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States, Cities Coalition Tackle Trump's ACE Rule (Ind. Report)
Trump.Obama Clean Power Plan
Date: 2019-08-14
Reuters is reporting New York and California, along with 20 other states and seven cities on Tuesday sued to challenge the Trump administration EPA's replacement of the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan.

The suit claims the Trump Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule will prolong the country's reliance on coal power, hinder states that pursue cleaner electricity generation, will not curb rising power plant carbon emissions and will prolong the operation of dirtier coal plants. (Source: HPMG News, Various Media, Reuters 13 Aug., 2019)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Affordable Clean Energy ruke,  ACE Rule,  Carbon Emissions,  Climate Change,  Trump,  Obama Clean Power Plan,  


Helsinki Sustainability Programme Addresses Climate Change Concerns (Int'l.)
City of Helsinki
Date: 2019-08-14
In Finland, according to a 2018 City of Helsinki survey, two thirds of the city's 1,292 million residents identified the climate crisis as their major concern when thinking about the future of the city. In response, Helsinki has launched Think Sustainably, the world's first online service that makes sustainable choices of retails, services, hotels and others as easy as using an app.

Services, hotels and others filtered through the online programme are benchmarked against criteria developed by the City of Helsinki in collaboration with the independent think tank Demos Helsinki, local interest groups and sustainability experts. The service also includes a route planner feature that identifies emission-free transportation options in the city. The route planner provides CO2 emissions in grams per person per trip.

Currently gathering feedback from users, the Think Sustainably service is publicly available with plans to roll the programme out further and review its impact in 2020.

The process of developing the Think Sustainably service included researching the most significant factors of ecological sustainability related to different service categories. These dealt mostly with greenhouse emissions caused by energy production, the impacts of mobility and food, waste management, factors related to circular economy, protecting biodiversity, accessibility, and employment and preventing discrimination.

The European Commission (EC) tagged Helsinki the most innovative region in the EU. It is also the first European city and, the second globally -- after New York -- to voluntarily report the implementation of its Sustainable Development Goals to the UN. (Source: City of Helsinki, PR, CISION, Yahoo Finance, Aug., 2019)Contact: Helsinki Think Sustainably , www.myhelsinki.fi/en/think-sustainably; Helsinki Marketing, Laura Aalto, CEO, +358 40 507 9660 , laura.aalto@hel.fi, www.hel.fi; Carbon Neutral Helsinki Initiative, Kaisa-Reeta Koskinen, Director, https://carbonneutralcities.org/cities/helsinki

More Low-Carbon Energy News City of Helsinki,  Climate Change,  


Municipality of Waterloo Attacks GHG Emissions (Ind. Report)
Waterloo
Date: 2019-08-12
In Ontario, the Regional Municipality of Waterloo reports it is aiming to join other regional centers -- the cities of Guelph and Markham -- in reaching Net Zero Carbon by 2050. To that end, in 2013 Waterloo developed Climate Action WR, a Climate Action Plan aimed at cutting the municipality's GHG emissions by 6 pct from 2010 levels by 2020 and 80 pct by 2050.

Waterloo's 2015 emissions breakdown identified the transportation sector is the largest emitter of CO2 at 49 pct, followed by industrial, commercial, and institutional work places at 27 pct, residences at 18 pct, agriculture emitted 5 pct and waste management picked up the remaining 1 pct.

Between 2010 and 2015 the Climate Action WR plan spearheaded 5.2 pct reduction in GHG emissions, the equivalent of 235,935 tonnes of CO2 emissions or 58,000 cars removed from the roads.

Th meet its transportation-related GHG reduction goals, Waterloo has instituted a community bike and car share program, a light rail electric transit system and reduced bus traffic in the city. The municipality also established "green" building and energy efficiency standards, retrifited street lights to LED which are expected to reduce GHG emissions by 920 tpy. (Source: Municipality of Waterloo, Alternatives Journal, 3 Aug., 2019) Contact: Sustainable Waterloo Region, Tova Davidson,Executive Director, Samantha Tremmel, Acting Climate Action Manager, (519) 603-2223, www.sustainablewaterlooregion.ca

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


Land is Part of the Climate Solution -- IPCC Report (Ind. Report)
IPCC,Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
Date: 2019-08-12
According to the attached Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, "land is already under growing human pressure and climate change is adding to these pressures." At the same time, keeping global warming to well below 2 degrees C can be achieved only by reducing greenhouse gas emissions from all sectors including land and food, the IPCC report notes.

The report will be a key scientific input into forthcoming climate and environment negotiations, such as the Conference of the Parties of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (COP14) in New Delhi, India in September and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference (COP25) in Santiago, Chile, in December.

The report notes that better land management can contribute to tackling climate change, but is not the only solution. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions from all sectors is essential if global warming is to be kept to well below 2 degrees C, if not 1.5 degrees C.

The IPCC assessments provide all levels of government with scientific information that can be used to develop climate policies and in international negotiations to tackle climate change.

The IPCC, the world body for assessing the state of scientific knowledge related to climate change, its impacts and potential future risks and possible response options.

Download the UN IPCC Land is Part of the Climate Solution report HERE. (Source: UN IPCC, 8 Aug., 2019) Contact: IPCC, www.ipcc.ch

More Low-Carbon Energy News IPCC,  Climate Change,  Global Waming,  Carbon Emissions,  


Notable Data, Facts and Statistics
IPCC
Date: 2019-08-09
According to the IPCC, on average, the global temperature has already risen about 1 degree Celsius above pre-industrial levels. This year -- 2019 -- is on track to be the third-hottest on record globally, according to Climate Central. 2018 was the fourth warmest, behind 2016 (the warmest), 2015, and 2017.

Last year was also the hottest year on record for the world's oceans. Alarmingly, the air temperature over land is rising twice as fast as the global average, and has already risen more than 1.5 degrees Celsius, according to the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). (Source: IPCC, Aug., 2019) Contact: IPCC, www.ipcc.ch

More Low-Carbon Energy News IPCC,  Climate Change,  Global Waming,  


Singaporeans Want Taxes to Fund Climate Change Fight (Int'l)
Carbon Emissions, Climate Change
Date: 2019-08-09
In Singapore, a recent Mediacorp survey of about 1,000 Singaporeans has found just over half of the respondents called for the use of current and future taxes to fund initiatives to tackle climate change. Forty-seven per cent of respondents said the Government should also use the national reserve funds in the climate change fight.

Of the total, fully 96 pct said government should do more to combat climate change. To that end, the Government announced plans to a establish a new office and increase its budget to strengthen it's climate science efforts. (Source: Singapore Independent, CAN, 8 Aug., 2019)

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


EIB Loans to Fund 21 Spanish Wind Farms (Int'l., Funding)
European Investment Bank
Date: 2019-08-09
The European Investment Bank (EIB) reports it will provide €385 million in loan funding for Alfanar Group's construction of 21 wind farms totaling 547 MW in Andalusia, Asturias, Castilla-La Mancha, Castilla Leon, Galicia and Navarra in Spain.

The EIB, the world's first and largest issuer of green bonds, is the long-term lending institution of the European Union owned by its 28 Member States. The EIB aims to dedicate at least 25 pct of its investments to climate change mitigation and adaptation, supporting low-carbon growth with climate resilience. In 2018, and for the ninth consecutive year, the EIB exceeded its climate finance target, providing €16.2 billion to promote climate action. (Source: European Commission, PR, 8 Aug., 2019) Contact: European Commission, www.eceuropa.eu

More Low-Carbon Energy News European Investment Bank ,  Wind,  


Pakistani Bank Touts Afforestation, Climate Change Effort (Int'l)
Khushhali Microfinance Bank
Date: 2019-08-07
In Islamabad, the Khushhali Microfinance Bank (KMBL) reports it is partnering with Punjab Forest Departmenth to plant and maintain 6,000 trees in Changa Manga area near Lahore. The afforestation initiative is intended to help maintain biodiversity and ecological balances and address climate change, according to a KMBL statement.

