Εμφάνιση αναρτήσεων με ετικέτα carbon emissions. Εμφάνιση όλων των αναρτήσεων
Εμφάνιση αναρτήσεων με ετικέτα carbon emissions. Εμφάνιση όλων των αναρτήσεων

Παρασκευή, Φεβρουαρίου 06, 2015

Russian expert says no global warming over past fourteen years

There is been no global warming over the past fourteen years but scientists are divided in their assessments of the impact of human activity on the condition of climate, Dr. Robert Nigmatulin, the director of the Institute of Oceanic Studies reporting to the Russian Academy of Sciences said on Thursday...

"Manmade concentration of carbon dioxide is really growing," he said adding that this gas did contribute to the greenhouse effect, although it was increasing the atmospheric temperatures but insignificantly.

However, these slightly heightened concentrations intensified evaporation of water from the surface of the world ocean and the increase of concentration of aqueous vapor, which was producing a strong greenhouse effect.

"In the meantime, there has been no greenhouse effect over the past fourteen years," Dr. Nigmatulin said. "One of the explanations is the rising concentrations of aqueous vapor naturally bring about a thickening of the cloud cover, which in its turn increases reflection of solar light by the atmosphere."

"Quite possibly, a mechanism of this kind is in action now," he said. "I’m scrutinizing it now but I can’t give you more precise information yet."

"On the whole, the research community is split into two camps now, one saying that man is to blame for the global warming and the other insisting that, no, the anthropogenic factor does not play a decisive role in climate warming," Dr. Nigmatulin said.

 http://itar-tass.com/en/non-political/775806
6/2/15
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Πέμπτη, Ιανουαρίου 08, 2015

Leave coal, oil in ground for climate's sake (study)

The Middle East must leave 40 percent of its oil reserves in the ground, and China, the US and Russia most of their coal if global warming is to be curbed, researchers said Jan. 7.
    
Globally, a third of oil, half of gas and over 80 percent of coal reserves must be left untouched until 2050, according to a novel breakdown of "unburnable" fossil-fuel stocks published in the journal Nature.

     
This is the sole way to meet the UN target of limiting warming to 2.0 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) over pre-Industrial Revolution levels, said co-author Christophe McGlade of University College London.
     
"Policymakers must realise that their instincts to completely use the fossil fuels within their countries are wholly incompatible with their commitments to the 2 C goal," he warned.
     
The UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimates that for a good chance of meeting the target, further emissions of Earth-warming greenhouse gases must be limited to about 1,000 billion tonnes (gigatonnes).
     
But global fossil fuel reserves, on current estimates, would emit three times this total if used, said the study.
     
UN members are negotiating a global carbon-cutting climate pact to be signed in Paris in December.       
At current rates, emissions are steering the world towards potentially catastrophic warming of 4 C or more, scientists say.
     
"Companies spent over $670 billion (565 billion euros) last year searching for and developing new fossil fuel resources," said McGlade's colleague and co-author Paul Ekins.
     
"They will need to rethink such substantial budgets if policies are implemented to support the 2 C limit, especially as new discoveries cannot lead to increased aggregate production."      

For their project, McGlade and Ekins made a best estimate of quantities and locations of oil, gas and coal resources, and then assessed how much could be safely used, per region, up to 2050.
     
They used two scenarios -- one with "widespread deployment" of carbon capture and storage (CCS) facilities, a technology in its infancy, and one with no CCS.
     
Even if CCS is widely implemented, over 430 billion barrels of oil must be left unburned, the pair said.       
Under this scenario, the Middle East has over half the world's "unburnable" oil -- more than 260 billion barrels or 38 percent of its stock -- equal to about eight years of global production calculated at 2013 levels of 87 million barrels per day.
     
Central and South America must leave 58 billion barrels alone, Canada 39 billion and the former Soviet states 27 billion.
     
About 95 trillion cubic metres (3,354 trillion cubic feet) of gas should remain unburned, the study found -- again the bulk (46 trillion cubic metres) is held in the Middle East and 31 trillion by former Soviet states.
                     
Countries with large stocks of coal, including developing nations that rely heavily on the resource to fuel their fast growth, also face challenges.
     
China and India would have to leave nearly 70 percent of their reserves under a scenario with CCS, and Africa almost 90 percent, according to the findings.
     
Among developed nations, Europe would have to leave 78 percent of its coal and the United States 92 percent.
     
"These results demonstrate that a stark transformation in our understanding of fossil-fuel availability is necessary," said the study.
     
"Although there have previously been fears over the scarcity of fossil fuels, in a climate-constrained world this is no longer a relevant concern: large portions of the reserve base... should not be produced if the temperature rise is to remain below 2 C."      

