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Climate Activist Al Gore Overheard at COP24 (Ind. Report)
Climate Change,Global CCS Institute
Date: 2018-12-14
US environmental activist Al Gore railed against carbon capture technology this week while at the UN COP23 climate conference in Poland. When quizzed by media on the urgency on cutting carbon emissions and eliminating fossil fuels, the former Clinton Administration VP shot back:

"What does that mean? Not getting off fossil fuels but reducing emissions? You're not buying the CCS (carbon capture and storage) nonsense are you? Are you? If you see a separation between getting off fossil fuels as one thing and reducing greenhouse gas emissions as another, then the only way to reconcile those two positions is to believe in the tooth fairy."

"The window for action is closing fast -- we need to do more and we need to do it now." Gore added.

Note: According to the Global CCS Institute, 18 large-scale CO2 trapping facilities are in operation with five in various stages of construction, and another 20 in various stages of development worldwide. (Source: Daily Caller, Global CCS Institute, Various Media, 12 Dec., 2018) Contact: Global CCS Institute, Brad Page, CEO,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  Al Gore,  Global CCS Institute,  

French Pres. Calls for EU Borders Carbon Tax (Int'l Report)
EU Carbon Tax
Date: 2017-12-06
Speaking at the recently concluded COP23 meeting in Bonn, French President Emmanuel Macron reiterated his call for a European carbon tax to guarantee fair competition for companies taking action to reduce their climate impact. Macron said Europe needs a floor price on carbon -- accompanied by "a border tax that will also protect our economic sectors against imports from countries that do not respect the same objectives and decide not to engage in this environmental transition."

Macron also called for EU member countries to levy a carbon tax on foreign direct investment (FDI) income derived from coal, oil and gas extraction, the report recommends. The French president said Countries -- especially those that position themselves as climate leaders -- should have to account for the carbon intensity of their trade production overseas. (Source: Transport & Environment, Various Media, 4 Dec., 2017)

More Low-Carbon Energy News EU,  Carbon Tax,  

Portugal Killing Coal-Fired Power by 2030 (Int'l. Report)
Powering Past Coal Alliance
Date: 2017-11-27
In Lisbon, the Portuguese Environment minister Joao Matos said last week the government will close the 1,100-MW Sines and the 577 MW Pego coal-fired power plants, as well as reform the domestic carbon tax and remove tax exemptions for coal-fired generation beginning in 2018. The country will also close its two remaining coal-fired power plants before 2030.

The initiative is intended to encourage electric power producers to move away from coal in favor of solar PV and other renewable energy sources. The country is aiming at carbon neutrality by 2050.

Under the Powering Past Coal Alliance, of which Portugal is a member, countries commit to taking action such as setting coal phase-out targets and ending further investments in coal-fired electricity domestically and abroad. (Source: Portuguese Environment Minister, Kallanish Energy, Others, 21 Nov., 2017) Contact: Powering Past Coal Alliance,; Portuguese Environment Minister,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Powering Past Coal,   Coal,  Carbon Emissions,  Climate NeutralCoal,  

Powering Past Coal Alliance Launches in Bonn (Int'l Report)
Powering Past Coal Alliance
Date: 2017-11-22
Last week at COP23 in Bonn, the Powering Past Coal Alliance, which was launched at COP23, with the support of 27 worldwide and regional governments agreed to phase out existing coal plants and placed a moratorium on "new traditional coal power stations without operational carbon capture and storage."

The Alliance is open to businesses and aims to have 50 members within the next 12 months. It also plans to spearhead efforts to move the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries beyond coal by 2030 -- and all nations by 2050.

The formation of the Alliance follows the launch earlier this month of the Europe Beyond Coal initiative, backed by 28 countries and European civil society groups united in their commitment to abandon coal energy. (Source: Innovators, 18 Nov., 2017) Contact: Europe Beyond Coal, Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD),

More Low-Carbon Energy News COP23,  Coal,  Powering Past Coal Alliance,  

Powering Past Coal Alliance Declaration (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
Powering Past Coal Alliance
Date: 2017-11-22
"In 2015, the world gathered in Paris and committed to taking action to spur clean growth and avoid catastrophic climate change. Today, coal-fired power plants produce almost 40 pct of global electricity, making carbon pollution from coal a leading contributor to climate change.

The health effects of air pollution from burning coal, including respiratory diseases and premature deaths, impose massive costs in both human and economic terms. A recent analysis found that more than 800 000 people around the world die each year from the pollution generated by burning coal.