KMBL president Ghalib Nishtar said the bank's small reforestation project aims to take a leading role in fighting climate change and embracing a greener future. The KMBL is "Green Office Certified" by WWF-Pakistan in recognition of its efforts to implement environmentally sustainable practices within the Bank. (Source: Khushhali Microfinance Bank, The International News, 8 Aug., 2019)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  Aforestation,  Reforeratation,  


Pacific Forum Declares Region Climate Crisis (Int'l. Report)
Climate Change
Date: 2019-08-07
Last week in Fiji, Pacific nation leaders meeting at the Pacific Islands Development Forum declared a regional "climate crisis" and expressed "grave" concerns about the impacts the climate crisis will have on the Pacific region.

In the declaration, the Pacific Islands Development Forum called on Pacific region governments of countries with high carbon emissions -- including coal mining Australia -- to immediately prohibit any new coal mining projects, phase out all existing production over the next 10 years, and stop hindering efforts to control climate change. The declaration also called for the Forum's 14-member states to immediately end subsidies on fossil fuel production and affirmed "that climate change poses the single greatest threat to the human rights and security of present and future generations of Pacific Island peoples".

In keeping with the Forum's declaration, Fiji and the Marshall Islands announced they would revise their Paris Climate Accord nationally determined contributions commitments. (Source: Various Media, Radio NZ, 31 July, 2019)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  


Notable Quotes from the Land Down Under
Climate Change
Date: 2019-08-07
"We believe we will meet our Paris targets and we are very firm about that. Australia always meets its international targets.

"We are a good international player, not every international country does meet its targets. Some of them fail very badly or don't take the environment seriously. We do take the environment seriously and we do believe that we have to listen very carefully on climate change [and] Pacific needs.

"Pacific island countries feel the impacts of climate change more than other countries do and the issues are real, the mitigation issues are real, the adaptation issues are real, and Australia very much wants to partner and work on those issues." -- Alex Hawke, Australia Minister for International Development and the Pacific. Under the Paris Agreement, Australia is committed to cutting emissions per capita by 50 pct by 2030. (Source: Australia Minister for International Development and the Pacific, RNZ, 6 Aug., 2019)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  


Iran, FAO Workshop Focuses on Climate Change Action (Int'l)
Climate Change
Date: 2019-08-07
In Tehran, the Iranian government and the UN Food and Agricultural Organization are reporting the conclusion of a joint workshop to help strengthen the country's national capacity to access Green Climate Fund for climate change adaptation and mitigation actions.

Participating experts and relevant stakeholders discussed and defined necessary strategic investment criteria for prioritizing climate investments and a strategy to ensure a collective view of climate change adaptation and mitigation efforts success.

In their meetings, the FAO emphasized the importance of climate-smart agriculture, sustainable forest and other natural resources management, and collaboration with national and international partners to successfully mitigate climate change threats. (Source: Department of Environment of the Islamic Republic of Iran, PR, Tasnim, 6 Aug., 2019) Contact: UN Food & Agriculture Organization, www.fao.org/home/en; Department of Environment of the Islamic Republic of Iran, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Department_of_Environment_(Iran)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change Mitigation,  Climate Change Adaptation,  


Climate-specific Tech Packages Help Cut Ag GHG Emissions (Int'l)
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Date: 2019-08-07
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), in cooperation with the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reports it has identified ways to reduce agricultural GHG emissions under various climate conditions using isotopic techniques.

When farmers apply fertilizer to their crops, plants convert the fertilizer into the nutrients the plants need to flourish. Some of the by-products related to these processes are released as GHGs -- nitrous oxide (N2O), carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) -- and the overuse of fertilizer is leading to the release of excessive amounts of GHGs. According to the FAO, agriculture, forestry and other land use make up close to a quarter of GHGs, and the use of synthetic fertilizers accounts for 12 pct of total agriculture GHG emissions.

These gases trap heat in the atmosphere, contributing to global warming and thereby altering the conditions under which food crops grow, affecting not only crop yields, but also food quality and food security. The release of N2O is particularly worrying because it's 300 times more powerful than CO2 in trapping heat, and 16 times more powerful than CH4 and can therefore greatly contribute to climate change mitigation strategies.

Nuclear techniques offer substantial advantages over conventional techniques for measuring GHG emissions. By adding nitrogen fertilizers labelled with stable isotope nitrogen-15 as a tracer, scientists can track the isotopes and determine how effectively the crops are taking up the fertilizer. The isotope is also used to quantify the amount of nitrogen that crops can acquire from the atmosphere through biological nitrogen fixation process.

The carbon-13 stable isotope technique, using the natural abundance of carbon-13 in the environment, allows researchers to evaluate soil quality and sources of carbon sequestered in the soil. This helps identify how various combinations of crop rotation, tillage and ground cover can enhance productivity and improve the efficiency with which increasingly scarce resources, such as water and chemical nutrients, are used. Carbon-13 is tracked to determine the movement and origin of carbon dioxide and methane. (Source: International Atomic Energy Agency, UN Food and Agriculture Organization, 6 Aug., 2019) Contact: UN Food & Agriculture Organization, www.fao.org; International Atomic Energy Agency, www.iaea.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News GHG,  Greenhouse Gas Emissions,  ,  


Ethiopia Reports Record Reforestation Success (Int'l Report)
Reforestation,Ethiopia
Date: 2019-08-05
In Ethiopia, the Gulele Botanical Garden in Addis Ababa, reports more than 350 million trees were planted at roughy 1,000 sites acress the country in one day as part of a reforestation effort to counter the effects of deforestation and climate change. The effort easily surpassed its nationwide 200 million tree goal.

The UN estimates Ethiopia's forest coverage declined to a low of just 4 per cent in the 2000s. Global potential tree coverage stands at 4.4 billion hectares of canopy under the current climate. (Source: UN Modern Diplomacy, 4 Aug., 2019)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  Deforestation,  Reforestation,  


Community Responds to Climate Ready Miami Strategy (Ind Report)
Miami Office of Resilience and Sustainability
Date: 2019-08-05
In the Sunshine State, the City of Miami Resilience and Sustainability Department is reporting the launch of the Climate Ready Miami strategy, a multi-year plan to address the risks of climate change, including flooding, storms, health and rising temperatures. Following a series of public meetings, the plan is expected to be released this fall.

The public meetings are meant to educate residents and gather information the community's climate change related concerns which will be considered in determining the strategy's programs and funding priorities.

In its initial meetings, a desire for more community education about climate change impacts and the role citizens can play in dealing with those impacts, were among the most often expressed concerns. The next seven meetings will be held over the next two months, supported with a grant from the Funders Network for Smart Growth and the Miami Foundation.

