The FCPF-2 project aims to assist relevant agencies at the central level and in the six northern central Vietnam provinces to improve their institutional and technical capacity to prepare for the REDD+ implementation. It also supports the building of the emission reduction and transfer of the rights to emission reduction programme in the northern central region (ERPD) for 2018-2025, helping to carry out the national REDD+ action programme and the country's Nationally Determined Contribution under the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change.
Phase 1, which ran from November 2016 to June 30, 2020, was implemented in Hanoi and the six northern central provinces at a total cost of $5.7 million (US) , including $5 million in non-refundable ODA capital from the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF).
REDD+ is an international initiative aimed at providing financial and technical assistance for developing countries to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate climate change impact via efforts against deforestation and forest degradation.
Vietnam has participated in REDD+ since 2008, and more than 45 related projects have been implemented in the country to date. (Source: Vietnam Administration of Forestry, PR, 28 June, 2020) Contact: Vietnam Administration of Forestry, www.flegt.org/web/vietnam-administration-of-forestry
More Low-Carbon Energy News REDD+, Deforestation, Reforestation, Climate Change,
"All that is left are empty words. The level of knowledge and understanding even among people in power is very, very low, much lower than you would think."
. "Words like green, sustainable, 'net-zero', 'environmentally friendly', 'organic', 'climate-neutral' and 'fossil-free' are today so misused and watered down that they have pretty much lost all their meaning. They can imply everything from deforestation to aviation, meat and car industries."
"The climate and ecological crisis cannot be solved within today's political and economic systems. That isn't an opinion. That's a fact."
"Nature does not bargain and you cannot compromise with the laws of physics. Doing our best is no longer good enough. We must now do the seemingly impossible. And that is up to you and me. Because no one else will do it for us." -- Greta Thunberg, June, 2020
More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,
The ministry reported to Norway that the country saw a decline in the deforestation rate in the 2016-2017 period, with 480,000 hectares of forest lost that was believed to have prevented the release of about 4.8 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) emissions to the atmosphere -- a figure lower than the baseline agreed upon by both countries.
Under the REDD+ scheme, Indonesia and Norway agreed to measure Indonesia's results against a 10-year average level of emissions between 2006 and 2016. The annual emissions during that period were estimated at 237 million tons CO2e from deforestation and 42 million tons from forest degradation. Each ton of CO2e under the scheme was valued at $5, referring to the price designated by the World Bank for the REDD+ scheme.
(Source: Indonesian Environment and Forestry Ministry, Jakarta Post, 29 May, 2020)
More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Emissions, REDD+,
The Forest Service scientists quantified the contribution of forests, harvested wood products, and urban trees to carbon capture and storage. They found that, collectively, these natural systems account for more than 95 pct of Earth's terrestrial carbon sink. The atmospheric carbon absorbed by forests, harvested wood, and urban trees is equal to more than 11 pct of the total greenhouse gas emissions in the United States each year between 1990 and 2018.
Download the Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Removals from Forest Land, Woodlands, and Urban Trees in the United States, 1990-2018 report HERE. (Source: USDA Forest Service, April, 2020) Contact: U.S. Forest Service, www.fs.usda.gov
More Low-Carbon Energy News CCS, USDA Forest Service, Carbon Emissions,
Study co-author Tom Evans said that forest conservation was recognized as critical for mitigation and adaptation to climate change in the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement (COP15). However, despite that initial commitment, he noted that not enough attention has been given since to protection of intact forests for climate change mitigation.
Dense intact tropical forests serve as vital carbon sinks, removing CO2 from the atmosphere as their carbon-hungry plants and trees continue to put on growth. And they serve an out-sized role in sequestration -- while the WCS study found only 20 pct of the world's tropical forests can be considered "intact", these forests store 40 pct of above-ground carbon found in tropical forests. A 2011 study observed that intact tropical forests remove an estimated 1 billion metric tpy of CO2 from the atmosphere.
Access the Wildlife Conservation Society study HERE. (Source: Wildlife Conservation Society, The Rising, 22 Feb., 2020)Contact: Wildlife Conservation Society, (718) 220-5100 www.wcs.org
More Low-Carbon Energy News COP15, Carbon Sink, Climate Change, Deforestation, Carbon Emissions,
The letter also notes
UK-based researchers found last year that burning wood is a "disaster" for climate change because older trees release large amounts of carbon when they are burned and aren't always replaced with replanted forests. Even when trees are replaced, it can take up to 100 years to cultivate a wooded area that soaks up as much carbon as was previously released. And the fuel burned in shipping wood pellets to Europe is also a significant source of emissions.
(Source: Virginia Grassroots Coalition, 9 Feb., 2020)
Contact: Virginia Grassroots Coalition, www.virginiagrassroots.org
More Low-Carbon Energy News Woody Biomass,
Previous analysis published by U.S. EPA, California Air Resources Board and Argonne National Laboratory have quantified the benefits of using biodiesel in place of fossil fuel because of its significant reduction in GHG emissions. With a quantified reduction in CO2 emissions between 50 and 86 pct lower than petroleum, biodiesel and renewable diesel are experiencing increased use under federal and state policies.
