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WGBC Launches Sustainable Building Strategy (Strategy Attached)
World Green Building Council
Date: 2020-09-02
The World Green Building Council (WGBC) is reporting the launch of its Sustainable Buildings for Everyone, Everywhere strategy to tackle well-being and resource efficiency issues in the built environment. Based on climate science and the Global Goals of Sustainable Development (SDGs), the strategy tackles global warming, health and well-being and resource impacts to deliver quality infrastructure.

Buildings are responsible for almost 40 pct of global carbon emissions and 50 pct of global material use while 91 pct of people and their families live where air pollution levels exceed World Health Organization limits. People spend 90 pct of their time indoors, so the quality of the indoor environment is of critical importance. By 2050, the global population will increase to 9.8 billion and the world's building stock will double, accelerating devastating environmental, social and economic impacts of the built environment, according to the WorldGBC.

Download the WGBC Sustainable Buildings for Everyone, Everywhere strategy HERE. (Source: World Green Building Council, Sept., 2020) Contact: World Green Building Council, Cristina Gamboa, CEO , www.worldgbc.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News World Green Building Council,  Energy Efficiency,  Green Building,  


Development Banks Commit $61Bn to Climate Finance in 2019 (Int'l.)
Climate Change
Date: 2020-08-24
According to the 2019 Joint Report on Multilateral Development Banks' Climate Finance , in 2019 seven of the world's largest multilateral development banks (MDBs) provided $61.6 billion in climate financing, out of which $41.5 billion was offered to low-income and medium-income economies.

Of the total, $46.6 billion was used for climate mitigation and the remaining $14.9 billion was used to help countries build resilience in tackling the impact of global warming.

The seven banks include: African Development Bank (AfDB), Asian Development Bank (ADB), European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), European Investment Bank (EIB), Inter-American Development Bank Group (IDB Group), World Bank Group (WBG) and the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB).

Download the 2019 Joint Report on Multilateral Development Banks' Climate Finance report HERE. (Source: African Development Bank, Mercom India, Aug., 2020) Contact: African Development Bank, www.afdb.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  


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

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

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

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

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


Duke Energy Invests in SustainRNG Dairy Biogas Projects (Ind. Report)
Duke Energy,SustainRNG
Date: 2020-08-19
North Carolina utility Duke Energy is reporting partnering with Charlotte-based SustainRNG, a North Carolina start-up firm, to work with southeastern US dairy farmers to develop biogas as an alternate fuel.

SustainRNG will engineer, finance, construct and operate RNG sites in collaboration with dairy farmers. Duke Energy has a minority share in SustainRNG and the option to invest in future operating projects.

Methane (biogas) is more than 80 times more potent as a global warming agent in its first 20 years in the atmosphere compared with CO2. (Source: Duke Energy, PR, 17 Aug., 2020) Contact: Duke Energy Renewables, Rob Caldwell, Pres, (704) 594-6200, rob.caldwell@duke-energy.com, www.duke-energy.com; SustainRNG, Michael Shore, CEO, michael@SustainRNG.com, www.sustainrng.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News RNG,  Biogas,  SustainRNG,  Duke Energy,  


JetBlue Airline Claims Carbon Neutrality (Ind. Report)
JetBlueNeste,CarbonFund
Date: 2020-08-14
Following up on our 1st Jan. coverage, U,S, air carrier JetBlue is reporting it is the first U.S. airline to achieve carbon neutrality for its domestic flights.

As previously reported, JetBlue committed to off-setting global warming by investing in sustainable aviation fuels (SAFs) from Neste, better advancements in engineering and partnerships with CarbonFund.org Foundation, South Pole and EcoAct to help offset carbon dioxide emissions. To date, the airline has offset 2.6 billion pounds of carbon dioxide with CarbonFund.org and hopes to offset 15-17 billion pounds each year -- equivalent to removing 1.5 million cars from the road.

JetBlue will also partner with various renewable resource companies and foundations that specialize in solar and wind energy, forestry conservation and Landfill Gas Capture projects. (Source: JetBlue, PR, Travel Pulse, 13 Aug., 2020) Contact: JetBlue, David Barger, President, CEO, (718) 286-7900, www.jetblue.com; ; Neste, +358 10 458 4128, www.neste.com; CarbonFund, www.carbonfund.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News JetBlue,  Carbon Emissions,  Carbon Neutral,  CarbonFund ,  


Tel Aviv Outlines Climate Crisis Plan (Int'l. Report)
C40 Cities
Date: 2020-08-07
In Israel, the Tel Aviv-Yafo municipality is reporting a detailed, 3-phase climate action plan making it the first Israeli municipality program designed to cope with the threat of climate change. The plan is within the framework of the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, a global network of cities fighting global warming.

Under the tree-part plan: experts identified the specific climate threats Tel Aviv is currently facing; listed the city's two key objectives -- temperature reduction and water management; determined how the city will meet its climate change related objectives.

Over the next three years, the plan calls for an immediate response (for this year and the next), a gradual response (by 2030) and then the fostering of urban innovation in a more global approach.

The immediate response includes steps like reducing the removal of trees, strict implementation of permeation requirements in construction plans and permits and enabling solar energy independence for public buildings during times of crisis. (Source: City of Tel Aviv, Al-Monitor, 6 Aug., 2020) Contact: C40 Cities, www.c40.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News C40 Cities,  Climate Change,  


Citigroup Targets $250Bn for Low-Carbon Activities (Ind. Report)
Citigroup
Date: 2020-07-31
NYC-headquartered banking giant Citigroup Inc., the 4th largest US bank by assets, reports it aims to lend $250 billion for low-carbon renewable energy, clean technology, water quality and conservation, sustainable transportation, green buildings, energy efficiency, circular economy and sustainable agriculture and land use over the next five years.

The bank noted it is working to measure, manage and reduce the climate risk and impact of its portfolio of clients and to that end is is participating in the development and rollout of the Partnership for Carbon Accounting Financials, a framework that will help it measure the carbon footprint of its lending portfolios. Additionally, Citi is testing the methodology for the 2016 Paris Agreement Capital Transition Assessment, a tool that will enable it to look at its most carbon-intensive sectors and clients and measure their progress toward reducing global warming.

Citigroup is also aiming for a 45 pct CO2 emission reduction reduction in its operations by 2025 from a 2010 baseline and, to that end, aims to only use renewable electricity to power its facilities globally by the end of 2020.

In 2019, Citigroup assets totaled $1.951 trillion, equity totaled $193 billion and net income came in at $19.471 billion. (Source: Citigroup, PR, MarketScreener, 29 July, 2020) Contact: Citigroup, www.citigroup.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Citigroup,  Low Carbon Energy,  


Duke Energy Invests in SustainRNG (Ind. Report)
Duke Energy, SustainRNG
Date: 2020-07-31
Charlotte, North Carolina-based utility giant Duke Energy reports it has taken a minority stake in SustainRNG, a company that plans to capture bovine emissions of methane on dairy farms in the Southwest with the potential scale up nationwide. SustainRNG's first farm-based project is slated to start in late 2021.

