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Wa. Post Comments on China, COP25 (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
COP25
Date: 2019-12-04
"China is already the world's carbon-emitting leader, emitting nearly twice the levels of America in second place, and it is building up its lead. And in 2019, China's only significant climate change accomplishment was its slaughter of 100 million methane-producing pigs. But of course, that wasn't about climate change; it was about restraining a swine flu outbreak.

"And things are set to get worse as China opens dozens of new coal-fired power plants. China's carbon output is heading even higher in 2020, even as America's is projected to decline. This speaks to something: Chinese President Xi Jinping is lying when he says he takes climate change seriously. His dirty coal plants and opposition to European carbon tariffs, evidence Xi's global economic and political ambitions come first.

"The COP25 community doesn't seem to care. Instead, this week's summit has opened with a range of thinly veiled jabs at the United States. This, even though America is leading the world in reducing its carbon emissions.

"Why the choice to attack America and ignore China? Because most nations prefer pomp to practicality on this issue. They know they can attack America but keep trading with America. But it's not so simple when it comes to China. These nations know that China views trade through the distinct prism of Xi's mercantilist worldview. And led by President Emmanuel Macron of France, the European Union is keen to keep Beijing happy in order to maintain Chinese investment and trade deals. The contrast here between European leaders' rhetoric and activists' demands is striking.

"But it doesn't change the exigent truth. Until COP25 puts China front and center in its carbon reduction sights, these summits will continue to produce nothing but hot air." (Source: Washington Post, 3 Dec., 2019)

More Low-Carbon Energy News COP25,  Climate Change,  


SADC Supports Climate Adaptation, Mitigation Projects (Int'l., Funding)
Southern African Development Community
Date: 2019-11-20
The Gaborone, Botswana-headquartered Southern African Development Community (SADC) Secretariat and the European Union (EU) are reporting the launch of an Intra African, Caribbean and Pacific Global Climate Change Alliance Plus (GCCA+) programme.

The 4-year programme, which is intended to strengthen the capacity of SADC Member States to undertake climate change adaptation and mitigation interventions, will receive €8 million in funding from the 11th European Development Fund

The programme is a European Union flagship initiative aimed at helping the world's most vulnerable countries address climate change. (Source: SADC Secretariat, PR, 19 Nov., 2019) Contact: SADC, Dr. Stergomena Lawrence Tax, Dir., +267 395 1863, registry@sadc.int, www.sadc.int

More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  


Switzerland, EU to Link Emissions Trading Systems (Int'l. Report)
EU ETS
Date: 2019-11-18
In Bern the Swiss Federal Council is reporting approval of revisions to the country's Reduction of CO2 Emissions ordinance with the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS). The amended Ordinance was approved on November 13 and will enter into force on January 1, 2020.

The Swiss-EU agreement regulates the mutual recognition of emissions rights from the two ETS systems, each with its own legal basis. From January 2020, emissions from civil aviation and fossil fuel power stations will be included in the Swiss ETS, as is currently the case in the EU.

The EU ETS operates in 31 countries -- the EU's member states, plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway. A single, EU-wide cap applies, and auctioning is the default method for allocating allowances. The Swiss ETS is also based on the cap-and-trade principle.(Source: Swiss Federal Council, SwissInfo, TaxNews.com, 15 Nov., 2019) Contact: Swiss Federal Council, www.admin.ch/gov/en/start/federal-council.html

More Low-Carbon Energy News EU ETS,  Carbon Tax,  Carbon Emissions,  


Climate Transparency Reports G20 Emissions Targets Progress (Int'l.)
Climate Transparency,G20
Date: 2019-11-13
According to Climate Transparency's just released 2109 Brown to Green Report grading the climate performance of the G20 countries, Canada, South Korea and Australia are the furthest from meeting their Paris Climate Accord (COP15) greenhouse-gas emissions commitments.

The G20 nations account for 85 pct of global economic activity and in 2018 produced 80 pct of all greenhouse-gas emissions. About half the G20 members -- 19 countries with advanced economies plus the European Union collectively -- are on track to meet their current targets for cutting emissions by 2030 but those targets are much too mild. If every G20 member does not drastically scale up its targets, the G20 overall will produce more emissions in 2030 than it does today, according to the report.

Climate Transparency is a global partnership with a shared mission to stimulate a "race to the top" in G20 climate action and to shift investments towards zero carbon technologies through enhanced transparency. (Source: Climate Transparency, Nov., 2019) Contact: Climate Transparency, www.climate-transparency.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Transparency,  Climate Change,  G20,  


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

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

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

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

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


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,  


EIB Set to Limit Fossil Fuels Financing (Int'l. Report)
European Investment Bank
Date: 2019-10-16
The 28-member European Union's Luxembourg-based European Investment Bank (EIB) reports it is poised to limit funding for fossil fuels and increase support for renewable, clean energy projects as part of it climate change plan. The move to support renewables is reportedly being pushed by Ursula von der Leyen, the incoming president of the European Commission, who wants the EIB to become a "climate bank" and help unlock €1 trillion ($1.1 trillion) to shift the economy toward cleaner forms of energy. Von der Leyen is also calling for the EU to deepen its current target to cut emissions by at least 40 pct by 2030 from 1990 levels.

In 2018, the EIB invested over €16 billion in climate-action projects. (Source: EIB, Bloomberg, 15 Oct., 2019)Contact: European Investment Bank, www.eib.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Energy,  Clean EnergyEuropean Investment Bank ,  


Climate Change Mitigation Technologies in Europe (Ind. Report)
UNEP
Date: 2019-10-07
"In October 2014, the European Union committed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40 pct by 2030 compared to 1990 levels. This represents a significant challenge, which can only be met through the development and deployment of new climate change mitigation technologies (CCMTs)."

