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Conn. Gov. Announces 100 pct Renewable Energy Goal (Ind. Report)
Renewable Energy
Date: 2019-09-06
In Hartford, Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont (D) has announced plans to eliminate the state's dependence on fossil fuels by 2040. The governor put forward this goal in his third executive order since taking office in January. The executive order requires the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to develop strategies to achieve a 100 pct zero carbon -- renewable energy -- target for the state's electric power sector by 2040.

The Governor's Council on Climate Change (GC3) was created by an Executive Order in 2015 and tasked with formulating strategies to help the state meet its 2008 Global Warming Solutions Act and the 2018 Act Concerning Climate Change Planning and Resiliency.

The first act set out to reduce GHG emissions to 10 pct below 1990 levels by January 2020 and to 80 pct below 2001 levels by January 2050, while the second act aimed to reduce GHG emissions by 45 percent from a 2001 baseline by 2030, based on a GC3 recommendation. According to the newest executive order, the GC3 will be responsible for monitoring the execution of its proposed strategies and will submit a report to the administration on its implementation progress by Jan. 15, 2021. The GC3 will also develop a climate adaptation strategy in consultation with other state agency. (Source: Office of Gov. Ned Lamont, Yale News, 5 Sept., 2019) Contact: Office of Gov. Ned Lamont, twitter.com/GovNedLamont

More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Energy,  


Great Barrier Reef "Very Poor" Outlook Due to Climate Change (Int'l)
Great Barrier Reef
Date: 2019-09-04
In the Land Down Under, Australia's Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority is reporting the Great Barrier Reef's long-term outlook has been dropped from "poor" to "very poor" due to the effects of climate change. The Authority's report calls for urgent action on climate change and other threats to the Great Barrier Reef, the largest such reef in the world.

Rising sea temperatures and marine heat waves are doing the most damage to the reef's health, and if nothing is done to stop the current rate of global warming, the reef will be irreparably damaged, the report notes. Beside climate change, the reef is also suffering due to coastal development, direct human use, such as illegal fishing, and land-based run-off from agriculture.

On 30th April, 2018, we reported the Australian federal government is allotting $500 million -- the largest single environmental protection package in the nation's history -- to help protect the Great Barrier Reef from climate change and other treats.

The government will partner with the Great Barrier Reef Foundation in an agreement worth $444 million to mitigate the effects of climate change. The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and The Department of the Environment and Energy will also receive $56 million in additional funding. $100 million will be used for reef restoration science and $40 million will be spent for monitoring the health of the reef system.

In a recently published study, researchers revealed the extent of damage caused by global warming on the reef system. Investigations showed that two successive heat waves killed nearly half of the corals in the most pristine part of the Great Barrier Reef. (Source: The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, New Scientist, Sept., 2019) Contact: Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Josh Thomas, CEO, www.gbrmpa.gov.au; Great Barrier Reef Foundation, www.barrierreef.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Great Barrier Reef,  Climate Change,  


Climate Action Network Questions G7 Climate Commitment (Int'l)
Climate Change,Climate Action Network Canada
Date: 2019-08-26
In its report on the recent G7 meeting, the Ottawa-based Climate Action Network, a global association of more than 1,300 climate groups, notes that the world's wealthiest countries -- including Canada -- are lagging instead of leading and need to do more in the fight against global warming.

The report also notes Canada's current policies are consistent with global warming exceeding 4 C compared to pre-industrial levels, more than twice the stated goal of the Paris agreement of staying as close to 1.5 C as possible. The U.S. and Japan are also both in the 4 C category, while France, Italy, Germany and the UK -- the other four G7 members -- have policies consistent with more than 3 C in warming.

The Climate Action Network ranks Canada's climate plan as having the same impact on global warming as the policies of the United States, where President Donald Trump has rejected the Paris agreement. Even so, the report applauds Canada's plan to eliminate coal as a source of electricity by 2030, the national price on pollution and the goal to stop selling combustion-engine cars by 2040. But it says all of the government plans "remain insufficient to meet Canada's targets and the Paris Agreement." Canada's current targets call for cutting emissions 30 pct of 2005 levels by 2030. (Source: Climate Action Network, Canadian Press, 24 Aug., 2019) Contact: Catherine Abreu,Exec. Dir., (855) 254-6638, nhattan@climateactionnetwork.ca, www.climateactionnetwork.ca

More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Action Network,  Climate Change,  Canada Climate Change,  


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


South African Carbon Tax Now In Force (Int'l Report)
Carbon Tax,South Africa
Date: 2019-07-19
In Johannesburg, South Africa, the Southern Courier is reporting that country's recently enacted carbon tax is now fully in force. The 120 Rand ($8.63 US) per tonne carbon tax is intended to penalize large South African emitters of greenhouse gase and thus help . minimize the climate risks that hydrocarbon fuels present, being a major cause of air pollution and global warming.

According to the International Monetary Fund, carbon tax is the best way to cut greenhouse gas emissions as it allows for a reduction in energy consumption. (Source: Southern Courier, 18 July, 2019)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Tax,  GHG Emissions,  CO2,  South Africa Carbon Tax,  


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


Statement from a Coalition of Free-Market State Think Tanks on Trump Administration Affordable Clean Energy Rule (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
Affordable Clean Energy Plan
Date: 2019-06-28
Editor's Note: This publication, its editors and administration neither agrees or disagrees with the views presented in the following statement from the McIver Institute

"The Trump administration's finalized Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule is a major victory for America's middle class, many of whom work in energy intensive industries like manufacturing and mining. It also represents a boon to America's least fortunate for whom energy costs represent a significant part of their budget. All Americans would have been harmed by the Obama administration's legally flawed Clean Power Plan. It would have dramatically increased the cost of electricity and was predicted to reduce global warming by only 0.018 degrees Celsius by 2100, an amount far too small to be measured.

"After Congress rejected proposed cap-and-trade legislation, the Obama administration crafted the Clean Power Plan to force states into regional cap-and-trade plans. President Trump's plan disallows such plans for compliance and focuses, instead, on improving the efficiencies of individual plants.

"The Clean Power Plan claimed to seek a 32 pct reduction in CO2 emissions from 2005 levels by 2030, at an estimated compliance cost of $9 billion. The US Chamber of Commerce estimated a more realistic $75 billion in compliance costs. The Rule was met with bipartisan opposition by 27 states who won a Supreme Court stay of the Rule in 2016.

