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Tropical Forests Losing Ability to Absorb Carbon (Study Attached)
Carbon Sink
Date: 2020-03-06
The recently released attached study notes the Amazon and other tropical forests losing their "carbon sink" capabilities and could turn into a source of CO2 in atmosphere by next decade. owing to the damage caused by loggers and farming interests and the impacts of the climate crisis. In that event, the impact of climate change is likely to become much more severe and the world will have to cut its carbon emissions even faster than presently outlined under the Paris Climate Agreement.

The study, published on Wednesday in the journal Nature, tracked 300,000 trees over 30 years, providing the first large-scale evidence of the decline in carbon uptake by the world's tropical forests. The researchers combined data from two large research networks of forest observations in Africa and the Amazon, as well as years spent traveling to remote field sites

Access the Asynchronous Carbon Sink Saturation in African and Amazonian Tropical Forests study HERE. (Source: Nature, Mar. 2020)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Sink,  Carbon Emissions,  

$10Bn Bezos Earth Fund to Fight Climate Change (Ind. Report)
Jeff Bezos
Date: 2020-02-19
In an Instagram post Inc. billionaire founder and CEO Jeff Bezos announced the establishment of the personally-funded $10 billion Bezos Earth Fund.

The fund, which "aims to support scientists, activists, NGOs -- any effort that offers a real possibility to help preserve and protect the natural world", is expected to begin issuing grant funding this summer. (Source: Jeff Bezos, Instagram, 18 Feb., 2020)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  Amazon,  Jeff Bezos,  

Fargo Ponders Residential Wind Turbines Ordinance (Ind Report)
City of Fargo
Date: 2020-02-12
In North Dakota, Valley News Live is reporting the City of Fargo -- pop. 123,000 +- -- city commissioners and planning authority at considering allowing the installation of home wind turbines.

In its deliberations, the city is defining home wind turbines as being roughly 20 feet high, if ground mounted, or 20 feet above roof height. The models under consideration can generally be ordered through companies like Home Depot, Amazon, and eBay. (Source: City of Fargo, Cuty Live, 10 Feb., 2020) Contact: City of Fargo,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Wind,  Wind Turbine,  ,  

Arlington, Amazon Tout Dominion Energy Solar Deal (Ind. Report)
Dominion Energy Virginia
Date: 2020-02-03
In the Old Dominion State, Arlington County and Amazon report they are partnering with Dominion Energy Virginia to build a 120-MW, 1,500-acre solar farm in southern Virginia this year. The solar farm will be Dominion's 10th in the state.

When fully online, roughly 80 pct of the facilities total power generation will be purchased by Amazon and Arlington County for its buildings, streetlights, traffic signals, water pumping, and wastewater treatment. (Source: Dominion Energy Virginia, WDVM, 31 Jan., 2020)Contact: Dominion Energy Virginia, Keith Windle, VP Business Development and Merchant Operations,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Dominion Energy Virginia,  Solar,  

Air France Passengers Voting on Carbon Offset Projects(Int'l)
Air France,CORSIA
Date: 2020-01-15
Air France reports its 57,000 passengers per day can now vote on the internationally certified projects that will help offset 100 pct of the carbon emissions of the air carrier's 450 daily domestic flights.

Qualifying projects include a forest preservation project in Brazil's Amazon River delta, a photovoltaic program in Senegal, a biogas production program in Vietnam and others. The program receiving the highest number of votes will, starting this year, be included in Air France's offsetting initiative.

A global carbon offset scheme for international flights is also being introduced and is backed by the UN International Civil Aviation Organization (CORSIA) to reduce aviation CO2 emissions by 2.5 billion tonnes from 2020 to 2035. (Source: Air France, AirLine Ratings, 14 Jan., 2020)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Offset,  Aviation Emissions,  CORSIA,  

Amazon Employees For Climate Justice (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
Amazon, Climate Change
Date: 2020-01-06
"How will the world remember Jeff Bezos in the era of climate emergency? Will he use his immense economic power to help, or not? Please tell @Amazon and @JeffBezos: Our world is on fire and desperately needs climate leadership. Stop silencing employees who are sounding the alarm." -- Amazon Employees For Climate Justice KOMONews, 4 Jan, 2019

More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  Jeff Bazos,  

Amazon Announces New Renewable Energy Projects (Ind. Report)
Date: 2019-12-04
Online shopping juggernaut Amazon is reporting three new renewable energy projects in the US and Spain that support its Climate Pledge to reach 80 pct renewable energy by 2024, 100 pct renewable energy target by 2030 and net-zero carbon by 2040.