The attached UNEP study analyses the position of Europe in the global race to develop new CCMTs, using data on patent applications, trade in CCMT capital goods, foreign direct investment in CCMTs, climate change policy stringency, carbon emissions and public expenditure on CCMT research and development activities, to investigate inventive and associated economic activity in CCMTs in Europe, according to the UNEP study introduction.

Download the full UNEP, EPO report HERE. (Source: UNEP, Oct., 2019) Contact: UNEP, www.unep.org, www.epo.org

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


Global Carbon Credits Index Launched in UK (Int'l Report)
IHS Markit, Climate Finance Partners
Date: 2019-09-27
London, UK-headquartered information and analytics provider IHS Markit reports the launch of its Global Carbon Index, the first benchmark for the global price of carbon credits.

The Index tracks the performance of the largest, most liquid and most accessible tradable carbon markets -- the European Union Emission Trading System (EU ETS), the California Cap-and-Trade Program, and the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). The index is calculated using OPIS data and carbon credit futures pricing in those markets.

The IHS Markit Global Carbon Index was developed in consultation with Climate Finance Partners, a specialist in climate finance. IHS Markit is also well known for its daily OPIS Carbon Market Report, national carbon policies database and for developing industry standard methodologies for greenhouse gas accounting and disclosures. Its research and expertise on carbon policy impact, low-carbon and cleantech technologies and carbon risk management guide companies in energy, petrochemical, automotive, shipping, agriculture and other sectors critical to the global economy. (Source: IHS Markit , 25 Sept., 2019) Contact: IHS Markit, www.ihsmarkit.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News RGGI,  EU ETS,  IHS Markit Carbon Market,  Carbon Credit,  


EU Fossil Fuels Subsidy Growth Worth Noting (Int'l., Funding)
European Union
Date: 2019-09-25
"European governments often appear to champion low-carbon policies. Yet, In 2017, European Union countries collectively spent $87 billion subsidizing the cost of fossil fuels -- at a time when the world needs to act to stop climate change. The 2017 amount is nearly 2.5 times more than they spent in 2010." (Source: pressenza, Radek Stefanski, Senior Lecturer in Economics, University of St Andrews, 24 Sept., 2019)

More Low-Carbon Energy News European Union,  Fossil Fuel Subsidies,  


No-Deal Brexit Means Lower Carbon Tax for UK Industries (Int'l)
Carbon Tax
Date: 2019-09-11
In the UK, the Herald Media is reporting PM Boris Johnson's government is preparing to impose a tax of £16 per ton of carbon, if the country exits the European Union without a deal on the 31st of October.

This tax would come into effect from the 4th of November, and would apply to all stationary installations that are currently subject to the EU ETS.

If the UK were to leave the EU without a deal, the country will also not be subject to the 28-member European Union's Emissions Trade System (EU ETS) which is key to the EU and its member nations meeting emission reduction obligations.

While UK businesses currently pay a carbon tax rate of £26 under the EU ETS, a "No Deal Brexit" carbon tax would result in a £10 cut in the carbon tax rate and would be profitable for UK industries. (Source: Herald Media, 10 Sept., 2019)

More Low-Carbon Energy News EU ETS,  Carbon Tax,  Carbon Emissions,  


EU Earmarks €100Mn for Ukraine Energy Efficiency (Int'l.)
European Energy Efficiency Fund
Date: 2019-09-06
In Kiev, Ukrinform, the Ukrainian new agency is reporting the European Union (EU) has allocated €80 million ($88.2 million U.S.) under the European Energy Efficiency Fund (EEEF) to support a Ukrainian energy modernization program. The EU also added another €20 million ($22 million U.S.) for technical assistance in the implementation of the program.

In July, the EU-backed EEEF has signed an agreement with the International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group, under which the partners will allocate $235 million to upgrade Ukraine's energy efficiency for some 6,000 homes over a four-year period. (Source: Ukrinform, Xinhua, 5 Sept., 2019) Contact: European Energy Efficiency Fund, www.eeef.eu

More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency Funding,  


EU Slams Indonesian Biodiesel with 18 pct Duties (Int'l.)
EU, EC, Indonesian Biodiesel
Date: 2019-08-14
Meeting in Brussels, the European Commission (EC), which coordinates European Union (EU) trade policy, is reporting the imposition of conditional countervailing duties of 8 to 18 pct on imports of subsidised biodiesel from Indonesia, The duties will run until Dec, 2019, at which time they will be reviewed and possibly definitively imposed, according to an EC statement.

The EU applied its duties in response to European Biodiesel Board complaints that Indonesian biodiesel producers benefit from grants, tax benefits and access to raw materials at lower than markets prices. The EU annual biodiesel market is reportedly valued at €9 billion with Indonesia accounting for roughly €400 million. (Source: EU, EC, euronews, Reuters, 13 Aug., 2019)Contact: European Commission, www.ec.europa.eu/commission/index_en

More Low-Carbon Energy News Biodiesel,  Indonesia Biodiesel,  Biodiesel Duties,  EU,  European Commission,  


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

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

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


EU Woody Biomass,Wood Pellet Demand Rising (Int'l Report)
Woody Biomass,Wood Pellet
Date: 2019-08-07
According to a recent report from the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service's Global Agricultural Information Network, the European Union (EU) market for wood pellets will likely grow this year but future expansions could be limited by sustainability requirements introduced by the 28 individual EU member states.