This past May, the cities of Miami and Miami Beach and Miami-Dade County, in partnership with The Miami Foundation and 100 Resilient Cities, released Resilient305, a regional plan with more than 50 actions covering environment, infrastructure and economic prosperity. Along with Climate Ready Miami, that will give the region a path for protecting citizens from the threats of climate change, a responsibility which the Trump administration has to date seemingly downplayed and ignored. (Source: City of Miami, Various Media, Utility Dive, 1 Aug., 2019) Contact: City of Miami Office of Resilience and Sustainability, Alissa Farina, Programs Manager, www.miamigov.com/Government/Departments.../Resilience-and-Sustainability, www.miamidade.gov/planning/resilience.asp

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


Carleton Scores Building Energy Efficiency R&D Funding (Funding)
Carlton University
Date: 2019-08-02
In Ottawa, the Hon. Catherine McKenna, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change has awarded $5.1M in funding to Carlton University's Building Performance Research Centre (CU-CABER) and Prof. Cynthia Cruickshank's building energy efficiency work. The Minister also awarded $510,000 for Prof. Burak Gunay's Centre for Advanced Building Envelope Research project related to data analytics and energy performance metrics.

Cynthia Cruickshank, Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and Director of the Solar Energy Systems Lab will lead the CU-CABER project to develop and evaluate new building envelope technologies. The six-year project has $3 million support from Natural Resources Canada's Energy Innovation Program and $2.1 million from the Ontario Research Fund.

Prof. Burak Gunay is working to develop an open source software platform that will help building managers identify energy efficiency issues. Gunay and his team received $510,000 through Natural Resources Canada's Green Infrastructure Fund for his Next Generation: Actionable Building Energy Performance Metrics, Data Analytics and Visualization research effort. The researchers are partnering with CopperTree Analytics, Delta Controls, and Sensible Building Science, and BentallGreenOak will develop a suite of diagnostic algorithms and methods to help facility managers pinpoint problems, and solve them. (Source: Carlton University, July, 2019)Contact: Carlton University Building Performance Research Centre, 613-520-7838, vpri@carleton.ca, www.carleton.ca/bprc

More Low-Carbon Energy News Building Energy Efficiency,  ,  


Maine Enacts Sweeping Renewable Energy Mandates (Ind. Report)
Heartland Institute
Date: 2019-08-02
The Heartland Institute is reporting Maine State Gov. Janet Mills has signed into law several energy measures as part of her commitment to fight "purported" human-caused climate change by reducing fossil fuel use.

Among the slate of bills Mills signed is one requiring Maine's electric power providers, who are currently required to obtain 40 pct of their electricity from renewable sources, to provide 80 pct from such sources by 2030 and 100 pct by 2050. Presently, Maine has the 11th highest average electricity cost in the U.S..

Another climate-related bill Mills signed establishes a Maine Climate Council charged with developing plans to reduce the state's greenhouse gas emissions by 45 pct by 2030 and 80 pct by 2050. Mills also signed legislation creating new incentives to install energy efficient heating systems and to increase the number and size of solar power projects in the state.

A study by the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago shows seven years after a state imposes a renewable energy mandate (REM) a 1.8 pct increase in renewable energy generation results in an 11 pct increase in electricity prices, and after 12 years a 4.2 pct increase in renewable power produces a 17 pct rise in the cost of electricity. The link between REMs and higher prices is confirmed by U.S. Energy Information Administration data showing electric power prices in the 29 states with REMs are 26 pct higher than in states without REMs.

(Source: Heartland Institute, 1 May, 2019) Contact: Gov. Janet Mills (D-ME): www.maine.gov/governor/mills/home, www.maine.gov/governor/mills/contact; Heartland Institute, www.heartland.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Heartland Institute,  Renewable Energy,  Climate Change,  


Maine Enacts Climate Council, Renewable Energy Mandate (Ind. Report)
Heartland Institute
Date: 2019-08-02
The Heartland Institute is reporting Maine State Gov. Janet Mills (D) has signed into law several energy measures as part of her commitment to fight "purported" human-caused climate change by reducing fossil fuel use.

One of the bills Mills signed into law establishes a Maine Climate Council charged with developing plans to reduce the state's greenhouse gas emissions by 45 pct by 2030 and 80 pct by 2050. Mills also signed legislation creating new energy efficiency incentives and a stiffer state renewable enrghy standard for utilities and power generators. (Source: Heartland Institute, 1 May, 2019) Contact: Gov. Janet Mills (D-ME): www.maine.gov/governor/mills/home, www.maine.gov/governor/mills/contact; Heartland Institute, www.heartland.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Heartland Institute,  Climate Change,  Greenhouse Gas Emissions,  Maine Climate Change,  


UK PM Lobbied on Net-Zero Emissions (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
Aldersgate Group
Date: 2019-08-02
In London, only two weeks after moving into No.10 Downing Street, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is being lobbied by a green policy manifesto from the Aldersgate Group. The manifesto -- Building a Competitive, Net-Zero Emissions and Climate-Ready Economy -- outlines various measures Aldergate Group members believe will accelerate the UK's decarbonisation progress while boosting environmental protections and growing the economy.

The Aldersgate Group's recommendations include: binding energy efficiency targets; fiscal incentives for energy efficient buildings; tightening of emission standards for road transport; and an outline of the powers and limitations of the nation's new post-Brexit watchdog for green standards, and others.

Earlier this week, Johnson pledged to place climate change at the "absolute core" of his Government's actions during his first appearance in the House of Commons as Prime Minister.

The Aldersgate Group currently represents more than 50 organisations from across the private, public and non-profit spaces, including Orsted, Siemens, Willmott Dixon and Cemex.

Download the Aldersgate Building a Competitive, Net-Zero Emissions and Climate-Ready Economy manifest HERE. (Source: Aldersgate Group, edie newsroom, 1 August 2019) Contact: Aldersgate Group, Nick Molho, Exec. Dir., info@aldersgategroup.org.uk, +44 (0) 20 7841 8966, www.aldersgategroup.org.uk

More Low-Carbon Energy News Aldersgate Group,  Net-Zero Emissions,  Climate Change,  Boris Johnson,  


Reno Approves Sustainability, Climate Action Plan (Ind. Report)
Reno Nevada
Date: 2019-08-02
On Wednesday, the Reno Nevada City Council unanimously signed off on a comprehensive plan outlining concrete goals and steps steps toward making the city more resistant to carbon emissions and climate change.

The plan notes that over the last half-century, the city's average annual temperature has increased nearly seven degrees. The report expects climate change to worsen wildfires, have a negative affect on the snow-pack -- the region's primary source of, air pollution, public health and the standard of living in general. In addressing those and related issues, the report looks at mitigation and adaptation, carbon emission reductions and climate resilience with the aim of progressively reducing emissions by 28 pct by 2025, 40 pct by 2030 and 80 pct by 2050.

The report also calls for a reduction in city fleet emissions, encourages electric vehicles, and encourages more walkable neighborhoods, improved sustainability, solid waste reductions and watershed restoration.

Download Reno's Climate Action Plan HERE. (Source: City of Reno, Nevada Independent, 1 Aug., 2019)


ArcelorMittal Lauded for Carbon Innovations (Int'l Report)
ArcelorMittal
Date: 2019-08-02
Belgium-based iron ore, metallurgical coal and steel maker ArcelorMittal reports Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) has ranked ArcelorMittal first in low-carbon innovations, transition opportunities, data transparency, renewable energy use, and board and executive climate management. The steel and mining company, which ranked fifth in the CDP's 2016 report, was rated second overall in the latest report.

The new CDP report is based on detailed analysis across a range of carbon and transitional indicators that could have a significant impact on company performance.