Amazon's newest renewable energy project in Europe will be the company's first large-scale solar project generating 149 MW near Sevilla. The company's newest renewable energy solar projects in the US will be located in Lee County, Illinois and in Northern Virginia. Together, they total 180 MW and are expected to generate almost 400,000 MWh of renewable energy annually. Once complete, the three new renewable energy solar projects will provide an estimated 329 MW of additional renewable capacity.

To date, Amazon has launched over 70 renewable energy projects providing more than 1,900 MW and over more than 5.3 million MWh of renewable energy annually. These projects include 21 utility-scale wind and solar farms and more than 50 solar rooftops installed on fulfillment centers and sort centers around the globe. (Source: Amazon, PR, BusinessWire, Dec., 2019)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Amazon,  Renewable Energy,  Wind,  

COP25 UN Climate Conference Underway in Madrid (Int'l. Report)
COP25,World Meteorological Organization
Date: 2019-12-02
With today's opening, some 25,000 delegates and heads of state will meet for the next two weeks in the Spanish capital city of Madrid for COP25, the annual UN international conference on the global climate challenge and to address related concerns best illustrated by last week's World Meteorological Organization (WMO) report that "world greenhouse gas concentrations rose again in 2018, with carbon dioxide levels hitting 407.8 parts per million, a new record in human history."

COP25 was originally scheduled for Brazil but moved to Chile after Brazil's right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro, widely criticized by environmentalists for his policies on the Amazon region, took office last January. However, following lengthy spells of civil unrest in Chile, the Sebastian Pinera government there announced in early November that the country was ceding the hosting of COP25 to Spain, four weeks before it was set to start.

Despite having given formal notice on withdrawing from the Paris Agreement, the U.S. will attendant the Madrid meeting. (Source: UN COP25, Various Media, 30 Nov., 20190 Contact: COP25,; World Meteorological Organization, Petteri Taalas, Secretary General, +41 (0) 22 73 0811,

More Low-Carbon Energy News COP25,  Climate Change,  World Meteorological Organization ,  

Brazil Lifts Sugarcane-for-Ethanol Farming Ban (Int'l Report)
Brazil Ethanol,UNICA
Date: 2019-11-11
In Brasilia, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is reported to have lifted a 2009 ban on sugarcane farming for ethanol production in the country's ecologically vulnerable and threatened Amazon and Pantanal tropical wetlands regions. Wednesday, a move that environmentalists say threatens the regions.

In response to considerable environmental group opposition to the lifting of the ban, The Brazilian Agriculture Ministry denied that the move undermines preservation of the Amazon and Pantanal regions and claimed the 2009 rule was "obsolete, because other laws had since been passed protecting those areas."

In Sao Paulo, the Sugarcane Industry Union (UNICA) added that the 2009 rule was "nothing more than bureaucratic scaffolding" and that "ethanol and all our products must be sustainable from beginning to end."

Brazil is the world's largest sugarcane producer, with more than 10 million hectares (24.7 million acres) planted in 2018, according to data from UNICA. (Source: UNICA, DFS, 10 Nov., 2019) Contact: UNICA,,

More Low-Carbon Energy News UNICA,  Sugarcane Ethanol,  Ethanol,  Brazil Ethanol,  

HiTech Employees Demand Climate Change Action Plan (Ind. Report)
Climate Change, Google
Date: 2019-11-08
On a recent online petition, Google employees are calling on their company to issue a climate action plan that commits to zero emissions by 2030 and to refuse contracts that would support fossil fuels. Other tech giants Amazon and Microsoft employees have made similar demands on dealing with climate change and environmental responsibility. (Source: Various Media, ABC News, 5 Nov., 2019)

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

Urbantech Supports Sustainable Cities Focused Startups (Int'l.)
Date: 2019-11-06
In Denmark, ten startups ranging from energy-producing windows to geotechnical analysis systems development, have been selected by Danish companies to participate in the Urbantech Program supporting the development of new solutions for the cities of the future.

The goal is to help these startups scale-up their businesses and make construction, buildings and energy systems more efficient and flexible, and public spaces more multifunctional. The ten startups selected for the program include:

  • Next Energy Technologies, a US firm whose cutting edge solar technology transforms windows into energy producing assets with unsurpassed aesthetics, performance, and economics.

  • Luxembourg's AIRBOXLAB's Foobot, which monitors 24/7 indoor air pollution and creates Demand Control ventilation, filtration and purification through algorithms.

  • Spanish SAALG Geomechanics, a software solution based on inverse analysis, cloud computing and machine learning algorithms to minimize geotechnical uncertainties.

  • Anyware Solutions from Denmark, which offers a unique Customer Engagement and Analytics Platform for partners based on data collected by the award-winning Smart Adaptor.

