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2020 U.S. Transportation Climate Impact Index Released (Ind. Report)
Streetlight Data
Date: 2020-01-20
San Francisco, California-based Streetlight Data -- transportation Data on demand -- has released its first annual U.S. Transportation Climate Impact Index, a ranking of how carbon friendly the country's 100 largest metro areas are on several factors: total vehicle miles traveled (VMT), how much people are biking and walking, transit usage, population density, and circuity, which is basically the difference between how far two destinations may be "as the crow flies" and the route it actually takes to travel that distance by car.

Access the 2020 U.S. Transportation Climate Impact Index HERE. (Source: Streetlight Data, Jan., 2020) Contact: Streetlight Data, www.streetlightdata.com

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


Microsoft Planning $1,000,000,000 Climate Fund (Ind. Report)
Microsoft
Date: 2020-01-20
Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft is reporting plans to cut its carbon emissions by half by 2030,

To that end, the high tech giant will: start expanding its internal carbon fee to cover scope three emissions, indirect emissions of activities like goods production and waste; invest in new and improved carbon removal and reduction technologies ; launch a $1 billion climate innovation fund; advocate for greater transparency when it comes to pollution and carbon footprints; help suppliers and customers worldwide reduce their carbon foot print; and ultimately remove all of the carbon it emitted since its founding in 1975. (Source: Microsoft, PR, ITPro, Various Others, 17 Jan., 2020)Contact: Microsoft Corporate Offices, www.headquartersinfo.com/microsoft-headquarters-information

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


EC Cutting Industrial Carbon Cost Refunds (Int'l. Report)
EU,EC,EU ETS
Date: 2020-01-17
In Brussels, the European Commission (EC) is reporting a proposal to reduce the number of industries eligible for compensation for the costs incurred from their inclusion in the EU's carbon market Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS). Under the proposal, reparations would be "conditional upon decarbonisation efforts by the companies concerned."

The industries affected by the proposal include: Iron ore mining; man-made fiber manufacturing; copper production; preparation and spinning of textile fibers; organic basic chemicals manufacturing; nitrogen compounds and fertilizer manufacturing; and mining of chemical and fertilizer minerals.

In a statement, the European Commission defended the The new state aid guidelines are inline with the European Green Deal which aims to cut global warming emissions, according to the EC release. (Source: EC, EURACTIV, 16 Jan., 2020)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Emissions,  EU ETS,  EC,  EU,  


Estonia's Eesti Energia Cutting Carbon Emissions (Int'l. Report)
Eesti Energia
Date: 2020-01-17
Estonian energy producer Eesti Energia reports it cutting the use of fossil fuels for power production in line with the country's goal of cutting its carbon emissions by 50-55 pct by 2030 compared to 1990 levels. The company notes Estonia is ahead of that goal and has already reduced its emissions by over 60 pct.

Eesti Energia's renewable energy output tripled during the year, mostly coming from subsidiary Enefit Green, the largest wind energy producer in the Baltic States. Renewable energy production also increased in Ida-Viru County’s thermal power plants, where the company produces electricity from wood waste. There are also plans to develop Tootsi Wind Farm. (Source: Eesti Energia, Baltic News Network, 14 Jan., 2020) Contact: Eesti Energia, www.energia.ee

More Low-Carbon Energy News Eesti Energia,  Carbon Emissions,  CO2 ,  


Etihad Targeting Net-Zero Carbon Emissions by 2050 (Int'l. Report)
Etihad Airways
Date: 2020-01-17
The UAE national air carrier, Etihad Airways, reports plans to halve its 2019 net emission levels by 2035 and achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

The airline plans to reach its goal through a combination of internal initiatives, collaboration with industry partners, carbon offsets and optimized fuel management. Etihad is also committed to sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) biofuelsand is supporting the development of sustainable jet fuel made from municipal waste in Abu Dhabi. (Source: Etihad Airways, Biofuels Int'l. 16 Jan., 2020) Contact: Etihad Airways, Tony Douglas, CEO, Groupwww.etihad.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Etihad Airways,  SAF Fuel,  Carbon Emissions,  Aviation Emissions,  


World Fuel Services , World Energy
Date: 2020-01-17
World Energy, World Fuel Services to increase availability of sustainable aviation fuel World Energy and World Fuel Services have launched a World Economic Forum (WEF) Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) programme designed to increase SAF availability and supply chain efficiency within the aviation industry. The programme will be available for business jets travelling to the WEF 50th annual meeting, enabling lower carbon emissions on all flights departing from Jet Aviation’s facilities at Teterboro (TEB), Boston/Bedford (BED) or Dulles International (IAD) to Davos in Switzerland for the event in January. While Jet Aviation does not offer SAF at the three airports, the WEF SAF programme allows fuel consumers at these locations to opt-in and claim SAF environmental benefits. Under the programme, for each gallon of conventional fuel purchased at TEB, BED or IAD, an equivalent amount of conventional fuel will be replaced with SAF on flights departing from Jet Aviation’s Van Nuys (VNY) airport in California. Members of the Sustainable Aviation Fuels Coalition include the European Business Aviation Association, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, the International Business Aviation Council, the National Air Transportation Association and the National Business Aviation Association. World Fuel Services and World Energy will continue to work with strategic partners to expand the SAF programme to address the increasing demand for cleaner-burning, low-carbon aviation fuels.(Source: World Energy, World Fuel Services, Biofuels Int’l., 16 Jan., 2020) Contact: World Energy, Darren Fuller, vice-president of business development for business aviation at World Fuel Services.

More Low-Carbon Energy News World Fuel Services news,  World Energy news,  SAF news,  Aviation Biofuel news,  


Aussie PM Climate Change Policy Called to Account (Int'l. Report)
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison
Date: 2020-01-15
In the Land Down Under, in response to increasingly vehement criticism of his government's handling of his country's bushfire emergency, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison (Lib.) has signaled the government could stop claiming Kyoto carbon credits to "meet and beat" its 26 - 28 pct carbon emissions reduction target. The Prime Minister also declared the government's climate change policy "would be updated without destroying jobs and regional economies."

To that end, the PM announced the formation of an official inquiry to investigate and make recommendations on emissions reduction and building better resilience and adaption to climate events such as fire, drought, floods and cyclones. However, the PM emphasized, reducing carbon emissions required a "balanced and global response because even if Australia shut down all its power-generation assets, the equivalent amount of emissions would be produced by China in just nine days." (Source:Office of Australian Prime Minister Scott MorrisonFinancial Review, 13 Jan., 2020) Contact: Office of Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, www.pm.gov.au

More Low-Carbon Energy News Australia Climate Change,  Carbon Credits ,  


Green Mountain Power Rebates Deliver CO2 Emission Cuts (Ind Report)
Green Mountain Power
Date: 2020-01-15
Green Mountain Power (GMP) reports it is building on the success of its customer programs to cut carbon emissions and energy costs by renewing its 2019 rebates program for 2020. GMP's rebates were intended to reduce energy costs and customer carbon footprints, and customers responded by making thousands of purchases -- offsetting 156 million lifetime pounds of carbon, equal to taking 15,000 fossil-fueled vehicles off the road for a year.

The rebates helped GMP, working with customers, exceed aggressive 2019 carbon reduction goals by 40 pct. The utility's power supply is 90 pct carbon free and 60 pct renewable, with a commitment to be 100 pct carbon free in five years and 100 pct renewable by 2030. (Source: Green Mountain Power, Vermont Bus. Mag, 8 Jan., 2020) Contact: Green Mountain Power , Mary Powell, CEO, Jeff Monder, (802) 770-3392, jeff.monder@greenmountainpower.com, www.greenmountainpower.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Green Mountain Power,  Carbon Emissions,  


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,  


ExxonMobil -- Climate Change, the Work Ahead Opinions & Asides)
ExxonMobil
Date: 2020-01-13
"As we wrap up 2019, it's useful to take stock of the past year and keep looking ahead to the future and what we need to do to accomplish our energy goals. We need to do a lot. We are at a crucial inflection point with climate change, as is all too clear from the regular stream of updates in our news feeds every day. ExxonMobil’s annual Energy Outlook, which came out recently, discusses how the world is still offtrack to meet certain climate goals without a lot of additional effort.