Experts Michael Jakob and Jerome Hilaire, in an analysis published with the study, said the uneven distribution of "unburnable" reserves highlighted challenges to finding a carbon-cutting pact.
     
"Only a global climate agreement that compensates losers and is perceived as equitable by all participants can impose strict limits on the use of fossil fuels in the long term," they wrote.

 AFP - hurriyetdailynews.com
8/1/15
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Τρίτη, Δεκεμβρίου 02, 2014

The annual UN global climate change talks started in the Peruvian capital of Lima

Thousands of representatives from nearly 200 nations gathered at the Peruvian Army Headquarters for the two-week-long negotiations formally known as the COP20, or the 20th session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Polish Environment Minister Marcin Korolec, who was COP19/CMP9 President, hailed the 2030 framework agreed by the European Union and the China-U.S. joint announcement for emission cut as some of the major achievements of this year.

Peruvian Environment Minister Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, who was elected at the opening session as COP20/CMP10 president, urged participants to work in a creative way to reach global consensus in the following 12 days and stressed that an inclusive and transparent process was his top priority.

"This conference should lead to a framework on structuring and strengthening financial mechanisms, launch ambitious process to accelerate pre-2020 action, and make progress on intended determined contributions, or INDCS in short," said Pulgar-Vidal, calling for collective action from all parties.

UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres encouraged all actors to broaden scope of actions, and create political parity of adaptation and mitigation.

"This COP must make history," Figueres said, highlighting increased collective capacity of climate action worldwide and urging stronger global moves for a sustainable future.

Rajendra Kumar Pachauri, chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), promised to bring everyone down "with the reality of science" after the theatrical show organized by the Peruvian presidency.

The IPCC, UN's science panel, recently presented its synthesis report, which is the fourth and final element of the fifth assessment report on the state of climate change.

Pachauri spelled out the influence of human emissions and their unequivocal impact on the planet, which is underway across all countries and affecting all peoples alike. "It is very likely Arctic sea ice will continue to shrink, sea level will continue to rise, and glacier volume will decrease," he said.

Pachauri expressed his hope that this COP will focus attention on the need to keep a global temperature rise under 2 degrees Celsius and reach a zero emissions world by the end of the century in order to reduce climate change risks.

The UNFCCC 12-day talks took place amid depressing scientific warnings and rising prospects in advancing a draft universal pact with the aim of adopting it at the COP21 in Paris, France at the end of next year. The recent joint announcement made by China and the United States to limit greenhouse gas emissions provided practical and political momentum towards the new global agreement.

About 10,000 delegates, activists, journalists and support crew have been accredited for the conference, with thousands of police providing security.

Xinhua - china.org.cn - http://english.cntv.cn
1-2/12/14

Σάββατο, Νοεμβρίου 15, 2014

Obama: US Pledges $3 Billion to Developing Nations for Global Warming Fund

U.S. President Barack Obama has announced that the United States is contributing $3 billion to the Green Climate Fund to help developing nations deal with climate change.

Obama made his announcement Saturday at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia -- host city of this year's summit of the Group of 20 world economic powers.
The president said the fund will help pay for such necessities as early warning systems and stronger defenses against storm surges. It also will help farmers plant more durable crops and aid developing economies in cutting carbon emissions and investing in clean energy.

Obama said it is not just governments that can fight climate change. He called on citizens, especially young people, to raise their voices, saying they deserve to live in a cleaner and healthier world.

Without mentioning any specific country, the president said effective security in Asia must be based on alliances and international law -- not spheres of influence or big nations bullying the small.

He said the only real source of legitimacy is a democracy and the consent of the people.
[voanews.com]
14/11/14
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Τετάρτη, Νοεμβρίου 12, 2014

Going green: Beijing, Washington strike landmark climate change deal

The world’s top carbon polluters – China and the United States – have reached a landmark agreement on greenhouse gas emissions, with both countries pledging to curb them by about a third by 2030.

Under the agreement, which was announced by President Obama and President Xi Jinping in Beijing, the United States pledges to reduce the level of its greenhouse gas emissions – based off 2005 levels – by 26 to 28 percent by the year 2025. Ultimately, the goal for American policy makers is to reduce emissions 80 percent by 2050.
For its part, China has pledged to stop its emissions from rising by 2030 – the first time the country has ever promised to reach such a goal. President Xi said that in order to successfully accomplish this, 20 percent of China's energy needs will come from alternative sources by 2030, such as solar power and wind energy. 

With world leaders preparing to meet in Paris in 2015 to discuss international plans to combat global warming, both the US and China hope their new deal will motivate other countries to follow suit and set ambitious goals for reducing greenhouse gases.
The White House said in a statement that China is embracing the “energy revolution,” which includes economic reforms and ways to deal with air pollution. 

