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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,  ,  


AIIB Announces Planned Green Investment Fund Launch (Int'l.)
Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank
Date: 2019-11-25
In Beijing, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) reports its is months away from launching an investment framework aimed at mobilizing capital for climate-friendly infrastructure projects.

The bank has set aside $500 (US) million for the project, which it will invest in green bonds issued by infrastructure companies. The core criteria of the fund is to finance projects that help the nation in which they are based meet their commitments under the UN Paris Climate Agreement 2015.

To date, AIIB has raised roughly $20 billion in paid-in equity from its 75 member nations and a total of almost $100 billion of subscribed equity, of which only $10 billion has been invested, according to the release. (Source: Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, Financial Review. James Fernyhough, 24 Nov., 2019) Contact: Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, www.aiib.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank ,  


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,  


  • African TDB, UNEP Tout Climate Finance Collaboration (Int'l Report)
    UNEP,Eastern and Southern African Trade and Development Bank
    Date: 2019-11-08
    In Nairobi, the Eastern and Southern African Trade and Development Bank (TDB) is reporting a Memorandun of Understanding (MoU) with the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) establishing a framework for the joint commitment to addressing climate change adaptation and mitigation, clean energy and other environmental issues and agendas.

    The two institutions will cooperate on supporting eligible TDB Member States to access Green Climate Fund resources to enable them to adapt to the changing climate and develop along a low-emission pathway.

    The African TDB is a multilateral, treaty-based development financial institution, with assets of $6 billion and the mandate to finance and foster trade, regional economic integration and sustainable development through trade finance, project and infrastructure finance, asset management and advisory services. The Bank supports sustainable development, including the reduction of climate risks and expansion of clean energy -- in line with the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement. (Source: Eastern and Southern African Trade and Development Bank, UN Environment Program, PR, 5 Nov., 2019) Contact: Eastern and Southern African Trade and Development Bank, Michael Awori, COO, www.tdbgroup.org; UNEP, www.unenvironment.org

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


    NZ Enacts Zero Carbon Climate Change Legislation (Int'l Report)
    New Zealand
    Date: 2019-11-08
    In Wellington, the Liberal Government of New Zealand is reporting passage of a bipartisan Zero Carbon bill aimed at combating climate change and achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.

    The bill requires all greenhouse gases except methane from animals to be reduced to net zero by 2050. Methane emissions would be reduced by 10 pct by 2030 and 50 pct by 2050.

    The legislation establishes a Climate Change Commission to advise the government which has committed to plant 1 billion trees over 10 years and to ensure that the electricity grid runs entirely from renewable energy by 2035. The bill also aims to fulfil New Zealand's obligations under the landmark 2015 Paris climate agreement. (Source: Daily Independent, Others, Nov., 2019) Contact: New Zealand Climate Change Minister, James Shaw, www.beehive.govt.nz/minister/hon-james-shaw

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change Risk,  New Zealand Climate Change,  Climate Change Mitigation,  


    Its Offical! US Begins Paris Climate Accord Withdrawal (Ind Report)
    COP15, Paris Climate Agreement
    Date: 2019-11-06
    On Monday, the Trump administration formally notified the United Nations of its withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord. The withdrawal will come into effect on Nov. 4, 2020.

    The notification comes more than two years after Trump announced he would pull the U.S. out of the agreement becuase it "imposed an unfair burden on the U.S. and (was) doing little to halt climate change." The agreement aims to limit global temperature increases to less than 2 degrees Celsius, with each country setting its own nonbinding emission targets and reporting on its progress to reduce them. (Source: Various Media, 4 Nov., 2019)

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


    France Calls for Aviation, Maritime Fuel Carbon Tax (Int'l Report)
    France Carbon Tax
    Date: 2019-10-18
    According to a Reuters report, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire is calling for a tax on maritime shipping and aviation fuels as part of a drive to reduce carbon emissions. The proposed tax would complement plans supported by France and Germany for a carbon border tax that would shield European companies from competition from countries with lower emissions standards.

    The Finance Minister noted France would also review its public export guarantees in line with its Paris Climate Agreement commitment to stop financing coal-related projects that increase the growth of carbons emissions. (Source: ShipInSight, Reuters, 17 Oct., 2019) Contact: French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bruno_Le_Maire

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Tax,  Maritime Fuel,  Aviation Fuel,  Fuel Carbon Tax,  


    Moscow's Long Range Climate Change Plans Quashed (Int'l Report)
    Russia Climate Change
    Date: 2019-10-18
    The Moscow Daily is reporting the Russian government has drastically watered-down its new national carbon trading system and penalties for major emitters as part of its climate change plan in the face of resistance from the country's largest companies and the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RSPP). The government will however, go ahead with proposals to measure and collect data on emissions as part of a five-year green audit, according to the Moscow Daily report.

    Following the Paris Climate Agreement in 2015, the Russian government proposed introducing new climate legislation in two phases -- a five-year stock-taking exercise to measure company-level emissions and set appropriate quotas for reducing emissions and a carbon cap on the country's biggest polluters and penalties for those that exceed their quotas. Earlier plans also envisaged the creation of a national fund to support emissions reduction and a system of nation-wide carbon trading. (Source: Kommersant, Moscow Daily, Oct., 2019) Contact: Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, eng.rspp.ru

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  


    C40 Reports Falling Carbon Emissions in 30 Cities (Ind. Report)
    C40
    Date: 2019-10-11
    According to the 94 member, C40 Cities Group, global progress in addressing climate change and meeting the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement goal of collectively lowering carbon emissions to below 2 degrees C has been "uneven and even discouraging." On the high side, C40 notes that the cities of Austin, Athens, Lisbon, and Venice have joined 26 other major cities in steadily reducing their greenhouse gas emissions.