  • German Moeco is a blockchain-powered platform designed to provide global IoT connectivity

  • Norwegian startup Bimsync by Catenda saves time, money and the environment. It is the next generation cloud based collaboration platform where construction information comes alive.

  • Danish PurCity has developed a self-cleaning and highly-efficient air purification system that can be easily integrated into any new or existing building and turn them into large scale air purification systems.

  • German startup RYSTA facilitates sustainable protection of real estate assets by providing a modular IoT monitoring solution to reduce costs and increase efficiency.

  • German startup Powerfox provides a solution that makes household energy data available for various parties on a scalable platform.

  • UK-based OrxaGrid provide smart solutions through retrofitting IoT sensor devices on critical grid nodes and predicting efficiency improvements.

    The Urbantech Program is a collaboration between private companies and is supported by the philanthropic association Realdania and The Danish Industry Foundation. Urbantech is run by Rainmaking in collaboration with BLOXHUB, Danish Design Centre, Danish Architecture Center and Amazon Web Services. (Source: Urbantech Program, EU-Startups, Nov., 2019) Contact: Urbantech Program,,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Sustainability,  Energy Efficiency,  

  • UK Commits £1.44Bn to Climate Change Fight (Int'l. Report)
    Date: 2019-08-30
    At the conclusion of the Biarritz G7 Summit, the Uk announced it would increase its contribution to cutting carbon emissions in the developing world to £1.44 billion over the next foru years. The UK's previous contribution of £720 million between 2014 and 2019 came from the UK's Green Climate Fund (GCF). The GCF supports projects to protect and preserve natural habitats in the developing world, including in the Amazon where fires continue to rage.

    The newly announced £1.44 billion funding, which will come from the UK aid budget and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), will be earmarked for tackling climate change, including wildfires.

    During the Summit meeting, the G7 agreed to support a medium-term reforestation plan which will be unveiled at the UN in September. (Source: G7 Release, Various Media, Daily Mail, 27 Aug., 2019)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News G7,  Climate Change,  Carbon Emission ,  

    Amazon Wildfires -- Notable Quotes
    Climate Change
    Date: 2019-08-26
    "We will never save the rain forest until a living tree is worth more to Brazil than an incinerated one." -- Johan Eliasch, The Telegraph, 25 Aug., 2019

    "The fires raging in parts of the Amazon rain forest are symptomatic of a 'climate emergency which does not know international boundaries. The Amazon is a global resource as well as a national one." -- The Bishop of Salisbury, Nick Holtam, Church Of England Environmental Affairs Leader

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change news,  

    Amazon Rainforest CO2 Capacity Investigated (Ind. Report)
    Date: 2019-08-21
    The US DOE Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) and an international team of researchers addressing the "Amazon Forest Response to CO2 Fertilization Dependent on Plant Phosphorus Acquisition," has raised the issue and asked the question, "How long will the Amazon rainforest continue to act as an effective carbon sink?"

    The study, published August 5 in the journal Nature Geoscience, found that accounting for phosphorus-deficient soils reduced projected CO2 uptake by an average of 50 pct in the Amazon, compared to current estimates based on previous climate models that did not take into account phosphorus deficiency. The Amazon Basin is critical to help mitigate climate change due to its trees absorbing around a quarter of the CO2 released each year from the burning of fossil fuels.

    According to Berkeley Lab research scientist and study co-author Jennifer Holm, "Most predictions of the Amazon rainforest's ability to resist climate change are based on models that have outdated assumptions; one of those is that a sufficient supply of nutrients such as phosphorus exist in soils to enable trees to take in additional CO2 as global emissions increase," said . "But in reality the ecosystem is millions of years old, highly weathered, and therefore depleted of phosphorus in many parts of the Amazon."

    Agriculture, forestry, and other types of land use account for 23 pct of human-caused GHG emissions, yet at the same time natural land processes absorb the equivalent of almost a third of CO2 emissions from fossil fuels and industry, according to the recently released International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report on land and climate interactions. (Source: DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, PR, Eureka Alert, 20 Aug., 2019) Contact: US DOE Office of Science,; LBNL, Jennifer Holm, Research Scientist and Study Co-author,,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News LBNL,  Rainforest,  CO2,  Carbon Sink,  Climate Change,  

    Eolus, Vestas Ink 13 Turbine Wind Wall Agreement (Ind. Report)
    Eolus Vind
    Date: 2019-06-21
    Hassleholm, Sweden-headquartered wind energy developer Eolus Vind AB, through it's Eolus Vind North America unit, reports inking an agreement with Vestas for the delivery of up to 13, Vestas model V126 wind turbines totaling up to 47 MW, plus a 10 year service agreement, for the Wind Wall 1 wind farm near Tehachapi, California.

