accelerating concentration of people in the Tokyo metropolitan area, defined as Tokyo and the surrounding prefectures of Kanagawa, Saitama and Chiba. This cannot be ignored, not only for its economic and social impact, but also in terms of regional deterioration and disaster prevention....The main population segment leaving rural regions to the Tokyo metropolitan area is young women. Municipalities that are able to halt this trend noticeably place their focus on supporting child care and housing. The government should have placed more emphasis on strategies to improve women's employment and child care environments.
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The concept of "related population," in which people living in Tokyo and other areas are connected with different municipalities, without actually moving there, through events and other means, is also gaining attention. It may be worth considering the introduction of a system which supports rural communities by redirecting a portion of resident taxes.
by Cat on Thu May 2nd, 2024 at 08:49:29 PM EST
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onstructionworld.in | Mumbai's Underground Metro Project to Finish by June 2024
Upon completion, the fully underground North-South metro corridor will comprise 27 stations and interchange points linking with Mumbai's suburban railway, Monorail, and existing Metro lines (Metro-1, Metro 2B, and Metro 6). The project is expected to cater to over 1.6 million daily commuters...
rumble.com, The Cost of Subway Systems, A/V (EN)
Host Christy Ai and Professor Dr. Allan Zarembski delve into the essential societal benefits of metro systems in urban mobility, despite the significant operating expenses involved. Which countries have the best and worst, least and most profitable rail systems?
etrorailtoday | Phase 1 of Metor Line 2 will be fully operational by May 2024, 19 Feb
Navigating to Driveless Train Operations
In response to the growing global trend of authonomous trasportation, Managing Director of Mumbai Metro Rail Corp. Ashwini Bhide, discusses the potential for driverless train operations on Metro Line 3. The plan entails implementing unmanned train operations (UTO). However, she highlights two intermediate stages preceding UTO: automatic train protection and automatic train operation (ATO). Currently, the focus is on achieving ATO ceertification.

by Cat on Thu May 2nd, 2024 at 11:06:04 PM EST
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latimes | Despite some progress, state's high-speed rail is $100 billion short and many years from reality, 21 Mar
hsr.ca.gov. Project Sections
Voters first approved a high-speed rail proposal in 2008 that would connect Los Angeles to San Francisco by 2020. That end date has changed considerably over time. In its latest projection, the rail authority goal is for the the 494-mile system, which includes a line from Los Angeles to Anaheim, to serve riders by 2040. But that timeline is not set. The current focus centers on the Central Valley, where officials estimate the 171-mile line from Merced to Bakersfield will be finished between 2030 and 2033.
ChatGPT Sky | California mocked over 'billion-dollar' bridge to nowhere, 5 May
The California High-Speed Rail Authority recently publicised one of the completed sections of construction—finished back in 2018 and reported to cost $1bn on its own. This is a 0.3-mile stretch of bridge, called The Fresno River Viaduct in Madera County, and it has attracted ridicule for going from nowhere to nowhere.
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There's economic and social advantages for connecting areas in the Central Valley to "thriving coastal economies because we have a very unequal society in California," Elkind said. But no one knows when that will definitively happen.
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Officials estimate it could cost about $35 billion to finish the first line from Bakersfield to Merced and roughly $100 billion more to complete the route from Los Angeles to San Francisco&mdaah;about $100 billion more than what was originally proposed years ago. And the source of most funds is unclear.
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nypost | Mayor Adams visits Rome, praises its subway construction, 10 May
...Adams marveled at the rapid progress of Rome's new subway line—which is slated to open next year—and compared it to New York City's long-stalled $7.7 billion Second Avenue extension.
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"This is an amazing feat to see this built right by the Coliseum. It's going to allow passengers and visitors and tourists to come take the metro right to the Coliseum," he said in the footage, posted on X Friday morning....
by Cat on Fri May 10th, 2024 at 11:34:12 PM EST
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California high-speed rail project is late, over budget. But there's no $11B bridge | Fact check, 14 May malign Russian influence?
A May 5 Facebook post (direct link, archive link) shows a picture of a viaduct over the Fresno River.

"This stretch of bridge right here in California was just completed and cost get this 11 billion dollars!" the post reads. "Also took just 9 years. Will be used for high-speed rail."

The post was shared more than 2,000 times in nine days.
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The system was planned to cover 500 miles from San Francisco to Los Angeles for $33 billion and be operational by 2020. But the full build-out is now projected to cost as much as $128 billion, according to the authority. Yet those cost overruns and delays are far less than what is claimed in the post. It is impossible for the Fresno River Viaduct, the 1,600-foot-long structure pictured in the post, to cost $11 billion, based on publicly available information.