"The Clean Power Plan was also completely unnecessary. Thanks to the Trump administration's commonsense approach, emissions have fallen by 28 pct since 2017 and are forecast to be reduced 35 pct by 2030. At a compliance cost of $0.3 billion for the ACE rule, these gains were at 250 times less cost than the previous administration's alternative." -- The MacIver Institute

The MacIver Institute is joined by the Caesar Rodney Institute, the Center of the American Experiment, the Commonwealth Foundation, the Independence Institute, John Locke Foundation, the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, the Mississippi Center for Public Policy, the Rhode Island Center for Freedom & Prosperity, the Rio Grande Foundation, and the Roughrider Policy Center in supporting the ACE. (Source: MacIver Institute, June, 2019) Contact: The John K. MacIver Institute for Public Policy Brett Healy, President 608.588.6477, bhealy@maciverinstitute.com, www.maciverinstitute.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Obama Clean Power Plan,  Trump,  Affordable Clean Energy,  


MDB Climate Finance Hits Record $43.1Bn in 2018 (Ind. Report)
Climate Change,World Bank
Date: 2019-06-28
According to the 2018 Joint Report on Multilateral Development Banks' Climate Finance, climate financing by the world's largest multilateral development banks (MDBs) in developing countries and emerging economies rose to a high of $43.1 billion in 2018, boosting projects that help developing countries cut emissions and address climate risks -- an over 22 pct increase from 2017 where climate finance totaled $35.2 billion.

The report notes that $30.2 billion (70 pct) of the 2018 total was devoted to climate change mitigation investments that aim to reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions and slow down global warming. The remaining $12.9 billion (30 pct) was invested in climate change adaptation efforts to help address mounting impacts of climate change, including worsening droughts and more extreme weather events from extreme flooding to rising sea levels.

Since 2011, the six MDBS have committed nearly $237 billion in climate finance for developing and emerging economies. MDBs' climate finance aims to ensure that global financial flows are consistent with the Paris Climate Agreement.(Source: World Bank, Modern Diplomacy, June, 2019) Contact: World Bank Group, Mehreen Sheikh, (202) 458-7336, msheikh1@worldbank.org, www.worldbank.org

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


Burberry Targets 95 pct Emissions Reduction by 2022 (Int'l)
Science Based Targets initiative
Date: 2019-06-26
UK-headquartered luxury fashion giant Burberry reports it is targeting a 95 pct reduction in its scope 1 and 2 emissions against a 2016 baseline by 2022, as well as a targeted 30 pct absolute reduction in scope 3 emissions by 2030 against the same baseline. The new commitments expand on an existing goal to become a carbon-neutral operation by 2022.

According to the Burberry release, goals have been approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) and are consistent to the reductions required to limit global warming to 1.5C.

Burberry has already achieved carbon neutral status across the Americas region, EMEIA retail stores and its UK operations and has reduced its market-based emissions compared to the 2016/17 year, having recorded a 43 pct over a two-year period. (Source: Burberry, edie, 25 June 2019)Contact: Burberry, www.burberryplc.com/en/contacts.html

More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Emissions,  Science Based Targets initiative,  


Permafrost Collapses 70 Yrs Early (Opinions, Editorial & Asides)
Climate Change
Date: 2019-06-24
"Climate scientists have been warning about the dangers of global warming for decades. Now, it's happening, in spades. It should be noted that America's politicians are guilty of ignoring warnings by their own scientists. Those warnings officially started 31 years ago when Dr. James Hansen, then head of NASA Institute for Space Studies, testified before the Senate[ in 1988: 'If the current pace of the buildup of these gases (GHG) continues, the effect is likely to be a warming of 3 to 9 degrees F from the year 2025 to 2050, according to these projections. This rise in temperature is not expected to be uniform around the globe but to be greater in the higher latitudes.'

"Global warming is prominent throughout the North. Ergo, climate news doesn't get much worse (well, actually, it could, and will) than the collapse of permafrost in the Canadian High Arctic's extreme coldest region (where): 'Observed maximum thaw depths at our sites are already exceeding those projected to occur by 2090. The aforementioned study, from 2003-2016, found permafrost melt up to 240 pct more than previous years. In geological terms, that's like winning the Indy 500, hands down. That permafrost had been frozen solid for 'thousands of years.' Accordingly, scientists predicted the permafrost 'wouldn't melt for another 70 years.' Yet, the landscape has already collapsed by up to three feet.

"Bottom line, the top 25 pct of the Northern Hemisphere, where permafrost is ubiquitous, is coming apart at the seams, and climate scientists are behind the eight ball while America's politicians deny the legitimacy of science and openly spit on the underlying thesis of anthropogenic global warming. In point of fact, Farquharson's '70-yr too early permafrost collapse' makes the onset of RGW look like a dead-ringer, but when?

"There's no getting around the fact that ecosystems are collapsing. The evidence is too palpable to ignore. It's serious; it's deadly, and it could be too late to do much to stop it, other than a last-ditch WWII Marshall Plan Worldwide Consortium dedicated to converting the world to renewable energy, and forcing removal of CO2 from the atmosphere, yet, those solutions take years and years of planning, setup, construction, and billions upon billions of funding. It's not happening.

Meanwhile, carbon that has been trapped in and under permafrost over eons readies to escape to turbo-charge an already over-saturated turbo-charged climate. It's literally happening right now. The waiting room is already full. Farquharson's study proves it, and Alaska's permafrost carbon emissions that compete with U.S. commercial CO2 emissions prove it, as sled dogs wade through it." (Source: Dissident Voice, Robert Hunziker, 21 June, 2019)

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


Net Zero - UK's Contribution to Stopping Global Warming (Int'l Report)
Committee on Climate Change
Date: 2019-06-21
In London, the UK's top climate change advisory body, The Committee on Climate Change's (CCC) May report calls for "clear" climate change leadership across all government departments and agencies with delivery in partnership with businesses and communities.

According to the report, emissions reductions "must be vital to the whole of government and to every level of government in the UK. Policies must be fully funded and implemented across all sectors of the economy to drive the necessary innovation, market development and consumer take-up of low-carbon technologies, and to positively influence societal change."

Download the CCC Net Zero-- The UK's Contribution to Stopping Global Warming report HERE. (Source: The Committee on Climate Change, May, 2019) Contact: Committee on Climate Change, www.theccc.org.uk

More Low-Carbon Energy News TheCCC,  Committee on Climate Change,  Climate Change,  


Notable Quote -- "Carbon Offsets Not Silver Bullets"
Carbon Offsets
Date: 2019-06-19
"UN Environment supports carbon offsets as a temporary measure leading up to 2030, and a tool for speeding up climate action. However, it is not a silver bullet, and the danger is that it can lead to complacency.

"The October 2018 report by the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change made it clear that if we are to have any hope of curbing global warming we need to transition away from carbon for good: by traveling electric, embracing renewable energy, eating less meat and wasting less food." -- Niklas Hagelberg, UN Environment Climate Specialist. Contact: UN Environment, Niklas.Hagelberg, Niklas.Hagelberg@un.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  Global Warming,  Carbon Offsets,  


Rutgers, Duke Farms Partner on NJ Carbon Sink Project (Ind. Report)
Rutgers
Date: 2019-06-17
In the Garden State, Rutgers University and Duke Farms in Hillsborough Township report they are collaborating on a study to develop 2,700 acres as an experimental carbon sink to absorb and store atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2). Higher levels of carbon dioxide are a factor in global warming and climate change.