Methane is more than 80 times more potent as a global warming agent in its first 20 years in the atmosphere compared with CO2. (Source: Duke Energy PR, BNN, 30 July, 2020) Contact: Duke Energy Renewables, Rob Caldwell, Pres, (704) 594-6200, rob.caldwell@duke-energy.com, www.duke-energy.com; SustainRNG, www.sustainrng.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News RNG,  Duke Energy,  SustainRNG,  Methane,  Biogas,  


Landsec Touting Net Zero Carbon Commercial Development (Int'l.)
Landsec
Date: 2020-07-29
In the UK, London-based property developer Landsec is reporting progress in its plans for what aims to be the UK's first net zero carbon commercial building --The Forge -- a 139,000 sq ft office development in Southwark, London. The project aimes to be the first UK commercial building to meet UK Green Building Council's (UKGBC) net zero carbon buildings framework and associated energy performance targets. Landsec notes all future developments will be built to, and operate in line with, UKGBC's net zero carbon buildings framework.

In November, Landsec became the first UK REIT to align its carbon reduction target to a 1.5 degree C pathway of global warming. The externally approved science-based target will see Landsec reduce absolute carbon emissions by 70 pct from a 2014 baseline over the next ten years aimed at becoming a net zero carbon business by 2030. Landsec is one of the largest real estate companies in Europe with a £12.8 billion portfolio spanning 24 million sq ft of retail, leisure, workspace and residential hubs, with a growing focus on London. (Source: Landsec, Pr, July, 2020) Contact: Landsec, Mark Allen, CEO, +44 (0) 20 7413 9000, enquiries@landsec.com, www.landsec.com; UKGBC, Julie Hirigoyen, info@ukgbc.org, www.ukgbc.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency news,  UK Green Building Council news,  


Austria Supports EU Carbon Border Tax (Int'l. Report)
European Union,European Commission
Date: 2020-07-13
In a recent interview with Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung , Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz called for the introduction of a European Union carbon border tax on imports as a source of income to finance the 28-member trading bloc's coronavirus recovery programmes, and to address the larger issue of climate change and the fight against global warming. Kurz described an EU-wide carbon tax as a "fair and equitable" common support programme to assist EU member countries in coping with the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.

The German and French governments urged the introduction of a carbon border tax in the EU in June and agreed to jointly explore ways to implement it. The tax has also been proposed by the EU Commission's (EC) Green Deal. Germany noted advancing climate action in Europe will be one of its priorities in its EU presidency during the second half of 2020. (Source: Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung, Clean Energy Wire, 13 July, 2020)

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


TEP Touts Clean Energy Expansion Plan (Ind. Report)
Tucson Electric Power
Date: 2020-06-29
Tucson Electric Power (TEP) is reporting plans to provide more than 70 pct of its power from wind and solar resources as part of a cleaner energy portfolio that will reduce carbon emissions 80 pct by 2035.

The 15-year 2020 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) calls for a dramatic expansion of wind and solar power resources, supported by efficient natural gas fired generators and energy storage systems the retirement of TEP's remaining coal-fired power plants over the next 12 years. Key IRP elements include:

  • 2,457 MW of new wind and solar power systems, including 457 MW that will be coming online over the next year.

  • 1,400 MW of new energy storage systems.

  • A proposal to ramp down and ultimately retire two units at the coal fired Springerville Generating Station in 2027 and 2032.

  • Eliminating the use of surface water for power generation and a 70 pc treduction in groundwater use.

  • Continued support for energy efficiency programs to reduce usage and peak power demands.

    TEP's CO2 emission reduction goal was developed in partnership with the University of Arizona's Institute of the Environment with input from a diverse group of customers, community leaders, local government representatives and environmental advocates. The target represents TEP's fair share of worldwide efforts to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius under the 2015 Paris Agreement. TEP's plan would reduce its CO2 emissions by 80 pct, according to the release.

    Download the TEP 2020 Integrated Resource Plan, HERE. (Source: TEP, PR, 26 June, 2020) Contact: TEP, Joseph Barrios , (520) 884-3725, jbarrios@tep.com, www.tep.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Tucson Electric Power,  Renewable Energ,  Carbon Emissions,  Climate Change,  


  • TEP Plans 80 pct Carbon Emissions Cut by 2035 (Ind. Report)
    Tucson Electric Power
    Date: 2020-06-29
    In Arizona, Tucson Electric Power (TEP) is reporting plans to provide more than 70 pct of its power from wind and solar resources as part of a cleaner energy portfolio that will reduce carbon emissions 80 pct by 2035. The utility's 15-year 2020 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) calls for a dramatic expansion of wind and solar power resources, increased energy storage systems and energy efficiency and the retirement of TEP's remaining two coal-fired power plants in 2027 and 2032. The changes are expected to avoid more than 50 million tons of CO2 emissions over the next 15 years.

    TEP's CO2 emission reduction goal was developed in partnership with the University of Arizona's Institute of the Environment with input from a diverse group of customers, community leaders, local government representatives and environmental advocates. The target represents TEP's fair share of worldwide efforts to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius under the 2015 Paris Agreement. TEP's plan would reduce its CO2 emissions by 80 pct, according to the release. (Source: TEP, PR, 26 June, 2020) Contact: TEP, Joseph Barrios , (520) 884-3725, jbarrios@tep.com, www.tep.com

