Canada expects to its greenhouse gas emissions to 603 million tonnes by 2030 -- well above the 511 million tonne target Canada committed to under the COP15 Paris Climate Agreement. To that end, the government
plans to plant two billion trees, cut energy waste and support zero-emissions clean tech companies, and various other initiatives and measures.
Unfortunately, Canada is reportedly warming at twice the global average and and three times the global rate in its extreme northern regions. (Source: Environment Canada, Various Media,
Canadian Press, Dec., 2019) Contact: Environment Canada, Environment Canada, www.canada.ca/en/government
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The Paris Agreement calls on countries to combat climate change and to accelerate and intensify the actions and investments needed for a sustainable low-carbon future. This includes regular reports every five years on emissions levels and emission reduction initiatives, forest and soil health data and an assessment of progress in addressing these issues.
The FAO program will be widely available to universities, the private sector and intergovernmental organizations.
(Source: UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Guardian Blog, Dec., 2019)
Contact: Food and Agriculture Organization, www.fao.org
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The report also notes
Russia, China, the US and India are responsible for half of all carbon emissions.
(Source: Changing America, 15 Nov. 2019)
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The G20 nations account for 85 pct of global economic activity and in 2018 produced 80 pct of all greenhouse-gas emissions. About half the G20 members -- 19 countries with advanced economies plus the European Union collectively -- are on track to meet their current targets for cutting emissions by 2030 but those targets are much too mild. If every G20 member does not drastically scale up its targets, the G20 overall will produce more emissions in 2030 than it does today, according to the report.
Climate Transparency is a global partnership with a shared mission to stimulate a "race to the top" in G20 climate action and to shift investments towards zero carbon technologies through enhanced transparency. (Source: Climate Transparency, Nov., 2019) Contact: Climate Transparency, www.climate-transparency.org
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The notification comes more than two years after Trump announced he would pull the U.S. out of the agreement becuase it "imposed an unfair burden on the U.S. and (was) doing little to halt climate change."
The agreement aims to limit global temperature increases to less than 2 degrees Celsius, with each country setting its own nonbinding emission targets and reporting on its progress to reduce them. (Source: Various Media, 4 Nov., 2019)
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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)
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"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,
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,
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)
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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,
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.
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
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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,
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,