    This latest news is an update to C40's 2018 analysis which identified 30 cities across the global north that have hit their "peak" emissions before 2015, meaning they have since reduced their greenhouse gas emissions by an average 22 pct.

    The 30 cities are: Athens, Austin, Barcelona, Berlin, Boston, Chicago, Copenhagen, Heidelberg, Lisbon, London, Los Angeles, Madrid, Melbourne, Milan, Montréal, New Orleans, New York City, Oslo, Paris, Philadelphia, Portland, Rome, San Francisco, Stockholm, Sydney, Toronto, Vancouver, Venice, Warsaw, and Washington, D.C. (Source: C40, City Lab, 9 Oct., 2019) Contact: C40 Cities, www.c40.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Emissions,  C40,  


    Solar, Wind Now Cheaper Than Coal, says IPPC (Ind. Report)
    Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
    Date: 2019-09-30
    According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPPC) order to keep global temperatures from rising more than 1.5 degrees C over pre-industrial averages within this century -- the goal set by the Paris climate agreement -- the entire world would have to transition to 100 pct clean energy by the middle of the century -- a lofty goal. But up until now, clean energies haven't bee cost competitive in a market flooded with cheap natural gas, coal, and oil. But now, renewables that one needed financial incentives to be adopted at any serious scale, have fallen in price to the point that no government subsidies are required.

    Download the report HERE. Source: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Yahoo Finance, 26 Sept., 2019) Contact: IPCC, www.ipcc.ch

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change,  Renewable Energy,  Solar,  Wind ,  


    EU, Ethiopia Ink €36 Mn Climate Finance Deal (Int'l, Funding)
    EU,Ethiopia
    Date: 2019-07-22
    The EU is reporting a €36 million financing agreement with the Government of Ethiopia for that country's climate change budget supporting program. The program focuses on cutting forestry and industrial carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions and mitigating the impact of climate change.

    The bulk of the EU's €33 million will be channeled through the Ethiopian government with €3 million of the total used to enhance the country's measurement, reporting and verification systems, to make them complaint with Paris Climate Agreement standards. The funded projects will be administered by the Ethiopian Environment, Forest and Climate Change Commission and the Ministry of Trade and Industry in collaboration with regional states. (Source: EU News, ENA News, Walta, 22 July, 2019)

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


    German North Sea Wind Power Output Rising (Int'l Report)
    TenneT
    Date: 2019-07-17
    The North Sea "wind harvest" of the first half of 2019 exceeds the first half of 2018 by 16 percent. According to a transmission grid operator TenneT Holding press release, wind energy transmitted from North Sea offshore wind operations to land rose to 9.51 terawatt hours (TWh) in the first half of 2019 -- a 16 pct increase compared with the first half of 2018 (8.17 TWh). TenneT operates in the Netherlands and parts of Germany.

    TenneT was recently awarded a contract for the construction of the offshore converter platform and the land station for DolWin5 in May, achieving cost savings of around 10 pct compared to the previous DolWin6 project, according to the release.

    "According to all international studies and scenarios, the current roll-out rate of offshore wind in Europe is not sufficient to achieve the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement for Europe. An accelerated and large-scale roll-out is necessary. A future internationally coordinated approach could implement the connection and integration of a roll-out of large-scale offshore wind energy more effectively and at considerably lower costs of up to 30 pct than with continued individual national planning," the release added.

    The current maximum infeed performance of offshore wind farms in the North Sea reached 4,989 MW on 24 March 2019 at. The capacity expansion of the offshore wind farms in the North Sea amounted to 5,577 MW on 30 June 2019. TenneT's offshore transmission capacity is 6,232 MW, according to the company. (Source: TenneT Holdings, Offshore Engineer, 16 July, 2019)Contact: TenneT, +31 (0) 26 373 1112, www.tennet.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News TenneT,  Wind,  Offshore Wind,  


    Maritime Giant Maersk Pledges Carbon Neutrality by 2050 (Int'l)
    Maersk
    Date: 2019-07-17
    As previously reported, Maersk, the world's largest maritime container shipping company, has committed to become carbon neutral by 2050.

    The shipping giant, which operates nearly 700 global vessels, has already substantially cut emissions and spent $1 billion to date in efficiency improvements aimed at the intermediate target of cutting emissions by 60 pct by 2030. To date, Maersk has reduced CO2 emissions by 46 pct -- roughly 9 pct more than the industry average.

    Maritime emissions were not covered by the Paris Climate Agreement. (Source: Maersk, ZME, 16 July, 2019) Contact: Maersk Line, www.maerskline.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Marine Emissions,  Carbon Emissions,  Maritime Emissions,  Maersk,  


    China's CO2 Emissions Taper Off by 2030, says Bloomberg NEF (Int'l)
    Bloomberg NEF
    Date: 2019-07-15
    According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance (NEF), Bloomberg's primary research service on energy, China's power sector carbon emissions will peak in 2027, down to 79 pct of that in 2005 by around 2030 to easily fulfill fulfilling the sector's carbon reduction commitments within the Paris Climate Agreement.