"That further work means continued technology innovation. We have to keep finding and inventing solutions to the myriad of individual problems posed by the dual challenge. These different efforts -- both within and outside of our own research labs -- are all essential to moving us forward. They include the important renewables work being done with wind, solar and geothermal by so many around the world; they also include research focused on carbon capture technology and biofuels -- and everything in between. On ExxonMobil’s end, we are proud of our portfolio of innovative emission-lowering projects that have led to more than 10,000 patents in the last decade. Since 2000, we've spent $16.5 billion on this kind of R&D.

"Moving into 2020, we need to stay focused on several key themes related to solving the dual challenge: scale, speed, collaboration and training the next generation of scientists, engineers and other problem solvers. Scale is everything in our efforts. Reducing carbon emissions to fight climate change as we simultaneously deliver more and more energy to a growing world is a big job. And it's not just one job. As I said earlier this year, 'Not only are the sizes we are talking about so big they are sometimes unfathomable, but we must deploy solutions globally AND across countless end uses. It's not one equation with one unknown, but multiple equations with multiple unknowns.'

"As we work to solve for these multiple unknowns, we are pursuing projects big and small. What they share in common is the strict requirement that they must lead to a scalable solution. Energy is gigantic, from the infrastructure that supports it to the markets that drive its supply and demand. Any solution we find in the lab, however brilliant, must be ready to immediately scale.

"And it needs to happen quickly. As we know, scientific discovery is an ongoing endeavor -- you can't put a deadline on invention. But we can accelerate innovation. First, we can follow the example of parallel processing from computer science. In our labs, we don't wait for the basic science to be definitively 'concluded' (if it even can be). We start the engineering while we're still doing the science and iterate between the two. That requires collaboration between different types of researchers and innovators – between our corporate lab and government and academic labs, for example -- and that's the other way we speed up scalable solutions: with partnerships. Partnerships are a force multiplier. They are absolutely key when it comes to solving the dual challenge. When I look back on the past year, I am proud of the scope and variety of partnerships we undertook as a company. To name just a few:

  • National Renewable Energy Laboratory and the National Energy Technology Laboratory (and other DOE-funded labs) -- in a 10-year, $100 million collaboration to bring advanced energy technologies to market at scale, focused on reducing carbon emissions.

  • IBM -- to collaborate on quantum computing that could help make energy exploration and extraction enormously efficient.

  • MIT Energy Initiative -- to extend our existing relationship supporting this project, which is committed to discovering new emission-reducing technology.

    Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) locations in Madras and Bombay -- to continue our research with scientists and students working on the ground in India to address the energy needs and challenges on the subcontinent, including studying life cycle greenhouse gas emissions in India's power sector.

  • Clariant and Genomatica -- to convert residue left over from farming into biofuel that can power trucks, ships and more. Clariant has expert processes to extract sugars from agricultural leftovers like wheat straw, while Genomatica turns sugars into biofuels.

  • Global Thermostat -- to evaluate the scalability of their innovative carbon capture technology, which removes CO2 from the atmosphere and industrial sources.

  • Microsoft -- to digitally transform 1 million acres of unconventional oil and gas fields in the Permian Basin, making it the largest-ever oil and gas acreage to use cloud technology, and also making it more efficient. Energy efficiency is an often overlooked area when we think about the dual challenge.

    (Source: ExxonMobil, PR, , 31 Dec., 2019) Contact: ExxonMobil, Dr. Vijay Swarup, VP Research and Development , www.linkedin.com › dr-vijay-swarup-120a95159, (972) 444-1107, www.exxonmobil.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  ExxonMobil,  Vijay Swarup ,  


  • Climate Leadership and Environmental Action for the (CLEAN) Future Act Released (Reg. & Leg. Report)
    Climate Change
    Date: 2020-01-10
    In the nation's capitol, U.S. Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-N.J.) has released the legislative framework of the draft Climate Leadership and Environmental Action for the (CLEAN) Future Act -- an ambitious new climate plan to ensure the U.S. achieves net-zero greenhouse gas pollution and 100 pct clean energy no later than 2050. The draft bill incorporates both proven and novel concepts, presenting a set of policy proposals that will put the U.S. on the path to a clean and prosperous economy. Specific to carbon emissions and climate change, the draft legislation:
  • Directs all federal agencies to use all existing authorities to put the country on a path toward net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. It does not stipulate which energy sources or strategies qualify, instead taking a technology-inclusive approach to reaching net-zero emissions by mid-century. To ensure federal agencies' collective efforts remain on track, the draft legislation directs the EPA to evaluate each agency's plans, make recommendations and report on progress each year.

  • Empowers the states to complete the transition to a net-zero economy, based on the existing federalism model in the (Obama administration) Clean Air Act. The bill sets a national climate standard of net-zero greenhouse gas pollution in each state by 2050. States are then granted flexibility to develop plans to meet the 2050 and interim standards based on their policy preferences, priorities and circumstances. Each state must submit a climate plan to EPA, which then reviews and approves or disapproves each plan.

  • Establishes a National Climate Bank to mobilize public and private investments in low- and zero-emissions energy technologies, climate resiliency, building efficiency and electrification, industrial decarbonization, grid modernization, agriculture projects, and clean transportation.

  • The draft legislation reduces transportation emissions, the largest source of GHG emissions, by improving vehicle efficiency, accelerating the transition to low- to zero-carbon fuels and building the infrastructure needed for a clean transportation system. The bill directs EPA to set new, increasingly stringent greenhouse gas emission standards for light-, medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, including off-road modes of transportation. (Source: Office of Congressman Frank Pallone Jr., Jan., 2020) Contact: Congressman Frank Pallone Jr , Chairman, Energy and Commerce Committee, (202) 225-4671 (202) 225-9665 - fax, https://pallone.house.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Net-Zero Greenhouse Gas,  Climate Change,  Carbon Emissions,  


  • Vermont Reports Slow Progress on Cutting Emissions (Ind. Report)
    Vermont Climate Change
    Date: 2020-01-10
    In Montpelier, the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources, Department of Environmental Conservation is reporting the issuance of its Vermont Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory and Forecast: Brief 1990–2016 report. According to the report, while greenhouse gas emissions for Vermont in 2016 were down 4 pct from 2015 levels, they’re still 13 pct above 1990 levels.

    The report notes that most of the state's GHG emissions reductions came from the residential, commercial, and industrial sectors, with small decreases in waste and agricultural sectors. Meanwhile, increases were seen from the industrial processes, fossil fuel industry and transportation sectors. To uphold the Paris Climate Agreement, the state needs to cut greenhouse gas emissions somewhere between 26 pct to 28 pct below 2005 levels by 2025, the report notes.

    Download the report HERE. (Source: Agency of Natural Resources Department of Environmental Conservation, Rutland Herald, 8 Jan., 2020) Contact: Agency of Natural Resources Department of Environmental Conservation , Emily Boedecker, Commissioner, 802-828-1556, https://dec.vermont.gov

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


    Equinor Announces Major GHG Reduction Goals (Int'l, Ind. Report)
    Equinor
    Date: 2020-01-10
    Oslo-headquartered Norwegian oil and gas major Equinor -- fka Statoil -- reports it aims reduce the absolute greenhouse gas emissions from its operated offshore fields and onshore plants in Norway by 40 pct by 2030, increasing to 70 pct by 2040 and to near zero by 2050, using 2005 as a baseline.

    The GHG reduction goal will cover all of the company's Norwegian offshore fields and onshore plants, including both Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions of CO2 and methane, levels of which are very low at the Norwegian continental shelf.