The Rutgers University researchers, from the New Brunswick, Newark and Camden campuses, will conduct monitoring and research at the largely wooded Duke Farms over five years. The study will begin by compiling baseline data on the presence of carbon in various land types and land management protocols. The Rutgers scientists will then create strategies to remove CO2 from the atmosphere and store it in soil and vegetation. The study will also determine the greenhouse gas emissions supporting the Duke Farms operations compared to the carbon stored on the property. (Source: Rutgers, Bridgewater Courier, 13 June, 2019) Contact: Rutgers Climate Institute, Marjorie Kaplan, Assoc. Dir., (848) 932-5739, www.climatechange.rutgers.edu; Duke Farms, Michael Catania, Exec. Dir., www.dukefarms.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News CCS,  Carbon Sequestration,  Carbon Sink,  


Notable Quote -- The Donald Talks Climate Change and Weather
Donald Trump
Date: 2019-06-12
"I believe that there's a change in weather, and I think it changes both ways. Don't forget it used to be called global warming. That wasn't working. Then it was called climate change. Now it's actually called extreme weather, because with extreme weather, you can't miss."

To help prove his point, the President noted several examples of past weather extremes: "Forty years ago, we had the worst tornado binge we've ever had. In the 1890s, we had our worst hurricanes." -- US Pres. Donald Trump, Good Morning Britain, 5 June, 2019

More Low-Carbon Energy News Donald Trump,  Climate Change,  


NJ PUC Aims for 100 pct Clean Energy by 2050. (Ind. Report)
NJ PUC
Date: 2019-06-12
The New Jersey Public Utilities Commission's NJPUC) recently released (NJ PUC) Energy Master Plan provides an initial blueprint for the total conversion of the Garden State's energy profile, calls for "carbon-neutral electricity generation and maximum electrification of the transportation and building sectors to meet or exceed the Global Warming Response Act greenhouse emissions reductions of 80 pct relative to 2006 levels by 2050.

The plan calls for reducing energy consumption and emissions from the transportation sector, accelerating deployment of renewable energy, maximizing energy efficiency and conservation, reducing energy use through decarbonization, modernizing the electric grid and utility infrastructure, as well as expanding clean energy job training opportunities and programs.

Download the NJ PUC Draft 2019 New Jersey Energy Master Plan HERE. (Source: NJ PUC, NJ 101.5, June, 2019) Contact: NJ PUC, (800) 624-0241, www.bpu.state.nj.us

More Low-Carbon Energy News Wind,  Solar,  Energy Efficiency,  


Tesoro Fined for Low Carbon Fuel Standard Violations (Ind Report)
California Air Resources Board
Date: 2019-06-07
In Sacramento, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) is reporting a $1.36 million settlement with Tesoro Refining & Marketing LLC -- now Marathon Petroleum Corp. -- for misreporting 1.9 billion gallons of gasoline, diesel, biodiesel and ethanol, including under-reporting 403 million gallons of LCFS deficit-generating fuels, thus violating the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS).

The LCFS requires that regulated fuel producers report the carbon generated in the production of transportation fuels sold in California. The inaccurate information spanned 24 quarterly reports.

The LCFS, which encourages the use of cleaner, low-carbon fuels, is one of several programs developed under The Global Warming Solutions Act (A.B.32). It works with other A.B.32 programs, such as cap-and-trade, the zero-emission vehicle program and the renewable portfolio standard, to achieve California's GHG-reduction goals. (Source: CARB, 31 May, 2019) Contact: California Air Resources Board, Melanie Turner, Information Officer, (916) 322-2990, melanie.turner@arb.ca.gov, www.arb.ca.gov

More Low-Carbon Energy News California Air Resources Board ,  Low Carbon Fuel Standard,  


Notable Quotes -- Two Presidents Comment on Climate Change
Climate Change
Date: 2019-06-07
"While the EU has a set of binding emissions targets for 2020 and 2030, we must now plan for full decarbonization of our European economies by 2050, encouraging the rest of the world to follow suit, and urging in the strongest possible terms the USA to reconsider its regressive and pernicious decision to leave the global Paris agreement." -- Irish President Michael T. Higgins, 5 June, 2019

"I believe that there's a change in weather, and I think it changes both ways. Don't forget it used to be called global warming. That wasn't working. Then it was called climate change. Now it's actually called extreme weather, because with extreme weather, you can't miss. Forty years ago, we had the worst tornado binge we've ever had. In the 1890s, we had our worst hurricanes." -- US Pres. Donald -- aka "The Donald" -- Trump, Good Morning Britain, 5 June, 2019

More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  Donald Trump,  


Aussie Study says Soil Condition Key to Carbon Storage (Int'l)
Curtin University
Date: 2019-06-05
In the Land Down Under, a just released study from Curtin University in Western Australian has found that the rate at which carbon is stored and released from soil differs vastly depending on a range of factors, across different regions and continents.

"Regionally, the effect of climate on soil carbon storage is dependent on interactions with soil properties, mineralogy and topography. In some regions, climate does not play a role. This shows the need for localized assessments of soil carbon dynamics and a more effective approach to carbon management at local scales."

"To slow the accumulation of greenhouse gases and help mitigate global warming, a better understanding of the factors controlling soil organic carbon storage, its composition and its vulnerability to loss is needed," lead researcher Professor Raphael Viscarra Rossel said. (Source: Curtin University, Xinhua, 4 June, 2019) Contact: Curtin University, Professor Raphael Viscarra Rossel, +61 8 9266 9266, Fax: +61 8 9266 3131, www.curtin.edu.au

More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  


Big Pharma GHG Emissions Higher Than Auto Industry's (Ind Report)
The Conversation
Date: 2019-05-31
A recent study from The Conversation, an Australian not-for-profit media outlet that uses content sourced from academics and researchers, notes that the "global pharmaceutical industry is not only a significant contributor to global warming, but it is also dirtier than the global automotive production sector."

More than 200 companies represent the global pharmaceutical market, yet only 25 consistently reported their direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions in the past five years. Of those, only 15 reported their emissions since 2012, the report notes.

