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Carbon emissions

Vast Majority Of Global CO2 Emissions Tied To Just 57 Entities

Since the Paris Agreement was signed in 2015, a small number of fossil fuel entities — just 57 corporate and state producers — have been responsible for 80 percent of planet-warming carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. And a majority of those actors have only expanded production in the intervening years. That’s according to a new report released today by InfluenceMap detailing its Carbon Majors project, an influential database of fossil fuel production data. The database analyzes the individual carbon emissions of 122 “carbon majors” — publicly owned corporations, nation states, and state-owned entities — that, together, are responsible for more than 70 percent of fossil fuel and cement emissions since the start of the Industrial Revolution.

US Banks ‘Sabotaging’ Climate Targets By Financing Meat And Dairy

A new study has found that 58 banks in the United States are “sabotaging” their own net-zero commitments by providing financing to meat, dairy and animal feed corporations. Research for the report, Bull in the Climate Shop: Industrial livestock financing sabotages major U.S. banks’ climate commitments, was conducted by U.S. environmental nonprofit Friends of the Earth and Profundo, a research group based in the Netherlands. From 2016 to 2023, $134 billion in loans and underwriting was provided to meat, dairy, food processing, animal feed and agri-commodity corporations by 58 U.S. banks, according to the report.

Climate Justice Means Holistic Transformation, Not Tinkering

‘The climate crisis has many dimensions: social, political, economic, environmental, moral, ethical, and ideological. The way out of the crisis must address the root cause: the endless, limitless, mindless accumulation and concentration of capital on a planet with finite resources,’ Valdrak Jaentschke, head of the Nicaragua delegation, said in his speech at the 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28) in Dubai. In turn, climate justice must be multi-dimensional recognising that climate justice is an integral part of social, political, environmental, and ethical justice.

Court Prohibits Eurowings Greenwashing Advertisements

Berlin – On March 28th, “Deutsche Umwelthilfe” (DUH) achieved a success against misleading sustainability advertising by the airline Eurowings. The Cologne Regional Court in Germany fully upheld the complaint brought by the environmental and consumer protection organisation. The court prohibited the airline from advertising flights whose emissions are offset with a few euros as “CO2-neutral” in the form in which they were advertised at the time the lawsuit was filed.  The court found that the forest protection projects used for the alleged offsetting of emissions are not suitable for achieving actual compensation.

More Than Half Of U.S. Landfills Are Methane ‘Super-Emitters’

Methane is a heat-trapping greenhouse gas (GHG) that is 28 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Most methane comes from human activities — roughly 60 percent — such as agriculture, fossil fuels and the decomposition of waste in landfills. According to a new study led by nonprofit Carbon Mapper, more than half the landfills in the United States are “super-emitters” of methane. “Addressing these high methane sources and mitigating persistent landfill emissions offers a strong potential for climate benefit,” said Dr. Dan Cusworth.

California Must Triple Its Rate Of Carbon Emissions Reductions

California is not on track to meet its greenhouse gas emissions reduction goal for 2030, new data released by nonprofit think tank Next 10 and prepared by consulting firm Beacon Economics reveals. To do so, the state must triple its annual emissions reductions, the 2023 California Green Innovation Index said. “The increase in emissions following the pandemic makes it all the more difficult for California to meet its climate goals on time,” said Next 10 Founder F. Noel Perry, as reported by ESG News. “In fact, we may be further behind than many people realize.

Sequestering Carbon In Soils Isn’t Enough To Offset Livestock Emissions

A new study highlights the risk of depending on soil carbon sequestration as a way to offset the emissions produced from raising livestock. The study found that offsetting the methane and nitrous oxide emissions from the global livestock industry would require 135 gigatonnes (135 billion metric tons) of carbon stocks. According to the authors, that amount is nearly double the carbon stored in managed grasslands globally. Some regions would require an increase in carbon sequestration in the soil of up to 2,000% to match livestock emissions. The findings were published in the journal Nature Communications.

Dutch Airport Calls For Air Traffic Polluters To Pay For CO² Emissions

Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport has published new research which shows the need for a strong reduction of air traffic in order to halt the ongoing climate crisis. In a move likely to shock other airport companies, Schiphol proposes the ‘polluter pays’ principle, with measures such as a worldwide kerosene tax and a tax for business class and private flights. Schiphol’s research showed that at least a 30% CO² reduction (when compared to 2019) is needed for Schiphol and European aviation to be on track in 2030. That’s more than the current Dutch goal of a 9% reduction. The Netherlands Aerospace Centre (NLR) and research institute CE Delft were commissioned by Schiphol to investigate what is needed in order to bring Schiphol’s CO² emissions in line with the Paris Agreement.

