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

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

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Holm, "Most predictions of the Amazon rainforest's ability to resist climate change are based on models that have outdated assumptions; one of those is that a sufficient supply of nutrients such as phosphorus exist in soils to enable trees to take in additional CO2 as global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

Agriculture, forestry, and other types of land use account for 23 pct of human-caused GHG emissions, yet at the same time natural land processes absorb the equivalent of almost a third of CO2 emissions from fossil fuels and industry, according to the recently released International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report on land and climate interactions. (Source: DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, PR, Eureka Alert, 20 Aug., 2019) Contact: US DOE Office of Science, energy.gov/science; LBNL, Jennifer Holm, Research Scientist and Study Co-author, www.linkedin.com/in/jennifer-holm-265600b, www.lbl.gov

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


Rutgers, Duke Farms Partner on NJ Carbon Sink Project (Ind. Report)
Rutgers
Date: 2019-06-17
In the Garden State, Rutgers University and Duke Farms in Hillsborough Township report they are collaborating on a study to develop 2,700 acres as an experimental carbon sink to absorb and store atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2). Higher levels of carbon dioxide are a factor in global warming and climate change.

The Rutgers University researchers, from the New Brunswick, Newark and Camden campuses, will conduct monitoring and research at the largely wooded Duke Farms over five years. The study will begin by compiling baseline data on the presence of carbon in various land types and land management protocols. The Rutgers scientists will then create strategies to remove CO2 from the atmosphere and store it in soil and vegetation. The study will also determine the greenhouse gas emissions supporting the Duke Farms operations compared to the carbon stored on the property. (Source: Rutgers, Bridgewater Courier, 13 June, 2019) Contact: Rutgers Climate Institute, Marjorie Kaplan, Assoc. Dir., (848) 932-5739, www.climatechange.rutgers.edu; Duke Farms, Michael Catania, Exec. Dir., www.dukefarms.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News CCS,  Carbon Sequestration,  Carbon Sink,  


Finns Advised to Cut Logging to Preserve Carbon Sink (Int'l)
Finland Natural Resources Institute
Date: 2019-06-12
In Helsinki, Finland's Natural Resources Institute (Luke)reports it has revised its benchmark assessment of target carbon sink levels and now says Finland will need to raise its carbon sink sequestration numbers by another 10 percent -- lowering forest logging volumes by another 1-2 million cubic metres for a ceiling of 81-82 million cubic metres for the 2012-2025 period. Luke says its previous calculation amounted to 3 million tonnes of CO2.

The EU has also committed to reducing its GHG emissions by at least 40 pctt by 2030, compared to 1990 levels. EU directives require that logging activities relative to the tree population remain unchanged and EC has accordingly asked Finland to specify future logging amounts and assess whether its current calculations for wood use are appropriate in light of alarming rises in GHG emissions. (Source: Finland Natural Resources Institute, Barents Observer, YLE News, 11 June, 2019) Contact: Finland Natural Resources Institute, Prof. Aleksi Lehtonen, +358 29 532 6000, www.luke.fi/en

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


Natural Forests Best for Fighting Climate Change (Ind. Report)
University of Edinburgh
Date: 2019-04-10
In the UK, researchers at the University of Edinburgh and University College London have found that natural forests store more carbon for longer periods compared to plantations and agroforestry. The researchers found the carbon sequestration potential of natural forests is 40 times greater than that of plantations, reforestation and re-greening efforts and the cultivation of commercial crops.

In reaching their conclusions, the researchers examined commitments made by 43 countries in tropical and subtropical regions, where trees grow faster and thus hold greater promise of removing atmospheric carbon.

These countries have pledged as of October 2017 to restore a combined 2.92 million square kilometers (1.13 million square miles) of degraded and deforested land -- an area almost twice the size of Alaska. Some of these are national commitments, while others were made under the Bonn Challenge launched in 2011 by the German government and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The latter initiative aims to restore 3.5 million square kilometers (1.35 million square miles) of degraded and deforested land by 2030 -- greater than the land mass of India.

The researcher's analysis found that at present, 45 pct of the commitments made by the 43 countries involve planting commercially profitable trees. Many of these plantations are expected to occur in countries like Brazil, China, Indonesia, Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo. In China, 98.8 pct of the area to be restored will host plantations. In Brazil, it's just over 80 pct of the targeted restoration area, with well under 1 pct for natural forests. (Source: University of Edinburgh, Mongabay, April, 2019) Contact: University of Edinburgh, /www.ed.ac.uk

More Low-Carbon Energy News University of Edinburgh,  Carbon Sequestration,  Forest Carbon Sink,  Reforestation,  


B.C. Hidden Forest Carbon Emissions Questioned (Report Attached)
Sierra Club
Date: 2019-02-13
On the Canadian West Coast, the Sierra Club B.C. is urging the province to measure and reduce "uncounted forest emissions" which, in BC, represent a major hole in the province's climate plan and show the need for a provincial forest emissions-reduction strategy.