    Eolus North America holds 60 pct interest in Wind Wall Development, LLC that owns the rights to the Wind Wall 1 Project. Commercial operation is planned for 2020. Eolus North America, Inc has also entered into a long-term PPA with Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS), an company. The wind farm is projected to generate sufficient energy for up to 14,000 U.S. homes for a year.

    Eolus presently has aabout 800 MW of assets under the full scope of management contract and will reach over 1,200 MW over the next few years. (Source: Eolus Vind AB, PR, ClobalNewsWire, Yahoo, 20 June, 2019) Contact: Eolus Vind AB North America, Per Witalisson, CEO, +46 10 199 88 02; Vestas, Christina Schmidt, +49 40 46778 5153, +49 (0) 160 90141736.,,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Vestas,  Eolus Vind,  Wind,  

    740 Sq-Km of Amazon Lost in May (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    Amazon Deforestation
    Date: 2019-06-19
    Reuters is reporting the Amazon Rainforest -- aka the "Lungs of Earth" due to its capability of absorbing about 25 pct of the earth's total carbon dioxide emissions -- lost 740 sq-km (285 sq-miles) of forest, roughly the size of New York City and all of it's five boroughs, during the 31 days of May, 2019 due to human deforestation activity, according to data from an early-warning satellite system.

    The May 2019 deforestation is 25 pct higher than in May 2018, May, and twice that of May, 2017.

    Earlier this year, Brazil's freshman President Jair Bolsonaro's administration was reportedly planning to follow US President Donald Trump's lead and pull Brazil out of the Paris Climate Agreement. In his first 5 months in office, Bolsonaro abolished the ministries that dealt with climate change, trimmed the remaining agencies' budgets and now wants to privatize vast areas of the Amazon rain forest for agribusiness, timber and mining interests. (Source: Various Media, Reuters, June, 2019)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Amazon Deforestation,  Carbon Emissions,  Deforestation,  

    Amazon Adding 229 MW Wind Power (Ind. Report, M&A)
    Date: 2019-04-12
    US online retailing juggernaut Inc is reporting plans to purchase the output of electric power output of three wind parks totaling more than 229 MW in Ireland - 91.2-MW, Sweden - 91-MW, and the US - 47-MW in keeping with its long-term goal of powering all Amazon Web Services (AWS) global infrastructure entirely with renewable energy.

    The three wind projects are expected to generate more than 670,000 MWh of electricity annually.

    These plants, combined with AWS's previous nine renewable energy projects, will produce over 2,700,000 MWh of power each year, according to the Amazon press release. (Source: Amazon, PR, April, 2019)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Amazon,  Wind,  Renewable Energy,  

    Amazon Employees for Climate Justice Submit Open Letter to Jeff Bezos, Amazon Board of Directors (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    Date: 2019-04-12
    "To Jeff Bezos and Board of Directors:

    "We, the undersigned 4,520 Amazon employees, ask that you adopt the climate plan shareholder resolution and release a company-wide climate plan that incorporates the principles outlined in this letter.

    "Amazon has the resources and scale to spark the world's imagination and redefine what is possible and necessary to address the climate crisis. We believe this is a historic opportunity for Amazon to stand with employees and signal to the world that we're ready to be a climate leader.

    "Climate change is an existential threat. The 2018 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report predicts that a warming of 2 degree C, which we're currently on track to surpass, will threaten the lives of hundreds of millions of people and put thousands of species at risk of extinction. We're already seeing devastating climate impacts: unprecedented flooding in India and Mozambique, dry water wells in Africa, coastal displacement in Asia, wildfires and floods in North America, and crop failure in Latin America. Vulnerable communities least responsible for the climate crisis are already paying the highest price.

    "Amazon's leadership is urgently needed. We're a company that understands the importance of thinking big, taking ownership of hard problems, and earning trust. These traits have made Amazon a top global innovator but have been missing from the company's approach to climate change. For example: We (Amazon) haven't disclosed a company-wide plan to reach zero carbon emissions within the timeline required; Shipment Zero only commits to net carbon reductions; We have an AWS for oil & gas initiative devoted to helping fossil fuel companies accelerate and expand oil and gas extraction; We donate to climate-delaying legislators (Amazon has joined a variety of sustainability organizations like the Corporate Eco Forum and the American Council on Renewable Energy, we donated to 68 members of congress in 2018 who voted against climate legislation 100 pct of the time) ; and our sustainability goals lack context. "For example, we've set a goal of at least 50 solar installations in warehouse facilities by 2020. This represents only 6 pct of buildings in our global fulfillment network and a fraction of our overall carbon footprint .

