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Shareholders Demand BP Goals Align with Paris Climate Agreement (Int'l, Opinons, Editorials & Asides)
BP, Paris Climate Agreement
Date: 2019-02-04
The Guardian is reporting oil industry giant British Petroleum (BP) will back a shareholder resolution presented at its annual meeting this year that calls for the company to align its business strategy with the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement (COP15).

The shareholder resolution comes from Climate Action 100+, a group of 300 investors with $32 trillion in assets, including the investment arms of HSBC, Legal & General and the Church of England. The resolution will be voted upon at the company's annual meeting. The shareholder group's resolution was driven by what it says was the company's failure to demonstrate a strategy consistent with the Paris goals." according to CNN News.

The Climate Action 100+ initiative is just part of a growing wave of shareholders exerting their power to scrutinize oil and gas companies over their contributions to rising carbon emissions, and perhaps, more importantly -- asking the companies what they are going to do about it.

In the proposal, BP is tasked with developing a business strategy in line with two of the Paris deal goals by the end of its 2019 financial year -- holding temperature rises to below 2 degrees C and reducing carbon emissions to net zero by the second half of the century. BP will also be required to justify how its capital expenditures in fossil fuel projects were consistent with the landmark climate deal and set new metrics and targets. BP has not specified what metrics and targets it will set, should the resolution be passed - but there is talk of setting targets for the carbon intensity of its products and linking executives’ bonuses to carbon emission cuts.

Launched in December 2017 at the One Planet Summit, Climate Action 100+ garnered worldwide attention as it was highlighted as one of 12 key global initiatives to tackle climate change.

Investor representatives from AustralianSuper, California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS), HSBC Global Asset Management, Ircantec and Manulife Asset Management have helped to lead the design and development of Climate Action 100+.

The initiative is designed to implement the investor commitment first set out in the Global Investor Statement on Climate Change in the months leading up to the adoption of the historic Paris Agreement in 2015.

To date, 310 investors with more than $32 trillion in assets under management have signed on to the initiative. In July 2018, Climate Action 100+ released an update that showed more investors are mobilizing across dozens of countries to drive corporate action on climate change, and companies on the initiative's focus list, have started to make progress towards its goals, including a trebling in support for the recommendations of the Financial Stability Board's Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures. (Source: Climate Action 100+l, CNN, Various Media, 2 Feb., 2019) Contact: Climate Action 100+, www.climateaction100.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News BP,  Carbon Emissions,  Climate Change,  Paris Climate Agreement,  COP15,  


Kigali Amendment Addresses Ozone Deleting HFC GHG (Int'l Report)
Montreal Protocol
Date: 2019-01-04
With the recently announced Kigali Amendment hammered out in Niarobi, the world has taken an important step on the road to drastically reduce the production and consumption of powerful greenhouse gasses known as hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs)-- an extremely potent greenhouse gas -- and limit global warming. The Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer came into force on 1st January 2019.

If fully supported by governments, the private sector and citizens, the Kigali Amendment will avoid up to 0.4 degrees C of global warming this century while continuing to protect the ozone layer. The amendment will substantively contribute to the goals of the COP15, Paris Climate Agreement.

The parties to the amendment have put in place practical arrangements for its implementation, including agreements on technologies for the destruction of HFCs and new data reporting requirements and tools. The amendment comes with provisions for capacity-building for developing countries, institutional strengthening and the development of national strategies to reduce HFCs and replace them with alternatives. Phasing down HFCs under the Kigali Amendment may also open a window to redesign refrigeration equipment that is more energy efficient, further increasing the climate gains.

Implementation of new targets set out in the amendment will be done in three phases, with a group of developed countries starting HFCs phase-down from 2019. Developing countries will follow with a freeze of HFCs consumption levels in 2024 and with a few countries freezing consumption in 2028.

Evidence presented in the latest Scientific Assessment of Ozone Depletion finds that the ozone layer in parts of the stratosphere has recovered at a rate of 1-3 pct per decade since 2000. At projected rates, Northern Hemisphere and mid-latitude ozone is scheduled to heal completely by the 2030s followed by the Southern Hemisphere in the 2050s and polar regions by 2060.

The UN Environment Ozone Secretariat is the Secretariat for the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer and the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. The Secretariat facilitates and supports the parties to the Vienna Convention and the Montreal Protocol and other stakeholders in implementing actions to protect and heal the ozone layer and contribute to climate change mitigation.