Download the U.S. Biofuel Production and Policy Implications for Land Use Changes in Malaysia and Indonesia study HERE. (Source: Purdue University,National Biodiesel Foundation, Jan., 2020} Contact: National Biodiesel Foundation, 573-635-3893,
573-635-7913 - fax, www.biodieselfoundation.org
More Low-Carbon Energy News National Biodiesel Foundation, Biodiesel,
Among the measures recommended by the study were richer countries transitioning to plant-based diets and reducing food waste, while aiding poorer nations to curb deforestation and restore degraded land. If a concerted global effort was made, land could be absorbing three gigatons of carbon by 2050, turning one of our biggest liabilities into a helping hand in the fight against climate change. The study also recommends:
The study, which appeared Monday in the Journal of Forest Economics, takes into account the planting of new trees and forest management practices that eased environmental impacts. Previous studies did not take those factors into account. "There was a significant shift toward treating forests as a renewable, rather than nonrenewable, resource in the last century, and we estimate that those reforestation and forest management efforts have led to a far smaller carbon burden on the environment," Prof. Brent Sohngen said. (Source: The Ohio State University, PR, Columbus Dispatch, 4 Nov., 2019)
Contact: Ohio State University, Prof. Brent Sohngen, Environmental and Resource Economics, 614-688-4640, email@example.com, www.aede.osu.edu/our-people/brent-sohngen
More Low-Carbon Energy News Ohio State University, Deforestation, Carbon Emissions, Reforestation,
The move also presents the country with a respite from its planned phase-out of palm oil biofuel in the European Union, its second-biggest export market, and a likely increase in duties by India, its top export customer.
To meet the expected Chinese market demand, Indonesian producers will increase yields through better technology and seeds, rather than more deforestation for palm cultivation. Currently there are 162,000 square-kilometers of palm oil plantations across Indonesia.
As previously reported, the European Commission passed a measure in March to phase out palm oil-based biofuels by 2030, over environmental degradation concerns that palm production, often on land cleared of rainforest, contributes to global carbon emissions and thus exacerbates climate change.
The Rainforest Foundation Norway estimates an area larger than the Netherlands might be destroyed to make way for oil palm plantations to feed biofuel demand through 2030. This, it warns, would result in the release of 7 billion tons of CO2 emissions over the next 20 years. (Source: Indonesian Office of the Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Mongabay, 28 Oct., 2019) Contact: Indonesian Office of the Coordinating Minister for the Economy, www.devex.com/organizations/coordinating-ministry-for-economic-affairs-indonesia-132480
More Low-Carbon Energy News Palm Oil, Biodiesel, Biofuel,
As previously reported, the European Commission ruled palm oil is not a "green" fuel and should not be promoted because it causes deforestation. The use of palm oil in diesel in the EU will be gradually reduced as of 2023 and should reach zero in 2030.
The EU is the world's second largest importer of crude palm oil. In 2018 more than half of all palm imports were used to make biodiesel transportation fuels.
(Source: European Commission, Green Car Congress, Oct., 2019)
More Low-Carbon Energy News Palm Oil, Biodiesel,
At its first carbon neutral plant in Klaipeda, Lithuania, PMI implemented multiple projects to optimize its energy usage and reduce carbon emissions: upgrading utilities equipment, such as chillers and compressors, and facilitating heat recovery to optimize fuel use for heating purposes; installing a biomass boiler; procuring certified renewable electricity and offsetting natural gas carbon emissions with biogas certificates. To offset the remaining carbon emissions, PMI invested in Gold Standard certificates from climate protection initiatives.
PMI is also pursuing initiatives to address the pressing climate challenge beyond its operations. For example, it is working with farmers and suppliers across its tobacco supply chain to lower the greenhouse gas emissions in the tobacco curing process by 70 percent by 2020 (vs. 2010) and to achieve zero-net deforestation of natural forest by 2025. PMI has also set and committed to science-based targets -- greenhouse gas emissions levels that science acknowledges as tolerable for the planet -- and to go beyond these in its operations by aiming for carbon neutrality by 2030.
Among its diversified portfolio, Philip Morris purchased General Foods Corp. in 1985 for $5.7 billion and Kraft Inc. in 1989 for $13 billion. Despite its move into foods, Philip Morris' tobacco business reportedly still accounts for 65 pct of its operating profit and 40 pct of its operating revenue.(Source: Philip Morris International, PR, 10 Oct., 2019} Contact: Philip Morris Int'l., Huub Savelkouls , Chief Sustainability Officer, +41 (0)58 242 5502, www.pmi.com/sustainability, www.pmi.com, www.pmiscience.com
More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Emissions, Carbon-Neutral,
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,
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,
According to the GCF release, Ecuador the second country to receive financial resources from the GCF for having successfully reduced its deforestation and corresponding greenhouse gas emissions. The funding is expected to help in reducing emissions by 20 pct from the forest and land-use sector by 2025.