China has signed onto providing an "additional 800-1,000 gigawatts of nuclear, wind, solar and other zero emission generation capacity by 2030, more than all the coal-fired power plants that exist in China today and close to total current electricity generation capacity in the United States,” according to the statement. 

While the deal was hailed by the White House, serious roadblocks remain, considering that Congress will be controlled by Republicans starting in 2015. Conservatives have generally criticized attempts to combat climate change, to the point that many do not acknowledge that it exists. An unnamed official told CNN, however, that President Obama was committed to the effort. 

"Congress may try to stop us, but we believe that with control of Congress changing hands we can proceed with the authority we already have,” the official said. "This is really the crusade of a narrow group of people who are politically motivated and have made this a cause celebre, but we believe we will be successful."
 
The announcement of the climate change deal follows several reports on agreements between the US and China around trade tariffs, military maneuvers, and easing travel visas.
As part of the trade deal, both sides agreed to get rid of $1 trillion worth of tariffs a year surrounding global sales of information and communications technology, such as GPS devices, medical equipment, and game consoles. 

The move was hailed as a “breakthrough” deal that could boost bilateral trade and create more jobs. However, before the deal goes forward, the agreement will have to be approved by the World Trade Organization (WTO).
http://rt.com/news/204615-china-us-climate-change-deal/
12/11/14
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Πέμπτη, Νοεμβρίου 06, 2014

Climate change talks: MEPs chart the course from Lima to Paris

 Talks to be held in Lima next month should enable global partners to reach an ambitious climate agreement in Paris in 2015, so as to keep the world on track for a sub-2°C climate warming scenario, said the Environment Committee in a resolution voted on Wednesday.
 MEPs reiterated the pledge by the EU and its member states to step up contributions to the UN Green Climate Fund so as to mobilise USD 100 billion per year by 2020, and called on other donors to play their part too.

"Our ultimate goal is to put our economies on track for a sub-2°C climate warming scenario. In Lima next month, UNFCCC parties are to work constructively to develop elements of the agreement to be concluded in Paris, and we should play a key role", said Environment Committee chair Giovanni La Via, who will lead a parliamentary delegation to Lima next month.

“Of course we face a political challenge to convince all concerned that moving towards a low-carbon economy is not something punitive, but will instead allow us to create jobs and to develop the technologies and products that the global community will need”, he added.

All countries should contribute, as delaying action will increase costs and reduce options, says the resolution, which was approved by 56 votes to 2 with 9 abstentions. The Lima Conference should also agree on information requirements to ensure that national contributions are quantifiable and comparable, it adds.

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2050
MEPs see the 1-12 December Lima conference as an opportunity to set key goals ahead of the 2015 international agreement to be discussed in Paris (COP 21) on 30 November- 11 December 2015. This agreement should clearly include steps for mitigation, adaptation and an implementation strategy in to meet the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50% by 2050, they say.

EU contribution

MEPs note that by 2012, the EU had cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 19% from 1990 levels, in line with the Kyoto Protocol, while increasing its GDP by more than 45%. It thus almost halved its average emission intensity between 1990 and 2012, and reduced its per capita emissions by 25%.

They also recall the commitment made by the EU and its member states to step up funding for climate measures by capitalising the UN’s Green Climate Fund and jointly mobilise USD 100 billion per year by 2020, as part of their contribution to the December 2009 UN Copenhagen Accord aiming to keep global warming below 2°C. MEPs call on other donors to do likewise, so as to mobilise more funding for climate measures.

Developing countries

MEPs stress that agreements on funding climate measures, technology transfer and capacity building will be essential to help developing countries, which contribute the least to greenhouse gas emissions, but are most vulnerable to their effects, due to their limited capacity to react and adapt.

Air and sea

MEPs reiterate that both the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and in the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), must take steps to achieve satisfactory and timely results in line with the degree and urgency of climate change.

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/news-room/content/20141104IPR77230/
5/11/14

Τρίτη, Οκτωβρίου 28, 2014

EU gears up for 2030 with more emissions reductions

European Commission , Press release, Brussels, 28 October 2014:

The Commission, assisted by the European Environment Agency, today releases its annual Progress Report assessing the headway on climate action. According to latest estimates, EU greenhouse gas emissions in 2013 fell by 1.8% compared to 2012 and reached the lowest levels since 1990. So not only is the EU well on track to reach the 2020 target, it is also well on track to overachieve it.