According to the report, the total global emissions of the pharma sector amounts to about 52 megatonnes of CO2e in 2015, more than the 46.4 megatonnes of CO2e generated by the automotive sector in the same year. The reports calculates the value of the pharma market is smaller than the automotive market the pharma market is 28 pct smaller yet 13 pct more polluting than the automotive sector. (Source: The Conversation, 27 May, 2019) (Contact: The Conversation, www.theconversation.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News CO2 Emissions,  Carbon Emissions,  GHGs,  


Q&A Time on Capitol Hill (Opinions, Editorials & Asides}
Interior Secretary David Bernhardt


Date: 2019-05-24
At a congressional budget hearing last week in Washington Rep. Jared Huffman (D-Calif.) asked former oil industry lobbyist and Interior Secretary David Bernhard: "Do you lose sleep over the carbon pollution that's driving it (climate change)?"

"I think it's an issue that needs to be addressed, but I don't lose sleep over it," Sec.Bernhardt responded.

Huffman then admonished Bernhardt, "The policies you're promoting are doing enormous damage to our planet. That is an immoral thing to do to the generations to come. And I would hope that you start thinking about that, maybe lose some sleep and maybe decide you're going to be part of the solution rather than part of the force driving the catastrophe."

"There is no law mandating that I (Interior Secretary) combat global warming -- You guys come up with the 'shalls'," Secretary Bernhardt shot back defensively.

Editor's Note: Fortune Magazine is reporting that only four days after his Senate confirmation, the newly minted Secretary Bernhardt is being investigated for "conflicts of interest and potential ethics violations." (Source: Various Media, HuffPost, 22 May, 2019) Contact: Congressman Jared Huffman, https://huffman.house.gov/contact; Interior Secretary David Bernhardt, www.doi.gov/whoweare/secretary-bernhardt

More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  


Sub-Sea CO2 Storage Leakage Studied (Ind. Report)
Carbon Storage
Date: 2019-05-15
Researchers at GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel investigating the possibilities and limits of the sub-sea CO2 storage report it is possible to reduce anthropogenic CO2 emissions by separating CO2 from flue gases and storing the captured CO2 in geological formations. The researchers also note negative emissions can be achieved by coupling biogas production with CO2 separation and storage.

Assessments by the IPCC show that these approaches are essential parts of the technology mix needed to limit global warming to less than 2 degrees C.

In Europe the largest potential to store CO2 is located offshore in deep saline aquifers and other sub-seabed geological formations of the North Sea where over 10,000 oil and gas wells have been drilled. At many of these wells, methane gas from shallow biogenic deposits is leaking into the environment because the surrounding sediments were mechanically disturbed and weakened during the drilling process. The study notes that CO2 stored in the vicinity of these wells may leak and ultimately return into the atmosphere.

"We have performed a release experiment in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea to determine the footprint and consequences of such a leak", explains study lead author Dr. Lisa Vielstadte from GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel.

In the study, CO2 released at the seabed in 82 meters of water was tracked and traced using a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) equipped with chemical and acoustic sensors and additional measurements on board of Research Vessel Celtic Explorer. The resulting data showed that CO2 gas bubbles were completely dissolved close to the seafloor and the pH value of ambient bottom waters was lowered from a background value of 8.0 to a more acidic value of 7.0 at the release site as a consequence of the dissolution process. This bottom water acidification has detrimental effects on organisms living at the seabed", However, strong bottom currents induced a rapid dispersion of the dissolved CO2 such that the area at the seabed where potentially harmful effects can occur is small.

Accordingly, the study tentatively concluded it is possible to store CO2 safely in sub-seabed formations if the storage site is located in an area with a small number of leaky wells, the report summarizes. (Source: Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel , PR, 14 May, 2019) Contact: GEOMAR - Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, Dr. Lisa Vielstadte, +49 431 600-0, Fax:+49 431 600-2805, www.geomar.de/en

More Low-Carbon Energy News CO2,  Carbon Emissions,  Carbon Sequestration,  CCS,  


Melting Arctic Permafrost Impact Costs Pegged at $70tn (Int'l)
Methane
Date: 2019-04-26
A study of the economic consequences of a melting Arctic from the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT) in Espoo has found that the release of methane and CO2 from thawing permafrost will accelerate global warming and add up to $70 trillion to the worlds climate bill.

The study authors contend their study is the first to calculate the economic impact of permafrost melt and reduced albedo -- a measure of how much light that hits a surface is reflected without being absorbed -- based on the most advanced computer models of what is likely to happen in the Arctic as temperatures rise.

The study notes that on the current trajectory of at least 3 degree C of warming by the end of the century, melting permafrost is expected to discharge up to 280 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide and 3 gigatonnes of methane, which is 10 to 20 times more damaging to the the afmosphere than carbon dioxide. This would increase the global climate-driven impacts by $70 trillion between now and 2300, the report concludes. (Source: VIT, Weekened Leader, 22 April, 2019) Contact: VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, +358 20 722 111, +358 20 722 7001 - fax., www.vttresearch.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News VIT,  Permafrost,  Climate Change,  Methane,  


Shell Quitting AFPM Over Climate Change Policy "Misalignment" (Int'l)
American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers
Date: 2019-04-08
Citing "material misalignment" over climate change policy differences, petroleum industry giant Royal Dutch Shell Plc has announced it will leave the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM)in 2020.

Shell claims its move is in line with the 2015 Paris climate agreement's goals to limit global warming by reducing carbon emissions to a net zero by the end of the century. It is also reflects investor pressure on oil companies, particularly in Europe, to change in their behavior around climate. Along that line, in 2018 Shell announced plans to introduce industry-leading carbon emissions targets linked to executive pay. (Source: Shell, Sustainable Business,Various Media, April, 2019) Contact: AFPM, Ben van Beurden, CEO, Pres., (202) 457-0480, www.afpm.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers ,  Shell,  Climate Change,  


Canadian Global Warming Over TWICE GLOBAL RATE! (Ind. Report)
Environment and Climate Change Canada
Date: 2019-04-08
According to the Environment and Climate Change Canada commissioned study -- Canada's Changing Climate Report (CCCR) -- Canada is, on average, experiencing warming at double the rate of the rest of the world, with Northern Canada heating up at almost three times the global average.

Since 1948, Canada's annual average temperature over land has warmed 1.7 C, with higher rates seen in the North, the Prairies and northern British Columbia. In Northern Canada, the annual average temperature has increased by 2.3 C.

The CCCR reports also claims Canada is experiencing increases in precipitation (particularly in winter), "extreme fire weather" and water supply shortages in summer, and a heightened risk of coastal flooding.

The document says that while warming in Canada has been the result of both human activity and natural variations in the climate, "the human factor is dominant," especially emissions of greenhouse gases. The report says the national annual average temperature increase projected for the late century, compared to the reference period of 1986-2005, ranges from a "low-emission scenario" of 1.8 C to a "high-emission scenario" of 6.3 C. The report also predicts glaciers in western Canada will lose between 74 and 96 pct of their volume by the end of the century.