The report notes nearly half of the EU's renewable energy is presently generated from the combustion of solid biomass -- wood chips and pellets -- not including municipal solid waste. The EU consumed an estimated 27.35 million metric tons of wood pellets in 2018, with consumption projected to rise to 30 million metric tons this year. According to the report, the EU's 656 wood pellet plants are expected to produce 18.1 million metric tons of wood pellets this year and imports are expected to rise from 10.355 million metric tons in 2018 to 12.2 million metric tons in 2019.

Report details are HERE. (Source: USDA Foreign Agricultural Service's Global Agricultural Information Network, July, 2019) Contact: USDA Foreign Agricultural Service's Global Agricultural Information Network, gain.fas.usda.gov

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


EU to Support Belarus Energy Efficiency Projects (Int'l Report)

Date: 2019-08-05
The Belarusian State Committee for Standardization in Minsk is reporting the European Union will provide up to €15 billion to support energy efficiency and water resources projects in Belarus. The funding is part of the recently agreed EU4Belarus: Resource Efficiency Facility for Belarus joint program.

The program will help develop and support energy efficiency, more effective management of resources, modernization of municipal and private infrastructure. (Source: EU, BelTA, 5 Aug., 2019)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency,  


Calix Reports CO2 Capture Technology Test Success (Int'l Report
Calix
Date: 2019-08-02
NSW Australia-based Calix Ltd. is reporting Project LEILAC (Low Emissions Intensity Lime And Cement), featuring Calix's CO2 capture technology for lime and cement, has been commissioned and is operating after preliminary testing at Heidelberg Cement's plant at Lixhe in eastern Belgium.

The project consortium includes the world's largest lime and cement companies, with Calix as the core technology provider and project leader.

Construction of the €21 million project was completed in early May. The project, which received €12 million from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, is part of the EU's target of reducing CO2 emissions by 80 pct below 1990 levels by 2050. To that end, European cement industry needs to deploy carbon capture across 60 pct of its plants.

Calix's patented "Direct Separation" carbon capture technology will enable Europe's cement and lime industries to reduce their CO2 emissions dramatically without significant energy or capital penalty. The technology works on both lime and cement meal, with calcination near to target levels and CO2 of more than 95 pct purity successfully separated at the top of the reactor, although not yet at full design capacity. which will be tested until the end of 2020. (Source: Calix, Manufacturing Mag., 1 Aug., 2019) Contact: Calix, Mark Sceats, CEO, +61 (2) 8199 7400, www.calix.com.au

More Low-Carbon Energy News Calix,  Carbon Capture,  Cement,  


EC Supports Six French Offshore Wind Farms (Int'l. Report)
European Union,European Commission
Date: 2019-07-29
In Brussels, the European Commission (EC) reports the European Union's 28 member countries support six large offshore wind farms in French territorial waters and that the proposed projects are inline with, and thus qualify for, EU State financial aid. According to the EC release, the offshore wind projects will help France reduce CO2 emissions, in line with EU energy and climate goals, without unduly distorting competition in the single market.

The six sites -- Courselles-sur-Mer, Fecamp, Saint-Nazaire, Iles d'Yeu / Noirmoutier, Dieppe / Le Treport and Saint-Brieuc -- are located in French territorial waters off the North-Western coast of France. Each of the wind farms will incorporate 62 to 83 turbines with an installed capacity of 450 to 498 MW per farm and will receive support in the form of feed-in tariffs over a period of 20 years.

Construction of the first of the six wind farms is slated to begin construction this year for completion and commissioning in 2022. Once finalised, the wind farms will increase France's renewables generation capacity by about three gigawatts.

The European Commission (EC) is the executive branch of the European Union, responsible for proposing legislation, implementing decisions, upholding the EU treaties and managing the day-to-day business of the 28 member countries of EU trading bloc. (Source: EC, Modern Diplomacy, 27 July, 2019) Contact: European Commission, www.ec.europa.eu/commission/index_en

More Low-Carbon Energy News Offshore Wind,  


Serbia Announces €30Mn Energy Efficiency Fund (Int'l, Funding)
Energy Efficiency
Date: 2019-07-26
In Belgrade, the Serbian government is reporting plans to launch a €30 million($33.4 million) energy efficiency fund in 2020. The money will directed towards residential projects.

The current budget for energy efficiency projects is only €1.5 million and is specifically earmarked for municpal governments and their projects for schools, hospitals and other similar projects.

The government has secured €10 million financing for the fund, while an additional €10 million will be provided by the European Union (EU).

The EU is also providing an additional €30 million to support the energy efficiency efforts of six countries in the Western Balkans. (Source: Tanjug News Agency, SeeNews, 25 July, 2019)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency,  


Blockchain Start-up Eco Smart Energies Announces Pre-ICO (Int'l.)
Eco Smart Energies Ltd
Date: 2019-07-22
In the UK, London-based Eco Smart Energies Ltd reports it is prepared to launch the pre-ICO campaign for their upcoming Renewable Energy Network Based on Decentralized Organization (RENBDO) project. The campaign aims to secure funds for the installation of up to 52 wind turbines for the production of green energy.

To date, 72 pct of the required funding has been covered by the European Union irredeemable funds for green energy. The remaining 30 pct of necessary funding is expected to be covered by the upcoming ICO.

Through the pre-ICO campaign, Eco Smart Energies will introduce their Renewable Energy Token (RET) to the market with the objective of creating an ecosystem where the investors will receive return on their investments based on the amount of tokens owned by them. Ownership of one RET is equivalent to owning one asset in Eco Smart Energies. 90 pct of the total profits will be distributed amongst the token holders while the remaining 10 pct will be earmarked for maintenance and employees.