    "Our customer obsession requires climate obsession. This necessitates an immediate company-wide plan addressing climate change that demonstrates the following principles: Public goals and timelines consistent with science and the IPCC report ; A complete transition away from fossil fuels rather than relying on carbon offsets; Prioritization of climate impact when making business decision; Reduction of harm to the most vulnerable communities first; Advocacy for local, federal, and international policies; Fair treatment of all employees during climate disruptions and extreme weather events.

    "In our mission to become 'Earth's most customer-centric company,' we believe our climate impact must be a top consideration in everything we do. We have the power to shift entire industries, inspire global action on climate, and lead on the issue of our lifetimes. We ask that you, as leaders responsible for our strategic direction, adopt the climate plan resolution and release a company-wide plan that incorporates the six principles above." (Source: Amazon Employees for Climate Justice, April, 2019)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Amazon,  Climate Change,  Renewable Energy,  

    Amazon Announces New Data Center Wind Power Sources (Ind. Report)
    Date: 2019-04-10
    Internet retail giant Amazon's cloud computing platform Amazon Web Services (AWS) is reporting new three wind projects as part of its goal to power its entire web services infrastructure with renewable energy. The three new wind projects will power AWS data centres in Ireland, Sweden, and the US.

    AWS will purchase the output of a new 91.2MW project in Donegal, Ireland, expected to be online by the end of 2021. AWS will also purchase 91MW of power from a new wind farm in Bäckhammar, Sweden, to deliver energy by the end of 2020. Thirdly, a wind project in California, US, will provide up to 47MW of wind power to AWS by the end of 2020. The names of the projects or developers have not been disclosed. The combined capacity of over 229MW, is expected to generate more than 670GWh annually. (Source: Amazon, Windpower, Others, 9 April, 2019)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Amazon,  Renewable Energy,  Wind,  

    Half Amazon's Shipments to be Carbon-Neutral by 2030 (Ind. Report)
    Date: 2019-02-18
    Internet giant Amazon is touting the launch of its Shipment Zero initiative that aims for net zero carbon emissions for deliveries. While it doesn't have a timetable for achieving perfectly carbon-neutral shipping, it expects half of shipments to be net zero by 2030. It believes the rise of aircraft biofuels, electric vehicles, renewable energy and reusable packaging will make that possible. To help mark its progress, Amazon plans to publish its overall carbon footprint later in 2019. (Source: Amazon, engadget, Feb., 2019)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Amazon news,  Carbon Neutral news,  

    Johnson Controls Touts LEAN Energy Analysis Tool (Ind. Report)
    Johnson Controls, Coldwell Banker Richard Ellis
    Date: 2019-01-21
    In Milwaukee, Johnson Controls is reporting a partnership with Coldwell Banker Richard Ellis (CBRE), World Resources Institute (WRI) and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) to test and deploy LEAN, an open-source, web-based analysis tool that identifies energy efficient building retrofit opportunities.

    The new LEAN initiative is part of the Johnson Controls and CBRE Innovation Lab, established three years ago to evaluate, connect and leverage products, services and energy data to create value for occupiers and investors of real estate, according to the company.

    Berkeley Lab will automate and improve the LEAN tool and create an open-source version for public use. CBRE will be an initial deployment partner and will use the tool to help their customers target cost-effective energy efficiency retrofit opportunities. WRI will use the open-source version of the tool to help local governments target these retrofit opportunities in both public and private buildings.

    Download Johnson Controls LEAN energy analysis technology details HERE. (Source: Johnson Controls, PR, Campus Safety, 20 Jan., 2019) Contact: Johnson Controls, Clay Nesler, JVP Global Sustainability and Regulatory Affairs, (855) 324-3650,; CBRE Group Inc., David Pogue, Snr. VP, (212) 984-6515,; World Resources Institute,; Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency,  Johnson Controls,  CBRE,  World Resources Institute,  

    Brazilian Foreign Minister Parrots Trump's Climate Change Lead (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)

    Date: 2018-11-19
    In the heart of the Amazon, Brazil's freshman foreign minister Ernesto Araujo has declared that "climate change is a Marxist tactic to instill fear, stifle the economic growth of western countries, and benefit China."

    Writing on his blog, Araujo described climate science as a "dogma" that ignores "evidence" showing the opposite of rising temperatures and greater concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere.

    "The left has sequestered the environmental cause and perverted it to the point of paroxysm over the last 20 years with the ideology of climate change. The climate [scientists] gathered some data suggesting a correlation between rising temperatures with increasing concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere, ignored data suggesting the opposite, and created a scientific dogma that no one else can contest on pain of being excommunicated from good society.", the new foreign minister's blog contends.

