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Amazon Likely Emitting More GHGs Than It Absorbs (Study Attached)
Frontiers in Forests and Global Change
Date: 2021-03-19
Scientists have predicted for years that at some point the Amazon rainforest, known as "the lungs of the planet," would be overcome in its ability to scrub carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and could even emit more greenhouse gases than it absorbs -- a scenario the journal Frontiers in Forests and Global Change says has "probably already happened."

The study looked at factors at play in the Amazon -- fires, deforestation, weather and the expansion of ranching -- and concluded that greenhouse gases including methane and nitrous oxide being emitted in the Amazon basin offset and most likely exceed the region's ability to soak up carbon dioxide.

Access the full report HERE. (Source: Frontiers in Forests and Global Change, 11 Mar., 2021) Contact: Frontiers in Forests and Global Change, +41(0)21 510 17 40, Fax +41 (0)21 510 17 01, www.frontiersin.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Amazon Rainforest,  GHGs,  Carbon Emissions,  Climate Change,  


UK Investing £150Mn for Rainforest Preservation (Int'l.)
UK Rainforest
Date: 2021-03-17
In London, the UK has launched its new Mobilising Finance for Forests Programme, a £150 million fund to help protect rainforests equivalent to an area the size of Wales, cut millions of tonnes of carbon emissions and improve the lives of over 600,000 people in tropical forest communities across Africa, Asia and Latin America. The programme will support sustainable land-use projects and protect rainforest regions like the Amazon and Indonesian basins in communities vulnerable to climate change.

This funding will help to remove 28 million tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere, equivalent to the offsetting London's entire CO2 emissions annually over the next 15 years, through investing in eco-friendly projects like harvesting nuts, seeds, and coffee sustainably, restoring lost forests, diversifying crops to prevent soil erosion, and launching conservation activities -- restoring tropical forests as our most effective and natural carbon capture and storage sinks.

The government program is expected to attract as much as £850 million in private investment, support thousands of green jobs across multiple sectors, such as agriculture, food, and technology in these regions, and to provide 23 pct of the reduction in carbon emissions and climate impacts needed over the next decade to meet the goals set in the Paris Climate Agreement. (Source: UK Ministry of State, PR, 12 Mar., 2021) Contact: UK International Environment Minister Lord Goldsmith , www.gov.uk/government/people/zac-goldsmith

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


Nepal, World Bank Ink Emissions, Deforestation Agreement (Int'l.)
Nepal, World Bank
Date: 2021-03-01
In Kathmandu , the Government of Nepal is reporting $45 million Emissions Reductions Payment Agreement (ERPA) has with the World Bank International Finance Corporation (IFC) aimed at supporting the Himalayan country's effort to decrease carbon emissions from deforestation and forest degradation through 2025.

The initiative will focus on improving community-based forest management, improving integrated land use planning and promoting alternative energy sources. It is also expected to support Nepal's Emission Reductions Programme aims to reduce 9 million tpy of carbon emissions, lower rates of deforestation and forest degradation across 2.4 million hectares of resource-rich land, including 20 pct of the country’s forest cover in the Terai Arc Landscape. (Source: Gov. of Nepal, Energy Live, World Bank IFC, 1 Mar., 2021) Contact: World Ban, International Finance Corporation, www.ifc.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News World Bank,  Reforestation,  Deforestation,  Carbon Emissions,  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 ,  


Indonesia, World Bank Ink Carbon Emissions Reduction Deal (Int'l.)
World Bank
Date: 2020-11-30
In Jakarta, the Indonesian Environment and Forestry Ministry and the World Bank on Friday last signed a deal under the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) which provides an additional opportunity for the government to receive payments in exchange for reducing carbon emissions.

Under the agreement, Indonesia will be eligible to receive up to $110 million for reducing carbon emissions from deforestation and forest degradation until 2025.

The results-based FCPF scheme seeks to advance the government's goal of reducing carbon emissions in East Kalimantan by 22 million tons, improve land management and protect 12.7 million hectares of rainforest and other bio-diverse biomass.

Indonesia has committed to reducing 41 pct of its greenhouse emissions by 2030. (Source: World Bank, Jakarta Post, 28 Nov., 2020) Contact: Forest Carbon Partnership Facility, www.forestcarbonpartnership.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Deforestation,  World Bank,  Carbon Emissions,  Forest Carbon,  


Vietnam Addresses Forest Carbon Emissions (Int'l. Report)
Forest Carbon Partnership Facility
Date: 2020-11-30
In Hanoi, the Vietnamese government reports it has joined the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) to improve forest protection, forest quality and sustainable forest management, thereby helping Vietnam realize its climate targets.

The Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) pledged to purchase 10.3 million tonnes of CO2 emissions from six northern central provinces for a total $51.5 million via the Emission Reductions Payment Agreement (ERPA) in the 2018-2024 period, which was recently signed between the World Bank (WB) and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

The Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) is a global partnership of governments, businesses, civil society, and Indigenous Peoples' organizations 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 has to date worked 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. Vietnam is the first country in the Asia-Pacific region and fifth globally to reach such a milestone agreement with the FCPF. (Source: Nhan Dan Online, 29 Nov., 2020) Contact: Forest Carbon Partnership Facility, www.forestcarbonpartnership.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Forest Carbon Partnership,  REDD+,  Carbon Emissions,  Deforestation,  


Uniper Energy, Neutral Fuels Partner on Maritime Biofuel (Int'l.)
Uniper Energy, Neutral Fuels, International Maritime Organization
Date: 2020-11-30
In the UAE, Uniper Energy DMCC (UED) and Dubai-based Neutral Fuels have announced a collaboration to provide maritime biofuel in Fujairah, UAE. UED supplies very low sulfur fuel oil (VLSFO), and Neutral Fuels, winner of the ADIPEC 2020 Company of the Year Award in the Solutions to Climate Change category, pioneered the commercial viability of net zero biofuels to replace fossil fuels.

The two companies will blend UED's VLSFO and Neutral Fuels biofuel, creating a maritime fuel that meets the International Maritime Organization (IMO) standard, thereby cutting emissions of carbon dioxide. Limiting sulfur in shipping fuels to 0.5 pct as mandated by the IMO reduces a significant source of atmospheric pollution.

Neutral Fuels biofuels are produced from used vegetable cooking oil, have no land-use issues, are not in competition with food production, and do not cause or support deforestation, according to the company website. (Source: Neutral Fuels, Website PR, 26 Nov., 2020) Contact: Neutral Fuels, Gary Hubbard, CCO, +971 (0) 50 384 283, info@neutralfuels.com, www.neutralfuels.com; Uniper Energy, www.uniper.energy; International Maritime Organization, www.imo.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Marine Biofuel,  Biofuel,  CO2,  Carbon Emissions,  International Maritime Organization,  


Green Climate Fund Supports Ghana Forestry Project (Int'l. Report)
Green Climate Fund
Date: 2020-08-21
The Green Climate Fund (GCF) has approved a $54.5 million facility for the Ghana Shea Landscape Emission Reductions Project aimed at addressing deforestation and forest degradation in the Northern Savannah Zone of Ghana.

The Project, which will be implemented by the Forestry Commission (FC) of Ghana with technical support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), in partnership with multiple national and local institutions, civil society organizations and private sector, leveraged vertical funds with $30,100,000 grant from the GCF, about $15 million from the Government of Ghana and mobilized about $9 million impact investments from the private sector .

The project's outcomes included the restoration of 200,000 hectares of off-reserve savanna forest and 300,000 hectares of degraded shea parklands as well as the establishment of 25,500 hectares of forest plantations in severely degraded forest reserves. The project is expected to cut 25.24 million tonnes of CO2 over 20 years.

The GCF is a funding mechanism under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) that supports climate change adaptation and mitigation in developing countries. (Source: Green Climate Fund, Ghana Business News, 21 Aug., 2020)Contact: Green Climate Fund, +82.32.458.6059, info@greenclimate.fund, www.greenclimate.fund

More Low-Carbon Energy News Green Climate Fund,  Carbon Emissions,  Climate Change,  Global Warming,  Deforestation,  


Oslo Bans Palm Oil Biofuels to Stop Deforestation (Int'l. Report)
Palm Oil Biofuel
Date: 2020-07-17
In Oslo, the Norwegian Parliament has voted to ban the biofuels industry from purchasing and using unsustainably produced palm oil and palm oil related products that are directly or indirectly associated with deforestation and climate change.