RENBDO is a cryptocurrency start-up venture focused on the establishment of wind farms and green energy. (Source: Eco Smart Energies Ltd , PR News, 17 July, 2019) Contact: Eco Smart Energies Ltd, www.renbdo.io

More Low-Carbon Energy News Wind,  Eco Smart Energies Ltd ,  


Malaysia Plans Challenge to EU Palm Oil for Biofuels Curbs (Int'l)
Malaysian Palm Oil Board
Date: 2019-07-17
In Kuala Lumpur, Malaysian President Joko Widodo last week declared palm oil as a "strategic commodity" for his country and that the government would lodge a complaint with the World Trade Organization over the European Union's plan to phase out the use of palm oil in biofuels.

The Southeast Asian country is the world's second largest palm oil producer after Indonesia and would be hit hard by the EU's plan to cut its use in biofuels by 2030.

In March, the Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad warned the EU attempt to curb palm oil in biofuels "risks opening up a trade war with Malaysia." (Source: Gov. of Malaysia, Al Arabiya, Others, AFP, 16 July, 2019)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Palm Oil,  Malaysian Palm Oil,  


MERCOSUR, EC Deal Opens South American Biofuels Market (Int'l)
European Commission,MERCOSUR
Date: 2019-07-15
The European Union's European Commission (EC) is reporting a trade deal with the South American Mercosur trading bloc that will open the European market to more imports of ethanol and crops that are used to make high-emitting biofuel.

Under the deal crops and ethanol produced in MERCOSUR member countries -- Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay -- could be used to meet the EU's green transport fuel targets. The agreement also allows for a lower tariff rate on ethanol imports to be phased in over five years: a quota of 200,000 tonnes with an in-quota rate of one-third of the current high duty of up to €19/hectolitre will be opened for fuel and other uses beyond the chemical industry, according to a EC briefing. The agreement also reduces or eliminates duties that MERCOSUR currently imposes on exports of soybean products to the EU, the Commission said. This could make soy a more attractive feedstock for biodiesel producers in Europe.

Argentine soy diesel, imports of refined biodiesel tripled from 2017 to 2018, with palm oil and soy accounting for around 86 pct of all biodiesel imports. (Source: EU EC, Transport & Environment, 11 July, 2019) Contact: MERCOSUR, www.mercosur.int/en/about-mercosur/mercosur-countries

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


Total's La Mede Biorefinery Production Underway (Int'l Report)
Total
Date: 2019-07-03
In Paris, energy major Total reports it has begun production at the La Mede biorefinery in southeastern France, with the first batches of biofuel coming off the line. It is the final step in converting the former oil refinery into a new energies complex.

Launched in 2015, the Mede biorefinery can produce 500,000 tpy of hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO), a premium biofuel, as well as biodiesel and biojet fuel for the aviation industry. The facility was specifically designed to process all types of oil. Its biofuels will be made: 60 to 70 pct from 100 pct sustainable vegetable oils (rapeseed, palm, sunflower, etc.), and 30 to 40 pct from treated waste (animal fats, cooking oil, residues, etc.).

As part of May, 2018 agreement with the French Government, Total has pledged to process no more than 300,000 tpy of palm oil -- less than 50 pct of the total volume of raw materials needed -- and at least 50,000 tpy of French-grown rapeseed, creating another market for domestic agriculture. All the oils processed will be certified sustainable to European Union standards.

Total is also examining different biomass conversion pathways, such as thermochemical, biotechnology and algae, and is working in its own laboratories and via R&D partnerships with manufacturers, start-ups, universities and private laboratories, including BioTfueL, Novogy and Renmatix. (Source: Total Website, PR, 3 July, 2018) Contact: Total, Investor Relations: +44 (0 )207 719 7962 l, ir@total.com, www.total.com

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


U.N. Sec Gen. Wants EU Emissions Target Raised (Int'l Report)
European Union
Date: 2019-06-19
Reuters is reporting U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called on the European Union to aim for a 55 pct cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 -- in excess of the 28 member trading bloc's present 40 pct reduction target. The Secretary General also asked EU leaders to phase out burning coal and approval of new coal-fired power plants beyond 2020.

The European Parliament and the EU's climate chief Miguel Arias Canete have called for the bloc to aim for net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, saying legislation passed since the Paris Climate Agreement puts the EU on track to surpass its current emissions reduction target.

Poland and other EU member states that rely on coal for power production , along with Germany and its its powerful automotive sector, balk at deeper emission cuts. (Source: Various Media, Reuters, CNBC, June, 2019)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Coal,  GHGs,  Carbon Emissions,  EU,  


EC Warns EU Nations Missing 2030 Energy Efficiency Targets (Int'l)
European Commission
Date: 2019-06-19
In Brussels, the European Commission is warning the 28-member European Union trading bloc will miss its binding target to improve its energy efficiency by 32.5 pct by 2030. The EU 2030 energy efficiency target is based on energy savings compared with a business as usual projection, and translated to a target cap of 1.273 billion mtoe for primary energy use and 956 million mtoe for final energy use.

According to the EC report, most EU countries proposed modest or low contributions to the overall EU target and must now raise their commitments which are due to be submitted to the EC before the year end. (Source: EC, S&P, 19 June, 2019) Contact: European Commission, https://ec.europa.eu

More Low-Carbon Energy News European Commission,  Energy Efficiency,  EU ,  


Netherlands Calls for Minimum CO2 Emissions Price (Int'l, Reg & Leg)
Carbon Tax
Date: 2019-06-05
In Amsterdam, the Government of the Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte has proposed legislation setting a minimum price of €12.30 per tonne of CO2 emissions by electricity producers. If approved by parliament, the law would come into force in Jan., 2020, rising to €31.90 in 2030. The Dutch carbon tax would supplement the European Union's Emissions Trading System (ETS). (Source: Gov. of the Netherlands, Reuters, June, 2019)

More Low-Carbon Energy News EU ETS,  Carbon Tax,  Carbon Emissions,  


Total EU GHG Emissions Increase Slightly (Int'l. Report)
European Environment Agency
Date: 2019-05-31
According to the European Environment Agency's (EEA) Annual European Union Greenhouse Gas Inventory 1990-2017 and inventory report 2019 the EU's total greenhouse gas emissions -- including international aviation -- rose by 0.7 pct in 2017 compared with 2016. From 1990 to 2017, the EU reduced its net GHG emissions by 21.7 pct and is therefore still exceeding its 20 pct Paris Climate Accord reduction target set for 2020.