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


    UAF researchers use space-based radar to measure methane emissions in Arctic lakes
    University of Alaska Fairbanks
    Date: 2020-05-27
    One of the many greenhouse gases that is contributing to global warming is methane. Methane is emitted a lot of ways, including from lakes across Alaska. However, studies on how much methane flows up from those lakes into the atmosphere haven’t always been very accurate. New research from the University of Alaska Fairbanks utilizing radar instruments positioned on satellites has led to a breakthrough in lake methane emission research. That research could help climate scientists better see how Alaska’s lakes contribute to the world’s methane emissions. As permafrost under lakes begins to break down, it releases carbon, which is broken down by tiny microorganisms, which in turn, release methane. “Sometimes you’ll sit on the edge of the lake and you can see a little pop,” said “And you might think ‘oh hey, it’s a fish.’ But it could also be a little methane bubble that’s coming out.” Since methane is an odorless, colorless gas, it can be difficult to monitor how much is released by lakes. But not when they’re frozen. “The ice forms around the bubbles; more bubbles are released and [ice] forms around the bubbles,” Engram said. “And the ice creates a time-lapse freeze frame, pardon the pun. It’s a freeze-frame historical record of the methane bubbling.” To study these methane bubbles, Engram and other researchers use small bubble traps to make micro-measurements of methane and then scale them up to the full area. However, she says, those aren’t super accurate. Now, UAF researchers have begun to use what’s called a synthetic aperture radar, or SAR, to better map methane being released from lakes. Basically, a satellite sends a pulse down to a lake. A portion of that pulse bounces back to the satellite in what’s called a backscatter. Backscatters range in luminosity from kind of dim to very bright. Engram and other researchers used SAR to map methane emissions from 48 lakes across five regions of Alaska, including the northern Seward Peninsula near Kotzebue, lakes near Atqasuk — south of Utqiagvik — and the Fairbanks area. Of course, researchers still had to go out to the lakes that SAR was mapping to make sure it actually worked. To Engram’s delight, it did. Engram says the success of using SAR to map out methane emissions in Arctic lakes means the system can monitor thousands of lakes across the state. And that’s not just exciting from a research perspective. Engram says that there isn’t a lot of global data on methane release from lakes, and use of the SAR can help create a baseline to track in the future. That will be useful to climate scientists tracking changes in the atmosphere. Studies show that methane is about 30 times stronger than carbon dioxide as a heat-trapping gas. And while methane is naturally emitted from these lakes, Engram says the amount is drastically dwarfed by the amount produced from those anthropogenic sources. (Source: University of Alaska Fairbanks Water and Environmental Research Center, KOTZ, 17 May, 2020) Contact: University of Alaska Fairbanks Water and Environmental Research Center, Melanie Engram, (907) 474-7789, (907) 474-7041 – fax, nmisarti@alaska.edu R, www.ine.uaf.edu/werc

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

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Methane,  Methane Emissions,  

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Methane,  Methane Emissions,  

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Methane,  Methane Emissions,  


    Nat Gas Futures Launches Emissions Mitigation Project (ind Report)
    Natural Gas Futures
    Date: 2020-05-15
    Natural Gas Futures (NGF) is reporting a collaboration with FortisBC Inc., Seaspan Ferries Corporation, and Solaris Management Consultants Inc. to provide technologies for low-emissions engine systems, and quantitative emission characterization for inventory and policy development purposes.

    To reduce the climate impacts of transportation systems, several approaches have been identified through which greenhouse gas (GHG) emission can be reduced, primarily through CO2 emission reduction. These approaches include electrification of powertrains, bio-derived fuels, and fuels with lower carbon content. For large engine applications (e.g., marine, stationary power generation, remote applications), electrification is not yet realizable, and bio-fuels carry energetic penalties and may require significant engine modifications. For such applications, natural gas (NG) and natural gas from renewable sources (RNG) are attractive alternatives because of their lower CO2 and NOx emissions, and the significant North American NG reserves.

    While natural gas is an attractive engine fuel to reduce these pollutants, it can also result in exhaust-stream CH4 emissions, which have a global warming potential (GWP) 28 times that of CO2 (on a 100 year timescale). Thus, all GHG emissions must be considered to ensure that the benefits of NG and RNG are realized, without also incurring unintentional increases in GHG or other emissions. The key objectives of this project are to:

  • Characterize in-use emissions and engine operation from NG engines, with a particular focus on CH4, CO2, PM, and NOX, under real-world operating conditions.

  • Develop strategies for GHG and other emission reductions, under the partner's operational constraints.

    Provide data and guidance for policy development to support effective implementation of natural gas engines and ensure GHG reductions.

    The project has received $356,566 in research grant funding. (Source: Natural Gas Futures, 13 May, 2020) Contact: Natural Gas Futures, University of British Columbia, 604 827 0790 ngf@cerc.ubc.ca, www.naturalgas.apsc.ubc.ca

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Natural Gas Futures,  Carbon Emissions,  


  • Reykjavik Announces Climate Change Related Funding (Int'l Report)
    Iceland
    Date: 2020-05-08
    In Reykjavik, the Icelandic government has announced several new environmental policies and proposals including grants totaling 550 million ISK ($3,750,000 US) to projects addressing climate change.

    Of the total 550 million ISK, roughly 200 million ISK will be invested in projects aiming to naturally store carbon dioxide long-term in order to reduce levels of greenhouse gases in the earth's atmosphere. Carbon sequestration is a key part of the government's plan to achieve the Paris Climate Agreement's terms.

    Additional grants totaling 75 million ISK will support the creation of new birch forests; 25 million ISK will address land reclamation projects; 60 million ISK for land quality recovery schemes; and 20 million ISK will be dedicated to wetland recovery.

    A further 300 million ISK will be used to reduce Iceland's energy consumption and 50 million ISK has been earmarked for the government's recently launched climate fund to support climate change research and projects raising awareness of the impacts of global warming.

    The release notes the government aims to reduce carbon emissions by 40 pct by 2030. (Source: : Iceland Minister for the Environment, Reykjavik Grapevine, 1 May, 2020) Contact: Iceland Minister for the Environment, Gudmundur Ingi Guobrandsson, www.government.is/ministries/ministry-for-the-environment-and-natural-resources

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


    IMF Calls for Harmonized COVID-19, Climate Change Fight (Int'l.)
    IMF
    Date: 2020-05-01
    Earlier this week, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) called for fiscal measures implemented by governments against the COVID-19 pandemic to be harmonized to combat climate change and ensure an environmentally sustainable recovery from the pandemic.

    The IMF noted that if this recovery is to be sustainable the fight against the climate crisis must be part ov the effort. To that end, "when governments provide financial lifelines to carbon-intensive companies, they should mandate commitments to reduce carbon emissions" should be part of the agreement. Additionally, financial firms should be required to better disclose climate risks in their lending and investment portfolios, the IMF notes/

    The IMF also noted better ways of pricing in climate risk should be found and a substantially higher carbon price is needed to encourage climate-smart investment and to accelerate the shift to cleaner fuels and more energy efficiency. IMF also notes the current global carbon price is only $2 per ton, way below the levels needed to keep global warming under 2 degrees Celsius, which the IMF estimated to be $75 per ton. (Source: IMF, The Nation, 30 April, 2020) Contact: IMF, Kristalina Georgieva, Dir., www.imf.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News IMF,  Carbon Emissions,  Carbon Tax,  


    Dane County WI Adopts Community Climate Action Plan (Ind Report)
    Climate Change
    Date: 2020-04-29
    In Wisconsin, Dane County Executive Joe Parisi is touting the 2020 Dane County Climate Action Plan - Today's Opportunity for a Better Tomorrow (CAP) calling for a greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) reduction of 50 pct countywide by 2030 with the goal of carbon-neutrality by 2050. The plan's goal to reduce GHG emissions by 50 percent by 2030 exceeds the 45 percent worldwide reduction goal set by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to keep global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2030. CAP climate change emission reduction strategies include:
  • Increase electric vehicles sales (and transition heavy-duty trucks to electricity or renewable natural gas (RNG) vehicles.