According to the attached Sierra Club BC report, climate-warming carbon emissions released from B.C. forests in both 2017 and 2018 were more than three times higher than emissions from all other sources combined in 2016 when the province pegged its carbon footprint from non-forestry sources at 61.3 million tpy.

The report notes that forests can act as either a "carbon sink" that absorbs excess greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, or a source of carbon emissions if it releases more carbon than it absorbs, as occasioned by the recent major forest fires.

The Sierra Club is calling on the province to produce an annual report measuring emissions from forests and to take steps to reduce forest carbon emissions, including banning slash burning, protecting old-growth forests and ramping up B.C.'s FireSmart program, which outlines best practices for reducing wildfire risk to properties in vulnerable communities.

In January, the B.C. government introduced the Clean B.C. plan to cut GHG emissions by 40 pct by 2030, 60 pct by 2040 and 80 pct by 2050. The plan redirects revenue from the provincial carbon tax into incentives like rebates for the province's biggest industries to move to cleaner operations.

Download the Sierra Club Hidden, Ignored and Growing:B.C.'s Forest Carbon Emissions report HERE. (Source: Sierra Club BC, CBC, Feb., 2019) Contact: Sierra Club BC, (250) 386-5255, info@sierraclub.bc.ca, www.sierraclub.bc.ca

More Low-Carbon Energy News Sierra Club ,  Forest Carbon,  Carbon Sink,  


Nordic Nations Ink Carbon Neutrality Declaration (Int'l. Report)
Carbon Neutrality
Date: 2019-02-01
The Prime Ministers of Finland, Norway and Iceland, the Swedish Minister for the Environment and Climate and the Danish Minister for Energy, Utilities and Climate have announced the Jan. 25th signing of the Declaration on Nordic Carbon Neutrality during a summit in Helsinki, Finland,.

In the declaration, the five countries commit to enhance their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and intensify their cooperation to:

  • remove obstacles to low-emission development and promote transformations towards renewable energy;

  • promote carbon pricing and fossil fuel subsidy reform;

  • incentivize climate action in the private sector;
  • decarbonize the transport sector and enable green financing and deploy green procurement, green deals and impact investing;

  • promote joint Nordic business and research consortiums and contribute to the development and deployment of, inter alia, carbon capture and storage (CCS) and bioenergy with CCS (BECCS) technologies;

  • maintain or enhance biological carbon sinks and measure carbon sinks with an internationally agreed methodology;

  • develop information on reducing individual climate impacts and use existing consumer information schemes and initiatives on carbon and other environmental impacts on products and services;

  • ensure that youth organizations have a role in awareness raising on climate-friendly consumer behavior;

  • cooperate to encourage Nordic companies, investors, local governments, cities, organizations and consumers to step up their efforts towards carbon neutrality.

    The Nordic Council of Ministers will prepare a proposal on how to follow up on the declaration by 31 August 2019.

    The Copenhagen-headquartered Nordic Council is the official body for formal inter-parliamentary co-operation among the Nordic countries. Formed in 1952, it has 87 representatives from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden as well as from the autonomous areas of the Faroe Islands, Greenland, and the Aland Islands. (Source: Nordic Council of Ministers, IISDS, 31 Jan., 2019) Contact: Nordic Council of Ministers, Sunitha Senanayake, +45 33 96 02 00, Receptionen@norden.org www.norden.org/en/nordic-council

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Neutral,  Carbon Neutrality,  CO2,  Carbon Emissions,  GHGs,  


  • Finland Recalculates Forest Carbon Sink Capacity (Int'l Report)
    Carbon Sink
    Date: 2018-12-14
    In Helsinki, the Finnish Natural Resources Institute is reporting Finland could safely consume over 80 million cubic meters of its forest wood annually without disturbing the forest's carbon storage capacity.

    The Institute notes that earlier assessments of the size of the country's forest carbon sink had been underestimated and did not take the faster growth rate of forests under the influence of global warming and a warmer climate. The Institute added that even though the Finnish carbon sink will shrink because of wood usage, it would not be reduced to a critical level any time before 2050. The current level of forest use is roughly 70 million cubic meters annually. The government has aimed at an increase up to 80 million.

    The Institute study was in compliance with EU land usage decree requirements that members inform the EC by the end of 2018 about estimated carbon sink levels of their forests in 2021-2025. They will then be analyzed by experts from the EU and members. The EU Commission will define the final values in 2020. (Source: Finnish Natural Resources Institute , Xinhua, 12 Dec., 2018) Contact: Finnish Natural Resources Institute, +358 29 532 6000, www.luke.fi/en

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Sink,  CO2,  Carbon Dioxide,  Carbon Emissions,  Forest Carbon,  


    Finnair Touts Biofuel, CO2 Emissions Offset Service (Int'l)
    Finnair,Nordic Environment Finance Corporation
    Date: 2018-12-12
    Further to our July 30th coverage, Finland's national air carrier Finnair reports it will offer a new service allowing customers to offset the CO2 emissions of their flights by funding emissions reduction projects or carbon sinks, or by supporting the use of biofuels, beginning in early 2019. Finnair's partners for its offset service will include Dutch SkyNRG company and for emission reduction projects, Finnairand the Nordic Environment Finance Corporation (NEFCO), an international financial institution backed by the Nordic states.