    The reductions will be achieved through large scale industrial measures, including energy efficiency, digitalization and the launch of several electrification projects at key fields and plants, including the Troll and Oseberg offshore fields and the Hammerfest LNG plant, at an estimated cost NOK 50 billion ($5,630,500,000 US) or more. (Source: Equnior, Smart Energy Jan., 2020) Contact: Equinor, Eldar Saetre, CEO, Pal Eitrheim, VP New Energy Solutions, www.equinor.com

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


    Cenovus Claims Targeted CO2 Emission Intensity Cuts (Ind. Report)
    Cenovus
    Date: 2020-01-10
    On the Canadian prairies, oil-soaked Alberta-based integrated oil and gas company Cenovus Energy has unveiled plans to reduce per-barrel greenhouse gas emissions by 30 pct by the end of 2030 with the end goal of net -zero emissions by 2050.

    To that end, the company will reclaim 1,500 decommissioned well sites, complete $40 million ($30.65 million US) of caribou habitat restoration work by 2030, and institute a comprehensive climate and greenhouse gas emissions strategy to help it reach targets. The strategy will also advance its methane emission reduction initiatives that are already underway at its Deep Basin operations. (Source: Cenovus, KFGP-FM, Jan., 2020) Contact: Cenovus, (403) 766-2000, (403) 766-7600 - fax, questions&comments@cenovus.com, www.cenovus.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Cenovus,  Carbon Emissions,  Climate Change,  CO2,  


    Pennsylvania Sets Carbon Pollution Reduction Goals (Reg. & Leg.)
    Carbon Emissions
    Date: 2020-01-10
    In Harrisburg, Keystone State Governor Tom Wolf (D) has announced the signing of an executive order establishing the first statewide goal to reduce carbon pollution in Pennsylvania. The commonwealth will work to achieve a 26 pct reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2025 and an 80 pct reduction by 2050, from 2005 levels.

    The executive order also establishes the GreenGov Council to serve as a central coordinating body to encourage and coordinate the incorporation of carbon emissions relate environmentally sustainable practices into the commonwealth government's policy, planning, operations, procurement, and regulatory functions, and strive for continuous improvement in efficiency and performance. (Source: Office of Penna. Gov. Tom Wolf, PR, 8 Jan., 2020) Contact: Office of Penna. Gov. Tom Wolf, 717-787-2500, www.facebook.com › governorwolf, www.governor.pa.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Emissions,  


    Omaha Public Power District Commits to Net-Zero Carbon (Ind Report)
    Omaha Public Power District
    Date: 2020-01-08
    In the Cornhusker State, the Omaha Public Power District OPPD) reports it aims to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

    Although the customer-owned utility generates most of its power from coal-fired plants, power from renewables jumped from 4 pct in 2010 to nearly 32 pct in 2018. OPPD is also planning to convert some of its coal facilities to natural gas to help it reach it net-zero carbon goal. (Source: OPPD, Net News, 6 Jan., 2019) Contact: OPPD, Tim Burke, Pres., CEO, Mary Fisher, VP Energy Production , Russ Barker, Director of Environmental and Regulatory Affairs, (877) 536-4131, www.oppd.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News OPPD,  Net-Zero Carbon,  Omaha Public Power District,  


    Siemens, TARSHID Ink Energy Efficiency, CO2 Reduction Deal (Int'l)
    Tarshid,Siemens Saudi Arabia
    Date: 2020-01-06
    In Riyadh, the Saudi Arabia National Energy Services Company (TARSHID) reports it has inked an Energy Savings Performance Contract (ESPC) with Siemens Saudi Arabia. The deal is a holistic building performance, energy efficiency and sustainability solution expected cut the Saudi National Information Center's annual energy consumption by 28 percent, reduce the building's CO2 emission by 4,300 tpy.

    This agreement is in line with the Kingdom Vision 2030 and its continuous efforts to rationalize energy consumption, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, accelerate smart building performance initiatives and reduce national domestic energy usage. (Source: TARSHID, Asharq Al-Awsat, 5 January, 2020) Contact: TARSHID, www.tarshid.com.sa; Siemens Saudi Arabia, www.new.siemens.com/sa/en.html

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency ,  Siemens,  TARSHID,  CO2,  Carbon Emissions,  


    British Airways UK Carbon Offsetting Scheme Takes Off (Int'l.)
    British Airways,CORSIA
    Date: 2020-01-03
    Following up on our 11th October, 2019 coverage, British Airways reports it will begin offsetting carbon emissions on all flights within the UK, as part of its commitment to achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

    Customers flying within the UK on flights operated by British Airways will have the carbon emissions from their flights offset by the airline and invested in verified carbon reduction projects such as renewable energy, protection of rainforests and reforestation programmes.

    In addition, British Airways' carbon emissions on international flights will be capped at 2020 levels through the United Nations' worldwide carbon pricing scheme called CORSIA, (Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation).

    British Airways has committed to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050 through a range of initiatives, including offsetting emissions, flying more fuel-efficient aircraft, investing in sustainable aviation fuel and changing operating procedures, as well as working with stakeholders and governments to strengthen global climate policy.

    The airline and its parent company, IAG will invest a total of $400 million on alternative sustainable fuel development over the next 20 years. (Source: British Airways, PR, 2 Jan., 2019) Contact: British Airways, www.ba.com

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


    EU Considering Carbon Tariffs on Import Goods (Int'l. Report)
    EU,COP25
    Date: 2019-12-30
    Politico is reporting European countries are considering the imposition of carbon tariffs on import products from the U.S. and other countries with lack luster commitments to dealing with carbon emissions and climate change.

    According to Politico, potential carbon tariffs were discussed at the United Nations COP25 climate conference in Madrid where it was thought inevitable that governments will turn to trade barriers in the effort to fight climate change.

    The European Union currently imposes a €25 per metric ton carbon tax on oil refineries, steelmakers and paper producers and other major carbon emitters. (Source: Vestnik, Politico, 15 Dec., 2019)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News COP25,  EU,  EU ETS,  Carbon Emissions,  Carbon Tax,  


    New UK Gov. Confirms Offshore Wind Commitment (Int'l. Report)
    UK Renewable Energy
    Date: 2019-12-30
    In London, the newly elected majority Conservative government of Prime Minister Boris Johnson has confirmed its election manifesto pledge to "enable new floating turbines" and increase the country's new offshore wind capacity from 30GW to 40GW by 2030.

    The Johnson government's commitment to wind energy is part of its effort to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

    The government also confirmed its planned £800 million investment in a carbon capture storage (CCS) cluster by the mid-2020s. A further £500 million will also be provided to help energy-intensive industries move to low-carbon techniques and a low-carbon economy. (Source: BBC, Various Media,Dec., 2019)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News CCS,  Offshore Wind,  UK Renewable Energy,  


    Aviation Carbon Emissions per Passenger Down 50 pct (Int'l Report)
    International Air Transport Association
    Date: 2019-12-30
    In a recent release, the Geneva, Switzerland-based International Air Transport Association (IATA) reported that aviation carbon emissions per passenger have declined by more than half since 1990. The improvement is credited in part to industry-wide fuel efficiency improvements of 2.3 pct over the period since 2009, investments in more efficient aircraft and operational efficiencies.

    From 2020, the aviation industry aims cap net emissions and cut emissions to half 2005 levels by 2050. To that end, Airlines have invested some $1 trillion in new aircraft since 2009, and signed forward purchase agreements for sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) amounting to approximately $6 billion.