ArcelorMittal recently announced its ambition to cut CO2 emissions globally and be carbon-neutral in Europe by 2050. The company is currently aiming for an 8 pct carbon footprint reduction by 2020. (Source: ArcelorMittal, Noria News, Reliable Plant, July, 2019) Contact: ArcelorMittal, Alan Knight, Corporate Responsibility GM, +32 9 347 31 11, www.corporate.arcelormittal.com; CDP, Lance Pierce, Pres. North America, (212) 378 2086, info.northamerica@cdp.net, www.cdp.net

More Low-Carbon Energy News ArcelorMittal,  Carbon Footprint,  CDP,  Climate Change,  Carbon Emissions,  


Mass. House OKs Community Climate Resiliency Funding (Funding)
Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs
Date: 2019-07-31
In Boston, the Massachusetts House of Representatives reports the unanimous passage of legislation investing $1.3 billion to help Bay State communities fund infrastructure projects aimed at fighting climate change and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The legislation establishes a $1 billion, 10-year grant "GreenWorks" program to fund clean energy, energy efficiency, and climate change resiliency measures that cut greenhouse gas emissions, fortify infrastructure and reduce municipal costs. The legislation also invests $325 million in other municipal green projects including:

  • $100 million for investments in municipal microgrid energy systems;
  • $125 million for electric vehicles in municipal or regional transit authority fleets;
  • $20 million for the hiring of sustainability coordinators to develop and manage municipal projects resulting for the GreenWorks program;
  • $50 million to establish the Green Resiliency Fund to offer low-interest loans for municipalities when pursuing GreenWorks projects; and
  • $30 million for the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources' MOR-EV electric vehicle rebate program.

    The Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs will administer the program, which is funded through the issuance of bonds. The bill was forwarded to the Senate for approval. (Source: Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, Wicked Local Beverly, 29 July, 2019) Contact: Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, www.mass.gov/orgs/executive-office-of-energy-and-environmental-affairs

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  Mass GreenWorks,  


  • Canadians Want Gov. Climate Change Action, says Poll (Ind. Report)
    iPol
    Date: 2019-07-31
    Over 60 pct of Canadians want the government to address climate change with action even if the economy suffers, according to a Mainstreet poll 2,651 Canadians conducted for iPolitics.

    The 61 pct was higher in Quebec at 76.8 per cent, 67.3 pct in Atlantic Canada and 62 pct in British Columbia. In oil-soaked Alberta only 36.5 pct agreed.

    Additionally, roughly 47 pct of respondents said a carbon tax was not helpful to the economy and 85 pct agreed that private companies should have to pay to pollute. Also, just under 68 pct of respondents agreed there is a "collective moral duty to future generations to not destroy the environment further, even if it means paying more taxes in the short term." (Source: iPolitics, 30 July, 2019)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  


    Climate Change-Wildfires Worry Californians (Ind. Report)
    Public Policy Institute of California
    Date: 2019-07-31
    A recent survey from the not-for-profit, non-partisan Public Policy Institute of California suggests 63 pct of Californians understand that global warming played a part in the recent catastrophic wildfires tearing through the state.

    In the survey, 71 pct are very worried about a future of more severe wildfires as a consequence of climate change and think the state's future is at risk due to climate change. Accordingly, Californians generally favor the state's work to curb greenhouse gas pollution and support state targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent below 1990 levels by the year 2030. (Source: Public Policy Institute of California, July, 20190 Contact: Public Policy Institute of California, 415-291-4400, www.ppic.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Public Policy Institute of California,  Climate Change,  


    Notable Quote on Climate Change
    American Action Forum
    Date: 2019-07-31
    "Truly effective climate policy needs to go beyond a U.S.-centric approach and deliver solutions that are viable even in countries where residents have only a fraction of the wealth of a typical American. So long as the costs of mitigating climate change remain high, garnering international cooperation to address the global problem will remain a herculean effort.

    Policymakers' efforts would be better served by directly focusing on the problem: how to create a market environment that stimulates technological innovation for deploying cost-effective solutions to climate change. Only by bringing the cost of carbon mitigation down through innovation will global it become possible to forge a binding global agreement that successfully mitigates climate change." -- Philip Rossetti, Energy Policy Dir., American Action Forum, www.americanactionforum.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News American Action Forum,  Climate Change,  


    Faibanks Borough Establishing Climate Task Force (Ind. Report)
    Fairbanks Climate Action Coalition
    Date: 2019-07-29
    In Alsaska, the Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly reports passage of Resolution 2019-29 establishing a Climate Change Task Force to develop a plan to address the impacts of climate change.

    The Climate Change Task Force will look at how community can adapt to the climate change impacts that are already happening -- wildfires,ice storms and other winter weather aberrations -- are going to be getting worse, as well as looking at reducing GHG emissions and climate change mitigation efforts . The resolution also calls for a joint borough and community climate change task force and an initial public meeting by November 15, 2019. (Source: Fairbanks Climate Action Coalition, Various Media, 27 July, 2019) Contact: Fairbanks Climate Action Coalition, Tristan Glowa, Coordinator, www.fairbanksclimateaction.org

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


    PSEG Plans Net-Zero Carbon Emissions by 2050 (Ind. Report)
    PSEG
    Date: 2019-07-26
    In the Garden State, Newark-based Public Service Enterprise Group Incorporated (PSEG), which claims one of the lowest carbon emissions rates among the largest U.S. power producers, reports it expects to cut its power fleet's carbon emissions by 80 pct by 2046, from 2005 levels, and attain net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, assuming advances in technology and public policy. PSEG also notes it has no plans to build or acquire new fossil-fueled power plants and is committed to reporting annually on sustainability and climate using the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) framework, starting in 2020.

    PSEG claims a long history of addressing climate change as an embedded part of its business and culture including:

  • PSEG's emission rate in 2017 was 461 lb/MWh, below the International Energy Agency's (IEA) "Beyond 2C Scenario" 2030 projected CO2 emission rate for the U.S. electric sector of 510 lb/MWh. PSEG's projected emission rate upon the completion of our coal exit strategy will be 334 lb/MWh.

  • PSEG's Salem and Hope Creek nuclear generating plants supply more than 90 pct of the Garden State's emissions-free power.

  • By 2021, PSEG will have retired or exited through sales more than 2,400 MW of coal-fired generation, thus nearing completion of its coal exit strategy. In June 2019, PSEG announced an agreement to sell its interest in the Keystone and Conemaugh coal plants in western Pennsylvania.

  • PSE&G energy efficiency programs are currently saving participants $242 million a year in energy costs and avoided emissions equal to removing 37,000 cars from the road for one year.

  • Looking forward, PSE&G's $2.5 billion Clean Energy Future investment proposal for 22 energy efficiency programs would allow participating customers to save $5.9 billion on their bills by helping them use less energy and reduce carbon emissions.

  • PSEG is also a leading developer of solar energy resources having invested approximately $1.8 billion in 674 MW of solar, including 262 MW in New Jersey and 412 MW in 13 other states. PSEG also supports New Jersey's efforts to develop offshore wind facilities.

    PSEG is a publicly traded diversified energy company with approximately 13,000 employees. Headquartered in with operating subsidiaries -- Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G), PSEG Power and PSEG Long Island. (Source: PSEG, PR, 25 July, 2019) Contact: PSEG, Ralph Izzo, Pres., CEO, www.corporate.pseg.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News PSEG,  Carbon Emissions ,  


  • Cement Giant Touts CO2MENT Carbon Capture Project (Ind. Report)
    LafargeHolcim,Inventys
    Date: 2019-07-26
    Worldwide cement giant LafargeHolcim reports the launch of the 4-year, 3-phase CO2MENT project at its Richmond, B.C. cement plant in Canada. The project aims is to build the world's first full-cycle solution to capture and reuse CO2 from a cement plant while also reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

    The project, which will demonstrate and evaluate Inventys' CO2 Capture System and LafargeHolcim's various carbon utilization technologies, is expected to be fully operational by the end of 2020. Subject to the pilot's success, the project will be scaled up to determine how it could be used at other LafargeHolcim plants.

