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Carbon emissions

UNEP: Meeting Global Climate Goals Requires ‘Rapid Transformation’

The world faces a “rapidly closing window” to meet the Paris Agreement’s goals, warns the latest “emissions gap” report from the UN Environment Programme (UNEP). The report, which explores the impact of new pledges and the “gap” toward meeting the Paris targets, finds that while progress has been made in recent years to mitigate emissions and deploy more clean energy, it is insufficient to put the world on a path to limit warming to well-below 2C or to 1.5C this century. Despite ambitious pledges, there has been “limited progress” in the year since COP26, it says. In a stark warning, the new UNEP report says that incremental change is “no longer an option” and that avoiding dangerous levels of warming will require a “wide-ranging, large-scale, rapid and systemic transformation”.

Canceled Green Hydrogen Project ‘A Lesson… For All Toxic Polluters’

Green groups in Oregon celebrated on Wednesday after NW Natural withdrew its application for approval to build a green hydrogen pilot program in Eugene, citing local uproar. "This should be a lesson, not just for NW Natural but for all toxic polluters—the West Eugene community is not a sacrifice zone," said Lisa Arkin, executive director of Beyond Toxics, in a statement. "Eugene residents will not be forced to be guinea pigs for experimental and dangerous technology that perpetrates fossil fuel infrastructure, environmental injustices, and more air toxics," Arkin added. "This project was absolutely unacceptable, and its withdrawal is a testament to the power of community opposition."

Wealthiest 10% Responsible For Nearly 50% Of Greenhouse Gas Emissions

A new study has highlighted the inequality underriding the climate crisis. The paper, published in Nature Sustainability Thursday, looked at the difference in per-capita emissions across the global economic spectrum between 1990 and 2019. During this time, the top one percent of emitters were responsible for nearly a quarter of all emissions contributing to the climate crisis and the top 10 percent are now responsible for nearly half of the total. “In my benchmark estimates, I find that the bottom 50% of the world population emitted 12% of global emissions in 2019, whereas the top 10% emitted 48% of the total,” the study’s sole author Lucas Chancel of the Paris School of Economics’ World Inequality Lab wrote. “Since 1990, the bottom 50% of the world population has been responsible for only 16% of all emissions, whereas the top 1% has been responsible for 23% of the total.”

Finally We Have A Global Registry Of Fossil Fuels

New data published today shows that producing and combusting the world’s reserves would yield over 3.5 trillion tons of greenhouse gas emissions, over seven times the remaining carbon budget for 1.5C and more than all emissions produced since the industrial revolution. The finding comes from the Global Registry of Fossil Fuels, launched today by Carbon Tracker and Global Energy Monitor. To date, climate change policy efforts have focussed on reducing demand and consumption of oil, gas and coal, but ignored the supply of those fuels. The Paris Agreement, for example, does not even mention fossil fuels, despite the fact that such fuels account for over 75% of global greenhouse gas emissions.

Living Energy Farm: A Community Free Of Fossil Fuels?

During their American stopover, the crew of the Nomade des Mers went to the rolling plains of Virginia to meet the Living Energy Farm. An intentional community of a dozen people who have achieved an impressive level of energy and food autonomy thanks to low-tech! When we arrived in the United States, the presentation of our project often resulted in a smile accompanied by the following question: “Are you sure you’re in the right country? We have to admit, this is not the first image that comes to mind when talking about the “States”. However, even in the country of the triumphant consumerism, some people have chosen a sober and happy life.

Supreme Court Restricts EPA’s Ability To Fight Climate Crisis

The Supreme Court has restricted the ability of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to fight the climate crisis. In a 6 to 3 ruling on Thursday, the nation’s highest court ruled that the Clean Air Agency does not empower the EPA to limit greenhouse gas emissions from power plants without prior Congressional approval. Yet the decision comes on the heels of a global sweep of early heat waves that have made the necessity of climate action ever more apparent. “Whatever else this Court may know about, it does not have a clue about how to address climate change,” Justice Elana Kagan wrote in a scathing dissent. “And let’s say the obvious: The stakes here are high. Yet the Court today prevents congressionally authorized agency action to curb power plants’ carbon dioxide emissions.

United Nations: Four Key Climate Indicators Broke Records In 2021

The UN’s World Meteorological Organization released its annual State of the Climate report on Wednesday, and the result is a grim account of the progression of the climate crisis. The report found that four key climate indicators broke records in 2021: greenhouse gas concentrations, ocean acidification, ocean temperature and sea level rise. “Today’s State of the Climate report is a dismal litany of humanity’s failure to tackle climate disruption. Fossil fuels are a dead end – environmentally and economically,” UN Secretary-General António Guterres said in response to the report, as The Guardian reported. A WMO press release outlined how human activity led to broken climate records.