As a result, phasing out traditional coal power is one of the most important steps governments can take to tackle climate change and meet our commitment to keep global temperature increase well below 2 degrees C and pursue efforts to limit it to 1.5 degrees C. To meet the Paris Agreement, the analysis shows that coal phase-out is needed by no later than 2030, in countries that are part of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development and the European Union, and by no later than 2050, in the rest of the world.

The cost of generating electricity from wind and solar power has plummeted: clean power is the low-cost option in a growing number of jurisdictions worldwide. Global investments in new renewable power now significantly surpass investments in new coal-fired electricity, and clean growth represents an opportunity worth trillions of dollars.

Countries moving toward low-carbon, climate-resilient economies are already seeing environmental, economic, and human-health benefits. Our coalition wants to help accelerate that transition.

Powering Past Coal brings together a diverse range of governments, businesses, and organizations, which are united in taking action to accelerate clean growth and climate protection through the rapid phase-out of traditional coal power. We commit to achieving that phase-out in a sustainable and economically inclusive way, while providing appropriate support for workers and communities. More specifically,

  • Government partners commit to phasing out existing traditional coal power and placing a moratorium on any new traditional coal power stations without operational carbon capture and storage, within our jurisdictions.
  • Business and other non-government partners commit to powering their operations without coal.
  • All partners commit to supporting clean power through their policies (whether public or corporate, as appropriate) and investments and restricting financing for traditional coal power stations without operational carbon capture and storage.

    To support these goals, the partners in Powering Past Coal will work together to share real-world examples and best practices to support the phase-out of coal, including through climate financing, and adopt practical initiatives that support this transition, including developing clean-energy plans and targets.

    Alliance partners include: Alberta (Canada), Angola, Austria, Belgium, British Columbia (Canada), Canada, Costa Rica, Denmark, El Salvador, Fiji, Finland, France, Italy, Luxembourg, Marshall Islands, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Niue, Ontario (Canada), Oregon, Portugal, Quebec (Canada), Switzerland, UK, City of Vancouver, Washington State." (Source: Powering Past Coal Alliance, Nov., 2017)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News COP23,  Coal,  Powering Past Coal Alliance,  

  • China Welcomes Bonn COP 23 Climate Meeting Results (Int'l)
    COP23,Climate Change
    Date: 2017-11-20
    Reflecting on the just concluded cop23 meeting, China's special representative on climate change affairs, Xie Zhenhua, said that the dialogue on climate change, "while still not 100 percent satisfactory," did succeed in reflecting the concerns of all sides in a balanced manner. Xie Zhenhua added that he hoped developed countries would uphold their Paris Agreement obligations in dealing with climate change.

    "We hope that all sides adhere to the principles of equity, common but differentiated responsibilities, and their respective capabilities, and consider the actual conditions of each country while pushing negotiations on implementing the Paris Agreement," Xie said. He said he also hoped that all sides would speed up ratification of the Doha Amendment that establishes the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, and that developed countries would continue to uphold their obligation to provide funds, technology and capacity-building to developing countries. (Source: Global Times, Xinhua, 19 Nov., 2017)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News COP23,  Climate Change,  

    Notable Quotes from COP23
    Date: 2017-11-17

    Notable Quote
    Date: 2017-11-17
    "Promoting coal at a climate summit (COP23) is like promoting tobacco at a cancer summit."

    -- Former NYC Mayor and billionaire philanthropist Michael Bloomberg commenting on Trump White House climate advisor George David Banks' promoting clean coal at COP23 conference in Bonn

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Coal,  Michael Bloomberg,  

    French Pres. Macron Calls for Border Carbon Tax (Int'l)
    Carbon Tax
    Date: 2017-11-17
    In Bonn, French president Emmanuel Macron is calling for Europe to establish a "border carbon tax" and integrate its climate goals into trade negotiations as a way of encouraging all countries to do more in the climate change fight.

    "We should not negotiate (trade deals) with countries who are less ambitious than us because that would reduce our collective ambitions. We need a border tax in which we'll make it possible for us to protect economic sectors as there are imports from countries who do not respect these goals and are not supporting the environmental transition." The second largest bloc within the European Parliament, the Socialists and Democrats, is also calling for an EU border carbon tax. (Source: SBS, Various Media, 15 Nov., 2017)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News EU Carbon Tax,  COP23,  

    Calif. Lauded for Short-Term GHG Pollutants Legislation (REG & LEG)
    Date: 2017-11-15
    AT the UN COP23 meeting in Bonn, the Climate Change Conference in Bonn, Germany, the United Nations Environment Programme's Climate and Clean Air Coalition has recognized the state of California with its Climate and Clean Air Award for having the "most comprehensive and strongest set of targets for reducing short-lived climate pollutant emissions -- black carbon, methane -- into state law."