COP28: Seven Food And Agriculture Innovations To Protect The Climate

For the first time ever, food and agriculture took center stage at the annual United Nations climate conference in 2023. More than 130 countries signed a declaration on Dec. 1, committing to make their food systems – everything from production to consumption – a focal point in national strategies to address climate change. The declaration is thin on concrete actions to adapt to climate change and reduce emissions, but it draws attention to a crucial issue. The global food supply is increasingly facing disruptions from extreme heat and storms. It is also a major contributor to climate change, responsible for one-third of all greenhouse gas emissions from human activities.

What’s At Stake At COP28?

The next United Nations Climate Change Conference, otherwise known as COP28, begins Thursday in the United Arab Emirates. The conference, which lasts through December 12, comes at a critical moment in global efforts to contain the climate crisis. The latest UN Emissions Gap Report, released ahead of the talks, found that nations’ current emissions reduction pledges, called nationally determined contributions (NDCs) under the Paris agreement, would put the world on track for 2.9 degrees Celsius of warming beyond pre-industrial levels by 2100. Yet 2023, at an average 1.1 degrees Celsius of warming, is already shattering records with the hottest temperatures in 125,000 years, which have fueled deadly heat waves, floods and wildfires.

Super-Rich 1% Match Carbon Emissions Of The Poorest 5 Billion People

A new report from Oxfam International reveals alarming disparities in carbon emissions, underscoring a stark contrast between the wealthiest 1% of people and the rest of the planet, with the poorest percentage of the population left to bear the brunt of the environmental damage. The report titled, “Climate Equality: A Planet for the 99%,” makes clear the impact of such emissions, stating that in 2019, the emissions of the super-rich 1% “are enough to cause 1.3 million deaths due to heat.” Violations and disparity in emissions are also highlighted in the report, including the 1% burning through twice as much of the carbon budget as the poorest half of humanity combined in the last 30 years.

The US Has To Do More To Meet Its Carbon Emissions Reduction Goals

Our analysis shows that effective implementation of the IRA, the infrastructure act, and state policies would enable the United States to make significant progress toward achieving its near-term climate goals and yield substantial economic and public health benefits at the same time. Taken together, these federal and state initiatives could help cut total US heat-trapping emissions 34 percent below 2005 levels in 2030 and 53 percent by 2035, which would fall short of our 2030 targets but meet them a few years later. The IRA will stimulate most of the near-term private investment in clean energy and related infrastructure to decarbonize the US economy, spurring more than a trillion dollars in capital investments through 2035.

Global Emissions Projected To Fall Only 2% By 2030, United Nations Says

A new United Nations Climate Change report says that current climate action plans by nations are not enough to limit the average global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius and meet Paris Agreement targets. The report shows that countries need to take much more action immediately, even though some have been making increased efforts, in order to speed up the transition away from fossil fuels and avoid the worst climate change impacts, a press release from the United Nations said. “Today’s report shows that governments combined are taking baby steps to avert the climate crisis. And it shows why governments must make bold strides forward at COP28 in Dubai, to get on track,” said Simon Stiell

Utilities That Pledge ‘Net Zero By 2050’ Are Doing Little To Achieve That Goal

Like many utilities, Southern Company, the second-largest gas and electric company in the United States, has a “net zero” climate pledge. A page on its website features gleaming solar panels pointing toward a blue sky, where the utility acknowledges the importance of the Paris Agreement. “Key to Southern Company’s environmental initiatives,” the company offers, “is a net-zero transition focusing on greenhouse gas emissions reductions, decarbonization, and a Just Transition.” Apparently, Southern Company’s green energy keywords haven’t translated into actual policy. All the company’s subsidiaries—Alabama Power, Georgia Power, and Mississippi Power, which together serve 9 million customers— get an F on a national report card.

Fossil Fuel Companies Made Bold Promises To Capture Carbon

Carbon capture and storage (CCS) was high on the agenda at New York Climate Week last week, where critics of the technology raised concerns it would be used to extend the life of the fossil fuel industry. For years, experts have pointed out that CCS has been primarily used to pump more oil out of the earth, using a process known as enhanced oil recovery (EOR). Burning that oil emits far more carbon dioxide (CO2) than what is captured, and therefore CCS doesn’t represent a viable solution to tackle climate change, critics argue. At a news conference after the one-day UN Climate Ambition Summit on September 20, Tzeporah Berman, chair of the Fossil Fuel Nonproliferation Treaty Initiative, said: “The oil companies acknowledged this year that they will not meet their bogus net zero commitments.
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