  • Reduce vehicle miles traveled by shifting from driving alone to increase use of public transit, carpooling and biking.

  • Cut energy consumption by 2 pct per capita by 2030 by increasing the efficiency of old and new residential and commercial buildings.

  • Process 50 pct of livestock manure in anerobic digesters reducing GHG methane emissions, limiting phosphorus in area lakes and creating a new revenue source for farms.

    CAP notes these actions will result in major economic and health benefits, lead to energy security and great resilience to the harmful impacts of a changing climate, and address racial and economic equality to ensure the benefits of carbon reductions are equitably shared.

    In 2017, Parisi created the Dane County Office of Energy & Climate Change (OECC) to lead public and private efforts across the county to address climate change. The OECC led by its director, Keith Reopelle, created the Council on Climate Change -- a work group of 38 local governments, energy utilities, businesses, and environmental and community organizations that provided input into the development of the CAP to reduce GHG emissions across all 61 cities, towns and villages as well as the private sector. (Source: Dane County Office of Energy & Climate Change, Herald Independent, 26 April, 2020) Contact: Dane County Office of Energy & Climate Change, Keith Reopelle, Dir., www.daneclimateaction.org

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


  • Climate Change and COVID-19 Notable Quote
    Climate Change
    Date: 2020-04-20
    "We will be quite vigilant that companies do not use this (COVID-19 pandemic) to cancel or postpone some (climate change) commitments they have already made. What is happening now is what we could see with climate change  ...  with a lot of supply and demand falling." -- Sebastien Thevoux-Chabuel, Portfolio Manager, Comgest Asset Management, +33 (0)1 44 94 19 00 17, www.comgest.com

    Comgest is one of eight major investment groups warning that tackling global warming must remain a priority for public companies, despite pressure on businesses globally after government measures to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic left whole sectors unable to operate. The investment groups noted businesses would be given leeway when it came to climate change this year, but warned against backtracking on targets to reduce carbon emissions. (Source: Financial Times, 20 April, 2020)

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


    Cornell, Helsinki U Join University Climate Alliance (Ind Report)
    International Universities Climate Alliance
    Date: 2020-04-13
    The International Universities Climate Alliance (IUCA) is reporting Conell University in Ithaca, New York, and Finland's University of Helsinki have joined IUCA as founding members.

    The IUCA, which includes 41 universities on six continents, was formed in an effort to share research insights and develop networks among the world's top scientists. Faculty from member institutions will work to identify effective ways to communicate research-based climate change science, global warming impact, mitigation strategies and climate adaptation to educators, business leaders, policymakers and the public.

    Among the member universities are: Arizona State University; California Institute of Technology, Pasadena; Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne, Switzerland; King's College London; McGill University, Montreal; Monash University, Melbourne; New York University; Penn State University; University of the South Pacific; University of Ghana; and the University of Nairobi. (Source: IUCA, April, 2020) Contact: IUCA, www.universitiesforclimate.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  


    International Universities Climate Alliance Growing (Int'l Report)
    International Universities Climate Alliance
    Date: 2020-04-08
    In the Land Down Under, the University of New South Wales (UNSW Sydney), which is facilitating the establishment of the International Universities Climate Alliance (IUCA), reports that in its first year it has invited 40 of the world's leading universities on climate research to join the Alliance.

    IUCA members will work across climate change science, impact, mitigation strategies and adaptation to further and communicate research on the most effective means to meet the unprecedented global challenge of climate change.

    (Source: University of New South Wales, Mirage News, 7 April,2020) Contact: International Universities Climate Alliance, www.universitiesforclimate.org; University of New South Wales, www.unsw.edu.au

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


    Notable Quotes on Transportation Emissions
    International Union of Railways.
    Date: 2020-04-03
    "If we want to reduce the consequences of global warming, which are now quite inevitable, we have to act fast and act now.

    "If we continue to cherish a transport model based on individual vehicles that consume both non-renewable resources and contribute to global warming, it will be quite difficult to curb the rise in temperatures on our planet.

    "Transport, in its broadest terms, is responsible for 24 pct of energy related greenhouse gas emissions but rail today is four-times less carbon emitting than the other modes and has a really important part to play." -- Francois Davenne, Director General, International Union of Railways. Contact: International Union of Railways, www.uic.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Emissions,  Transportation Emissions,  


    ESA Reports Staggering Greenland, Antarctic Ice Loses (Int'l.)
    European Space Agency
    Date: 2020-03-18
    According to the European Space Agency (ESA), Greenland and Antarctica are losing ice six times faster than in the 1990s -- currently on track with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) worst-case climate warming scenario.

    ESA findings show Greenland and Antarctica lost 6.4 trillion tonnes of ice between 1992 and 2017 -- pushing global sea levels up by 17.8 millimetres. Of the total sea level rise coming from melting polar ice sheets, around 60 pct (10.6 millimetres) was due to Greenland ice losses and 40 pct was due to Antarctica (7.2 millimetres). In just 6 month, the loss of ice from 81 billion tpy in the 1990s to 475 billion tpy in the 2010s. This means that polar ice sheets are now responsible for a third of all sea level rise. (Source: European Space Agency Website, 13 Mar., 2020) Contact: European Space Agency, www.esa.int

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


    Cellulosic Biofuel Significantly Mitigate Climate Change (Int'l Study)
    Biomass. Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
    Date: 2020-03-11
    A recent long-term field study by researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) and Michigan State University (MSU) has found cellulosic biofuels derived from switchgrass, giant miscanthus, poplar trees, maize residuals, restored native prairie, and a combination of grasses and vegetation that grows spontaneously following field abandonment, could significantly mitigate global warming by reducing carbon emissions.

    The study found when compared with petroleum only emissions, cellulosic ethanol was "78--290 better in reducing carbon emissions; ethanol was 204--416 pct improved, biomass powered electric vehicles powered by biomass was 74--303 pct cleaner and biomass-powered electric vehicles combined with CSS was 329--558 pct superior." The research will next assess other environmental and economic aspects of bioenergy crops.

    The study was conducted at Michigan State University's (MSU) Kellogg Biological Station and the University of Wisconsin's Arlington Research Station which is part of the U.S. DOE Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center. Financial support was provided by the U.S. DOE Office of Science, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, U.S. National Science Foundation and Michigan State University AgBioResearch. (Source: American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, PR, EurekaAlerts, 9 Mar.,2020) Contact: American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. (212) 302-6443, info@aabgu.org, www.aabgu.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Cellulosic Ethnol,  Biomass ,  Climate Change,  Global Warming,  


    Notable Quotes -- Mitt Romney Talks Emissions, Climate Change
    Mitt Romney,Climate Change
    Date: 2020-03-09
    "People say to me, 'Are you sure that we're causing (climate change)?' And I say, "I hope we're causing it. Because if we're not causing it, there's nothing we can do about it. So I hope we're causing it, and I believe we're causing it to a great degree.