    In 2050, carbon emission intensity or energy expenditure per unit of GDP in China's power sector, will decline to 5 pct of that in 2005, the Bloomberg report says. (Source: Bloomberg, China Daily, 10 July, 2019)

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


    Canadian PC Leader Vows to Scrap Clean Fuel Standard (Ind. Report)
    Clean Fuel,Paris Climate Agreement
    Date: 2019-07-10
    The CBC is reporting Progressive Conservative (PC) Party Leader and Prime Ministerial hopeful Andrew Scheer says a government led by him would scrap a "secret fuel tax" -- a plan by the sitting Liberal government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to improve fuel standards and cut emissions through regulatory changes that have not yet been finalized.

    In addition to the existing carbon tax regime, the Liberal government aims to make the heating and transportation fuel supply cleaner to reduce carbon emissions and help Canada meet targets set under the Paris Climate Agreement.

    According to a government backgrounder, fossil fuel suppliers will be able to meet the performance standard by "taking action themselves" to make fuels cleaner -- through improvements to the refining process, for example, or by purchasing credits from low-carbon-intensity fuel producers and other credit generators. (Source: CBC News, Various Media, 8 July, 2019)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Vehicle Emissions,  Clean Fuel Standard,  Paris Climate Agreement,  Clean Fuel,  


    Wind, Solar Expected to Generate Half of World's Electricity by 2050, says BloombergNEF Report (Ind. Report)
    BloombergNEF
    Date: 2019-07-03
    According to a new report from BloombergNEF, solar, wind, and battery energy storage will enable the power sector to "meet its share of emission cuts required under the Paris climate agreement, at least until 2030" by which time the demand for electric power will increase 62 pct. The world will get about half of its electricity from solar, wind, and battery storage by 2050, the report notes. By 2050, solar and wind will supply almost one half of the world's electricity, with hydro, nuclear and other renewable energy resources providing another 21 pct with geothermal, tidal, hydrogen and others filling the balance, according to BNEF. (Source: BloombergNEF, Utilities, 23 June, 2019)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Energy,  BloombergNEF,  


    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,  


    Notable Quote -- "Volkswagen Committed to Paris Climate Agreement"
    VW,Volkswagen
    Date: 2019-06-26
    "Volkswagen is committed to the Paris Climate Agreement. CNG has an important role to play in the alternative drive systems strategy that runs alongside the Group's electrification offensive. It is sufficiently proven, immediately available, efficient and cost-effective.

    "Furthermore, CNG cars are not affected by driving bans in city centers. Refueling with biomethane or e-gas results in an even better CO2 balance. Both can easily be fed into the gas network and mixed with any amount of fossil natural gas." -- Stephen Neumann, Volkswagen Group

    More Low-Carbon Energy News VW,  Paris Climate Agreement,  


    ASEAN Strengthening Climate Change Mitigation Capacity (Int'l)
    Association of Southeast Asian Nations
    Date: 2019-06-24
    On Saturday in Bangkok, the Assoc. of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) -- Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei, Myanmar (Burma), Cambodia, Laos -- reports it's member states have agreed to share information and best practices and strengthen climate change mitigation capacity, build climate-resilient communities, address natural disasters in a "timely and systematic manner" and enhance the implementation of the Paris Agreement and Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) in order to build climate resilient communities in Southeast Asia. The bloc also intends to advance ASEAN's concerns based on consensus on common interests on climate change through joint statements in the upcoming climate summits in New York and Santiago, Chile.

    The ten-nation ASEAN bloc supports the conservation and sustainable use of ASEAN's coastal and marine environment and is committed to promote biodiversity conservation and management and endeavor to mainstream biodiversity into the organization's various development processes. (Source: ASEAN, AFP, Manila Bulletin, 23 June, 2019) Contact: ASEAN, www.asean.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Paris Climate Agreement,  Association of Southeast Asian Nations,  ASEAM,  Climate Change,  Climate Change Mitigation,  


    Air Travelers Prefer Aviation Biofuels Over Env. Tax (Int'l)
    International Air Transport Association
    Date: 2019-06-24
    According to International Air Transport Association (IATA) commissioned research, air passengers support the development of new technologies and sustainable aviation biofuels to reduce aviation carbon emissions rather than the imposition of an "environmental" tax on airline tickets.

    The commercial air transport industry is targeting a cap of CO2 emissions through carbon neutral growth from 2020 and aims to halve emissions by 2050, compared to 2005 levels, ensure the aviation industry's compatibility with the Paris climate agreement goals. (Source: International Air Transport Association, Biofuels Int'l, 24 June, 2019)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Aviation Biofuel news,  Carbon Tax news,   news,  


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

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

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

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


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

    The May 2019 deforestation is 25 pct higher than in May 2018, May, and twice that of May, 2017.

    Earlier this year, Brazil's freshman President Jair Bolsonaro's administration was reportedly planning to follow US President Donald Trump's lead and pull Brazil out of the Paris Climate Agreement. In his first 5 months in office, Bolsonaro abolished the ministries that dealt with climate change, trimmed the remaining agencies' budgets and now wants to privatize vast areas of the Amazon rain forest for agribusiness, timber and mining interests. (Source: Various Media, Reuters, June, 2019)

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


    India Working to Meet Paris Agreement Targets (Int'l Report)
    Power and New and Renewable Energy Ministr
    Date: 2019-06-17
    At the weekend F20 meetings in Nagano, Japan, India's Power and New and Renewable Energy Minister RK Singh noted that his country is "inching" towards meeting its Paris Agreement targets and, to that end, is implementing major renewable energy expansion and energy efficiency programmes.