    In addition, the introduction of the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) will ensure carbon-neutral growth on international flights from 2020 and raise around $40 billion in climate finance. (Source: IATA, PR, 28 Dec., 2019) Contact: IATA, Carsten Spohr, Chairman, Michael Gill, Director Aviation Environment, Alexandre de Juniac, CEO, +41 22 770 2967, (514) 874-0202 - Montreal Office, www.iata.org; CORSIA, www.icao.int

    More Low-Carbon Energy News CORSIA,  International Air Transport Association,  


    IPL Retiring Two Coal-Fired Units at 1,700-MW Plant (Ind Report)
    Indianapolis Power & Light
    Date: 2019-12-30
    In the Hoosier State, Indianapolis Power & Light (IPL)Co., a utility unit of Arlington, Virginia-based AES Corp, is reporting plans to scuttle two of the four coal-fired units at its 1,700-MW Petersburg Generating Station south of Indianapolis.

    The shutdown is part of the utility's 20-year strategy for power generation that all electric utilities are required to file every three years.

    The Petersburg station has been described as a "super polluter" of sulfur dioxide, nitrous oxide particulate matter and sulfuric mist and has accumulated more than a dozen environmental violations in the past five years, according to the Indianapolis Business Journal.

    In 2017, the Indianapolis City-County Council passed a resolution that called for a reduction in carbon emissions, increased energy efficiency and renewable energy use. City officials later created a plan for the city to be powered by 100 pct renewable energy by 2050. (Source: Indianapolis Power & Light, Journal Review, 28 Dec., 2019) , Contact: City of Indianapolis, City Council, (317) 327-4242, www.indy.gov; Indianapolis Light & Power, Vince Parisi, CEO, www.iplpower.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Indianapolis Power & Light,  Carbon Emissions,  Coal,  


    Irving Cuts Climate Change, Emissions Commitment (Ind. Report)
    Irving Oil
    Date: 2019-12-23
    St.John New Brunswick-based Irving Oil, Canada's largest carbon emitter has reportedly abandoned a previous pledge to cut carbon output by 17 pct from 2005 levels by 2020, in favor of a "keeping up with the Jones" approach of keeping its emissions and environmental performance competitive with its rivals.

    In 2017, the 320,000 bpd Irving family owned refinery in St. John emitted just over 3 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e), according to Environment Canada. In effect, the company is no longer targeting an outright reduction in carbon emissions but is maintaining the status quo as dictated by the top 25 pct of rival refineries in Canada through 2025.

    Founded in 1924, privately held Irving Oil operates Canada's largest refinery in Saint John, New Brunswick, more than 900 fueling locations and a network of distribution terminals spanning Eastern Canada and New England. It also operates Ireland's only refinery, located in the village of Whitegate, according to Wikepedia. (Source: Irving Oil, Reuters, Chronicle Herald, 20 Dec., 2019) Contact: Irving Oil, www.irvingoil.com

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


    Netherlands Court Upholds Major CO2 Emissions Cuts (Int'l. Report)
    Netherlands,Climate Change
    Date: 2019-12-23
    At the Hague, the highest court in the Netherlands, the Supreme Court, is reported to have upheld a ruling requiring the government to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 25 pct of 1990 levels by the end of 2020 -- a target that surpasses European Union emissions reduction targets. By the end of 2018, the country's emissions were down only 15 pct for a 10 pct shortfall on 1990 levels.

    In June this year, the government announced plans to trim the country's GHG emissions by 49 pct by 2030 and phasing out coal-fired power generation starting in 2020. (Source: EU News, Various Media, BBC, 20 Dec., 2019)

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


    Report Examines Impact of Energy Efficiency Investments (Ind Report)
    ACEEE,Alliance to Save Energy
    Date: 2019-12-23
    The recently released Energy Efficiency Impact Report conducted by the Alliance to Save Energy, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), and the Business Council for Sustainable Energy looks at the energy savings, job growth, and reduced carbon emissions that have resulted from energy efficiency initiatives.

    The report, which examines the impacts of energy efficiency investments, policies, and innovation across a variety of sectors, including residential and commercial buildings, industry, and transportation, found that investments in energy efficient measures have prevented a 60 pct increase in energy consumption and carbon emissions. The report identifies fuel economy standards, appliance and equipment energy efficiency standards, ENERGY STAR, utility sector efficiency programs, federal research and development, and building energy codes as the policies and programs saved an estimated 25 quadrillion BTUs -- roughly 23 pct of the total U.S. energy consumption in of energy in 2017. The report identifies the growth in smarter technologies and more responsive energy management as major new energy savings opportunities and notes that technologies alone could deliver more than 40 pct of global carbon reductions necessary to meet Paris Agreement climate targets.

    The report uses 54 indicators to quantify energy efficiency impacts. Further, it examines progress in a variety of sectors, including utilities, buildings, industry, and transportation. (Source: ACEEE, Alliance to Save Energy, Dec., 2019)Contact: American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, Steven Nadel, Exec. Dir., (202) 507-4000, (202) 429-2248 - fax, www.aceee.org; Alliance to Save Energy, 202.857.0666, www.ase.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency,  ACEEE,  Alliance to Save Energy,  Alliance to Save Energy,  


    Canadian GHG Emissions in Slow Decline (Ind. Report)
    Canada Climate Change,Environment Canada
    Date: 2019-12-23
    In Ottawa, the Liberal government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Environment Minister Hon. Jonathan Wilkinson is reporting the country's carbon emissions are expected to be 227 million tonnes below projected levels by the end of the next decade.

    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

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


    Schlumberger Joins Science Based Targets to Cut GHGs (Int'l Report)
    Schlumberger, Science Based Targets
    Date: 2019-12-23
    In the City of Lights, Schlumberger the world's largest oilfield service company reports it plans redefine is climate change and carbon emissions targets as well as join Science Based Targets, an emission reduction program sponsored by the U.N. Global Compact program, the London-based Carbon Disclosure Project, Washington, D.C.-based World Resources Institute and Switzerland-based World Wildlife Fund by 2021.

    According to a company statement, "The energy industry has a key role to play in reducing the effects of climate change. Schlumberger seeks to lead positive, measurable changes in greenhouse gas emissions within the industry to help reduce climate change. The application of our industry-leading environmentally responsible technologies will help drive process efficiency and environmental footprint reduction."

    Science Based Targets claims participation from 754 companies around the world. Under the program, participating companies assess and make their emissions reduction goals that are in line with what climate scientists say is needed to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement, a global treaty signed in April 2016 to fight climate change. (Source: Schlumberger, Oil & Gas, Houston Chronicle, 20 Dec., 2019) Contact: Schlumberger, www.slb.com; Science Based Targets initiative, info@sciencebasedtargets.org, www.sciencebasedtargets.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Schlumberger,  Science Based Targets,  GHG,  Greenhouse Gas Emissions,  


    Heriot-Watt Touts New Carbon Capture R&D (Int'l. Report)
    Heriot-Watt University
    Date: 2019-12-20
    In the UK, chemical engineers from Heriot-Watt University are reporting a collaboration with a team of international researchers to design materials inspired by drug design tools used by the pharmaceutical industry that could synthesise new metal-organic framework materials (MOFs) -- porous crystals that combine metal nodes with organic linkers -- that can capture CO2.

    The researchers conducted experiments that mimicked real industrial operations and compared the performance of their new materials with those that are currently commercially available. According to Dr Susana Garcia, Assoc. Dir., Heriot-Watt Research Centre for Carbon Solutions, "Instead of the conventional trial and error, we computer-generated 325,000 MOFs and identified the features of the best performers. We now have the tools to tailor-make a material that will separate carbon dioxide in the most economical way for a given source, like industrial emissions, and make it available for other purposes like carbon storage or as a resource for the chemical industry." (Source: Heriot-Watt University, PR, Engineer Live, 17 Dec., 2019) Contact: Heriot-Watt University, Dr Susana Garcia, Assoc. Dir., Heriot-Watt Research Centre for Carbon Solutions, www.hw.ac.uk

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


    Madrid Climate Talks failed! What Now? asks Amnesty International (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    COP25,Amnesty International
    Date: 2019-12-20
    " 'What do we want? Climate justice! When do we want it? NOW!!!' If you have been to just one climate march in your life, you will have certainly heard this slogan. It has become omnipresent whenever people are expressing concerns over the climate crisis. Behind this simple chant, there are deep demands rooted in human rights principles. There is the call for fast climate action by government and corporations, to avoid even more catastrophic human rights impacts than what we are seeing now. There is the appeal to wealthier industrialized states which have contributed the most to the climate crisis to step up and pay up in order to redress some of the injustices accentuated by climate change. There is the reminder that climate action needs to have people's participation and human rights, including Indigenous peoples' rights, at its centre. At all costs it needs to avoid human rights violations and contribute to making society a more equal, just and inclusive place for all.