In September 2018, Greenpeace reported at least 25 palm oil exploiting companies -- Colgate-Palmolive , General Mills, Hershey, Kellogg's , Kraft Heinz, L'Oreal , Mars, Mondelez, Nestle , PepsiCo , Reckitt Benckiser, Unilever and others -- were to blame for the disappearance of 1,300 square kilometers of Indonesian jungle. (Source: The Swamp, Tewodros Kore News, 16 July, 2020)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Palm Oil,  Biofuel,  Climate Change,  Deforestation,  


Norway Rewards Indonesian Carbon Reduction, Deforestation Project Success (Int'l. Report)
Indonesia,Norway
Date: 2020-07-13
In Oslo, the Norwegian Ministery of Climate and Environment reports it has paid $56.2 million to the Indonesian government for third-party certified reductions in deforestation and significantly cutting related carbon emissions over the past decade.

The two countries have been cooperating on reducing deforestation, peatland and forest degradation and related climate change initiatives since 2010.

Indonesia, which has the world's third largest rain-forest, has reduced emissions amounting to approximately 17 million tons CO2 -- equal to one third of all annual emissions from Norway. (Source: Gov. of Norway, Minister of Climate and Environment, ScandAsia, 12 July, 2020) Contact: Norway Minister of Climate and Environment, Sveinung Rotevatn, www.regjeringen.no/en/dep/kld/id668

More Low-Carbon Energy News Deforestation,  Carbon Emissions,  Indonesia Deforestation,  


Vietnam Implementing REDD+ Phase Two (Int'l. Report)
Vietnam, REDD+
Date: 2020-06-29
In Hanoi , the Vietnam Administration of Forestry under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) has announced it will implement the second phase of the international REED+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) Vietnam Phase 2 (FCPF-2) program.

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,  


Notable Quote -- Greta Thunberg Talks Climate Change
Climate Change
Date: 2020-06-22
"People are starting to realise that we cannot keep looking away from these things. We cannot keep sweeping these injustices under the carpet".

"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,  


Indonesia Scores $56Mn for CO2 Emissions Reductions (Int'l Report)
REDD+
Date: 2020-05-22
In Jakarta, the Indonesian Environment and Forestry Ministry is set to receive a US$56 million grant from Norway as the first payment for Indonesian success in reducing deforestation and carbon emissions under the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) cooperation scheme. The fund would be channeled through the Indonesian Environmental Estate Fund (BPDLH), a public service agency tasked with managing funds related to environmental protection and conservation.

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+,  


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


Virginia Grassroots Coalition Calls for Removal of Biomass-Fired Facilities from Renewable Portfolio Standard (Ind. Report)
Virginia Grassroots Coalition
Date: 2020-02-10
In the Old Dominions State, a letter to the Virginia General Assembly from the Virginia Grassroots Coalition, with over 40 participating member groups, calls for the removal of biogass-fired power facilities from Virginia's renewable portfolio standard, as follows:
  • Though touted as a clean, environmentally safe alternative to fossil fuels, wood pellets are a carbon-intense, destructive and polluting industry based in flawed carbon accounting in international agreements;

  • Wood pellet material sourcing leads to massive deforestation of critical habitats, and Enviva alone is responsible for 50 acres a day of clear-cut land:

  • Pellet production facilities release dangerous air pollutants including particulate matter and volatile organic compounds putting surrounding communities at higher risk for health complications.

  • Burning wood pellets releases 65 pct more CO2 than coal per megawatt hour. In order to keep global climate change below 1.5 degrees Celsius, wood pellets must not be used as an energy alternative.

    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,  


  • Purdue Studies Benefits of US Biodiesel (Report Attached)
    National Biodiesel Foundation
    Date: 2020-01-22
    The impacts of U.S. biofuel policy on deforestation in Malaysia and Indonesia are found to be insignificant, according to the latest research from leading economic modeling experts at Purdue University. The study looked at concerns from renewable fuel opponents claiming that biofuels are to blame for increased agricultural activity in southeast Asia.

    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,  


    Sutdy Examines Farming as CO2 Absorber (Ind. Report)
    University of Virginia
    Date: 2019-12-11
    A recently released study from the University of Virginia notes that farming, agriculture and other land practices presently contribute around 11 gigatons to CO2 emissions per year -- roughly one quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. However, the study argues that the land could actually be converted into an absorber of carbon, given the right conditions.

    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:

  • 95 pct reduction in deforestation and land degradation by 2050. This would include more robust conservation policies in developing tropical countries, as well as the conversion of coastal wetlands into protected areas and the prohibition of peatland burning.