Bhutan, the Republic of Marshall Islands (RMI) and Timor-Leste -- among the Asia-Pacific region's most vulnerable countries to climate change -- received grants for climate adaptation initiatives. In Bhutan, with GCF funding over 118,000 people are expected to benefit from more sustainable land and water management, more climate-resilient agriculture and reliable climate-resilient irrigation schemes. In Timor-Leste, GCF funds will be used to "climate-proof" key rural infrastructure and improve policies and planning for a national response to the impacts of climate change.
With the approval of the four new projects, UNDP has supported a total of 23 countries to access more than $785.7 million in GCF finance for full-sized climate change projects.
The GCF supports developing countries efforts to respond to the challenge of climate change, limit or reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, adapt to climate change, and promote low-emission and climate-resilient development.
(Source: UN Development Programme, PR, July, 2019) Contact: UNDP, Pradeep Kurukulasuriya, Executive Coordinator and Director, Global Environmental Finance, www.undp.org; Green Climate Fund, www.greenclimate.fund
More Low-Carbon Energy News Green Climate Fund, UNDP, Climate Change, Climate Change Mitigation, CO2, Climate Change Adaptation,
The May 2019 deforestation is 25 pct higher than in May 2018, May, and twice that of May, 2017.
Earlier this year, Brazil's freshman President Jair Bolsonaro's administration was reportedly planning to follow US President Donald Trump's lead and pull Brazil out of the Paris Climate Agreement. In his first 5 months in office, Bolsonaro abolished the ministries that dealt with climate change, trimmed the remaining agencies' budgets and now wants to privatize vast areas of the Amazon rain forest for agribusiness, timber and mining interests. (Source: Various Media, Reuters, June, 2019)
More Low-Carbon Energy News Amazon Deforestation, Carbon Emissions, Deforestation,
Facility partners include the German government and private sector companies, Rio Tinto and Anglo American. The Facility will also assist governments to build a robust policy, regulatory and legal framework that promotes climate-smart mining and creates an enabling environment for private capital. Facility projects may include:
The World Bank is targeting a total investment of $50 million, to be deployed over a 5-year timeframe. The Facility will focus on activities around four core themes: climate change mitigation; climate change adaptation; reducing material impacts and creating market opportunities, contributing to the decarbonization and reduction of material impacts along the supply chain of critical minerals needed for clean energy technologies.
(Source: World Bank Group, Modern Diplomacy, May, 2019) Contact: World Bank Group,
Riccardo Puliti, Senior Director and Head of the Energy and Extractives Global Practice, www.worldbank.org
More Low-Carbon Energy News World Bank, Climate Smart, Climate Change, Carbon Emissions,
The EC concluded that 45 percent of the expansion of palm oil production since 2008 led to destruction of forests, wetlands or peatlands and resultant greenhouse gas releases.
The EC has added a number of exemptions which mean some palm oil could still be promoted as a green fuel, under certain conditions including allowing additional palm oil production coming from yield increases or produced on unused land to still qualify as green.
Although once seen as the main tool by which the EU could decarbonize road transport, and given generous subsidies under the 28-member trading bloc's Renewable Energy Directive over a decade ago,
many environmentalists are reportedly pushing the EU to ban crop-based biofuels and move instead to incentivizing second-generation, cellulosic biofuels.
(Source: EU, European Biodiesel Board, Successful Farning, Forbes, 14 Mar., 2019) Contact: European Biodiesel Board, www.ebb-eu.org
More Low-Carbon Energy News European Commission, Palm Oil, Biodiesel, European Biodiesel Board,
The draft details curbing any biofuels with a high ILUC-risk and its amount of consumption in 2019 within the Member States. The EU also outlined an ambitious goal of reducing any high-risk biofuel's contribution to 0 pct by 2030.
"Directive (EU) 2018/2001 also calls for a specific limit to conventional biofuels, bioliquids and biomass fuels with high ILUC-risk and for which a significant expansion of the production area into land with high carbon stock is observed, in the amount of their level of consumption in each Member State in 2019," the draft stated. "Starting from 31 December 2023, their contribution should be gradually reduced to 0 pct by 2030 at the latest."
Despite the draft's promising changes to the uses of palm oil, ePure argues that the draft would still 'allow imported feedstock that violates spirit of RED II agreement.'
"Making an exception for feedstock produced by smallholders isn't just allowing high-ILUC-risk biofuels such as palm oil into Europe through the back door, it's allowing it through the front door. The hard-won compromise reached on RED II couldn't have been clearer in its message that Europe should phase out biofuels associated with the significant deforestation and peatland drainage that has defined most palm oil expansion."