    "Yet human rights considerations still play a marginal role in climate negotiations. The outcomes of the Madrid climate talks (COP25) are just another proof of it. Following a year of school climate strikes and mass mobilization in many countries of the world, states were expected to act in line with the urgency proved by scientists and increasingly felt by people. Instead, most wealthier countries and other high emitting countries remained stuck in selfish and short-sighted considerations which prevented real progress.

    "While the final COP25 decision recognized the urgency of enhancing climate action, it failed to set a clear obligation for states to come up with ambitious national climate plans in 2020 capable of keeping the global average temperature rise below 1.5 degrees C. This shows a complete disregard for the human rights of people who will be most affected by spiking climate impacts. For millions of people around the world, the formulation and, above all, the implementation of strong climate plans simply means a difference between life and death.

    "Wealthy countries are responsible for the bulk of greenhouse gas emissions and have for years profited from them, while people in poorest countries are suffering most of the damages inflicted by the climate crisis. In Madrid, they had the opportunity to recognize this historic imbalance and accept their duty to pay for the devastation already wreaked by climate impacts such as cyclones, droughts and sea-level rise. Instead, they opposed the mobilization of new and additional resources to support affected people. This in practice means turning their back to the almost 4 million people who have lost their homes, livelihoods or access to public services in the two cyclones in Mozambique earlier this year, or to residents of Pacific islands in urgent need of relocation due to sea-level rise.

    "Similarly, states were once again unable to reach an agreement on mechanisms allowing countries to trade emission reductions. Countries like Australia, Brazil and China continued to push for loopholes which would have ultimately resulted in weakening the effects of climate mitigation measures, in violation of the rights of those who stand most at risk from climate impacts.

    "Also, worryingly, there was insufficient willingness from states to include explicit reference to human rights safeguards in carbon trading rules. Such guarantees are necessary to ensure that negative human rights impacts can be assessed and addressed prior to adopting climate mitigation projects and that people directly impacted by carbon market projects have a say in shaping such measures. This is a very strong demand from Indigenous peoples, as they too often have paid the price of ill-conceived climate projects, such as hydroelectric dams or biogas initiatives initiated without their free, prior and informed consent and resulting in forced evictions, water contamination, or permanent damage to their cultural rights.

    "What came out of this last round of climate negotiations paints a grim picture. It was certainly a source of frustration at COP25, prompting civil society observers to take a massive direct action inside the negotiation venue on 11 December. This move was met with an unprecedented decision by UN security officers to expel more than 300 observers for the day.

    "In 2020 we need to step up our game. We need to forge strong coalitions at national level to demand ambitious and human rights-compliant climate action that achieves a just transition away from fossil fuels. We need to mobilize like never before. The world's most important struggle needs the world's most powerful, diverse and united people's mass movement ever assembled. As the year ends, we can all start 2020 by making our new or renewed commitment to climate justice our New Year's resolution." (Source: Amnesty International, 17 Dec., 2019) Contact: Amnesty International, www.amnesty.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News COP25,  Climate Change,  Carbon Emissions,  CO2,  


    Green Climate Fund Supports Caribbean Climate Readiness (Int'l.)
    Caribbean Natural Resources Institute
    Date: 2019-12-18
    Efforts to enhance civil society's access and capacity to deliver climate finance and build resilience in the Caribbean have been bolstered by a $1.29 million grant from the Green Climate Fund (GCF).

    The GCF grant will be implemented by the Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI) in collaboration with national designated authorities and leading civil society organizations in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Member States from 2020-2022. It aims to build the capacity of civil society organizations, including their knowledge, skills and organizational structures, to access climate finance and deliver climate change adaptation and mitigation projects. It also seeks to strengthen institutional mechanisms to enable civil society voice and participation in climate change decision-making nationally and regionally.

    CARICOM members include Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Grenada, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia and Suriname.

    The GCF is a funding mechanism under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) that supports climate change adaptation and mitigation in developing countries. The GCF's Readiness Support and Preparatory Grant Facility, which supports capacity building to enhance design and delivery of adaptation and mitigation projects, provided the $1.29 million grant. (Source: Caribbean Natural Resources Institute, St.Lucia News, 16 Dec., 2019) Contact: Green Climate Fund, +82.32.458.6059, info@greenclimate.fund, www.greenclimate.fund

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


    Golden State Missing Emissions, Climate Change Goals (Ind. Report)
    California Green Innovation Index
    Date: 2019-12-16
    According to the California Green Innovation Index, the Golden State may miss its climate targets by more than 100 years -- despite the country's strictest vehicle fuel efficiency and emissions standards, broad climate change policies, and being the first state to adopt an economy-wide cap-and-trade program.

    In 2018, California legislated 100 pct of the state's electricity come from carbon-free sources by the end of 2045. Additionally, the state's emission standards dictate that greenhouse gas emissions be cut 40 pct below 1990 levels by 2030 and to 80 pct below 1990 levels by 2050. But considering that the state's climate pollution only declined by 1.15 pct in 2017, California would only hit its 2030 targets by 2061 and its 2050 targets by 2157, the Index notes.

    The California Green Innovation Index (CA GII) tracks the state's progress in reducing GHG emissions, generating technological and business innovation, and growing businesses and jobs that enable the transition to a more resource-efficient economy as California adopts innovative energy and emissions policies, according to its website. (Source: California Green Innovation Index, Epoch Times, 13 Dec., 2019) Contact: California Green Innovation Index, 650.235.8323, www.coecon.com/ca-gii.html

    More Low-Carbon Energy News California Green Innovation Index,  Carbon Emissions,  California Emissions,  Climate Change ,  


    US Steel Carbon Emissions Among World's Lowest (Ind. Report)
    Global Efficiency Intelligence'
    Date: 2019-12-13
    The U.S. steel industry has the fourth lowest carbon emissions in the world, according to a new study from San Francisco-based consultancy Global Efficiency Intelligence' just released study How Clean is the U.S. Steel Industry? The report noted Italy, Spain, Turkey, and the U.S. had the steel industries with the least carbon emissions, while China, South Korea, India, and Poland were the dirtiest and worst for the climate.

    BlueGreen Alliance, a consortium of U.S. environmental and labor groups , commissioned the study that found the steel industry accounts for 25 pct of greenhouse gas emissions in the industrial sector -- 6 pct of the total emissions. The steel sector's emissions are expected to keep growing because demand for steel is outpacing the industry's efforts to reduce emissions. (Source: Global Efficiency Intelligence, nwi, 8 Dec., 2019) Contact: Global Efficiency Intelligence, Ali Hasanbeigi, CEO, 628-214 1080, www.globalefficiencyintel.com


    ArcelorMittal Aims for 30 pct Emissions Cut by 2030 (Ind. Report)
    ArcelorMittal
    Date: 2019-12-13
    Belgium-based steel maker ArcelorMittal has announced it plans to slash emissions by 30 pct from 2018 levels on flat steel products at its European operations by 2030. The steel giant also plans to publish a target for all of its operations by the middle of 2020. (Source: ArcelorMittal, Dec., 2019)Contact: ArcelorMittal, Alan Knight, Corporate Responsibility GM, +32 9 347 31 11, www.corporate.arcelormittal.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News ArcelorMittal,  Carbon Emissions,  


    Eversource Utility Aims for 2030 Carbon-Neutrality (Ind. Report)
    Eversource
    Date: 2019-12-13
    New England's largest investor-owned utility, Eversource Energy reports it plans to reduce carbon emission and become carbon-neutral across all departments and operations by 2030.