    "Passing laws in Washington about restricting the size of your washing machine and how many watts your lightbulb has -- that's nice, but it's not going to change global warming. The only way you're going to reduce or bring down the growth rate in CO2 emissions in the planet is if we develop technologies across all the things that emit CO2 -- that are low-emitting and that are less expensive than the current technologies.

    "The governmental side -- you put money into colleges, universities, think tanks, labs. But how do you get everybody to think about it? I'm a fan of all ideas that might bring new technologies that are low-emitting, because I really want to see us do everything we possibly can to help China, Indonesia, Brazil, India -- the places that are growing emissions like crazy -- help them turn the corner and reduce our emissions." -- U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) Mar. 2020

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


    La. Governor Launching Climate Initiatives Task Force (Ind. Report
    Climate Change
    Date: 2020-02-26
    In Baton Rouge, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) reports his administration do its part to address climate change, reduce industrial greenhouse gases and reduce future sea level rise with a new Climate Initiatives Task Force. Although no specific were announced, the release noted the new Task Force will focus on coastal restoration and flood protection efforts, and determine the volume of greenhouse gases emitted by industry and other sources in the state, and then come up with ways to reduce them.

    In January, the Environmental Integrity Project reported that facilities in three industry sectors in 2018 emitted 764 million tons of greenhouse gases -- carbon dioxide and other compounds linked to global warming. That was 8 pct more than in 2016. (Source: Office of Gov. John Bel Edwards, hoummatoday.com, AP. 23 Feb., 2020) Contact: Office of Gov. John Bel Edwards, 225-342-7015, www.gov.louisiana.gov

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


    Pakistan Eyeing Climate Change, Reforestation Funding (Int'l.)
    Pakistan
    Date: 2020-02-26
    Reporting from Islamabad, Malik Amin Aslam, the climate change adviser to the Prime Minister notes the Pakistan government is eyeing grant funding of more than $350 million to mitigate the impact of increasing greenhouse gas emissions and the possible devastation of global warming.

    According to a release, Pakistan would use roughly $200 million from the Green Climate Fund to mitigate environmental degradation and combat climate change. An additional $188 million would be used to fund major projects including the upcoming Ecosystem Restoration Initiative that aims at implementing the "Ten Billion Tree Tsunami" tree planting programme. (Source: Various Media, The Nation, 24 Feb., 2020) Contact: Green Climate Fund, www.greenclimate.fund

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


    Vermont Global Warming Solutions Act Clears 1st Hurdle (Reg. & Leg.)
    Climate Change, Global Warming
    Date: 2020-02-24
    In Montpelier, the Vermont House of Representative voted 105 to 37 in support of the Global Warming Solutions Act requiring Vermont to cut emissions 26 pct by 2025, compared to 2005 levels. The bill also allows private citizens to sue the state if it fails to deliver on the emissions cuts.

    The bill now goes to the Senate for a approval then on to the office of Republican Gov. Phil Scott for signing into law. (Source: Vermont Public Radio, 21 Feb., 2020)

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


    LNG Marine Fuel Misses the Boat on GHG Emission (Ind. Report)
    International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT)
    Date: 2020-02-21
    A new report just released by the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) concludes that using LNG for maritime bunkers (martine fuel) may have little positive impact on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

    The ICCT analysis compares LNG, marine gas oil, very low sulphur fuel oil and heavy fuel oil used in marine engines in the LNG tanker and cruise sectors. However, results varied widely depending on engine technology. High-pressure dual fuel (HPDF) machinery came out top but the ICCT estimates that only 90 of the 750-plus LNG-fuelled ships in service use these engines. Moreover, using a 20-year global warming potential model and taking into account upstream emissions, combustion emissions and methane slip, there is no climate benefit from using LNG, regardless of engine technology, the analysis concludes.

    The ICCT's findings come as a serious blow to those who have advocated LNG as an interim fuel on the path to low- and zero-carbon propulsion technologies.

    Download the ICCT Climate Implications of Using LNG as a Marine Fuel report HERE. (Source: ICCT, Stand Earth.com, Seatrade, 29 Jan., 2020) Contact: International Council of Clean Transportation, twitter@theicct.org, communications@theicct.org, www.theittc.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News LNG,  Alternative Fuel,  GHG,  Carbon Emissions,  


    Univ. Tenn. Peatland Carbon Processes Investigation Funded (Funding)
    University of Tennessee
    Date: 2020-01-27
    A UT microbiologist has received a portion of a $3.1 million grant from the US DOE to study how global warming could affect peatlands and their vast carbon stores in the future.

    Steven Wilhelm, the Kenneth and Blaire Mossman Professor of Microbiology, is part of a team led by Jean-Philippe Gibert, a food web expert and assistant professor of biology at Duke University. Wilhelm's co-investigators include David Weston and Dale Pelletier, staff scientists in the Biosciences Division of Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and Jonathan Shaw, professor of biology at Duke. In the three-year project, the group will study and model the effects of warming on the complex network of bacteria, protists, and viruses that interact with peat moss.

    Peat moss plays a key role in slowing climate change by keeping 370 million metric tpy of CO2 out of the atmosphere -- equivalent to the emissions from nearly half the car traffic in the US.

    Though peatlands cover just 3 pct of the Earth's surface they store twice as much carbon as all the world's forests. Over hundreds or thousands of years, Sphagnum and other peatland plants pull carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere as they grow, trapping the carbon inside layers of partially decayed plant material up to 20 feet deep. But warming trends could put that carbon storage at risk. Rising temperatures could thaw or dry out peat wetlands, making them more prone to decay and wildfires. Decomposing or burning plants mean the heat-trapping gas long locked up in peatlands could be released, accelerating the global warming process.

    To better predict the impacts of warming on peatlands and the carbon they contain, the team is studying a set of players they say are largely overlooked: microbes. Their previous work suggests that under future warming, the community of microbes and other tiny organisms that grow in and around peat mosses could shift balance, which could affect the ability of peatlands to sequester carbon. (Source: University of Tennessee, Knoxville, PR, 27 Jan., 2020) Contact: University of Tennessee, Karen Dunlap, 865-974-8674, kdunlap6@utk.edu, Amanda Womac , 865-974-2992, awomac1@utk.edu, www.utk.edu; Duke University, Robin Smith, (919-681-8057, robin.a.smith@duke.edu, www.duke.edu

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Peatland,  Carbon Storage,  Carbon Sequestration,  Carbon Emissions,  University of Tennessee,  


    Climate Change High on Young Voters Concerns List (Ind. Report)
    U.S. Conference of Mayors
    Date: 2020-01-27
    In its recently released Survey of Young Voters; Concerns Mirror Priorities, the U.S. Conference of Mayors notes that of the surveyed voters aged 18-29:
  • 80 pct say that global warming is a major threat to human life on earth as we know it.