"Low-ILUC-risk biofuels certified as such could escape from the phase-out, but these were clearly defined as either produced through improved agricultural practices or from unused land. By inventing a third, alternative criterion for smallholders, the Commission is making a mockery of the agreed RED II compromise," Desplechin claims.
(Source: ePURE, Feb., 2019) Contact: ePURE Emmanuel Desplechin, Sec. Gen., +32 2 657 6679, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.epure.org
More Low-Carbon Energy News ePure, Palm Oil, Biodiesel,
"Making an exception for feedstock produced by smallholders isn't just allowing high-ILUC-risk biofuels such as palm oil into Europe through the back door, it's allowing it through the front door," said Emmanuel Desplechin, Secretary General of ePURE, the European renewable ethanol association. "The hard-won compromise reached on RED II couldn't have been clearer in its message that Europe should phase out biofuels associated with the significant deforestation and peatland drainage that has defined most palm oil expansion."
"Low-ILUC-risk biofuels certified as such could escape from the phase-out, but these were clearly defined as either produced through improved agricultural practices or from unused land. By inventing a third, alternative criterion for smallholders, the EC is making a mockery of the agreed RED II compromise," the ePure Secretary General added.
European renewable ethanol is made from European feedstock and delivers high greenhouse-gas reduction and is not associated with deforestation. Its use cuts GHG emissions by more than 70 pct on average compared to fossil petrol. (Source: ePure, EC, Feb., 2019)
Contact: European Renewable Ethanol Assoc. (ePURE), Emmanuel Desplechin, Sec. Gen., +32 2 657 6679, email@example.com, www.epure.org
More Low-Carbon Energy News Palm Oil, Biodiesel , ePure, Biofuel,
Rwandan and regional policy makers will have access to and use of the data in their efforts to control power plant and transportation emissions, curb deforestation and encourage more tree planting, reduce fossil fuel use, develope smart green cities and other efforts.
(Source: Rwanda Environment Management Authority, The New Times, Rwanda, 13 Jan., 2019) Contact: Rwanda Environment Management Authority
Faustin Munyazikwiye, Deputy Director General, +250 25 258 9191, www.landportal.org/organization/rwanda-environment-management-authority
More Low-Carbon Energy News Ozone, HFC, GHGs, Climate Change,
Norwegian palm oil consumption reached an all-time high in 2017 when fully 10 pct of the country's diesel consumption was based out of palm oil.
(Source: Good News Network, 12 Dec., 2018)
More Low-Carbon Energy News Palm Oil, Biodiesel, Biofuel,
The agreement will enhance the implementation of Rwanda's Green Growth and Climate Resilience Strategy and enable the country to participate in international emissions reduction mechanisms including the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs), and the mechanism for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+). It will also allow Rwanda to become a regional training center for carbon accounting in the Central African Forest Commission (COMIFAC) and Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) regions.
The signatories will also collaborate to develop an Advanced Terrestrial Carbon Accounting Certificate programme at the University of Rwanda.
(Source: Rwanda Ministry of Environment, Rwanda New Times, 13 Oct., 2018) Contact: Greenhouse Gas Management Institute, (202)350-9047, firstname.lastname@example.org, https://ghginstitute.org;
Rwanda Ministry of Environment, www.minirena.gov.rw
More Low-Carbon Energy News Greenhouse Gas Management Institute, Carbon Institute ,
The assumption that bioenergy simply recycles carbon is a major accounting error, DeCicco and William Schlesinger, president emeritus of the Milbrook, New York-based Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, held. The core of the assumption is the idea that producing a biofuel and then burning it for energy moves a given amount of carbon from the biosphere to the atmosphere, and back again in an unending and stable cycle. That's in contrast to the current one-way flow of fossil-fuel carbon from the Earth to the atmosphere.
According to DeCicco, for bioenergy to be actually carbon neutral, harvesting the biomass to produce it would have to greatly speed up the net flow of carbon from the atmosphere back into vegetation. Otherwise, decades can pass before the "carbon debt" of excess CO2 in the air is repaid by future plant growth. "All currently commercial forms of bioenergy require land and risk carbon debts that last decades into the future. Given the urgency of the climate problem, it is puzzling why some parties find these excess near-term CO2 emissions acceptable," the researchers noted.
In his 2016 study, DeCicco found that just 37 pct, rather than 100 pct, of the CO2 released from burning biofuels was balanced out by increased carbon uptake in crops over the first eight years of the U.S. biofuel mandate.
To reduce the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere requires avoiding deforestation and reforesting harvested areas, up to one-third of current carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels could be sequestered in the biosphere," the researchers wrote. "Terrestrial carbon management can keep carbon out of the atmosphere for many decades."