Download the full report HERE. (Source: Environment and Climate Change Canada, April, 2019) Contact: Environment and Climate Change Canada, 800) 668-6767, www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change.html

More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  Global Warming,  Carbon Emissions,  Environment and Climate Change Canada,  


MIT Sloan Sustainability Initiative Awarded $750,000 (Funding)
MIT Sloan Sustainability Initiative
Date: 2019-03-20
In the Bay State, the MIT Sloan Sustainability Initiative is reporting receipt of $750,000 in grant funding from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation for a research project that aims to create an online database assessing the carbon intensity of financial institutions. The database would be available to educate and inform U.S. businesses, foundations, universities, and the general public, and possibly consumers , on aligning their choice of banks, investment targets, and insurance companies with sustainability practices, including climate change mitigation. Currently, no standards, databases, or mechanisms exist to assess the full range of financial services firms' carbon intensity.

The research project's ultimate goal is to drive the re-allocation of capital away from carbon-intensive activities to lower-carbon assets in order to significantly reduce emissions and adverse impacts on the environment and of climate change.

The shared vision of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and MIT Sloan Sustainability Initiative is to limit global warming emissions to keep global average temperature increase below 3.6 degrees F (2 degrees C) above pre-industrial levels, to protect the planet from climate change and promote human prosperity and health. The International Energy Agency (IEA) has calculated that to have an 80 pct chance of attaining this 3.6 degrees F limit, an additional $36 trillion in clean energy investment would be needed between 2014 and 2050 -- about $1 trillion per year more than is currently invested. (Source: MIT Sloan School of Management, PR, Mar., 2019) Contact: MIT Sloan School of Management, Jason Jay, Director of the MIT Sloan Sustainability Initiative, www.mitsloan.mit.edu; MIT Sloan Sustainability Initiative, mitsloan.mit.edu/sustainability; William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Marilyn Waite, Program Officer, www.hewlett.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News MIT Sloan Sustainability Initiative ,  


Church of England Enters the Climate Change Fray (Int'l Report)
Church of England
Date: 2019-02-25
On Friday in the UK, the Church of England's governing body, the General Synod, overwhelmingly -- 279 to 3 -- passed a motion calling for individual church for dioceses to focus on reducing their environmental impact. In a statement, the Church said it "recognizes the escalating threat to God's creation from global warming" and its obligation to step up its efforts to combat climate change.

The move includes a commitment for every diocese to have an environmental programme which is led by a member of the bishop's staff. The possibility of a standard tool to monitor CO2 emissions in churches, cathedrals and church halls will also be explored in order for the church to help meet its target of reducing emissions by 80 per cent by 2050.

The motion was introduced by the Bishop of Truro, Philip Mounstephen, who said "Climate change cannot be a matter of indifference for any of us and we cannot underestimate the seriousness of this. Behind this motion is a fundamental desire to see us, as a church, recover our prophetic edge. For that to happen I believe we need prophetic people to stir us up."

With approximately 25 million adherents worldwide, the Church of England is the established church of England. The Archbishop of Canterbury is the most senior cleric, although the Monarch is the supreme governor. (Source: Church of England, Yorkshire Post , 23 Feb., 2019) Contact: Church of England; www.churchofengland.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change ,  


Mass. Gov. Proposes Real Estate Excise Tax to Fight Climate Change (Reg. & Leg., Ind. Report)
Climate Change
Date: 2019-01-21
In the Bay State, Republican Governor Charlie Baker has announced that, as part of his FY 2020 budget, he would propose an increase in the real estate excise tax and apply a portion of the approximate $137 million tax receipts to fund the Global Warming Solutions Trust Fund.

To date, Baker has opposed a carbon tax but has acknowledged the problem of climate change and the pressing need to address it. (Source: Office of Mass. Gov. Charlie Baker, Bloomberg, Foley Hoag LLP, Various Media, 18 Jan/. 2019) Contact: Office of Mass. Governor Charlie Baker, (617) 725-4005, constituent.services@state.ma.us, https://twitter.com/MassGovernor, www.mass.gov/person/charlie-baker-governor

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


German Aerospace Center Energy, Mobility Scenarios Show How Global Climate Targets can be Achieved -- Report Attached (Int'l Report)
German Aerospace Center
Date: 2019-01-21
The German Aerospace Center (DLR) reports it has been working with the University of Technology Sydney and the University of Melbourne on behalf of the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation to determine the necessary developments to achieve the aim of keeping global warming well below 2 degree C. This target is in line with the international agreements made at the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris in 2015. At the heart of the study are two scenarios that set out development pathways for technology, infrastructure and energy consumption up until 2050 to 2050 to limit global warming to 2.0 and 1.5 degrees C, respectively.

"Achieving this target requires fundamental changes to energy consumption and supply. In both scenarios, we assume that there will be a massive expansion of renewable energies, considerable improvements in efficiency, and more electricity and synthetic fuels used in the heating and mobility sectors," says DLR researcher Thomas Pregger. As part of the study, the Energy Systems Analysis department at the DLR Institute of Engineering Thermodynamics modelled the entire energy systems of 10 regions of the world.

The study is based on the technologies available today. In line with the objective, options with major uncertainties in terms of social, economic or environmental consequences, such as nuclear power, geoengineering or carbon capture and storage (CCS) were not considered.

Access the full article HERE. (Source: German Aerospace Center, PR, 21 Jan., 2019) Contact: German Aerospace Center, Public Affairs and Communications, +49 711 6862-8086, www.dlr.de

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


UCI, NASA Notes Antarctica Ice Lose Acceleration (Ind. Report)
University of California, Irvine
Date: 2019-01-18
A new report by NASA and the University of California, Irvine has found that Antarctica is losing six times more ice mass annually now than 40 years ago. The research team were able to determine that between 1979 and 1990, Antarctica shed an average of 40 gigatonnes of ice mass annually. From 2009 to 2017, about 252 gigatonnes per year were lost.

The study, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Access the Four Decades of Antarctic Ice Sheet Mass Balance from 1979 - 2017 report HERE. (Source: University of California Irvine, Climate Action, Jan., 2019) Contact: University of California, Irvine, Eric Rignot, Chair of Earth System Science, Report Lead Author, (949)824-3739, erignot@uci.edu, www.ess.uci.edu/people/erignot

More Low-Carbon Energy News NASA,  University of California Irvine ,  Climate Change,  Global Warming,  


Manchester Plan Calls for All Net-Zero Bldgs by 2028 (Int'l)
Carbon Emissions,Greater Manchester Combined Authority
Date: 2019-01-09
In the UK, in its Greater Manchester Plan for Homes, Jobs and the Environment, the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) has pledged that all new buildings erected in the city region will be 'net-zero' carbon by 2028. The pledge is part of the GMCA's 20-year plan to decouple emissions from economic growth.