    During his comments, Singh highlighted the country's achievements in household electrification and energy access. He also said he was confident that India will achieve a 40 pct renewable in the energy mix by 2030. (Source: India Power and New and Renewable Energy Ministry, Business Standard, 16 June, 2019) Contact: India Power and New and Renewable Energy Ministry, https://powermin.nic.in/en/content/contact-us-0

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


    Jan De Nul Group Eyes Drop-in Biofuel to Cut Emissions (Int'l)
    Jan De Nul Group
    Date: 2019-06-14
    The Luxembourg-based Jan De Nul Group reports it has been selected by the Agency for Maritime and Coastal Services (MDK) within the Department of Mobility and Public Works, for its focus on drop-in biofuel to achieve CO2 reduction targets.

    Under the Paris Climate Agreement, the Netherlands committed to reducing CO2 emissions by 15 pct by 2020.

    Jan De Nul Group provides maritime construction and maintenance services internationally.(Source: Jan DeNul Group, Wikipedia, Biofuels Digest, 12 June, 2019) Contact: Jan De Nul Group, +352 39 89 11,  +352 39 96 43 -- fax., info@dmmlux.com, www.jandenul.com/en

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Drop-in Biofuel,  Biofuel,  Carbon Emissions,  


    Notable Quote
    Climate Change
    Date: 2019-06-12
    "While the EU has a set of binding emissions targets for 2020 and 2030, we must now plan for full decarbonisation 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

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

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

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


    Taipei Urged to Draft Decarbonization Climate Change Policy (Int'l)
    Taiwan,eep Decarbonization Pathways Project
    Date: 2019-06-07
    In Taiwan, the Taipei-based research university Academia Sinica has released its Taiwan Deep Decarbonization Policy White Paper as a recommendation to the Taiwanese government for developing relevant national strategies aimed at achieving a low carbon future.

    According to the report, Taiwan should follow the mindset of the Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project (DDPP), a global consortium formed in 2013. Although Taiwan is not a member of the DDPP, it could study the various open-source research and policy recommendations to reduce annual carbon emissions per person to 1.7 metric tons by 2050, which is also a goal set by the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement.

    Based on the progress of Taiwan's Greenhouse Gas Reduction and Management Act, it is likely that the country will only be able to reduce carbon emissions per person to 5.4-6 metric tons by 2050, which is far higher than the figure set by the DDPP, the white paper cautioned.

    The study also recommends the government should revisit related government-led strategies concerning carbon trading, energy taxes and draft better incentives for industry and consumers.

    The government should also push a more comprehensive climate act to serve as a national guideline, an create an open and transparent platform so that stakeholders from the public and private sectors can exchange climate change related information.

    Academia Sinica, headquartered in Nangang District, Taipei, is the national academy of the Republic of China. It supports research activities in a wide variety of disciplines, ranging from mathematical and physical sciences, to life sciences, the humanities and social sciences. (Source: Academia Sinica, Focus Taiwan, June, 2019) Contact: Academia Sinica, +886 2 2782 2120, www.sinica.edu.tw/en; Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project, www.deepdecarbonization.org

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


    Heidelberg Pledges Carbon Neutral Concrete by 2050 (Ind. Report)
    HeidelbergCement
    Date: 2019-05-15
    The world's fourth largest cement company, HeidelbergCement reports it will slash direct emissions by 15 pct per tonne of its products by 2030 from 2016 levels. The initiative is in line with the company's vision to realize CO2-neutral concrete by 2050 at the latest. It is also in Keeping with the Paris Climate Agreement and asignal that the built environment is transitioning towards a zero-carbon future, the company said.

    The cement sector accounts for around 7 pct of global CO2 emissions, according to the International Energy Agency. (Source: Heidelberg Cement, Climate Home News, 13 May, 2019) Contact: HeidelbergCement, Dr Bernd Scheifele, CEO, Jan Theulen, Director Alternative Resources, www.heidelbergcement.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News HeidelbergCement,  Carbon Emissions,  


    CCC Recommend UK Carbon Neutral 2050 Deadline (Int'l Report)
    independent Committee on Climate Change
    Date: 2019-05-06
    In London, the independent Committee on Climate Change (CCC), the UK's top climate change advisory body reports it is set to recommend the government reduce carbon emissions to net-zero by 2050 -- a target that is said to be viable, cost-effective and would put the UK on track to fully meet its Paris Climate Agreement commitment.

    According to the CCC, net-zero by 2050 could be achieved within a budget of 1-2 pct of GDP. It would require new policies across various government departments: low-carbon electricity would need to quadruple and low-carbon heating will be required throughout Britain building stock. All new cars and vans should be electric by 2035 or earlier, while novel technologies such as carbon capture and storage (CCS) will become a necessity. Such reforms are especially urgent considering that the UK is currently set to miss its present legally-mandated target of an 80 percent cut in emissions by 2050. (Source: Independent Committee on Climate Change, yahoo News, 30 April, 2019) Contact: Independent Committee on Climate Change, www.theccc.org.uk

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Committee on Climate Change,  Carbon Emissions,  Carbon Neutral,  


    O'Rourke Floats Climate Proposal (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    Beto O'Rourke
    Date: 2019-05-01
    2020 Dem. presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke has released what he's calling "the most ambitious climate plan in the history of the United States and the most comprehensive climate policy proposal put out by any 2020 contender to date."