The new opinion was published in the latest edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. (Source: Univ. of Michigan, Rahunuma Daily, 1 Oct., 2018) Contact: University of Michigan Energy Institute, Prof John DeCicco, (734) 764-6757, DeCicco@umich.edu, www.umich.edu; Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, (845) 677-5343, www.caryinstitute.org
More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change news, CO2 news, Carbon Emissions news, Bioenergy news,
The recently released long-term study offers a better understanding of how mangrove deforestation contributes to the greenhouse gas effect, one of the leading causes of global warming.
The Brazilian mangrove forest fringes the entirety of the Atlantic Coast at the mouth of the Amazon, the largest river in the world with the largest mangrove forest. Mangroves -- aka Blue Carbon -- represent 0.6 pct of all the world's tropical forests but their deforestation accounts for as much as 12 pct of GHG emissions from all tropical deforestation.
Partial funding for the study was provided by the U.S. Agency for International Development, Sustainable Wetlands Adaptation and Mitigation Program. (Source: Oregon State University, KTVZ.COM, 24 Sept., 2018) Contact: Oregon State University, J. Boone Kauffman, Research Leader, www.researchgate.net/profile/John_Kauffman3
More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Emissions, Blue Carbon, Carbon Sequestration, Mangrove,
"These (2015 Paris Climate Agreement) targets were the bare minimum to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, but scientists tell us that we are far off track. According to a U.N. study, the commitments made so far by parties to the Paris agreement represent just one-third of what is needed."
"We need to rapidly shift away from our dependence on fossil fuels. We need to replace them with clean energy from water, wind and sun. We must halt deforestation, restore degraded forests and change the way we farm."
"If we do not change course by 2020, we risk missing the point where we can avoid runaway climate change, with disastrous consequences for people and all the natural systems that sustain us. Keeping our planet's warming to well below 2 degrees (Celsius) is essential for global prosperity, people's well-being and the security of nations." -- UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
"Agriculture and forestry are a major source of greenhouse gases, contributing 20 -- 24 pct of all emissions. Livestock, fertilizers and burning biomass all produce greenhouse gases such as methane, nitrous oxide or carbon dioxide, or a combination of these and other gases. Deforestation and forest degradation are also major sources. However, agriculture and forestry can also act as carbon sinks -- plants take up carbon dioxide as they grow and store carbon in the soils. Land use is therefore part of the solution," according to the report.
The 2016-2019 project funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and implemented by UN Environment was designed to help land management projects to evaluate their 'carbon benefits'. These can accrue in different land-use scenarios and ecosystems across the globe.
Download Learning to Use the Land so it Produces Fewer Greenhouse Gases report details
HERE. (Source: UN Environment, 3 Sept., 2018) Contact: UN Environment, www.unenvironment.org; GEF, www.thegef.org
More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Emissions, Carbon Sink, Greenhouse Gas, GHGs, Global Environment Facility ,
The government has said it will provide incentives to biodiesel producers, but has not provided details. Rules introduced in 2015 make B20 mandatory in subsidized biodiesel up to January 2020, after which B30 is scheduled to become mandatory.
While the plan has been welcomed by the palm oil industry and government, environmentalists have expressed concern that increased local palm oil consumption will hasten Indonesia's rapidly spreading deforestation. (Source: Indonesian Ministry of Industry, Jakarta Post, Reuters, Aug., 2018) Contact: Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources of the Republic of Indonesia, www.esdm.go.id/en
More Low-Carbon Energy News Indonesia Biodiesel, Palm Oil, Biodiesel,
The EU's new policy will start reducing crude palm oil imports gradually in 2023 before the complete banning effective in 2030. Until then, the percentage of palm oil in EU biofuel will be kept at 2019 levels.
Indonesia and Malaysia, which account for 85 pct of the world's palm oil supply, reportedly expressed relief in response to the EU decision while the Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) said that although the EU decision was "very welcome" the upcoming ban would cause it to aggressively seek new markets.
Under current EU law, palm oil must come from certified sustainable plantations. Even so, environmentalists note that palm oil diesel still produces three times the carbon emissions of fossil diesel.
Environmental organizations and green activists accuse the palm oil industry of causing massive deforestation and rainforest destruction, thus hastening climate change. (Source: Malaysian Palm Oil Council, Citizen Truth, 24 June, 2018)Contact: Malaysian Palm Oil Council, www.mpoc.org.my
More Low-Carbon Energy News Palm Oil, Biofuel,
The NGO Global Witness, known for its campaign against "blood diamonds", is calling for robust regulations to curb the excesses of financial deregulation which have driven global deforestation and other abuses that contribute to climate change.
The EC says it aims at becoming a global leader in fighting climate change and achieving the reductions in greenhouse gas emissions agreed at the COP21 Paris Climate accord meeting in December 2015. The impact of climate change already threatens financial stability and leads to major economic losses through floods, land erosion or droughts, the EC acknowledged.
