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JCI Commits to Environmentally Sustainable Refrigerant (Ind. Report)
Johnson Controls
Date: 2021-06-04
Milwaukee, Wisconsin-headquartered Johnson Controls (JCI) is reporting The Chemours Company manufactured Opteon™ XL41™ (R-454B) will serve as the primary low Global Warming Potential (GWP) refrigerant in the company's ducted residential and commercial unitary products as well as air-cooled scroll chillers in North America and specific international markets where codes are in alignment.

According to the JCI release, with the transition to R-454B refrigerant transition "we will exceed key regulatory requirements and also take a significant step toward reaching one of our ambitious sustainability benchmarks: helping our customers achieve a 16 percent reduction in emissions by 2030."

R-454B has the lowest EPA SNAP approved GWP for unitary applications of all ASHRAE classified A2L (low-toxicity, mild flammability) refrigerants on the market today, coming in at 466 -- one-fifth the GWP of R-410A, far lower than the pending 750 GWP limits being proposed and offering the longest-term viability. In addition, the refrigerant can reduce the energy use of HVAC systems and improve system efficiency.

The transition to R-454B will apply only to the sale of new air-cooled scroll chillers by the pending manufacturing cutoff date of January 1, 2024, and residential and commercial unitary products by the pending manufacturing cutoff date of January 1, 2025, for the following brands: Johnson Controls, YORK, Luxaire, Coleman, Champion, Fraser-Johnston, TempMaster,, Evcon,, Guardian and Quantech. Existing R-410A equipment manufactured prior to the manufacturing cutoff dates can be sold, installed and serviced indefinitely. (Source: Johnson Controls, PR, 27 May, 2021) Contact: Johnson Controls, Katie McGinty, VP Sustainability, Government and Regulatory Affairs, Katie.mcginty@jci.com, www.jci.com; Chemours, www.chemours.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Johnson Controls ,  


GWO Touts Jet-Electro Wind Turbine Tech (New Prod & Tech)
Global Warming Solutions
Date: 2021-05-26
Temecula, California-based Global Warming Solutions, (GWS) Inc., a worldwide developer of technologies that help mitigate global warming and its effects, is reporting successful laboratory test results on the initial efficacy of its exclusively licensed and patented, scalable Jet-Electro-Station Technology (Tornado Technology) wind turbine.

According to the release, the company's Jet-Electro-Station Technology is based on the natural effect of tornados -- the convective acceleration of wind accompanied by the transformation of the heat energy of natural air into the acquired kinetic power of airflow. The implementation of the desired controllable effect becomes possible by using a multiplicity of elaborated wings.

Jet-Electro-Station is composed of a multiplicity of relatively small modules, each of which comprises a jet-rotor and generator of electricity. The modules are identical from the point of view of mechanics but differ in the used generators of electricity having specific conditions for optimal operation. GWSO's initial goal is a full-scale demo Jet-Electro-Station, according to the release. (Source: Global Warming Solutions, Inc., PR, 26 May, 2021) Contact: Global Warming Solutions, Michael Pollastro, Pres, (951) 528-2102, mpollastro@gwsogroup.com, www.gwsogroup.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Wind Turbine news,  


Biden Administration Addresses Energy Efficiency (Ind. Report)
White House
Date: 2021-05-24
In Washington, the Biden administration has announced new federal initiatives and investments in building energy efficiency and electrification in a move to achieve a carbon pollution-free power sector by 2035 and put the United States on an irreversible path to a net-zero economy by 2050. The White House initiative includes:
  • Launching the low-carbon buildings pilot -- Through the Department of Energy's (DOE) Better Buildings Initiative and in coordination with Housing and Urban Development, DOE is announcing the first 55 commercial, industrial, and multifamily organizations to participate in the Low-Carbon Buildings Pilot program, which will share lessons learned for real world pathways to low and no emission buildings.

  • In partnership with the Advanced Water Heating Initiative, DOE is launching a new initiative to increase market adoption of high-efficiency, grid-connected Heat Pump Water Heaters which are two to four times more efficient than conventional water heaters in residential and commercial buildings.