    During the first phase the partners will work on purifying the cement flue gas in preparation for CO2 capture. The second phase will focus on the separation of CO2 from flue gas using a customized for cement version of Inventys' carbon capture technology at pilot scale. As part of the final phase, the captured CO2 will be prepared for reuse and support the economical assessment and demonstration of CO2 conversion technologies onsite, such as CO2 injected concrete and flyash.

    The $ 28 million (Cdn) system is expected to replace up to 50 pct of fossil fuel use with LCFs. It could also result in a 20 pct reduction of combustion emissions and divert approximately 100 000 tpy of waste from local landfills.

    The project is a partnership between Lafarge Canada, Inventys in Burnaby BC, and Total. (Source: LafargeHolcim, Lafarge Canada, World Cement, 25 July, 2019) Contact: LafargeHolcim, Rene Thibault, Region Head North America, www.lafargeholcim.com; Lafarge Canada, www.lafarge.ca/en; Inventys, (604) 456-0504, www.inventysinc.com

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


    U.S. Dem. Senators Unveil Climate Action Rebate Act (Reg. & Leg.)
    Carbon Tax
    Date: 2019-07-26
    In the nation's capitol, Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) reports he and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) will introduce the Climate Action Rebate Act -- a carbon tax -- that could generate $2.5 trillion in revenues over 10 years starting in 2020, according to a Reuters report.

    The act would rebate about 70 pct of its revenue to families with under $130,000 per year income and use the remainder for energy infrastructure, job retraining for fossil fuel workers, and low-carbon energy R&D. The bill would cut U.S. carbon emissions 55 pct by 2030 and 100 pct by 2050 compared to 2017 levels. (Source: Various Media, Reuters, Japan Times, 25 July, 2019) Contact: Senator Dianne Feinstein, www.feinstein.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/e-mail-me; Senator Ghris Coons, www.coons.senate.gov/contact

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Tax,  U.S.Carbon Tax,  Climate Change,  Carbon Emissions,  


    BHP Plans Climate Change Investment, Greener Exec. Pay Pkg. (Int'l)
    BHP Billiton,Carbon Engineering,Climate Change
    Date: 2019-07-24
    In the Land Down Under, mining giant BHP Billiton is touting a five-year plan that will see the company spend $400 million on carbon capture and storage (CCS) and other technologies and measures to reduce carbon emissions. The plan also ties the group's executives remuneration packages closer to meeting environmental targets.

    According to Group CEO Andrew Mackenzie, "For many years performance against emissions targets has been considered in BHP's executive remuneration plan. From next financial year we will clarify and strengthen this link and further reinforce the strategic importance of action to reduce emissions."

    On Dec. 8, 2017, Dr. Fiona Wild, BHP VP for Sustainability and Climate Change, noted "We have knowledge of geology, markets and economics, so there's probably something we can bring to the table here in terms of our understanding around CCS to try to push this technology down the cost curve so it can be more readily available at scale and affordable costs." (Source: BHP, Western Australian, 22 July, 2019) Contact: BHP Billiton, Dr. Fiona Wild, VP Sustainability and Climate Change, +61 3 9609 3333, www.bhpbilliton.com, www.bhp.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News BHP Billiton,  Climate Change,  


    Santa Monica Adopts $800Mn Climate Change Plan (Ind Report)
    Santa Monica
    Date: 2019-07-24
    At the end of May, the California city of Santa Monica -- pop. 94,000 +- adopted a 10-year Climate Action Plan to fight climate change that may well be the most costly and ambitious initiative of its kind for a city its size in the nation.

    The Climate Action Plan charts a detailed path for government, residents and businesses that would lead to an 80 pct reduction in carbon emissions by 2030 and full carbon neutrality by 2050 or sooner. Several of the Plan's initiatives have been in place for years, including action plans to achieve water self-sufficiency by 2023 and zero waste by 2030. The plan also calls for new initiatives that will require major shifts in the local economy, buildings and transportation and an increased reliance on renewable energy.

    The $800 million plan -- which includes $383 million worth of initiatives already taken by the City, as well as major new capital investments -- will "hopefully serve as a model for other cities," Santa Monica officials said. (Source: City of Santa Monica, July, 2019) Contact: City of Santa Monica, Dean Kubani, Chief Environmental Officer, (310) 458-2213, www.smgov.net/departments/ose

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Santa Monica,  Climate Change,  


    Notable Quotes -- New UK PM Boris Johnson Talks Climate Change
    Climate Change
    Date: 2019-07-24
    "I can't stand this December heat, but it has nothing to do with global warming: We may all be sweating in the winter air, but remember, we humans have always put ourselves at the centre of cosmic events."

    "It is fantastic news that the world has agreed to cut pollution and help people save money, but I am sure that those global leaders were driven by a primitive fear that the present ambient warm weather is somehow caused by humanity; and that fear -- as far as I understand the science -- is equally without foundation. There may be all kinds of reasons why I was sweating at ping-pong [in December] -- but they don't include global warming."

    "As a species, we human beings have become so blind with conceit and self-love that we genuinely believe that the fate of the planet is in our hands -- when the reality is that everything, or almost everything, depends on the behaviour and caprice of the gigantic thermonuclear fireball (the sun) around which we revolve."

    "I am all for theories about climate change, and would not for a moment dispute the wisdom or good intentions of the vast majority of scientists. But I am also an empiricist; and I observe that something appears to be up with our winter weather, and to call it 'warming' is obviously to strain the language."

    "I wish I knew more about what is going on, and why. It is time to consult once again the learned astrophysicist, Piers Corbyn. Now Piers has a very good record of forecasting the weather. He has been bang on about these cold winters. Like JMW Turner and the Aztecs he thinks we should be paying more attention to the Sun. According to Piers, global temperature depends not on concentrations of CO2 but on the mood of our celestial orb." (Source: Various Media, Left Foot Forward, July, 2019)

    Editor's Note: Why do Johnson's comments sound familiar -- almost like "the Donald" Trump and former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott who will be long remembered for his comment that "The science of human-caused climate change is 'CRAP."

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  Tony Abbott,  


    28 Major Corporations Set New Level of Climate Ambition (Int'l. Report)
    UN Global Compact,Science Based Targets initiative
    Date: 2019-07-24
    In a joint press release from the United Nations Global Compact, the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) and the We Mean Business have committed themselves to more ambitious climate targets aligned with limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 degree C above pre-industrial levels and reaching net-zero emissions by no later than 2050. The joint commitment from the coalition 28 companies with a total market capitalization of $1.3 trillion heeds the most recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) which warned of catastrophic consequences should global warming exceed 1.5 degree C.

    Participating companies include: Acciona, AstraZeneca, Banka BioLoo, BT, Dalmia Cement Ltd., Eco-Steel Africa Ltd., Enel, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Iberdrola, KLP, Levi Strauss & Co., Mahindra Group, Natura &Co, Novozymes, Royal DSM, SAP, Signify, Singtel, Telefonica, Telia, Unilever, Vodafone Group PLC and Zurich Insurance, amongst others, collectively representing over one million employees from 17 sectors and more than 16 countries. (Source: UN Global Compact, PR, COMTEX, 23 July, 2019) Contact: UN Global Compact, (212) 907-1301, www.unglobalcompact.org; Science Based Targets Initiative, +44 (0) 20 3818 3916, Sarah.Savage@cdp.net, www.sciencebasedtargets.org; We Mean Business Coalition, Kristen King, (904) 608- 1745 kristen@wemeanbusinesscoalition.org www.wemeanbusinesscoaltion.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Science Based Targets initiative,  UN Global Compact,  Carbon Emissions,  Climate Change,  


    Notable Quote
    UN Global Compact
    Date: 2019-07-24
    "Climate leadership has never been more important than it is right now, and it is inspiring to see so many diverse companies and brands boldly raising their ambitions. Leading companies are already proving that 1.5 degree C- compliant climate targets are possible." -- Lise Kingo, CEO and Exec. Dir., UN Global Compact.