The Progress Report also for the first time provides data on the use of fiscal revenues from auctioning allowances in the EU Emission Trading System (ETS). This new source of revenues for Member States amounted to € 3.6 billion in 2013. From this, around € 3 billion will be used for climate and energy related purposes - significantly more than the 50% level recommended in the EU ETS Directive.
EU Climate Action Commissioner Connie Hedegaard said: "Delivering on 2020 climate goals shows that Europe is ready to step up its act. And better, still: it shows that the EU is delivering substantial cuts. The policies work. Therefore, the EU leaders last week decided to continue the ambition and reach at least 40% by 2030. This will require significant investments. That's why it is encouraging that Member States have decided to use most of their current ETS revenues to invest in climate and energy and continue the transformation to a low-carbon economy."
These revenues complement the funds from the EU's NER 300 programme which is devoting €2.1 billion to support 39 large-scale demonstration projects for low carbon technologies around Europe.

Background
The Kyoto and EU 2020 Progress Report is an annual report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council. It is based on the data reported by Member States under the Monitoring Mechanism Regulation. The Report provides information about the progress made by the European Union and its Member States towards their greenhouse gas emissions targets. The decrease in emissions of 1.8% in 2013 compared to 2012 implies that total EU emissions are around 19% below 1990.
Since 2013 auctioning is the default method of allocating allowances within the EU ETS. Auction revenues accrue to Member States. The EU ETS Directive stipulates that at least half of the revenues from the auctioning of allowances should be used to combat climate change in the EU or other countries. 

Most countries have used these investments in fields like energy efficiency, renewables or sustainable transport. For instance, France, the Czech Republic and Lithuania use all their auctioning revenues in projects to improve the energy efficiency of buildings. Bulgaria, Portugal and Spain use most of their revenues to develop renewable energy. Poland uses most of its revenues that are dedicated to climate change in support of energy efficiency and renewable energy. In Germany, most of the revenues are directed to a specific climate and energy fund, which supports a wide range of projects including research and sustainable transport. The UK focusses in particular on energy efficiency, renewables, research and financial assistance to low income households in relation to energy expenses. The reported amounts represent only a proportion of total climate and energy related spending in Member States' budgets. 
http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-14-1202_en.htm?locale=en
28/10/14
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Παρασκευή, Οκτωβρίου 10, 2014

Ocean Acidification from Climate Change Could Cost $1 Trillion

The United Nations Environment Programme and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) released a report this week at a conference in Korea, compiling studies on the impact of increased ocean acidification, caused by absorbing carbon dioxide, on the marine and coastal ecosystems. 

The report updated a 2009 report, since the amount of research into ocean acidification has grown, along with concerns about the effect it is having on marine organisms and the economies dependent on them.


“The oceans are facing major threats due to rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere,” said CBD’s executive secretary Braulio Ferreira de Souzo Dias in the report’s introduction. “In addition to driving global climate change, increasing concentrations of carbon dioxide affect ocean chemistry, impacting marine ecosystems and compromises the health of the oceans and their ability to provide important services to the global community. The impacts of ocean acidification are beginning to be felt in some areas, but future projections indicate even more broad-reaching deleterious impacts if action is not taken.”

The report finds that ocean acidification has increased about 26 percent in the past 200 years, absorbing more than a quarter of the carbon released by human activity. “Ocean acidification is a direct result of rising atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations due to the burning of fossil fuels, deforestation, cement production and other human activities,” it says.

It points out that the absorption of carbon by the ocean has significant benefits: by absorbing more than a quarter of human-produced carbon emissions, it has substantially slowed climate change. But that’s offset by the negative impact on seawater chemistry and its effect on marine life, as well as the economies and communities dependent on it.

“It is now nearly inevitable that within 50 to 100 years, continued anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions will further increase ocean acidity to levels that will have widespread impacts, mostly deleterious, on marine organisms and ecosystems, and the goods and services they provide.,” says the report. “Marine calcifying organisms seem particularly at risk, since additional energy will be required to form shells and skeletons, and in many ocean areas, unprotected shells and skeletons will dissolve.”

It points out that the cost to industries linked to just coral reefs could lose as much as $1 trillion annually by the end of the century if no action is taken.

“When ecosystems stop delivering the way they should, they essentially deliver less services and less benefits,” said Salvatore Arico of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). “In the case of coral reefs, those systems are essential for people’s livelihoods in many regions of the world and they will be significantly affected.”

But the report also finds that international awareness of these consequences is growing, along with the amount of research being done.

“Many programs and projects are now investigating the impacts of ocean acidification on marine biodiversity and its wider implications, with strong international linkages,” it says. “The United Nations General Assembly has urged States to study ocean acidification, minimize its impacts and tackle its causes. Many United Nations bodies are focusing attention on these issues.”

| October 9, 2014
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Πέμπτη, Σεπτεμβρίου 25, 2014

Le parlement européen prolonge les droits d'émission de CO2 gratuits pour l'industrie

La commission de l'Environnement du Parlement européen a donné son feu vert mercredi à la liste des industries lourdes qui pourront bénéficier dans les prochaines années de droits d'émission de CO2 gratuits. 