  • New and expanded EPA partnership programs -- EPA is launching new residential and commercial sector partnerships to accelerate efficiency and electrification retrofits with a focus on under served residential households through the ENERGY STAR Home Upgrade program, accelerate building electrification through an advanced ENERGY STAR certification for new residential buildings, and recognize commercial buildings through a new zero-carbon commercial building certification. It will also launch a new Greenhouse Gas tool linked to its Portfolio Manager tool.

  • New national research initiative focused on innovating clean and efficient building heating and cooling systems -- DOE will launch the Initiative for Better Energy, Emissions, and Equity (E3 Initiative), putting $10M toward accelerating the research and adoption of heat pump technologies. As part of the E3 Initiative, DOE will launch a Cold Climate Heat Pump Technology Challenge to accelerate the development of high performing cold climate heat pump technologies. Another important component will be new research efforts partnering National Laboratories and manufacturers to accelerate the development of lower to no global warming potential refrigerants that can be quickly commercialized.

  • National grid-interactive efficient buildings roadmap -- DOE is releasing the Grid-interactive Efficient Buildings (GEB) Roadmap with 14 recommendations to better integrate buildings with solar and wind power through smart operation of electricity demand and storage. Smart buildings allow consumers to have more choice over building operations and provide the ability to manage energy loads and reduce energy bills. Over the next two decades, national adoption of GEBs would create savings of $100 -- $200 billion across the electric power system and could decrease emissions in the power sector by 6 pct per year.

  • New Federal Building Performance Standards -- Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) is launching an inter-agency Federal sustainability effort with General Serivices Administration (GSA), DOE, and EPA to develop the first-ever building performance standards (BPS) for the federal government. The BPS will establish metrics, targets, and tracking methods to reach federal carbon emissions goals. The performance standards will identify progressive performance milestones as well as the resources that agencies need to meet them.

  • Blueprint to integrate GEB Technologies into Energy Savings Contracts -- GSA is releasing a blueprint to integrate grid-interactive technologies into federal building renovation and improvement projects, particularly using energy savings, and utility energy savings contracts. The blueprint puts practical guidance and tools into the hands of building operators to help them integrate GEB technologies into current and future performance contracts.

  • New ENERGY STAR standards to advance heat pump technology and fast chargers for electric vehicles -- If all heat pumps, central air conditioners, and electric water heaters sold in the U.S. met the new ENERGY STAR standards, the energy cost savings would grow to $11 billion a year, and 255 billion ppy of GHG emissions would be avoided. These new standards will increase American households' and businesses' access to affordable heating, cooling, water heating, and transportation options.

    These actions -- involving the General Services Administration (GSA), Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), Department of Energy (DOE) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) -- focus on key levers available within the administration's existing authority now, without waiting for the anticipated infrastructure package, the release notes. (Source: The White House, PR, 17 May, 2021)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency,  ENERGY STAR,  GSA,  DOE,  


  • Vermont Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory and Forecast: 1990 -- 2017 (Report Attached)
    Vermong GHG
    Date: 2021-05-21
    "The concentration of greenhouse gases (GHG) in the earth's atmosphere are increasing due to human caused emissions. Understanding Vermont's contribution to this global problem and the sources and sectors which are responsible for these emissions is a critical first step in mitigating climate change. The goal of this inventory is to provide that understanding of emissions for Vermont in a way that is consistent with other jurisdictions to enable the tracking of emissions levels through time and to help inform decisions on future mitigation pathways.

    "The Forecast tracks changes in emissions through time to determine progress toward the state's GHG reductions under the Global Warming Solutions Act's mandatory reductions of 26 pct below 2005 levels by 2025, 40 pct below 1990 levels by 2030, and 80 below 1990 levels by 2050.

    Download the Vermont Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory and Forecast: 1990 – 2017 report HERE. (Source: Vermont Dept. of Environmental Conservation, May, 2021) Contact: Vermont Dept. of Environmental Conservation, www.dec.vermont.gov

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


    DOE Addresses Homes, Bldgs. Energy Efficiency (Ind. Report)
    DOE Better Building Initiative
    Date: 2021-05-21
    In Washington, the Secretary of Energy has announced sweeping actions to power more American homes and buildings with cleaner, smarter, and more affordable energy services that sharply reduce the buildings sector's energy consumption and contributions to the climate crisis.