    Araujo's blog parrots U.S, President Donald Trump adding, "This dogma has served to justify an increase in the regulatory power of states over the economy and power of international institutions over national states and their populations, as well as to stifle economic growth in democratic capitalist countries and foster China's growth."

    Pres. Donald Trump, who recently raked the U.S. Forest Service over the coals for not adequately raking leafs to prevent forest fires, will perhaps be best remembered for calling climate change a "hoax" and a "con-job created by the Chinese in order to make US manufacturing non-competitive." (Source: Ernesto Araujo, Blog, 12 Oct., 2018) Contact: Ernesto Araujo, Blog

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

    Amazonian Forest Fire CO2 Emissions Higher Than Feared, says Report (Int'l)
    Lancaster University
    Date: 2018-10-19
    According to newly released Lancaster University research published in the journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, the aftermath of 2015 and 2016 forest fires in the Amazon resulted in CO2 emissions three to four times greater than comparable estimates from existing global fire emissions databases.

    Researchers say uncontrolled wildfires in the understorey -- ground level -- of humid tropical forests during extreme droughts are a large and poorly quantified source of CO2 emissions. The study Quantifying Immediate Carbon Emissions from El Nino-Mediated Wildfires in Humid Tropical Forests, looked at a 6.5 million hectare region, of which almost 1 million hectares of primary and secondary forests burned during the 2015-2016 El Nino. Although the area analyzed covers less than 0.2 pct of Brazilian Amazonia, these wildfires resulted in expected immediate CO2 emissions of over 30 million tonnes, three to four times greater than comparable estimates from global fire emissions databases.

    Dr Erika Berenguer of Oxford and Lancaster University, and colleagues found that following the fires, the surviving trees grew significantly more than those located in unburned forests. On average trees in burned areas of forest grew 249 pct more than trees in forests hit by drought but not fire. Although the growth rate is good news, this large increase in growth appears to be a relatively short-term response, according to the researchers. Professor Jos Barlow of Lancaster University said: "Only a few trees can survive these wildfires, as Amazonian forests did not co-evolve with this threat. So even though surviving trees grow faster in burned forests, this does not compensate the large carbon loss that results from tree mortality." Meanwhile, Camila V. J. Silva of Lancaster University led research including 31 other burned plots across the Brazilian Amazon, which showed that even 30 years after a fire, seemingly 'recovered' forests still hold 25% less carbon than nearby undisturbed primary forests. (Source: Lancaster University, 8 Oct., 2018) Contact: Lancaster University, Kieran Withey, Lead Author, Beth Broomby, +44 01-524-593-719,,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Emissions,  CO2,  

    Amazon UK Fulfillment Centers Switching to Solar (Int'l)
    Date: 2018-10-17
    Amazon reports it is set to install 20 MW of solar panels at its fulfillment centers across the U.K. The panels are expected to "generate the equivalent amount of electricity required to power over 4,500 U.K. homes." and cut the company's carbon footprint by 6,000 tpy of carbon dioxide.

    The company plans to deploy large scale rooftop solar systems at 10 of its U.K. fulfillment centers over the next 18 months. This solar generated electricity will be backed by UK Renewable Energy Guarantee of Origin certificates, which means that the energy bought for fulfillment centers and other buildings will have come from sources such as wind and solar. (Source: Amazon, CNBC, 16 Oct., 2018)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Amazon,  Solar,  

    Shell CEO Promotes Reforestation to Meet 1.5C Degrees (Int'l)
    Shell Oil
    Date: 2018-10-12
    Speaking at the Oil & Money Conference in London on Tuesday, Shell Oil CEO Ben van Beurden argued that an increased reliance on renewable energy would not be enough to meet the Paris Climate Agreement goal of limiting climate change to 1.5C degrees.

    van Beurden noted that reforestation -- the planting of more trees -- was the only solution to meeting the goal of 1.5C. Reforestation is similar to afforestation, which is the process of restoring and recreating areas of woodland on land that was not previously forested.

    Removal of woodland areas and forests from the planet has become all too common, due to agricultural activities, logging, mining and forest fires. Forests soak up pollution and dust from the air, maintain the balance of CO2 and oxygen in Earth's atmosphere, build natural habitats and ecosystems and maintain the water cycle which prevents soil erosion.

    Reforestation can help mitigate global warming by reducing the amount of CO2 in the air. Trees use sunlight to absorb CO2 from the atmosphere through photosynthesis. Water also evaporates from leaves and this conversion of water to vapour removes heat from the air.

