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Amazon Mangroves Key to Carbon Storage, says Study (Ind. Report)
Climate Change
Date: 2018-09-26
In Corvallis, Scientists led by Oregon State University ecologist Prof. J. Boone Kauffman have determined for the first time that the Amazon's waterlogged coastal mangrove forests, which are being clear cut for cattle pastures and shrimp ponds, store significantly more carbon per acre than the region's rainforest.

The recently released long-term study offers a better understanding of how mangrove deforestation contributes to the greenhouse gas effect, one of the leading causes of global warming.

The Brazilian mangrove forest fringes the entirety of the Atlantic Coast at the mouth of the Amazon, the largest river in the world with the largest mangrove forest. Mangroves -- aka Blue Carbon -- represent 0.6 pct of all the world's tropical forests but their deforestation accounts for as much as 12 pct of GHG emissions from all tropical deforestation.

Partial funding for the study was provided by the U.S. Agency for International Development, Sustainable Wetlands Adaptation and Mitigation Program. (Source: Oregon State University, KTVZ.COM, 24 Sept., 2018) Contact: Oregon State University, J. Boone Kauffman, Research Leader, www.researchgate.net/profile/John_Kauffman3

More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Emissions,  Blue Carbon,  Carbon Sequestration,  Mangrove,  


Development of the Car Fleet in EU28+2 to Achieve the Paris Agreement Target to Limit Global Warming to 1.5 C (Report Attached)
German Aerospace Centre
Date: 2018-09-21
According to a new study conducted by the German Aerospace Centre, commissioned by Greenpeace Belgium, Europe must stop selling new petrol, diesel and conventional hybrid cars by 2028 in order to stand a better chance of honouring the Paris Climate Agreement's target.

The study notes that passenger car engines as we know them need to be completely phased out from new sales before the end of the next decade. Otherwise, Europe will struggle to "meaningfully contribute" to limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, the most ambitious part of the Paris Agreement on climate change's well below 2 degrees Celsius overall aim.

Download the Development of the Car Fleet in EU28+2 to Achieve the Paris Agreement Target to Limit Global Warming to 1.5 C Report HERE. (Source: German Aerospace Centre, Greenpeace, Euractiv, Sept., 2018) Contact: German Aerospace Centre, www.dlr.de/dlr/en; Greenpeace, www.greenpeace.org/belgium

More Low-Carbon Energy News Paris Climate Agreement,  Climate Change,  Transportation Emissions,  Vehicle Emissions,  


Rice Paddies GHG Emissions Higher Than Previously Accepted (Int'l)
Environmental Defence Fund
Date: 2018-09-12
According to a study from the non-profit Environmental Defence Fund (EDF), the amount of unaccounted-for nitrous oxide (N2O) global emissions from rice -- a staple food crop worldwide -- may be as high as the annual climate pollution from about 200 coal power plants and have significant impact on global warming and climate change. N2O is a long-lasting atmospheric pollutant more potent than methane or carbon dioxide CO2).

The report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences noted that N2O rises when rice fields are allowed to dry before being "wetted" -- intermittent flooding -- for planting. In India alone, where the study took place across five intermittently flooded rice fields, N2O emissions "could be 30-45 times higher than reported under continuous flooding" researchers estimated. Overall, researchers calculated that N2O per hectare (2.5 acres) was three times higher than ever reported by research on intermittently flooded farms before. (Source: Environmental Defence Fund, South China Morning News, 11 Sept., 2018) Contact: Environmental Defence Fund, www.edf.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News N20,  Environmental Defense Fund,  GHGs,  


ViennaGreenCO2 Biomass Plant Pilot Underway (Int'l Report))
Vienna University of Technology
Date: 2018-09-07
On the heels of successful laboratory tests by the Vienna University of Technology in cooperation with the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU) and Shell, commissioning of a new system for the separation of CO2 from exhaust gases has begun on the grounds of the Wien Energie Biomass Power Plant in Simmering.

The pilot facility is designed to capture one tpd of CO2. Like other CO2 capture technologies, the Vienna project also uses nitrogen derivatives (amines) to separate the CO2 from the exhaust gases of combustion processes and thus prevent it from entering the atmosphere and contributing to global warming. However, while currently best available methods use aqueous amine solvents, in this process, the CO2 from the exhaust gas in the multistage fluidiaed bed column will firstly 'dock' onto solid amine-functionalized particles and be redissolved in a second column by heat input.

In the previous laboratory tests, more than 90 pct of the CO2 could be separated from the exhaust gases. The researchers expect to reduce separation costs per ton of CO2 by as much as 25 pct compared to the current best available technology. (Source: Vienna University of Technology, World Fertilizer, Sept., 2018) Contact: Vienna University of Technology, Dr. Ing. Gerhard Schony, Project Coordinator, www.tuwien.ac.at

More Low-Carbon Energy News CO2,  Carbon Dioxide,  Carbon Capture,  


Emirates GBC Urging Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment (Int'l)
Emirates Green Building Council
Date: 2018-08-31
In the UAE, the Emirates Green Building Council (Emirates GBC) has called upon all businesses, entities, and cities in the region to formally endorse and sign the Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment.. The Commitments aims to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 and motivate national and regional governments to regulations or planning policy to drive construction of new buildings operating at net zero carbon from 2030, and enable all existing buildings to operate at net zero carbon by 2050.

These targets are set to meet the Paris Agreement ambition of below 2 degrees of global warming. This month, 19 global cities, representing 130 million urban citizens, committed to cutting greenhouse gas emissions by ensuring that new buildings operate at net zero carbon by 2030.

Emirates GBC recently established the Net Zero Centre of Excellence think tank and accelerator platforms to advance energy efficient net zero carbon buildings in the UAE. (Source: Emirates Green Building Council, PR, 30 Aug., 2018) Contact: EmiratesGBC , Saeed Al Abbar, Chairman, engagement@emiratesgbc.org, www.emiratesgbc.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Net Zero Energy,  Building Energy Efficiency,  Green Building Council,  


New EPA Administrator Wheeler Touting Trump's "Affordable Clean Energy Rule" (Reg & Leg)
Coal,Clean Power Plan
Date: 2018-08-27
Greg Pruitt's replacement at the EPA, Andrew Wheeler has been making the rounds in Kentucky coal country touting President Donald Trump's Affordable Clean Energy Rule, a new plan aimed at aiding the beleaguered coal industry.

Trump's proposal aims to replace the Obama administration's signature effort to slow global warming by limiting emissions from coal-fired power plants. To that end, Trump's plan broadly increases each individual state's authority to decide how to regulate coal plants, the reasoning being that states that are heavily into coal and other fossil fuels will legislate favorably toward its fossil fuel industries.

Even so, Wheeler claims carbon emissions would continue decreasing under Trump's plan, albeit, not as quickly as under Obama's plan which Trump claims was tantamount to a "war on Coal." The Trump administration has acknowledged that the increased emissions from aging coal plants could kill hundreds more people annually and cost the U.S. billions of dollars. (Source: Various Media, LEX 18, 25 Aug., 2018) Contact: EPA, Andrew Wheeler, Administrator, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_R._Wheeler

More Low-Carbon Energy News Coal,  Clean Coal,  Clean Power Plan,  Trump,  


Guardian Comments on Paris Agreement Progress (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
Paris Climate Agreement
Date: 2018-08-20
According to the London School of Economics and Political Science there are 1,500 climate laws and policies globally. Only 20 years ago when the Kyoto protocol was signed, there were only 72. These policies include carbon pricing -- countries representing 56 pct of global emissions are on track to be covered soon -- 179 countries have renewable energy targets and vehicle emissions standards to which nearly 80 pct of new light duty vehicles sold globally are subject.