  • 25 pct reduction in agricultural emissions by 2050. This would include introducing synthetic or organic fertilizers, enhancing the water-agriculture interface in places where rice cultivation is a primary industry and managing emissions from fermentation and manure.

  • 50 pct adoption of plant-based diets by 2050. This would involve encouraging a healthier diet through consumer campaigns and governmental policies, as well as the development of new foodstuffs to entice unconvinced consumers.

  • 50 pct reduction of current level of food waste by 2050. This would involve tightening up gaps in the supply chain, improving consumer awareness through advertising campaigns and enhancing refrigeration and distribution capabilities in the developing world.

  • Restoration of forests, coastal wetlands and drained peatlands. This would involve financing ecosystem services, improving in local and national conservation policies and investing in restoration practices.

  • Improving forestry and agroforestry management. This would include optimising current forestation conservation process and integrating agroforestry into lands currently used for agriculture and grazing.

  • Enhancing soil carbon sequestration capabilities. This would include controlling soil erosion, reducing tillage of the land and restoring degraded soils, as well as the application of biochar where appropriate.

  • Deploying bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) in developed countries. This would involve investing into the research and development of BECCS technologies and deploying them in relevant sites. (Source: University of Virginia, Environmental Technology, 1 Dec., 2019) Contact: University of Virginia, Stephanie Roe, Environmental Researcher, Report Lead Author, 434-924-7761, www.evsc.as.virginia.edu

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon,  Carbon Storage,  


  • Study Finds Lower Deforestation Net-Carbon Emissions (Ind. Report)
    Ohio State University, Climate Change
    Date: 2019-11-06
    A joint study from Ohio State and Yale universities is reporting the environmental burden of deforestation might not be as bad as previously thought. Previous estimates show that 27 pct of man-made net carbon emissions were from deforestation, but the study determined that number is actually closer to 7 pct.

    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, sohngen.1@osu.edu, www.aede.osu.edu/our-people/brent-sohngen

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Ohio State University,  Deforestation,  Carbon Emissions,  Reforestation,  


    Indonesia Eying Chinese Palm Oil for Biofuels Market (Int'l.)
    Indonesia Palm Oil
    Date: 2019-10-30
    In Jakarta, the Indonesian Office of the Coordinating Minister for the Economy reports it is anticipating a boost in palm oil exports to China, taking advantage of an opportunity opened up by the escalating trade war between Beijing and Washington.

    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,  


    French Regulators End Palm Oil Diesel Fuel Incentives (Int'l.)
    Palm Oil
    Date: 2019-10-14
    In Paris, France's highest constitutional authority has ruled in favor of excluding palm oil from the list of biofuels that enjoy tax incentives, effective 1st January, 2020. According to the French oil giant Total, the affected palm oil is valued at between &euro:70 million and €80 million per year.

    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,  


    Tobacco Giant PMI Aiming for 2030 Carbon Neutrality (Int'l)
    Philip Morris Int'l.
    Date: 2019-10-11
    Lausanne, Switzerland-based diversified international tobacco industry giant Philip Morris International Inc. (PMI) reports it aims to have all of its manufacturing facilities worldwide become carbon neutral by 2030.

    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,  


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


    $84.9Mn Green Climate Funding Announced (Int'l. Report)
    Green Climate Fund,UNDP
    Date: 2019-07-08
    Meeting in Songdo, Korea, the Green Climate Fund (GCF) reports its commitment of more than $84.9 million towards United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) supported climate change adaptation and mitigation efforts in Bhutan, Timor-Leste, the Marshall Islands and Ecuador.

    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,  


    740 Sq-Km of Amazon Lost in May (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    Amazon Deforestation
    Date: 2019-06-19
    Reuters is reporting the Amazon Rainforest -- aka the "Lungs of Earth" due to its capability of absorbing about 25 pct of the earth's total carbon dioxide emissions -- lost 740 sq-km (285 sq-miles) of forest, roughly the size of New York City and all of it's five boroughs, during the 31 days of May, 2019 due to human deforestation activity, according to data from an early-warning satellite system.

    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,  


    World Bank Fund to Support Climate-Smart Mining (Ind. Report)
    World Bank Group
    Date: 2019-05-06
    The World Bank is reporting the launch of the Climate-Smart Mining Facility fund to support the sustainable extraction and processing of minerals and metals used in clean energy technologies, such as wind, solar power, batteries for energy storage and electric vehicles. The new Facility focuses on helping resource-rich developing countries benefit from the increasing demand for minerals and metals, while ensuring the mining sector is managed in a way that minimizes the environmental and climate footprint.