    Residential and commercial buildings account for more than one-third of the climate-altering carbon pollution America releases each year, use about 40 pct of the nation's energy and waste more than $100 billion annually due to energy inefficiency, according to the DOE. To address energy waste and inefficiency the DOE Better Building Initiative "whole-building" solution calls for the following:

  • Investing in Buildings' Workforce of the Future -- New investments of up to $30 million for the American workforce will expand DOE's support for organizations -- including unions, trade associations, and educational institutions -- that train and support career pathways for a diverse, qualified, and well-paid workforce that enables high-performance buildings.

  • Advancing Efficiency in Heating and Cooling Systems -- A new national initiative focused on clean and efficient heating and cooling systems in buildings called the Initiative for Better Energy, Emissions, and Equity (E3) will advance the research, development, and deployment of clean heating and cooling systems like heat pumps, advanced water heaters, low-to-no global warming potential refrigerants, and smarter HVAC diagnostic tools.

  • Driving Adoption of Smart Building Technologies -- A National Roadmap for Grid-Interactive Efficient Buildings will chart a path to triple the energy efficiency and demand flexibility of U.S. buildings within the decade -- worth $100 to $200 billion in energy cost savings -- by implementing 14 practical recommendations that accelerate the ability of buildings to both reduce and change the timing of energy use through smart building operations sensitive to broader grid dynamics.

  • Collaborating with Industry to Decarbonize Buildings -- The Better Buildings Low Carbon Pilot, a project of the Better Buildings Initiative, will work with commercial, industrial, and multifamily organizations to set commitments and share pathways to low and no carbon emission buildings.

  • Opening Up Windows for Collaboration -- The Partnership for Advanced Window Solutions (PAWS) will accelerate the national availability and adoption of advanced and highly efficient windows and window attachments that improve comfort and reduce building energy use.

    Started in 2011, the Better Buildings Initiative has partnered with leaders in the public and private sectors to make the nation's homes, commercial buildings, and industrial plants more energy efficient by accelerating investment upgrades and products and sharing successful best practices. Better Buildings partners represent more than 30 of the country's Fortune 100 companies, 12 of the top 25 U.S. employers, 12 pct of the U.S. manufacturing energy footprint, and 13 pct of total commercial building space, as well as 17 federal agencies, 8 national laboratories, and more than 80 states and local governments. (Source: US DOE Building Technologies Office, PR, 17 May, 2021) Contact: US DOE Building Technologies Office, 202-586-9127, buildings@ee.doe.gov, www.energy.gov/eere/buildings

    More Low-Carbon Energy News DOE Better Building Initiative,  Energy Efficiency,  


  • MataSota-88 Climate Change Action Recommendations (Ind. Report)
    MataSota-88
    Date: 2021-03-24
    In the Sunshine State, the Sarasota-based not-for-profit public interest group ManaSota-88 has recommended the following in support of Manatee County's pending climate action -- climate change mitigation and coastal disaster plan:
  • Temporary moratorium on rebuilding after a storm -- The comprehensive plan should be amended to include a temporary moratorium on rebuilding not immediately needed for public health, safety, and welfare. Several coastal communities have adopted policies that authorize a moratorium of up to 60 days on the reconstruction of structures if at least 50 pct destroyed by storm, flood, wave, and wind damage. During the moratorium, the Board of County Commission can then consider purchasing damaged properties or pursuing other mitigation responses.

  • Redevelopment after a storm -- The County Commission should clearly indicate that any redevelopment after storm-damage will meet, at a minimum, the requirements of existing development codes and not negatively impact vegetation, beaches, or coastal dune systems.

  • Native vegetation -- The comprehensive plan should require any new development or redevelopment to plant or replant native vegetation.

  • Establish 50-year erosion rates -- The County should determine local beach erosion rates expected over 50 years. The comprehensive plan should also require the disclosure of specific hazardous conditions during property transfers.

  • Retreat from the Coast -- Retreat from the coast is the only viable long-term management option that will ensure the protection of the coastline.

    MataSota-88 notes that although the scientific evidence supporting climate change is overwhelming, there is a significant segment of the population that are either "ignorant of the facts or are learning disabled, unfortunately, many of the latter are some of our policymakers and business leaders." MataSota-88 calls for the Manatee County Commission to initiate a process that will address the challenges that global warming poses for Florida.