    To that end, Eversource will reduceenergy use by improving the efficiency of its 69 facilities and reducing fleet emissions of its 5,200 vehicles, continue to enhance the electric transmission and distribution system to reduce line losses, reduce sulfur hexafluoride (a potent ghg) in gas-insulated electric switchgear, and replace remaining bare steel and cast-iron natural-gas distribution main lines to improve safety and help prevent methane leaks.

    Eversource previously reduced its carbon emissions through a 2018 divestiture of all its remaining fossil-generation facilities. (Source: Eversource: BusinessWest, 11 Dec., 2019) Contact: Eversource, Jim Judge, CEO, Lee Olivier, EVP of Strategy and Business, www.eversource.com

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


    Alberta Supports Cement Plant CO2 Storage Study (Ind. Report)
    Alberta, Emissions Reduction Alberta,Lrhigh Cement
    Date: 2019-12-11
    On the Canadian prairies, the government of Alberta reports it is contributing $1.4 million towards a $3 million feasibility study of capture and storage of carbon emissions project at the Lehigh Cement plant in Edmonton. If constructed, the project could capture an estimated 600,000 tpy of CO2 and avoid up to 90 pct of the plant's current emissions.

    The project will align with the province's new Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction (TIER) program which is intended to help industries deploy pioneering, emissions-reducing technologies and will support research and investment in clean technology. (Source: Gov. of Alberta, Journal of Commerce, Dec., 2019) Contact: Lehigh Cement, (780) 420-250, www.lehighhanson.com; Emissions Reduction Alberta, Steve MacDonald , CEO, 780-498-2068, info@eralberta.ca, www.eralberta.ca; Technology Alberta Innovation and Emissions Reduction System, www.alberta.ca/technology-innovation-and-emissions-reduction-system.aspx

    More Low-Carbon Energy News CCS,  Cement,  Emissions Reduction Alberta,  


    FOA Helps Countries Meet COP15 Forest, Climate Commitments (Int'l)
    Food and Agriculture Organization
    Date: 2019-12-11
    The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has announced a new $7.1 million forestry management initiative to help 26 Asian, African and Latin American nations provide improved data on forest health and management as well as land use -- a key pledge of all State signatories to the COP15 Paris Climate Agreement.

    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

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  Forestry,  CO2,  Carbon Emissions,  


    WA EPA Rethinking Industrial CO2 Emissions Legislation (Int'l)
    Western AustraliaEnvironmental Protection Authority
    Date: 2019-12-11
    Western Australia's (WA) state environmental watchdog Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) reports it has dropped a controversial recommendation requiring all new and expanding natural resource-based projects emitting more than 100,000 tpy of CO2 to entirely offset those emissions.

    The requirement prompted a major backlash from the mining and oil and gas industries, who warned the proposal would threaten jobs and projects. The government caved to the objections and a new round of consultation on less stringent industrial emissions is now underway. (Source: WA EPA, Various Media, ABC Australia, 9 Dec., 2019)Contact: WA Environmental Protection Authority, www.epa.wa.gov.au

    More Low-Carbon Energy News CO2,  Carbon Emissions,  Austarlia Carbon Emissions,  


    "Ending Coal Industry Will Not Lower Carbon Emissions", says Aussie Opposition Leader (Int'l. Report)
    Australia, Coal
    Date: 2019-12-11
    In the Land Down Under, Australian opposition labour party leader Anthony Albanese, has announced his support for the Australian coal industry and declared that "putting an end to the (coal) industry will not lower carbon emissions." The labour leader noted "We've got to consider what the actual outcome is from any proposal, and the proposal that we immediately stop exporting coal would damage our economy and would not have any environmental benefit."

    Australia is the world's second largest coal exporter shipping 208 million tonnes of thermal coal in 2018, acording to Australian government data. (Source: Xinhua, 9 Dec., 2019) Contact: Hon Anthony Albanese MP – Parliament of Australia, +61 2 9564 3588, www.aph.gov.au › A_Albanese_M

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


    Univ. Maryland Emissions Cuts Ahead of Schedule (Ind. Report)
    University of Maryland
    Date: 2019-12-11
    In College Park, the University of Maryland reports it cut its net greenhouse gas emissions in half between 2005 and 2018, reaching its Climate Action Plan target of carbon neutrality more than a year ahead of schedule.

    Presently, the schools net emissions of about 175,000 metric tpy of CO2 are the university's centralized energy plant; decentralized heat and power generators; fleet vehicles; and faculty, staff and graduate student commuting. Projects are under way across campus aimed at identifying and implementing strategies to reduce emissions from each of them. (Source: University of Maryland, Maryland Today, 9 Dec., 2019) Contact: University of Maryland, Maureen Kotlas, Exec. Dir.,Environmental Safety, Sustainability and Risk, mkotlas@umd.edu, (301) 405-3960, www.essr.umd.edu

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Emissions,  


    Packard Foundation Warns Put a Brake on Bioenergy by 2050 to Avoid Negative Climate Impacts (Ind. Report)
    Packard Foundation
    Date: 2019-12-09
    According to the newly released Global Change Biology study from the Los Altos, California-based David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the burgeoning bioenergy sector must peak and decline in the next 30 years to alleviate extreme pressure on land. The study researchers assert that projections envisioning the use of biomass from crops, trees or grasses for fuel through 2100 overlook the technology's high carbon footprint and excessive land use.

    An Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report released last year found that many scenarios capable of reducing the threat of climate change relied heavily on bioenergy, predicting that energy from biomass could make up 26 pct of primary energy in 2050 -- up from 10 pct in 2020 -- and predicting that solar and wind combined would likely only account for 22 pct. Those scenarios often relied on significant use of bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS), which involves growing trees across a large area of land to produce wood pellets burned for energy, then capturing and sequestering the carbon emissions. In its analysis, though, the IPCC found significant challenges associated with a high reliance on bioenergy, noting in particular that the vast areas of land required to produce biomass for energy would compete with food production and other human needs.

    The Global Change Biology assessment examine a flurry of recent reports that suggest even more problems with large-scale bioenergy projects reliant on large tracts of land, and also show that more cost-effective alternatives will be available in the coming decades. Pulling from these recent studies, the authors establish three reasons why large-scale bioenergy must and can peak and decline in the next 30 years:

  • Large-scale bioenergy emits carbon. Carbon emissions from bioenergy can be greater in the near-term than emissions from the fossil fuels it is replacing, undermining the assumption that bioenergy is always a relatively low-emission and low-cost form of energy. Burning wood pellets, for example, creates a "double climate problem." Manufacturing and shipping wood pellets entails substantial emissions of fossil CO2, and it can take decades or centuries for harvested areas to return to pre-harvest carbon stocks.

  • Large-scale bioenergy puts a squeeze on land. Land is already a scarce resource, and it will become even scarcer with time due to an increase in the human population and a rise in the appreciation of the conservation value of natural and mostly-natural ecosystems--even if agricultural yields continue to increase. Because land is so limited, we should use it as efficiently as possible for energy production. In contrast to land-intensive bioenergy, the amount of electricity that can be produced from a hectare of land using photovoltaics is at least 50-100 times that from biomass.

  • Large-scale bioenergy is inferior to other solutions. And, by mid-century, land-intensive bioenergy will face fierce competition from superior technologies such as wind and solar energy, the development of efficient storage and other flexibility solutions, and the advent of more effective carbon removal technologies such as direct air capture with carbon storage.