    More Low-Carbon Energy News UN Global Compact,  Climate Change,  


    Arctic Wildfires Release Unprecedented CO2 Emissions (Int'l.)
    Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service, World Meteorological Organization
    Date: 2019-07-22
    According to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) wildfires in the Arctic in June emitted as much CO2 as all of Sweden emits in a year. Speaking at a regular UN briefing in Geneva on July 12, WMO spokesperson Clare Nullis said "In June alone, these wildfires emitted 50 megatonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere. This is the equivalent of Sweden's annual total CO2 emissions. This is more than was released by Arctic fires in the same month between 2010 and 2018 combined."

    The Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS), which has been tracking the fires, says the latitude and intensity of the fires, as well as the length of time they have been burning, have been particularly "unusual." According to CAMS "It is unusual to see fires of this scale at such high latitudes in June. But temperatures in the Arctic have been increasing at a much faster rate than the global average, and warmer conditions encourage fires to grow and persist once they have been ignited."

    Since the beginning of June, CAMS has tracked more than 100 intense and long-lived wildfires in the Arctic Circle with the most severe in Alaska and Siberia, where some have been large enough to cover almost 100,000 football fields.

    Copernicus, the EU's Earth Observation Programme, offers information services based on satellite Earth Observation and in situ (non-space) data. The Programme is coordinated and managed by the European Commission (EC) and implemented in partnership with the EU Member States, the European Space Agency (ESA), the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT), the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF), EU Agencies and Mercator Ocean. (Source: Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service Contact: Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service, Mark Parrington, Snr. Scientist and Wildfires Expert, www.atmosphere.copernicus.eu; World Meteorological Organization, Petteri Taalas, Secretary General, +41 (0) 22 73 0811, www.wmo.int

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service,  World Meteorological Organization,  


    EU, Ethiopia Ink €36 Mn Climate Finance Deal (Int'l, Funding)
    EU,Ethiopia
    Date: 2019-07-22
    The EU is reporting a €36 million financing agreement with the Government of Ethiopia for that country's climate change budget supporting program. The program focuses on cutting forestry and industrial carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions and mitigating the impact of climate change.

    The bulk of the EU's €33 million will be channeled through the Ethiopian government with €3 million of the total used to enhance the country's measurement, reporting and verification systems, to make them complaint with Paris Climate Agreement standards. The funded projects will be administered by the Ethiopian Environment, Forest and Climate Change Commission and the Ministry of Trade and Industry in collaboration with regional states. (Source: EU News, ENA News, Walta, 22 July, 2019)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Finance news,  Climate Change Mitigation news,  Carbon Emissions news,  


    IEA Bioenergy Releases Latest Biorefinery Report (Int'l)
    IEA Bioenergy
    Date: 2019-07-22
    In Ireland, International Energy Agency (IEA) Bioenergy is reporting release of its Technical, Economic and Environmental Assessment of Biorefinery Concepts -- Developing a Practical Approach for Characterisation Report providing an overview on biorefinery assessments methods and results.

    According to the report, there are currently two main challenges related to assessing the environmental and economic components of biorefining processes -- data availability and stakeholder participation. To address these issues, IEA Bioenergy's Task 42, Biorefining in a Circular Economy, examined assessments currently underway to determine the capability of biorefineries in creating a sustainable future. Such assessments aim to highlight the potential of biorefineries to enhance the use of biomass in generating both products and energy.

    IEA Bioenergy was established in 1978 by the International Energy Agency (IEA) with the aim of improving cooperation and information exchange between countries that have national programmes in bioenergy research, development and deployment. The International Energy Agency acts as energy policy advisor to 28 EU Member Countries plus the European Commission, in their effort to ensure reliable, affordable, and clean energy. Current work focuses on climate change policies, market reform, energy technology collaboration and outreach to the rest of the world, especially major producers and consumers of energy like China, India, Russia and the OPEC countries.

    Access report details HERE. (Source: IEA Bioenergy, 20 July, 2019) Contact: IEA Bioenergy, www.ieabioenergy.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News IEA Bioenergy,  Biofuel,  ,  


    Independents Pollute Less Than Public Firms, Notre Dame Study Shows (Ind. Report)
    University of Notre Dame.
    Date: 2019-07-22
    According to new research from the University of Notre Dame. private, independent firms are less likely to pollute and incur EPA penalties than public and private equity-owned firms. The study -- Corporate governance and pollution externalities of public and private firms -- is forthcoming in the Review of Financial Studies from Sophie Shive and Margaret Forster, finance professors in Notre Dame's Mendoza College of Business. They found private, independent firms have lower carbon emissions from their operations, controlling for their size and output, than public and private equity-owned firms.

    The study offers preliminary research into how finance can help mitigate climate change and sheds light on the debate about which type of corporate structure is better for reducing the "tragedy of the commons" when each entity consumes or spoils too much of a public good and harms society, rather than coordinating to use the resource wisely. The study finds no differences between private, sponsor-backed firms and public firms, controlling for industry, time, location and a host of firm characteristics. Within public firms, it identified a negative association between emissions and mutual fund ownership and board size, suggesting that increased oversight may decrease pollution.

    Shive's research has been cited in national news outlets, including the Wall Street Journal. She has taught Introductory Finance, Investment Theory and Private Equity. A former economist at the International Monetary Fund, faculty at Ohio State University, and principal at Wanger Asset Management LLP, Forster teaches courses in investments, international finance and financial institutions. (Source: University of Notre Dame, 22 July, 2019) Contact: University of Notre Dame, Sophie Shive, 574-631-1477, sshive1@nd.edu, www.nd.edu

    More Low-Carbon Energy News University of Notre Dame,  GHGs,  Carbon Emissions,  Climate Change Mitigation,  


    Riverhead Town takes pledge to become a ‘climate-smart’ community

    Date: 2019-07-21
    The town board at its meeting Tuesday adopted a resolution taking the “climate-smart pledge,” the first step in New York State’s “Climate Smart Communities” certification program, which aims to help local governments deal with the impacts of climate change. The board approved the measure 4-0, with Councilwoman Jodi Giglio absent. By adopting the resolution, Riverhead Town becomes a registered community in the program, making a commitment to addressing the 10 areas described by the state program: • build a climate-smart community; • inventory emissions, set goals, and plan for climate action; • decrease energy use; • shift to clean, renewable energy; • use climate-smart materials management; • implement climate-smart land use; • enhance community resilience to climate change; • support a green innovation economy; • inform and inspire the public; These action areas are described in detail here. Local governments then pursue mandatory, priority and optional actions defined by the program to achieve certification by the state as bronze, silver or gold climate-smart communities. The certification is based on a point system, with different points assigned to different actions. The mandatory and priority actions are those “deemed foundational to a successful local climate action program, some of which must be completed for each certification level,” the program website states. Applicants must complete the required number of mandatory and priority actions for each level. Participating in the program does not subject the town to any regulation by the state, the website states. Certification in the program will better position the town for future grant funding, said Councilwoman Catherine Kent, who put the resolution forward at the recommendation of the town’s new Environmental Advisory Committee, which was established in November at her initiative. Kent is the town board liaison to the committee. In Suffolk County, every town except Riverhead, Southold and Shelter Island had already at least registered in the Climate Smart Communities program, according to the CSC website. East Hampton and Southampton are so far the only towns in Suffolk that have achieved a certification; both are certified at the bronze level. (Source: Riverhead Local, 21 July, 2019)


    CAT Offerings Green Building MSc Degree Program (Int'l Report)
    UK Centre for Alternative Technology
    Date: 2019-07-19
    In Powys, Wales, the Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) is offering a new building design and energy efficiency degree program to help tackle the environmental impacts of buildings and the construction industry.