Augie Blancas, a spokesperson for the California High-Speed Rail Authority, said the body cannot break out a cost for the viaduct alone because it is part of what the authority called the first "significant" construction contract awarded for the 32-mile central California segment, and that entire package of projects has not been completed yet. However, he noted the authority has approved about $2 billion worth of invoices for that package.
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well, alrighty then
by Cat on Wed May 15th, 2024 at 12:57:27 AM EST
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ChatGPT | Biden's [nearly final,] final EV tax credit rules please automakers, anger China hawks, 3 May *flation reduction actions
...The rules offer some reprieve for automakers on the most severe restrictions on Chinese minerals, acknowledging that fledgling American battery suppliers will need years—or possibly decades—to catch up to their Chinese competitors.

The regulations nonetheless have left only around 20 percent [?] of electric models qualifying for the lucrative incentive. That is unlikely to change with the final rules, as they continue to bar vehicles with a majority of their battery minerals sourced from abroad or relying on suppliers with even loose links to the Chinese government.

DOE | Search for Eligible Vehicles (last update 25.04.24)
Manufacturers*: 9
Models: EV (23), PHEV (7)
MSRP: $55K (3),  $80K (27)
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The restrictions initially limited the number of qualifying electric [EV] and plug-in hybrid [PHEV] cars to roughly a dozen of the more than 100 models on the market. The list has since grown to around 22 [?] models as automakers shift their supply chains to the U.S. and allied nations....
treasury.gov | U.S. Department of the Treasury Releases Final Rules to Lower Consumer Costs, Continue U.S. Manufacturing Boom in Batteries and Clean Vehicles, Strengthen Energy Security, 3 May Yellen, Podesta, Zaidi chain mail
Concurrently with today's final rules, the Department of Energy (DOE) is also releasing final interpretive guidance related to the definition of Foreign Entity of Concern for purposes of the [Sec.] 30D clean vehicle credit and the battery manufacturing grant program created by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

Today's release also includes rules for transferring the [Sec.] 30D clean vehicle credit of up to $7,500 and [Sec.] 25E previously owned clean vehicle credit of up to $4,000 to registered dealers. This mechanism created by the IRA is already extending the reach of the [tax] credits by making the credit available at the point of sale rather than when buyers file their taxes. Researchers have found that consumers overwhelmingly prefer an immediate rebate at point of sale. So far this year, more than 100,000 [rebates] have been transferred at the point of sale, representing more than $700 million in upfront savings for consumers.

* irs.gov has some pages describing HH income ceiling, product content and final assembly requirements, and after-market specs, but these are undated. So I really don't care how the brain trust rationalizes "substantial" transformation of "foreign-origin" processed  minerals and components to add a few more German models. Plus two (2) "value-priced" Nissan Leaf models, unexpectedly.
by Cat on Fri May 3rd, 2024 at 05:37:48 PM EST
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merkur.de | Habecks Heizungsgesetz wird zum Drama: Wärmepumpen werden jetzt verscherbelt - "Macht mich fassungslos", 5 May "value pricing"
...Um Kunden aus der Reserve zu locken und zum Kauf einer Wärmepumpe zu bewegen, senken die ersten jetzt schon ihre Preise. Wie die FAZ berichtet, bietet der Hersteller Daikin mittlerweile einen ,,Energiebonus" in Höhe von 1500 Euro, wer jetzt die fossile Heizung austauscht. Buderus hat in dieser Woche ebenfalls einen ,,Cashback" von 1000 Euro bekannt gegeben, in Kooperation mit Tchibo. Vaillant und Stiebel Eltron versuchen es erstmal mit einer ,,Förder-Garantie": Sollte die staatliche KfW-Förderung nicht wie erhofft klappen, dann übernehmen diesen die Hersteller. Je nach Haushaltseinkommen kann das bis zu 21.000 Euro sein....
merkur.de | In der Bundesrepublik liegt die durchschnittliche Rentenzahlung bei rund 1500 Euro im Monat
archive August 2022 market making, Heat On Over EU Heat Pump Plan, DERAILED transition action plan, CCfDs and EUAs
by Cat on Sun May 5th, 2024 at 11:22:21 PM EST
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rwe | Investment decision made: RWE to build wind farms with capacity of 1.6 GW off German North Sea coast, illustrated
Sven Utermöhlen, CEO RWE Offshore Wind: "Our portfolio already includes six offshore wind farms off Germany's coastlines. The Nordseecluster will add two more. This sends out a good signal for the energy transition in Germany and for RWE. With a total capacity of 1.6 gigawatts, these wind farms will generate around 6.5 terawatt hours of green electricity per year. This will contribute in particular to the decarbonisation of industry in our home market."