    The Helsinki-headquartered airline is part of an initiative driven by Shell, SkyNRG, World Energy, San Francisco Airport and several other airlines, which aims to pave the way for a longer term, more resilient supply chain for sustainable aviation fuels, and thus supporting the aviation industry's common CO2 emission reduction targets. (Source: Finnair, Travel Daily, 10 Dec., 2018) Contact: Finnair, Kati Ihamaki, Director, Corporate Sustainability, www.finnair.com; Nordic Environment Finance Corporation, www.nefco.org; www.nefco.org; SkyNRG, Maarten van Dijk, Director, Merel Laroy, +31 6 3083 3505, merel@skynrg.com, www.sktnerg.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News SkyNRG,  Finnair,  Jet Biofuel,  Aviation Biofuel,  Carbon Emissions,  ,  


    NETs Offer CO2 Removal Potential, Report Notes (Ind. Report)
    National Academies of Science, Engineering
    Date: 2018-11-09
    A new report from the Washington, DC-headquartered National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine has concluded that a substantial research initiative should begin as soon as possible to learn more about the impacts, limitations and scalability of Negative Emissions Technologies (NETs).

    According to the report, NETs , which remove CO2 directly from ambient air or enhance natural carbon sinks, could be scaled up to capture and store a significant amount of global carbon emissions, but not enough to prevent a global temperature increase of more than 2 degrees C. More research is needed to understand how to overcome existing constraints on the technologies, such as high costs and energy requirements, according to the report.

    The report highlights two NETs -- direct air capture (DAR) and mineralization using chemicals and reforestation, changing agricultural practices to enhance soil carbon storage, using biomass produce electricity with CCS and enhancing the amount of carbon stored in coastal ecosystems. In addition to mitigating climate change, NETs could open an untapped market, the report notes. (Source: National Academies of Science, Engineering, Engineering News Record, Nov., 2018)Contact: National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine, 202-334-2000, www.nationalacademies.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News CO2,  Carbon Capture,  Carbon Dioxide,  


    Blue Carbon Research Forum Launched in Scotland (Int'l Report)
    Blue Carbon
    Date: 2018-11-05
    Holyrood is reporting the Scottish Government and a group of Scottish universities have established the Blue Carbon Forum to measure the ability of Scotland's marine environment to store carbon dioxide.

    The programme is being developed by Marine Scotland in partnership with Scottish Natural Heritage, St Andrew's University, Glasgow University, Heriot-Watt University, Napier University, and the Scottish Association for Marine Science.

    Scotland Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said: "The potential role of our marine environment in tackling the greenhouse gas problem is enormous, with recent research by the University of St Andrews estimating that more carbon is captured and stored in sea lochs alone than in our terrestrial environment, such as forests and peatlands. Scottish Natural Heritage has estimated that the amount of carbon stored within Scotland's Marine Protected Areas is the equivalent of four years of Scotland's total greenhouse emissions," the Environment Secretary added.

    Chair of the Blue Carbon Forum Professor John Baxter said: the "Programme will provide essential information to help inform what is required to be done to enhance and protect these key habitats into the future which is essential for the mitigation of future climate change." (Source: Gov. of Scotland, Holyrood Mag., Nov., 2018) Contact: St. Andrews University Professor John Baxter, +44 (0)1334 46, jmb24@st-andrews.ac.uk, startlink]St. Andrews Univ., www.st-andrews.ac.uk

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


    Ellgrass CO2 Sink Loss Studied (Int'l, Research Report)
    Carbob Sequestration
    Date: 2018-11-02
    In a new study spanning coastal areas of the Northern Hemisphere, researchers at Abo Akademi University explored the magnitude of organic carbon stocks stored and sequestered by eelgrass meadows -- the most abundant seagrass species in temperate waters.

    According to the study, eelgrass organic carbon stocks were comparable to organic carbon stocks of tropical seagrass species, as well as mangroves, salt marshes and terrestrial ecosystems. The researchers also found that on average, eelgrass meadows stored 27.2 tons of organic carbon per hectare, although the variation between the regions was considerable

    In the marine systems, the blue carbon species alone account for up to 33 pct of the total oceanic CO2 uptake. In contrast to terrestrial soils, which usually store carbon up to decades, the carbon stored in blue carbon ecosystems may persist for timescales of millennia or longer and thus, contribute significantly to climate change mitigation and alleviation of the rising atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations. Despite the importance of these ecosystems, to date, none of them are included in the global carbon trading programmes. Alarmingly, in the past 50 years, at least one-third of the distribution area of coastal vegetated ecosystems has been lost. (Source: Abo Akademi University, Public Press Release, 31 Oct., 2018) Contact: Abo Akademi University, Christoffer Bostrom , Associate Professor in Environmental and Marine Biology, +358 50 431 8226, christoffer.bostrom@abo.fi, www.abo.fi

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Blue Carbon,  CO2,  Carbon Sink,  Carbon Sequestration,  EllGrass,  


    Learning to Use the Land so it Produces Fewer Greenhouse Gases (Ind. Report Attached)
    Global Environment Facility
    Date: 2018-09-05

    "Agriculture and forestry are a major source of greenhouse gases, contributing 20 -- 24 pct of all emissions. Livestock, fertilizers and burning biomass all produce greenhouse gases such as methane, nitrous oxide or carbon dioxide, or a combination of these and other gases. Deforestation and forest degradation are also major sources. However, agriculture and forestry can also act as carbon sinks -- plants take up carbon dioxide as they grow and store carbon in the soils. Land use is therefore part of the solution," according to the report.