    The Shell CEO added that an Amazon-sized tree planting project is needed to meet global warming targets. (Source: Shell, iNews, 10 Oct., 2018)

    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,

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

    Apple Opposes Repeal of Obama Clean Power Plan (Ind. Report)
    Date: 2018-04-09
    In response to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt's announced plan to cancel the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan (CPP) , communications giant Apple issued the following "public comment" in opposition to the Trump administration's proposed rule changes:

    "Apple is committed to leaving the world better than we found it. Part of our commitment is to reduce our own impact on climate change by using renewable energy sources and driving energy efficiency in our products and facilities. However, we believe that governments, as well as industry leaders, must take a lead role in the global battle to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and fight climate change. For a number of reasons, EPA should not repeal the Clean Power Plan."

    According to Apple, adopting the plan would help the US become a global leader in the effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Apple adds that its own efforts have shown that the CPP's targets are achievable without negatively impacting reliability or resiliency.

    In 2016, Apple, Amazon, Google and Microsoft filed a joint brief to the Supreme Court supporting the CPP and its goals. (Source: Apple, April, 2018)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Obama Clean Power Plan,  

    Aussie Marine Heatwave Triggered Massive CO2 Release (Int'l)
    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,

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

    ecobee Touts Alexa Voice-Activated SWITCH+ (New Prod. & Tech)
    Date: 2018-03-16
    In Toronto, ecobee, Inc., developer of the world's first smart Wi-Fi thermostat, is reporting the launch of its smart light switch, the ecobee Switch+ with built-in far-field voice technology and the Amazon Alexa Voice Service.

    The ecobee Switch+ will sell for $99 in the U.S. and $119 (CAD) in Canada and is available for online pre-order and in stores March 26, 2018. Like all ecobee products, ecobee Switch+ will integrate with Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, the Google Assistant, SmartThings and IFTTT.

    The company says it expects the new ecobee Switch+ to propel the smart home industry into a whole home voice future. (Source: ecobee Inc., PR, Contact: ecobee Inc., Stuart Lombard, Pres., CEO, (647) 428-2220,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News ecobee,  Smart Building,  

    Honeywell Touts Amazon Voice-Ready Thermostat (New Prod & Tech)
    Date: 2018-03-07
    Atlanta-based Honeywell is reporting the launch of its INNCOM e7 Thermostat (e7) that incorporates Amazon Alexa voice control. The e7 is based on a patent-pending Smart Wall Plate design that provides hotel staff with an easy and reliable back-up of the device configuration.

    The e7 automatically reduces energy costs and is compatible with most HVAC solutions and equipped for Honeywell's Connected Guest integration. The e7 helps reduce the total cost of ownership by minimizing room downtime and automatically capturing the thermostat configuration. Its wired or wireless flexibility enables simplified installation in new-build or retrofit properties. For maximum flexibility the e7 also provides standalone HVAC control and occupancy-based sensing that customarily requires a door switch monitor and motion sensor. (Source: Honeywell, Hospitality Net, Mar., 2018) Contact: Honeywell, Thurman Melson, VP, Honeywell Home and Building Technologies,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Honeywell,  Energy Management,  Energy Efficiency,  

    Amazon Completes Italian Rooftop PV Solar System (Ind. Report)
    Date: 2018-01-19
    US e-commerce giant reports it has completed a rooftop solar installation to power its logistics site in Passo Corese, Italy.

    The photovoltaic system's 3200 monocrystalline solar modules generate around 964 kWp.

    The installation was handled by Enerray SpA, a world leader in the designing, management and development of both medium and large photovoltaic systems. (Source: Amazon, PR, CMFE, 12 Jan., 2018) Contact: Enerray SpA,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Enerray,  Rooftop Solar,  Solar,  Amazon,  

    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,

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

    Massive Amazon Wind Farm Opens In West Texas
    Amazon Wind Farm Texas
    Date: 2017-10-23
    High Plains Public Radio is reporting that online retail giant Amazon's largest wind farm to date is up and running near Snyder, West Texas. The wind facility incorporates more than 100 turbines and will generate enough clean energy to power more than 330,000 homes.

    Amazon plans to meet its energy needs from the facility and sell the balance to the Texas grid. The new West Texas wind farm is Amazon's 18th wind farm with 35 more wind operations in the works. (Source: Amazon Wind Farm Texas, Engadget, High Plains Public Radio, 19 Oct., 2017)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Amazon,  Wind,  

    El Nino Increased 2014-16 CO2 Release, says NASA (Ind. Report)
    Date: 2017-08-16
    According to data from NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) satellite, which measures level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, the 2014-16 El Nino caused the release of more than 3 billion tonnes of carbon into the atmosphere, pushing carbon dioxide concentration to record levels.