Although the Paris agreement has been ratified by 179 countries including the US, China and other major emitters, US president Trump has stated that the US intends to leave the agreement, but legally they cannot formally withdraw until November 2020. Despite Trump's efforts, with clean technology costs falling and concerted action from US states, polluting coal plants are continuing to close and renewable energy and gas are expected to dominate the future of the US power system.

Both China and India have committed to emissions targets under the Paris agreement. China has committed to lower the carbon intensity of its economy by 60 to 65 pct below 2005 levels by 2030. India committed to reduce the emissions intensity of its economy by 33-35 pct below 2005 level over the same period.

The Guardian notes the world is currently not on track to achieve the objectives of the Paris agreement. And, although progress has been made more will need to be done by all countries to limit global warming to well below 2 degree C. (Source: Guardian, Aug., 2018)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Paris Climate Agreement,  Climate Change,  


UK Businesses Admonished to Reap CCUS Benefits (Int'l Report)
Summit Power
Date: 2018-08-13
In the UK, in an apparent reference to research by low-carbon power experts Summit Power, the Minister of Energy and Clean Growth, the Hon. Claire Perry has pronounced "carbon capture utilization and storage (CCUS) one of the greatest industrial opportunities available to Britain today." The Minister adds that "international recognition that the technology must be used if the targets to limit global warming set in the Paris Agreement of 2015 are to be hit."

In 2017, research by low-carbon power experts Summit Power forecast a £160 boost to the UK economy if CCUS technology was deployed on a large scale along the east coast. Summit Power proposed linking industrial areas in the South East, Teesside, Humber and Scotland to offshore carbon storage under the North Sea. The firm said the operating costs would be £34 billion annually, and the benefits to the national economy £164 billion

. This past March, the UK's first CCUS demonstration plant opened in Cheshire. The Runcorn facility, owned by Econic Technologies and supported by the EU, converts C02 into polyols which are used to make foam-like materials. (Source: Business Week, 9 April, 2018) Minister of Energy and Clean Growth, the Hon. Claire Perry, www.gov.uk/government/people/claire-perry; Summit Power, https://summitpower.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News CCS,  Carbon Capture,  CO2,  


Arctic Carbon Cycle Speeding Up, NASA Study Finds (Ind. Report)
Carbon Emissions
Date: 2018-08-08
A study from researchers at the NASA JPL in Pasadena, California has found that carbon in Alaska's North Slope spends about 13 pct less time locked in frozen soil than it did 40 years ago. According to the report, warming temperatures are exposing the arctic frozen soil carbon to microbial decomposition which is in turn releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere at an increasing rate, possibly due to the region's rapid warming and climate change.

The finding indicates that the carbon cycle in this region is speeding up and releasing carbon at a pace more associated with a North American boreal forest. As the temperature increases, the amount of time carbon stored in the Arctic soil also decreases. Consequently, the balance between these two dynamics will determine whether Arctic ecosystems will ultimately remove or add atmospheric carbon dioxide in the future climate," the latter being the study's most likely conclusion. (Source: NASA JPL, 14U News, 4 Aug., 2018) Contact: NASA JPL, Anthony Bloom, of NASA JPL, www.jpl.nasa.gov

More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Emissions,  Climate Change,  Global Warming,  


Lancaster Wins LEED Gold City Certification (Ind. Report)
USGBC
Date: 2018-07-20
In the Keystone State, the city of Lancaster reports it is one of the first municipalities in the country to receive the new U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) LEED Gold city environmental certification. The LEED Gold city certification follows up on the USGBC's LEED rating program for buildings, the most widely used system in the world for evaluating buildings' environmental sustainability.

Last year, Lancaster joined the Mayors National Climate Action Agenda, a group of U.S. cities pledged to upholding the Paris Agreement to mitigate global warming. The city has inventoried local greenhouse gas emissions and been recognized for its work building green infrastructure to manage stormwater runoff, and other initiatives. In November, Lancaster received a grant to help it develop a climate change action plan. (Source: City of Lancaster, Lancaster OnLine, 19 July, 2018) Contact: USGBC, Mahesh Ramanujam, Pres., CEO, (202) 552-1500, www.usgbc.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News USGBC,  LEED Gold,  


Trump Seeks Court Protection from 21 Kid's Climate Lawsuit (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)

Date: 2018-07-18
The Associated Press is reporting the Trump administration has applied to the U.S. Supreme Court to stop a lawsuit filed by 21 young activists who say the government is failing to protect them from climate change. The administration reportedly wants the court to block further legal proceedings until the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals rules on the government's latest request to have the lawsuit dismissed. A non-jury trial is scheduled to begin Oct. 29 in Eugene, Oregon. (Source: Various Media, AP, July, 2018)

Notable Quote from The Donald -- "There is a cooling, and there's a heating. I mean, look, it used to not be 'climate change', it used to be 'global warming.' That wasn't working too well because it was getting too cold all over the place." -- US Pres. Donald Trump, Jan., 2018

Editor's Note: Add news of the Trump Administration's resorting to the Supreme Court against 21 children calling for climate change action to The Donald's recent unprecedented poor and disgraceful performance in Helsinki and, as one reader noted, you have to ask yourself, "When will enough Trump be enough?"

More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  Donald Trump,  


Increased Climate Finance Aids Caribbean Countries (Int'l)
IDB
Date: 2018-06-27
According to the Washington-based Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), a financing increase of more than 20 pct to a seven-year high of $35.2 billion from the previous year by the world's six largest multilateral development banks (MDBs) has boosted projects that help the Caribbean and other developing countries cut emissions and address climate risks.

The MDBs' latest joint report on climate financing said $27.9 billion -- 79 pct of the 2017 total -- was devoted to climate mitigation projects that aim to reduce harmful emissions and slow down global warming. The remaining 21 pct or $7.4 billion of financing for emerging and developing nations was invested in climate adaptation projects. In 2016, total MDB climate financing totaled US$27.4 billion.

The MDBs, which include the African Development Bank , the Asian Development Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the European Investment Bank , the Inter-American Development Bank Group (IDB and IDB Invest) and the World Bank Group (World Bank, IFC and MIGA), account for the vast majority of multilateral development finance. (Source: IDB, Caribbean Life, 23 June, 2018) Contact: IDB, Juan Pablo Bonilla, Climate Change and Sustainability Sector Manager, Therese Turner-Jones, GM Caribbean Country Department, www.iadb.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News IDB,  Climate Change,  Climate Change Mitigation,  Climate Finance,  


Study Finds Crop Rotation Reduces GHG Emissions (R&D Report)
University of Illinois
Date: 2018-06-25
A University of Illinois - Urbana study conducted at the Northwestern Illinois Ggricultural Research and Demonstration Center has found that rotating crops increases yield and lowers greenhouse gas emissions compared to the continuous planting of either corn or soybean.

Gevan Behnke, research specialist and doctoral candidate in University of Illinois' Department of Crop Sciences, compared greenhouse gas emissions from fields that had been maintained as continuous single crop planting, rotated corn-soybean or rotated corn-soybean-wheat planting and no-till management, for 20 years.

