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Global Grasslands Contribute to Climate Warming (Study Attached)
Climate Change,International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis
Date: 2021-01-08
Grasslands play a critical role in carbon sequestration. But a recent study -- Climate Warming from Managed Grasslands Cancels Cooling Effect of Carbon Sinks in Sparsely Grazed and Natural Grasslands -- found human activity is causing grasslands to become a source of greenhouse gas emissions.

According to the USDA Climate Change Resource Center, grasslands cover approximately 25 pct of the earth's surface, contain nearly 12 pct of the land-based carbon stocks and are essential in supporting food and livestock production. Yet, citing the expansion of pasture lands and higher livestock numbers, researchers warn current management of grasslands is accelerating climate change.

Until recently, natural and managed grasslands emitted and removed an equal amount of greenhouse gases, canceling each other out. Researchers from the Austria-based International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) investigated how these fluctuations in greenhouse gases have contributed to climate change in both managed pastures and natural grasslands, between the years of 1750 and 2012. The IIASA researchers found that the ability for natural and sparsely grazed grasslands to absorb more carbon has intensified while grasslands heavily managed by humans became a source of greenhouse gases, emitting similar quantities of greenhouse gases to that of croplands.

While nearly half of all temperate grasslands and 16 pct of tropical grasslands have been transformed for agricultural or industrial use and conserving grasslands to preserve soil health and reduce emissions from managed grasslands could deliver a significant reduction in global greenhouse gas emissions, according to the study.

Download the Climate Warming from Managed Grasslands Cancels Cooling Effect of Carbon Sinks in Sparsely Grazed and Natural Grasslands report HERE. (Source: Nature Communications, EcoWatch, 6 Jan., 2020) Contact: USDA Climate Change Resource Center, www.fs.usda.gov/ccrc; International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, www.iiasa.ac.at

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


SINOPEC Leading CO2 Emissions Peak Research (Int'l. Report)
SINOPEC
Date: 2020-11-25
Beijing-based integrated energy and chemical specialist China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation (SINPOEC) is reporting three strategic cooperation agreements to take the lead in a joint research on green and low-carbon energy and the energy and chemical industry's carbon emissions peak and move toward carbon neutrality before 2030 following China's action plan.

And in terms of greenhouse gas recovery and utilization, Sinopec is focusing on promoting the recovery and utilization of high-concentration CO2 tail gas from refining and chemical enterprises, carrying out CO2 flooding field tests and methane gas release recovery.

Carbon emissions peak refers to the inflection point of total CO2 emission, after which the emissions will begin to decline. The carbon neutral target aims to achieve low-carbon and zero-carbon transformation of energy, realizes zero CO2 emissions, reduce other types of greenhouse gas emissions significantly as well as total man-made greenhouse gas emissions to zero through increasing carbon sinks and artificial negative emission measures.

In recent years, Sinopec has promoted its green and low-carbon development tactic for the corporate development strategy, actively control its greenhouse gas emissions to achieve significant carbon emissions results. In the area of clean energy development, Sinopec has expanded its construction of natural gas production capacity and promoted the development of new energy resources such as biomass energy and geothermal energy, while driving forward the development and utilization of hydrogen energy. (Source: SINOPEC, PR, 24 Nov., 2020) Contact: SINOPEC, www.sinopecgroup.com/group

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


Nigeria Included in TOTAL's Zero Carbon Emissions 2050 Plan (Int'l.)
TOTAL
Date: 2020-09-02
Prais-headquartered multinational oil and gas giant TOTAL Group reports it has incorporated Nigeria in its plan of achieving zero carbon emissions in production activities by 2050, as part of its drive to address global climate challenge.

To reach Net Zero on Operations by 2050 or sooner, TOTAL will invest in renewable generated low carbon electricity, low cost oil, biofuels, and nature-based carbon sinks or carbon capture and storage (CCS). The company noted it would continue to strike a balance between enabling the energy transition by investing in renewable energy while continuing to provide oil and gas to meet the needs of customers and society. (Source: TOTAL, PR, This Day, 1 Sept., 2020) Contact: Total Group, www.total.com

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


HSBC Creates $8.3bn Climate Fund (Int'l. Report)
HSBC Global Asset Management
Date: 2020-08-28
In the UK, London-based HSBC Global Asset Management reports it has teamed up with Australian climate lawyer Martijn Wilder's investment firm Pollination to create a $6 billion "natural capital asset manager fund."