    O'Rourke's proposal calls for halving greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and net-zero emissions by 2050 through a program of: executive action; a $5 trillion over 10 years investment in a clean energy transition; and preparing vulnerable communities for the impacts of climate change.

    Although the plan is focused on climate and energy -- cutting emissions and creating alternatives -- approximately $3.5 trillion is allocated through tax incentives, loans, and other financing mechanisms for infrastructure, research, resilience, and clean energy deployment. The outlay would be funded by "structural changes to the tax code" that end tax breaks to fossil fuel companies and raise rates on corporations and top earners. Of the remaing $1.5 trillion, $1.2 trillion would go to grants for sustainable housing, transportation, public health, farming, and start-ups.

    As opposed to a carbon tax or a cap-and-trade system, O'Rourke is advocating a legally-binding net-zero emissions standard by 2050. The plan doesn't rule out pricing carbon but instead focuses on setting definitive goal posts. If elected, O'Rourke noted will re-enter the Paris climate agreement, implement rules to cut methane and other "super-potent" GHG emissions, tighten clean air rules, ramp up appliance efficiency standards, demand clean energy procurement from federal contractors, and end new fossil fuel leases on public lands. (Source: Vox, Various Media, 30 April, 2019)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  Carbon Emissions,  Carbon Tax,  Methane,  Clean Air,  


    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,  


    Paris Accord According to Mike Pompeo (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    Paris Accord
    Date: 2019-04-03
    "(The) Paris climate agreement that more than 170 countries have committed to has failed to change a thing when it comes to global emissions.

    "Go look at the countries that are still in the Paris Agreement and see what their CO2 emissions were. It's one thing to sign a document; it's another thing to actually change your behavior." -- Mike Pompeo, US. Secretary of State , 1 April, 2019

    Editor's Note: It would seem the Trump Administration and Sec. Pompeo are expecting an immediate, if not overnight turn around and even a reversal of the earth's climate change fortunes in the short time since the signing of the Paris Climate Agreement.

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


    Shell Sustainability Report -- Net Carbon Footprint (Ind. Report)
    Shell
    Date: 2019-04-03
    In a bid to halve its net carbon footprint by 2035, Shell, one of the world's biggest and most profitable oil and gas giants, plans to slash its net carbon footprint by half 2050 by diversifying its clean energy portfolio and investing in carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology. In the short term, the company is aiming for a 20 pct carbon footprint reduction by 2035 compared with its 2016 level as it seeks to adhere to the spirit and ambitions of the Paris Climate Agreement.

    Download the Shell Sustainability Report-- Net Carbon Footprint HERE. (Source: Shell, www.shell.com

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


    Vistra Supports Illinois Coal to Solar and Energy Storage Act of 2019 (Reg & Leg, Ind. Report)

    Date: 2019-03-27
    In the Lone Star State, Irving-based integrated power company Vistra Energy reports it supports the Illinois Coal to Solar and Energy Storage Act of 2019 -- legislation to be filed in the Illinois General Assembly. VIstra views the act as a "visionary and comprehensive transition plan" for its subsidiaries' central and southern Illinois coal plants.

    The Act will help mitigate the uncertainty surrounding these power plants and spur investments in new renewable energy and battery storage projects across Illinois as well as sustain otherwise uneconomic generation for five years while allowing time for additional capacity to come online.

    Currently, as much as 75 pct of Vistra's subsidiaries' -- TXU Energy, Homefield Energy, Dynegy and Luminant -- downstate generation capacity located within MISO Zone 4 is at risk of closure by the end of 2019. Vistra's subsidiaries' nearly 5,500 MW of generation capacity accounts for 40 pct of MISO Zone 4's summer capacity.

    The Illinois Coal to Solar and Energy Storage Act will:

  • Redevelop downstate coal plant sites into utility-scale solar and energy storage;
  • Help meet Illinois' commitments to emission reductions and the Paris Climate Agreement;
  • Increase grid stability, reliability, and renewable resources through energy storage;
  • Responsibly retire existing downstate capacity by keeping otherwise at-risk plants online through 2024;
  • Provide an orderly transition process for energy workers and plant communities;
  • Reinvest in downstate plant communities and support local business property tax base by continuing to operate on the existing plant sites with new renewable assets, rather than simply retiring and closing coal plants. (Source: Vistra Energy, PR, 26 Mar., 2019) Contact: Vistra Energy, Curt Morgan, Pres., CEO, Molly Sorg, Inv. Relations, (214) 812-0046, Investor@vistraenergy.com, www.vistraenergy.com; Renew Illinois Power, www.renewillinoispower.com


  • Xcel Report Confirms Renewables, CO2 Reduction Plans (Ind. Report)
    Xcel Energy
    Date: 2019-03-11
    In its just released Building a Carbon-Free Future report, Excel Energy outlines its plan to achieving its ambitious carbon reduction goal consistent with the Paris climate agreement and its plan to deliver 100 pct carbon-free electricity by 2050.

    In 2018, Xcel Energy cut carbon emissions by 3 pct and has reduced carbon emissions by 38 pct from 2005 levels by adding new wind and solar to its energy portfolio while retiring coal plants and transitioning with cleaner natural gas. Last year, Xcel Energy opened its new 600-megawatt Rush Creek wind farm in Colorado, the company's largest wind farm. Further, it will retire more coal plants or change those operations to reduce emissions and support strategic electrification of certain end uses, such as transportation, as well as invest in technologies to upgrade its grid. (Source: Xcel Energy, Daily Energy Insider, 8 Mar., 2019) Contact: Xcel Energy, www.xcelenergy.com

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


    Ill. Joins Climate Alliance, Pledges Emission Cuts (Ind. Report)
    United States Climate Alliance
    Date: 2019-03-08
    In the Land of Lincoln, newly elected Gov. J. B. Pritzker (D) of Illinois is following through on his campaign pledge to set Illinois on a path to 100 pct renewable energy with an executive order committing his state to join 17 other states in the United States Climate Alliance (USCA).