    The 2016-2019 project funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and implemented by UN Environment was designed to help land management projects to evaluate their 'carbon benefits'. These can accrue in different land-use scenarios and ecosystems across the globe.

    Download Learning to Use the Land so it Produces Fewer Greenhouse Gases report details HERE. (Source: UN Environment, 3 Sept., 2018) Contact: UN Environment, www.unenvironment.org; GEF, www.thegef.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Emissions,  Carbon Sink,  Greenhouse Gas,  GHGs,  Global Environment Facility ,  


    Grassland Carbon Credits Fund Carbon Sinks (Ind. Report)
    Environmental Defense Fund
    Date: 2018-08-31
    In San Francisco, the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) is reporting the sale of the first listed grassland carbon credits that will allow the Southern Plains Land Trust to restore and preserve two Colorado ranches that sequester 8,000 metric tpy of soil.

    The EDF facilitated the development and sale of the credits with the help of a Conservation Innovation Grant from the USDA. Natural Capital Partners purchased the credits on behalf of its client Microsoft, which began a carbon neutrality program in 2012.

    Grassland carbon credits reward landowners for retaining soil carbon and avoiding the emissions associated with converting grasslands into croplands. Grassland projects also provide ecosystem benefits such as habitat for threatened species.

    The Climate Action Reserve's Grassland Project Protocol uses biogeochemical modeling and emissions factors to quantify carbon that would be released from the soil if the land were tilled. (Source: EDF, Aug., 2018) Contact: Environmental Defense Fund, www.edf.org; Southern Plains Land Trust, https://southernplains.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Environmental Defense Fund news,  Carbon Credit news,  Carbon Sink news,  


    Grassland Carbon Credits Fund Carbon Sinks (Ind. Report)
    Environmental Defense Fund,
    Date: 2018-07-18
    In San Francisco, the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) is reporting the sale of the first listed grassland carbon credits that will allow the Southern Plains Land Trust to restore and preserve two Colorado ranches that sequester 8,000 metric tpy of soil.

    The EDF facilitated the development and sale of the credits with the help of a Conservation Innovation Grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Natural Capital Partners purchased the credits on behalf of its client Microsoft, which began a carbon neutrality program in 2012.

    Grassland carbon credits reward landowners for retaining soil carbon and avoiding the emissions associated with converting grasslands into croplands. Grassland projects also provide ecosystem benefits such as habitat for threatened species.

    The Climate Action Reserve's Grassland Project Protocol uses biogeochemical modeling and emissions factors to quantify carbon that would be released from the soil if the land were tilled. Offsets are then generated for preserved belowground soil carbon, avoided use of nitrogen-based fertilizers and avoided use of carbon-emitting machinery for crop cultivation. (Source: EDF, 17 July, 2018) Contact: Environmental Defense Fund, www.edf.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Environmental Defense Fund,  USDA,  Carbon Credit,  


    Trees vs Grass for Carbon Sink Supremacy (R&D, Ind. Report)
    UC Davis
    Date: 2018-07-11
    Researchers from the University of California, Davis have found that grasslands and rangelands are better carbon sinks than forests in present-day California. Years of warming temperatures, fire suppression, and drought have increased wildfire risks and turned the state's forests into carbon producers more than carbon consumers, according to the research.

    Trees store much of their carbon within their leave and woody biomass, while grass stores most of its carbon underground. This means that when a tree catches fire, it releases its stores of carbon back into the atmosphere. But when a fire burns through grasslands, the carbon fixed underground tends to stay in the roots and soil.

    The study suggests that grasslands and range lands should be given opportunities in California's cap-and-trade market, which was designed to reduce the state's greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030. Their findings could also influence other carbon offset efforts around the world, especially those in semi-arid environments. This study states that, from a cap-and-trade and carbon-offset perspective, conserving grasslands and promoting rangeland practices that lead to reliable rates of carbon sequestration may help meet California's emission-reduction goals. (Source: UC Davis, earth.com, July, 2018) Contact: UC Davis, John Muir Institute of the Environment , Benjamin Houlton, Dir., (530) 752-7627, johnmuir.ucdavis.edu

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Storage,  Carbon Sink,  Climate Change,  Carbon Storage,  


    NZ's Z Energy Investing in Permanent Forest Carbon Sinks (Int'l)
    Z Energy
    Date: 2018-07-09
    In New Zealand, Auckland-based fuel wholesaler Z Energy Ltd. reports it has invested $1.5 million in permanent local forestry projects to voluntarily offset the emissions from their operations.