The Nordseecluster is being implemented in two phases - Nordseecluster A and B. Nordseecluster A has a total capacity of 660 MW. Manufacturing of some key components has already started. Construction at sea is scheduled to begin next year. By the beginning of 2027, all 44 wind turbines shall be connected to the grid. Nordseecluster B will add a further 900 MW of capacity. The 60 turbines are scheduled to start commercial operation from the beginning of 2029.
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by Cat on Mon May 27th, 2024 at 08:53:18 PM EST
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asahi shimbun | Startup grows sea alga to slash greenhouse gas in cattle burps
Sunshiki Co. plans to commercialize the method created by a team of researchers primarily from Kochi University. The researchers found that certain seaweed added to the diets of cattle slashes greenhouse gas emissions in the bovines' belches.
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Belches of ruminant animals, including cattle, account for an estimated 5 percent of total greenhouse gas emissions around the world. A red alga species called Asparagopsis taxiformis found around the Japanese archipelago and elsewhere in the Pacific is seen as an effective countermeasure. Research abroad showed that when the alga is mixed into the cattle's feed, their methane emissions were reduced by more than 90 percent.
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Demand for fodder with methane-reducing effects is so high that one estimate projects the market scale for such products will reach 300 billion yen ($1.96 billion) in 2030.
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asahi shimbun | More cities to sell precious metals extracted from ashes of the dead
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Tajimi [Gifu Prefecture] is among a growing number of municipalities implementing similar initiatives, with some generating annual sales revenues exceeding 200 million yen ($1.28 million). However, other municipalities remain hesitant to adopt this approach due to ethical considerations.

Bereaved families typically collect only a small portion of their loved ones' cremated remains. The uncollected ashes may contain gold, silver, palladium, and other precious metals from teeth, artificial joints, and implanted medical devices.

Despite some criticism, Tajimi has decided to proceed with its plan to extract and sell these precious metals from cremated human ashes. The decision was made following a survey conducted in February, which found that 95 percent of the 562 randomly selected citizens were either in favor of or somewhat in favor of the initiative. Tajimi will commission metal refiners to extract precious metals from uncollected ashes. The city will then auction off the extracted metals.
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by Cat on Wed May 8th, 2024 at 06:53:15 PM EST
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LET US HELP YOU HELP US. G7 profit and loan report 2024.
Japan, France, Germany, the United States and other wealthy nations are reaping billions of dollars in economic rewards from a global program meant to help the developing world grapple with the effects of climate change, a Reuters review of U.N. and Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development data shows.
archive unfulfilled climate finance obligations
The financial gains happen as part of developed nations' pledge to send $100 billion a year to poorer countries to help them reduce emissions and cope with extreme weather. By channeling money from the program back into their own economies, wealthy countries contradict the widely embraced concept that they should compensate poorer ones for their long-term pollution that fueled climate change, more than a dozen climate finance analysts, activists, and former climate officials and negotiators told Reuters.
archive Loss and Damage Transitional Committee
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Try to act surprised.

At least another $11 billion in loans—nearly all from Japan—required recipient nations to hire or purchase materials from companies in the lending countries. And Reuters identified at least $10.6 billion in grants from 24 countries and the European Union that similarly required recipients to hire companies, nonprofits or public agencies from specific nations—usually the donor—to do the work or provide materials.
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archive COP28 transition "actionism"
Many of the conditional loans and grants Reuters reviewed were counted toward developed nations' pledge to send $100 billion a year by 2020 to poorer countries disproportionately harmed by climate change. First made in 2009, the commitment was reaffirmed in the 2015 Paris climate agreement. Roughly $353 billion was paid from 2015 through 2020. That sum included $189 billion in direct country-to-country payments, which were the focus of the Reuters analysis.
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"a new wave of debt caused by climate finance"
archive 2023 Loss & Damage Deal Book
concessional capital, Debt-for-Climate Swaps, Green Bonds
"It should also be emphasized that the climate finance provisions of the Paris Agreement are not based on 'making amends' for harm caused by historic emissions," the U.S. State Department spokesperson said, when asked whether collecting market-rate interest and financial rewards contradicts the spirit of the climate finance program.
archive CBAM to raise $80B per year by 2040
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Echoing years of pleas from developing nations, UNFCCC Executive Moron Simon Stiell has publicly urged wealthy nations to offer so-called concessional loans, with very low interest rates and long repayment periods. This makes them less costly than those sold on the open market. UNFCCC and OECD had no comment for this report. UNFCCC instead referred Reuters to Stiell's past remarks.
archive CCfD fictional CO2 price
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by Cat on Thu May 23rd, 2024 at 03:00:06 AM EST
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