In reaching these levels, less coal was used for heat and electric power production but this was offset by higher industrial and transport emissions, the latter increasing for the fourth consecutive year.

The report notes EU GHG emissions have decreased since 1990 as a combined result of policies, economic and structural factors and, on average, milder winters. The largest emission cuts have been made in the energy sector, due to efficiency improvements, increased use of renewables and a less carbon intensive mix of fossil fuels. -- more gas, and less coal and oil. Energy efficiency and renewable energy will continue to play a key role in cutting future emissions and helping the EU achieve its 40 pct reduction target by 2030. (Source: European Environment Agency, Various Media, Eurasia Review, 30 May, 2019) Contact: European Environment Agency, www.eea.europa.eu.

More Low-Carbon Energy News European Environment Agency ,  Carbon Emissions,  


Gasum Opens First Swedish LNG Filling Station (Int'l Report)
Gasum Oy
Date: 2019-05-22
In Espoo, Finland, the Nordic energy company Gasum Oy, a major biogas producer and distributor, is reporting the opening of its first liquefied natural gas (LNG) biogas filling station in the city of Vasteras, central Sweden, where it also owns a biogas production facility. In the long term, the company plans to expand its Swedish filling station network to 50 outlets.

Under the European Union's emissions reduction standards, CO2 emissions from heavy-duty vehicles are to be reduced by 30 pct by 2030. Sweden is aiming to reduce CO2 emissions from domestic traffic by at least 70 pct by 2030. (Source: Gasum,Regeringen.se, Europa, 21 May, 2019) Contact: Gasum Oy, Mikael Antonsson, +358 20 4471, www.gasum.com/en/About-gasum/Information-about-Gasum/Gasum-in-brief

More Low-Carbon Energy News Biogas news,  LNG news,  Biofuel news,  Liquified Natural Gas news,  


EU Dumps 9.5 pct Duty on US Ethanol Imports (Int'l Report)
uropean Commission
Date: 2019-05-17
In Brussels, the Europen Union Commission reports it has ended a 9.5 pct anti-dumping duty on U.S. imports. The European Union Commission reports it has canceled a 2013, 9.5 pct ethanol anti-dumping duty against imports from the United States. In ending the duty, the Commission concluded that "removing the duty would not increase the likelihood of dumping of U.S. ethanol on the EU market" and noted "it found no evidence that U.S. ethanol exports have increased because of lack of growing domestic demand and not because of growing demand in other countries."

The 9.5 pct duty was originally imposed as a result of a complaint filed by the EU's largest ethanol producer group, European Renewable Ethanol Assoc. (ePure). (Source: EUROPA - EU Newsroom, DTN Progressive Farmer, 16 May, 2019)Contact: European Renewable Ethanol Assoc. (ePURE), Emmanuel Desplechin, Sec. Gen., +32 2 657 6679, info@epure.org, www.epure.org; European Commission, https://ec.europa.eu

More Low-Carbon Energy News Ethanol,  European Commission,  Ethanol,  ePure,  


EU Countries Show CO2 Emissions Reduction Progress (Int'l)
Carbon Emissions
Date: 2019-05-10
A new report from Eurostat, the European Union's statistics bureau, notes that 20 of the 28 EU member countries managed to reduce their CO2 emissions during 2018. Combined EU emissions from burning fossil fuels fell by 2.5 pct in 2018 compared to a 1.7 pct increase in 2017.

Of the 20 countries that reduced emissions, Portugal made the largest reduction with 9.0 pct in 2018, followed by Bulgaria at 8.1 pct, Ireland at 6.8 pct, and Germany with a 5.4 pct drop.

Estonia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Finland's emissions were unchanged while Latvia's emissions jumped 8.5 pct in 2018. (Source: Eurostat, CPH Post, 9 May, 2019) Contact: Eurostat, https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/home

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


British Steel Borrows to Meet Pre-Brexit EU ETS Rules (Int'l)
British Steel,Bexit
Date: 2019-05-06
Following up on our 15th April report on the European Union's decision to suspend Britsh Steel and other UK firms' access to free carbon permits under the EU ETS until a Brexit withdrawal deal is ratified, the UK government reports it has loaned British Steel £120 million to meet its obligations under EU ETS rules allowing industrial polluters to use carbon credits to pay for the previous year's emissions, or trade them to raise money.

Each free permit gives a firm the right to emit a tonne (1,000kg) of CO2. British Steel claims that it is discussing the impact of Brexit on its business with ministers and officials from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (DBEIS) and is in talks with Department for Business about financial assistance. British Steel has until 30 April to comply with EU emission rules. (Source: British Steel, Insider Media, 2 May 2019

More Low-Carbon Energy News UE ETS,  Carbon Emissions,  Brexit,  British Steel,  


African Nations Share Climate-Smart Agriculture Funds (Int'l)
UNDP,Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa
Date: 2019-05-01
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) are reporting the African countries of Zimbabwe, Uganda, Madagascar, eSwatini and Seychelles will share a total of $3.49 in grant funding to support a three-year scale-up of climate change projects aimed at promoting climate aware, conservation farming.