    The assessment comes at a time when the bioenergy industry is ramping up worldwide, with the EU in the lead. Bioenergy currently accounts for 10 pct of the world's energy, and 50 pct of our renewable energy. In the EU, bioenergy accounts for two-thirds of all renewable energy (nearly half from wood). Two-thirds of the EU's "20 pct Renewable Energy by 2020" target depends on bioenergy. And the bloc is also about to greenlight the conversion of five large coal plants to bioenergy plants that burn imported wood pellets from overseas forests.

    Land-intensive electrical power projects in particular are picking up steam as governments and industry leaders seek to transform disused coal factories into new profit centers. Between 2006 and 2015, the production of wood pellets for biomass energy use quadrupled to 26 million tons. Worldwide, demand for globally traded wood pellets destined for use in phased-out coal plants or new dedicated bioenergy plants is expected to rise 250 pct by 2027.

    The study lays out a bioenergy trajectory that policymakers can use to encourage sustainable bioenergy while also opening the door for new technologies to replace land-intensive bioenergy in the very near future. These recommendations include improved accounting of the actual carbon emissions associated with the use of biomass, favoring biomass from waste, residues or land management practices that enhance carbon storage, and providing incentives for energy storage, direct air capture technologies, and low-carbon alternatives to fossil fuels. Above all, the authors argue that bioenergy projects should be avoided if they involve natural forests, such as converting natural forests to bioenergy plantations, or use land best suited for food crops. And the authors caution that claims that bioenergy projects are a zero-carbon form of energy should be met with skepticism.

    The Packard Foundation through 2020, will have awarded nearly $1 billion in grants to reduce carbon emissions, one of the its greatest program commitments in its 55-year history. (Source: David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Dec., 2019) Contact: David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Walt Reid, Director Conservation and Science Program, Report Author, 650-948-7658, www.packard.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Bioenergy,  CO2,  CCS,  Biofuels,  Carbon Emissions,  


  • Cincinnati Energy Alliance Claims Record PACE Financing (Ind. Report)
    Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance
    Date: 2019-12-09
    In the Buckeye State, the Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance (GCEA), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization is reporting a record-breaking year in Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing transactions. In 2019, GCEA closed 24 PACE loans valued at nearly $27 million, more than doubling their 2018 total.

    GCEA is a nonprofit organization with a mission to facilitate investment in energy efficiency and renewable energy projects to reduce carbon emissions. ( Source: Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance, Dec., 2019) Contact: Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance, (513) 621-4232, www.greatercea.org; PACE, info@pacenow.org, www.pacenow.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Enertgy Efficiency,  PACE,  PACE Financing,  


    ExxonMobil Contributes $1Mn to Promote Carbon Tax (Ind. Report)
    EXXON, Climate Leadership Council
    Date: 2019-12-09
    The Americans for Carbon Dividends (ACD) political action group is reporting Houston-headquartered oil industry giant ExxonMobil Corp. has made a $1 million donation to ADC's lobbying campaign to promote a U.S. tax on CO2 emissions, a central factor in global warming. The contribution came less than a month after the oil giant agreed to contribute $100 million to oil companies' efforts to develop technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

    The ADC aims to spend $5 million on an initial lobbying campaign to win support for the tax, said , senior vice president at the group. PAC is looking to build legislative support for its carbon tax. It proposes an initial $40 a ton tax on carbon dioxide that would increase over time, with the money raised to be returned to consumers. The PAC has raised $1 million each from Exelon Corp, First Solar Inc and the American Wind Energy Association and expects to reach its goal of a $5 million in coming months. (Source: Exxon, Denton Daily, Reuters, 8 Dec., 2019) Contact: Climate Leadership Council, Greg Bertelsen, www.clcouncil.org; Americans for Carbon Dividends, www.afcd.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Leadership Council,  Exxon,  Climate Change,  Carbon Emissions,  


    IBM Climate Change Policy Supports Early Climate Action and Carbon Tax (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    IBM
    Date: 2019-12-06
    "IBM has stated for more than a decade that climate change is a serious concern that warrants meaningful action on a global basis. Notwithstanding many important efforts, this remains the case today. The Earth's climate is warmer now than it was before the onset of the modern industrial era, and the increased temperature presents significant adverse risks which cannot be ignored. Greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide fuel this warming. According to scientists, the amount of carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere is now greater than it has been for the last several hundred thousand years. Compounding this circumstance is the fact that carbon dioxide remains in the atmosphere for quite a long time after having been emitted.

    "Some may debate how this happened, but that doesn't change the need to address it. Although our collective use of fossil fuels for energy has enabled remarkable economic development, the use of fossil fuels has also resulted in substantial emissions of carbon dioxide, and the cost of these emissions has not been reflected in the price of energy. As a matter of policy, this should change.

    "IBM is no newcomer to the realm of climate change. In 2017, we reaffirmed our support for the 2015 Paris Agreement to limit global warming to below 2 degrees C above pre-industrial levels. Our commitment to the Paris Agreement builds on a long history of leadership in this space. In 1992 IBM helped the U.S. EPA launch the ENERGY STAR program. In 1994 we began to voluntarily disclose carbon dioxide emissions associated with IBM's consumption of energy and have done so annually now for 26 years. And in 2015, IBM was one of the first signatories to the American Business Act on Climate Pledge to demonstrate our support for the Paris Agreement.

    "Performance is a key measure of commitment. IBM has reduced the carbon dioxide emissions associated with our consumption of energy by 32 pct since 2005. We are on track to achieve our goal of a 40 pct reduction by 2025, a rate consistent with what scientists say is needed to limit warming to between 1.5 and 2.0 degrees C. Energy conservation has been -- and remains -- a key ingredient for this. IBM continues to rigorously conserve energy equal to at least 3 pct of its annual consumption, something we have done for decades. Reducing consumption, when possible, is preferable to purchasing offsets.

    "Responsible companies should also make transparent commitments regarding their consumption of renewable energy. Today, 38 pct of the global electricity IBM consumes comes from renewable sources, and we aim to increase this to 55 pct by 2025. Importantly, IBM does not rely upon the purchase of unbundled Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) to offset its consumption of electricity from fossil fuels and thereby claim the company is a certain 'percent renewable.' Transparency matters in the transition away from carbon-based fuels, which is why our reporting about the use of renewables reflects our actual physical and matched consumption of renewable electricity.

    "Climate change is real, and that is why IBM supports a responsible plan to tax carbon emissions. It is also why IBM supports the Paris Agreement and is on track as a company to reduce emissions associated with our consumption of energy consistent with what scientists say is needed. And it is why we are making transparent our own use of renewable energy and aiming to increase that use substantially.

    "The enormity of the challenge requires more than business as usual. Putting a price on carbon emissions requires a plan in which economies will keep growing, but in a way that addresses the risks of a changing climate. We believe the Climate Leadership Council plan is the best way to secure agreement for action, and IBM will work to build support for it with elected officials, corporate colleagues, and our fellow citizens." (Source: IBM-The Weather Company (an IBM company), 2 Dec., 2019)

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


    Kingspan Commits to 45 pct Cut in Emissions by 2030 (Int'l Report)
    Kingspan
    Date: 2019-12-06
    In the UK, global insulation and building envelopes specialist Kingspan is reporting the launch of its 10-year strategy to address the impact of the company's business operations and manufacturing with commitments to cut its carbon emissions by 45 pct by 2030, as determined in the Paris Agreement, and to contribute to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Kingspan's strategy includes:
  • Energy -- powering 60 pct of all Kingspan operations directly from renewable energy with a minimum of 20 pct of this energy generated on manufacturing sites (up from 5.9 pct today)

  • Carbon -- achieving net zero carbon manufacturing and a 50 pct reduction in product C02 intensity from primary supply partners;

  • Circularity -- upcycling of 1 billion PET bottles per annum into insulation products plus zero company waste to landfill across all sites;

  • Water: -- harvesting 100 million liters of Kingspan’s water usage from rainwater.