The fund will invest in sustainable forestry, regenerative agriculture, water supply, ocean and coastal blue carbon projects, biofuels, and other worldwide projects that generate returns from reducing greenhouse gas emissions, protect and restore biodiversity and other natural assets, and increase the earth's carbon sinks.

The joint venture will launch two funds in 2021. The first will aim to raise $1 billion that will go into "natural capital" assets such as forestry and agriculture, while the second, a carbon trading fund, will aim to raise $2 billion from institutional investors. (Source: HSBC, Australia Financial Review, 27 Aug., 2020) Contact: HSBC Global Asset Management, www.global.assetmanagement.hsbc.com

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


Biden Takes a Stand on Climate Change (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
Climate Change
Date: 2020-07-31
The 2020 US Democratic presidential presumptive candidate Joe Biden's campaign has released the following position on clean energy and climate change:

  • Democrats commit to eliminating carbon pollution from power plants by 2035.

  • Wind and solar energy will be increased dramatically through the installation of 500 million solar panels and 60,000 made-in-America wind turbines.

  • Any clean energy infrastructure financed with federal support "through the tax code" should include robust wage and labor requirements.

  • Fossil fuel subsidies will be repealed.

  • California's primacy in Clean Air Act regulation of cars and trucks will be recognized and protected.

  • Oil and gas methane pollution will be reduced by the application of "robust" federal standards and targeted support for repairing and replacing aging distribution systems.

  • By 2030, all new buildings will achieve the goal of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions. Within five years, the Democrats will "incentivize" tens of billions of dollars in private-sector investments to retrofit the energy efficiency of four million buildings.

  • The country's entire fleet of school buses will transition to zero-emission buses to reduce harmful air pollution within five years.

  • The US will rejoin the the Paris Climate Agreement. A new Executive Order should be issued on climate and environmental Justice. There will be a strong emphasis on building environmental justice governmental institutions and practices. An environmental justice fund will be created to make "historic investments" in low-income communities, and remediating Superfund and other contaminated sites will address other issues afflicting these communities. Democrats will employ screening and mapping tools to ensure racial and socio-economic equity in federal climate, energy and infrastructure programs.

  • Fossil fuel companies will be held accountable for cleaning up abandoned mine lands ,oil and gas wells and industrial facilities so they can be safely "repurposed," especially in the coal country.

  • Innovative technologies will be advanced that create cost-effective pathways for industries to decarbonize, including carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) and "advanced nuclear" that eliminates risks associated with conventional nuclear technology.

  • America's natural carbon sinks on public lands will be increased by ensuring 30 percent of our lands and waters are conserved by 2030.

  • A new "climate test" will be applied to ensure that all major domestic and international infrastructure projects that require federal approval will avoid or minimize climate impacts, including impacts from export terminals.

  • The Federal Government should be reorganized by transforming the CEQ into a Council on Climate Change; establish a new office of Environmental Justice within the Department of Justice; create an Office of Climate Mobilization in the White House; establish a White House Council on frontline Environmental Justice where community and national leaders would inform the design and execution of climate change laws, policies and programs.

    Editor's Note: To ensure unbiased and equal coverage to all candidates , this publication will provide detailed coverage of the incumbent Republican Donald Trump's position on clean energy and climate change if and when his position paper is released.

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


  • NZ Freshwater Reforms to Lead to Major Emissions Reductions (Int'l.)
    Carbon Emissions
    Date: 2020-06-05
    In Wellington, the New Zealand Government's wide-ranging freshwater reforms and land-use policies -- including afforestation of farmland -- "has the potential to result in substantial annual net emissions reductions," according to recently released Cabinet papers.

    "The majority of emissions reductions are through sequestration and are a result of anticipated land-use change primarily due to the interaction of the sediment proposal and the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). It is expected that a portion of hill country pasture will be converted to forestry between 2025 and 2050, as afforestation is a cost-effective option for achieving the sediment bottom line. The maximum amount that could profitably be converted is estimated at 600,000 hectares. However, on-farm mitigations through [freshwater farm plans] will play a role and contribute to achieving the sediment bottom line without changing land use, so it is uncertain how much contribution land-use change will make. Depending on the degree to which new sediment requirements are met with afforestation, three different emissions reductions scenarios were drawn up," according to the papaers.

