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$4Mn Helps NY Farms Address Climate Change Impacts (Funding)
NY Climate Resilient Farming Grant Program
Date: 2021-02-19
In Albany, the New York State Climate Resilient Farming Grant Program has awarded $4 million in funding to help 80 farms throughout the Empire State focus on best management practices to reduce greenhouse emissions, enhance soil health, promote energy savings, reduce their environmental footprints, prepare for extreme weather events resulting from climate change, and reduce CO2 greenhouse gases by an estimated 90,000 metric tpy.

"Extreme weather caused by climate change is becoming the new normal, and the results can be devastating to New York's farmers and the entire agriculture industry. Farmers need the resources to adapt to this new normal while continuing to make a living, and the Climate Resilient Farming Program is an important piece of that puzzle. This funding will help our farmers continue to care for their land, implement measures to reduce their carbon footprints and protect crops and livestock from extreme weather damage, while furthering our strongest-in-the-nation program to combat climate change," Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) noted in announcing the funding. (Source: NY Climate Resilient Farming Grant Program, 17 Feb., 2021) Contact: NY Climate Resilient Farming Grant Program, www.agriculture.ny.gov/soil-and-water/climate-resilient-farming

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


API Awarded $100Mn for GHG Emissions Reduction (R&D, Funding)
American Petroleum Institute
Date: 2021-02-17
The American Petroleum Institute (API) is reporting receipt of $100 million funding under the US DOE's Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy programme. The program aims to identify and develop innovative technologies to further reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and tackle climate change.

According to API, over the past decade, the oil and gas industry has provided low-cost natural gas, while reducing CO2 emissions in the electric power sector and addressing methane emissions. Methane emissions have declined by nearly 70 pct between 2011 and 2019 in five of the largest US oil and gas producing regions, according to the EPA's new Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program data.

API notes its members are already investing in direct air carbon capture, carbon capture use astorage, CCS, decarbonisation infrastructure such as CO2 pipelines, sustainable and efficient fuels, and lower cost, low-carbon hydrogen. (Source: API. PR, Website, 16 Feb., 2021) Contact: API, Mike Sommers, CEO, (202) 682-8114, www.api.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News American Petroleum Institute,  GHG,  Climate Change,  Carbon Emissions,  Methane,  


EU "Surgical" Carbon Border Tax Proposed (Int'l. Report)
European Commission
Date: 2021-02-17
In Brussels, the European Commission (EC) will reportedly propose a highly targeted carbon border adjustment mechanism (CBAM) this year that will focus on imports from countries that are not acting to reach climate neutrality by mid-century, according to green deal chief Frans Timmermans.

As previously reported, Russian Security Council Deputy Chairman Dmitry Medvedev has called for a EU carbon border tax to comply with international agreements on climate. "If the tax is imposed, there should definitely be an effort to keep it in compliance with the EU framework convention on climate and Paris Climate Agreement. We have to hold bilateral talks on this with the EU and via dedicated international platforms, such as the WTO, the agencies that deal with climate change and relevant conventions," Medvedev noted while speaking at a meeting on the potential impact of the tax on Russia.

The EC proposed climate legislation requiring the EU to become climate-neutral by 2050 as part of the European Green Deal. This follows the December 2019 EC decision to endorse the 2050 climate-neutrality objective. On 17 September, the Commission amended its proposal to incorporate a new 2030 emissions reduction target. (Source: EC, PR, Feb., 2021) Contact: EU, www.europa.eu; European Commission, ec.europa.eu

More Low-Carbon Energy News European Green Deal,  European Commission,  Carbon Tax,  Border Carbon Tax,  Frans Timmermans,  


ENVIVA Targets Net-Zero Operations by 2030 (Ind. Report)
Enviva Biomass, Finite Carbon
Date: 2021-02-17
Bethesda, Maryland-headquartered ENVIVA, a leading global renewable energy company specializing in sustainable wood bioenergy, has announced its goal of achieving net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from its operations by 2030.

This commitment to climate action reinforces ENVIVA's core purpose to displace coal, grow more trees, and fight climate change. It sets forth an ambitious plan for eliminating GHG emissions from its operations in keeping with international climate goals, including the Paris Agreement's goal to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degree C. To that end, ENVIVA will:

  • Reduce, eliminate or offset all of its direct emissions. Enviva will immediately work to minimize the emissions from fossil fuels used directly in its operations -- its Scope 1 emissions.

  • Source 100 pct renewable energy by 2030with an interim target of at least 50 pct by 2025.

  • Drive innovative improvements in its supply chain and proactively engage with partners and other key stakeholders to adopt clean-energy solutions.

  • Transparently report progress. Enviva will track and publish its progress in reducing its emissions annually and intends to disclose climate-relevant data and risks through CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project) by the end of 2022.

    ENVIVA's sustainably sourced wood is used to manufacture wood pellets as a drop-in alternative to fossil fuels. ENVIVA exports its sustainable wood pellets primarily to the U.K., Europe, the Caribbean and Japan, enabling its customers to reduce their carbon emissions by more than 85 pct on a lifecycle basis, helping them reach their greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets with renewable energy, according to the ENVIVA release. (Source: ENVIVA, PR, 17 Feb., 2021) Contact: ENVIVA Partners, LP, (301) 657-5560, www.envivabiomass.com; Carbon Disclosure Project, CDP, Lance Pierce, Pres. North America, (212) 378 2086, info.northamerica@cdp.net, www.cdp.net

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Disclosure Project,  ENVIVA,  Enviva,  Net-Zero Emissions,  Wood Pellet,  Woody Biomass,  


  • "Imperfect Messenger" with a Climate Change Crisis Opinion -- Bill Gates (Opinions, Editorials & asides)
    Bill Gates
    Date: 2021-02-15
    In his new book -- How to Avoid a Climate Disaster: the Solutions We Have and the Breakthroughs We Need Microsoft multimillionaire Bill Gates acknowledges that he's an "imperfect messenger on climate change. "The world is not exactly lacking in rich men with big ideas about what other people should do, or who think technology can fix any problem," according to a book extract.

    "And I own big houses and fly in private planes -- in fact, I took one to Paris for the climate conference, so who am I to lecture anyone on the environment? I plead guilty to all three charges. I can't deny being a rich guy with an opinion. I do believe, though, that it is an informed opinion, and I am always trying to learn more."

    Gates notes that while he admires the passion of the "Extinction Rebellion", discounts Greta Thunberg's impact and sees the Green New Deal as "a fairy tale", he is convinced there isn't the time, money or political will to reconfigure the world energy sector in 10 years.

    According to Gates, a meaningful reduction in emissions demands an all-encompassing approach -- "zero-carbon ways to produce electricity, make things, grow food, keeping our buildings cool or warm, and move people and goods around the world. People need to radically change how they produce the worst climate offenders: steel, meat and cement. In his view, the single most useful thing individuals can do is to educate themselves and better judge the impact of various solutions. (Source: Bill Gates, How to Avoid a Climate Disaster: the Solutions We Have and the Breakthroughs We Need, Feb., 2021) Contact: Bill Gates, Gates Notes, www.gatesnotes.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Bill Gates,  Climate Change,  


    WH Climate Innovation Working Group Launched (Ind. Report)
    Climate Change
    Date: 2021-02-12
    In Washington, the White House (WH) has announced a new Climate Innovation Working Group as part of the National Climate Task Force to advance President Biden's commitment to Advanced Research Projects Agency-Climate (ARPA-C).