To achieve the EU's 2030 climate targets, approximately €180 billion per year of additional investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy would be needed. Mobilizing private capital to fund sustainable investment is essential, the EC added. (Source: EC, Brussels Times, 27 May, 2018) Contact: Global Witness,
European Commission, Miguel Arias Canete, Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, https://ec.europa.eu
More Low-Carbon Energy News European Commission, Climate Change, Deforestation, ,
"Mathematical models of the earth's climate indicate that if this warming occurs then it could create significant changes in sea level, ocean currents, precipitation patterns, regional temperatures and weather. These changes could be larger than any that have occurred over the last 12,000 years. Such relatively fast and dramatic change would impact on the human environment, future living standards and food supplies, and could have major social, economic and political consequences." -- Shell Oil "Confidential" Internal Report, 1988 (Source: Shell, De Correspondent, E&E News, April, 2018)
More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change, CO2, Shell Oil,
According to the findings, carbon emissions in supply chains are four times greater than those of a company's direct operations. Of those responding to CDP, over 75 pct of suppliers identified some climate change risks to their business, and more than 50 pct said they have integrated climate change into their business strategies. The number of companies that address emissions in their supply chains doubled within a year, with emission reductions totaling 551 million metric tonnes of CO2.
The report also compares the efforts of suppliers in eight major economies to mitigate environmental risk. It finds that 80 pct of companies in France are likely to have climate change integrated into their businesses. Japanese companies have the highest rates of disclosure, and are the most likely to set emissions reduction targets. Of the organizations on the Supplier Engagement leader board, 33 pct are from the US, followed by 15 pct from the UK. (Source: CDP, PR, UNFCCC, Feb., 2018) Contact: CDP, Lance Pierce, Pres. North America, (212) 378 2086, email@example.com, www.cdp.net
More Low-Carbon Energy News CDP, Carbon Emissions, CO2,
The Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation, and Conservation, Sustainable Management of Forest and Enhancement of Forest Carbon Stocks (REDD+) is a mitigation mechanism to combat climate change. The international programme operates under the principles of reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, and enhancing carbon sequestration through improved forest protection and management.
The REDD+ Readiness programme was established in Bhutan in 2010. In 2013, the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility of the World Bank approved the REDD+ Readiness Preparation Proposal (R-PP) and the project was implemented from 2015 with $3.8 million in World Bank grant funding.
In the three years, the project completed the National Forest Inventory, established heritage forests, land use and land cover mapping 2016, revised forest and nature conservation rules and regulations of 2017, build capacity for forest management, and institutionalized national forest monitoring system and forest reference emission level including the forest resource information management system. (Source: Kuensel, World Bank, 12 Feb., 2018)
More Low-Carbon Energy News REDD+, World Bank, Reforestation, Deforestation, Climate Change,
According to the Cyprus Island Plan -- a town planning law that sets out economic, cultural, social and population planning objectives for rural areas --
while legislation is in place, a study is needed to identify climate change and clean energy related problems and financially and ecologically beneficial initiatives and solutions.
The commissioner was referring to the need to activate Article 7 of the Island Plan to deal with uneven development, the wasting of natural resources, deforestation and the uneven distribution of national and European funds.
(Source: Cyprus Mail, 21 Jan., 2018)
More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,
A 2016 EU-funded study found that biodiesel produced from palm oil was three times more polluting than traditional diesel. In 2017, MEPs voted on a resolution urging the European Commission to phase-out the use of vegetable oils in biofuels by 2020. They also called for a single certification scheme to guarantee only sustainably produced palm oil enters the EU market.
According to the ethanol trade group ePURE Secretary General Emmanuel Desplechin."The (European) Parliament needs to send a clear message that not all biofuels are created equal. It is time for the European Parliament to put into law the resolution on palm oil it adopted last spring and stop promoting the use of palm oil and derivatives in biofuels. Crucially, ethanol is not responsible for any of the concerns associated with palm oil cultivation,"
The proposed ban on palm oil still faces hurdles however, starting with a political agreement from the 28 EU member states, which will be required to finalise the adoption of the revised renewable energy directive.
There are still concerns however that the EU's bioenergy policy might lead to deforestation -- especially when it comes to "solid biomass" that is sometimes burned to generate electricity.
The EC's sustainability criteria for biomass includes imports of wood pellets from Canada and the US, which are produced from round trees and are shipped to Europe for burning in power plants.
. (Source: EC, EURACTIV, 9 Jan., 2018) Contact: European Renewable Ethanol Assoc. (ePURE), Emmanuel Desplechin, Sec. Gen., +32 2 657 6679, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.epure.org
More Low-Carbon Energy News Woody Biomass, Palm Oil, Biodiesel, ePURE,
Along with transport, agriculture, buildings and waste -- which are not covered by the EU's Emission Trading Scheme (EU ETS) -- the LULUCF sector is required to contribute a 30 pct emissions cut by 2030 compared to 2005 levels, as part of the EU-wide commitment to cut overall emissions by 40 pct by 2030.