Comparing the corn phase of a corn-soybean rotation to continuous corn showed an increased yield and a cumulative reduction in nitrous oxide emissions of approximately 35 pct. Nitrous oxide (N2O) is an extremely potent greenhouse gas, with a global warming potential almost 300 times higher than carbon dioxide. Tillage did not impact greenhouse gas emissions. (Source: University of Illinois, Farm & Field, 22 June, 2018) Contact: University of Illinois - Urbana, University of Illinois' Department of Crop Sciences, Gevan Behnke, (217) 333-3420, https://cropsciences.illinois.edu

More Low-Carbon Energy News CO2,  Nitrous Oxide ,  GHGs,  Greenhouse Gas Emissions,  University of Illinois,  


Nat. Gas Methane Leaks Surpass Previous Estimates (Ind. Report)
NOAA
Date: 2018-06-25
A 10-year National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Global Monitoring Division study of the U.S. oil and gas industry has found that leaks of potent greenhouse gas methane -- the main ingredient in natural gas -- amounting to 13 million metric tpy. is 60 pct higher than the EPA's previously estimated 8 million metric tpy.

In comparison, the environmental effect of methane leaks in 2015 reached the same level of the climate impact of carbon dioxide emissions from all U.S. coal-fired power plants combined in the same year.

Essentially, the amount of methane loss due to leakage would have been enough to power 10 million homes, and calls into question claims that natural gas is friendlier to the environment than the use of coal fuels.

Methane is as much as 80 times more harmful to the atmosphere than carbon dioxide and can contribute about 25 pct to global warming, and its effect can last over the first 20 years after being released. The study was published in the journal Science on June 21. (Source: NOAA, Inosurhoy, 23 June, 2018)Contact: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Benjamin Friedman, (301) 713-1208, www.noaa.gov

More Low-Carbon Energy News Methane,  GHG,  NOAA,  Natural Gas,  


MD Banks' Climate Finance Climbs to $35.2bn in 2017 (Int'l Report)
World Bank
Date: 2018-06-20
According to the recent joint report on climate finance, climate financing by the world's six largest Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) rose to $35.2 billion in 2017 -- a 28 pct jump over 2016. $27.9 billion of the 2017 total was earmarked for climate mitigation projects that aim to reduce emissions and slow down global warming in line with the objectives of the Paris Agreement.

Of the total, $7.4 billion financing for emerging and developing nations was invested in climate adaptation projects that help economies deal with the effects of climate change -- unusual levels of rain, worsening droughts and extreme weather events.

Of the 2017 total, 81 pct was provided as loans and other financial instruments such as policy-based lending, grants, guarantees, equity and lines of credit. Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa and East Asia and the Pacific were the three major developing regions receiving the funds. The report contains a breakdown of climate finance by country.

Multilateral banks began publishing their climate investment in developing countries and emerging economies jointly in 2011, and in 2015 MDBs and the International Development Finance Club agreed joint principles for tracking climate adaptation and mitigation finance. (Source: World Bank, New Telegram, 19 June, 2018) Contact: World Bank, John Roome, (202) 473-3373, www.worldbank.org/en/about/people/j/john-roome

More Low-Carbon Energy News World Bank,  Climate Change,  Climate Change Mitigation,  Climate Finance,  


Mass. Legislating 100 pct Renewables by 2047 (Reg. & Leg.)
Massachussets ,Renewable Energy
Date: 2018-06-18
In Boston, the Bay State senate is reporting the passage of legislation enabling Massachusetts to run on 100-pct renewable energy by 2047 by tripling the state's 1 pct per year renewable portfolio standard (RPS) to 3 pct per year.

The Senate bill also removes caps on non-governmental solar net metering and sets new 2030 and 2040 emission targets under the Global Warming Solutions Act. The act creates the framework for a revenue-neutral, market-based carbon fee; sets a 2,000-MW energy storage target, and opens the door to large renewable energy procurements in the offshore wind sector. The legislation needs the state's House of Representatives approval. (Source: Various Media, pvbuzz, 17 June, 2018)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Energy,  Net-Metering,  Solar,  Wind,  


Scholars Lauded for Sounding Climate Change Alarm (Int'l)
Mopntreal Protocol
Date: 2018-06-18
In Taipei, Taiwan, the Tang Prize reports Dr. James E. Hansen, former Director of the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Goddard Institute for Space Studies, and Professor Veerabhadran Ramanathan, Council of Pontifical Academy of Sciences are co-recipients of the 2018 Tang Prize in Sustainable Development for their pioneering work on climate change and its impact on the sustainability of the earth. Their works lay the scientific foundation for international actions as the Paris Climate Agreement and the new global development-Agenda 2030.

In 1988, then Director of NASA Goddard Institute of Space Studies, he famously announced in televised testimony before the US Congress that "global warming is here," as the observed temperature record exhibited an anomalous rise above the statistical noise of natural fluctuations. Dr. Hansen's testimony "was an important turning point in the history of global climate change."

In 1975, Indian-born Professor Veerabhadran Ramanathan, Victor C. Alderson Professor in Applied Ocean Sciences, UC San Diego, noted the significant greenhouse effects of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and halocarbons, particularly chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) used as refridgerants and in manufacturing. This was a significant indication that showed how gases not only CO2 but such as CFCs that deplete the ozone layer could have ramifications for climate. This finding was also at the core of future negotiations for the Montreal Protocol on Substances that deplete the ozone layer that followed in 1987. The Montreal Protocol benefits both the ozone layer and the climate system. Its effectiveness is much greater than the first phase of the Kyoto Protocol.

The Tang Prize, founded in 2012 by Dr. Samuel Yin, chairman of Ruentex Group, seeks to be an inspiring force for people working in all corners of the world. (Source: Source: Tang Prize Foundation, PR, 17 June, 2018) Contact: Tang Prize Foundation, Scarlett Tu, thetangmedia@tang-prize.org, www.tang-prize.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  GHGs,  Montral Accord,  Paris Climate Agreement,  


Dutch PM Wants EU to Increase CO2 Emissions Cuts (Int'l)
EU,Carbon Emissions
Date: 2018-06-15
Europe needs to reduce its carbon emissions by more than currently planned to limit global warming as agreed under the Paris climate agreement, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte told the European Parliament on Wednesday.

Rutte told a plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, the European Union's aim to reduce carbon emissions, which scientists hold responsible for global warming, by at least 40 pct below 1990 levels by 2030, "is not enough" and proposed a 55 pct reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.

Studies have shown that reducing carbon emissions has become less costly as the price of generating electricity from renewable energy has come down over the past years. Still, climate policy remains a contentious issue in the European Union which often pits countries looking for tougher reduction targets against newer member states in the East which rely more on coal-powered plants for energy. (Source: Cyprus Mail Online, 13 June, 2018)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Emissions,  Emissions Targets,  Climate Change,  


States Act Against EPA Over Landfill Methane Rules Delays (Ind. Report, Reg. & Leg.)
Methane, EPA
Date: 2018-06-13
The AGs from eight states plus the Pennsylvania DEP have together filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California against the US EPA for its alleged failure to implement the Obama administration's 2016 municipal landfill emissions guidelines in accordance with the timeline mandated by the Clean Air Act (CAA).

The complaints are asking the court to issue a mandatory injunction compelling the EPA to implement and enforce the emissions guidelines without further delay.

The guidelines for existing landfills and the jointly issued New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) were revised primarily to control methane emissions that contribute to climate change.

The EPA estimated that the two rules will reduce methane emissions by approximately 330,000 metric tons -- with a global warming potential equivalent to 8.2 million metric tpy of CO2 by 2025. That is roughly equivalent to the annual emissions of 1.8 million cars on the road. (Source: Various Media, EPA, EHS Daily Advisor, 12 June, 2018)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Methane,  GHGs,  Emissions,  EPA,  Landfill Gas,  


Notable Quote -- The Pope Weighs In on Climate Change, Renewables
Climate Change
Date: 2018-06-11
"(It is) Disturbing that two-and-a-half years after the (Paris) deal was struck, carbon dioxide emissions and greenhouse gas levels remain very high. Yet even more worrying is the continued search for new fossil fuel reserves, whereas the Paris Agreement clearly urged keeping most fossil fuels underground. "Civilization requires energy, but energy use must not destroy civilization!