    In 2011, Kingspan announced a Net Zero Energy program with a 2020 target to match 100 pct of its operational energy use with renewable energy. The company is on track to achieve this goal. As part of this program, Kingspan also joined the Science Based Targets initiative, setting a target of 10 pct reduction in Scope 1, 2 and 3 greenhouse gas emissions. (Source: Kingspan, PR, Dec., 2019) Contact: Kingspan, +44 (0)1352 716100, info@kingspanpanels.com, www.kingspan.com

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


  • Univ. Wyoming Coal Plant Carbon Capture R&D Funded (Funding)
    University of Wyoming
    Date: 2019-12-06
    In the Cowboy State, the Casper Star-Tribune is reporting the US DOE will partner with and fund University of Wyoming researchers in Laramie with $5 million to study the economics and technology behind carbon capturing at two of the state's coal-fired power plants -- the Dave Johnston power plant in Glenrock and the Naughton power plant in Kemmerer.

    To advance the project, the University Energy Resources Council is seeking proposals for the construction of coal-based generation technology that can collect carbon emissions. Proposals until be accepted until 5 p.m. Feb. 14, 2020. (Source: University of Wyoming, Casper Star-Tribune, News Observer, AP, 4 Dec., 2019) Contact: University of Wyoming Energy Resources Council, Trish Steger, Executive Administrative Assistant, 307-766-6897, Fax: 307-766-6701, psteger@uwyo.edu, www.uwyo.edu/ser/about-us/energy-resources-council, www.uwyo.edu

    More Low-Carbon Energy News University of Wyoming ,  CO2,  Carbon Capture,  


    Helsinki Pledges Improved Building Energy Efficiency (Int'l.)
    Helsinki
    Date: 2019-12-06
    The Finnish capital city of Helsinki (pop. 632,000) reports it has joined the Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment developed by the World Green Building Council.

    The commitment, which has been adopted by both private companies and public authorities, pledges participants to ensure that the portfolios of buildings for which they are responsible produce net zero carbon emissions by 2030. And, since buildings generate more than half of Helsinki's carbon emissions, reducing heating consumption and increasing energy efficiency is central the city's effort. Accordingly, the city has set a range of targets and initiatives aimed increasing building energy efficiency.

    Helsinki has also introduced Climate Watch, an online tool for assessing the city's progress on each of the 147 measures outlined in its Carbon Neutral Helsinki 2035 Action Plan. (Source: City of Helsinki, Government Europa, 6 Dec., 2019) Contact: World Green Building Council, www.worldgbc.org; City of Helsinki, Esa Nikunen, Director Environmental Services, https://fi.linkedin.com/in/esa-nikunen-560b9a78

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Building Energy Efficiency,  Energy Efficiency,  Climate Change,  


    Wartsila Providing Mine Hybrid Energy Storage Solution (Int'l.)
    Wartsila
    Date: 2019-12-04
    Finnish technology group Wartsila Corp. reports it has contracted Canadian gold mining firm B2Gold to design and engineer a 17MW/15MWh energy storage system based on its GEMS energy management solution for B2Gold's Fekola Mine in southwest Mali. The installation will improve the mine's operations, reduce fuel consumption, and lessen the carbon emissions.

    Wartsila's advanced GEMS technology will not only control the new energy storage system, but will also control a new 30MW solar plant currently under construction and continuously optimize energy production for the entire mine.

    The hybrid system is created through a combination of renewables and an energy storage control system to form an environmentally sound and cost-efficient power source. (Source: Wartsila, PR, Green Car Congress, Dec., 2019) Contact: Wartsila Energy Business, Christophe Demay Senior Business Development Manager, +33 6 7889 2182, christophe.demay@wartsila.com, www.wartsila.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Wartsila,  Energy Storage,  


    Cargill Expands, Confirms Climate Change Commitments (Ind. Report)
    Cargill
    Date: 2019-12-04
    Minneapolis-headquartered agriculture industry giant Cargill reports it has adopted a Scope 3 target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions in its global supply chains by 30 pct per ton of product by 2030.

    To that end, Cargill is focused on targeted supply chain interventions, programming and policy solutions benefiting farmers, customers and the broader food system including: accelerating sustainable progress in beef, advancing soil health, reducing carbon for sustainable shipping and Protecting forests in partnership with farmers . Cargill has also reinforced its intent to prioritize climate change concerns through pledging to the CEO Climate Statement, signing on to the We Are Still In coalition to continue supporting the Paris Climate Accord and convening at this week's UN Climate Change Conference COP25 in Madrid.

    The commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) from its global supply chain by 30 pct per ton of product by 2030, in combination with the previously announced operational goal to reduce absolute emissions by 10 pct , has been approved by the Science Based Target initiative (SBTi), a collaboration between CDP, the United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). (Source: Cargill, PR, 3 Dec., 2019) Contact: Cargill, David MacLennan, CEO, Frank van Lierde, Exec. VP, www.cargill.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News COP25,  Cargill,  Carbon Emissions,  Climate Change,  


    Wa. Post Comments on China, COP25 (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    COP25
    Date: 2019-12-04
    "China is already the world's carbon-emitting leader, emitting nearly twice the levels of America in second place, and it is building up its lead. And in 2019, China's only significant climate change accomplishment was its slaughter of 100 million methane-producing pigs. But of course, that wasn't about climate change; it was about restraining a swine flu outbreak.

    "And things are set to get worse as China opens dozens of new coal-fired power plants. China's carbon output is heading even higher in 2020, even as America's is projected to decline. This speaks to something: Chinese President Xi Jinping is lying when he says he takes climate change seriously. His dirty coal plants and opposition to European carbon tariffs, evidence Xi's global economic and political ambitions come first.

    "The COP25 community doesn't seem to care. Instead, this week's summit has opened with a range of thinly veiled jabs at the United States. This, even though America is leading the world in reducing its carbon emissions.

    "Why the choice to attack America and ignore China? Because most nations prefer pomp to practicality on this issue. They know they can attack America but keep trading with America. But it's not so simple when it comes to China. These nations know that China views trade through the distinct prism of Xi's mercantilist worldview. And led by President Emmanuel Macron of France, the European Union is keen to keep Beijing happy in order to maintain Chinese investment and trade deals. The contrast here between European leaders' rhetoric and activists' demands is striking.

    "But it doesn't change the exigent truth. Until COP25 puts China front and center in its carbon reduction sights, these summits will continue to produce nothing but hot air." (Source: Washington Post, 3 Dec., 2019)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News COP25,  Climate Change,  


    CO2 Emissions Down Slightly in the Land Down Under (Int'l. Report)
    Auistralia,Climate Change
    Date: 2019-12-02
    According to the Australian Department of the Environment and Energy, year to June, Australia emitted 532 million tons of CO2 and equivalent greenhouse gases (Mt CO2 -e), a .01 pct drop from the previous 12-month period.

    Agricultural emissions exerted the strongest downward pressure, falling 5.9 pct on the previous year to 67.4 Mt CO2-e, driven by decimated livestock numbers as a result of both drought and this year's floods in northern Queensland. Electric power generation contributed 179.9 Mt CO2 -e, down 1.2 pct for the year and 1.8 pect for the quarter, although it remained by far the biggest single source of greenhouse gas emissions.

    The Department credited increased use of renewable energy and decreases in coal and natural gas power generation for falling emissions levels. Transport sector emissions also fell by 0.5 pct while emissions in all other sectors increased. Fugitive emissions rose 4.4 pct as a result of escaped methane during the natural gas extraction process. Emissions from fossil fuels burned directly by industry increased 3.6 pct.

    Australia's Paris Climate Accord targeted of 26 to 28 pct below 2005 levels by 2030. Currently, Australia's emissions are 12.5 per cent below 2005 levels. (Source: Australian Department of the Environment and EnergyFinancial Review, 29 Nov., 2019) Contact: Australian Department of the Environment and Energy, 1800 057 590, www.environment.gov.au

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

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