    Even the most conservative scenario found a reduction of 35 million tonnes of CO2 or the equivalent amount of another greenhouse gas (Mt CO2e) by 2050. The most optimistic emissions reduction scenario for the freshwater reform package projected a sink of 97.2 Mt CO2e. New Zealand's annual gross emissions are around 80 Mt CO2e. Excluding the sediment policy, the freshwater package is still estimated to present impressive reductions, on the order of four million tonnes of CO2e by 2050, the papers note. (Source: Newsroom NZ, June, 2020)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Aforestation. Reforestation,  Soil Carbon,  Carbon Sink,  Carbon Emissions,  


    Endesa SA Recognized for Cutting Carbon Footprint (Int'l, Report)
    Endesa SA
    Date: 2020-06-05
    In Madrid, the Spanish utility Endesa reports it is the only company in the Spanish energy sector to be awarded the Spanish Ministry for Ecological Transition's Climate Change Office's "Calculate+Reduce+Compensate" triple seal for registering its Carbon Footprint for or two consecutive years.

    Endesa was recognized for its commitment and effort in calculating its carbon footprint and compensating for it through the 'Endesa Forest' initiative for the restoration of forests in degraded or burned areas.

    The Ministry's Carbon Footprint Register is compiled by the Ministry for Ecological Transition, through the Spanish Climate Change Office (OECC). Companies can register voluntarily, and the register consists of three sections: carbon footprint and commitments to reducing greenhouse gas emissions; CO2 absorption projects; and carbon footprint compensation. The objective of this register is to contribute to the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, to increase absorption by carbon sinks in the Spanish national territory and thus to facilitate compliance with international commitments assumed by Spain relating to climate change.

    Endesa has cut its CO2 emissions 66 pct since 2005 and aims for a 70 pct cut by 2030 compared to 2017 emissions levels. (Source: Endesa SA , 3 June, 2020) Contact: Endesa SA, www.endesasa.com; Spanish Climate Change Office, www.ctc-n.org/about-ctcn/national-designated-entities/spanish-climate-change-office-ministerio-de-agricultura

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Endesa,  Carbon Emissions,  Carbon Footprint,  


    Forest Service Details State-by-State Carbon Emissions (Ind. Report)
    USDA Forest Service
    Date: 2020-05-04
    USDA Forest Service reports the release of its Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Removals from Forest Land, Woodlands, and Urban Trees in the United States, 1990-2018 report, a state-by-state overview of carbon emissions and related trends and details on deforestation and reforestation across the 49 continental states. Estimates of carbon movement from the atmosphere into living trees, dead wood, and soil as well as state-by-state estimates of emissions from forest fires is included.

    The Forest Service scientists quantified the contribution of forests, harvested wood products, and urban trees to carbon capture and storage. They found that, collectively, these natural systems account for more than 95 pct of Earth's terrestrial carbon sink. The atmospheric carbon absorbed by forests, harvested wood, and urban trees is equal to more than 11 pct of the total greenhouse gas emissions in the United States each year between 1990 and 2018.

    Download the Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Removals from Forest Land, Woodlands, and Urban Trees in the United States, 1990-2018 report HERE. (Source: USDA Forest Service, April, 2020) Contact: U.S. Forest Service, www.fs.usda.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News CCS,  USDA Forest Service,  Carbon Emissions,  


    Tropical Forests Losing Ability to Absorb Carbon (Study Attached)
    Carbon Sink
    Date: 2020-03-06
    The recently released attached study notes the Amazon and other tropical forests losing their "carbon sink" capabilities and could turn into a source of CO2 in atmosphere by next decade. owing to the damage caused by loggers and farming interests and the impacts of the climate crisis. In that event, the impact of climate change is likely to become much more severe and the world will have to cut its carbon emissions even faster than presently outlined under the Paris Climate Agreement.

    The study, published on Wednesday in the journal Nature, tracked 300,000 trees over 30 years, providing the first large-scale evidence of the decline in carbon uptake by the world's tropical forests. The researchers combined data from two large research networks of forest observations in Africa and the Amazon, as well as years spent traveling to remote field sites

    Access the Asynchronous Carbon Sink Saturation in African and Amazonian Tropical Forests study HERE. (Source: Nature, Mar. 2020)

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


    Stop Tropical Forest Loss or Paris Accord Impossible (Report Attached)
    Wildlife Conservation Society
    Date: 2020-02-26
    The Washington, DC-based Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) recently published a study in the journal Science Advances suggesting intact tropical forest loss from 2000 to 2013 will result in over 626 pct more long-term carbon emissions through 2050 than previously thought. The researchers arrived at this upward revision by adding up emissions that would have been removed from the air if tropical forest remained intact, from selective logging, defaunation, and carbon stock degradation at forest edges that had been overlooked in previous studies.