The 2000-2009 period has been set as the reference point for comparing carbon emissions, after MEPs had arbitrarily set this to 2009-2012 under pressure from Sweden, Finnland and other countries with large forestry sectors.
The lack of linkage between the European accounting from LULUCF and other continents' methods of forest management means that under the current proposal for the post 2020 Renewable Energy Directive, the EU counts burning biomass (pellets and wood) as renewable energy but does not take into account the net increase in emission if this wood is imported.
(Source: EURACTV, 14 Dec., 2017)
More Low-Carbon Energy News EU ETS, EU, Carbon Sink, Forest Carbon, CO2, Deforestation, Reforestaion,
Tropical deforestation and ecological degradation account for roughly 10 pct of the planet's annual carbon emissions. Meanwhile, Borneo is home to one of the most efficient carbon recycling and storage systems on the planet. The latest research efforts show, some 40 percent of the island's carbon stocks are without maximum protections and could suffer deforestation and degradation if the land is converted into agriculture or cleared for development.
Using the latest data collected by the Carnegie Airborne Observatory, the researchers found the island could double its carbon stocks by allowing previously felled forests to regenerate.
(Source: Carnegie Institution for Science, Carnegie Airborne Observatory, Newsline, UPI, 4 Dec., 2017)
Carnegie Airborne Observatory, https://cao.carnegiescience.edu; Carnegie Institution for Science, (202) 387-6400, https://carnegiescience.edu
More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon, Deforestation, Carbon Storage,
PAC projects are developed and implemented in collaboration with local, community-based organizations that rely on cultural knowledge to manage forest ecosystems. PAC's "measurement-to-monetization" services are provided at no cost to landowners. PAC services are available to verify emission reduction for Paris Agreement signatories.
PAC aims to reduce CO2 emissions and greenhouse gases by restoring nature. The company deploys carbon measurement infrastructure on forest lands to accurately measure carbon offsets for sale as carbon securities and carbon products. (Source: Planet Alpha Corp., PR, PRZen, 28 Nov., 2017) Contact: Planet Alpha Corp., D.V. Marino, CEO, https://planetalphaforest.earth
More Low-Carbon Energy News Deforestation, Planet Alpha, Fotest Carbon, Carbon Credits, Carbon Sequestration,
"Worse, finance for sustainable forestry and agriculture aligned with climate goals -- approximately $20 billion since 2010 -- is dwarfed by the $777 billion pumped into the sectors that drive deforestation.
" For many developing countries, forest conservation represents the main contribution they can make to the global climate effort. While all tropical forest countries have committed to reduce forest emissions as part of their national climate plans, many have pledged further reductions on the condition that they receive international support. And more than 50 developing countries have been running programmes to prepare the ground for REDD+, including establishing social and environmental safeguards and forest monitoring systems that will enable them to access payments for verified carbon savings."
Progress on the New York Declaration on Forests report
HERE. (Source: Climate Focus, New York Declaration on Forest Assessment
Partners, Climate and Land Use Alliance, Ecosystem Marketplace, Nov., 2017)
More Low-Carbon Energy News REDD, Deforestation, Carbon Sink, Forest Carbon,
The National Parks Association disagreed on the grounds that evidence from Europe showed the adoption of biomass power was driving deforestation in Russia, Canada, the USA, Slovakia, Italy, Spain and Finland. "Given what we know, that biomass use overseas is driving deforestation, and the evidence that burning forests for power is driving climate change, this is reckless in the extreme," Dr Sweeney said.
On the other hand, a report from DPI research scientist Fabiano Ximenes finds that "Biomass from forestry residues has great potential for large-scale electricity generation, industrial heat, biofuels and valuable natural chemicals. So you're taking more sustainable biomass from the forest, reducing wastage, but also looking at areas for growth for the bioenergy industry in general. In doing so [you are] reducing greenhouse gas emissions for the state, but also quite importantly contributing to regional economic growth for the north coast as well."
Download the full DPI report
(Source: NSW Department of Primary Industries, DPI Research, ABC North Coast, 22 Nov., 2017) Contact:
NSW Department of Primary Industries, Research, Fabiano Ximenes, www.dpi.nsw.gov.au
More Low-Carbon Energy News Woody Biomass, Forest Waste, Biomass-to-Energy,
According to the Air Transport Action Group (ATAG) , the aviation industry envisions that 2 pct of all international jet fuel will come from sustainable sources by 2025. However, for the industry to meet its goal of halving carbon dioxide emissions by 2050 compared to 2005, much wider deployment of biofuels will be essential. Although five alternative jet fuel pathways from a range of feedstocks have been approved for use in aviation, with more waiting in the wings, the NGOs behind the letter to ICAO believe that only fuels derived from vegetable oils can be scaled up sufficiently.