    The MSc Green Building program, which starts this September and now open for applications, allows students to specialize in sustainable construction, providing a broad overview of climate change and environmental degradation, and exploring the range of effective solutions.

    As well as providing a deep understanding of sustainable design principles and sustainable materials, the course covers the selection and use of materials, energy flows, site selection and preparation phases, waste management and project management. Regulatory and legal requirements and the social, political and economic aspects of green building are also explored. (Source: Centre for Alternative Technology, Dr Adrian Watson, Head of Graduate School of the Environment, +44 (0) 1654 705950, www.cat.org.uk

    More Low-Carbon Energy News GreenBuilding,  Energy Efficiency,  


    Politicians Prodded to Address 'Killer Heat' (Opinions & Asides)
    Climate Change,Global Warming
    Date: 2019-07-19
    Killer Heat in the United States, a recently released report from the Union of Concerned Scientist predicts a lot more days of extreme heat -- so much that they're being called "killer heat" days. The study was released in part to spur action on the part of both politicians and business leaders.

    According to the report, "The United States federal government needs to continue with the (Obama) Clean Power Plan and not dismantle it, as the current (Trump) administration is attempting to do, to significantly reduce emissions from the power sector, which accounts for roughly 40 pct of the U.S. emissions footprint."

    The UCS scientists are asking the federal government to not only wean the nation off of fossil fuels, but develop plans for people to adapt to extreme heat. "The clock is ticking to reduce emissions. If nothing is done, we may have to get ready for an unrecognizably hot future" the report says.

    To make the needed deep emissions cuts, the reports recommends the U.S. implement a suite of federal and state policies, including: an economy wide price on carbon; policies to cut transportation sector emissions, including increasing fuel economy and heat-trapping emissions standards for vehicles; increased investment in low-carbon public transportation; policies to cut buildings and industrial sector emissions; policies to increase carbon storage in vegetation and soils, including through climate-friendly agricultural and forest management practices; increased investment in emissions and climate change related R&D; measures to cut methane, nitrus oxide, and other major non-CO2 heat-trapping emissions; and policies to help a rapid transition to low-carbon economies.

    Download the Killer Heat in the United States -Climate Choices and the Future of Dangerously Hot Days report HERE (Source: Union of Concerned Scientists, wusf Public Media, 18 July, 2019) Contact: Union of Concerned Scientists, Ken Kimmell, Pres., (617) 547-5552,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Union of Concerned Scientists,  Climate Change,  


    Nation's Mayors Applaud Energy Block Grant Renewal (Reg & Leg)
    U.S. Conference of Mayors
    Date: 2019-07-19
    On Wednesday in Washington, the full House Committee on Energy and Commerce approved HR 2088. The bill is aimed at renewing and re-funding the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) Program, a legislative priority of The United States Conference of Mayors (USCM). As approved, this legislation would commit $3.5 billion annually -- $17.5 billion over five years -- in formula-based grants allocated directly to cities, counties, tribal governments and states.

    The legislation, as existing law provides, continues to extend flexibility to local and state governments to invest these new resources across 14 categories of eligible projects and programs, including the development of comprehensive energy conservation and efficiency plans; conversion of street lighting to highly efficient LED lighting; installation of renewable energy technology (e.g., solar, wind, fuel cell and biomass energy) on municipal and other qualifying buildings; and weatherization of government buildings.

    Under the bill, the Department of Energy retains responsibility for implementing the program, as it did in the 2009-2010 period when the first round of EECBG funding was appropriated and provided to local and state governments. The EECBG Program, which was authorized in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 enacted by President George W. Bush, was first funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). (Source: U.S. Conference of Mayors, 18 July, 2019) Contact: U.S. Conference of Mayors, www.usmayors.org; Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program, www.energy.gov/eere/wipo/about-energy-efficiency-and-conservation-block-grant-program

    More Low-Carbon Energy News U.S. Conference of Mayors,  Energy Efficiency,  Climate Change,  


    Climate Emergency Declaration Triggers £500Mn Divestment (Int'l)
    Climate Change
    Date: 2019-07-17
    Last month in the UK, sfter declaring a "Climate Emergency" the Welsh city of Swansea's pension fund management reports it is moving £500 million of it £2 billion pension fund to Blackrock's ACS World Low Carbon Equity Tracker Fund -- a low-carbon index by the end of this month, July, 2019.

    The Swansea City and Council Pension Fund, the largest in Wales, is the latest local authority pension fund to divest from fossil fuels, with plans to reduce its exposure by up to 50 pct by 2022. The fund seeks to invest in green infrastructure projects -- renewable energy, alternative fuels and clean technology -- that both optimize returns and deliver positive environmental outcomes. (Source: Swansea City and Council Pension Fund, Pensions Expert, 16 July, 2019) Contact: Swansea City and Council Pension Fund, www.swanseapensionfund.org.uk

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  


    China's CO2 Emissions Taper Off by 2030, says Bloomberg NEF (Int'l)
    Bloomberg NEF
    Date: 2019-07-15
    According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance (NEF), Bloomberg's primary research service on energy, China's power sector carbon emissions will peak in 2027, down to 79 pct of that in 2005 by around 2030 to easily fulfill fulfilling the sector's carbon reduction commitments within the Paris Climate Agreement.

    In 2050, carbon emission intensity or energy expenditure per unit of GDP in China's power sector, will decline to 5 pct of that in 2005, the Bloomberg report says. (Source: Bloomberg, China Daily, 10 July, 2019)

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


    Ghana, World Bank Deal to Cut Deforestation, CO2 Emissions (Int'l)
    World Bank
    Date: 2019-07-15
    In Accra, the World Bank (WB) has announced an agreement with the Ghana Forestry Commission to address the role of deforestation and forest degradation on climate change. Under the agreement, the World Bank five-year Emission Reductions Payment Agreement (ERPA) will reward community efforts to reduce carbon emissions from deforestation and forest degradation. Ghana is the third country to initiate the deal.

    The Emission Reductions Payment Agreement (ERPA) with the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) carbon fund, is administered by the World Bank and unlocks unlocks performance-based payments of up to $50 million for carbon emission reductions from the forest and land use sectors.

    Under the ERPA, the FCPF carbon fund commits to making initial results-based payments for reductions of 10 million tonnes of CO2 emissions. The agreement also specifies on carbon emission baselines, price per ton of avoided CO2 emissions, and a benefit-sharing mechanism. Ghana's emission reductions programme area covers 1.2 million hectares of forest reserves and national parks.

    In Ghana, forest degradation and deforestation are driven primarily by cocoa farm expansion, coupled with logging and a recent increase in illegal mining. (Source: World Bank, Ghana News Agency, 10 July, 2019) Contact: Ghana Forestry Commission, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, CEO, +233 30 240 1210, www.fcghana.org; World Bank Group, www.worldbank.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News World Bank,  Climate Change,  Carbon Emissions,  Deforestation,  


    GHGs Rising in Abu Dhabi, says EAD Report (Int'l. Report)
    Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi
    Date: 2019-07-15
    In UAE, a recently release report from the Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD) notes that greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) have risen 36.6 pct between 2010 and 2016, an average rise of more than 6 pct per year in Abu Dhabi over the past years.