"The effects of climate change are not evenly distributed. It is the poor who suffer most from the ravages of global warming, with increasing disruption in the agricultural sector, water insecurity, and exposure to severe weather events. Many of those who can least afford it are already being forced to leave their homes and migrate to other places that may or may not prove welcoming." -- Pope Francis speaking to ExxonMobil, BP, Royal Dutch Shell and other energy industry leaders at the recent Energy Transition and Care for Our Common Home conference.

Editorial Note: Pope Francis is known to consider climate change one of the key themes of his papacy and has described it as "one of the principal challenges facing humanity in our day."

More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  


Paris Climate Goals Reachable Without Carbon Capture Tech, IIASA Study Finds (Ind. Report)
International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis
Date: 2018-06-06
A recently released study by the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) Nature Energy is the first to map a pathway to limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees C above pre-industrial levels without relying on negative emissions technologies that suck carbon dioxide from the the atmosphere.

The study found that the Paris agreement target can be reached through innovations in energy efficiency -- hanges to heating, cooling, transport, appliances and technological devices could both limit climate change and meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

"Our analysis shows how a range of new social, behavioral and technological innovations, combined with strong policy support for energy efficiency and low-carbon development can help reverse the historical trajectory of ever-rising energy demand," IIASA acting program director and lead study author Arnulf Grubler said in the press release.

The report focused on innovations that were currently available and calculated what would happen if they were applied at scale. It found that doing so could reduce the energy required for transportation, heating and cooling and meeting the physical needs of the world's population by two to four times.

The paper further explained that the success of its scenario relied on the willingness of populations, governments and businesses to make the changes it advocates. "The global community from world leaders and multinational corporations down to individual consumers and citizens need to act in concert to avoid dangerous climate change while improving human wellbeing. Our scenario offers a roadmap as to how this can be achieved," Grubler added.

Markers on that roadmap included ride-sharing fleets of electric vehicles that could reduce transport energy demand by 60 percent by 2050. Increased energy standards for new buildings and renovations for old ones could reduce energy demand from heating and cooling by 75 percent by 2050. The report further found that changing individual habits on a global scale could make a huge difference. The expanded use of smartphones to do the work of what would have previously been several devices, accompanied by a shift in the younger generation from owning material goods to accessing services as needed could limit the growth in global energy demand to 15 percent by 2050. And following a healthy diet that replaced red meat calories with something else could lower agriculture energy demand and lead to increased forest cover the combined size of Bangladesh and Italy by 2050. The report concluded that reducing overall global energy demand 40 pct by 2050, combined with projected renewable energy growth, would succeed in limiting warming 1.5 degrees without the need for negative emissions. (Source: International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, PR, 4 June, 2018) Contact: IIASA , Arnulf Grubler, Report Author, +43 (0) 2236 807 470, gruebler@iiasa.ac.at, www.iiasa.ac.at

More Low-Carbon Energy News CCS,  Paris Climate Agreement,  International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis,  


DOE Touts Carbon Capture, Utilization Storage Initiative (Ind. Report)
US DOE
Date: 2018-06-01
At the ninth Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM9) meeting last week in Copenhagen, Denmark, the US DOE announced the launch of two new clean energy initiatives to boost green energy adoption -- the Nuclear Innovation: Clean Energy Future (NICE Future) and the Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage (CCUS) initiatives.

The CCUS initiative will seek to support and accelerate existing CCUS projects such as those undertaken by the Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum, the International Energy Agency (IEA), the IEA's Greenhouse Gas R&D Programme, Mission Innovation, and the Global CCS Institute.

The US, Saudi Arabia and Norway will lead the project, with international partners including Canada, China, Japan, Mexico, and the UK.

The technologies are predicted to play a key role in global decarbonization efforts, with nuclear set to make energy-intensive processes such as desalination, hydrogen production and energy storage carbon neutral. Following the Paris Agreement, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and IEA predicted that CCUS would be essential to limiting global warming to 2 degree C. (Source: US DOE, Power Tech, 31 May, 2018)

More Low-Carbon Energy News CCUS,  Carbon Capture,  CO2,  


Dutch Gov. Appealing 2015 GHG Reduction Ruling (Int'l Report)
Netherlands, GHG
Date: 2018-05-30
At the Hague, the Dutch government reports it has appealed a 2015 court ruling which ordered it to slash greenhouse gases by 40 pct over 1990 levels by 2020. The 2015 ruling came as a result of environmental rights group Urgenda's effort to force a national reduction of emissions blamed for global warming.

The Dutch government's appeal of the 2015 court ruling, challenges the "extent of judges' control over the future policies of the state". A ruling in the case is expected in the coming months.

In related news, the Dutch government has announced it intended to close two of its oldest coal-fire plants by 2025. Three remaining coal plants will also be closed no later then by 2030. The Netherlands is committed to cut its CO2 emissions by 49 pct by 2030. (Source: Various Media, Space Daily, 28 May, 2018)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Paris Climate Agreement,  GHGs,  Carbon Emissionst,  Climate Change,  Carbon Emissions,  


Global CO2 Emissions Pricing Schemes Worth $82Bn, says World Bank Report (Int'l. Report)
World Bank
Date: 2018-05-23
In a just released report, the World Bank pegs the value of global schemes to put a price on carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and designed to reduce greenhouse gases blamed for global warming at $82 billion, as compared to $52 billion in 2017. The report estimates that 25 emission trading schemes and 26 carbon taxes initiatives worldwide cover 11 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide emissions, or 20 pct of global greenhouse gas emissions.

"Looking ahead, this trend is set to continue, as indicated by some of the jurisdictions which are planning carbon price increases," the World Bank report says. "This includes emerging carbon pricing initiatives, which are launching at relatively low price levels, with the intention of scaling up over time," the report added.

Governments raised around $33 billion in carbon pricing revenues in 2017, compared with $22 billion the previous year, the report said. (Source: World Bank, Economic Times India, 22 May, 2018) Contact: World Bank, John Roome, (202) 473-3373, http://www.worldbank.org/en/about/people/j/john-roome

More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Tax,  Climate Change,  CO2,  GHG,  World Bank,  


Statoil Ramping Up Drive to Cut its Carbon Footprint (Int'l)
Statoil,International Energy Agency
Date: 2018-05-07
Statoil, Norway's largest company, reports it is stress-testing its portfolio of oil and gas assets against global energy scenarios set out by the International Energy Agency (IEA) at shareholders' request in 2015.

The IEA's Sustainable Development Scenario, which analyses the likely impact of energy policies by 2040, is aligned with the 2015 Paris Climate Change Agreement goals to keep global warming from exceeding 2 degrees C..

Statoil has also announced plans to reduce emissions from some of its new fields to 3kg of CO2 per barrel of oil equivalents (boe), which is less than 20 pct of the global average. The company's carbon intensity at its offshore fields stood at 9kg per boe in 2017, compared to a global average of 17kg per boe.

In 2017, Statoil launched a new climate roadmap outlining aims to reduce the carbon intensity of its upstream oil and gas portfolio to 8 kg CO2/boe by 2030, achieve annual CO2 emission reductions of 3 million tonnes by 2030 and build an industrial position in profitable new energy of up to 15-20 pct of capex by 2030. The company will also invest around 25 pct of research funds into new energy solutions and energy efficiency by 2020.

Statoil reduced its CO2 intensity from oil and gas production by 10 pct year-on-year, from 10kg CO2 per boe to 9kg CO2 per boe. In 2017 the company achieved CO2 reductions of 356 000 tonnes.