  • Furthermore, young voters feel the climate crisis warrants taking "bold measures", by a margin of three to one (58 pct to 21 pct)

  • In the absence of strong federal action, a combined 74 pct agree that states and cities should step up in addressing global warming.

  • 80 pct said climate change is a "major threat to human life on earth as we know it."

    Conducted by John Zogby Strategies, the online survey was conducted on December 9th - 11th, 2019. (Source: US Conference of Mayors, Jan., 2020) Contact: U.S. Conference of Mayors, (202) 293-7330, www.usmayors.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News U.S. Conference of Mayors,  Climate Change,  


  • Zero Emission Tokyo Strategy Outlines Climate Change Action (Int'l)
    Tokyuo,Climate Change
    Date: 2020-01-27
    In Japan, the recently released Zero Emission Tokyo Strategy details a multifaceted effort to heighten climate change disaster - mitigation preparedness, reduce single-use plastics, transition to renewable energy and achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. The strategy also calls for zero-emission cars, buses, boats and planes; buildings made of recycled wood and equipped with solar panels; power plants on the city's perimeter tapping biomass, geothermal, hydrogen, hydroelectric, solar and wind energy; grocery stores with zero food waste and no single-use plastics; and "smart" homes with artificial intelligence to minimize energy consumption.

    To that end, the Tokyo City Metropolitan Government 2020 budget plans to spend more than ¥74.6 billion ($684.5 million). The money will be distributed to individual progams in 14 energy sector including buildings, transportation, resources, climate change adaptation and engagement. These include Tokyo Climate Change Adaptation Policy, Plastic Strategy, Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Promotion Strategy, all of which outline additional steps the city will take to eliminate carbon dioxide emissions, marine plastic waste, food waste and fluorocarbon emissions.

    To achieve decarbonization, the capital city of 13.9 residents plans to expand the use of hydrogen energy as it moves away from fossil fuels in its effort to address global warming and the climate change crisis, and urged the central government to formulate a national strategy to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. (Source: City of Tokyo, PR, Japan Times, 26 Jan., 2020)

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


    Survey Finds American Climate Change Concerns Rising (Ind. Report)
    Climate Change
    Date: 2020-01-20
    A recently released survey conducted by the Yale University Program on Climate Change Communication and George Mason University's Center for Climate Change Communication has found 6 in 10 Americans are either "alarmed" or "concerned" by global warming -- tripling over the past five years to an all-time high. last five years and is now at an all-time high and a major shift in public perception of the issue. The two rganization have tracked American view on climate change-global warming since 2008.

    As recently as 2014, the percentage of Americans categorized as "dismissive" of global warming was roughly the same as those who were "alarmed" -- around 11 to 12 pct. But in the years since, the ranks of those who believe global warming is not happening or caused by humans has fallen to just 10 pct. Over the same time, people who are most worried about global warming and support measures to reduce heat-trapping carbon pollution grew to 31 pct of those surveyed and mow outnumber the dismissive crowd by more than 3-to-1.

    (Source: Yale Program on Climate Change Communication, George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication, CNN, Mercury News, 17 Jan., 2020) Contact: Yale Program on Climate Change Communication, Anthony Leiserowitz, Dir., www.climatecommunication.yale.edu; George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication, www.climatechangecommunication.org

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


    EC Cutting Industrial Carbon Cost Refunds (Int'l. Report)
    EU,EC,EU ETS
    Date: 2020-01-17
    In Brussels, the European Commission (EC) is reporting a proposal to reduce the number of industries eligible for compensation for the costs incurred from their inclusion in the EU's carbon market Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS). Under the proposal, reparations would be "conditional upon decarbonisation efforts by the companies concerned."

    The industries affected by the proposal include: Iron ore mining; man-made fiber manufacturing; copper production; preparation and spinning of textile fibers; organic basic chemicals manufacturing; nitrogen compounds and fertilizer manufacturing; and mining of chemical and fertilizer minerals.

    In a statement, the European Commission defended the The new state aid guidelines are inline with the European Green Deal which aims to cut global warming emissions, according to the EC release. (Source: EC, EURACTIV, 16 Jan., 2020)

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


    State ‘net energy’ proposal raises static among developers

    Date: 2019-12-31
    A proposal that would require new commercial construction projects in Massachusetts to use only renewable energy has opponents and proponents drawing a line in the sand. Supporters say the net zero net energy proposal is needed to address global warming more quickly. Opponents argue that there is not sufficient technology and capacity to increase electrification to meet the demand. Opponents also say the proposal would greatly diminish housing development during the state’s housing crisis and that electricity bills for tenants would skyrocket. “As housing costs continue to skyrocket, we need more housing. To add an additional cost to housing production is essentially a barrier ... We’ll see a slowdown in housing production,” said Tamara Small, CEO of Needham-based NAIOP, the state’s commercial real estate development association. NAIOP has about 1,700 members in Massachusetts. The proposal basically requires new commercial construction and significant commercial renovations to generate as much renewable energy as needed on-site. What can’t be generated on-site can be purchased off-site. Only energy from solar, wind and hydro would be allowed. The use of all fossil fuels, including natural gas, propane, oil, coal and wood pellets, would be banned. While the proposal is primarily for commercial construction, it would affect some housing as well. The exemptions are single-family houses, multifamily homes of three stories or less, and mobile and modular homes. The proposal was written by the American Institute of Architects and submitted to the International Code Council to be considered for codes being compiled for 2021. All 50 states adopt some version of ICC’s residential, commercial and other codes. The AIA’s Massachusetts Chapter in November also submitted the proposal to the Massachusetts Board of Building Regulations and Standards for consideration for inclusion in the 10th edition of the state’s building code. Massachusetts in 2009 became the first state to adopt a “stretch code,” an enhancement to its base building energy code that provides for more energy-efficient construction. To be designated as a Green Community, municipalities have to comply with the stretch code. While the stretch code initially resulted in a 10% jump in energy efficiency, that has decreased after two subsequent editions of the code, in part because the base energy code has gotten more efficient. “Now about 80% of the 351 cities and towns have become designated as Green Communities. A good majority are saying we need to take the next step, which is net zero,” Nunnari said. This would be another tool in their quest toward mandating a higher level of energy efficiency, he added. The hope, he said, is if ICC agrees to include the proposal in its 2021 documents, all 50 states would have the opportunity to adopt the net zero regulation or amend it to their liking. California, he noted, has already imposed a net zero energy requirement for new residential and commercial buildings by 2030. Similar regulations are being considered by several other states and regions, he said. The proposal has the backing of several hundred organizations. (Source: Worcester Telegram & Gazette, 28 Dec., 2019)