    Z Energy partnered with long-standing carbon consultants Permanent Forests NZ Ltd (PFNZ) for this offsetting initiative. PFNZ specialise in aggregating, marketing and selling New Zealand forest carbon credits on behalf of owners of forests registered under the Permanent Forest Sink Initiative.

    The Z Energy investment is reported to be New Zealand's largest voluntary purchase of units from permanent forest sinks to date. Z Energy's operational carbon emissions, including those from corporate travel, retail electricity, coastal emissions, and hauliers come to about 58,000 tonnes tpy of CO2-e (carbon dioxide equivalent) at an average cost of about $25 per tonne -- about $1.5 million per year. In addition to the offset programme, Z Energy remains focused on reducing the carbon intensity of its biodiesel and other business.(Source: Z Energy, Voxy, 9 July, 2018) Contact: Z Energy, Gerri Ward, Sustainability Manager, David Binnie, GM, general@z.co.nz, https://z.co.nz

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Z Energy,  Carbon Sink,  Carbon Credits,  Climate Change,  


    Aussie Marine Heatwave Triggered Massive CO2 Release (Int'l)
    Seagrass
    Date: 2018-03-19
    In the Land Down Under, a recently completed and released study from Edith Cowan University and a team of international researchers reports a severe heatwave off north-western Western Australia hammered the world's largest region of seagrass -- a major carbon sink -- causing the release of as much as 9,000,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide. Two months of temperatures 2 - 4 degrees above average in the summer of 2010-11 resulted in the loss of about 1000 square-kilometres of seagrass -- aka a "blue carbon sink" -- in Shark Bay by 2014, or about a fifth of its extent, according to the paper which was published last week in Nature Climate Change. Shark Bay accounts for about 2.4 pct of the world's total seagrass area.

    One hectare of seagrass, along with mangroves, has 30 - 50 times the potential of Amazonian forest in terms of [carbon] mitigation, according to study researcher and lead author Oscar Sorrano. It also has the potential to release huge amounts of carbon-dioxide back to the atmosphere -- potentially increasing the likelihood of further heatwaves by fuelling global warming.

    The researchers - ranging from Australia, Spain, Malaysia, the United States and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia - estimated the loss from the heatwave event released as much as 9 million tonnes of CO2, or the equivalent annual emissions of 800,000 homes or 1,600,000 cars. The estimates were based on modelling releases based in-situ studies from 50 sites. (Source: Edith Cowan University, Nature Climate Change, Sydney Morning Herald, 20 Mar., 2018) Contact: Edith Cowan University, Oscar Serrano, Researcher, Paper Lead Author, +61 8 6304 0000, www.ecu.edu.au

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


    NZ Emissions Rise While Forestry Carbon Sink Shrinks (Int'l)
    Statistics New Zealand
    Date: 2018-02-28
    In Auckland, Statistics New Zealand is reporting the country's carbon emissions grew slower than growth in the economy while native fores tareas shrank slightly over the same period. According to Stats NZ, that spells difficulty for New Zealand in meeting its Paris climate change accord obligations by 2030, given that plantation forests are currently the country's main fallback for offsetting rising national emissions.

    According to Stats NZ, Greenhouse gas emissions measures between 1990 and 2015, the latest year for which figures are available, show emissions increased from 61 million tpy to 76 million tpy.

    Stats NZ accounts show both a dramatic rise in the total carbon sequestration occurring in maturing plantation forests and a dramatic drop in new planting from a peak at the start of the period of around 100,000 hectares a year to well under 20,000 hectares annually since 2005. That's in spite of the recognition that plantation forest carbon 'sinks' are one New Zealand's best options to meet its climate change commitments. To remedy the situation, the government is ramping up a "billion trees" planting programme over the next decade. (Source: Stats NZ, SHARECHAT.co.nz, 29 Feb., 2018)Contact: Statistics New Zealand, www.stats.govt.nz

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


    EU, MEPs Agree on Forest Sector 2030 Carbon Emission Target (Int'l)
    EU,CO2,Carbon Dioxide
    Date: 2017-12-18
    In Brussels, EU member states report they have come to a preliminary agreement with the European Parliament (EP) on the land use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF) regulation agreeing to set a "zero target" for emissions from this sector. The agreement provides EU-wide accounting rules for LULUCF activities for the 2021-2030 period.

    Along with transport, agriculture, buildings and waste -- which are not covered by the EU's Emission Trading Scheme (EU ETS) -- the LULUCF sector is required to contribute a 30 pct emissions cut by 2030 compared to 2005 levels, as part of the EU-wide commitment to cut overall emissions by 40 pct by 2030.

    The 2000-2009 period has been set as the reference point for comparing carbon emissions, after MEPs had arbitrarily set this to 2009-2012 under pressure from Sweden, Finnland and other countries with large forestry sectors.