Download Statoil's 2017 Sustainability report HERE. (Source: Statoil, Reuters, May, 2018) Contact: Statoil, www.statoil.com; International Energy Agency, www.iea.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Statoil,  Climate Change,  Paris Climate Agreement,  Carbon Footprint,  International Energy Agency,  


EU Members Seeking Climate Change Target Increases (Int'l)
Climate Change
Date: 2018-04-30
The Irish Times is reporting Ministers in charge of climate action in France, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, Portugal and Luxembourg have called for a more ambitious strategy to counter global warming in response to "alarming scientific analysis" suggesting current measures will not deliver as hoped.

According to Brune Poirson, secretary of state to the French minister for ecological transition, said EU countries "must take more action and we must take it faster."

"Under the 2015 Paris Agreement, member states had agreed to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 per cent by 2030 and to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. However, with the EU's current climate policy these goals would not be achieved," the ministers said in a joint statement. The group added member states "are still divided on climate policy -- especially on a carbon price floor setting a higher price on carbon, which would penalize activities contributing to global warming -- an overhaul of emissions trading schemes for heavy emitters of CO2, and how to exit from the use of coal and nuclear power. The carbon price does not send a strong enough signal, the price isn't high enough, the group statement added. (Source: Irish Times, Various Other, 28 April, 2019)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Paris Climate Agreement,  Climate Change,  Carbon Tax,  


Aussies Commit $500Mn to Save Great Barrier Reef (Int'l)
Climate Change,Great Barrier Reef Foundation
Date: 2018-04-30
In the Land Down Under, the Australian federal government is allotting $500 million -- the largest single environmental protection package in the nation's history -- to help protect the Great Barrier Reef from climate change and other treats.

The government will partner with the Great Barrier Reef Foundation in an agreement worth $444 million to mitigate the effects of climate change. The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and The Department of the Environment and Energy will also receive $56 million in additional funding. $100 million will be used for reef restoration science and $40 million will be spent for monitoring the health of the reef system.

In a recently published study study, researchers revealed the extent of damage caused by global warming on the reef system. Investigations showed that two successive heat waves killed nearly half of the corals in the most pristine part of the Great Barrier Reef. (Source: Great Barrier Reef Foundation, Tech Times, 29 April, 2018) Contact: Great Barrier Reef Foundation, www.barrierreef.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  


Aussie Marine Heatwave Triggered Massive CO2 Release (Int'l)
Seagrass
Date: 2018-03-19
In the Land Down Under, a recently completed and released study from Edith Cowan University and a team of international researchers reports a severe heatwave off north-western Western Australia hammered the world's largest region of seagrass -- a major carbon sink -- causing the release of as much as 9,000,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide. Two months of temperatures 2 - 4 degrees above average in the summer of 2010-11 resulted in the loss of about 1000 square-kilometres of seagrass -- aka a "blue carbon sink" -- in Shark Bay by 2014, or about a fifth of its extent, according to the paper which was published last week in Nature Climate Change. Shark Bay accounts for about 2.4 pct of the world's total seagrass area.

One hectare of seagrass, along with mangroves, has 30 - 50 times the potential of Amazonian forest in terms of [carbon] mitigation, according to study researcher and lead author Oscar Sorrano. It also has the potential to release huge amounts of carbon-dioxide back to the atmosphere -- potentially increasing the likelihood of further heatwaves by fuelling global warming.

The researchers - ranging from Australia, Spain, Malaysia, the United States and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia - estimated the loss from the heatwave event released as much as 9 million tonnes of CO2, or the equivalent annual emissions of 800,000 homes or 1,600,000 cars. The estimates were based on modelling releases based in-situ studies from 50 sites. (Source: Edith Cowan University, Nature Climate Change, Sydney Morning Herald, 20 Mar., 2018) Contact: Edith Cowan University, Oscar Serrano, Researcher, Paper Lead Author, +61 8 6304 0000, www.ecu.edu.au

More Low-Carbon Energy News Seagrass,  Blue Carbon,  Carbon Sink,  CO2,  


NASA Warns of Arctic Permafrost Carbon Release (Ind. Report)
NASA,NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Date: 2018-03-07
A new study from the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, has found that Arctic permafrost -- formerly thought to be at least temporarily shielded from global warming by its extreme environment -- will thaw enough to become a permanent source of carbon to the atmosphere in this century, with the peak transition occurring in 40 to 60 years. According to the study, by the year 2300, total carbon emissions from this region will be 10 times higher than all human-produced fossil fuel emissions in 2016.

The study, led by scientist Nicholas Parazoo, used data on soil temperatures in Alaska and Siberia from the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, with a numerical model from the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, that calculates changes in carbon emissions as plants grow and permafrost thaws in response to climate change. (Source: NASA, India Blooms News Service , 6 Mar., 2018) Contact: NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Nicholas Parazoo, (818) 354-4321, www.jpl.nasa.gov

More Low-Carbon Energy News NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory ,  CO2,  Carbon Dioxide,  Carbon Emissions,  Permafrost,  NASA,  


Hawai'i Sea Level Rise Vulnerability Report -- Attached (Ind. Report)

Date: 2018-03-07
In Honolulu, the Hawai'i Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Commission has released its Hawai'i Sea Level Rise Vulnerability and Adaptation Report warning of the dire consequences of climate change.

According to the report, "Rapid warming of the atmosphere and oceans, caused by two centuries of unabated carbon emissions, is causing increasing rates of sea level rise, unprecedented in human history, that threatens natural environments and development on low-lying coasts. Sea level rise is an inevitable outcome of global warming that will continue through many centuries even if human-generated global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions were stopped today. However, much of what happens with future sea level rise will depend on our ability, or inability, to implement aggressive global carbon emissions reduction programs envisioned through the 2016 Paris Climate Accord."

Download the full Hawai'i Sea Level Rise Vulnerability and Adaptation Report HERE. (Source: MauiTime Weekly, 5 Mar., 2018)Contact: Hawai'i Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Commission, www.climateadaptation.hawaii.gov

More Low-Carbon Energy News Hawaii,  Climate Change,  Climate Change Mitigation,  


$41.6Tn Needed to Hold Global Warming Under 2 degrees C, says Report (Ind. Report)
Global Warming
Date: 2018-03-05
According to a report in the Lancet Planetary Health Journal, between $22.1 trillion and $41.6 trillion would be required between 2020 and 2050 for the world to hold average global warming under 2 degrees C (3.6 degrees c). The report adds the estimated cost of measures to limit Earth-warming greenhouse gas emissions can be more than offset by reductions in deaths and disease from air pollution, which would cost between $22.1 trillion and 41.6 trillion between 2020 and 2050 for the world to hold average global warming under 2 degrees C.

A lower aspirational limit of 1.5 degree C would cost between $39.7 trillion and $56.1 trillion, but air pollution deaths could be reduced by 21-27 pct to about 100 million between 2020 and 2050 under the 2 degree C scenario, and by 28-32 pct to about 90 million at 1.5 degree C, according to the report.

The world's nations agreed on the 2 degree C limit in Paris in 2015, and committed to voluntary GHG emissions reduction targets that even if met, place the world on a 3 degree C trajectory, scientists say. (Source: ZeeBusiness, AFP, Lancet Planetary Health Journal, 3 Mar., 2018)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Paris Climate Agreement,  GHGs,  Carbon Emissions,  


Advanced Biofuels "Not Yet Viable", Study Warns (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
Ethanol Europe Renewables Ltd
Date: 2018-02-09
Research conducted by Ireland-based Ethanol Europe Renewables Ltd. has found that less than 1 pct of projected capacity for advanced biofuel production worldwide has become reality, and warns policy makers against placing "too much hope in the fledgling technology."