    The USCA was a reaction to President Donald Trump's announcement the U.S. would withdraw from the December 2015 Paris climate agreement because the restrictions would hurt America's economy without improving the environment. USCA members pledge to implement policies advancing the goals of the Paris climate agreement, in part by reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 26 to 28 pct below 2005 levels by 2025. USCA members are also required to accelerate new and existing policies to reduce CO2 and promote clean energy deployment at the state and federal level. (Source: Various Media, The Heartland Institute, 7 Mar., 2019) Contact: United States Climate Alliance, www.usclimatealliance.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News United States Climate Alliance ,  


    Swiss Environment Minister Calls for Climate Change Solidarity (Int'l)
    Climate Change
    Date: 2019-03-06
    In a recent interview, Simonetta Sommaruga, the incoming Swiss Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communication minister, called for the country to unite to tackle climate change and stressed the need for urgent action on road and air transportation and aligning the financial sector with climate priorities.

    The minister noted that politicians should stop burying their heads in the sand in the face of climate change and stop fooling themselves and the population. “When the cows run out of water or the harvest fails, you can't pretend that everything is in order. Doing nothing costs money, she asserted, pointing to the costs of damage from avalanches, fires, and floods. We should stop seeing climate protection as something that only costs", she noted to illustrate her point.

    In December 2017, the Swiss Federal Council adopted revisions to the Federal Act on the Reduction of CO2 Emissions (CO2 Act) to help it achieve its commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement. But, in December 2018, the House of Representatives rejected the proposal after conservative-right parties weakened the revisions including removing a domestic CO2 emissions target. (Source: Swiss Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communication, SWI SwissInfo.ch, 3 Mar., 2019) Contact: Swiss Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communication, Simonetta Sommaruga, Minister, +41 58 462 55 11, www.admin.ch/gov/en/start/departments/department-of-environment-transport-energy-communications-detec.html

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  


    Australia to Meet Paris Climate Agreement Emissions Target (Int'l)
    Australian National University,Australia Emissions
    Date: 2019-02-08
    In the Land Down Under, a study from the Australian National University reports Australia is on track to meet its carbon emissions target under the Paris climate accord well before 2030. Under the Paris Climate accord, Australia committed to cut CO2 emissions by 26 to 28 pct from 2005 levels by 2030.

    The study attributes the country's progress to the increasing growth in wind and solar power nationwide. The country is adopting renewable energy faster per capita than the rest of the world, the study said. The pipeline of new wind and solar systems is averaging about 6.3 GW a year, the study showed.

    The report notes that each extra gigawatt of renewables displaces about 2 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent emissions from coal-fired power, implying that Australia's pipeline of renewables would cut emissions by about 12 million to 13 million tpy of CO2 equivalent. Assuming other sectors' emissions grow by 2 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent a year, the net reduction would be about 10 million to 11 million tpy which would put Australia on track to meet its Paris target before 2030.

    The study, which was based on data from Australia's Clean Energy Regulator, found that for Australia to meet its target, emissions would have to fall to between 430 million and 442 million tpy of CO2 equivalent. However, as of the end of 2017, emissions had risen to 553.7 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent, according to data from Australia's National Greenhouse Gas Inventory. (Source: Australian National University, SBS , Feb., 2019) Contact: Australian National University, Prof. Andrew Blakers, andrew.blakers@anu.edu.au, +61 2 612 55905, www.anu.edu.au; Australia National Greenhouse Gas Inventory, ageis.climatechange.gov.au

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


    Shareholders Demand BP Goals Align with Paris Climate Agreement (Int'l, Opinons, Editorials & Asides)
    BP, Paris Climate Agreement
    Date: 2019-02-04
    The Guardian is reporting oil industry giant British Petroleum (BP) will back a shareholder resolution presented at its annual meeting this year that calls for the company to align its business strategy with the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement (COP15).

    The shareholder resolution comes from Climate Action 100+, a group of 300 investors with $32 trillion in assets, including the investment arms of HSBC, Legal & General and the Church of England. The resolution will be voted upon at the company's annual meeting. The shareholder group's resolution was driven by what it says was the company's failure to demonstrate a strategy consistent with the Paris goals." according to CNN News.

    The Climate Action 100+ initiative is just part of a growing wave of shareholders exerting their power to scrutinize oil and gas companies over their contributions to rising carbon emissions, and perhaps, more importantly -- asking the companies what they are going to do about it.

    In the proposal, BP is tasked with developing a business strategy in line with two of the Paris deal goals by the end of its 2019 financial year -- holding temperature rises to below 2 degrees C and reducing carbon emissions to net zero by the second half of the century. BP will also be required to justify how its capital expenditures in fossil fuel projects were consistent with the landmark climate deal and set new metrics and targets. BP has not specified what metrics and targets it will set, should the resolution be passed - but there is talk of setting targets for the carbon intensity of its products and linking executives’ bonuses to carbon emission cuts.

    Launched in December 2017 at the One Planet Summit, Climate Action 100+ garnered worldwide attention as it was highlighted as one of 12 key global initiatives to tackle climate change.