En principe, les entreprises doivent acheter des droits pour le CO2 qu'elles émettent.


 La Commission européenne a toutefois rédigé une liste de secteurs qui peuvent bénéficier de dérogations parce qu'elles subiraient des désavantages concurrentiels sur le marché mondial et risqueraient dès lors de délocaliser leurs activités. 


La liste comprend notamment les secteurs de l'acier et du ciment. Une majorité de la commission parlementaire a soutenu la proposition de prolonger cette liste jusqu'en 2020.

 Les Verts et certains socialistes ont dénoncé le manque de transparence de ce document qui, selon eux, n'est pas fondé sur des données réalistes. 

Ils ont épinglé le prix du charbon qui sert de référence: il est établi à 30 euros la tonne alors qu'habituellement, la Commission estime qu'il ne dépassera pas 16,5 euros d'ici 2020. (Belga) 
[rtl.be]
24/9/14
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Τετάρτη, Σεπτεμβρίου 24, 2014

Interview: how to charge firms for CO2 emissions without it costing jobs (EP)


Charging companies for CO2 emissions can be a great way of encouraging them to become cleaner, but also risks pushing them to move production to somewhere with lower environmental standards. The European Commission aims to prevent the practice known as carbon leakage by continuing to give some allowances away for free. Bas Eickhout proposed to block this decision, saying many industries can afford to pay for the allowances. The environment committee voted against his proposal on 24 September.

Some industrial sectors in the EU are given a substantial share of their CO2 emissions allowances for free, as it is feared they would otherwise relocate if they had to pay for them. The Commission has now prepared a list of sectors at risk of relocating on the assumption of a €30 price per allowance.
However, the market price today  is only €5 and some say that many of the sectors listed could actually afford paying the current market price or even more for allowances without putting jobs at risk in the EU.

We discussed the situation with Mr Eickhout.

What is wrong with the Commission proposal?

Sectors that are not at all exposed to the risk of carbon leakage are now receiving free allowances.

The Commission’s methodology to identify sectors eligible for the allocation of free allowances is based on a carbon price of €30 per allowance. This price is far too high and puts sectors on the list that do not belong there.

Meanwhile in an impact assessment that was not made public, the Commission uses a price of 16.5. Under this scenario, more sectors will have to buy allowances, member states will earn about €5 billion and several CO2-intensive sectors will have an incentive to innovate.

Is there a risk that some energy-intensive sectors, if removed from this list, might relocate their businesses to other regions?

No. A recent study, which was carried out for the Commission, even questions whether carbon leakage exists at all.

Moreover, the aforementioned impact assessment also concludes that some sectors can be safely removed from the list. The list should only contain the sectors that face unfair competition, whereas it currently the list contains 96% of all industries participating in ETS (Emissions Trading System).

How could the EU make companies pay for CO2 emissions while still preserving the jobs in the Union?

First of all, the revenues can be used to lower labour taxes, which will make it attractive for companies to hire more people. Secondly, companies will have to innovate to reduce their emissions, which in turn will create green jobs.
http://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/news-room/content/20140923STO68302/
24/9/14

Τρίτη, Σεπτεμβρίου 23, 2014

Financial sector to help mobilize $200 billion to fight climate change in developing countries

UN,  23 September 2014 – Governments, investors and financial institutions today pledged to mobilize $200 billion by the end of next year for low-carbon programmes in developing countries, giving a significant boost to the United Nations goal of reaching $100 billion annually by 2020.

“This will serve as a catalyst in finalizing a universal and meaningful agreement at Paris on climate change in 2015,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said as he hosted the largest ever summit of world leaders on climate change at UN Headquarters in New York to prepare the ground for a global accord at a summit in the French capital in December next year.


Today’s agreement combines public and private financing, including pledges by donor and developing countries to capitalize the Green Climate Fund aimed at helping developing countries shoulder the burden of slashing emissions.

“The Summit has created a platform for new coalitions and has brought leaders from both public and private sectors across the globe to not only recognize climate risks, but to agree to work together,” Mr. Ban said of today’s gathering.

  • The private sector announcements were made by an unprecedented coalition of financial institutions, pension funds, insurance companies, development banks and commercial banks which had never previously acted together on climate change at such a large scale.

The Summit also marked a major advance in efforts by Governments and businesses to set a price on greenhouse gas emissions, a step that offers investors and consumers an accurate reflection of the true cost of goods and services. More than 50 countries and 500 companies endorsed the need for developing mechanisms that would adequately reflect the true costs relating to pollution and emissions.

