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Carbon Terminology Refresher (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
Carbon Emissions
Date: 2020-03-16
From the Land Down Under, The Fifth Estate has offered the following brief clarifications of the plethora of commonly used carbon emissions related terms:
  • Net Zero Energy -- There's two ways of looking at this. The first is based on simple math, and means a building, precinct, process or region generates as much energy within its own boundaries or site as it pulls in from elsewhere over a specific period -- most often a year. The other definition is a building or precinct or region that generates 100 per cent of its own energy needs on site or within its boundaries.

  • Net Positive Energy -- When a building or precinct generates more energy than it uses and shares that energy through either a local microgrid or by sending it into the main grid, it becomes energy positive.

  • Carbon Negative -- Carbon negative is used for larger scales than individual buildings, such as precincts, regions, businesses or even entire nations. It means absorbing more carbon than all combined carbon emissions within the specific area or operation.

  • Carbon Neutral -- Carbon neutral is basically a balancing act where a building, business or region sequesters or offsets as much carbon as it emits.

  • Carbon Offsets -- All offsets are not created equal -- there are dirt-cheap offsets sloshing around the global carbon market from questionable projects in far-flung places. But not only are they scientifically and ethically questionable, they also will not meet the standards required for formal third-party carbon neutral certification. The best offsets deliver co-benefits beyond just sequestering carbon, such as improving biodiversity, increasing water quality or catchment protection, generating social benefits, local economic benefits or supporting Indigenous cultural practices and knowledge.

  • Operational Emissions -- Most carbon accounting undertaken for the purposes of carbon neutral certification focus on carbon emissions generated by the operation of a building, business or region. It's not just emissions from energy or fuel use though. The Greenhouse Gas Protocol defines three "scopes" or categories of carbon emissions as follows -- Scope 1 emissions are direct emissions from "owned or controlled sources" such as a fleet of vehicles, a power plant or a manufacturing plant. Scope 2 emissions are indirect emissions from the generation of energy used within a building, plant or region. Scope 3 emissions are all the indirect emissions in a business, process or region's value chain both upstream and downstream. This would include something like methane emissions from waste sent to landfill, or the emissions from energy used to make the widgets that a business procures then retails.

  • Embodied Carbon -- Basically, almost everything we use from a smartphone to a building, has embodied carbon. Embodied or upfront carbon refers to the emissions released during the manufacture and transport of building materials, and the construction as well the end-of-life-phases of built assets. (Source: Fifth Estate Australia, Mar, 2020)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon,  Carbon Emissions,  


  • Munich Awarded Airport Carbon Accreditation (Int'l. Report)
    Airport Council International
    Date: 2020-02-19
    In Germany, Munich Airport reports the Airport Council International (ACI Europe), the umbrella organization of European airports, has again recognized the airport for its continuous efforts to reduce its CO2 emissions.

    The Munich Airport reduced its directly attributable CO2 emissions from approximately 3.4 kg per passenger in 2009 to around 2.2 kg per passenger in 2018 -- a drop of 35 pct.

    The airport documents its emissions in accordance with the internationally recognized Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHG), the most widely used international accounting tool for government and business leaders to understand, quantify, and manage greenhouse gas emissions.

    The airport plans to achieve additional emissions reductions through innovative technologies, without purchasing carbon certificates, and to achieve ACA certified carbon "neutrality" by 2030. (Source: Munich Airports, PR, 18 Feb., 2020) Contact: Munich Airport, Jost Lammers, Pres., CEO, +49 811 5522128, www.munich-airport.com; Airport Council International (ACI Europe), the umbrella organization of European airports, Airport Council International, www.aci.aero; Greenhouse Gas Protocol, www.ghgprotocol.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Aviation Emissions,  Carbon Emissions,  Greenhouse Gas Protocol ,  


    Kuehne + Nagel Aiming for CO2 Neutral Transport from 2020 (Int'l)
    Kuehne + Nagel
    Date: 2019-09-25
    Schindellegi, Switzerland-based global transport and logistics specialist Kuehne + Nagel reports it is proactively addressing the CO2 footprint of the transportation services performed by its suppliers -- airlines, shipping lines and haulage companies -- and will make all less-than-container-load (LCL) shipments CO2 neutral from 2020 onwards. The firm is aiming for comprehensive CO2 neutralisation (Scope 3 of the Greenhouse Gas Protocol) by 2030.

    To that end, Kuehne + Nagel's Net Zero Carbon programme leverages three fields of action: detection, reduction and compensation of CO2. The company has started its own nature projects in Myanmar and New Zealand and has invested in various nature-based CO2 compensation projects, where carbon is being taken from the atmosphere. The emission credits obtained are in accordance with the highest international standards.

    Over the past years, Kuehne + Nagel has considerably reduced its own CO2 footprint and will continue to pursue its efforts. (Source: Kuehne + Nagel, Logistics & Materials Handling, 24 Sept., 2019) Contact: Kuehne + Nagel, Dr. Detlef Trefzger, CEO, www.home.kuehne-nagel.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Kuehne + Nagel ,  Carbon Emissions,  CO2,  Transportation Emissions,  

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