    El Nino is a periodic climate event that causes waters to warm up in east-central Pacific Ocean, which in turn causes huge changes in wind directions bringing less rain to south-east Asia and the Indian subcontinent, while increasing rain in other parts of the world. According to a report in the scientific journal Nature, the El Nino led to excessive carbon dioxide releases through hot weather and drought which caused extensive wildfires in south-east Asia, while drought in the Amazon rainforest stunted plant growth, reducing the amount of carbon they absorb while growing. Besides these, warmer weather and near normal rainfall in Africa caused forests to exhale more CO2.

    The NASA measurements are a first for satellite tracking CO2 levels. Earlier, changes in greenery were tracked and from that deductions were made. In recent times, CO2 emissions from burning of fossil fuels had flattened out to about 36.2 billion tonnes in 2014 and 2015. Projections for 2016 indicated that emissions were still flat. (Source: NASA, Times of India, Economic Times, 14 Aug., 2017) Contact: NASA Orbiting Carbon Observatory, (818) 354-7716,

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

    Toshiba Tec Carbon Zero Initiative Lauded by UN (Int'l)
    Toshiba Tec,CO2balance
    Date: 2017-04-28
    Toshiba Tec Corporation reports that its pan-European Carbon Zero Scheme is an official partner to the United Nations' (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and is now listed on its website.

    The Toshiba Carbon Zero Scheme offsets the carbon generated from parts procurement and manufacture of devices through to delivery to the customer, in cooperation with UK-based CO2balance, the leading global carbon management company. To date, Toshiba Tec has offset 500,000 tons of CO2e w-- equivalent to the annual emission from 110,000 European homes. All carbon emissions have been offset through projects that help benefit the lives of individuals in developing countries.

    Initiatives include an energy efficient stoves project, in which villagers in Kenya reduce their use of wood for fuel through the provision of highly efficient stoves. Further projects currently underway include the creation of boreholes in Uganda that supply clean water, as well as work on reducing deforestation in the Amazon rainforest in Brazil.

    In addition to the European Carbon Zero Scheme, Toshiba Tec is involved in similar initiatives across the world. These are one of the activities to achieve its environmental policy, the "Three Greens": Greening of Products, Greening of Process, and Green Management. (Source: TeshibaTec, PR, 27 April, 2017) Contact: Toshiba Tec,; CO2balance, +44 1823 332233,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News CO2balance,  Toshiba Tec,  Carbon Zero,  Carbon Emissions,  

    Amazon, Plug Power Ink Energy Efficiency Agreement (Ind. Report)
    Amazon,Plug Power
    Date: 2017-04-10
    In a bid to boost its energy efficiency, Amazon Inc. has sealed deal with hydrogen fuel cell specialist Plug Power Inc. to use the latter's fuel cells and hydrogen technology to power its fulfillment centers. In addition, the companies will begin working on technology collaboration opportunities, particularly expanding applications for Plug Power's Progen fuel cell engine line. Revenues tied with the agreement could reach about $70 million in 2017, according to a Plug Power release.

    Meanwhile, Amazon secured warrants to acquire up to 55,286,696 common shares of Plug Power at $1.89 per share, based on the 30-day average closing price of the shares on April 4. Amazon is required to spend an aggregate of $600 million over the life of the deal for its warrants to vest. (Source: Plug Power, PR, Library for Smart Investors, 5 April, 2017) Contact: Amazon, (206) 266-1000,; PlugPower, Andy Marsh, CEO, Teal Vivacqua, Inv. Relations, (518) 782-7700,,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Amazon,  PlugPower,  Energy Efficiency,  

    Iron Mountain's Pa. Data Centers 100 pct Wind Powered (Ind. Report)
    Iron Mountain Incorporated,NJR Clean Energy Ventures
    Date: 2017-04-07
    Global data storage and information management specialist Iron Mountain Incorporated reports it has inked a new 15-year ppa with NJR Clean Energy Ventures . Under the terms of the ppa, Iron Mountain will purchase 100 pct of the electric power requirements of its three Pennsylvania data centers from NJR's 14-turbine, 39.9 MW Ringer Hill Wind Farm in Somerset County, Pennsylvania.

    In October, 2016, Iron Mountain signed a PPA to secure enough renewable energy to power 30 pct of its US operations with electricity purchased from the Amazon Wind Farm Texas. (Source: Iron Mountain, ClenTechnica, 5 April, 2017) Contact: Iron Mountain, Iron Mountain Data Centers, Mark Kidd, VP,; NJR Clean Energy Ventures, Joanne Fairechio, (732) 378-4967,,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Energy,  Wind,  NJR Clean Energy Ventures,  

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