    The lack of linkage between the European accounting from LULUCF and other continents' methods of forest management means that under the current proposal for the post 2020 Renewable Energy Directive, the EU counts burning biomass (pellets and wood) as renewable energy but does not take into account the net increase in emission if this wood is imported. (Source: EURACTV, 14 Dec., 2017)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News EU ETS,  EU,  Carbon Sink,  Forest Carbon,  CO2,  Deforestation,  Reforestaion,  


    "Seeing REDD: Why The European Union Needs to Embrace Forest Carbon Finance" -- Report Attached (Ind. Report)
    REDD,Forest Carbon
    Date: 2017-11-29
    "A new report on forest finance has found that conserving and restoring tropical forests could deliver up to 30 pct of the carbon savings necessary to keep the average global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees C -- but as the report shows, only about 1 pct of international development funding for climate mitigation is directed towards this.

    "Worse, finance for sustainable forestry and agriculture aligned with climate goals -- approximately $20 billion since 2010 -- is dwarfed by the $777 billion pumped into the sectors that drive deforestation.

    " For many developing countries, forest conservation represents the main contribution they can make to the global climate effort. While all tropical forest countries have committed to reduce forest emissions as part of their national climate plans, many have pledged further reductions on the condition that they receive international support. And more than 50 developing countries have been running programmes to prepare the ground for REDD+, including establishing social and environmental safeguards and forest monitoring systems that will enable them to access payments for verified carbon savings."

    Download the Progress on the New York Declaration on Forests report HERE. (Source: Climate Focus, New York Declaration on Forest Assessment Partners, Climate and Land Use Alliance, Ecosystem Marketplace, Nov., 2017)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News REDD,  Deforestation,  Carbon Sink,  Forest Carbon,  


    Malaysia Pledges Carbon Neutrality by 2050 (Int'l Report)
    Malaysia,Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment
    Date: 2017-11-22
    In Kuala Lumpur, the Malaysian government Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment reports it will cut the country's carbon emissions by as much as 45 pct by 2030 -- based on 2005 emission levels. It has also pledged to preserve remaining primary forests on at least half of Malaysia's land area so that these forests can continue to serve as effective carbon sinks. The Ministry has also proposed the introduction of environmental education into schools from preschool onward, a greater emphasis on renewable energy, and a transition to low carbon emission transportation. (Source: Malaysia Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Clean Malaysia, 20 Nov., 2017) Contact: Clean Malaysia, http://cleanmalaysia.com; Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, +603 8000 8000, aduannre@nre.gov.my, http://www.nre.gov.my/en-my/Pages/default.aspx

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


    WSU Studies Soil Carbon Sink Capacities (R&D)
    Washington State University, Marc Kramer
    Date: 2017-11-13
    According to an international research team headed by Associate Research Scientist Marc G, Kramer at Washington State University, soil minerals approximately one foot beneath the earth surface could hold up to three times as much carbon as is found in the atmosphere. However, proper management of the soil is needed to reduce the levels of CO2 in the air, according to an international team of researchers.

    More than half the carbon stored in soil is more than 1 foot beneath the surface, and at that depth the organic matter in the soil is almost entirely associated with minerals. Studying samples from China and Puerto Rico, the team found that mineral interactions rather than microbial activity was influencing carbon and nitrogen storage levels. (Source: Washington State Univ., Science Alert, 11 Nov., 2017) Contact: Washington State University, Marc Kramer, marc.kramer@wsu.edu, //labs.wsu.edu/kramerlab/marc-g-kramer

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Soil Carbon,  Carbon Sink,  CO2,  Carbon Dioxice,  


    Atmospheric CO2 Levels Hit 800,000 Year High (Ind. Report)
    World Meteorological Organization
    Date: 2017-11-01
    The Geneva, Switzerland-headquartered World Meteorological Organization (WMO)is reporting that atmospheric concentrations of the long lasting greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2), and the shorter-lived by far more potent methane have persisted at levels above 400 parts per million for the first time in recorded history and its highest level in 800,000 years.

    In addition to the ignition of fossil fuels, an extremely powerful El Nino event -- a natural phenomenon that is exacerbated by man-made climate change -- is contributing to the high greenhouse gas levels. El Nino restricts the ability of plants to absorb CO2 whenever it causes extensive droughts. Normally, much of this excess carbon would be absorbed by the oceans -- the planet's major carbon sink.

    Measurements taken in 51 different countries revealed that 2016's increased CO2 levels was 50 pct higher than the average of the past 10 years. "The rate of increase of atmospheric CO2 over the past 70 years is nearly 100 times larger than that at the end of the last ice age," the report claims. (Source: World Meteorological Organization, BBC News, Various Others, 31 Oct., 2017) Contact: World Meteorological Organization, www.wmo.int

    More Low-Carbon Energy News ,  CO2,  Methane,  GHGs,  Climate Change,  Carbon Emissions,  CO2,  Global Warming,  


    Tropical Forests Becoming Carbon Sources, Not Sinks (Ind. Report)
    NASA JPL
    Date: 2017-10-04
    A recent NASA study that combined ground and satellite measurements has concluded that tropical forests seem to be a net source of heat-trapping carbon emissions, rather than a carbon sink.