In a major departure from the climate negotiations and previous climate summits, the business community and civil society are playing a major role. There were 181 representatives from the business and investment community, including 90 chief executive officers. There were 52 business and investors from developing countries. In addition, there were dozens of civil society representatives. 

[un.org]
23/9/14
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Πέμπτη, Σεπτεμβρίου 18, 2014

50 Dirtiest U.S. Power Plants Huge Contributor to Carbon Emissions

U.S. power plants are an outsized contributor to the world’s carbon pollution, a new report released by Environment America Research & Policy Center and the Frontier Group says. It found that in 2012, they added more climate change-causing carbon to the environment than the entire economies of any nation other than China. 

The report, “America’s Dirtiest Power Plants: Polluter on a Global Scale,” demonstrated that U.S. power plants produced more than six percent of worldwide global warming emissions.

The report found that a relatively small number of primarily older, coal-fired plants were the main culprits. The 50 dirtiest power plants, less than one percent of all U.S. power plants, produced a whopping 30 percent of power-sector emissions in 2012, 12 percent of all U.S. carbon emissions, and nearly two percent of all the world’s carbon emissions. The U.S. has about 6,400 electricity-generating facilities. Yet a single one—the Scherer Power Plant in Georgia—produced .4 percent of U.S. carbon emissions, equivalent to the entire economy of Sri Lanka, which ranks 86th in the world.

“U.S. power plants are polluters on a global scale,” said Elizabeth Ouzts of Environment America Research & Policy Center. “That’s why clean power now must be part of the solution to the climate crisis.”

The report emphasized how much pollution the dirty plants produce relative to their energy production. Coal-fired plants produced 74 percent of U.S. power-plant pollution in 2012 but only 37 percent of its electricity. The 50 dirtiest plants contributed only 15 percent of the nation’s electricity.

“U.S. power plants make such an outsized contribution to global warming emissions because so many of them are old and inefficient, and because so many of them run on coal, one of the dirtiest fuels on the planet,” said the report, which said that 98 of the country’s 100 most carbon-polluting plants ran on coal.

The report recommended that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) “strengthen, finalize and implement the Clean Power Plan,” and that states begin to implement the plan to meet the standards as quickly as possible, working to quickly phase out the older, polluting plants and move to renewable energy sources. Its series of recommendations also includes urging Congress to pass a national renewable energy standard.

The Environment America Research & Policy Center is among many groups pushing for the Clean Power Plan. Six million comments have been submitted to the EPA and more than a thousand people have testified in hearing held across the country this summer in favor of the plan.

“For too long, power plants and other major polluters have enjoyed a holiday from responsibility,” said Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse. “Rhode Island and some parts of the country have taken steps to cut carbon pollution and invest in clean energy, but this report shows why federal carbon pollution standards are necessary to protect public health, our communities and future generations from the dangerous threat of climate change.”

Anastasia Pantsios
http://ecowatch.com
18/9/14

Παρασκευή, Ιουνίου 06, 2014

World Environment Day: Parliament's non-stop fight against climate change

“Raise your voice, not the sea level” is the motto of this year´s World Environment Day, which calls attention to the impact climate change has on small islands. The day is held on 5 June every year to raise awareness and encourage people to act to protect the environment. The European Parliament has been at the forefront of the world´s response to global warming, by adopting legislation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and by guiding the EU towards a low-carbon economy.

To combat global warming, the EU and the world have been trying to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In the last year alone, the Parliament has among others passed measures to promote energy-saving, rules to reduce CO2 emissions from road transport, mandatory energy labelling for appliances, as well as tougher standards for fluorinated gases in air-conditioning and freezers.


The Parliament has also supported the development of second generation biofuels and approved plans to freeze the auctioning of some CO2 permits from the European Emissions Trading System scheme in order to encourage low-carbon innovation. MEPs have also backed plans for reducing the use of the most common plastic bags by at least 80% by 2019.

Ambitious and binding climate targets

The Parliament has been calling for even more ambitious and binding climate targets for both the EU and the rest of the world. In February, MEPs called for a 40% cut in CO2 emissions from 1990 levels, a 30% target for renewable energy and a 40% target for energy efficiency by 2030. They have also consistently called on the EU to show greater ambition in the talks for the new global climate change treaty that is expected to be adopted by the Paris Climate Conference in December 2015.
[europarl.europa.eu]
5/6/14

Δευτέρα, Ιουνίου 02, 2014

UN officials hail ‘significant’ move by US to curb power plant emissions

UN,  2 June 2014 – United Nations officials today welcomed the initiative announced by President Barack Obama to limit emissions from power plants in the United States, voicing their hope that it will spur other countries to take concrete action to combat climate change.