    ManaSota-88 believes it is of vital importance to focus attention on the need to develop policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and its associated impacts of sea-level rise on coastal resources, according to the group's website. (Source: ManaSota 88, Website, Mar., 2021) Contact: ManaSota 88, (941) 966-6256 , manasota88@comcast.net , www.manasota88.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change Mitigation,  


  • FedEx-Supports Yale Center for Natural Carbon Capture (Funding)
    FedEx, Yale University
    Date: 2021-03-05
    Yale University is reporting receipt of a $100 million gift from FedEx will help fund the new Center for Natural Carbon Capture.

    The Center is a key aspect of both Yale's broader Planetary Solutions Project -- a campus-wide effort to develop integrated, powerful solutions to Earth's climate and biodiversity crises -- and FedEx's goal of achieving carbon neutral operations globally by 2040.

    The Center aims to develop interventions that enhance the Earth's abilities to store carbon and other methods that model natural processes, as well as develop a portfolio of natural carbon removal strategies that combine both rapid and long-term approaches.

    Initial funding from FedEx will support four new professorships in science and engineering across the Yale School of the Environment (YSE) and the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, as well as postdoctoral fellows and graduate students. It also will provide research funding and essential instrumentation, support Yale's Environmental Leadership & Training Initiative's outreach work, and enable Yale to bring together researchers, corporations, policymakers, and others through conferences and events.

    Yale's Planetary Solutions Project encompasses three major goals: to mitigate global warming and environmental concerns, adapt to a changing planet, and engage individuals, organizations, and governments to facilitate action. Capturing and storing carbon is a key pillar of the mitigation goal, and the Center will be an essential part of that effort, as well as related work in energy efficiency and alternative energy. (Source: Yale News, 3 Mar., 2021) Contact: Yale School of the Environment, Indy Burke, Dean, Yale Center for Natural Carbon Capture, www.planetarysolutions.yale.edu/center-natural-carbon-capture

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Yale University,  FedEx,  Carbon Capture,  


    Tikehau Low-Carbon Energy Transition Fund Raises €1Bn (Funding)
    Tikehau Capital
    Date: 2021-02-24
    Paris-headquartered global alternative asset management group Tikehau Capital reports completion of fundraising for its T2 Energy Transition investment strategy outperformed its original fundraising goals with over €1 billion raised. The T2 fund is one of the leading and largest global growth private equity vehicles singularly committed to enabling the transition towards a low-carbon economy and fighting global warming to help reach the goals of the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement.

    To date, T2 Energy Transition investment strategy has invested €440 million in 6 SMEs focused on clean energy generation, low-carbon mobility and energy efficiency. T2 fund portfolio companies have provided goods and services that, over their lifetime, will avoid one million tons of CO2 from being emitted, according the Tikehau release.

    Tikehau Capital had € 28.5 billion of assets under management as of 31 December 2020. (Source: Tikeau Capital, PR, 23 Feb., 2021) Contact: Tikehau Capital, Louis Igonet , +33 1 40 06 11 11, shareholders@tikehaucapital.com, www.tikehaucapital.com

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


    SSEN Distribution Commits to Net-Zero Emissions (Int'l. Report)
    SSE,Scottish and Southern Electricity
    Date: 2021-02-03
    In the UK, London-headquartered utility Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) Distribution reports it is the first UK Distribution Network Operator to set science-based carbon emissions reduction targets.

    Responsible for developing the electricity distribution networks vital to achieve net-zero carbon emissions, SSEN Distribution has signed a commitment letter to set science-based reduction targets for its own operations, which will see the network operator strive to cut emissions further and faster.

    A science-based target is a target for greenhouse gas emissions reductions that is set based on the level of reduction that science says is required to prevent the worst impacts of climate change in line with the Paris Agreement -- to limit global warming to well-below 2 degree C above pre-industrial levels and pursue efforts to limit warming to 1.5 degree C. The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) is a collaboration between CDP, the United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute and the World Wild Fund for Nature. (Source: SSE plc, Website, Jan., 2021) Contact: SSE, Shirley Robertson, ED2 Sustainability Strategy Lead, www.sse.com; Science Based Targets, www.sciencebasedtargets.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Science Based Targets,  Scottish and Southern Electricity ,  SSE,  Net-Zero,  Carbon Emissions,  


    Guilty as Charged! -- €1 Fine for Climate Inaction (Int'l.)
    Paris Climate Accord
    Date: 2021-02-03
    A court in Paris has ruled that France's government is guilty of climate inaction in a ground-breaking legal case launched in March, 2019, by a group of NGOs with the support of two million French citizens, for failing to meet the country's commitments to limit greenhouse gas emissions.