    The report notes that key greenhouse emissions resulting from human activities, such as carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O) and hydro fluorocarbons (HFCs), were driven by a surge in the demand for water and energy due to the emirate's rapid economic and population growth.

    The report projected that sustainable development strategies in the emirate will help to achieve significant reduction in emission indicators by 2030. The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment is currently collaborating with the local authorities to develop a comprehensive inventory map of GHG sources and concentrations across the UAE with the aim of identifying emission hotspots and supporting mitigation actions. (Source: Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi, MENAFN - Khaleej Times, 13 July, 2019) Contact: Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi, Sheikha Al Hosani, Exec. Dr., Environment Quality Sector, +971 2 693 4444, www.ead.ae/SitePages/home.aspx

    More Low-Carbon Energy News GHG,  Climate Change,  COs,  Greenhouse Gas Emissions,  Abu Dhabi,  


    Notable Quote -- BEIS on Energy Efficiency, Climate Change
    BEIS
    Date: 2019-07-15
    "We've always needed to get to net zero. The question has always been when, not if, We need an investment of £22/23 billion in business energy efficiency by 2030 to help deliver climate change. If we deliver that, we could wipe £6 billion off business energy costs in 2030.

    "UK emissions have already fallen by 40 pct since 1990, while the economy has grown by over 70 pct. It will get better, and we]ve accepted the challenge to act on climate change. The government can help to make it easier and simpler for UK businesses to change for example, by making renewables and electric vehicles cheaper." -- Ben Golding, Dir., UK Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS). Contact: Ben Golding, Dir, DEIS, www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-business-energy-and-industrial-strategy

    More Low-Carbon Energy News BEIS,  Energy Efficiency,  


    Schneider Electric Touting 'Rethink Energy' Initiative (Int'l.)
    Schneider Electric
    Date: 2019-07-15
    In the UK, Telford-based Schneider Electric UK his reporting the launch of its 'Rethink Energy" initiative aimed at changing business, consumer and government attitudes to energy waste and help combat climate change.

    A Schneider Electric commissioned study of 2,000 UK adults and over 600 UK businesses revealed that just 10 pct of consumers want to do more to curb their current energy use, while 74 pct believe they already do enough. 68 pct of business leaders reported their organizations wasted energy, particularly in the form of inefficient building and office space, while 43 pct of corporate CEOs said their organization had not implemented any measures aimed at tackling these inefficiencies in 2018.

    The 'Rethink Energy' initiative is focused on: the role for energy in achieving a zero-carbon economy by 2050; £1 trillion price tag -- cost or opportunity; and what will drive change in the UK's demand for energy.

    "HM Treasury recently suggested it could cost the UK around £1 trillion to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, but it's not about cost, it's about huge savings. Sustainability is a cost that pays for itself and technology and innovation will be key to meeting the energy efficiency challenge," according Mike Hughes, Zone President, Schneider Electric UK & Ireland (Source: Schneider Electric UK, PR, voltimum, 13 July, 2019) Contact: Schneider Electric Ltd UK, +44 0870 608 8608, gb-customerservices@gb.schneider-electric.com , www.schneider-electric.co.uk/en

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Schneider Electric,  Energy Efficiency,  Net-Zero Carbon,  Climate Change ,  


    Keeling Curve Prizes for CO2 Reduction Tech Awarded (Ind. Report)
    New Energy Nexus/California Clean Energy Fund
    Date: 2019-07-12
    The Keeling Curve Prize is reporting two San Francisco Bay Area organizations -- Opus 12, based in Berkeley, and the Oakland-based New Energy Nexus/California Clean Energy Fund (NEX/CalCEF) -- have been awarded $25,000 apiece for developing promising global warming solutions.

    The Keeling Curve Prize recognizes ideas in the areas of Carbon Capture & Utilization (CCU), Energy Access, Transportation, Finance, and Social & Cultural Impacts, that either effectively reduce greenhouse gas emissions or increase carbon uptake, according to a June 28 Keeling Curve Prize press release.

    The Opus 12 team was one of the Carbon Capture & Utilization winners, and the NEX/CalCEF team was one of the Finance winners. The Opus 12 award-winning device takes CO2 and water and produces high-value chemicals and fuels that are conventionally made with petroleum. The technology diminishes emissions and produces the "critical products that are the building blocks of modern civilization." The process can generate 16 different products, including ethylene, a precursor for most plastics, methane and syngas, according to the Opus 12 website.

    The NEX/CalCEF team developed a "qualified clean energy opportunity zoning fund" which supports energy entrepreneurs, according to the Keeling Curve Prize website.

    The NEX/CalCEF team developed a "qualified clean energy opportunity zoning fund" which supports energy entrepreneurs, according to the Keeling Curve Prize website. (Source: Keeling Curve Prize, PR, Daily Californian, 11 July, 2019) Contact: New Energy Nexus/California Clean Energy Fund, hello@newenergynexus.com,www.newenergynexus.com; Keeling Curve Prize, Jacquelyn Francis, Dir., director@kcurveprize.org, www.kcurveprize.org; Opus 12, www.opus-12.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News CCU,  CCS,  CO2,  Carbon Dioxide,  Climate Change,  


    Methane Emission Cuts Could Trigger Climate Cooling, Oxford Prof. Suggests (Int'l. Report)
    University of Oxford,
    Date: 2019-07-12
    In the UK, according to Myles Allen, a professor of Climate Dynamics at the University of Oxford, farming can become completely "climate neutral" if agricultural methane emissions are reduced by just 20 pct over the next 30 years.

    Prof. Allen claims UK farmers have been cutting methane emissions by 10 pct every 30 years, through measures such as better slurry storage and application, and didn't need to reach the Government's net-zero by 2050 target to stop, or actually reverse, warming caused by agriculture. This is because when methane is released into the atmosphere, it has a much stronger warming impact than the same amount of CO2, but unlike CO2 or nitrous oxide, which have a constant warming effect even when emissions fall to zero, cutting the amount of methane -- which is far more potent the CO2 -- emitted will actually cause global cooling, Prof. Allen suggests.

    Prof Allen contends that cutting agricultural methane emissions to zero over the next 35 years would cause global cooling, taking the industry's contribution to global warming back to the level it was in the 1960s. (Source: University of Oxford, Farmers Guardian, 11 July, 2019) Contact: University of Oxford, Prof. Myles Allen, +44 (0)1865 275895. myles.allen@ouce.ox.ac.uk, www.eci.ox.ac.uk/people/mallen.html

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


    TRCA Touts New Energy Efficient HQ Building (Ind. Report)
    Toronto and Region Conservation Authority
    Date: 2019-07-12
    In Ontario, Canada, the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority which manages the city of Toronto's watershed and ravine system in an effort to ensure that the ongoing effects flooding and water pollution and climate change are mitigated, is reporting the ground breaking for a new, energy efficient "state of the art" headquarters building.

    The building will be an eco-friendly structure with the highest "green" certifications and low-carbon footprint. The building is aiming for Canada Green Building Council )CaGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) platinum certification as well as WELL Building certification. (Source: Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, Downsview Advocate, 11 July, 2019) Contact: Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, 416-661-6600, info@trca.on.ca, www.trca.ca; Canada Green Building Council, Thomas Mueller, President and CEO, Mark Hutchinson, Director of Green Building Programs, (866) 941-1184, info@cagbc.org, www.cagbc.org; International WELL Building Institute, 646.883.5001, 646.607.1058, info@wellcertified.com, www.wellcertified.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Canada Green Building Council,  LEED,  Well Building,  

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