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Norway Rewards Indonesian Carbon Reduction, Deforestation Project Success (Int'l. Report)
Indonesia,Norway
Date: 2020-07-13
In Oslo, the Norwegian Ministery of Climate and Environment reports it has paid $56.2 million to the Indonesian government for third-party certified reductions in deforestation and significantly cutting related carbon emissions over the past decade.

The two countries have been cooperating on reducing deforestation, peatland and forest degradation and related climate change initiatives since 2010.

Indonesia, which has the world's third largest rain-forest, has reduced emissions amounting to approximately 17 million tons CO2 -- equal to one third of all annual emissions from Norway. (Source: Gov. of Norway, Minister of Climate and Environment, ScandAsia, 12 July, 2020) Contact: Norway Minister of Climate and Environment, Sveinung Rotevatn, www.regjeringen.no/en/dep/kld/id668

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


Reducing UK emissions: 2020 Progress Report (Int'l. Report)
The Committee for Climate Change
Date: 2020-06-26
In London, The Committee for Climate Change's (CCC) 2020 report to Parliament assess the country's progress in reducing UK emissions over the past year and makes recommendations on securing a green and resilient recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic.

The report recommends government Ministers seize the opportunity to turn the COVID-19 crisis into a defining moment in the fight against climate change. To that end, the report recommends the following investment priorities: low-carbon retrofits and buildings; tree planting, peatland restoration, and green infrastructure; strengthen in energy networks; transportation network upgrades; and moving towards a circular economy. The report also recommends: investing in the UK's workforce with "re-skilling" and retraining programmes and targeted science and innovation funding. (Source: UK Committee on Climate Change, Website ,June, 2020) Contact: The CCC, +44 (0) 75 8510 4950, private.secretary@theccc.org.uk, www.theccc.org.uk

More Low-Carbon Energy News The Committee for Climate Change,  CCC,  Climate Change,  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,  


Sutdy Examines Farming as CO2 Absorber (Ind. Report)
University of Virginia
Date: 2019-12-11
A recently released study from the University of Virginia notes that farming, agriculture and other land practices presently contribute around 11 gigatons to CO2 emissions per year -- roughly one quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. However, the study argues that the land could actually be converted into an absorber of carbon, given the right conditions.

Among the measures recommended by the study were richer countries transitioning to plant-based diets and reducing food waste, while aiding poorer nations to curb deforestation and restore degraded land. If a concerted global effort was made, land could be absorbing three gigatons of carbon by 2050, turning one of our biggest liabilities into a helping hand in the fight against climate change. The study also recommends:

  • 95 pct reduction in deforestation and land degradation by 2050. This would include more robust conservation policies in developing tropical countries, as well as the conversion of coastal wetlands into protected areas and the prohibition of peatland burning.

  • 25 pct reduction in agricultural emissions by 2050. This would include introducing synthetic or organic fertilizers, enhancing the water-agriculture interface in places where rice cultivation is a primary industry and managing emissions from fermentation and manure.

  • 50 pct adoption of plant-based diets by 2050. This would involve encouraging a healthier diet through consumer campaigns and governmental policies, as well as the development of new foodstuffs to entice unconvinced consumers.

  • 50 pct reduction of current level of food waste by 2050. This would involve tightening up gaps in the supply chain, improving consumer awareness through advertising campaigns and enhancing refrigeration and distribution capabilities in the developing world.

  • Restoration of forests, coastal wetlands and drained peatlands. This would involve financing ecosystem services, improving in local and national conservation policies and investing in restoration practices.

  • Improving forestry and agroforestry management. This would include optimising current forestation conservation process and integrating agroforestry into lands currently used for agriculture and grazing.

  • Enhancing soil carbon sequestration capabilities. This would include controlling soil erosion, reducing tillage of the land and restoring degraded soils, as well as the application of biochar where appropriate.