The funds, which will be managed by the UNDP under an agreement signed with Comesa, will support the adoption of climate smart agriculture practices and technologies among farmer co-operatives and schools. The programme is part of COMESA's European Union supported Global Climate Change Action Plus Programme focused on mainstreaming climate change in national policies, strategies and development plans of member states, promoting, supporting, and piloting appropriate adaptation and mitigation projects. (Source: Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, The East African, 27 April, 2019) Contact: Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, www.comesa.int; UNDP, www.undp.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News UNDP,  Climate Change,  


FCA Links With Tesla to Beat European Emission Fines

Date: 2019-04-19
FCA, whose brand portfolio includes Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Jeep and Maserati, will pay for the right to count Tesla’s electric vehicles as part of its fleet under a so-called “open pool” option permitted by EU emission regulations. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles signs a deal with Tesla that will allow it to avoid paying fines for exceeding European Union carbon-dioxide emission limits from 2021, the Financial Times has reported. FCA, whose brand portfolio includes Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Jeep and Maserati, will pay for the right to count Tesla’s electric vehicles as part of its fleet under a so-called “open pool” option permitted by EU emission regulations. Under the EU regulations, the average emissions of a company’s new-car fleet in 2021 must be 95 g/km or less – compared with the 130g/km regulation in force today. The EU fleet averages are calculated on the number of cars sold. While Tesla’s European sales are relatively small, its electric-powered Model 3, Model S and Model X will allow FCA to significantly lower its fleet average emissions owing to the fact that they don’t emit any CO2. In a statement, FCA says its “open pool” alliance with Tesla will “optimize the options for compliance that the regulation offer(s).” It adds: “FCA is committed to reducing the emissions of all our products. The purchase pool provides flexibility to deliver products our customers are willing to buy while managing compliance with the lowest-cost approach.” (Source” Tesla, FCA, Wardsauto, 9 April, 2019)


British Steel Seeks £100Mn to Meet Pre-Brexit EU ETS Rules (Int'l)
EU ETS
Date: 2019-04-15
The BBC is reporting the European Union's decision to suspend UK firms' access to free carbon permits under the EU ETS until a Brexit withdrawal deal is ratified is behind British Steel's decision to seek a £100 million to meet EU ETS rules allowing industrial polluters to use carbon credits to pay for the previous year's emissions, or trade them to raise money.

Each free permit gives a firm the right to emit a tonne (1,000kg) of CO2. British Steel claims that it is discussing the impact of Brexit on its business with ministers and officials from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (DBEIS) and is in talks with Department for Business about financial assistance. British Steel has until 30 April to comply with EU emission rules. (Source: BBC, Steel Times, 14 April, 2019)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Emissions,  EU ETS,  


Palm Oil Producers Partner to Protest EU Directive (Int'l)
Palm Oil,Council of Palm Oil Producing Countries
Date: 2019-04-08
Reporting from Kuala Lumpur, the governments of Malaysia and Indonesian have announced the two major global palm oil producers will, under the Council of Palm Oil Producing Countries, (CPOPC) embark on a joint mission to Brussels this week to register a firm objection to the Delegated Regulation Supplementing Directive 2018/2021 of the European Union Renewable Energy Directive II.

According to the release, "Malaysia has argued that the law discriminates against biofuels and bioliquids produced from palm oil and other oil crops. There is also significant lack of scientific data and reliable information used in the Delegated Regulation which classifies palm oil production as a high Indirect Land Use Change risk biofuel feedstock."

"Malaysia urges the European Union to provide equitable treatment across all oil crop biofuels and bioliquids in line with the World Trade Organization non-discriminative principles. Malaysia will continue to overcome disruptive and discriminatory practices on suppressing the palm oil trade," the release added. (Source: Council of Palm Oil Producing Countries, Bernama, Sun Daily, 6 April, 2019) Contact: Council of Palm Oil Producing Countries, www.cpopc.org

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


EuroStat Notes EU's Renewable Energy Propects, Progress (Int'l)
EU
Date: 2019-04-01
According to data from the European Union statistics service Eurostat, the 28-member trading bloc sourced 17.5 pct of its energy from renewables in 2017, keeping it on track for a target of 20 pct by 2020.

Each member state has its own individual renewable energy goal ranging from 10 to 49 pct based on its situation and potential. While 11 countries in the bloc have already surpassed their targets, others are lagging behind, according to Eurostat.

With the target for 2030 at 32 pct, Eurostat notes, "While the EU as a whole is on course to meet its 2020 targets, some member states will need to make additional efforts to meet their obligations."

Specifically, the EU's renewable energy leaders are Nordic countries: Sweden, Finland and Denmark with more than half of the total energy consumed coming from renewables -- primarily hydropower, wind and biofuels.

Luxembourg and the Netherlands are the EU countries with the lowest consumption of renewables, at 6.4 pct and 6.6 pct respectively. Despite its investment in offshore wind farms, the Netherlands is the furthest from reaching its targets.

In 2017 France reached 16.3 pct of energy consumption from renewables, compared to its 23 pct target for 2020. Woody biomass and hydropower are the main sources of green energy in France which sources 70 pct of its electricity from nuclear. Even so, France has committed to closing 14 nuclear reactors by 2035 and shutting down four still-active coal power plants by 2022.