In a statement issued by his spokesperson, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called the initiative “a significant step toward reducing global greenhouse gas emissions that are disrupting the climate, exacerbating extreme weather patterns, and threatening human health, sustainable economic growth and development.”


Mr. Ban, who is convening a climate summit later this year in New York, called on all countries to accelerate their efforts to reduce emissions and strengthen adaptation and resilience.

“He calls on world leaders to take advantage of the unique opportunity provided by the climate summit he will host in September by bringing bold announcements and actions they will undertake nationally, as well as in multilateral and multi-stakeholder settings to address climate change,” the statement added.

The Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Christiana Figueres, also welcomed the new initiative, which comes ahead of the next round of UN climate talks that will begin on Wednesday in Bonn, Germany, where ministers will discuss key political issues which can be resolved ahead of a successful, new and universal climate agreement expected to be reached in Paris next year.

“The decision by President Obama to launch plans to more tightly regulate emissions from power plants will send a good signal to nations everywhere that one of the world’s biggest emitters is taking the future of the planet and its people seriously,” Ms. Figueres said in a statement.

It is also a good signal for upcoming climate summit in September and towards securing a new, and more importantly meaningful, climate agreement in Paris in 2015, she added.

“I fully expect action by the United States to spur others in taking concrete action – action that can set the stage and put in place the pathways that can bend the global emissions curve down in order to keep worldwide temperature rise under 2 degrees Celsius this century.”

[un.org]
2/6/14
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Τρίτη, Μαΐου 13, 2014

Ice Loss from Antarctic Glacier Unstoppable

A large portion of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is melting rapidly, and appears to be in an irreversible state of decline. That assessment, from a new study by researchers at NASA and the University of California, Irvine, finds that there is nothing to stop the glaciers in the area from melting into the sea.

Glaciologist and lead author Eric Rignot told a news conference Monday that the melting will be a major contributor to sea level rises in the decades and centuries to come.



"We and many other colleagues have looked extensively at this part of the world over the last two decades, with satellites, airplanes, ships and ground survey. We have examined enough direct and independent observations of this part of the world to conclude that the retreat of ice in that sector is unstoppable," said Rignot.

The glaciers in the Amundsen Sea sector of West Antarctica contain enough ice to raise the global sea level by more than a meter, and are melting faster than most scientists had expected. They already release almost as much ice into the oceans annually as the entire Greenland Ice Sheet.

The report, which appears in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, concludes: "The fact that the retreat is happening simultaneously over a large sector suggests it was triggered by a common cause, such as an increase in the amount of ocean heat beneath the floating sections of the glaciers. At this point, the end of this sector appears to be inevitable." 

  • The researchers say while cutting CO2 emissions could slow the glacier loss, they stress it could not reverse it.

For additional images and video related to this new finding, visit: http://go.nasa.gov/1m6YZSf

For additional information on the West Antarctic Ice Sheet and its potential contribution to sea level rise, visit: http://go.nasa.gov/1oIfSlO

 [voanews.com]
13/5/14
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Τρίτη, Απριλίου 15, 2014

New EU rules for safer and greener lorries: European Parliament endorses Commission proposal

European Commission, Press release, Brussels, 15 April 2014:
The European Parliament has endorsed today the Commission's proposal for new EU rules for safer and greener lorries. Vice-President Siim Kallas, in charge of transport, said: "I am pleased with this vote which supports the Commission's goal to make road transport cleaner and safer, allowing innovative designs for the greener trucks of the future."
The European Commission proposed in April 2013 new rules, revising the current legislation on weights and dimensions of certain road vehicles, to allow manufacturers to develop more aerodynamic lorries which will reduce fuel consumption by 7-10%, cut emissions of greenhouse gases, and also enhance the safety of vulnerable road users.

The proposal will allow cabs with a rounded shape and aerodynamic flaps at the back of the trailer. These measures will considerably improve the aerodynamics of vehicles, saving approximately €5,000 per year in fuel costs for a typical long-distance lorry covering 100,000 km. This represents a 7–10% cut in greenhouse gas emissions (or 7.8 tonnes of CO2 for the same long-distance lorry covering 100,000 km). At the same time, the field of vision of the driver will be improved, helping to save the lives of 300 to 500 vulnerable road users such as pedestrians or cyclists every year.
The European Parliament (EP) position at first reading adopted today supports most key provisions in the Commission proposal. The Commission welcomes particularly the EP amendments that
  1. facilitate the use of a broader range of low carbon propulsion technologies,
  2. clarify the possibilities for aerodynamic cabs and rear devices and
  3. strengthen the enforcement provisions of its proposal.
On the other hand, the Commission cannot agree with certain points of the EP position. These include:
  1. an amendment that would limit the extension of aerodynamic rear devices to 500mm (which is already authorised today and which would deprive the society of the benefits of longer devices further reducing fuel consumption and emissions) and
  2. amendments that reject the broad definition of "intermodal transport" proposed by the Commission, which takes into account the evolution of container trade.
The EP decided not to amend the current rules on the cross border operation of longer vehicles and asks the Commission to report on the subject by 2016.
  • What's next?
With this vote, the European Parliament has adopted its first reading position on the Commission proposal. It is now up to the Council to adopt its own position. The Greek Presidency is aiming at a Council position on this text in June 2014. If the adoption of this text takes place in 2014/2015, the new trucks could be expected to be seen on the roads by 2018-2020.
[europa.eu]
15/4/14
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Σάββατο, Απριλίου 12, 2014