    The working group is intended to help coordinate and strengthen federal government-wide efforts to foster affordable, game-changing technologies that can help achieve the goal of net-zero economy-wide emissions by 2050. The Climate Innovation Working Group will focus on:

  • Zero net carbon buildings at zero net cost, including carbon-neutral construction materials;

  • Energy storage at one-tenth the cost of today's alternatives;

  • Advanced energy system management tools to plan for and operate a grid powered by zero-carbon power plants;

  • Very low-cost zero-carbon on-road vehicles and transit systems;

  • New, sustainable fuels for aircraft and ships, as well as improvements in broader aircraft and ship efficiency and transportation management;

  • Affordable refrigeration, air conditioning, and heat pumps made without refrigerants that warm the planet;

  • Carbon-free heat and industrial processes that capture emissions for making steel, concrete, chemicals, and other important industrial products;

  • Carbon-free hydrogen at a lower cost than hydrogen made from polluting alternatives;

  • Innovative soil management, plant biologies, and agricultural techniques to remove carbon dioxide from the air and store it in the ground; and

  • Direct air capture systems and retrofits to existing industrial and power plant exhausts to capture carbon dioxide and use it to make alternative products or permanently sequester it deep underground.

    The Climate Innovation Working Group will also emphasize research to bolster and build critical clean energy supply chains in the U.S. and strengthen American manufacturing and coordinate climate innovation across the federal government, research and universities. (Source: White House, PR, 12 Feb., 2021)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  


  • India Meeting Climate Change Mitigation Commitments (Int'l.)
    India Climate Change
    Date: 2021-02-12
    Addressing the World Sustainable Development Summit this week in New Delhi, India's External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar reported his country was on track to meet its climate change mitigation commitments.

    The Minister noted India increased renewable energy capacity by 162 pct over the past five years, expanded access to clean cooking fuel to cover over 80 million households for energy savings of about 47 billion kWh per year and a 38 million tpy reduction in CO2 emissions.

    The summit was attended by Mohammed Nasheed, Speaker of the People's Majlis, Maldives; John Kerry, US special presidential envoy for climate; Wera Mori, minister for environment, conservation and climate change, Papua New Guinea; and Lord Goldsmith, minister for pacific and the environment at the FCDO, UK. (Source: India External Affairs Ministry, PTI, 12 Feb., 2021)

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


    France Exceeded 2019 CO2 Reduction Target (Int'l. Report)
    Carbon Emissions
    Date: 2021-02-08
    Following up on our 3 Jan coverage -- Guilty as Charged! -- €1 Fine for Climate Inaction, the French Environment Ministry has acknowledged France failed to meet its target for reducing carbon emissions in 2019 with the caveat that the country's climate change progress has been "underestimated."

    "In 2019, France kept its climate commitments and that's excellent news," the Ministry said announcing that emissions fell by 1.7 pct that year, exceeding the target of 1.5 pct.

    In June 2020, the national emissions inventory agency CITEPA estimated that France produced 437 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent in 2019, which represented a drop of only 1 pct from the previous year. But the environment ministry noted CITEPA has since revised its estimate to 441 million tonnes, a fall of 1.7 pct.

    Under the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, France pledged to cut emissions by 40 pct by 2030 compared with 1990 levels, and aims to become carbon neutral by 2050. (Source: French Environment Ministry, AFP, Space Daily, 7 Jan., 2021) Contact: French Environment Ministry, +33 140812122, www.ec.europa.eu/environment/ecoap/etv/ministry-ecology-sustainable-development-and-energy_en

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


    Clean Energy, Climate Change Notable Quote
    Notable Quote
    Date: 2021-02-05
    "Climate change is the problem, clean energy is the solution." -- Eileen Claussen.

    Eileen Claussen is a former U.S. diplomat and senior climate and energy policy advisor to U.S. Department of State, Environmental Protection Agency, National Security Council, Pew Center on Global Climate Change and its successor, the Center for Climate Change and Energy Solutions.

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Clean Energy news,  Carbon Emissions news,  


    Climate Change Notable Quote from Former ExxonMobil CEO
    ExxonMobil
    Date: 2021-02-05
    "Whether or not anything we do will ultimately influence it (climate change) remains to be seen. One day we'll know the answer to that, but our ability to predict the answer to that is quite complicated." -- Rex Tillerson, Former ExxonMobil CEO, former Trump administration U.S. Sec. of State, Nov., 2020

    More Low-Carbon Energy News ExxonMobil news,  Climate Change news,  


    SSEN Distribution Commits to Net-Zero Emissions (Int'l. Report)
    SSE,Scottish and Southern Electricity
    Date: 2021-02-03
    In the UK, London-headquartered utility Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) Distribution reports it is the first UK Distribution Network Operator to set science-based carbon emissions reduction targets.

    Responsible for developing the electricity distribution networks vital to achieve net-zero carbon emissions, SSEN Distribution has signed a commitment letter to set science-based reduction targets for its own operations, which will see the network operator strive to cut emissions further and faster.

    A science-based target is a target for greenhouse gas emissions reductions that is set based on the level of reduction that science says is required to prevent the worst impacts of climate change in line with the Paris Agreement -- to limit global warming to well-below 2 degree C above pre-industrial levels and pursue efforts to limit warming to 1.5 degree C. The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) is a collaboration between CDP, the United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute and the World Wild Fund for Nature. (Source: SSE plc, Website, Jan., 2021) Contact: SSE, Shirley Robertson, ED2 Sustainability Strategy Lead, www.sse.com; Science Based Targets, www.sciencebasedtargets.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Science Based Targets,  Scottish and Southern Electricity ,  SSE,  Net-Zero,  Carbon Emissions,  


    Guilty as Charged! -- €1 Fine for Climate Inaction (Int'l.)
    Paris Climate Accord
    Date: 2021-02-03
    A court in Paris has ruled that France's government is guilty of climate inaction in a ground-breaking legal case launched in March, 2019, by a group of NGOs with the support of two million French citizens, for failing to meet the country's commitments to limit greenhouse gas emissions.

    The ruling makes it possible for direct victims of climate change in France to seek compensation from the French government. This puts increased pressure on lawmakers to focus on limiting global warming and mitigating environmental damage. Though the ruling is largely symbolic, it sets a precedent. The French state was ordered to pay compensation of €1 to show "moral prejudice" -- a common occurrence in France.

    France's commitment to curb global warming comes from the Paris Agreement, which was signed at COP21 in 2015. This international accord holds countries responsible for limiting global warming to less than 2 degrees more than pre-industrial levels. (Source: euronews, Feb., 2021)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Paris Climate Accord,  Climate Change,  


    Marin Carbon Project Seeks to Slow Effects of Climate Change for Farmers (Ind. Report)
    Marin Carbon Project
    Date: 2021-02-01
    In the Golden State, response to the rapid pace of global climate change, the Marin Carbon Project (MCP) seeking to enhance carbon sequestration in rangeland, agricultural, and forest soils through applied research, demonstration and implementation in Marin County.

    To that end, the project is using compost, fertilizer and planting to increase the amount of carbon in the soil and has helped set up 200 carbon sequestration projects at 60 different Marin County farms.

    The Marin Carbon Project's vision is for the county's landowners and land managers to serve as stewards of soil health and to undertake carbon farming in a manner that can improve on-farm productivity and viability, enhance ecosystem functions and stop and reverse climate change. (Source: Marin Carbon Project, PR, NBC Bay Area, 28 Jan., 2021) Contact: Marin Carbon Project, www.marincarbonproject.org

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


    Con Ed Climate Change Resilience, Adoption Plan (Report Attached)
    Con Edison
    Date: 2021-02-01
    In 2019, Con Edison collaborated with the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory ay Columbia University to conduct a sweeping, multi-year study to evaluate of its present-day infrastructure, design specifications, and procedures against expected climate changes.

    By gaining a better understanding of projected climate changes across the company's service area -- including increasing temperatures, heavier precipitation events, sea-level rise, and extreme weather -- the company is able to identify system vulnerabilities, prioritize investments, and strengthen our infrastructure. In late 2020, Con Edison built upon the study's findings by developing a formal Climate Change Implementation Plan, which outlines how the company reviewed, and intend to continue to assess and adjust as necessary, its planning, engineering, operations, and emergency response practices to adapt to climate change.