    The U.N. award recognizes California Senate Bill 1383 aimed at cutting California's methane and hydrofluorocarbon gases to 40 pct and black carbon to 50 pct below 2013 levels by 2030. This year, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) began the process of meeting the bill's targetswith the approval of approved new regulations to cut down on methane emissions from oil and gas field operations by more closely monitoring and repairing methane leaks. (Source: CARB, Various Media, WQED, 12 Nov., 2017) Contact: CARB, (800) 242-4450,,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News COP23,  GHG,  Methane,  California Air Resources Board,  Black Carbon,  

    Canada, US Differ on Coal, Fossil Fuel Future (Ind. Report)
    Date: 2017-11-15
    The Globe and Mail, Canada's national newspaper, reports that Canadian Environment Minister Catherine McKenna and her British counterpart, Claire Perry, will launch an international alliance to phase out coal-fired electricity at the COP23 conference this week in Bonn.

    McKenna is touting Canada's efforts to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, including a national carbon pricing plan and federal-provincial moves to shut down traditional coal-fired power by 2030.

    U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry is proposing an American-led alliance that would encourage developing countries to adopt and invest in more efficient coal plants and stress "the role of cleaner and more efficient fossil fuels and nuclear power in climate mitigation." (Source: Globe & Mail, 13 Nov., 2017)Contact: Canadian Environment Minister Catherine McKenna,; Clair Perry-MP,; U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry, (202) 586-5000,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Rick Perry,  COP23,  Clean Coal,  Carbon Emissions,  Climate Change,  

    World CO2 Emissions Still Rising, GCP Warns (Ind. Report)
    Global Carbon Project,COP23, Paris Climate Agreement
    Date: 2017-11-15
    According to a major new study from the Global Carbon Project (GCP), a group of 76 scientists in 15 countries, world CO2 emissions could rise by 2 pct this year to hit a new record in large part because of an increase in China, where emissions have fallen over the last couple of years. China's emissions were set to rise 3.5 pct, driven by a strong demand for coal during a period of economic growth. China, the top greenhouse gas emitter ahead of the United States, accounts for almost 30 pct of world emissions.

    U.S. emissions were set to decline by 0.4 pct in 2017, a smaller fall than in recent years, also reflecting more burning of coal. Emissions had been roughly flat between 2014 and 2016.

    The Global Carbon Project (GCP) studies the integrated picture of the carbon cycle and other interacting biogeochemical cycles, including biophysical and human dimensions and their interactions and feedbacks. The GCP objective is covered by three themes: Diagnostics -- Patterns and variability of natural and anthropogenic carbon sources and sinks; Vulnerability -- Processes and feedbacks of the biophysical-human system; and Low Carbon -- Carbon management and policy. (Source: Global Carbon Project, The Independent, 13 Nov., 2017) Contact: Global Carbon Project,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News COP23,  Carbon Emissions,  Climate Change,  Global Carbon Project,  

    Bloomberg Launches AMERICAS PLEDGE in Bonn (Int'l Report)
    Date: 2017-11-13
    "This coalition represents more than half of the US economy. If this group were a country, we would have the world's third largest economy. In other words, a group of citizens, states and businesses who remain committed to the Paris agreement represent a bigger economy than any country in the world, outside the US and China.

    "We (the coalition) should have a seat at the (COP23) table and the ability to work with our peers in other nations. That is the aim of our pavilion." -- Former NYC Mayor, billionaire philanthropist Michael Bloomberg launching AMERICAS PLEDGE a coalition of cities, states and businesses representing more than half of the US economy in Boon, 11 Nov., 2017.

    Bloomberg, the UN climate body's special envoy for cities, said non-state actors had already taken the US "half way" to meeting the national carbon-cutting pledge made under former president Barack Obama: a 26-28 pct cut in emissions from 2005 levels by 2025.


    More Low-Carbon Energy News COP23,  Climate Change,  Michael Bloomberg,  Climate Change,  

    COP23 Updated on IMO's GHG, Climate Change Work (Int'l)
    Date: 2017-11-13
    From the COP23 climate conference meeting in Bonn, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) reports the IMO's draft strategy on reduction of GHG emissions from ships has certified more than 2,600 ocean-going ships to the mandatory energy efficiency design requirements, which have been in force since 2013.