According to bioenergy campaign group Biofuelwatch, any large-scale use of aviation biofuels made from hydrotreated vegetable oils (HVO) would almost certainly rely on palm oil -- the cheapest type of vegetable oil available in large quantities, and is cheaper to refine to HVO than other types of vegetable oil. The group has described the airline industry's green fuel plans as "a Trojan horse for palm oil." (Source: ATAG, Runway Girl. 12 Oct., 2017) Contact: ATAG, ATAG executive director Michael Gill
Sustainable Aviation Fuels User Group, www.safug.org; Air Transport Action Group, www.atag.org; ICAO, +52 55 52 50 3211, email@example.com, [www.icao.int
More Low-Carbon Energy News Air Transport Action Group, ICAO , Aviation Biofuel, Palm Oil,
The global Forest Carbon Partnership Facility and World Bank have committed to pay Viet Nam $60 million for the absorption of 10.3 million tonnes of CO2 from 2018 to 2024.
This project is the first regional-level project implemented by the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) programme in Viet Nam. Cities discharge 70 pct of Vietnam's CO2.
(Source: Vietnam Bridge Vietnam Net, Others, Oct., 2017)
More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Emissions, Climate Change, Deforestation, Reforestation,
The EU has a target to cut emissions by 40 pct by 2030 compared to 1990 levels, and forests acting as "carbon sinks" removing more than 400 Mt CO2 from the atmosphere annually -- equivalent to 10 pct of the EU's total greenhouse gas emissions -- is part of the EU's meeting its carbon reduction targets.
The European Commission's initial proposal for a regulation on land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF) introduced a "no-debit" or zero target whereby EU countries must offset all deforestation either by equivalent reforestation or improved forest management and thus have a neutral impact on climate change. The Commission proposal also required all 28 EU states to account for the emissions produced from burning biofuels, which was not the case previously.
The MEPs have also adopted a mandatory 2000 -2012 historical baseline obliging EU countries to count all emissions coming from changes in forest management in subsequent years. This means that if a country increased its harvesting levels, the reduction in "carbon sink" capacity would be accounted as a net increase in emissions.
The MEPs also raised the upper limit for forest credits that EU countries can use to offset emissions in other types of land (wetlands, for example) from 3,5 pct to 7 pct of the total current sink capacity of forests.
(Source: European Commission, EURACTIV.com, Various Others 14 Sept., 2017) Contact: European Commission, ec.europa.eu/commission
More Low-Carbon Energy News European Commission, Carbon Sink, Forest Carbon, CO2, Carbon Emissions,
Project Gigaton focuses on limiting Scope 3 carbon emissions which are a consequence of normal business operations, but over which the company has no direct control. In order to cut down on these carbon emissions Walmart has launched an online portal where their suppliers can navigate to better manage their waste, energy use, product design, packaging, deforestation, and more. The project is also intended to make Walmart's processes and operations more transparent.
(Source: Walmart, Good360, 30 Aug., 2017) Contact: Walmart, Kathleen McLaughlin, VP, corporate.walmart.com/contact-us
More Low-Carbon Energy News CO2, Carbon Emissions, Walmart, Carbon Footprint,
On June 19, 30 CGIAR scientists, representing seven CGIAR Centers and six CGIAR Research Programs (CRPs), exchanged recent research findings and identified priorities for a future research agenda on soil carbon and climate change. CGIAR's current soil carbon and climate change work includes:
Environmental advocates and others are opposed to the initiative on the grounds that the rules would increase carbon emissions and lead to greater deforestation. Supporters say the Governor's scheme poses little threat of deforestation to the state which is 62 pct forest covered and the 8th most forested state in the nation. (Source: Olympian, Boston Globe, AP 7 Aug., 2017) Contact: Office of Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, (617) 725-4005, www.mass.gov/governor
More Low-Carbon Energy News Woody Biomass, Biofuels,
According to the report, energy crops should only be cultivated on marginal land which is unsuitable for food production or housing, or has been degraded through deforestation.
The report also calls for a renewed focus on converting waste cooking oil, municipal solid waste, whisky production dregs and others into second generation biofuels.
On the downside, limiting bioenergy crop production could cause new problems. Vivergo Fuels, which converts 1.1 million tpy of feed-grade wheat into bioethanol, has previously said it could face closure if crop-based biofuels in petrol were to be restricted.
UK National Farmers Union (NFU) NFU combinable crops chairman Mike Hambly says: "This report clearly demonstrates the need for biofuels and we are pleased to see the RAENG recognise the role UK agriculture has to play in this.
The report focuses heavily on the benefits of second generation biofuels -- something the NFU has long supported -- but we caution investment into this next step will only be secured on the back of first generation fuels and the Government must recognise this in future policy making."
(Source: NFU, Royal Academy of Engineering, FG Insight, 28 July, 2017) Contact: NFU,www.nfuonline.com; Royal Academy of Engineering, www.raeng.org.uk
More Low-Carbon Energy News Bioenergy Crop,