    Access the plan HERE. (Source: Con Edison, Feb., 2021) Contact: Con Edison, www.coned.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Con Edison,  Climate Change,  


    Fiji, World Bank Ink Forest Carbon Trading Agreement (Int'l.)
    Fiji,Forest Carbon Partnership
    Date: 2021-01-29
    In the South Pacific, Fiji has become the only Small Island Developing State in the Pacific to enter a carbon trade under a 5-year emissions reduction payment agreement with the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility, a global partnership at the World Bank. The facility will unlock $26 million in results based payments for increasing carbon sequestration and reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation.

    The Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) is a global partnership of governments, businesses, civil society, and Indigenous Peoples focused on reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, forest carbon stock conservation, the sustainable management of forests, and the enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries, activities commonly referred to as REDD+. The FCPF works with 47 developing countries across Africa, Asia, and Latin America and the Caribbean, along with 17 donors that have made contributions and commitments totaling $1.3 billion. The FCPF supports REDD+ efforts through its Readiness and Carbon Funds.

    Fijian Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum noted "The emission reduction program area includes forest protection, planting and ustainable management of over 37,000 hectares spread over 20 districts on the islands of Viti Levu, Vanua Levu and Taveuni, with the potential to expand to other areas that express interest. The contracted volume of greenhouse gases that Fiji is expected to sequester from these forest activities in the next five years is 2.5 million tonnes, for which a result-based payment of $12.5 million will be paid upon verification by the World Bank."(Source: FBN News, 27 Jan., 2021) Contact: Forest Carbon Partnership Facility, www.forestcarbonpartnership.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News World Bank,  REDD+,  Forest Carbon Partnership,  Fiji,  Carbon Trading,  Reforestation,  Carbon Emissions,  Climate Change ,  


    UNEP Releases Climate Change Adaptation Report (Report Attached)
    UNEP
    Date: 2021-01-27
    The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) has released its UNEP Adaptation Gap Report 2020 calling for nations to boost their efforts to adapt to the changing climate scenario. According to the report, about 72 pct of countries have at least one national-level climate change adaptation plan but the necessary funding needed to implement these programs is not growing adequately.

    The report notes cumulative investments for climate change mitigation and adaptation projects under four major climate and development funds -- the Global Environment Facility, the Green Climate Fund, the Adaptation Fund, and the International Climate Initiative -- stood at $94 billion. In 2019, seven of the world's largest multilateral development banks provided $61.6 billion in climate financing.

    Download the UNEP Adaptation Gap Report 2020 report HERE . (Source: UNEP, Jan., 2021) Contact: UNEP, www.unep.org

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


    Expected 2021 Renewable Energy Trends and Predictions from ENVIVA (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    Enviva Biomass
    Date: 2021-01-25
  • Together renewable fuels will further displace coal and natural gas -- As countries take aggressive action on climate change to decarbonize their respective economies by 2050, the direction is clear -- all carbon-neutral and carbon-negative renewable fuels will need to work together if we want to achieve carbon neutrality by mid-century. As the global energy demand for alternative fuels increase, 2021 will mark a turning point for the industry as wind, solar, geothermal, woody biomass, hydrogen, and lithium-ion battery energy providers (among others) make a collective and coordinated effort to combat the global climate crisis.

  • The aftermath of COVID-19 will push economies into a renewable future -- The COVID-19 pandemic has forever changed how societies, businesses, and governments view the world. As various industries saw a decline in the demand for products and/or services throughout the pandemic, the energy industry witnessed the opposite. Energy production and distribution remained essential regardless of the pandemic.

    Throughout the pandemic we've seen an increased global interest in reducing carbon emissions. Looking ahead, we expect renewable fuels will continue to play a crucial role in power generation for decades to come. For this reason, we don't foresee a job loss, rather a job transfer -- or perhaps a job boom - in renewables in 2021. For those currently working in fossil fuels, this shift will present a great opportunity to transition skills as the energy sector continues to evolve into a clean energy future.

  • Europe will continue to be the "Poster Child" for renewable energy implementation, but there will be some regulatory uncertainty. -- Delivering Europe's long-term ambition to become the first climate neutral continent by 2050 requires an extensive set of urgent measures to scale up action. At the very least, the world-leading sustainability criteria established by the Renewable Energy Directive II (REDII) will need to be fully implemented by all member states if Europe plans to meet their 2030 and 2050 emission reduction goals. At best, member states will need to further amend the directive if they wish to succeed in cutting carbon emissions by 55 pct in the next decade from 1990 levels.

  • Bioenergy is the largest renewable energy source in the EU and will be critical to increased deployment of wind and solar -- The use of bioenergy has more than doubled since 2000 as a result of its end-use as heat, transportation, and electricity. In fact, biomass is the only renewable fuel on the market that is readily available today and can replace fossil fuels for heat generation. In heavy industries such as steel, aluminum and cement, sustainably sourced wood-based biomass offers a carbon-neutral fuel replacement for coal and gas-fired furnaces (and combined heat and power plants). As a dependable and dispatchable renewable fuel, sustainably-sourced biomass represents a prime solution to complement the intermittency of wind and solar (among other renewables) that will reduce carbon emissions by more than 85% on a lifecycle basis.

  • Biomass to assist the development and deployment of a hydrogen economy -- Looking ahead to more future-oriented solutions, such as the development of the hydrogen economy, biomass is projected to play an important role. The most obvious is to use biomass directly to create hydrogen through gasification and thereby avoid carbon emissions that are associated with natural gas. Even further down the road, when surplus solar and wind could potentially be used to create hydrogen at scale, there will be an exciting opportunity to produce aviation and other fuels with carbon capture of biomass that could result in even fewer net greenhouse gas emissions. Likewise, as decarbonization efforts in the steel and cement industry rapidly increase, they too will look to bioenergy solutions for support.

  • BECCS on the short rise -- Bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) is one of the very few options on the table that can remove carbon from the atmosphere. Once matured, BECCS could mark the beginning of a new era for low-carbon fuel applications that will enable us to meet and/or exceed international net zero targets while still enjoying air travel and heavy goods transport, which is difficult and very expensive to decarbonize. We expect 2021 will be the year that we see true progress in climate change mitigation, as a result of new initiatives/policies, new innovations, and new collaborations that are already taking shape.

    ENVIVA Holdings, LP is the world's largest producer of industrial wood pellets, a renewable and sustainable energy source used to generate electricity and heat. Through its subsidiaries, ENVIVA owns and operates wood pellet processing plants and deep-water export terminals in the Southeastern United States and exports pellets primarily to power plants in the UK, Europe and Japan that previously were fueled by coal, enabling them to reduce their lifetime carbon footprint by up to 85 pct. We make our pellets using sustainable practices that protect Southern forests. ENVIVA Holdings, LP conducts its activities primarily through two entities: ENVIVA Partners, LP, a publicly traded master limited partnership (NYSE: EVA), and ENVIVA Development Holdings, LLC, a wholly owned private company. (Source: Enviva Holdings, LP, Jan., 2021) Contact: ENVIVA Holdings, LP., www.envivabiomass.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Enviv news,  Woody Biomass Wood Pellet news,  CCS news,  Renewable Fuel news,  


  • Greater Victoria 2030 District Pushing Energy Efficiency (Ind. Report)
    2030 District
    Date: 2021-01-25
    In British Columbia, a new sustainability organization Greater Victoria 2030 District, part of North American network of cities, working to reduce emissions by promoting the concept of green buildings to significantly reduce the region's carbon footprint.

    Greater Victoria 2030 District is part of a North American movement that gives property managers resources and guidance to retrofit existing buildings with energy efficiency features, as an investment and marketability tool, one that also addresses climate change.