    The study bolsters a growing consensus that tropical forests are drying out or being cleared, burned and logged so fast that they now emit more carbon than they sequester. Whereas earlier estimates based on measurements of atmospheric carbon flows suggested that tropical forests might be carbon neutral or even a net sink, more-recent studies -- including ones based on data from NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 satellite -- agree broadly with this recent paper, according to David Schimel, an ecologist at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California. Schimel suspects that human activities such as starting fires and natural factors including droughts have severly hindered tropical forests' carbon storage capability.

    The study estimates that the world's tropical forests release approximately 425 million tpy of carbon -- equivalent to roughly 5 pct of the globe's annual fossil-fuel emissions and about five times more than estimated in 2011. (Source: NASA JPL, Nature, 29 Sept., 2017) Contact: NASA JPL, David Schimel, (818) 354-4321, www.jpl.nasa.gov

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


    Forest Carbon "Sinks" Added to EU 2030 Carbon Budget (Int'l Report)
    EU
    Date: 2017-09-15
    In Brussels, European Union Parliamentarians (MEPs) report their approval of new rules for accounting for the "negative emissions" from forestry as part of the EU's 2030 climate change policy.

    The EU has a target to cut emissions by 40 pct by 2030 compared to 1990 levels, and forests acting as "carbon sinks" removing more than 400 Mt CO2 from the atmosphere annually -- equivalent to 10 pct of the EU's total greenhouse gas emissions -- is part of the EU's meeting its carbon reduction targets.

    The European Commission's initial proposal for a regulation on land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF) introduced a "no-debit" or zero target whereby EU countries must offset all deforestation either by equivalent reforestation or improved forest management and thus have a neutral impact on climate change. The Commission proposal also required all 28 EU states to account for the emissions produced from burning biofuels, which was not the case previously.

    The MEPs have also adopted a mandatory 2000 -2012 historical baseline obliging EU countries to count all emissions coming from changes in forest management in subsequent years. This means that if a country increased its harvesting levels, the reduction in "carbon sink" capacity would be accounted as a net increase in emissions. The MEPs also raised the upper limit for forest credits that EU countries can use to offset emissions in other types of land (wetlands, for example) from 3,5 pct to 7 pct of the total current sink capacity of forests. (Source: European Commission, EURACTIV.com, Various Others 14 Sept., 2017) Contact: European Commission, ec.europa.eu/commission

    More Low-Carbon Energy News European Commission,  Carbon Sink,  Forest Carbon,  CO2,  Carbon Emissions,  


    P.E.I. Willow Carbon Sequestration Study Wins Funding (Funding)
    Greenhouse Gas
    Date: 2017-09-01
    In Canada's smallest province Prince Edward Island, (pop. 146,000; 5,660 sq. km) the East Prince Agri-Environment Association has been awarded $895,000 for a project to study willow trees planted on riverbanks can act as a carbon storage sinks to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and protect streams and rivers from nitrogen and phosphorous runoffs.

    The project is one of 20 supported by the $27 million Canadian Federal Agricultural Greenhouse Gases Program, a partnership with universities and conservation groups across Canada. The program supports research into greenhouse gas mitigation practices and technologies that can be adopted on the farm. The East Prince Agri-Environment Association is a group of 12 farm families that came together in 2015 to explore ways of building a more sustainable and environmentally-friendly agriculture industry. (Source: CBC, 30 Aug., 2017) Contact: Agriculture Canada Agricultural Greenhouse Gases Program, www.agr.gc.ca

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Greenhouse Gas,  Carbon Sink,  Climate Change Mitigation,  Carbon Storage,  


    Buena Vista Opens Carbon Sequestration Test Site (Ind. Report)

    Date: 2017-08-25
    In the Golden State, the city of Buena Vista Department of the Environment, in cooperation with the not-for-profit Urban Permaculture Institute (UPI) and Matter of Trust, are reporting the launch of a two-year study to measure the carbon sequestration impact of adding compost to the city's sandy soil to promote plant growth and act as a "carbon sink."

    The study aims to determine the feasibility of reproducing and expanding other, similar urban programs across the state. The city previously considered the sequestration impact of its parks and forests, but similar forest management proposals have focused largely on erosion control and windbreaks rather than the benefits of carbon sinks. (Source: Buena Vista Department of the Environment, Contact: Urban Permaculture Institute , www.upisf.com; Buena Vista Department of the Environment, www.doe.gov.bz/index.php/component/tags/tag/28-buena-vista

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


    Finnish Env. Minister Defends Climate Change Policy (Int'l)
    Finland Environment Minister
    Date: 2017-02-24
    In Helsinki, Finland's Environment Minister Kimmo Tiilikainen reports that Nordic countries should be world leaders in climate policy and that Finland could reach its Paris Climate Agreement goals well ahead of schedule and be carbon-neutral by the year 2045.