  • Deploying bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) in developed countries. This would involve investing into the research and development of BECCS technologies and deploying them in relevant sites. (Source: University of Virginia, Environmental Technology, 1 Dec., 2019) Contact: University of Virginia, Stephanie Roe, Environmental Researcher, Report Lead Author, 434-924-7761, www.evsc.as.virginia.edu

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon,  Carbon Storage,  


  • Peatlands Carbon Content Double Previous Estimates (Ind. Report)
    Columbia University Earth Institute,
    Date: 2019-10-23
    According to a recently published Columbia University Earth Institute study published in Nature Geoscience, Northern peatlands may hold twice as much carbon as scientists previously suspected. The study findings suggest that peatland areas play a more important role in climate change and the carbon cycle than they're credited for.

    The report notes that global climate models, which scientists use to predict climate change and its impacts, rarely account for the carbon that peat and other soils absorb, store and release.

    Their new study incorporates 4,139 radiocarbon measurements from 645 peatland sites in northern Europe, Asia, and North America. But the main innovation is in how the researchers calculated the carbon storage in peatlands.

    The report notes researchershave calculated that northern peatlands hold 1.1 trillion tons of carbon rather than previous estimates of roughly 545 billion tons. The report concludes that peatlands are decaying faster and releasing more carbon as the planet's thermostat climbs. (Source: Columbia University, Earth Institute, 21 Oct., 2019) Contact: Columbia University Earth Institute, Prof. Jonathan Nichols, 212-854-3830, www.earth.columbia.edu

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Peatland,  CO2,  Carbon Sequestrartion,  Carbon Emissions,  Carbon Sequestration,  


    UK Park Stresses Peatland's Role in Climate Change Fight (Int'l.)
    Exmoor,Carbon Sequestration
    Date: 2019-10-07
    In the UK, the Exmoor National Park Authority has this week declared a climate emergency and agreed to work towards being a carbon neutral Authority by 2030. The Authority also agreed to sign on to the Devon Climate Declaration, alongside 25 other organizations, and to join forces with both Devon and Somerset County Councils to formulate carbon plans that meet or exceed Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) targets.

    The Exmooor National Park Authority noted it has already cut its carbon emissions by 30 pct by: improving energy efficiency within Authority-owned buildings; installing renewable energy along with a scheme to facilitate installation of 73 new renewable energy systems in local communities, farms and houses across Exmoor; the restoration of nearly 2,500 hectares of peatland in the National Park through the Exmoor Mires Partnership, with plans to extend this to at least 3,000 hectares.

    Peatlands are the UK's single most important terrestrial carbon store, containing 20 times more carbon than all UK forests. A functioning bog absorbs around 0.87 tpy of carbon per hectare year while dry peatland releases CO2 -- degraded peat in England is emitting an estimated 11 million tpy of CO2. (Source: Exmoor National Park Authority, Somerset County Gazette, 6 Oct., 2019) Contact: Exmoor National Park Authority, +44 1398 323665, www.exmoor-nationalpark.gov.uk

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Peatland,  CO2,  Carbon Sequestrartion,  Carbon Emissions,  Carbon Sequestration,  


    European Commission Bans Palm Oil Biofuel Subsidies (Int'l Report)
    EU, Palm Oil
    Date: 2019-03-15
    This week in Brussels, the European Commission (EC) concluded that the cultivation of palm oil, primarily in Indonesia and Malaysia, results in excessive deforestation and accordingly should not be eligible for subsidies or count toward EU renewable transport targets for national governments. Such a ban on counting toward the target -- a 32 pct share of renewable energy by 2030 -- will likely occasion the phase-out the use of of palm oil-based fuel's in Europe.

    The EC concluded that 45 percent of the expansion of palm oil production since 2008 led to destruction of forests, wetlands or peatlands and resultant greenhouse gas releases.

    The EC has added a number of exemptions which mean some palm oil could still be promoted as a green fuel, under certain conditions including allowing additional palm oil production coming from yield increases or produced on unused land to still qualify as green.