"Advanced biofuels are not yet viable, are not rising at all, and have accumulated losses of billions in failed projects," the research says, adding that the "myth of the advanced biofuel industry survives on a long-run campaign of misinformation by promoters of advanced biofuels technologies. Contrary to statements from promoters of advanced biofuels, in the European Union, advanced biofuels production capacity is not growing steadily and there are not several examples showcasing this development," the report adds.

European Renewable Ethanol Assoc. (ePIRE) Secretary General Emmanuel Desplechin has called for an analysis of the "real data" from the International Energy Agency (IEA) which says biofuels consumption in the transport sector must triple by 2030 in order for the world to keep global warming well below 2 degree C, the target in the Paris Agreement. "It stressed that two-thirds of that increase should come from advanced biofuels and notably from cellulosic ethanol, and also points out that first-generation biofuels also have an important contribution to make while the massive scale-up of advanced technology is underway," Desplechin concluded. (Source: Ethanol Europe Renewables Ltd., Euractiv, 7 Feb., 2018) Contact: Ethanol Europe Renewables Ltd., administrator@eerl.com, www.eerl.com; (ePURE), Emmanuel Desplechin, Sec. Gen., +32 2 657 6679, info@epure.org, www.epure.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News ePURE,  Ethanol Europe Renewables Ltd,  Advanced Biofuel,  Cellulosics,  Biofuel,  ePure,  


Notable Quote from The Donald
Donald Trump
Date: 2018-01-31
"There is a cooling, and there's a heating. I mean, look, it used to not be 'climate change,' it used to be 'global warming.' That wasn't working too well because it was getting too cold all over the place." -- US Pres. Donald Trump, Jan., 2018

More Low-Carbon Energy News Donald Trump,  Climate Change,  


R.I. Env. Council Promoting Carbon Tax Legislation (Reg & Leg)
the Environment Council of Rhode Island (ECRI)
Date: 2018-01-24
In Providence, the Environment Council of Rhode Island (ECRI) is calling for the 2018 state legislature to implement a carbon tax on all fossil fuels burned, stored or produced in the state.

In addition to a state carbon tax, the ECRI bill includes: legislated carbon emissions reductions under the Rhode Island Global Warming Solutions Act; a climate and economic stimulus package; a coastal adaptation trust fund to help cities and towns address sea-level rise; mandatory and enforceable state greenhouse gas-reduction goals; increased support for energy efficiency; renewable energy siting regulations; require products sold in Rhode Island to meet minimum standards for electricity and gas consumption; and others.

The ECRI's initiatives are backed by a coalition of advocacy groups and environmentalists, including the EnergizeRI Coalition, an advocacy group with ties to Brown University, and the People's Power & Light utility. (Source: Environment Council of Rhode Island, eco'RI News, 22 Jan., 2018)Contact: Environment Council of Rhode Island,(401) 621-8048, www.environmentcouncilri.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News the Environment Council,  Climate Change of Rhode Island,  CLimate Change,  


Most Chinese Regions Meet 2016 Low-Carbon Targets (Int'l Report)
China National Development and Reform Commission
Date: 2018-01-10
In Shanghai, China's National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) is reporting that 27 of the country's 31 regions met their greenhouse gas reduction targets aimed at accelerating the development of non-fossil fuel energy and combating global warming in 2016.

China, the world's largest GHG emitter, pledged to slash carbon dioxide produced per unit of GDP growth by 18 pct over 2016-2020 and to cap total energy consumption at 5 billion tonnes of standard coal equivalent by the end of the decade.

The remote western regions of Tibet and Qinghai, the rural southwestern region of Guangxi and the northeast rust-belt province of Liaoning all their targets, according to a China National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) release. (Source: Indian Express, Reuters, NASDAQ, 8 Jan., 2018) Contact: China National Development and Reform Commission, en.ndrc.gov.cn

More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Emissions,  China National Development and Reform Commission ,  


Notable Quotes on Climate Change from Team Trump
Climate Change
Date: 2018-01-10
"Claims of catastrophic consequences in global warming are not reflective of the majority of the opinions even among IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) scientists." -- US VP Mike Pence

"The increase in greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere are having an effect. Our ability to predict that effect is very limited." -- US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson

"I would not agree that [carbon dioxide] is a primary driver to the global warming that we see." -- US EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt

When asked whether carbon dioxide is the main driver of climate change: "No. Most likely the primary control knob is the ocean waters and this environment that we live in." (Climate change is) "one contrived phony mess." -- US Secretary of Energy Rick Perry

"We don't know definitively, in my opinion, what is causing climate change." -- US Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue

"An invisible, harmless trace gas in the Earth's atmosphere, CO2 is a plant food." -- Kathleen Hartnett White, Trump Nominee to lead the Council on Environmental Quality

"I'm still open-minded. Nobody really knows. Look, I'm somebody that gets it, and nobody really knows. It's not something that's so hard and fast. I do know this: Other countries are eating our lunch." -- U.S. President-elect Donald Trump discussing climate change.

More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  Donald Trump,  


Biological Solution to Carbon Capture, Recycling (New Prod & Tech)
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Date: 2018-01-10
Scientists at the University of Dundee have discovered that E. coli, normally harmless gut bacteria, could hold the key to an efficient method of capturing and storing or recycling CO2 to slow down and even reverse global warming. The research has been funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC).

Working with local industry partners Sasol UK and Ingenza Ltd, the University researchers developed a process that enables the E. coli bacterium to act as a very efficient carbon capture device. When the bacteria containing the FHL enzyme are placed under pressurized CO2 and hydrogen gas mixtures -- up to 10 atmospheres of pressure -- a 100 pct conversion of the CO2 to formic acid is observed. The reaction happens over a few hours and at ambient temperatures. The "microbial cell factory" could be used to mop up CO2 from many types of industry.

Not only capturing CO2 but storing or recycling it is a major issue. There are millions of tonnes of CO2 being pumped into the atmosphere every year. For the UK alone, the net emission of C02 in 2015 was 404 million tonnes. There is a significant question of where can we put it all even if we capture it, with current suggestions including pumping it underground in to empty oil and gas fields, according to the researchers release. (Source: University of Dundee, Public PR, 8 Jan., 2018) Contact: University of Dundee, Professor Frank Sargent, www.lifesci.dundee.ac.uk/people/frank-sargent; Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, www.bbsrc.ac.uk

More Low-Carbon Energy News CO2,  Carbon Capture,  Carbon Storage,  Carbon Recycling,  