    The ruling makes it possible for direct victims of climate change in France to seek compensation from the French government. This puts increased pressure on lawmakers to focus on limiting global warming and mitigating environmental damage. Though the ruling is largely symbolic, it sets a precedent. The French state was ordered to pay compensation of €1 to show "moral prejudice" -- a common occurrence in France.

    France's commitment to curb global warming comes from the Paris Agreement, which was signed at COP21 in 2015. This international accord holds countries responsible for limiting global warming to less than 2 degrees more than pre-industrial levels. (Source: euronews, Feb., 2021)

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


    Green Pandemic Recovery Essential to Close Climate Action Gap (Report Attached)
    UNEP
    Date: 2020-12-18
    Each year, the UN Emissions Gap Report assesses the gap between anticipated emissions and levels consistent with the Paris Agreement goals of limiting global warming this century to well below 2 degrees C and pursuing 1.5 degrees C. The report finds that in 2019 total greenhouse gas emissions, including land-use change, reached a new high of 59.1 gigatonnes of CO2 equivalent (GtCO2e). Global greenhouse gas emissions have grown 1.4 pct per year since 2010 on average, with a more rapid increase of 2.6 pct in 2019 due to a large increase in forest fires.

    A green pandemic recovery, however, can cut up to 25 pct off the emissions we would expect to see in 2030 based on policies in place before COVID-19. A green recovery would put emissions in 2030 at 44 GtCO2e, instead of the predicted 59 GtCO2e -- far outstripping emission reductions foreseen in unconditional NDCs, which leave the world on track for a 3.2 degrees C temperature rise. Such a green recovery would put emissions within the range that gives a 66 pct chance of holding temperatures to below 2 degrees C, but would still be insufficient to achieve the 1.5 degrees C goal.

    The report also notes that the growing number of countries committing to net-zero emissions goals by mid-century is a "significant and encouraging development" with 126 countries covering 51 pct of global greenhouse gas emissions adopting, announcing or were considering net-zero goals.

    Download the Green Pandemic Recovery Essential to Close Climate Action Gap report HERE. (Source: UNEP, Dec., 2020) Contact: UNEP, www.unep.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News UNEP,  GHGs,  Greenhouse Gas,  Carbon Emissions,  Climate Change,  


    Notes on Climate Change from the Washington Post
    Washington Post, Climate Change
    Date: 2020-11-02
    "Global methane emissions are up this year. Methane is several times more damaging to the climate than carbon dioxide. Emissions have risen 32 percent.

    "(Global) Warming has killed half of the coral on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. Recovery might not happen.

    "Let's move to Phoenix! So far this year the temperature has reached 100 degrees on half of the days.

    "September was the warmest month on record for Earth. That just might push us into the hottest year ever." (Source: The Washington Post, WingNut Blog, 30 Oct., 2020)

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


    Renewables on the Rise 2020 Tracks Renewable Energy Dev. (Ind. Report Attached)
    PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center
    Date: 2020-10-30
    In the Keystone State, the not-for-profit Philadelphia-based PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center has released its Renewables on the Rise 2020 study that documents and compares the growth of solar power, wind power, battery storage, energy efficiency and electric vehicle technologies in each state, as well as nationally, over the past decade.

    According to the study, in 2019, the U.S. produced 30 times more solar power and more than triple the amount of wind energy than in 2010. Utility-scale battery energy storage increased 20-fold since 2010 and energy consumption per person declined thanks to improvements in energy efficiency, and more than one million electric vehicles were sold in the U.S.