    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:

  • Supporting the integration of renewable energy into mining operations, given that the mining sector accounts for up to 11 percent of global energy use and that mining operations in remote areas often rely on diesel or coal;
  • Supporting the strategic use of geological data for a better understanding of “strategic mineral” endowments;
  • Forest-smart mining -- preventing deforestation and supporting sustainable land-use practices; repurposing mine sites;
  • Recycling of minerals -- supporting developing countries to take a circular economy approach and reuse minerals in a way that respects the environment

    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,  


  • European Commission Bans Palm Oil Biofuel Subsidies (Int'l Report)
    EU, Palm Oil
    Date: 2019-03-15
    This week in Brussels, the European Commission (EC) concluded that the cultivation of palm oil, primarily in Indonesia and Malaysia, results in excessive deforestation and accordingly should not be eligible for subsidies or count toward EU renewable transport targets for national governments. Such a ban on counting toward the target -- a 32 pct share of renewable energy by 2030 -- will likely occasion the phase-out the use of of palm oil-based fuel's in Europe.

    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,  


    ePURE Comments on EU Draft Regarding Palm Oil Use (Opinins, Editorials & Asides)
    ePure
    Date: 2019-02-18
    The European Renewable Ethanol Association (ePURE) secretary general Emmanuel Desplechin has responded to the EU Commission's draft surrounding high risk indirect land-use change (ILUC) biofuels and the shift of focus away from unsustainable sources of palm oil.

    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, info@epure.org, www.epure.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News ePure,  Palm Oil,  Biodiesel,  


    Palm Oil Still in EU Transportation Fuel Mix (Int'l Report)
    ePure
    Date: 2019-02-13
    Reporting from Brussels, the European Commission (EC) reports it has gone most of the way toward banning the use of unsustainable palm oil in EU transport, but it hasn't quite closed the deal. Instead of acting on the RED II agreement and removing "high-ILUC-risk" biofuels from the 28-member trading bloc's transport mix, it has left a door open, according to a release.

    "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, info@epure.org, www.epure.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Palm Oil,  Biodiesel ,  ePure,  Biofuel,  


    Rwanda Launches Global GHG, Ozone Measurement Project (Int'l)
    Rwanda Environment Management Authority
    Date: 2019-01-14
    The Rwanda Ministries of Education, Environment, the Rwanda Meteorological Agency in partnership with the University of Massachusetts, are reporting the launch of the first African Air Quality and Climate Laboratory equipped with the "Medusa System" that will measure more than 50 gases that deplete the ozone layer. The $2 million project, which will be based at the University of Rwanda's College of Science and Technology, will measure Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) that deplete the ozone layer as well as other Rwandan and regionally emitted GHGs.

    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,  


    Palm Oil Producing Countries Comment on Biofuels, Climate Change (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    Council of Palm Oil Producing Countries
    Date: 2019-01-14
    A recent meeting of the Jakarta-based Council of Palm Oil Producing Countries (CPOPC) , issued the following policy developments in the EU on biofuel:
  • Under the proposed Renewable Energy Directive II (RED II), the Commission of the European Union is mandated to establish criteria to help distinguish between high and low risk Indirect Land Use Change (ILUC) across the vegetable oil sector in general used for biofuels;

  • There are several EU models for ILUC that have been proposed none of which, nor could provide definitive evidence that would allow for a clear distinction between high and low risk ILUC. Nevertheless, the Commission is mandated to establish criteria by February 2019 to allow for such a distinction to be made;

  • The ILUC concept is of US and EU origin, but it is not a globally accepted approach or standard for assessing the impact of ILUC on climate change. It helps underpins EU policy, but it is not an international norm upon which palm oil producing countries could or should build their environmental policies;

  • CPOPC draws attention to the fact that there is over 1.7 billion hectares of land devoted to the production of crops globally, of which only 4 pct is devoted to biofuel. In our view, the very marginal use of land for biofuel calls in to question the very basis premises of indirect land use change resulting from the cultivation of vegetable oils for biofuel;

  • While CPOPC considers that the scientific community of palm oil producing countries should engage with the Commission, the Governments in the developing world should be fearful of being drawn in to acknowledging, accepting or offering legitimacy to the ILUC scheme within the RED II;