    ExxonMobil Contributes $1Mn to Promote Carbon Tax (Ind. Report)
    EXXON, Climate Leadership Council
    Date: 2019-12-09
    The Americans for Carbon Dividends (ACD) political action group is reporting Houston-headquartered oil industry giant ExxonMobil Corp. has made a $1 million donation to ADC's lobbying campaign to promote a U.S. tax on CO2 emissions, a central factor in global warming. The contribution came less than a month after the oil giant agreed to contribute $100 million to oil companies' efforts to develop technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

    The ADC aims to spend $5 million on an initial lobbying campaign to win support for the tax, said , senior vice president at the group. PAC is looking to build legislative support for its carbon tax. It proposes an initial $40 a ton tax on carbon dioxide that would increase over time, with the money raised to be returned to consumers. The PAC has raised $1 million each from Exelon Corp, First Solar Inc and the American Wind Energy Association and expects to reach its goal of a $5 million in coming months. (Source: Exxon, Denton Daily, Reuters, 8 Dec., 2019) Contact: Climate Leadership Council, Greg Bertelsen, www.clcouncil.org; Americans for Carbon Dividends, www.afcd.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Leadership Council,  Exxon,  Climate Change,  Carbon Emissions,  


    IBM Climate Change Policy Supports Early Climate Action and Carbon Tax (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    IBM
    Date: 2019-12-06
    "IBM has stated for more than a decade that climate change is a serious concern that warrants meaningful action on a global basis. Notwithstanding many important efforts, this remains the case today. The Earth's climate is warmer now than it was before the onset of the modern industrial era, and the increased temperature presents significant adverse risks which cannot be ignored. Greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide fuel this warming. According to scientists, the amount of carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere is now greater than it has been for the last several hundred thousand years. Compounding this circumstance is the fact that carbon dioxide remains in the atmosphere for quite a long time after having been emitted.

    "Some may debate how this happened, but that doesn't change the need to address it. Although our collective use of fossil fuels for energy has enabled remarkable economic development, the use of fossil fuels has also resulted in substantial emissions of carbon dioxide, and the cost of these emissions has not been reflected in the price of energy. As a matter of policy, this should change.

    "IBM is no newcomer to the realm of climate change. In 2017, we reaffirmed our support for the 2015 Paris Agreement to limit global warming to below 2 degrees C above pre-industrial levels. Our commitment to the Paris Agreement builds on a long history of leadership in this space. In 1992 IBM helped the U.S. EPA launch the ENERGY STAR program. In 1994 we began to voluntarily disclose carbon dioxide emissions associated with IBM's consumption of energy and have done so annually now for 26 years. And in 2015, IBM was one of the first signatories to the American Business Act on Climate Pledge to demonstrate our support for the Paris Agreement.

    "Performance is a key measure of commitment. IBM has reduced the carbon dioxide emissions associated with our consumption of energy by 32 pct since 2005. We are on track to achieve our goal of a 40 pct reduction by 2025, a rate consistent with what scientists say is needed to limit warming to between 1.5 and 2.0 degrees C. Energy conservation has been -- and remains -- a key ingredient for this. IBM continues to rigorously conserve energy equal to at least 3 pct of its annual consumption, something we have done for decades. Reducing consumption, when possible, is preferable to purchasing offsets.

    "Responsible companies should also make transparent commitments regarding their consumption of renewable energy. Today, 38 pct of the global electricity IBM consumes comes from renewable sources, and we aim to increase this to 55 pct by 2025. Importantly, IBM does not rely upon the purchase of unbundled Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) to offset its consumption of electricity from fossil fuels and thereby claim the company is a certain 'percent renewable.' Transparency matters in the transition away from carbon-based fuels, which is why our reporting about the use of renewables reflects our actual physical and matched consumption of renewable electricity.

    "Climate change is real, and that is why IBM supports a responsible plan to tax carbon emissions. It is also why IBM supports the Paris Agreement and is on track as a company to reduce emissions associated with our consumption of energy consistent with what scientists say is needed. And it is why we are making transparent our own use of renewable energy and aiming to increase that use substantially.

    "The enormity of the challenge requires more than business as usual. Putting a price on carbon emissions requires a plan in which economies will keep growing, but in a way that addresses the risks of a changing climate. We believe the Climate Leadership Council plan is the best way to secure agreement for action, and IBM will work to build support for it with elected officials, corporate colleagues, and our fellow citizens." (Source: IBM-The Weather Company (an IBM company), 2 Dec., 2019)

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


    WMO Warns of Record CO2 Levels -- Canada Falling Behind (Int'l.)
    World Meteorological Organization
    Date: 2019-11-27
    The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) reports world wide CO2 and other greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere are at a record high and still rising faster than ever with no sign of slowing down.

    In a report released Monday, the WMO said despite international pledges made under the Paris Climate Agreement (COP 15), the levels of carbon monoxide, methane and nitrous oxide all surged by higher amounts in 2018 than average for the past decade. The global average of carbon dioxide concentration reached 407.8 parts per million in 2018, up from 405.5 parts per million in 2017, the U.N. agency said. The concentration of methane was the highest recorded since 1998 while the levels of nitrous oxide, which is responsible for eroding the ozone layer was the highest ever recorded. The report was released ahead of next month's global climate summit in Madrid.

    This follows the overwhelming scientific consensus delivered earlier this month that the Earth is indeed facing a climate emergency. Over 11,000 scientists world wide, including 409 from Canada, signed a letter pleading for world leaders to take the crisis seriously, for the wealthy to change their habits and for those in denial to accept that global warming is human driven.

    Specific to Canada, Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has committed Canada to reaching net-zero emissions by 2050 and to reduce CO2 levels by 30 pct by 2030. In December 2018, Climate Change Canada projected Canada's total emissions by 2030 are only on track to be 19 pct below 2005 levels. (Source: Environment and Climate Change Canada,Various Media, Nov., 2019) Contact: Environment and Climate Change Canada, (800) 668-6767, www.canada.ca › environment-climate-change; World Meteorological Organization, www.public.wmo.int/en

    More Low-Carbon Energy News World Meteorological Organization,  Climate Change,  ,  


    Climate Change Loss and Damage Costs Assigned (Int'l. Report)
    Climate
    Date: 2019-11-27
    A week ahead of a U.N. climate summit in Madrid, a coalition of more than 100 environmental groups is claiming that, based on their historic greenhouse gas emissions, the U.S. and E.U. should be held jointly responsible for 54 pct of funding owed to developing nations already dealing with extreme flooding, droughts and mega-storms rendered more frequent and intense by global warming. The "loss and damage" inflicted by climate change is predicted to hit $300 billion per year within a decade.

    The coalition found the U.S., the "largest polluter in history", should contribute at least 30.4 pct of loss and damage funding; the E.U. should pay 24 pct, while China, the largest current emitter, was obliged to fund 10.4 pct. The groups also noted the world's richest 10 pct cause 50 pct of emissions, while the world's poorest 50 pct cause 10 pct of emissions. (Source: Various Media, Globe Post, 25 Nov., 2019)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  


    Report Claims Most Countries Will Climate Targets (Int'l. Report)
    Paris Climate Agreement
    Date: 2019-11-18
    A new analysis from Changing America claims the climate plans of more than three-quarters of the world's countries are "totally insufficient."