Download the Scientific Assessment of Ozone Depletion: 2018 Executive Summary HERE. (Source: UN Environment Ozone Secretariat, World Meteorological Organization , UN Environment, 3 Dec., 2019) Contact: UN Environment Ozone Secretariat, https://ozone.unep.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News COP15,  Paris Climate Agreement,  Carbon Emissions,  Montreal Protocol,  HFCs,  Ozone Depletion,  Climate Change,  


Trudeau's Canadian Carbon Tax Now In Force (Reg. & Leg.)
Canada Carbon Tax
Date: 2019-01-02
In Ottawa, the Liberal government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's controversial carbon tax is now in force. The price on carbon will be C$20 ($15 US) per metric ton rising to C$50 per ton by 2022. A wide-ranging tax on nearly all fuels is also set to take effect in April in four provinces.

The Trudeau government had proposed a 95 pct standard for the cement and lime sectors and 90 pct for production of petrochemicals, steel, certain types of iron, nitric acid and ammonia. All other sectors have a proposed 80 pct threshold. Companies exceeding those levels can pay a tax, or buy credits from more efficient firms.

The industrial emissions plan applies to Ontario, New Brunswick, Manitoba, Prince Edward Island -- the provinces that are challenging the Trudeau carbon tax plan -- and to electricity and natural gas pipelines in Saskatchewan. Even with the carbon tax in place, Canada is still expected to fall short of its COP15 target of 513 metric megatons of emissions by 2030. (Source: Canada Ministry of the Environment, Bloomberg, Various Media, 30 Dec., 2018) Contact: Canada Ministry of the Environment, Hon. Catherine McKenna, Minister, www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change.html

More Low-Carbon Energy News Canada Carbon Tax,  Carbon Tax,  Climate Change,  


India Claims 20 pct Cut in Emissions Intensity (Int'l Report)
Carbon Emissions, India
Date: 2018-12-19
The Indian Bureau of Energy Efficiency reports India has achieved a 20 pct reduction in its emissions intensity against the 33 pct level India committed to attain by 2030 at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The government's programmes on energy conservation and efficiency including the star labelling programme, energy savings scheme for industrial units, LED lamps distribution and efficient buildings code are being credited for the reduction in carbon emissions. Other energy saving initiatives include a campaign to make default temperature setting of air conditioners at 24 degrees Celsius and a push for cleaner transportation.

At COP15 in Paris, India committed to reduce the emissions intensity of its GDP by 33-35 pct by 2030 from the 2005 level. It also pledged to shift 40 pct of its installed power generation capacity to non-fossil-fuel-based energy resources. (Source: Indian Bureau of Energy Efficiency, Economic Times India, 14 Dec., 2018) Contact: Indian Bureau of Energy Efficiency, www.beeindia.gov.in

More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Emissions,  Emissions Intensity,  UNFCCC,  


COP24 Approves Rulebook to Govern COP15 Paris Accord (Int'l)
COP15,COP24
Date: 2018-12-17
The AP is reporting the delegates of from nearly 200 countries -- including the US despite Trump's disagreement -- meeting at the COP24 meeting last week in Katowice, Poland, have agreed on guidelines to govern the 2015 (COP15) Paris Climate Agreement.

The newly adopted Paris Accord Work Programme outlines the ways in which countries are required to count and report their greenhouse gas emissions as well as what they are doing to reduce emissions.

The deal, struck after an all-night bargaining session, will ultimately require every country in the world to follow a uniform set of standards for measuring their planet-warming emissions and tracking their climate policies. And it calls on countries to step up their plans to cut emissions ahead of another round of talks in 2020. It also calls on richer countries to be clearer about the aid they intend to offer to help poorer nations install more clean energy or build resilience against natural disasters. And it builds a process in which countries that are struggling to meet their emissions goals can get help in getting back on track.

A further agreement to pledge more aggressive action to fight global warming and to the market for international carbon emissions trading was postponed until a U.N. summit in New York in September, 2019) (Source: Weather Channel, Environmental Defense Council, UPI, NYT, Various Media, 15 Dec., 2018)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  COP15,  COP24,  


UN Sec. Gen. Guterres Spurs On Flagging COP24 Climate Talks (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
COP24, Climate Change
Date: 2018-12-14
"We're running out of time. To waste this opportunity would compromise our last best chance to stop runaway climate change. It would not only be immoral, it would be suicidal.