    Study co-author Tom Evans said that forest conservation was recognized as critical for mitigation and adaptation to climate change in the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement (COP15). However, despite that initial commitment, he noted that not enough attention has been given since to protection of intact forests for climate change mitigation.

    Dense intact tropical forests serve as vital carbon sinks, removing CO2 from the atmosphere as their carbon-hungry plants and trees continue to put on growth. And they serve an out-sized role in sequestration -- while the WCS study found only 20 pct of the world's tropical forests can be considered "intact", these forests store 40 pct of above-ground carbon found in tropical forests. A 2011 study observed that intact tropical forests remove an estimated 1 billion metric tpy of CO2 from the atmosphere.

    Access the Wildlife Conservation Society study HERE. (Source: Wildlife Conservation Society, The Rising, 22 Feb., 2020)Contact: Wildlife Conservation Society, (718) 220-5100 www.wcs.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News COP15,  Carbon Sink,  Climate Change,  Deforestation,  Carbon Emissions,  


    Blue Carbon For Our Planet Act on Capitol Hill (Reg. & Leg.)
    Blue Carbon
    Date: 2020-01-15
    U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) reports the Blue Carbon For Our Planet Act has been sent to the U.S. House Natural Resources; Science, Space, and Technology and the House Administration Committees. If enacted, the Act would create an Interagency Working Group on Coastal Blue Carbon and a national map of coastal blue carbon ecosystems and their sequestration potential, study the effects of environmental stressors on rates of carbon sequestration, improve protections for existing coastal blue carbon ecosystems and restore degraded ecosystems.

    Blue Carbon is the carbon stored in coastal ecosystems of mangroves, tidal marshes and sea grass meadows contain large stores of carbon deposited by vegetation and various natural processes over centuries. These ecosystems sequester and store more carbon per unit area than terrestrial forests. (Source: Florida Daily, IUCN Global Marine and Polar Programme, 13 Jan., 2019) Contact: The Blue Carbon Initiative, www.thebluecarboninitiative.org

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


    NRDC Questions EU Biomass Power Generation Subsidies (Int'l.)
    National Resources Defense Council
    Date: 2019-11-13
    Burnout: EU Clean Energy Subsidies Lead to Forest Destruction, a new report from the not-for-profit National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) highlights the environmental impact of the practice of burning biomass as fuel.

    For the purpose of allocating energy subsidies, the EU defines biomass as a clean energy source; however, the process of burning wood for electric power production both releases high levels of carbon emissions and contributes to the destruction of forest ecosystems. As forests act as a "carbon sink", absorbing CO2 which would otherwise be released into the atmosphere.

    The report, which is based on research provided by economic policy consultancy Trinomics, covers biomass subsidies in 15 EU Member States between 2105 and 2018. Overall in 2017, the 15 Member States assessed for the report spent a total of €6.6 billion in direct subsidies for energy production using biomass. The report identifies Denmark as the highest subsidiser of biomass energy per capita followed by the UK and Germany. their renewable energy subsidies on biomass production.

    According to the Burnout: EU Clean Energy Subsidies Lead to Forest Destruction report, "Burning trees for electricity is not renewable and not a viable climate solution. Critically, no EU Member State has formally ruled out burning forest biomass for electricity in the future. That can and should change before we (NRDC) publish our next assessment. In the coming years, we hope and expect that in EU countries where massive biomass industry subsidies have become entrenched, policymakers will redirect this financial support toward genuinely zero-emitting and renewable energy sources like solar and wind. Countries considering new policies and incentives to replace aging fossil fuel-based energy infrastructure, both inside and outside the European Union, must rule out incentives for burning forest biomass instead of or alongside coal." (Source: NRDC, Gov. Europa, 12 Nov., 2019) Contact: NRDC, Kit Kennedy, Snr. Dir. Climate and Clean Energy Programme, 212.727.2700, nrdcinfo@nrdc.org, www.nrdc.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News National Resources Defense Council ,  NRDC,  Biomass,  Woody Biomass,  


    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,  

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