    Members commit to reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions by 50 pct over 2007 levels by 2030. That means encouraging and helping property owners and managers create bench-marking reports, set efficiency targets, and create long-term plans to improve their building's performance in 10 to 15 years.

    A partnership between the Building Owners and Managers Association of B.C., City of Victoria, District of Saanich and UVic, Greater Victoria 2030 District has a wide variety of properties on its list including municipal and provincial office buildings. (Source: Greater Victoria 2030 District, PR, Website, Saanich News, 23 Jan., 2020) Contact: Greater Victoria 2030 District, Cora Hallsworth, Manager, www.2030districts.org/greater-victoria; 2030 Districts Network, Dave Low, davelow@2030districts.org, www.2030districts.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency,  


    Expected 2021 Renewable Energy Trends from ENVIVA (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    ENVIVA
    Date: 2021-01-25
    The following has been submitted by ENVIVA Holdings, LP, the world's largest industrial wood pellets producer:
  • Together renewable fuels will further displace coal and natural gas -- As countries take aggressive action on climate change to decarbonize their respective economies by 2050, the direction is clear -- all carbon-neutral and carbon-negative renewable fuels will need to work together if we want to achieve carbon neutrality by mid-century. As the global energy demand for alternative fuels increase, 2021 will mark a turning point for the industry as wind, solar, geothermal, woody biomass, hydrogen, and lithium-ion battery energy providers (among others) make a collective and coordinated effort to combat the global climate crisis.

  • Europe will continue to be the "Poster Child" for renewable energy implementation, but there will be some regulatory uncertainty. -- Delivering Europe's long-term ambition to become the first climate neutral continent by 2050 requires an extensive set of urgent measures to scale up action. At the very least, the world-leading sustainability criteria established by the Renewable Energy Directive II (REDII) will need to be fully implemented by all member states if Europe plans to meet their 2030 and 2050 emission reduction goals. At best, member states will need to further amend the directive if they wish to succeed in cutting carbon emissions by 55 pct in the next decade from 1990 levels.

  • Bioenergy is the largest renewable energy source in the EU and will be critical to increased deployment of wind and solar -- The use of bioenergy has more than doubled since 2000 as a result of its end-use as heat, transportation, and electricity. In fact, biomass is the only renewable fuel on the market that is readily available today and can replace fossil fuels for heat generation. In heavy industries such as steel, aluminum, and cement, sustainably sourced wood-based biomass offers a carbon-neutral fuel replacement for coal and gas-fired furnaces (and combined heat and power plants). As a dependable and dispatchable renewable fuel, sustainably-sourced biomass represents a prime solution to complement the intermittency of wind and solar (among other renewables) that will reduce carbon emissions by more than 85 pct on a lifecycle basis.

  • Biomass to assist the development and deployment of a hydrogen economy -- Looking ahead to more future-oriented solutions, such as the development of the hydrogen economy, biomass is projected to play an important role. The most obvious is to use biomass directly to create hydrogen through gasification and thereby avoid carbon emissions that are associated with natural gas. Even further down the road, when surplus solar and wind could potentially be used to create hydrogen at scale, there will be an exciting opportunity to produce aviation and other fuels with carbon capture of biomass that could result in even fewer net greenhouse gas emissions. Likewise, as decarbonization efforts in the steel and cement industry rapidly increase, they too will look to bioenergy solutions for support.

  • Bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) -- is one of the very few options on the table that can remove carbon from the atmosphere. Once matured, BECCS could mark the beginning of a new era for low-carbon fuel applications that will enable us to meet and/or exceed international net zero targets while still enjoying air travel and heavy goods transport, which is difficult and very expensive to decarbonize. We expect 2021 will be the year that we see true progress in climate change mitigation, as a result of new initiatives/policies, new innovations, and new collaborations that are already taking shape.

  • COVID 19 Pandemic aftermath -- Throughout the pandemic we've seen an increased global interest in reducing carbon emissions. Looking ahead, we expect renewable fuels and energy will continue to play a crucial role in power generation for decades to come.

    ENVIVA Holdings, LP is the world's largest producer of industrial wood pellets, a renewable and sustainable energy source used to generate electricity and heat. Through its subsidiaries, ENVIV Holdings owns and operates wood pellet processing plants and deep-water terminals in the Southeastern U.S. and exports pellets primarily to formerly coal-fired power plants in the U.K, Europe and Japan. ENVIVA makes pellets using sustainable practices that protect Southern forests and employ about 1,100 people and support many other businesses in the U.S. South. ENVIVA Holdings, LP conducts its activities primarily through two entities: Enviva Partners, LP, a publicly traded master limited partnership (NYSE: EVA), and ENVIVA Development Holdings, LLC, a wholly owned private company. (Source: ENVIVA Holdings, LP, Jan., 2021) Contact: ENVIVA Holdings, LP, www.envivabiomass.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News ENVIVA,  Renewable Energy,  Woody Biomass,  Wood Pellet,  


  • Aluminum Giant Commits to Carbon Neutrality by 2050 (Int'l. Report)
    En+ Group
    Date: 2021-01-22
    London and Moscow-based Russian energy and aluminum company En+ Group, the world's largest aluminium maker, is reporting it aims to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions 35 pct by 2030 and achieve carbon net-zero by 2050, in line with the Paris Agreement and the European Green Deal and supportive of the global transition to a low-carbon economy.

    The company plan covers Scope 1 and 2 emissions across the group's entire operations, including aluminum production, heat and electricity generation. To that end, the company will convene a En+ Climate Change Taskforce and publish its final net-zero strategy in September 2021 ahead of the UN COP26 in Glasgow.

    The company notes its target of emitting less than 2.7 tonnes of CO2 equivalent per tonne of aluminum (scope 1 and scope 2 from electrolysis) by 2025, was met in 2017. (Source: En+ Group, PR, Website, Platts, 18 Jan., 2021) Contact: En+ Group (London), +44 207 747 4900, Fax: +44 207 747 4910, Sustainable Dev . (Moscow), +7 495 642 7937, csr@enplus.ru, www.enplusgroup.com

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


    China's 2020 Coal Production Hits Record High (Int'l.)
    China National Bureau of Statistics
    Date: 2021-01-20
    In Beijing, China's National Bureau of Statistics is reporting the country's coal production hit a record high in 2020 despite Beijing's climate change pledge to reduce coal consumption and months-long disruptions at major coal mining hubs.

    The world's biggest coal miner and consumer produced 3.84 billion tonnes of coal in 2020. December's coal output was 351.89 million tonnes, up 3.2 tonnes from the same month last year, and up from 347.27 million tonnes in November. (Source: National Bureau of Statistics, Xinhua, Reuters, 18 Jan., 2021)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News China Coal,  Coal,  Fossil Fuel,  China Climate Pledge,  


    Keystone XL Commits Net-Zero Emissions by 2023 (Ind. Report)

    Date: 2021-01-20
    Houston-headquartered TC Energy Corporation is reporting a new sustainable energy initiative for the Keystone XL Project. The company will achieve net zero emissions across the project operations when it is placed into service in 2023 and has committed the operations will be fully powered by renewable energy sources no later than 2030. This announcement comes after an extensive period of study and analysis, and as part of the company's ongoing commitment to sustainability, thoughtfully finding innovative ways to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, while providing communities with reliable energy needed today.

    Implementation of the initiative is expected to eliminate more than 3 million tpy of CO2 from the pipeline project's operations -- equivalent of removing approximately 650,000 cars from the highway. TC Energy is expected to spur an investment of over $1.7 billion in communities along the Keystone XL footprint creating approximately 1.6 GW of renewable electric capacity, according to the release.

    By implementing this initiative, Keystone XL will allow responsibly produced Canadian oil to be safely transported into the United States from many producers who have set their own net zero emissions goals. Canadian Oil Sands producers have cut emissions intensity by 21 pct in recent years and they are expected to fall another 27 pct by 2030.