    On the other hand, environmental organizations and the Green Party aren't buying the government's line and have criticized the government's climate-change-averting measures for being halting at best. The government's detractors claim the government's policies on logging could even endanger Finland's forests' role as a major carbon 'sink'. The Environment Minister says the decreased carbon sinks can be replenished in time and the the Finnish Environment Institute and the Natural Resources Institute suggest that logging will effectively nullify Finland's emissions cuts, with or without the Paris Agreement. (Source: Finland Environment Minister , Yle, 22 Feb., 2017) Contact: Finland Environment Ministry, www.ym.fi/en

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Emissions,  


    Denmark's Thurobund Bay World's Largest CO2 Sink (Int'l

    Date: 2017-01-18
    Phys.org is reporting researchers have found a small bay in Denmark they claim holds a world-record amount of carbon.

    According to Phys.org, seagrass and underwater meadows have the capacity to store large amounts of carbon dioxide. While seagrass meadows are found worldwide, scientists have pinpointed one meadow in Denmark which they say is the most efficient.

    The meadow is located in a bay called Thurobund on the island of Thuro in the South Funen Archipelago of Denmark.

    According to Professor Mariann Holmer of the University of Southern Denmark, Thurobund bay has unique conditions that add to its carbon capturing capabilities. Thurobund stores 27,000 grams of carbon per square meter. The highest numbers found in other locations around the world have never been more than 10,000 to 11,000 grams per meter squared. (Source: Inhabitat, Phys.org, 16 Jan., 2016) Contact: Professor Mariann Holmer, University of Southern Denmark, www.sdu.dk/ansat/holmer.aspx

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


    Massive Congo Carbon Sink Identified (Int'l. Report)
    Carbon Emissions
    Date: 2017-01-13
    In Johannesburg, South Africa, a team of British and Congolese scientists recently discovered an area of peatland they say contains 30 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide, equivalent to 20 years of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. The scientists say the area, which straddles the two Congos, must be protected from development to prevent the release of CO2 and methane gas and the subsequent environmental damage.

    Carbon dioxide and methane are linked to climate change and peatlands, which are formed from the accumulation of dead plant material, act as "carbon sinks. "Peatlands are only a resource in the fight against climate change when left intact, and so maintaining large stores of carbon in undisturbed peatlands should be a priority," according to Leeds University ecologist and one of the study's authors, Prof. Simon Lewis. (Source: Daily Mail, Nature, Leeds University, Jan., 2017) Contact: Leeds University, Dr.Simon Lewis, +44 (0) 113 34 33337, www.geog.leeds.ac.uk/people/s.lewis

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


    Soils Could Release 55Tn KG's of Carbon by Mid-2016 (Ind. Report)
    Yale University
    Date: 2016-12-02
    A new study from the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies finds that the world's soils act as critical storage for carbon sequestering carbon from the atmosphere to fuel plant and microbial activity.

    The eport warns that as soils warm in response to climate change, they could release 55 trillion kilograms of carbon by mid-century -- roughly equal to the projected total emissions of the United States during that same period. The largest losses will be from high-latitude ecosystems including the Arctic and sub-Arctic permafrost where colder temperatures and slow microbial activity have created massive carbon reserves over thousands of years. The report also found that for every 1 degree C of global warming, soils will release approximately 30 trillion kilograms of carbon into the atmosphere, or twice the global emissions from human activities.

    The paper analyzed data from dozens of studies on soil carbon storage over the past 20 years, and it clarifies an issue that has long interested scientists: whether warming temperatures will turn soil into carbon sinks or sources. (Source: Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, Env.360, 30 Nov., 2016) Contact: Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, (203) 432-5100, https://environment.yale.edu

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Soil Carbon,  


    blopper Kilograms of Carbon By Mid-Century

    Date: 2016-12-01
    The world’s soils act as critical storage for carbon, sequestering carbon from the atmosphere to fuel plant and microbial activity. But scientists warned this week that as soils warm in response to climate change, they could release 55 trillion kilograms of carbon by mid-century — roughly equivalent to the projected emissions of the United States, or 17 percent of all countries, during that same period. The largest losses will be from high-latitude ecosystems, the new study, led by scientists at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and published in the journal Nature, said. This includes Arctic and sub-Arctic permafrost, where colder temperatures and slow microbial activity have led to the buildup of massive carbon reserves over thousands of years. The scientists found that for every 1 degree Celsius of global warming, soils will release approximately 30 trillion kilograms of carbon into the atmosphere, or twice the global emissions from human activities.

    The paper analyzed data from dozens of studies on soil carbon storage over the past 20 years, and it clarifies an issue that has long interested scientists: whether warming temperatures will turn soil into carbon sinks or sources. “Getting a handle on these kinds of feedbacks is essential if we’re going to make meaningful projections about future climate conditions,” said lead author Thomas Crowther, a former postdoctoral fellow at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies currently at the Netherlands Institute of Ecology. “Only then can we generate realistic greenhouse gas emission targets that are effective at limiting climate change.” (Source: Yale Univ., Env.360, 30 Nov., 2016)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Soil Carbon news,  

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Soil Carbon,  

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