    The IMO also reports the significant global reduction in the sulphur content of the fuel oil used by ships from 1 January 2020 is expected to further contribute to maritime GHG emissions through the anticipated resulting uptake of alternative fuels. IMO also noted its capacity-building and technical cooperation with the UNDP-GEF-IMO global energy efficiency project (GloMEEP) and the European-Union funded maritime technology cooperation centre's network (GMN) project. (Source: IMO, Marine Link, 7 Nov., 2017)Contact: IMO, Stefan Micallef, Director of Marine Environment Division, +44 (0) 20 7735 7611,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News IMO,  Maritime Emissions,  GHGs,  Greenhouse Gas,  

    EU Expecting COP23 Affirmation of Paris Climate Agreement Targets, Progress (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    COP23, Paris Climate Agreement
    Date: 2017-11-13
    At the opening of the COP23 meeting in Bonn, the European Commission (EC) reported that the European Union cuts it greenhouse gas emissions 23 pct between 1990 and 2016, while the economy grew by 53 pct over the same period. According to the EC's latest report -- Two years after Paris -- Progress towards meeting the EU's climate commitments -- the falling emissions in a growing economy is a strong confirmation that the EU's remains firmly on track to meet its 2020 greenhouse gas emissions reduction target.

    Under the Paris agreement, the EU has committed to cut CO2 emissions by at least 40% pct by 2030 while modernizing the EU's economy and delivering on jobs and growth for all European citizens. In 2016, EU emissions decreased by 0.7 pct while GDP grew by 1.9 pct.

    The EU is one of the major economies with the lowest per capita emissions, and the emissions per unit of GDP continue to fall. The progress report also looks at the EU's contribution to international climate action. In 2016, the EU and its Member States continued to be a major provider of climate finance to developing countries, increasing their overall contribution to last year reach €20.2 billion. (Source: EU, EC,New Europe Online/KG, 7 Nov., 2017)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News COP23,  Carbon Emissions,  Climate Change,  

    Germany Offsetting COP23 Carbon Footprint with CERs (Int'l)
    Date: 2017-11-10
    Reporting from Bonn, Fiji's Ambassador to the European Union and COP23 Climate Ambassador Deo Saran says the German government will calculate the carbon footprint of COP23 and offset emissions with the purchase of certified emissions reduction credits (CERs) from the Clean Development Mechanism projects (CDM), with a preference for CERs registered in Small Island Developing States, including Fiji.

    Fiji, which is the presiding President of the COP23 conference now underway in Bonn to 17 Nov., says COP 23 brings a sense of urgency as several Pacific islands are threatened by rising sea level and could soon disappear underwater. (Source: Fiji Times, 6 Nov., 2017) Contact: COP23 President Fifi,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News CDM,  Carbon Emissions,  Carbon Offsets,  Carbon Footprint,  

    Good News from Syria -- at Last! (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    Date: 2017-11-08
    Yesterday in at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP23) in Bonn, Syria, the last remaining non signatory to the Paris Climate Accord, announced it would now join the agreement.

    The Syrian announcement leaves the US "alone in the desert" as the world's only country -- large or small, rich or poor -- not signed on to the landmark climate deal after "The Donald" Trump announced the U.S. economy "couldn't afford the economic impact" of the deal.

    In announcing the Syrian change of heart, the country's Deputy Minister of "The Syrian Arab Republic supports the implementation of Paris climate change accord, in order to achieve the desired global goals and to reflect the principles of justice and shared responsibility, but in accordance with the capabilities of each of the signatories." (Source: BBC, Various Media, 7 Nov., 2017)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News COP23,  

    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,

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

  • Beijing Prepares for COP23 Climate Change Leadership (Int'l)
    COP23,Climate Change
    Date: 2017-11-01
    Despite Washington's previous role in combating climate change, then Trump's withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement, China appears to be positioning itself to take a lead role at next week's COP23 climate talks in Bonn, according to the Financial Post. It is widely agreed that Trump's withdrawal from the Paris Agreement, had an obvious negative impact on the international community's confidence in the U.S.' commitment to fight climate change and its leadership, a role which Beijing is ready to exploit.

    At the up coming COP23 meet in Bonn, China is expected to unveil a planned national carbon trading scheme launch in 2018. The Chinese plan, which is expected to be modeled after the European Union's carbon marketplace, still has "problems" that need to be fixed before the "very complex" scheme can be launched nationwide, according to Chinese climate policy makers in Beijing. (Source: Xinhua, Financial Times, 31 Oct., 2017)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Paris Climate Agreement,  Climate Change,  COP23,  Paris Climate Agreement,  

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