"The IPCC special report is a stark acknowledgment of what the consequences of global warming beyond 1.5 degrees will mean for billions of people around the world, especially those who call small island states home. This is not good news, but we cannot afford to ignore it." -- UN secretary general Antonio Guterres commenting on the slow progress of the COP24 talks centered on devising a rule book for implementing the 2015 Paris agreement and raising countries' level of ambition to counter climate change.

More Low-Carbon Energy News IPCC,  Paris Climate Agreement,  COP15,  COP24,  Climate Change,  


UN says Global Efforts to Curb CO2 Off Track (Ind. Report)
Carbon Emissions
Date: 2018-12-07
According to a United Nations 2018 survey, in 2017 CO2 emissions rose for the first time in 4 years to a record high. The rise is attributed to global economic growth and a decreasing momentum in addressing the issue on national levels.

From 2014 to 2016, CO2 emissions from energy production and industries held reasonably steady at stable limits and the global economy saw a modest growth. Emissions rose by 1.2 pct in 2017, pushed by greater GDP. Although this number nay be small, it isn't as far as IPCC report about keeping global temperature rise below 1.5C is concerned.

Presently, the Earth is heading towards a 3.2C rise by the end of the century. By 2030, global greenhouse gases emissions must be reduced by 55 pct and countries must increase their emissions reduction targets five-fold.

To meet the COP15 Paris climate change goals, global emissions must peak by 2020, which is unlikely even by 2030 when the current rise in emissions is taken into account.

But according to the report, all hope isn't lost. Non-state actors like high education institutions, businesses, regional, local and city governments can make major contributions to solving the problem. About 6,000 companies and over 7,000 cities from 133 nations have pledged to take action with revenue worth $36 trillion. With more than 500,000 publicly traded companies around the world, more can be done. This sector has the potential to cut down CO2 emissions by 19gigatonnes equivalent every year by 2030, keeping the world on the 2C path. Carbon trading systems and taxes cover just 15 pct of global carbon output, according to the UN report. (Source: UN, Industry News Network, Mary Bronson, 6 December, 2018)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Emissions,  CO2,  Greenhouse Gas,  


COP24 Climate Talks Underway in Poland's Coal Capital (Int'l)
COP24
Date: 2018-12-05
Envoys from 200 countries have gathered a day ahead of schedule in Katowice, Poland, to follow up on the COP15 Paris climate change summit.

In October, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warned that the world has only 8 years left to limit climate change catastrophe and that drastic cuts in carbon emissions will be needed if the world is to reach the COP15 pledge of keeping temperatures between 1.5C and 2C. Unfortunately, CO2 emissions hit a record high in 2017.

Although Poland has reduced its share of coal in power generation, the country still gets close to 80 pct of its electricity from the fossil fuel. Even so, Poland is planning construction of another major coal-fired power plant that the Environment Ministry promises will be the last. However, some observers are skeptical since the the country's most recent energy plan would basically see the amount of coal in the energy mix remain unchanged at 80 pct until 2030, when coal reserves are expected to run dry. Even so, Polish authorities are calling for a "just transition" for fossil fuel industries like coal which are facing closures as part of efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. (Source: REMI rfi, Others, Dec. 3, 2018)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Paris Climate Agreement,  COP24,  Coal,  Climate Change,  


Earth CO2 Highest in 3,000.000 Years, says WMO Report (Int'l)
World Meteorological Organization
Date: 2018-11-30
The UN weather agency -- the World Meteorological Organization -- is reporting greenhouse gases in the atmosphere have reached record levels as the highest in 3 million or more years, with no sign of reversal.

According to the WMO Greenhouse Gas Bulletin there has been a 41 pct increase in the warming effect by the various greenhouse gases on the climate, known as "radioactive forcing", since 1990. CO2 specifically accounts for about 82 pct of the increase in radioactive forcing over the past decade, according to figures quoted in the WMO report. The new report adds yet another building block of scientific evidence to inform decision-making at the upcoming UN COP24 climate change conference in Poland. The key objective of this meeting is to adopt an implementation plan for the 2015 Paris Agreement.