    Net zero emissions will be achieved when the pipeline is placed into service by purchasing renewable energy from electricity providers the purchase of renewable energy credits (REC) or carbon offsets.

    The pipeline would carry heavy Canadian tar-sands oil from Alberta to refineries and ports on the Texas Gulf of Mexico via connections in the U.S. Midwest. Former President Barack Obama had killed the $8 billion Keystone XL project saying that it would cause emissions linked to climate change and do little for U.S. drivers. President Donald Trump resurrected the 830,000 barrels-per-day project two months after taking office in 2017. Incoming Pres. Jor Biden has indicated he will kill the project almost immediately upon entering the White House. (Source: Keystone XL, PR, 17 Jan., 2021) Contact: KeystoneXL, Richard Prior,, Pres., CEO, 866-717-7473, keystone@tcenergy.com, www.keystonexl.com


    VGS Focuses on Smart Energy, Energy Efficiency (Ind. Report)
    Vermont Gas
    Date: 2021-01-20
    In South Burlington, Vermont Gas Service (VGS) has filed its Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) reaffirming its commitment to climate change action, a decarbonized thermal energy future and an affordable pathway to Net Zero by 2050.

    The filing represents a shift from prior planning models. While the Company will continue to add customers within its existing footprint, this plan considers decreasing natural gas loads and strategies under which VGS can promote such further reductions through efficiency and weatherizations, as well as meeting the needs of customers through expanded energy services.

    VGS serves over 54,000 homes, businesses, and institutions in Franklin, Chittenden and Addison counties and plays an important role in Vermont's clean energy future by displacing higher-emitting fuels, offering renewable natural gas service, and delivering award-winning energy efficiency programs. VGS is leading the country in the development of local renewable energy generation and has targeted a 30 pct reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and full elimination by 2050. (Source: Vermont Gas, PR, 18 Jan, 2021) Contact: Vermont Gas, Neale Lunderville, CEO, Beth Parent, Brand Manager, (802) 865-1460 / (802) 578-2776, bparent@vermontgas.com, www.vgsvt.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Vermont Gas,  Energy Efficiency,  Smart Energy,  


    Vermont Gas Committed to Net-Zero by 2050 (Ind. Report)
    Vermont Gas
    Date: 2021-01-20
    In South Burlington, Vermont Gas Service (VGS) has filed its Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) reaffirming its commitment to climate change action, a decarbonized thermal energy future and an affordable pathway to net-zero emissions by 2050.

    The Filing represents a shift from prior planning models. While the Company will continue to add customers within its existing footprint, this plan considers decreasing natural gas loads and strategies under which VGS can promote such further reductions through efficiency and weatherizations, as well as meeting the needs of customers through expanded energy services.

    VGS serves over 54,000 homes, businesses, and institutions in Franklin, Chittenden and Addison counties. The company plays an important role in Vermont's clean energy future by displacing higher-emitting fuels, offering renewable natural gas service, and delivering award-winning energy efficiency programs. VGS is leading the country in the development of local renewable energy generation and has targeted a 30 pct reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and full elimination by 2050. (Source: Vermont Gas, PR, 18 Jan., 2021) Contact: Vermont Gas, Neale Lunderville, CEO, Beth Parent, Brand Manager, (802) 865-1460 / (802) 578-2776, bparent@vermontgas.com, www.vgsvt.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Net-Zero Emissions,  Carbon Emissions,  


    2020 Hottest Year Yet, NASA Says (Int'l., Ind. Report)
    NASA
    Date: 2021-01-15
    According to NASA, globally, 2020 was the hottest year on record, effectively tying 2016, the previous record. Overall, Earth’s average temperature has risen more than 2 degrees F since the 1880s. Temperatures are increasing due to human activities, specifically emissions of greenhouse gases, like carbon dioxide and methane.

    Continuing the planet's long-term warming trend, the year's globally averaged temperature was 1.84 degrees F (1.02 degrees C) warmer than the baseline 1951-1980 mean, according to scientists at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York. (Source: NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, PR, 14 Jan., 2020) Contact: NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, www.giss.nasa.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News NASA news,  Climate Change news,  Carbon Emissions news,  GHGs news,  


    Oregon Aims to Cut Landfill Methane Emissions (Reg. & Leg.)
    Oregon Department of Environmental Quality
    Date: 2021-01-13
    Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has proposed rule changes to landfills under Gov. Kate Brown's Exec. Order 20-04, addressing the effects of climate change and landfills.

    The proposed rule, which would affect methane gas emissions from landfills and require that landfills work on reducing methane emissions, would align the state's methane gas emission more with the most stringent requirements of neighboring states, including California which are the most stringent amongst neighboring states.

    Mid-size landfills of 450,000 to 2.5 million tons of waste would be required to model their potential methane gas emissions, if the modeling exceeds a threshold of emissions then they would be required to install a landfill gas collection and control system.

    According to the DEQ, methane gas emissions is one of the highest greenhouse gas emitters in the state. In 2017, six of the 25 largest stationary sources of methane gas emissions in Oregon were landfills. (Source: Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, PR, Jan., 2021) Contact: Oregon DEQ, Heather Kuoppamaki, kuoppamaki.heather@deq.state.or.us, www.deq.state.or.us

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Methane,  Oregon Department of Environmental Quality,  Methane Leak,  


    UK PM Touts Green Ind. Revolution, Climate Change Plan (Int'l. Report)

    Date: 2021-01-11
    In London, UK Conservative Prime Minister Boris Johnson has unveiled his 10-point plan for a "green"--low-carbon industrial revolution. The plan focus on the following industries and initiatives:
  • Offshore wind -- The government has already announced an ambition to have every home in the UK powered by offshore wind in an effort to cut the emissions from electricity.

  • Hydrogen -- The gov. plans to have 5GW -- sufficient power for roughly 1.5 million UK homes -- of low-carbon hydrogen production capacity by 2030.

  • Nuclear -- The plan calls for renewed support for small modular nuclear reactors that can be largely built in factories and other small applications.

  • Electric vehicles -- The plan calls for increased support for electric vehicles, recharging infrastructure and the previously announced ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030.

  • Public transport, cycling and walking -- Calls for increased clean public transport options including electric, alternative fuel and hydrogen powered buses as well as encourages cycling and walking.

  • Jet zero and greener fuel transportation -- Calls for zero-emission alternative fuel and electric power long-haul mass transportation including passenger rail, electric airplanes and maritime ferries.

  • Energy efficiency -- The plan calls for a major effort to increase residential and public building energy efficiency.

  • Carbon capture and storage (CCS) -- Focuses on "clusters" where groups of power stations, factories or industrial plants could be linked to CCUS infrastructure for greater efficiency and cost savings.

  • Nature and the ecosystem -- Seeks to end the loss of wild life habitats, increase funding for tree planting, peatland restoration and other programs to store carbon, protect habitat and curb flooding.

    10. Innovation and finance -- for the wholesale, economy-wide shift away from fossil fuels to a low-carbon energy clean future. (Source: Office of UK PM Boris Johnson, Jan., 2021) Contact:Office of UK PM Boris Johnson, www.email.number10.gov.uk


  • Gates on COVID, Climate Change, Carbon Emissions -- Notable Quote
    Bill Gates
    Date: 2021-01-11
    "A global crisis has shocked the world. It is causing a tragic number of deaths, making people afraid to leave home, and leading to economic hardship not seen in many generations. Its effects are rippling across the world. Obviously, I am talking about COVID-19. But in just a few decades, the same description will fit another global crisis: climate change.