  • Palm oil producing countries should also be mindful in the weeks ahead of the objectiveness of the criteria being established and whether they are being applied impartially across all vegetable oils. In this respect, there is concern that palm oil will be targeted as several EU models are associated with the conversion of forests and peat lands with ILUC;

  • CPOPC is of the view that the use of ILC to target palm oil would represent a basic violation of the non-discriminatory principles upon which the WTO multilateral system is based; and that any related EU regulation or decision would likely constitute a Technical Barrier to Trade;

  • CPOPC does not necessarily subscribe to this concern, but we believe that criteria established by the EU should also address carbon retention in lands that have been converted from forests and peat in Europe; as well as to take account of the relative productivity of vegetable oils and the importance that this plays in protecting the global land bank;

  • There are wider concerns that have been expressed by palm oil producing countries that criteria should also take into-account the historical impact of mass deforestation in Europe;

  • CPOPC supports the UN global agreement to achieve Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 (SDGs);

  • CPOPC considers that the SDGs does not mean a trade off between social and economic progress and the environment, but rather the need to balance out these aims and CPOPC and other Palm Oil Producing countries are willing and open to engage with trading partners and stakeholders on how to achieve the SDGs in the vegetable oil sector;

  • In contrast to the direction of EU RED II, CPOPC believes that the promotion of first generation biofuel is an essential element for achieving the SDGs in palm oil producing countries. The use of vegetable oils in biofuel is essential to combating climate change and it is also important for all Governments in Palm Oil Producing Countries to reassure and give certainty to our industries that biofuel investment will not be undermined as is the case in the European Union. (Source: CPOPC, Neutral English, Oct, 2018) Contact: CPOPC, Mahendra Siregar, Executive Director, +62 21 391 5160, +62 21 391 3961, secretariat@cpopc.org, www.cpopc.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Palm Oil,  Biofuel,  Climate Change,  


  • Norwegians Ban Palm Oil Biofuels (Int'l Report)
    Palmoil
    Date: 2018-12-14
    In Oslo, the Norwegian parliament has voted to ban the country's biofuel industry from purchasing palm oil and other dangerous biofuel feedstocks and biofuels that are linked to deforestation and harmful environmental practices, effective 1 Jan., 2020. The EU has also banned palm oil biofuels beginning in 2030.

    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,  


    Rwanda Imks Greenhouse Gases Reduction Agreement (Ind. Report)
    Greenhouse Gas Management Institute ,Carbon Institute
    Date: 2018-10-15
    Rwanda and the Washington, DC-headquartered Greenhouse Gas Management Institute and Carbon Institute have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to launch an international 7-year partnership for carbon accounting in Rwanda, according to a statement from the Rwanda Ministry of Environment.

    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, info@ghginstitute.org, https://ghginstitute.org; Rwanda Ministry of Environment, www.minirena.gov.rw

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Greenhouse Gas Management Institute,  Carbon Institute ,  


    Palm Oil Producing Countries Comment on Biofuels, Climate Change (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    The Council of Palm Oil Producing Countries
    Date: 2018-10-01
    Meeting last week in Jakarta, The Council of Palm Oil Producing Countries (CPOPC) , issued the following policy developments in the EU on biofuel:
  • Under the proposed Renewable Energy Directive II (RED II), the Commission of the European Union is mandated to establish criteria to help distinguish between high and low risk Indirect Land Use Change (ILUC) across the vegetable oil sector in general used for biofuels;

  • There are several EU models for ILUC that have been proposed none of which, nor could provide definitive evidence that would allow for a clear distinction between high and low risk ILUC. Nevertheless, the Commission is mandated to establish criteria by February 2019 to allow for such a distinction to be made;

  • The ILUC concept is of US and EU origin, but it is not a globally accepted approach or standard for assessing the impact of ILUC on climate change. It helps underpins EU policy, but it is not an international norm upon which palm oil producing countries could or should build their environmental policies;

  • CPOPC draws attention to the fact that there is over 1.7 billion hectares of land devoted to the production of crops globally, of which only 4 pct is devoted to biofuel. In our view, the very marginal use of land for biofuel calls in to question the very basis premises of indirect land use change resulting from the cultivation of vegetable oils for biofuel;

  • While CPOPC considers that the scientific community of palm oil producing countries should engage with the Commission, the Governments in the developing world should be fearful of being drawn in to acknowledging, accepting or offering legitimacy to the ILUC scheme within the RED II;