  • To meet the Paris Climate Agreement (COP15)goal of limiting global warming to 2.7 F (1.5 C), countries must cut greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030.

  • Three-quarters of the 184 countries that signed the COP15 Paris Climate Agreement have climate plans that experts deem "totally insufficient" in a new report.

  • The small group of nations the report identifies as having sufficiently ambitious climate change plans includes the 28 EU member countries, Norway, Switzerland and Ukraine.

  • The world is on pace to warm by a catastrophic 5.4-7.2 F (3-4 C) by the end of the century if current trends continue. If the nations fail to cut GHG emissions in half by 2030, damages from climate change-fueled hurricanes, droughts, fires and floods will total an estimated $2 billion a day, the report notes.

    The report also notes Russia, China, the US and India are responsible for half of all carbon emissions. (Source: Changing America, 15 Nov. 2019)

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


  • ACEEE Report Lauds Mass. for Energy Efficiency (Ind. Report)
    American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy
    Date: 2019-11-13
    In its 13th annual scorecard, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) ranks Massachusetts, Vermont and New York among the most energy efficient states in the country.

    Massachusetts placed first for the ninth year in a row on the strength of its 2008 Green Communities Act and Global Warming Solutions Act calling for increased energy efficiency and an 80 pct reduction in GHG emissions statewide by 2050. The state also adopted the 2018 International Energy Conservation Code.

    The ACEEE report reviews states' efficiency initiatives and policies on utilities, transportation, building codes, appliances, and combined heat and power. (Source: American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, Nov., 2019) Contact: American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, Steven Nadel, Exec. Dir., (202) 507-4000, (202) 429-2248 - fax, www.aceee.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy,  Energy Efficiency,  


    IRENA Future of Wind Report (Ind. Report Attached)
    IRENA
    Date: 2019-10-23
    Decarbonization of the energy sector and the reduction of carbon emissions to limit climate change is at the heart of the International Renewable Energy Agency's (IRENA'S) energy transformation roadmaps. The attached roadmaps examine and provide an assertive yet technically and economically feasible pathway for the deployment of low-carbon technology towards a sustainable and clean energy future.

    The first is an energy pathway set by current and planned policies. The second is a cleaner climate-resilient pathway based largely on more ambitious, yet achievable, uptake of renewable energy and energy efficiency measures, which limits the rise in global temperature to well below 2 degrees C and closer to 1.5 degrees C above pre-industrial levels and is aligned within the envelope of scenarios presented in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5 degree C.

    This report outlines the role of wind power in the transformation of the global energy system based on IRENA's climate resilient pathway, specifically the growth in wind power deployments that would be needed in the next three decades to achieve the Paris climate goals.

    Download the IRENA report HERE, (Source: IRENA, Oct., 2019) Contact: IRENA, www.irena.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News IRENA,  Wind,  IPCC,  


    Energy Costs Must Rise Sharply to Avoid Climate Crisis (Int'l.)
    IMF,International Monetary Fund
    Date: 2019-10-14
    According to the Washington, DC-based International Monetary Fund (IMF), avoiding dangerous global warming-climate change will require world government's to impose stringent taxes on fossil-fuel usage -- equating to a 43 pct hike in household energy bills over the next decade. The IMF notes the battle against climate change could only be won if the average carbon tax levied by its member states increased from $2 to $75 a ton.

    IMF's economists show that a $75-a-ton carbon tax would also lead to an average 214 pct increase in the cost of coal and a 68 pct increase in natural gas. For the UK, the increases would be 157 pct for coal, 51 pct for natural gas, 43 pct for electricity and 8 pct for gasoline.

    The IMF said it was calling for a substantially higher carbon tax because the CO2 from fossil fuels accounted for almost two-thirds of global greenhouse gas emissions and was the most immediately practical to control. (Source: International Monetary Fund, Various Media, Guardian, Oct., 2019) Contact: International Monetary Fund, www.imf.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News International Monetary Fund,  ,  Carbon Tax,  


    Melting Arctic Permafrost Impact Costs Pegged at $70tn (Int'l)
    VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
    Date: 2019-09-27
    As previously reported, 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 VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland news,  VTT news,  Climate Change news,  Methane news,  


    China Fighting Climate Change with Nature-Based Solutions (Int'l.)
    Ministry of Ecology and Environment
    Date: 2019-09-23
    In Beijing, China's top environmental authority, the Ministry of Ecology and Environment has reaffirmed the country's commitment to fulfilling its Paris Agreement climate change pledge through the adoption of "nature-based solutions" and "greater efforts to improve biodiversity, forestation, and water resources, among other priorities."

    From 2005 to 2018, China's carbon emission intensity dropped by 45.8 pct, the Ministry noted, adding that the government will continue to promote climate adaptation, as well as carbon trading, to reduce the greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming.

    China's carbon emissions are widely expected to peak between 2021 and 2025 -- several years ahead of 2030, the target China set for itself as part of the Paris Agreement. (Source: China Ministry of Ecology and Environment, Peoples Republic of China, PR, Xinhua, 19 Sept., 2019) Contact: China Ministry of Ecology and Environment, english.mee.gov.cn

    More Low-Carbon Energy News China Ministry of Ecology and Environment,  Climate Change China,  Paris Climate Afreement,  Carbon Emissions,  


    Technion Claims New H2 Production Technology (New Prod & Tech)
    Israel Institute of Technology
    Date: 2019-09-18
    Researchers at the Israel Institute of Technology (Technion) are reporting development of an efficient, inexpensive, environmentally-friendly and safe hydrogen (H2) production technology.

    Currently, most hydrogen production is derived from fossil fuel, and its production involves processes that emit carbon dioxide (CO2) -- which accelerates global warming. The main alternative so far is water electrolysis, where two electrodes -- anode and cathode -- are placed in alkaline or acid enriched water that increases conductivity. In response to passing an electrical current between the electrodes, the water molecules (H2O) are broken down into their chemical elements, such that hydrogen gas (H2) is produced near the cathode and oxygen (O2) is produced near the anode.

    The energy efficiency of electrolysis is only about 75 pct and requires high electricity consumption. The new Technion E-TAC water splitting technology, improves hydrogen production efficiency to 98.7 pct and significantly reduces CO2 emissions.

    Worldwide, about 65 million tpy of hydrogen is produced worth about $130 billion. (Source: Israel Institute of Technology, China.org.cn, Xinhua, 15 Sept., 2019) Contact: Israel Institute of Technology, www.technion.ac.il

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Hydrogen,  Alternative Fuel,  


    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,  ,  

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