    Although once seen as the main tool by which the EU could decarbonize road transport, and given generous subsidies under the 28-member trading bloc's Renewable Energy Directive over a decade ago, many environmentalists are reportedly pushing the EU to ban crop-based biofuels and move instead to incentivizing second-generation, cellulosic biofuels. (Source: EU, European Biodiesel Board, Successful Farning, Forbes, 14 Mar., 2019) Contact: European Biodiesel Board, www.ebb-eu.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News European Commission,  Palm Oil,  Biodiesel,  European Biodiesel Board,  


    ePURE Comments on EU Draft Regarding Palm Oil Use (Opinins, Editorials & Asides)
    ePure
    Date: 2019-02-18
    The European Renewable Ethanol Association (ePURE) secretary general Emmanuel Desplechin has responded to the EU Commission's draft surrounding high risk indirect land-use change (ILUC) biofuels and the shift of focus away from unsustainable sources of palm oil.

    The draft details curbing any biofuels with a high ILUC-risk and its amount of consumption in 2019 within the Member States. The EU also outlined an ambitious goal of reducing any high-risk biofuel's contribution to 0 pct by 2030.

    "Directive (EU) 2018/2001 also calls for a specific limit to conventional biofuels, bioliquids and biomass fuels with high ILUC-risk and for which a significant expansion of the production area into land with high carbon stock is observed, in the amount of their level of consumption in each Member State in 2019," the draft stated. "Starting from 31 December 2023, their contribution should be gradually reduced to 0 pct by 2030 at the latest."

    Despite the draft's promising changes to the uses of palm oil, ePure argues that the draft would still 'allow imported feedstock that violates spirit of RED II agreement.'

    "Making an exception for feedstock produced by smallholders isn't just allowing high-ILUC-risk biofuels such as palm oil into Europe through the back door, it's allowing it through the front door. The hard-won compromise reached on RED II couldn't have been clearer in its message that Europe should phase out biofuels associated with the significant deforestation and peatland drainage that has defined most palm oil expansion."

    "Low-ILUC-risk biofuels certified as such could escape from the phase-out, but these were clearly defined as either produced through improved agricultural practices or from unused land. By inventing a third, alternative criterion for smallholders, the Commission is making a mockery of the agreed RED II compromise," Desplechin claims. (Source: ePURE, Feb., 2019) Contact: ePURE Emmanuel Desplechin, Sec. Gen., +32 2 657 6679, info@epure.org, www.epure.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News ePure,  Palm Oil,  Biodiesel,  


    Palm Oil Still in EU Transportation Fuel Mix (Int'l Report)
    ePure
    Date: 2019-02-13
    Reporting from Brussels, the European Commission (EC) reports it has gone most of the way toward banning the use of unsustainable palm oil in EU transport, but it hasn't quite closed the deal. Instead of acting on the RED II agreement and removing "high-ILUC-risk" biofuels from the 28-member trading bloc's transport mix, it has left a door open, according to a release.

    "Making an exception for feedstock produced by smallholders isn't just allowing high-ILUC-risk biofuels such as palm oil into Europe through the back door, it's allowing it through the front door," said Emmanuel Desplechin, Secretary General of ePURE, the European renewable ethanol association. "The hard-won compromise reached on RED II couldn't have been clearer in its message that Europe should phase out biofuels associated with the significant deforestation and peatland drainage that has defined most palm oil expansion."

    "Low-ILUC-risk biofuels certified as such could escape from the phase-out, but these were clearly defined as either produced through improved agricultural practices or from unused land. By inventing a third, alternative criterion for smallholders, the EC is making a mockery of the agreed RED II compromise," the ePure Secretary General added.

    European renewable ethanol is made from European feedstock and delivers high greenhouse-gas reduction and is not associated with deforestation. Its use cuts GHG emissions by more than 70 pct on average compared to fossil petrol. (Source: ePure, EC, Feb., 2019) Contact: European Renewable Ethanol Assoc. (ePURE), Emmanuel Desplechin, Sec. Gen., +32 2 657 6679, info@epure.org, www.epure.org

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


    Duke U. Acquires 10,000 acre Peatland for Carbon Farm (Ind. Report)
    Duke University
    Date: 2018-12-14
    In Durham, North Carolina, Duke University reports it has acquired the rights to 10,000 acres of peatland in Hyde County for what may be the nation's largest "carbon farming" project that could propel the university to carbon neutrality by 2024.