    "What's remarkable is not how much emissions will go down because of the pandemic, but how little. The relatively small decline in emissions this year makes one thing clear: We cannot get to zero emissions simply -- or even mostly -- by flying and driving less. That's not to say that reducing consumption of fuel that emits carbon gas emissions is not a worthy goal, just that it is not enough." -- Bill Gates, Jan 2021 Contact: Gates Notes, www.gatesnotes.com

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


    Cambridge UK Touts Green Measures to tackle Climate Change (Int'l.)
    City of Cambridge
    Date: 2021-01-11
    In the UK, the city of Cambridge -- home of Cambridge University which last year announced plans to divest from fossil fuels by 2030 -- is reporting a series of green proposals aimed at reducing carbon emissions and promoting biodiversity in the city of roughly 124,000 residents.

    The measures include: the planting of 2,000 new trees in public spaces in the next three years; creation of a green investment reserve to support energy efficient and energy generating projects including solar energy; encouraging and increasing the use of electric vehicles and installation of EV charging points; retro-fitting council homes (subsidized low-income housing) for increased energy efficiency; a further £300,000 investment in city-owned property carbon-reduction initiatives; creation of a Climate Change Officer role within city government, and others. (Source: Cambridge City, Varsity, Jan., 2021) Contact: City of Cambridge, www.cambridge.gov.uk

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Emissions,  


    United Airlines Commits to Carbon Neutrality by 2050 (Ind. Report)
    United Airlines
    Date: 2021-01-08
    Further to our 14th Dec, 2020 coverage, US air carrier United Airlines notes it recognizes the role it plays as an airline in contributing to climate change, its responsibility in solving it and has accordingly set a goal of going 100 pct green by reducing 100 pct of greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

    To that end, United notes "true sustainability is about taking on the biggest culprit in our industry -- the emissions generated by our aircraft." Accordingly, the company notes it is looking beyond using carbon offsets which "simply don't go far enough to address the emissions caused by our operations."

    To achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, United aims to tackle its emissions from their source by continuing and accelerating development and investment in sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). United well also make a multimillion-dollar investment to help fund start-up company 1Point Five's planned Direct Air Capture plant to capture, remove and store 1 million metric tpy of CO2 -- equivalent to the work of 40 million trees. (Source: United Airlines, PR, 6 Jan., 2021)Contact: United Airlines, www.corporate-office-headquarters.com/united-airlines 1Point Five, www.1pointfive.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Capture,  CCS,  SAF,  Direct Air Carbon Capture,  United Airline,  Carbon Neutral,  ,  


    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,  


    New Mass. Climate Bill Awaits Gov. Baker's Signature (Reg & Leg.)
    Massachusetts Carbon Emissions
    Date: 2021-01-06
    In Boston, the Massachusetts legislature has forwarded a bill overhauling the state's 2008 climate law to Governor Charlie Baker (D) for signature into law.

    The new bill requires a 100 pct carbon emissions reduction -- carbon neutrality -- by 2050 as opposed to the 2008 climate legislation requiring an 80 pct reduction of 1990 level emissions by 2050.

    If passed into law, the new bill would impose emissions sub-limits for certain sectors of the economy, specifically electric power, transportation, commercial heating and cooling, residential, industrial processes and natural gas distribution and service.

    The bill also calls for increased carbon sequestration and requires municipal lighting to purchase 50 pct of non-carbon-emitting electricity by 2030, increased energy efficiency, increased reliance on renewable energy, a five-year moratorium on allowing wood-burning facilities to qualify as "non-carbon emitting resources", increased support for electric vehicles, and other initatives and requirements. (Source: Various Media, MassLive, Jan., 2021)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Massachusetts Climate Change,  


    NY Acts on Orphaned Oil Well Methane Leaks (Ind. Report)
    NYSERDA,New York Department of Environmental Conservation
    Date: 2021-01-04
    In Albany, the New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced a partnered state effort leveraging new drone technology and magnetic surveillance to spot methane emitting abandoned oil and gas wells and related infrastructure statewide.

    To date, the DEC effort has located over 2,000 "orphan" wells that can continue to release methane -- which accounts for nearly 10 pct of the state's annual greenhouse gas emissions.

    The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) has pledged support for existing DEC efforts and committed to invest up to $400,000 in custom drone and imaging equipment for well assessments. The DEC reports short-lived methane is second only to long-lasting carbon dioxide in its overall contribution to global climate change.

    The DEC has the regulatory authority to take possession of abandoned wells and initiate plugging and re-plugging under Article 23 of state Environmental Conservation Law. Additionally, the state's Climate Act mandates a 40 pct reduction of 1990 greenhouse gas emission levels by 2030, and an 85 pct reduction by 2050. (Source: New York Department of Environmental Conservation, PR, Watertown Daily Times, 2 Jan., 2020) Contact: New York Department of Environmental Conservation, contact@dec.ny.gov , www.dec.ny.gov; NYSERDA, Doreen Harris, Acting CEO, (518) 862-1090, www.nyserda.ny.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Methane,  NYSERDA,  


    Earthworks Comments on Incoming Administration's Low-Carbon Energy, Climate Change Policies (Opinions, Editorials & Aside)
    Earthworks
    Date: 2020-12-30
    "The Biden-Harris administration's energy policies will ready our nation for the just, equitable, and fair renewable energy transition. We hope this will result in more science-led decisions with greater focus on renewable energy and less on fossil fuels, especially from our public lands and waters.

    "We may see a few major steps within the first 100 days, by re-entering the Paris Climate Accords and a new climate Executive Order redirecting agencies' missions toward sustainability. The environmental agencies like the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will again take climate change seriously. CEQ will take a 'hard look' at climate impacts across all our government's decisions while the EPA tackles methane emissions from oil, gas, and other sources.

    "Our public lands agencies like the Departments of Interior and the Agriculture Department's Forest Service will plan for net zero greenhouse gas emissions. This, of course, means fewer oil and gas leases while scaling up renewable energy. These agencies will manage our resources with a renewed climate emphasis on restoring ecosystems, preserving wetlands, reclaiming abandoned mines and oil wells, and better forest management, paired with other techniques to naturally sequester carbon." (Source: Earthworks, Power Tech, 23 Dec., 2020) Contact: Earthworks, Aaron Mintzes, Senior Policy Council, 202-887-1872, info@earthworks.org, www.earthworks.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Earthworks,  Renewable Energy,  


    Growth Energy Comments on Cdn. CFS Regulation (Notable Quote)
    Growth Energy
    Date: 2020-12-30
    "Canada continues to be a trailblazer in addressing climate change and cutting greenhouse gases through biofuels." -- Emily Skor, Growth Energy, CEO commenting the Canadian governments recently announced nationwide Clean Fuel Standard draft regulation.

    The Canadian regulation is an initiative to reduce the lifecycle carbon intensity of fuels and energy used in Canada and achieve a more than 20 million tpy reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. The Canadian Clean Fuel Standard aims for an average 15 pct (E15) ethanol-gasoline blend rate by 2030. (Source: Growth Energy, Dec, 2020) Contact: Growth Energy, Emily Skor, (202) 545-4000, www.growthenergy.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News E15,  Growth Energy,  Ethanol,  Ethanol Blend,  Canada Clan Fuels Standard,  


    Clean Energy, Climate Change Notable Quote
    Renewable Energy
    Date: 2020-12-30
    "Climate change is the problem, clean energy is the solution." -- Eileen Claussen.

    Eileen Claussen is a former U.S. diplomat and senior climate and energy policy advisor to U.S. Department of State, Environmental Protection Agency, National Security Council, Pew Center on Global Climate Change and its successor, the Center for Climate Change and Energy Solutions.

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


    Wisconsin Governor's Task Force on Climate Change Report 2020 (Report Attached)
    Wesconsin Climate Change
    Date: 2020-12-28
    "Over the course of 2020, the U.S. experienced another unprecedented year of extreme heat, wildfires, hurricanes, and flooding. The devastation of these disasters impacted the lives and livelihoods of Americans already struggling to cope during a world-wide pandemic. While the climate crisis and COVID-19 pandemic are distinct, the known systemic impacts are not. Like COVID-19, climate change is a global phenomenon requiring massive structural transformations of economic and social institutions.