    Investor representatives from AustralianSuper, California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS), HSBC Global Asset Management, Ircantec and Manulife Asset Management have helped to lead the design and development of Climate Action 100+.

    The initiative is designed to implement the investor commitment first set out in the Global Investor Statement on Climate Change in the months leading up to the adoption of the historic Paris Agreement in 2015.

    To date, 310 investors with more than $32 trillion in assets under management have signed on to the initiative. In July 2018, Climate Action 100+ released an update that showed more investors are mobilizing across dozens of countries to drive corporate action on climate change, and companies on the initiative's focus list, have started to make progress towards its goals, including a trebling in support for the recommendations of the Financial Stability Board's Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures. (Source: Climate Action 100+l, CNN, Various Media, 2 Feb., 2019) Contact: Climate Action 100+, www.climateaction100.org

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


    Keystone State Governor to Set GHG Reduction Goals (Reg & Leg)
    Greenhouse Gas, Climate Change
    Date: 2019-01-09
    In Harrisburg, the office of Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf (Dem) is reporting the governor is signing an executive order committing his administration to meeting certain targets to slash Pennsylvania's greenhouse gas emissions over the coming decades. The Keystone State is among the nation's major polluters.

    Governor Wolf wants to reduce emissions by 26 pct by 2025, based on 2005 levels, and by 80 pct by 2050, which is in line with 2015's Paris climate agreement. The governor's 2025's goal may be within reach, since federal data shows Pennsylvania's carbon dioxide emissions fell 20 pct between 2005 and 2016, due primarily to cleaner power generation. (Source: Office of Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf , witf, 8 Jan., 2019) Contact: Office of Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf, (717) 787-2500, www.governor.pa.gov/contact

    More Low-Carbon Energy News GHGs,  Greehouse Gas,  Climate Change,  


    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,  


    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,  


    Switzerland Climbs in NGO Climate Performance Ranking (Int'l)
    Climate Change
    Date: 2018-12-12
    SwissInfo is reporting Switzerland has jumped three places to 9th in a ranking of country climate performance as determined by three NGOs -- Germanwatch, CAN Europe and the New Climate Institute. The ranking is intended to put political and social pressure on countries to take more ambitious action on climate protection.

    The index evaluates and compares the climate protection performance of 56 countries and the EU that are, together, responsible for nearly 90 pct of global GHG emissions. The index uses 14 indicators covering GHG emissions, renewable energy and energy use along with the compatibility of national climate targets with the Paris Climate Agreement. The rating only evaluates CO2 emitted domestically. If emissions from consumption were measured, Switzerland would be ranked lowerg as the country imports large quantities of CO2-intensive products, creating more CO2 emissions abroad than at home.

    According to the Swiss Federal Statistical Office (FSO), Switzerland's total CO2 emissions, calculated in terms of its carbon footprint, was 116 million tonnes in 2015. Of these, 76 million tonnes were produced abroad. Switzerland is one of the few countries that relies more on purchasing climate certificates to offset emissions than on reducing its own emissions. (Source: SwissInfo, 10 Dec., 2018)

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


    ADB Touts $4Mn Facility to Help Asia Meet Climate Commitments (Int'l)
    Asian Development Bank
    Date: 2018-12-10
    Reporting from Manila, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) is heralding the launch of the $4 million, Article 6 Support Facility to help developing member countries (DMCs) in Asia and the Pacific combat climate change.

    Funded by ADB, the Government of Germany, and the Swedish Energy Agency, the facility will provide technical, capacity building, and policy development support to help the DMCs meet Article 6 of the Paris Agreement under which countries voluntarily committed to lower their carbon emissions.

    The Article 6 Support Facility is intended to help DMCs achieve expertise, draw lessons from pilot activities, and enhance their preparedness for participation in carbon markets beyond 2020, while contributing to international negotiations.(Source: ADB, Modern Diplomacy, 8 Dec., 2018) Contact: Asian Development Bank, +63 2 632 4444, www.adb.org

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


    COP24 Climate Talks Underway in Poland's Coal Capital (Int'l)
    COP24
    Date: 2018-12-05
    Envoys from 200 countries have gathered a day ahead of schedule in Katowice, Poland, to follow up on the COP15 Paris climate change summit.

    In October, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warned that the world has only 8 years left to limit climate change catastrophe and that drastic cuts in carbon emissions will be needed if the world is to reach the COP15 pledge of keeping temperatures between 1.5C and 2C. Unfortunately, CO2 emissions hit a record high in 2017.

    Although Poland has reduced its share of coal in power generation, the country still gets close to 80 pct of its electricity from the fossil fuel. Even so, Poland is planning construction of another major coal-fired power plant that the Environment Ministry promises will be the last. However, some observers are skeptical since the the country's most recent energy plan would basically see the amount of coal in the energy mix remain unchanged at 80 pct until 2030, when coal reserves are expected to run dry. Even so, Polish authorities are calling for a "just transition" for fossil fuel industries like coal which are facing closures as part of efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. (Source: REMI rfi, Others, Dec. 3, 2018)

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


    Earth CO2 Highest in 3,000.000 Years, says WMO Report (Int'l)
    World Meteorological Organization
    Date: 2018-11-30
    The UN weather agency -- the World Meteorological Organization -- is reporting greenhouse gases in the atmosphere have reached record levels as the highest in 3 million or more years, with no sign of reversal.