In its 2017 Statement on the State of the Global Climate, WMO said "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." (Source: World Meteorological Organization, 28 Nov., 2018) Contact: WMO, Petteri Taalas, Secretary General, +41 (0) 22 73 0811, www.wmo.int

More Low-Carbon Energy News Cliame Change,  Carbon Emissions,  COP15,  Paris Climate Agreement,  World Meteorological Organization,  Climate Change,  


EC Strategy for a Climate Neutral Europe by 2050 (Report Attched)
European Union, European Commission
Date: 2018-11-30
The 2015 Paris Climate Agreement under the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) sets the goal to contain the rise in average global temperatures to well below 2 degrees C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit it to 1.5 degrees C.

To prepare for this transformation, the European Parliament and the European Council invited the European Commission (EC) to submit a long-term strategy on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions for the European Union, in accordance with COP15.

The EC strategy confirms Europe's commitment to lead in global climate action through a socially-fair transition and provides a first indication of the direction of travel to frame what the EU could consider as its long-term contribution to achieving the Paris Agreement temperature objectives.

Presenting this vision will allow for a thorough debate involving European decision-makers, stakeholders and citizens at large to consider how the EU can make a fair contribution to meeting the long-term temperature goals of the Paris Agreement and how this transformation can be achieved.

Download the EU Climate Change Fact Sheet HERE. (Source: EU, Nov., 2018) Contact: EU, www.europa.eu

More Low-Carbon Energy News Paris Climate Agreement,  COP15,  Climate Change,  


AFT Affirms Commitment to Climate Change Fight (Ind. Report)
American Farmland Trust
Date: 2018-11-28
Washington, DC-headquartered American Farmland Trust (AFT) is reporting new commitments to combating climate change, including the addition of Jennifer Moore-Kucera as director of its "Farmers Combat Climate Change" initiative. AFT also reiterated its support of the US Climate Alliance's Natural and Working Lands Challenge in developing policies and programs to increase carbon sequestration and reduce GHGs on farm and ranch land to combat climate change.

The US Climate Alliance is a bipartisan coalition of U.S.states and unincorporated self-governing territories that are committed to upholding the objectives of the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement (COP15).

The initiative supports farmers and ranchers in adopting climate-smart farming practices on land they own and rent, encourages smart growth and protecting farmland to reduce transportation emissions and expands renewable energy siting while protecting productive, versatile and resilient farmland. "The goals and strategies outlined in the Farmers Combat Climate Change Initiative will play a critical role in helping farmers, ranchers, and urban growth planners develop and implement practices that can reduce greenhouse emissions, sequester carbon, and help mitigate, if not begin to reverse the negative impacts predicted by climate change models," according to Jennifer Moore-Kucera. (Source: American Farmland Trust, The Fence Post, 26 Nov., 2018) Contact: American Farmland Trust, John Piotti, Pres., CEO, Jennifer Moore-Kucera, Carbon Initiate Dir., (202) 331-7300, www.farmland.org; US Climate Alliance, www.usclimatealliance.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News COP15,  US Climate Alliance,  American Farmland Trust,  Climate Change,  Carbon Emissions,  


Notable Quote Duly Noted
Christiana Figueres
Date: 2018-10-03
"The influence of the Fourth Industrial Revolution impacts us all. When that incredible force is primed to catalyze exponential shifts in GHG emissions reductions all sectors of the economy, we can be stubbornly optimistic about delivering a livable planet to our children within the timeframe we have left to do so." -- Christiana Figueres, Sept., 2018

Christiana Figueres Olsen is a Costa Rican diplomat with 35 years of experience in high level national and international policy and multilateral negotiations. She was appointed Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in July 2010, six months after the failed COP15 in Copenhagen, according to Wikipedia. Contact: Christiana Figueres, http://christianafigueres.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Christiana Figueres,  GHG Emissions,  Climate Change,  


Bangkok Climate Change Meeting Comes UP Short (Int'l Report)
Climate Change
Date: 2018-09-10
Reports from the UN's climate change conference in Bangkok, Thailand, claim the group's efforts to establish "fruitful preparations" for the December COP24 Climate Change conference in Poland, accomplished little due in part to US "obstructionism."

The meeting was attended by representatives of most of the countries party to the Paris agreement, including the US which the Trump administration has promised is pulling out of the pact. (Source: Various Media, Sept. 9, 2018)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Paris Climate Agreement,  COP15,  COP24,  Climate Change,  

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