More recently, the Government published its £420 million construction sector deal, outlining a course for halving building energy use and emissions by 2030. Even so, several industry bodies and corporations have argued that wider progress towards low-carbon infrastructure has been too slow -- particularly in light of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) global warming report's conclusion that the world must achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 to avoid catastrophic climate change. (Source: Greater Manchester Combined Authority, edie News, 7 January 2019) Contact: Greater Manchester Combined Authority, +44 161 778 7000, www.greatermanchester-ca.gov.uk

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


Tokyo Touts "Eco-Point" CO2 Emissions Cutting Plan (Int'l)
okyo Metropolitan Government
Date: 2019-01-09
In Japan, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government (TMG) is reporting the upcoming October launch of its "eco-point" program. The program will grant points to consumers who replace older, inefficient home appliances with energy-efficient models. Refrigerators, air conditioners and water heaters will be covered by the program.

Under the program, shoppers will gain one point for each 7 kg of CO2 emissions they are able to cut through replacing home appliances. One point will be worth ¥1 and exchangeable for gift tickets.

The ¥4.5 billion program will be funded in the TMG's fiscal 2019 budget, and is intended to coincide with the Japanese central government's announced consumption tax increase from 8 pct to 10 pct, as well as to curb carbon dioxide emissions that lead to global warming.

The program, which is expected to run until March 2021, is forecast to lower CO2 emissions by 140,000 tpy and reduce utility expenses by ¥6.9 billion. (Source: Tokyo Metropolitan Government, Japan Times, 8 Jan., 2019) Contact: Tokyo Metropolitan Government, www.metro.tokyo.jp/english

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


Kigali Amendment Addresses Ozone Deleting HFC GHG (Int'l Report)
Montreal Protocol
Date: 2019-01-04
With the recently announced Kigali Amendment hammered out in Niarobi, the world has taken an important step on the road to drastically reduce the production and consumption of powerful greenhouse gasses known as hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs)-- an extremely potent greenhouse gas -- and limit global warming. The Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer came into force on 1st January 2019.

If fully supported by governments, the private sector and citizens, the Kigali Amendment will avoid up to 0.4 degrees C of global warming this century while continuing to protect the ozone layer. The amendment will substantively contribute to the goals of the COP15, Paris Climate Agreement.

The parties to the amendment have put in place practical arrangements for its implementation, including agreements on technologies for the destruction of HFCs and new data reporting requirements and tools. The amendment comes with provisions for capacity-building for developing countries, institutional strengthening and the development of national strategies to reduce HFCs and replace them with alternatives. Phasing down HFCs under the Kigali Amendment may also open a window to redesign refrigeration equipment that is more energy efficient, further increasing the climate gains.

Implementation of new targets set out in the amendment will be done in three phases, with a group of developed countries starting HFCs phase-down from 2019. Developing countries will follow with a freeze of HFCs consumption levels in 2024 and with a few countries freezing consumption in 2028.

Evidence presented in the latest Scientific Assessment of Ozone Depletion finds that the ozone layer in parts of the stratosphere has recovered at a rate of 1-3 pct per decade since 2000. At projected rates, Northern Hemisphere and mid-latitude ozone is scheduled to heal completely by the 2030s followed by the Southern Hemisphere in the 2050s and polar regions by 2060.

The UN Environment Ozone Secretariat is the Secretariat for the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer and the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. The Secretariat facilitates and supports the parties to the Vienna Convention and the Montreal Protocol and other stakeholders in implementing actions to protect and heal the ozone layer and contribute to climate change mitigation.

Download the Scientific Assessment of Ozone Depletion: 2018 Executive Summary HERE. (Source: UN Environment Ozone Secretariat, World Meteorological Organization , UN Environment, 3 Dec., 2019) Contact: UN Environment Ozone Secretariat, https://ozone.unep.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News COP15,  Paris Climate Agreement,  Carbon Emissions,  Montreal Protocol,  HFCs,  Ozone Depletion,  Climate Change,  


Polls Find Growing Climate Awareness, Concerns (Ind. Report)
Climate Change,American Communities Project
Date: 2019-01-02
According to surveys from the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication and the Fairfax, Virginia-based George Mason (University) Center for Climate Change Communication, 70 pct of Americans believe "global warming is happening" and 57 pct believe it is being caused primarily by human activities.

In a similar NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, two-thirds of those surveyed say climate change is a serious problem and the nation needs to take action. Only 30 pct of survey participants said say we don't know enough yet or that we don't need to be concerned with climate change -- down 13 points from 1999.

Of the survey participants, 71 pct of Democrats now say climate change is an urgent problem -- a 42-point increase since 1999 -- 47 pct of independent voters said they want climate change action while only 15 pct of Republicans see a need to deal with climate change -- unchanged since the same question was asked in 1999. (Source: Yale Program on Climate Change Communication, Meet the Press, NBC, Various Media, 30 Dec., 2018) Contact: Yale Program on Climate Change Communication, Anthony Leiserowitz, Director, climatecommunication.yale.edu; George Mason Center for Climate Change Communication, www.climatechangecommunication.org, www.gmu.edu

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


COP24 Approves Rulebook to Govern COP15 Paris Accord (Int'l)
COP15,COP24
Date: 2018-12-17
The AP is reporting the delegates of from nearly 200 countries -- including the US despite Trump's disagreement -- meeting at the COP24 meeting last week in Katowice, Poland, have agreed on guidelines to govern the 2015 (COP15) Paris Climate Agreement.

The newly adopted Paris Accord Work Programme outlines the ways in which countries are required to count and report their greenhouse gas emissions as well as what they are doing to reduce emissions.

The deal, struck after an all-night bargaining session, will ultimately require every country in the world to follow a uniform set of standards for measuring their planet-warming emissions and tracking their climate policies. And it calls on countries to step up their plans to cut emissions ahead of another round of talks in 2020. It also calls on richer countries to be clearer about the aid they intend to offer to help poorer nations install more clean energy or build resilience against natural disasters. And it builds a process in which countries that are struggling to meet their emissions goals can get help in getting back on track.

A further agreement to pledge more aggressive action to fight global warming and to the market for international carbon emissions trading was postponed until a U.N. summit in New York in September, 2019) (Source: Weather Channel, Environmental Defense Council, UPI, NYT, Various Media, 15 Dec., 2018)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  COP15,  COP24,  


UN Sec. Gen. Guterres Spurs On Flagging COP24 Climate Talks (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
COP24, Climate Change
Date: 2018-12-14
"We're running out of time. To waste this opportunity would compromise our last best chance to stop runaway climate change. It would not only be immoral, it would be suicidal.

"The IPCC special report is a stark acknowledgment of what the consequences of global warming beyond 1.5 degrees will mean for billions of people around the world, especially those who call small island states home. This is not good news, but we cannot afford to ignore it." -- UN secretary general Antonio Guterres commenting on the slow progress of the COP24 talks centered on devising a rule book for implementing the 2015 Paris agreement and raising countries' level of ambition to counter climate change.