    Download the Renewables on the Rise 2020 study HERE. (Source: PennEnvironment Policy & Research Center, Website PR, Oct., 2020) Contact: PennEnvironment Policy & Research Center, David Masur, Exec. Dir, Kelly Flanigan, Global Warming Solutions Associate, (215) 732-5897, (215) 732-4599 -- fax, www.pennenvironmentcenter.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Energy,  


    "Reject Industry Efforts to Derail Clean-Fuel Standard", Suzuki Says (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    Canada Clean Fuels Standard,Suzuki Foundation
    Date: 2020-10-23
    "The UN's annual Emissions Gap Report 2019 found Earth is headed toward 3.2 degrees C warming based on current and estimated emissions trends and called on governments to increase efforts to limit global warming immediately. But Canada isn't even on track to meet its original 2030 emissions-reduction targets.

    "Greenpeace recently obtained leaked strategy documents advising industry to push back against measures such as the federal clean fuel standard that prompts a switch to low-carbon fuels by setting limits on greenhouse-gas emissions from fossil fuels. To meet it, fossil-fuel suppliers can buy or generate credits by offering low-carbon alternatives, like biofuels from waste organics or electric-vehicle charging stations. The clean-fuel-credit market is expected to attract investment in low-carbon fuel production and distribution in Canada.

    "It's a smart move as the government looks to support economic recovery. Clean-fuels investments generate employment. Clean Energy Canada estimates the regulation could spur the need for up to 31,000 skilled workers to build, operate, and supply new facilities.

    Navigator, the PR firm engaged to develop an action plan to counter the clean-fuel standard, advises its unnamed clients to use a "counter-punch strategy" -- to pay lip service to government's climate agenda, wait for the clean-fuel-standard announcement, then orchestrate a hard push-back. Part of the scheme is to convince Canadians that "fighting climate change is a losing battle" by arguing action is too costly. It's dishonest. Energy companies -- and the politicians they're seeking to influence -- know Canada must decarbonize the fuel supply to reduce GHG emissions.

    "All the major federal political parties have pledged to meet or exceed Canada's 2030 targets. The clean-fuel standard is projected to reduce annual GHG emissions by 30 million tonnes by 2030 -- equivalent to taking 7 million cars off the road and accounts for 15 pct of Canada's current emissions-reduction target -- more than can be achieved with any other single climate-policy instrument.

    "B.C.'s (British Columbia) low-carbon fuel requirement has been in place since 2010 and is credited with delivering one-quarter of B.C.'s emissions reductions between 2007 and 2012 with limited impacts to consumers' pocketbooks. As part of its CleanBC plan, the province recently announced further reductions to the carbon intensity of transportation fuels over the next decade using this instrument. California, Oregon, and the EU have parallel policies. Their experience shows that a clean-fuel standard can reduce emissions, drive innovation, and increase renewable alternatives availability.

    "Too often, industry opposition to environmental policies isn't driven by facts but by vested interests. Climate action is in everyone's interest. Government must stand firm on the policies needed to achieve timely emissions reductions. The sooner Canada adopts its clean fuel standard, the better."

    Download the UN Emissions Gap Report 2019 HERE. (Source: David Suzuki, Suzuki Foundation, The Straight, 20 Oct, 2020) Contact: Suzuki Foundation, David Suzuki, 604-732-4228, www.davidsuzuki.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Clean Fuel Standard,  Renewable Fuels,  Suzuki Foundation,  Environment and Climate Change Canada,  


    US, Japan Ink CO2 Recycling Cooperation Memorandum (Int'l. Report)
    CO2
    Date: 2020-10-14
    At this week's Tokyo International Conference on Carbon Recycling, Japan and the United States inked a memorandum of cooperation to accelerate the research and development of technology to recycle carbon dioxide and turn it into fuel and chemical materials and share the results as part of their efforts to fight global warming.

    The two countries recognize "carbon recycling as one of the future's most promising options to achieve carbon neutral or net-negative carbon emissions and promote economic growth," the memorandum notes.

    Japan sees the technology involving the capture, storage, utilization and recycling of carbon dioxide as a promising solution for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and securing a stable energy source, according to the memorandum. (Source: Mainichi Japan, 13 Oct., 2020)

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

  • 1,400 MW of new energy storage systems.

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Methane,  Methane Emissions,  

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Methane,  Methane Emissions,  

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Methane,  Methane Emissions,  


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


    State ‘net energy’ proposal raises static among developers

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


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

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

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

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