    "Climate (change) challenges include more hot, humid weather with more intense and more frequent heavy rainfalls, as well as freezing winter rain instead of snow, followed by deep winter freezes (such as those from a polar vortex). These changes affect the stability of Wisconsin's economic sectors as well as human health and safety. Immediate action is necessary:

  • We must develop opportunities to mitigate carbon emissions and increase renewable energy;

  • We must enhance our infra-structure's adaptive capacity and strengthen overall economic, environmental and social resilience;

  • We must educate and train our workforce with the skills needed for a transition to a low-carbon economy, and;

  • We must ensure all actions are equitable and minimize unintended and disproportionate impacts.

    Download the Wisconsin Governor's Task Force on Climate Change Report 2020 HERE. (Source: State of Wisconsin, Wisconsin Task Force on Climate Change, Public News Service, 28 Dec., 2020) (Contact: Climate Change Wisconsin, climatechange.wi.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Wisconsin Climate Change,  


  • EU Stiffens 2030 Climate Change, Emissions Goal (Int'l. Report)
    European Union,EC
    Date: 2020-12-28
    In Brussels, leaders of the 27 member states have agreed to cut their net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55 pct from 1990 levels by 2030, substantially toughening an existing 40 pct target and putting the bloc "on a clear path towards climate neutrality in 2050".

    To that end, EU emissions trading market already seeks to put a price on the carbon emissions that drive climate change. The price of permits rose to an all-time high above €31 euros a tonne on expectations that the supply of permits would be cut, to force deeper emissions cuts. The target is a compromise between wealthier, mostly western and Nordic EU countries that want more ambitious action and eastern states with coal-dependent power sectors and energy-intensive industries, which wanted specific conditions attached to emissions cuts.

    The final deal gives a commitment to address "imbalances" in carbon market funding that could leave poorer countries worse off. The leaders agreed to meet again next year to tackle the question of GDP-based emissions targets. The Commission's proposals will speed a shift to electric vehicles and aim to mobilise investments in the huge low-carbon infrastructure that will now be needed - including a requirement for extra energy sector investments of €350 billion ($420 billion) per year this decade. (Source: EU, ET Auto, Dec., 2020)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News European Union,  European Commission,  Carbon Emissions,  


    Notable Quote from UK Energy Regulator (Int'l.)
    Ofgem
    Date: 2020-12-21
    "Net zero (carbon) is the goal. We must make it happen." -- Jonathan Brearley, CEO, Ofgem, Telegraph, 20 Dec., 2020. Ofgem is the UK energy regulator. Contact: Ofgem, Jonathan Brearley, CEO, +44 0207 901 7225, www.ofgem.gov.uk

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


    Peatland Carbon Storage Restoration Declared "Vital" (Int'l.)
    Peat
    Date: 2020-12-21
    In the UK, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) analysis has revealed the scale of the challenge that the Northern Ireland Assembly and the other UK governments and agencies face to restore and maintain the country's peatlands, which play a pivotal role in combating climate change.

    Peatland covers approximately 12 pct of the land area of Northern Ireland, but 86 pct of peatlands have been damaged by pressures, including drainage, overgrazing, afforestation, burning and extraction in lowland areas.

    The RSPB's analysis shows peatlands avoid 1,992 tpy of CO2 emissions -- equivalent to 5 pct of total UK greenhouse gas emissions every year. According to Martin Harper, RSPB Director of Global Conservation, "Peatlands are an incredibly important habitat in the UK both for wildlife and for storing carbon. If our peatlands are not restored, they will emit twice as much carbon as would be captured by tree planting in the Committee on Climate Change's UK forestry targets for 2050."

    (Source: RSPS, Farm Week, 20 Dec., 2020) Contact: RSPB, www.community.rspb.org.uk

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Peat,  Carbon Storage,  Methane,  


    Transportation Climate Initiative Progress Report (Ind. Report)
    Transportation Climate Initiative
    Date: 2020-12-21
    On Monday, the Transportation Climate Initiative collaborative -- which includes 12 Northeast and mid-Atlantic states and the District of Columbia -- is expected to announce a "memorandum of understanding" that sets the regional cap-and-trade plan in motion to begin in 2022.

    Modeled on the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGE), which has reduced emissions from power plants, the transportation pact creates a cap-and-invest program to drive down emissions from cars and trucks. It targets gasoline and diesel fuel consumption, which account for more than 40 pct of regional carbon emissions that scientists say contribute to climate change.

    Under the plan, suppliers who deliver fuel across state lines will be taxed on emissions above limits that still must be set. Those costs are expected to be passed on to consumers. The pact is expected to reduce regional emissions by as much as 24 pct in the next 11 years, and generate up to $500 million a year for green projects.

    The Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI) is a regional collaboration of 12 Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states and the District of Columbia that seeks to improve transportation, develop the clean energy economy and reduce carbon emissions from the transportation sector. The participating states are: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Virginia. (Source: Eagle Tribune, 20 Dec., 2020) Transportation Climate Initiative, www.transportationandclimate.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News RGGI,  Transportation Climate Initiative,  


    WA Gov. Floats Climate-Focused State Budget Proposal (Ind. Report)
    Gov. Jay Inslee
    Date: 2020-12-18
    This week in Olympia, Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee (D) announced a roughly $500 million policy package to be introduced for the state's 2021-2023 biennial budget ahead of the upcoming Washington state legislative session.

    The governor's proposal would establish benchmarks for cutting carbon emissions, lessening the state's dependence on fossil fuels, combating climate change and bolstering the state's economy.

    According to Inslee, the state's estimated 84 million tonnes of emissions in 2020 would drop to 54.2 million metric tpy by 2030, under his proposal. The proposal would have fuel suppliers reduce carbon emissions from their fuels by 10 pct by 2028, 20 pct by 2035 and even further reductions by 2050.

    Inslee's proposal would involve investing $100 million in clean energy, including $15 million for power grid modernization, $15 million on clean energy R&D, $20 million for electrifying transportation systems, and $20 million for small businesses and nonprofits to reduce their operating costs through energy efficiency measures. (Source: Contact: Office of Gov. Jay Enslee, The Reflector, 16 Dec., 2020)Office of Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee, Communications Office, Tara Lee, (360) 902-4136, www.governor.wa.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Gov. Jay Inslee ,  Climate Change,  Carbon Emissions,  


    Green Pandemic Recovery Essential to Close Climate Action Gap (Report Attached)
    UNEP
    Date: 2020-12-18
    Each year, the UN Emissions Gap Report assesses the gap between anticipated emissions and levels consistent with the Paris Agreement goals of limiting global warming this century to well below 2 degrees C and pursuing 1.5 degrees C. The report finds that in 2019 total greenhouse gas emissions, including land-use change, reached a new high of 59.1 gigatonnes of CO2 equivalent (GtCO2e). Global greenhouse gas emissions have grown 1.4 pct per year since 2010 on average, with a more rapid increase of 2.6 pct in 2019 due to a large increase in forest fires.

    A green pandemic recovery, however, can cut up to 25 pct off the emissions we would expect to see in 2030 based on policies in place before COVID-19. A green recovery would put emissions in 2030 at 44 GtCO2e, instead of the predicted 59 GtCO2e -- far outstripping emission reductions foreseen in unconditional NDCs, which leave the world on track for a 3.2 degrees C temperature rise. Such a green recovery would put emissions within the range that gives a 66 pct chance of holding temperatures to below 2 degrees C, but would still be insufficient to achieve the 1.5 degrees C goal.