Date: 2017-11-20
There was a telling moment at the 23rd edition of UN climate talks that underscored both the life-and-death stakes in the fight against global warming, and how hard it is for this belaboured forum to rise to the challenge. Twelve-year-old Timoci Naulusala from Fiji, a nation disappearing under rising seas, was delivering a testimonial to ministers and heads of state with crisp English and irresistible charm. Suddenly, describing the devastation wrought by Cyclone Winston last year, his words became measured, his voice hushed. "My home, my school -- my source of food, water, money -- was totally destroyed," he said. "My life was in chaos. I asked myself: Why is this happening? What am I going to do?" The answer to Timoci's first question has become frightening clear: climate change. But Timoci's second question remains open: What is he, and by extension the world, going to do? At first, the answer seemed straight-forward: humans must stop loading the atmosphere with the greenhouse gases that drive global warming. The successful repair of the ozone hole suggested a way forward: an international treaty. But it took a quarter of a century to get one, in 2015, and even then it is woefully inadequate: voluntary national pledges to curb carbon pollution would still allow the global thermometer to go up 3 C, a recipe for human misery on a vast scale. Since Paris, the UN climate talks -- known to participants as "COPs", or Conferences of the Parties -- have focused on working out an operational handbook for the treaty, which goes into effect in 2020. But as the years tick by, the byzantine bureaucracy -- where hundreds of diplomats can argue for days over whether a text will say "should" or "shall" -- has struggled to keep pace with "the real world". A veteran EU climate diplomat, meanwhile, bemoaned the lack of dynamism in talks. "I've never seen a COP with so little adrenaline," he told AFP. The UN climate process risks falling out of step in two key ways, experts suggest. One is in relation to the unforgiving conclusions of science, which show that the window of opportunity for avoiding climate cataclysm is rapidly narrowing to a slit.This year's climate talks kicked off with negotiators learning that CO2 emissions -- after remaining stable for three years, raising hopes that they had peaked -- will rise by two percent in 2017, a development one scientist called "a giant step backwards for humankind". Negotiations were also reeling from US President Donald Trump's decision to pull out from the Paris Agreement. The UN's 12-day negotiations came to an end yesterday with an agreement to hold a stocktake in 2018 of national efforts to cut fossil fuel emissions. (Source: Afp, Daily Star, 19 Sept., 2017)


Univ. Wisc Study Links Ethanol, Climate Change (Ind. Report)
University of Wisconsin Madison
Date: 2017-11-20
According to new University of Wisconsin research presented at the recent America's Grasslands Conference in Fort Worth, the federal corn ethanol mandate is contributing to climate change. The research found that since the Renewal Fuel Standard (RFS) ethanol mandate's 2007 enactment, over 7 million acres of habitat have been set aside to plant corn and soy, leading to the release of emissions equivalent to the annual emissions of 20 million new automobiles.

The report examined the location and carbon stored in habitat lost to cropland between 2008 and 2012 and found that 115 million metric tons of global carbon was released into the atmosphere, or nearly 29 million mtpy -- equivalent to six coal-burning power plants.

Download the US Cropland Expansion Released 115 Million Tons of Carbon (2008 - 2012) report HERE. (Source: Univ. of Wisconsin, Freemont News Messenager, 17 Nov.2017) Contact: University of Wisconsin Madison, Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment, Holly Gibbs, (608) 265-0572, www.sage.wisc.edu

More Low-Carbon Energy News GHGs,  Corn Ethanol,  Ethanol,  Biofuel,  Global Warming,  Climate Change,  


Livestock Methane Acounts for 23 pct of Global Warming (Ind. Report)
New Zealand Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Research Centre.
Date: 2017-11-15
A new study from the New Zealand Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Research Centre reports that methane emissions from livestock are responsible for approximately 23 pct of all global warming -- more than estimates based only on greenhouse gas emissions.

The study also looked at how reductions in livestock emissions would impact on allowable carbon dioxide emissions consistent with long term temperature goals.

Methane, which is a short lived gas in the atmosphere of 12 years. Carbon dioxide (CO2) has a 1000 year decay period, and nitrous oxide (NO3) about 100 years. (Source: NZ Farmer, 13 Nov., 2017)Contact: New Zealand Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Research Centre, Dr. Harry Clark, Dir., +64 6 356 8019, www.nzagrc.org.nz

More Low-Carbon Energy News Livestock Methane,  Climate Change,  Methane,  


Natural Gas Has No Climate Benefit, says UK Report -- Report Attached (Ind. Report)
International Energy Agency,EDF
Date: 2017-11-15
A new International Energy Agency (IEA) study concludes that just the methane emissions escaping from New Mexico's gas and oil industry are "equivalent to the climate impact of approximately 12 coal-fired power plants." And, the report concludes, if the goal is to avoid catastrophic levels of global warming, the evidence is overwhelming that natural gas has no net climate benefit in any timescale and "categorically has no role to play as a "bridge" fuel to a carbon-free economy.

Download the Oil and Gas Methane Emissions in New Mexico report HERE. (Source: EDF, Think Progress, 13 Nov., 2017) Contact: EDF, www.edf.org; IEA, Fatih Birol, Exec. Dir., +33 1 40 57 65 00, www.iea.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Natural Gas,  Methane,  Climate Change,  Global Warming,  Environmental Defense Fund,  IEA ,  


WMO Statement on the State of the Global Climate in 2017 -- Report Attached (Ind. Report)
World Meteorological Organization
Date: 2017-11-08
"We have witnessed extraordinary weather, including temperatures topping 50 degrees C in Asia, record-breaking hurricanes in rapid succession in the Caribbean and Atlantic reaching as far as Ireland, devastating monsoon flooding affecting many millions of people and a relentless drought in East Africa. This is part of a long-term warming trend," -- UN World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Secretary-General Petteri Taalas.

Download the WMO Statement on the State of the Global Climate in 2017 HERE. (Source: WMO, Nov., 2017) Contact: World Meteorological Organisation, +41 (0) 22 73 0811, www.wmo.int

More Low-Carbon Energy News World Meteorological Organization,  Climate Change,  Global Warming,  


NRDC Identifies Expected COP23 Trends (Int'l. Report)
COP23,COP21,Paris Climate Agreement
Date: 2017-11-06
The upcoming COP23 -- the 23rd Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC -- round of international climate negotiations in Bonn, Germany, will set the tone for how leaders will come together during the TU.S. Trump administration and how they will take action on climate change during the Trump era, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).

The NRDC has identified the following key themes it expects to dominate the meetings: (listen to the recording):

  • U.S. climate action continues despite President Trump -- While President Trump has announced his intention to pull the U.S. out of the Paris Agreement, NRDC says it has witnessed a resounding revolt in the U.S. to against Trump's decision by Governors, Mayors, business leaders, and citizens. States are committing to expand renewable energy, energy efficiency, and cleaner transportation. Mayors are committing to go to power their cities with 100 pct renewable energy and are finding ways to use energy more efficiently. Business leaders are committing to power their companies with 100% renewable energy and to ensure that their supply-chains are helping solve climate change, not make it worse. In short, Trump may be trying to pull the U.S. out of the Paris Agreement, but we are still in and committed to helping deliver on America's climate targets.

  • Countries are acting at home -- Key countries are showing that they aren't waiting to implement new actions to reduce their emissions and meet their Paris targets. While not all countries are yet on track to meet their targets, noticeable progress has been made in some of the world's biggest emitting countries.

  • Paris Agreement "rulebook" matters a great deal -- The Paris Agreement established the essential foundations for how the world is going to advance international climate action for decades to come. Critical to its continued success will be ensuring that the "rulebook" for the Paris Agreement helps to ensure that countries meet their targets and creates incentives for countries to beat their targets. Countries agreed to finalize the details of the Paris rulebook next year, so this year's meeting needs to ensure strong progress towards building a system of strong rules to help ensure that the promise of the Paris Agreement is translated into reality in the years ahead.

  • While significant progress is being made by many key countries to meet their Paris Agreement targets, stronger action will be needed in the coming years if we are going to be on a safer climate trajectory. The Paris Agreement created a dynamic process for countries to adopt more aggressive commitments starting in 2020. Countries will need to be prepared to announce even stronger targets in the years to come. There are emerging positive signs that some key countries will be in a position to deliver even greater ambition than they promised in 2015, according the NRDC. (Source: NRDC, Blog, 2 Nov., 2017)Contact: NRDC, www.nrdc.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News NRDC,  Climate Change,  Global Warming,  COP21,  Paris Climate Agreement,  


  • Atmospheric CO2 Levels Hit 800,000 Year High (Ind. Report)
    World Meteorological Organization
    Date: 2017-11-01
    The Geneva, Switzerland-headquartered World Meteorological Organization (WMO)is reporting that atmospheric concentrations of the long lasting greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2), and the shorter-lived by far more potent methane have persisted at levels above 400 parts per million for the first time in recorded history and its highest level in 800,000 years.