    Carbon farming uses land management and conservation to increase the amount of carbon that agriculture pulls out of the air and locks into the soil and vegetation. Existing carbon farming programs in California, the Midwest and other countries have shown that a 2.5 acre plot of pasture or rangeland can store about one metric tpy of carbon. The NC peatlands, once re-wetted, have much greater potential -- perhaps 15 to 20 times more -- meaning the land could yield hundreds of thousands of metric tpy of carbon.

    The Duke project will launch with a 300 acre pilot which could be expanded depending on its results. To date, the university has invested approximately $300,000 on the project which could sell carbon credits to companies. (Source: Duke University, Triangle Business Journal, Dec., 2018) Contact: Duke University, Curtis Richardson, Dir., Wetland Center, ww.researchgate.net/profile/Curtis_Richardson

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Peatland,  Peat,  Duke University,  CCS,  Carbon Emissiuons,  CO2,  Climate Change,  


    Irish Greens Seek Transition from Fossil Fuel Economy (Int'l)
    Green Party Ireland,Bord na Mona
    Date: 2018-11-09
    In the Irish capital city of Dublin, the Green Party has launched its "Just Transition Bill" calling for a swift move away from a fossil fuel economy to a climate-friendly in the fairest way possible for those who have previously depended on the fossil fuel industries for their livelihood.

    The bill aims to bring about a social, business and government dialogue to formulate and drive the concrete plans, policies, and investments needed for a fast and fair transformation to a low-carbon economy.

    The Green Party initiative follows Bord na Mona's announcement of job cuts in its peat harvesting business by 2025. The Bill proposes that funding currently used to sustain peat-fired power plants be diverted to support job transition, peatland restoration and social protection for those who may lose their jobs in fossil fuel related industries. "The Bill is about moving from a fossil-fuel economy to a sustainable, climate-friendly economy as quickly and as fairly as possible," according to Green Part Leader Eamon Ryan. (Source: Green News ie, 8 Nov., 2018) Contact: Green Party Ireland, Eamon Ryam, Leader, www.greenparty.ie; Bord na Mona Plc, Mike Quinn, CEO, Patrick Madigan, Bioenergy Division, +353 45 439000, www.bordnamona.ie

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Bord na Mona,  Low-Carbon Economy,  Peat,  Bord na Mona,  


    Blue Carbon Research Forum Launched in Scotland (Int'l Report)
    Blue Carbon
    Date: 2018-11-05
    Holyrood is reporting the Scottish Government and a group of Scottish universities have established the Blue Carbon Forum to measure the ability of Scotland's marine environment to store carbon dioxide.

    The programme is being developed by Marine Scotland in partnership with Scottish Natural Heritage, St Andrew's University, Glasgow University, Heriot-Watt University, Napier University, and the Scottish Association for Marine Science.

    Scotland Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said: "The potential role of our marine environment in tackling the greenhouse gas problem is enormous, with recent research by the University of St Andrews estimating that more carbon is captured and stored in sea lochs alone than in our terrestrial environment, such as forests and peatlands. Scottish Natural Heritage has estimated that the amount of carbon stored within Scotland's Marine Protected Areas is the equivalent of four years of Scotland's total greenhouse emissions," the Environment Secretary added.

    Chair of the Blue Carbon Forum Professor John Baxter said: the "Programme will provide essential information to help inform what is required to be done to enhance and protect these key habitats into the future which is essential for the mitigation of future climate change." (Source: Gov. of Scotland, Holyrood Mag., Nov., 2018) Contact: St. Andrews University Professor John Baxter, +44 (0)1334 46, jmb24@st-andrews.ac.uk, startlink]St. Andrews Univ., www.st-andrews.ac.uk

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Blue Carbon,  CO2,  Carbon Sink,  Carbon Sequestration,  


    Aussie Study Values Inland Wetlands Carbon Storage Stocks (Int'l)
    Deakin University
    Date: 2018-06-27
    In the Land Down Under, researchers from the Deakin School of Life and Environmental Sciences' Blue Carbon Lab are reporting that Victoria state's inland wetlands lock away the annual emissions of 185,000 people. Victoria has about 530,000 hectares of inland wetlands, which include marshes, peatlands, pools and lakes, making up about 2.33 pct of the state's land area. The figure is part the state's first tally of its valuable environmental resources which came to three million tpy of CO2.