Agriculture's greenhouse gas emissions on the rise, warns UN agency

SEIH SOU THESSALONIKI
UN, 11 April 2014 – From farming to forestry and fisheries, agriculture greenhouse emissions have nearly doubled over the past 50 years and may increase by another 30 per cent by 2050, according to new estimates out today from the UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO).
"FAO's new data represent the most comprehensive source of information on agriculture's contribution to global warming made to date," said Francesco Tubiello of the agecny’s Climate, Energy and Tenure Division.

For the first time, FAO has used its own FAOSTAT emissions database to estimate global greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture, forestry and other land use in contributing to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
Emissions from crop and livestock production grew in 2001 from 4.7 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2 eq) to more than 5.3 billion tonnes in 2011 – a 14 per cent increase.
“The increase occurred mainly in developing countries, due to an expansion of total agricultural outputs,” FAO said 

Meanwhile, net greenhouse gas emissions due to land use change and deforestation registered a nearly 10 percent decrease over the 2001-2010 period – averaging some 3 billion tonnes CO2 eq year over the decade.
“This was the result of reduced levels of deforestation and increases in the amount of atmospheric carbon being sequestered in many countries,” explained FAO, adding that, “as a result of carbon sequestration in forest sinks, some two billion tonnes of carbon dioxide were removed from the atmosphere during the same timeframe.”
FAO's data based on country reports show that while those emissions continue to increase, they are not growing as fast as emissions from fossil fuel use in other sectors – actually decreasing over time the share of agriculture and other land use out of total anthropogenic emissions. 

  • The largest source of emissions within agriculture is enteric fermentation – methane produced by livestock during digestion and released via belches. In 2011, this accounted for 39 per cent of the sector's total greenhouse gas outputs and increased 11 per cent between 2001 and 2011.
In 2011, 14 per cent of agricultural emissions (725 Mt CO2 eq.) were generated while applying synthetic fertilizers – the fastest growing emissions source in agriculture – having increased some 37 per cent since 2001.
Greenhouse gases resulting from biological processes in rice paddies that generate methane make up 10 per cent of total agricultural emissions, while burning savannahs accounts for 5 per cent. 

FAO data revealed that in 2011, 45 per cent of agriculture-related greenhouse gas outputs occurred in Asia – followed by 25 per cent in the Americas, five per cent in Africa, eleven per cent in Europe and four per cent in Oceania.
“This regional distribution was fairly constant over the last decade,” the agency noted, adding “in 1990 however, Asia's contribution to the global total [38 per cent] was smaller than at present, while Europe's was much larger [21 per cent].” 

The new FAO data also provide a detailed view of emissions from energy use in the agriculture sector generated from traditional fuel sources – including electricity and fossil fuels burned to power agricultural machinery, irrigation pumps and fishing vessels.
"Up to now, information gaps have made it extremely difficult for scientists and policymakers to make strategic decisions regarding how to respond to climate change and has hampered efforts to mitigate agriculture's emissions," said Mr. Tubiello. 

FAO is already generating disaggregated assessments along supply chains and analyzing the effectiveness of comprehensive mitigation interventions in the livestock sector.
Mr. Tubiello explained, “Data on emissions for agriculture, forests and other land use activities support member countries in better identifying their mitigation options and enable their farmers to take faster and more targeted climate-smart responses.”
This improves their overall resilience and their food security and allows the countries to tap into international climate funding and accomplish their rural development goals.
“We also see much interest in capacity development on these topics at country level and respond to these needs through regional and country-level activities around the globe,'' he added. 
[un.org]
11/4/14

Οι νεκροί Έλληνες στα μακεδονικά χώματα σάς κοιτούν με οργή

«Παριστάνετε τα "καλά παιδιά" ελπίζοντας στη στήριξη του διεθνή παράγοντα για να παραμείνετε στην εξουσία», ήταν η κατηγορία πο...