    In addition to the ignition of fossil fuels, an extremely powerful El Nino event -- a natural phenomenon that is exacerbated by man-made climate change -- is contributing to the high greenhouse gas levels. El Nino restricts the ability of plants to absorb CO2 whenever it causes extensive droughts. Normally, much of this excess carbon would be absorbed by the oceans -- the planet's major carbon sink.

    Measurements taken in 51 different countries revealed that 2016's increased CO2 levels was 50 pct higher than the average of the past 10 years. "The rate of increase of atmospheric CO2 over the past 70 years is nearly 100 times larger than that at the end of the last ice age," the report claims. (Source: World Meteorological Organization, BBC News, Various Others, 31 Oct., 2017) Contact: World Meteorological Organization, www.wmo.int

    More Low-Carbon Energy News ,  CO2,  Methane,  GHGs,  Climate Change,  Carbon Emissions,  CO2,  Global Warming,  


    Cdn. Government's Climate Change Readiness Questioned (Ind. Report)
    Canadian Environment commissioner
    Date: 2017-10-11
    In Ottawa, the Canadian Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development Julie Gelfand's annual report questions the federal government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's readiness and ability to protect over $66 billion in federal assets like bridges, roads and airports, while still providing services when disasters and the impacts of climate change strike.

    According to Commissioner Gelfand, "Only five of the 19 federal government departments she audited for the annual report have even figured out where the risks are from climate change, let alone how to mitigate such risks." "It's time to move from planning to action," the commissioner added.(Source: Insurance Business Canada, Canada Press, Various Media, 6 Oct., 2017) Contact: Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development, Julie Gelfand, www.oag-bvg.gc.ca

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Canada Carbon Emissions,  Carbon Emissions,  Climate Change Global Warming,  


    UNEP Warns of Horn of Africa Climate Change Social, Economic Strife (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    UN Environment Program
    Date: 2017-10-11
    Speaking in Nairobi, the Executive Director of the UN Environment Program (UNEP), Erik Solheim, noted the Horn of Africa region could become an epicenter of violent political and economic conflicts as climatic shocks intensify and global warming becomes the main driver of civil strife, terrorism and forced migration.

    "There is no denying that climate change will remain a big security challenge not only in Somalia but also in other Horn of African countries. Communities will continue fighting over over-stretched natural resources such as land, pasture and water," Solheim remarked. "Massive investments in climate change mitigation and adaptation is key to promote sustainable development and stability in the East and Horn of African region" he added. (Source: UN Environment Program, Xinhua, 5 Oct., 2017) Contact: UN Environment Program, Erik Solheim, Exec. Dir., +254 20 7621 234, executiveoffice@unep.org, www.unep.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  


    Big Apple Aims for Carbon Neutrality by 2050 (Ind. Report)
    New York City
    Date: 2017-10-06
    In the Empire State, New York City mayor Bill de Blasio's office has released a plan that aligns the city with with the Paris Climate agreement limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees C. The Mayor's plan calls for the city to cut emissions by 80 pct below 2005 levels by the middle of the century and for the city to offset all remaining carbon pollution by 2050.

    The plan, which focuses on specific actions including a greater reliance on renewable energy, covers building codes, energy production, energy management and efficiency, as well as significant measures to encourage the adoption of electric vehicles and clean transportation.

    Download Aligning New York City with the Paris Climate Agreement HERE. (Source: City of New York, Mayor Bill de Blasio, Various Media, Oct., 2017) Contact: NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, www1.nyc.gov/office-of-the-mayor

    More Low-Carbon Energy News New York City,  Carbon Neutral,  Carbon Neutrality,  Mayor Bill De Blasio,  


    Aggregate Industries, BASF Partner on Concrete Environmental Product Declarations (Ind. Report)
    Aggregate Industries ,BASF Construction Chemicals
    Date: 2017-10-02
    Chicago-headquartered cement manufacturer Aggregate Industries (AI) reports it has partnered with BASF Construction Chemicals to create a suite of Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) to provide clients with detailed information on the environmental impact of their ready-mixed concrete, and to encourage the implementation of sustainable solutions. -- core issues within the construction industry.

    Aggregate Industries have launched EPDs on their Agilia, Watertight and Diamondcrete ready-mixed concrete products.

    The EPDs are based on life-cycle assessment (LCA) calculations using BASF's Life Cycle Analyzer tool to quantify the environmental impact of specialist and conventional concretes and compare the eco-efficiency of different concrete mixes.

    The Life Cycle Analyzer allows concrete producers and specifiers to demonstrate compliance with European Standard BS EN 15804:2012 and to calculate indicators such as global warming potential (CO2), renewable energy consumption, acidification potential, and the cost impact of different concrete mix designs. (Source: Aggregate Industries, 29 Sept., 2017) Contact: Aggregate Industries, (773) 372-1000, www.aggregate.com; BASF +49 (0)621 60-0, www.basf.com/en/products-and-industries/construction.html

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Concrete,  Cement,  COs,  Carbon Emissions,  


    N.J. Missing GHG Reduction Target, says Rutgers Report (Ind. Report)
    Rutgers
    Date: 2017-09-27
    According to a new report from the Rutgers University Climate Institute, the Garden State "lacks coherent, comprehensive strategy to significantly reduce carbon footprint by mid-century and is going to require much steeper reductions in greenhouse-gas emissions to reach a goal to lower carbon pollution to 1990 levels by 2050." New Jersey enacted its Global Warming Response Act almost a decade ago.

    Although the attached Rutgers report is short on recommendations it could provide a blueprint for the steps -- carbon tax, RGGI participation, cleaner transportation and greater reliance on renewable energy -- needed to curb greenhouse gas emissions by 80 pct which will require a 76 pct reduction from today's pollution levels.

    According to the report, New Jersey's emission profile differs from other states in that there is less pollution from the power sector because of the state's reliance on nuclear which comprises 43 pct of the state's electricity mix. Mobile emissions and fossil fuels used in homes and businesses, primarily for heating, account for a greater share of the emission mix.

    Download the An Examination of Policy Options for Achieving Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reductions in New Jersey -- September 2017 report HERE. (Source: Rutgers University, Georgetown Climate Center, NJ Spotlight, Sept., 2017) Contact: Rutgers, www.climatechange.rutgers.edu

    More Low-Carbon Energy News GHG,  Greenhouse Gas Emissiuons,  Emission Reduction Target,  


    Major Corporations Calculating Carbon Footprints (Ind. Report)
    Carbon Footprint,World Bank
    Date: 2017-09-15
    According to a recent report from Arlington, Virginia-based Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES), formerly the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, Microsoft, Walt Disney Co. and General Motors are among the major companies worldwide calculating how much they spend on carbon emissions to show investors they are concerned about global warming. The report also found that over 700 other worldwide businesses are planning to introduce "carbon pricing" by 2018. Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES).

    Some 500 companies, including 80 in the United States, reported using carbon pricing. Many oil and gas companies such as British energy company BP use an internal, or "shadow," accounting method to track their carbon emissions, it said. Other companies charge carbon fees to internal business units.

    According to the World Bank, 42 governments have or plan to have a way to tax carbon emissions or have a cap-and-trade system that allows industries with low emissions to sell their unused permitted capacity to larger emitters. (Source: C2ES, World Bank, Voice of America, Sept., 2017) Contact: Climate and Energy Solutions , (703) 516-4146, www.c2es.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Tax,  Carbon Emission,  Climate and Energy Solutionss,  Carbon Footprint,  

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