  • Palm oil producing countries should also be mindful in the weeks ahead of the objectiveness of the criteria being established and whether they are being applied impartially across all vegetable oils. In this respect, there is concern that palm oil will be targeted as several EU models are associated with the conversion of forests and peat lands with ILUC;

  • CPOPC is of the view that the use of ILC to target palm oil would represent a basic violation of the non-discriminatory principles upon which the WTO multilateral system is based; and that any related EU regulation or decision would likely constitute a Technical Barrier to Trade;

  • CPOPC does not necessarily subscribe to this concern, but we believe that criteria established by the EU should also address carbon retention in lands that have been converted from forests and peat in Europe; as well as to take account of the relative productivity of vegetable oils and the importance that this plays in protecting the global land bank;

  • There are wider concerns that have been expressed by palm oil producing countries that criteria should also take into-account the historical impact of mass deforestation in Europe;

  • CPOPC supports the UN global agreement to achieve Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 (SDGs);

  • CPOPC considers that the SDGs does not mean a trade off between social and economic progress and the environment, but rather the need to balance out these aims and CPOPC and other Palm Oil Producing countries are willing and open to engage with trading partners and stakeholders on how to achieve the SDGs in the vegetable oil sector;

  • In contrast to the direction of EU RED II, CPOPC believes that the promotion of first generation biofuel is an essential element for achieving the SDGs in palm oil producing countries. The use of vegetable oils in biofuel is essential to combating climate change and it is also important for all Governments in Palm Oil Producing Countries to reassure and give certainty to our industries that biofuel investment will not be undermined as is the case in the European Union. (Source: CPOPC, Neutral English, 1 Oct, 2018) Contact: CPOPC, Mahendra Siregar, Executive Director, +62 21 391 5160, +62 21 391 3961, secretariat@cpopc.org, www.cpopc.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Biofuel,  Biodiesel,  Palm Oil,  Council of Palm Oil Producing Countries,  


  • Fewer Biofuels, More Green Space May Benefit Environment, Study Finds (Ind. Report)
    University of Michigan
    Date: 2018-10-01
    According to a study from University of Michigan (UM) Energy Institute professor John DeCicco, growing and harvesting bioenergy crops -- corn for ethanol, trees to fuel power plants, and others -- is a poor use of land, which is a precious resource in the fight against climate change.

    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,  


    Amazon Mangroves Key to Carbon Storage, says Study (Ind. Report)
    Climate Change
    Date: 2018-09-26
    In Corvallis, Scientists led by Oregon State University ecologist Prof. J. Boone Kauffman have determined for the first time that the Amazon's waterlogged coastal mangrove forests, which are being clear cut for cattle pastures and shrimp ponds, store significantly more carbon per acre than the region's rainforest.

    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,  


    Notable Quote on Climate Change
    Climate Change
    Date: 2018-09-12
    "Climate change is moving faster than we are. We need to put the brake on deadly greenhouse gas emissions and drive climate action."

    "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.

    (Source: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, 10 Sept., 2018)

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


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

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

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

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

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


    Indonesia Imposing B20 to Limit Oil Imports (Int'l Report)
    Biodiesel,ndonesian Ministry of Industry
    Date: 2018-08-08
    Reporting from Jakarta, Reuters notes the Indonesian Government's Ministry of Industry will require all diesel fuel used in the country to contain 20 pct biodiesel (B20) -- primarily from palm oil -- starting next month. The move is intended to boost palm oil consumption, slash fuel imports, and narrow a current account gap. Indonesia presently imports approximately 400,000 bpd of crude oil.

    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,  


    EU Palm Oil Biofuel Ban Stalled Until 2030 (Ind. Report)
    EU, Palm Oil
    Date: 2018-06-25
    A recent meeting between the European Parliament, Commission, and European Council has suspended the implementation of a policy that would have banned the use of crude palm oil as a basic material for biofuel in 2020 and instead set a target of 2030 for the complete ban of palm oil.

    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,  


    EC Proposes Sustainable Finance in Climate Change Fight (Int'l)
    Global Witness,EC
    Date: 2018-05-28
    In Brussels, the European Commission (EC) announced last week an action plan on sustainable finance aimed at encouraging the EU financial sector to invest in a greener and cleaner low-carbon economy. The proposals are initially focused on environmental investments but social factors are expected to be included as the proposals progress.

    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, www.globalwitness.org; 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,  ,  

    Showing 1 to 42 of 42.