    In total, the researchers estimated Victoria's inland wetlands had a soil carbon stock of 68 million tons, worth about $6 billion under Australia's most recent carbon price.

    According to lead researcher Dr Paul Carnell, "While a lot more is known about how trees suck up and store carbon, freshwater wetlands can actually sequester 20 to 40 times more carbon than forests on dry land."

    The study was funded by the Victoria Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning. The study, published in the journal Global Change Biology. (Source: Deakin University, PR, 26 June 2018) Contact: Deakin University, Dr Paul Carnell, Lead Researcher, +61 3 924 43902, paul.carnell@deakin.edu.au, www.deakin.edu.au: Blue Carbon, http://bluecarbonlab.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Storage,  Blue Carbon,  Carbon Emissions,  


    DEFRA OKs £2Mn for UK Peatland Restoration (Int'l Funding)
    DEFRA
    Date: 2018-05-21
    In the UK, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) reports it has approved a £2 million funding application from a partnership of regional organizations for funding the restoration of 1,680 hectares of peatland on Bodmin Moor, Dartmoor and Exmoor.

    According to the restoration project leader Morag Angus, of South West Water, "The peatlands of South West England are very important for water quality, carbon storage, biodiversity, cultural history, recreation and farming but they are the most vulnerable in the UK to the impacts of climate change, due to their southerly position. For this reason, they need to be prioritized nationally and restored for the benefit of all and future generations."

    Peatlands store vast amounts of carbon in their soils -- about 60-times the amount of carbon that is released annually from fossil fuel burning. One-third of all the soil carbon in the world is in peatland ecosystems even though they cover only 3 pct of the terrestrial land surface, according to a 2015 joint study from Chapman University in California, University of Oregon and Purdue University . (Source: DEFRA, Cornish Times, 20 May, 2018)Contact: DEFRA, www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-environment-food-rural-affairs

    More Low-Carbon Energy News DEFRA,  Peatland,  Carbon Storage,  


    Grants for peatland restoration awarded
    Peatland
    Date: 2018-05-15
    Defra has given £10m to help restore more than 6,500ha of England's peatlands. The new funding will help deliver commitments in the Government’s 25 Year Environment Plan to create a framework for peat restoration in England. The total area of 6,580 hectares of upland and lowland peatlands that these grants will support work on is equivalent to 10,613 football pitches. The work will be delivered through four local partnership projects.. This work will abate and store an estimated 23,000 tonnes of carbon per year. A panel of experts and Defra officials assessed the projects and awarded the funding based on the potential for carbon abatement. Defra has allocated a total of £10 million between the four projects. The North of England Peat Partnership led by the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust will restore 394 ha of lowland raised bog and 1679 ha of blanket bog across 21 peatland sites in the north of England. Dr Tim Thom, Peat Programme Manager at Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, (Source: Horticulture Week, May, 2018)

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


    Restoring Peatlands for Bioenergy -- Report Attached (Int'l)
    Peatland Restoration Agency
    Date: 2017-12-08
    Indonesia's Peatland Restoration Agency (BRG), in collaboration with the government of Central Kalimantan, reports it plans to broaden efforts to restore degraded peatlands for bioenergy feedstock and food production through new public-private partnerships with environmental NGOs, donor organizations, research institutes, scientific and government agencies. Project participants include the Center for International Forestry Research, Biotechnology Research Centre (FOERDIA), University of Muhammadiyah in Palangkaraya, and local communities in Pulang Pisau, Central Kalimantan.

    According to BRG, the restoration of peatlands with bioenergy crops would restore ecosystem services as well as address energy deficiencies and promote clean and renewable energy. To help achieve those goals, CIFOR is working in close collaboration with government institutions, universities and local partners, including This research was supported by the Korean National Institute of Forest Sciences.

    Download the Peatland Restoration Agency Report HERE (Source: Center for International Forestry Research, Dec., 2017) Contact: Center for International Forestry Research, +62-251-8622-622, www.cifor.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Bioenergy Crop,  

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