Climate Activists Tyre Extinguishers Deflate 50 SUVs

The campaign group, which calls itself the Tyre Extinguishers, came to prominence earlier this year when they claimed to have deflated the tyres of hundreds of vehicles. They say they are leading a new movement across the country encouraging people to take action against urban SUVs and they have previously claimed they specifically target affluent areas of the UK. In a statement earlier today, the group said: "This is to let you know that on Tuesday evening, Bristol Tyre Extinguishers disarmed 50 SUVs in the Clifton area of Bristol. "Bristol is living through an air pollution and climate crisis, and we won't stop until these monster vehicles disappear from our streets." Avon & Somerset Police is treating the spree of incidents as criminal damage and is asking anyone who witnessed anything to come forward.

Biodiversity Solutions Also Fight Climate Change

Mass extinction lurks beneath the surface of the sea. That was the dire message from a study published in April in the journal Science, which found that continuing to emit greenhouse gases unchecked could trigger a mass die-off of ocean animals that rivals the worst extinction events in Earth’s history. The findings serve as just the latest reminder that climate change and biodiversity loss are interconnected crises — even if they’re rarely addressed in tandem by policymakers. Toward that point, the Science study came with a dose of hopeful news: Action to curb greenhouse gas emissions and keep warming below 2 degrees Celsius could cut that extinction risk by 70%.

Existing Fossil Fuel Fields And Mines Must Be Closed To Meet 1.5°C Goal

In 2021, the International Energy Agency (IEA) warned that, in order to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, no new oil and gas fields or coal mines could be developed. Now, a study published in Environmental Research Letters Tuesday goes even further: In order to meet the 1.5 goal, we will have to abandon nearly 40 percent of “developed reserves” of fossil fuels. “Going beyond recent warnings by the International Energy Agency, our results suggest that staying below 1.5°C may require governments and companies not only to cease licensing and development of new fields and mines, but also to prematurely decommission a significant portion of those already developed,” the study authors wrote.

Bull Mountains Victory And The ‘Social Cost Of Carbon’

Roundup, Montana - Some rare good news came down from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals recently. In a 2-1 decision, the court rejected an Environmental Assessment (EA) that would have green lighted expansion to the Bull Mountains underground coal mine near Roundup, Montana. The court majority held that the EA provided no scientific reasoning to support its conclusion that the expansion would have no significant impact on greenhouse gas emissions. A Trump appointee on the 3-judge panel dissented on grounds that courts “are ill-equipped to step into highly politicized scientific debates like this.” As a result of the 9th Circuit decision, four environmental groups — 350 Montana, Montana Environmental Information Center, Sierra Club, and WildEarth Guardians — will be allowed to continue their lawsuit challenging the environmental review in Montana federal court.

Washington Takes Strongest Clean Commercial Buildings Action In Nation

Olympia, WA - The Washington State Building Code Council voted 11-3 today to adopt a new statewide commercial and multifamily building energy code that will be the strongest, most climate-friendly in the country by driving the transition to clean electricity for space and water heating. This major win for clean energy coincides with President Joe Biden’s Earth Day Seattle visit where he discussed the infrastructure bill and clean energy. The Department of Energy has made heat pumps and energy efficiency measures a key part of its efforts to reduce emissions and dependence on fossil fuels. Under Washington’s updated energy code that will take effect in July 2023, new commercial buildings – including multifamily residential buildings four stories and taller – will be built with high-efficiency electric heat pumps for water and space heating.

Hydrogen’s Hidden Emissions

In just a few years, hydrogen has shot into mainstream conversations about tackling the climate crisis. It is now one of the most hotly discussed energy topics, and a very particular form of hydrogen known as fossil hydrogen (or 'blue hydrogen’) is being pushed by the fossil fuel industry for government backing. They claim it is climate friendly and can help with efforts to decarbonize our energy system, as it involves the use of carbon capture technology to trap and store emissions. One of the very few plants of this type, “Quest” is owned by Shell in Alberta, Canada. Shell have boasted about the project as an example of how it is tackling global heating, claiming that the project demonstrates that carbon capture systems are “safe and effective” and is a “thriving example” of how this technology can significantly reduce carbon emissions.

COP26 Negotiators Do Little To Cut Emissions

Many climate advocates and vulnerable nations entered this year’s conference hoping to address an enduring failure of the Paris Agreement, which said nothing about fossil fuels. But a draft agreement released on Saturday included only one reference, calling on parties to accelerate phasing out “unabated” coal consumption and “inefficient” subsidies for fossil fuels more broadly. Explicit references to oil and gas were absent.

China And Solutions To Climate Change

Last year, President Xi Jinping, pledged that China’s CO2 emissions would peak before 2030, and China would become carbon neutral before 2060.  China has a track history of setting ambitious, nearly impossible goals and then achieving them--often before deadline--so this pledge is significant.  Under the CPC, China has already created “an economic miracle” in transforming China into the largest economy in the world. It ended extreme poverty while creating the largest middle class in the world.  It has virtually eradicated Covid through non-pharmaceutical methods, while vaccinating up to 20 million people daily, and pledging the largest number of vaccines (2.2 Billion) and distributing over 1 Billion-to the rest of the world. 
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