More Low-Carbon Energy News IPCC,  Paris Climate Agreement,  COP15,  COP24,  Climate Change,  


Finland Recalculates Forest Carbon Sink Capacity (Int'l Report)
Carbon Sink
Date: 2018-12-14
In Helsinki, the Finnish Natural Resources Institute is reporting Finland could safely consume over 80 million cubic meters of its forest wood annually without disturbing the forest's carbon storage capacity.

The Institute notes that earlier assessments of the size of the country's forest carbon sink had been underestimated and did not take the faster growth rate of forests under the influence of global warming and a warmer climate. The Institute added that even though the Finnish carbon sink will shrink because of wood usage, it would not be reduced to a critical level any time before 2050. The current level of forest use is roughly 70 million cubic meters annually. The government has aimed at an increase up to 80 million.

The Institute study was in compliance with EU land usage decree requirements that members inform the EC by the end of 2018 about estimated carbon sink levels of their forests in 2021-2025. They will then be analyzed by experts from the EU and members. The EU Commission will define the final values in 2020. (Source: Finnish Natural Resources Institute , Xinhua, 12 Dec., 2018) Contact: Finnish Natural Resources Institute, +358 29 532 6000, www.luke.fi/en

More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Sink,  CO2,  Carbon Dioxide,  Carbon Emissions,  Forest Carbon,  


Greenland Ice Melt Leading Source of Sea Level Rise (Ind. Report)

Date: 2018-12-12
According to a recent article in the Guardian, Greenland contributes 20 pct of overall sea-level rise, which is running at 4mm per year , and if the vast northern ice sheet were to completely melt, it would raise global sea levels by 7 meters.

Runoff from Greenland, currently the biggest single source of meltwater adding to the volume of the world's oceans, is 50 pct higher than pre-industrial levels and increasing exponentially as a result of man-made global warming, the article warns. Based on UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change data, almost all of the increase has occurred in the past two decades. (Source: Conservation Int'l. HumanNature Blog, 11 Dec., 2018)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  


WSU Researchers Find Carbon Reserve Underfoot (R&D, Ind. Report)
Washington State University
Date: 2018-12-07
According to research from Washington State University at least a quarter of all the carbon stored in Earth's soil is found locked up in minerals roughly six feet beneath the surface. But new research suggests this unique carbon reservoir will become less efficient at carbon storage as the planet warms. The research details the way carbon physically and chemically binds to minerals in soils across the globe.

The new data showed minimal amounts of carbon are stored in the sediments of deserts and dry forests, but roughly six feet beneath the surfaces of wet forests, scientists found an abundance of carbon bound to reactive minerals. The persistence of water and decaying organic matter on the forest floor helps leach carbon from above and transport to minerals buried below.

According to the new research, global warming won't impact the carbon that is already stored beneath the surface of wet forest floors, but it will alter the pathway by which new carbon gets stored. Temperature increases are likely to minimize the amount of water running through forest soil, even if precipitation levels remain stable.

The results of the survey were published in the journal Nature Climate Change HERE. (Source: Washington State University, Vancouver, UPI, 2 Nov., 2018) Contact: Washington State University, Vancouver, Assoc. Prof. Marc Kramer, Environmental Chemistry, marc.kramer@wsu.edu, https://labs.wsu.edu/kramerlab/marc-g-kramer

More Low-Carbon Energy News Washington State University,  Carbon Storage,  


Trump Dumps on National Climate Assessment (Ind. Report)
Climate Change,Carbon Emissions
Date: 2018-11-05
During a recent nationally televised interview on the National Climate Assessment report released by his administration, President Donald Trump's poignant Presidential comments included:

"(He) didn't read it."

"Is there climate change? Yeah. Will it go back like this, I mean will it change back? Probably."

"Well, I think we've (human activity) contributed, we certainly contribute, I mean, there's certain pollutants that go up and there's certain things that happen."

The report from NASA to the Environmental Protection Agency is the most comprehensive and up-to-date assessment published by the entire federal government. It concludes that "there is no convincing alternative explanation" for the global warming we've observed, other than human causes. The report concludes that only steep reductions in greenhouse gas emissions can alter the upward trajectory of air and ocean temperatures and their related impacts.

Access the National Climate Assessment Climate Science Special Report at https://science2017.globalchange.gov. (Source: Axios, Various Other Media, Nov., 2018)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  Donald Trump,  


Trump on Climate Change -- Notable Quotes Then and Now
Trump
Date: 2018-10-17
"The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive," pre-president Donald Trump famously said while on the campaign trail. "The Donald" has also dubbed climate change a "hoax," "a total hoax," "an expensive hoax," and "a total, and very expensive, hoax," as well as "very expensive ... bullshit."

Now, during an interview on the television program 60 Minutes, President Donald Trump seemed to acknowledge to interviewer Lesley Stahl that he no longer believes climate change is a hoax. "I think something's happening. Something's changing, and it'll change back again. I don't think it's a hoax. I think there's probably a difference, but I don't know that it's man-made."

"I will say this. I don't wanna give trillions and trillions of dollars. I don't wanna lose millions and millions of jobs. I don't wanna be put at a disadvantage," the President added. (Source: President Donald Trump, The Atlantic, Various Media, 60 Minutes, 14 Oct., 2018)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Trump,  Trump Quotes,  Climate Change,  


Calif. Open Space District Adopting Climate Action Plan (Ind. Report)
Climate Change
Date: 2018-10-15
Following on the recently released Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCCC) climate change report the San Francisco Bay area Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District has approved its own climate change policy and action plan. The plan sets ambitious emission reduction goals for the organization and providing a roadmap to achieve them.

Midpen, which stewards more than 63,000 acres of public open space, including redwood forests which store large amounts of carbon, is targeting a reduction in emissions of 20 pct below its 2016 baseline by 2022, 40 pct by 2030 and 80 pct by 2050. To that end, Midpen will reduce emissions from vehicles, equipment, employee commutes, business travel, offices and tenant residences, using renewable diesel fuel, installing electric vehicle chargers,and others. The plan also identifies strategies for reducing or offsetting emissions from livestock grazing in Midpen's open space preserves, enhancing carbon sequestration, reducing preserve visitor transportation emissions and increasing staff and visitor awareness of climate change.

This goal is in line with the Golden State's climate change policy and the Paris Climate Agreement, which aims to limit global warming to two degrees Celsius.

The Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District is a public agency committed to acquiring and preserving open space and agricultural land of regional significance, protect and restore the natural environment and provide opportunities for ecologically sensitive public enjoyment and education. (Source: Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District, Siliconner, 13 Oct., 2018) Contact: Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District, Ana Maria Ruiz, Dir., (650) 691-1200, (650) 691-0485 (fax), info@openspace.org, www.openspace.org/climate

More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  


Shell CEO Promotes Reforestation to Meet 1.5C Degrees (Int'l)
Shell Oil
Date: 2018-10-12
Speaking at the Oil & Money Conference in London on Tuesday, Shell Oil CEO Ben van Beurden argued that an increased reliance on renewable energy would not be enough to meet the Paris Climate Agreement goal of limiting climate change to 1.5C degrees.

van Beurden noted that reforestation -- the planting of more trees -- was the only solution to meeting the goal of 1.5C. Reforestation is similar to afforestation, which is the process of restoring and recreating areas of woodland on land that was not previously forested.

Removal of woodland areas and forests from the planet has become all too common, due to agricultural activities, logging, mining and forest fires. Forests soak up pollution and dust from the air, maintain the balance of CO2 and oxygen in Earth's atmosphere, build natural habitats and ecosystems and maintain the water cycle which prevents soil erosion.

Reforestation can help mitigate global warming by reducing the amount of CO2 in the air. Trees use sunlight to absorb CO2 from the atmosphere through photosynthesis. Water also evaporates from leaves and this conversion of water to vapour removes heat from the air.

The Shell CEO added that an Amazon-sized tree planting project is needed to meet global warming targets. (Source: Shell, iNews, 10 Oct., 2018)


1.5C Impacts on Global Warming -- IPCC Report Attached (Int'l)
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
Date: 2018-10-10
Limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees C would require rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said in a new assessment report. With clear benefits to people and natural ecosystems, limiting global warming to 1.5C compared to 2C could go hand in hand with ensuring a more sustainable and equitable society, the IPCC said on Monday.

The Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5C was approved by the IPCC on Saturday in Incheon, South. Korea. It will be a key scientific input into the Katowice Climate Change Conference in Poland in December, when governments review the Paris Agreement to tackle climate change.

"With more than 6,000 scientific references cited and the dedicated contribution of thousands of expert and government reviewers worldwide, this important report testifies to the breadth and policy relevance of the IPCC," said Hoesung Lee, Chair of the IPCC. Ninety-one authors and review editors from 40 countries prepared the IPCC report in response to an invitation from the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) when it adopted the Paris Agreement in 2015.

The report highlights a number of climate change impacts that could be avoided by limiting global warming to 1.5C compared to 2C, or more. For instance, by 2100, global sea level rise would be 10 cm lower with global warming of 1.5C compared with 2C. The likelihood of an Arctic Ocean free of sea ice in summer would be once per century with global warming of 1.5C, compared with at least once per decade with 2C. Coral reefs would decline by 70 -- 90 percent with global warming of 1.5C, whereas virtually all (99 percent) would be lost with 2C. Limiting global warming would also give people and ecosystems more room to adapt and remain below relevant risk thresholds.

The report also examines pathways available to limit warming to 1.5C, what it would take to achieve them and what the consequences could be. The report finds that limiting global warming to 1.5C would require rapid and far reaching transitions in land, energy, industry, buildings, transport, and cities. Global net human-caused emissions of CO2 would need to fall by about 45 pct from 2010 levels by 2030, reaching net-zero around 2050. This means that any remaining emissions would need to be balanced by removing CO2from the air.

Allowing the global temperature to temporarily exceed or 'overshoot' 1.5C would mean a greater reliance on techniques that remove CO2 from the air to return global temperature to below 1.5C by 2100. The effectiveness of such techniques are unproven at large scale and some may carry significant risks for sustainable development, the report notes.

The report was prepared under the scientific leadership of all three IPCC working groups. Working Group I assesses the physical science basis of climate change; Working Group II addresses impacts, adaptation and vulnerability; and Working Group III deals with the mitigation of climate change.

The Paris Agreement adopted by 195 nations at the 21st Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC in December 2015 included the aim of strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change by "holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels." As part of the decision to adopt the Paris Agreement, the IPCC was invited to produce, in 2018, the attached Special Report on global warming of 1.5C -- the first in a series of Special Reports to be produced in the IPCC's Sixth Assessment Cycle.

The IPCC is the leading world body for assessing the science related to climate change, its impacts and potential future risks, and possible response options.

Download the IPCC Report on Global Warming HERE. (Source: IPCC, PR, 8 October 2018) Contact: IPCC, +41 22 730 8208 / 54 / 84, Fax. +41 22 730 8025 / 13, Sec@wmo.int, www.ipcc.ch

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"Zero Chance" of Limiting Global Warming Without Carbon Capture, says PwC (Int'l Report)
Carbon Capture,PricewaterhouseCoopers
Date: 2018-10-08
According to a report from PricewaterhouseCoopers, there was "almost zero chance" of limiting global warming to below 2 degree C without carbon capture and storage (CCS). The report also noted that the gap between the current decarbonization rate and that needed to limit global warming to 2 degree C was widening and none of the G20 countries achieved the 6.4 pct rate required to limit warming to 2 degree C this year.

At current decarbonization levels, the global carbon budget for 2 degree C would run out in 2036.

Each year the global economy failed to decarbonize at the required rate, the 2 degree C goal would become more difficult to achieve. The gap between current decarbonization and that needed to limit global warming to 2 degree C was 6.4 pct a year, the PwC report added.

London, UK-headquartered PricewaterhouseCoopers is a multinational professional services network of firms in 158 countries and 743 locations. (Source: PwC, The Australian, Graham Lloyd, Environment Editor, 7 Oct., 2018) Contact: PricewaterhouseCoopers, www.pwc.com

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Summary for Policymakers Report on Climate Target Up for Review (Int'l. Report)
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
Date: 2018-10-03
An executive summary of the UN Summary for Policymakers report on limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees C will be vetted by diplomats under the 195-nation Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in South Korea this week.

The report considers what it will take to prevent the Earth's average surface temperature from rising beyond 1.5C (2.7 degrees F) above pre-industrial levels.

The report notes with "high confidence" that at current GHG emissions levels we will pass the 1.5C marker around 2040. The report adds that to have at least a 50-50 chance of a 1.5 C world, the global economy must, by 2050, become "carbon neutral" and CO2 emissions peak not later than 2020 then fall dramatically.

The 22-page Summary also details the amount of CO2 we can dump into the atmosphere and still stay under the 1.5C threshold.

The report also identifies scenarios on the best way to ramp up the fight against climate change: adoption of new technologies to radically reduce energy needs; major reductions in energy consumption habits; removing massive amounts of CO2 out of the air, either though large-scale reforestation, use of biofuels; and direct carbon capture. The report notes the share of primary energy coming from renewables would have to jump to at least 50 pct by mid-century, and the share of coal drop from about 28 to between 1 and 7 pct.

Download the Sumary for Policymakers HERE. (Source: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, PhysOrg, Various Media, Oct., 2018) Contact: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, www.ipcc.ch

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