Germany's renewable energy, which comes mainly from wind and solar power, reached just 15.5 pct in 2017, while its 2020 objective is set at 18 pct. Coal still accounts for 37 pct of Germany's electric power production and more than 30 pct of its heating. (Source: EuroStat, France 24, Mar., 2019) Contact: Eurostat, http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat

More Low-Carbon Energy News EuroStat,  Renewable Energy,  


EU Calls for China to Peak Emissions before 2030 (Int'l)
EU
Date: 2019-03-13
The European Commission on 12 March urged China to peak its CO2 emissions before 2030. “China is at the same time the world’s largest emitter and investor in renewable energy. We call on China to peak its emissions before 2030 in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement and inspire action globally,” EU Energy and Climate Action Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete wrote in a tweet.

the European Commission and High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini reviewed EU-China relations and the related opportunities and challenges and set out 10 concrete actions on 12 March for the EU’s leaders to discuss and endorse at the European Council of 21 March, including Action 2 which especially calls on EU calls on China to peak its emissions before 2030 and meets its 2015 Paris Agreement goals.

The next EU-China Summit is scheduled for early April. “China is a Strategic Partner of the European Union. We pursue strong bilateral and multilateral cooperation on files where we share interests, from trade to connectivity, from the JCPOA to climate change,” Mogherini said. . (Source: New Europe, 13 Mar., 2019)

More Low-Carbon Energy News CO2 Emissions news,  China Emissions news,  Climate Change news,  


EU ETS, Swiss Carbon Market Link Together (Int'l Report)
Carbon Marget, EU ETS
Date: 2019-03-08
Meeting in Bern, the Swiss cabinet reports approval of a deal that would link the Swiss and the European Union carbon emissions trading systems (EU ETS). With the linking of the systems the most polluting category of Swiss companies will be able to access a larger market and benefit from the same conditions as their European counterparts, beginning in 2020.

In Switzerland, 54 companies in sectors like cement, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, refineries, paper, heating or steel are linked to the Swiss emissions trading system. In Europe, there are around 11,000 firms that offset their emissions under the EU ETS.

In Switzerland, companies have the right to emit a certain amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere for free. Those that reduce their CO2 emissions and do not use all their quota can sell them to others.

Companies that do not participate in the emissions trading scheme are subject to a CO2 tax which can be refunded if they undertake to reduce their emissions. The coupling of the Swiss and EU emission trading systems will enter into force in 2020. It is part of the changes associated with the revision of the Swiss CO2 law. The agreement is for an indefinite duration and can be terminated with six months' notice by both parties.(Source: swissinfo.ch, 7 Mar., 2019)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Emissions,  Carbon Market,  EU ETS,  


Balkans Energy Efficiency Scores Additional EU Funding (Int'l) Report)
EU,Energy Efficiency
Date: 2019-02-25
In Brussels, the European Union (EU) reports it is providing an additional €30 million ($34 million) under the EU Regional Energy Efficiency Programme (REEP) to support energy efficiency initiatives and programs in the Balkans -- Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia, Kosovo, Montenegro and Serbia.

The additional support brings the EU's contribution to the programme to €80 million and it further leverages 6.5 times more of financing via International Financial Instruments. The fund will be extended through the Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF).

The 2013 REEP programme is a joint initiative of the EC, bilateral donors and beneficiary countries cooperating under the WBIF. The program , which promotes and supports energy efficiency efforts, was implemented by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in concert with the Energy Community Secretariat. (Source: EU, SeeNews, Twitter, 23 Feb., 2019)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency Funding,  EU,  


Daimler Predicting Rising Vehicle Emissions (Int'l Report)
Daimler
Date: 2019-02-08
German auto juggernaut Daimler is reporting its average emissions levels in Europe will rise in 2019 due to stricter anti-pollution testing rules that have revealed higher emissions results.

European Union lawmakers are demanding that automakers cut average CO2 emissions levels by 40 pct between 2007 and 2021, a goal that has become harder to attain after WLTP emissions tests were introduced in 2018.

Daimler AG is a German multinational automotive corporation, headquartered in Stuttgart, Baden-Wurttemberg. Daimler-Benz was formed with the merger of Benz & Cie and Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft in 1926. (Source: Daimler, euronews., 7 Feb., 2019) Contact: Daimler, Dieter Zetsche, CEO, www.daimler.com/en

More Low-Carbon Energy News Daimler,  Transportation Emissions,  


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,  


  • EU Earmarks €54 Mn for Ukrainian Energy Efficiency Fund (Int'l)
    Ukraine
    Date: 2018-12-17
    The European Union (EU) reports it is providing the second tranche of financial assistance amounting to €54 million to support the activity of the Ukrainian Energy Efficiency Fund. These funds are added to the first tranche worth EUR 50 million that Ukraine received from the EU for the Fund's activity in June.

    The EU support is aimed at implementing the programs that include the provision of non-refundable grants to the apartment building co-owners associations for taking energy efficiency measures, technical support for the apartment building co-owners associations in preparation of applications to the Fund, as well as assistance in the training of energy auditors who will work in all the regions of Ukraine. (Source: UKRINFORM, 17 Dec., 2018)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Eficiency,  


    EU in Disagreement on Auto CO2 Emission Limits (Int'l Report)
    European Union
    Date: 2018-12-12
    On Tuesday in Brussels, European Union (EU) member countries were reportedly unable to reach a compromise on significant curbs to carbon dioxide emissions from cars and vans.

    The EU executive initially proposed that emissions decline by 30 pct by 2030, compared to 2021 levels. Germany backed that plan, but a push by several EU countries, including the Netherlands and France, raised the target to 35 pct. There is also an intermediate target for 2025. EU parliamentarians endorsed a 40 pct reduction in October, which was endorsed by the Netherlands, Sweden, and other member states. (Source: EU, Automotive News Europe, 11 Dec., 2018)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Vehicle Emissions,  Transportatio Emissions,  


    Consortium Committed to European Transport BioLNG (Ind. Report)
    BioLNG
    Date: 2018-12-10
    EuroNet is reporting a European Union co-funded BioLNG consortium's commitment to the expansion of LNG as a road transport fuel and new infrastructure that should ensure the long-term success and mass scale adoption across Europe.