    According to the WMO Greenhouse Gas Bulletin there has been a 41 pct increase in the warming effect by the various greenhouse gases on the climate, known as "radioactive forcing", since 1990. CO2 specifically accounts for about 82 pct of the increase in radioactive forcing over the past decade, according to figures quoted in the WMO report. The new report adds yet another building block of scientific evidence to inform decision-making at the upcoming UN COP24 climate change conference in Poland. The key objective of this meeting is to adopt an implementation plan for the 2015 Paris Agreement.

    In its 2017 Statement on the State of the Global Climate, WMO said "We have witnessed extraordinary weather, including temperatures topping 50 degrees C in Asia, record-breaking hurricanes in rapid succession in the Caribbean and Atlantic reaching as far as Ireland, devastating monsoon flooding affecting many millions of people and a relentless drought in East Africa. This is part of a long-term warming trend." (Source: World Meteorological Organization, 28 Nov., 2018) Contact: WMO, Petteri Taalas, Secretary General, +41 (0) 22 73 0811, www.wmo.int

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Cliame Change,  Carbon Emissions,  COP15,  Paris Climate Agreement,  World Meteorological Organization,  Climate Change,  


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

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

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

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

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

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


    Chinese Carbon Trading Transactions Top $860Mn (Int'l Report)
    China Carbon Market,Chinese Ministry of Ecology and Environment
    Date: 2018-11-28
    In Beijing, the Chinese Ministry of Ecology and Environment is reporting the country's carbon trading transaction values have exceeded 6 billion yuan ($860 million) since June 2013, with traded emission quotas exceeding 270 million tonnes.

    The agency noted that "China's carbon emission declined both in intensity and amount in the pilot carbon trading areas. The carbon market has fulfilled its role in controlling greenhouse gas emissions and promoting low-carbon development." The agency added that China will advance the construction of carbon trading market and gradually expand the number of industries, trading entities and categories that participate in the national carbon market which was launched in 2017.

    The Chinese carbon emissions trading system includes power generation, iron and steel production and cement manufacturing sectors in seven provinces and municipalities.

    Under the Paris Climate Agreement, China will cut its carbon emissions per unit of GDP by 60 to 65 pct by 2030 from the 2005 level. By the end of 2017, China had cut CO2 emissions per unit of GDP by 46 pct from 2005 levels, fulfilling its commitment to reduce CO2 emissions by 40 to 45 pct from the 2005 level by 2020. (Source: Chinese Ministry of Ecology and Environment, Xinhua, 26 Nov., 2018)Contact: China National Development and Reform Commission, en.ndrc.gov.cn; Chinese Ministry of Ecology and Environment, english.mee.gov.cn

    More Low-Carbon Energy News China Carbon Market,  Cap-and-Trade,  CO2,  Carbon Emissions,  


    AFT Affirms Commitment to Climate Change Fight (Ind. Report)
    American Farmland Trust
    Date: 2018-11-28
    Washington, DC-headquartered American Farmland Trust (AFT) is reporting new commitments to combating climate change, including the addition of Jennifer Moore-Kucera as director of its "Farmers Combat Climate Change" initiative. AFT also reiterated its support of the US Climate Alliance's Natural and Working Lands Challenge in developing policies and programs to increase carbon sequestration and reduce GHGs on farm and ranch land to combat climate change.

    The US Climate Alliance is a bipartisan coalition of U.S.states and unincorporated self-governing territories that are committed to upholding the objectives of the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement (COP15).

    The initiative supports farmers and ranchers in adopting climate-smart farming practices on land they own and rent, encourages smart growth and protecting farmland to reduce transportation emissions and expands renewable energy siting while protecting productive, versatile and resilient farmland. "The goals and strategies outlined in the Farmers Combat Climate Change Initiative will play a critical role in helping farmers, ranchers, and urban growth planners develop and implement practices that can reduce greenhouse emissions, sequester carbon, and help mitigate, if not begin to reverse the negative impacts predicted by climate change models," according to Jennifer Moore-Kucera. (Source: American Farmland Trust, The Fence Post, 26 Nov., 2018) Contact: American Farmland Trust, John Piotti, Pres., CEO, Jennifer Moore-Kucera, Carbon Initiate Dir., (202) 331-7300, www.farmland.org; US Climate Alliance, www.usclimatealliance.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News COP15,  US Climate Alliance,  American Farmland Trust,  Climate Change,  Carbon Emissions,  


    Concrete Sector Carbon Neutrality Feasible, says Attached Report (Int'l)
    Swiss Federal Institute of Technology
    Date: 2018-11-05
    In a recent study, scientists at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology have determined that changing the way cement and concrete is made, transported and used could cut sector emissions by 80 pct.

    As much as 60 pct of the emissions from the cement sector come from the production of clinker, the active component of cement. This primarily uses calcium carbonate as a source of calcium for the clinker, but releases a great deal of CO2. Outside of carbon capture technology, use of new efficient kilns could mean "a 10 pct improvement in the best case scenario at the global level [of emissions]", says the report. The report notes that the concrete-cement sector accounts for approximately 8 pct of global emissions.

    The report concluded that total decarbonisation to keep the concrete-cement sectors in line with a 1.5 degree C Paris climate agreement target was "technologically feasible" but would "require very large investments."

    Access the Sustainanable Future for the European Cement Industry report HERE. (Source: Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, New Civil Engineer, 5 Nov., 2018) Contact: Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, www.myscience.ch/research/universities/epfl

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Swiss Federal Institute of Technology,  Concrete,  COs,  Carbon Neutral ,  

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