    The report also notes that the growing number of countries committing to net-zero emissions goals by mid-century is a "significant and encouraging development" with 126 countries covering 51 pct of global greenhouse gas emissions adopting, announcing or were considering net-zero goals.

    Download the Green Pandemic Recovery Essential to Close Climate Action Gap report HERE. (Source: UNEP, Dec., 2020) Contact: UNEP, www.unep.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News UNEP,  GHGs,  Greenhouse Gas,  Carbon Emissions,  Climate Change,  


    CIBC Ranked Among Top Banks for Climate Change Action (Int'l.)
    CIBC, CDP
    Date: 2020-12-16
    In Toronto, the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) reports receipt of a score of A- from the CDP (fka the Carbon Disclosure Project). Improving from a B rating in 2019, this score demonstrates CIBC's progress in environmental performance and reporting. The score also places CIBC among the highest ranking Canadian financial institutions and the top-tier of global banks. As part of CIBC's commitment to support environmental sustainability initiatives, the bank's actions include:
  • In 2020, increased its GHG emissions intensity target for operations to 20 pct over eight years (using 2018 as a baseline).

  • In 2020, issued a USD $500 million, five-year green bond to help finance new and existing green projects, assets, and businesses that mitigate the risks and effects of climate change. These include renewable energy, green buildings, clean transportation, natural resource conservation, biodiversity conservation, energy efficiency, and pollution prevention and control.

  • In 2019, announced a target of mobilizing $150 billion in environmental and sustainable finance activities by 2027.

  • In 2019, issued the climate-related disclosure report Building a Sustainable Future aligned with the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures.

  • In 2019, set new targets to source 100 pct of its electricity from renewable sources and become carbon neutral by 2024.

    Toronto-headquartered CIBC is a leading North American financial institution with 10 million personal banking, business, public sector and institutional clients and $768.545 billion (Cdn) in total assets. (Source: CIBC, PR, 14 Dec., 2020) Contact: CIBC, www.cibc.com/en/about-cibc/corporate-responsibility/environment.html; CDP, Lance Pierce, Pres. North America, (212) 378 2086, info.northamerica@cdp.net, www.cdp.net

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Disclosure Project,  CIBC,  CDP,  Climate Change,  


  • Notable Quotes from Virtual UN Climate Ambition Summit
    Climate Change
    Date: 2020-12-14
    "If we don't change course, we may be headed for a catastrophic temperature rise of more than three degrees this century.

    "Can anybody still deny that we are facing a dramatic emergency? That is why today, I call on all leaders worldwide to declare a State of Climate Emergency in their countries until carbon neutrality is reached." -- UN Sec. Gen. Antonio Guterres speaking at last week's virtual UN Climate Ambition Summit.

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


    Xi Jinping Reiterates China's Climate Change Position (Int'l.)
    China Climate Change
    Date: 2020-12-14
    Speaking at last week's virtual UN Climate Ambition Summit, Chinese President Xi Jinping reiterated his previously reported Sept. pledge to peak China's carbon dioxide emissions before 2030 and reach carbon neutrality by 2060.

    The Chinese President added China, the world's largest GHG emitter, would cut CO2 per unit of GDP by 65 pct by 2030, from a 2005 baseline, and increase its forest stock by six billion cubic meters over the same time-frame. The cuts in carbon intensity are expected to be be achieved through an increased reliance on renewable energy.

    The virtual summit -- hosted by the UN alongside the UK, France, Italy and Chile -- was a "launch-pad" event for nations and businesses to announce enhanced climate pledges as part of the Paris Agreement, and marks five years since the landmark treaty was brokered at COP21. (Source: Various Media, 12 Dec., 2020)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News COP21,  Paris Climate Agreement,  China Climate Change,  


    ENGIE, Hannon Armstrong Partner on Solar+Storage (Ind. Report)
    ENGIE, Hannon Armstrong
    Date: 2020-12-11
    Houston-headquartered ENGIE North America reports it is partnering with Annapolis, Maryland-based Hannon Armstrong, a leading investor in climate change solutions, to jointly invest in a Distributed Generation (DG) portfolio of community solar and solar-plus-storage assets totaling roughly 70 MW in Massachusetts, Illinois, Vermont, California, Texas, and Arizona.

    The agreement will allow ENGIE to rely on committed capital by Hannon Armstrong through December 31, 2021 to finance DG assets across the U.S. ENGIE will retain partial ownership and provide development, construction, operational, asset management, and administrative services. Hannon Armstrong will provide capital to ENGIE through a unique structure that will bring efficiency to a forward flow of projects, leveraging tax equity financing through an upper-tier arrangement with Morgan Stanley.

    ENGIE North America Inc. offers a range of capabilities in the United States and Canada to help customers decarbonize, decentralize and digitalize their operations. These include comprehensive services to help customers run their facilities more efficiently and optimize energy and other resource use and expense; clean power generation; energy storage; and retail energy supply that includes renewable, demand response, and on-bill financing options. Nearly 100 pct of the company's power generation portfolio is low carbon or renewable

    NYSE-listed Hannon Armstrong provides capital to leading companies in energy efficiency, renewable energy, and other sustainable infrastructure markets. (Source: ENGIE North America, PR, Dec., 2020) Contact: ENGIE North America, Sandrine Deparis, (202) 855 3705, sandrine.deparis@engie.com, www.engie-na.com Hannon Armstrong, Chad Reed, IR, (410) 571 6189, Investors@hannonarmstrong.com, www.hannonarmstrong.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News ENGIE,  Hannon Armstrong,  Solar,  Energy Storage,  Solar+Storage ,  


    Wisc. Gov. Releases Task Force on Climate Change Report (Ind. Report)
    Wesconsin Climate Change
    Date: 2020-12-11
    In Madison, Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers' (D) just released Task Force on Climate Change report includes 55 recommendations designed to spur economic growth and equality while helping Wisconsin fight and adapt to climate change, but stops short of directly targeting fossil fuels. The report's recommendations fall into nine sectors and include three policy pathways -- executive action, the next state budget and legislation. Among others, the report recommends the Badger State:
  • Promote energy conservation and efficiency.
  • Encourage utilities to eliminate carbon emissions.
  • Make it easier for the public to invest in clean energy.
  • Create clean energy and conservation jobs.
  • Support public transit and electric vehicles.
  • Encourage farmers to use more sustainable systems while paying them to capture and store carbon in the soil.
  • Reduce food waste and promote forest conservation and tree planting.
  • Expand climate education and create an office of environmental justice.

    Download the Task Force on Climate Change report HERE. (Source: Office of Gov. Tony Evers, Madison.com, Dec., 2020) Contact: Office of Gov. Tony Evers, (608) 266-1212, www.evers.wi.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  


  • Notable Climate Change Quote
    Climate Change
    Date: 2020-12-11
    "The effects of climate change transect all sectors, geographies and people. Failing to act swiftly and leaving the climate crisis to manifest unchecked will continue to wreak havoc across the nation and in the great state of Wisconsin." -- Kristofer Canto, Snr. Risk Analyst, American Family Insurance, Dec., 2020

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change news,  


    UK 2020 Sixth Carbon Budget Released (Int'l. Report)
    U.K. Climate Change Committee
    Date: 2020-12-11
    In London, The U.K. Climate Change Committee (TheCCC) reports the release of its 2020 Sixth Carbon Budget offering guidance on the volume of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions the U.K. can emit from 2033-2037 to achieve its net-zero goals. According to the report, emissions must fall by almost 80 pct by 2035 when compared to 1990 levels for the country to stay on track to meet its climate goals.

    Download the CCC 2020 Sixth Carbon Budget report HERE. Contact: The CCC, +44 (0) 75 8510 4950, private.secretary@theccc.org.uk, www.theccc.org.uk

    More Low-Carbon Energy News TheCCC,  U.K. Climate Change Committee,  Carbon Emissions,  Climate Change ,  

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