    To that end, the consortium -- Shell, DISA, Scania, IVECO, CNH Industrial Capital Europe under the trademark of IVECO Capital and Nordsol -- will each deliver separate activities that will see 2,000 more LNG trucks on the road, 39 LNG fueling stations and the construction of a BioLNG production plant in the Netherlands. The LNG Retail stations will form part of a pan-European network and be built in Belgium, France, Germany the Netherlands, Poland and Spain. The stations will be located along core road network corridors from Spain to eastern Poland. (Source: BioLNG Euronet, Petrol Plaza, Dec., 2018)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News LNG,  


    EC Strategy for a Climate Neutral Europe by 2050 (Report Attched)
    European Union, European Commission
    Date: 2018-11-30
    The 2015 Paris Climate Agreement under the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) sets the goal to contain the rise in average global temperatures to well below 2 degrees C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit it to 1.5 degrees C.

    To prepare for this transformation, the European Parliament and the European Council invited the European Commission (EC) to submit a long-term strategy on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions for the European Union, in accordance with COP15.

    The EC strategy confirms Europe's commitment to lead in global climate action through a socially-fair transition and provides a first indication of the direction of travel to frame what the EU could consider as its long-term contribution to achieving the Paris Agreement temperature objectives.

    Presenting this vision will allow for a thorough debate involving European decision-makers, stakeholders and citizens at large to consider how the EU can make a fair contribution to meeting the long-term temperature goals of the Paris Agreement and how this transformation can be achieved.

    Download the EU Climate Change Fact Sheet HERE. (Source: EU, Nov., 2018) Contact: EU, www.europa.eu

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Paris Climate Agreement,  COP15,  Climate Change,  


    Ukraine Completes EU4Energy Energy Efficiency Projects (Int'l)
    EU4Energy
    Date: 2018-11-14
    In Kiev, the Ukraine has is reported to have completed two sustainable energy -- energy efficiency projects under the European Union's EU4Energy program.

    The projects include a hospital in Voznesenk reconstruction and energy efficiency upgrade of windows and exterior thermal insulation that is expected to cut the facility's annual energy costs by 62 pct.

    The EU4Energy programme supports Eastern Partnership Region municipalities reduce their carbon emission by 20 per cent by 2020. The facility provides financial and technical assistance to targeted sustainability, energy management, energy efficiency and related projects. (Source: EU4Energy, Emerging Europe, Nov., 2018) Contact: EU4Energy, www.euneighbours.eu/en/east/stay-informed/projects/eu4energy-programme

    More Low-Carbon Energy News EU4Energy ,  


    No-Deal Brexit Would Kill Britain's EU ETS Participation (Int'l)
    EU ETS
    Date: 2018-11-14
    In Brussels, Reuters is reporting that without a deal to leave the EU , Britain, Europe's second largest emitter, will be excluded from the European Union Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) and all other legislation to help limit the impact of climate change. The EC could also temporarily suspend permit auctions and free allocations linked to the UK market in an effort to minimize the worst disruption in key areas in case of a no-deal Brexit.

    In October, Britain said that if there is a Brexit deal, the country plans to remain in the ETS until at least to the end of its third trading phase running from 2013-2020. (Source: Reuters, Nov., 2018)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Emissions news,  Brexit news,  EU ETS news,  


    $134Mn Niger Climate Change Adaptation Funding Announced (Int'l)
    Niger Basin Authority,African Developement Bank
    Date: 2018-11-09
    The African Development Bank (ADB) reports approval of $76 million financial package for the integrated development and climate change adaptation in the Niger Basin. The Green Climate Fund, the European Union, the Global Environment Fund, the Forest Investment Fund and the various governments will also participate bringing the total to $134 million.

    The funded activities include recovery of 140,000 ha of degraded land; construction of 209 water conveyance infrastructure for agro-pastoral systems and fish farming; leveraging on the livestock and aquaculture compacts of the Technologies for African Agriculture Transformation (TAAT). The program will also touch on implementing 450 agricultural value chain development sub-projects; building climate change adaptation capacity for 1,000,000 households and operationalize a financing mechanism for natural resource management.

    The Niger Basin Authority member states include: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroun, Cote d'Ivoire, Guinea, Mali, Niger, Nigeria and Chad. (Source: ADB, All Africa, 7 Nov., 2018) Contact: ADB, www.afdb.org/en

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  African Developement Bank,  Climate Change Adaptation,  


    EIB, Indonesia Ink Green Infrastructure Development MoU (Int'l)
    EIB
    Date: 2018-10-15
    Reporting from Jakarta, the government of Indonesia and the European Investment Bank (EIB) have signed an agreement to further invest in and develop green infrastructure projects in support of climate change mitigation and adaptation projects that will increase the country's resilience to climate change and other natural disasters in the medium and long term.

    The MoU is in line with United Nations Sustainable Development Goals as well as the European Union and Indonesia's climate action agendas.

    The focus of the European Investment Bank's operations on climate mitigation and adaptation will provide additional opportunities for important projects for low carbon development, resilient cities and infrastructures. (Source: Ministry of National Development Planning of the Republic of Indonesia, DevDiscourse, 13 Oct., 2018) Contact: Ministry of National Development Planning of the Republic of Indonesia, +62 021-319 6207, www.bappenas.go.id; EIB, www.eib.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News European Investment Bank,  Green nt Infrastructure,  Climate Change Mitigation,  Climate Change Adaptation,  


    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,  

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