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False Solutions

Big Oil Aims To Cash In On Hydrogen Tax Credits With Natural Gas

Less than two years after securing generous subsidies in President Joe Biden’s landmark climate legislation, some of America’s largest oil and gas companies are directing their advocacy toward shaping one of the law’s obscure but potentially lucrative provisions: a tax credit for hydrogen production. The hydrogen tax credit – known among advocates and industry players as “45V” for the section of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) that created it – felt at times as if it were the sole focus of the Hydrogen Americas Summit, a two-day industry confab held June 11-12, that wrapped up yesterday in Washington, D.C.

Canceled Canadian CCS Project Deemed ‘Not Economically Feasible’

Capital Power Generation has canceled a $2.4 billion carbon capture and storage (CCS) project at their Genesee Generating Station, claiming it is “technically viable but not economically feasible.” The project aimed to capture and sequester up to 3 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions from the Genesee Power Plant, located southwest of Edmonton, Alberta, a plant that’s in the process of being converted from coal to natural gas. Julia Levin, associate director of National Climate with Environmental Defence, characterized the cancellation as yet another failure for carbon capture.

Climate Criminals Put Profits Over Humanity At COP28

Dubai, UAE — The outcomes of the UNFCCC 28th Conference of Parties has left Indigenous Peoples and frontline communities across the world sitting in disappointment as world leaders put forward watered-down climate commitments and text that continue to compromise our future. The biggest takeaway from this year’s climate summit is the grotesque depth of greed and disregard for humanity as a whole. There was a huge missed opportunity to implement real climate solutions, but bullies from the Global North reaffirmed their false solutions to maintain their extractive economies, and so, lined their pockets with their reinforcement of settler-colonialism and imperial dominance over the Global South.

False Transitions And Global Stocktakes: The Failure Of COP28

The time has come to treat the sequence of UN Climate Change Conferences, the latest concluding in Dubai, as a series of the failed and the abysmally rotten.  It shows how a worthless activity, caked (oiled?) with appropriately chosen words, can actually provide assurance that something worthwhile was done.  Along the way, there are always the same beneficiaries: fossil fuel magnates and satirists. COP28, which featured 97,000 participants, including the weighty presence of 2,456 fossil fuel lobbyists, was even more of a shambles than its predecessor.  Its location – in an oil rich state – was head scratching. 

Will The Federal Trade Commission Lead The Climate Reformation?

As of last year, more than a third of the world’s largest publicly traded companies had set targets to reach net zero carbon emissions, up from a fifth in December 2020. But a dirty little secret lies behind most net zero commitments: Companies are buying carbon offsets to meet their goals — paying for absolution just like pre-Reformation Catholics buying Indulgences to offset their sins. Under the law, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission has the power to hold companies liable for marketing that harms consumers’ health or wealth by misleading them into buying a product or service based on a false or deceptive claim. The FTC just closed public comment on how to amend its classic Green Guides in light of new market realities.

Our Tech Overlords Offer Another Climate Solution Without Sacrifice

My expectations are never disappointed when I read the news each day and find out that the solutions to the problems created by our modern technology are to be found in more technology. We do not need to restructure our society, reduce our consumption, moderate our desires or change our habits. Technology will solve our problems without us having to make any substantial change in our way of life. The breathless coverage of a university-based startup company that will draw carbon dioxide out of the ocean—thereby making room for more carbon dioxide from the air to be absorbed—may convince you that we can all sit back and let our tech overlords solve climate change.

Biden’s New Title IX Proposal Is A Move To Whip Votes, Not Protect Trans Kids

On April 6, the Biden administration proposed changes to Title IX regulations concerning trans youth participating in sports. The regulation change would prohibit any schools or universities that receive public funding from passing “blanket bans” — bans that prohibit all trans youth from participating in any sport at all — but would make it acceptable for schools to ban transgender students from sporting activities on a sport-by-sport basis. While Democrats are touting this as a win for transgender rights, this is simply another example of the so-called “progressive” party proposing moves to make themselves seem trans-positive, while taking no meaningful action to protect trans children.

First-Of-Its-Kind Study Casts More Shade On Forest Carbon Offsets

Yet another report has cast doubt on the accuracy and reliability of the carbon credits companies and individuals purchase to offset their climate-polluting emissions. The first-of-its-kind peer-reviewed study, published in Frontiers in Forests and Global Change Tuesday, looked at almost 300 projects that made up 11 percent of the carbon credits on offer to date. It found that methods for calculating the carbon credits were often in conflict with scientific best-practices, which increased the risk of “significant over-estimation” of the amount of carbon a project might keep from the atmosphere. The report comes around two months after a major investigation found that 94 percent of the forest offset credits verified by top carbon credit certifier Verra did not truly offset any emissions.

Direct Air Capture: Five Things You Need To Know About This Climate Scam

We know that the window is quickly closing for us to slash emissions and avoid climate change’s worst effects. So it’s easy to get excited about direct air capture: technology designed to suck carbon dioxide straight from the atmosphere. But oil and gas companies have vested interests in DAC. As a kind of carbon capture and sequestration technology, DAC projects will receive hefty federal tax credits. Now, DAC boosters are drumming up hype that masks real problems — notably, that direct air capture is a scam that won’t help solve the climate crisis. With time running out on climate change, we can’t waste resources on this dangerous and speculative technology. Here are five reasons why.

Heard Of ‘Net-Zero Oil’ Or “Carbon Negative” Bioenergy? In 2023 You Will

Disinformation campaigns will certainly continue in 2023, confusing and convincing ever more people that fake news is true. Still, I’m encouraged by growing interest in “pre-bunking” — inoculating people against disinformation by familiarizing them with common disinformation tropes and techniques ahead of time. This is familiar territory for DeSmog — we have unpacked and decoded fossil fuel greenwashing and climate denier messaging for more than a decade — but now that social media has turbocharged the circulation of conspiracy theories and white grievance, it’s vital to get out ahead of these messages. Researchers have been studying the effectiveness of pre-bunking for some years, and now the idea seems to be going mainstream; NPR, the Associated Press, and NBC News have all run stories about pre-bunking in recent months.

Empty, Toothless Pledges To End Deforestation By 2030 At COP26

In his speech at COP26 on November 2, British prime minister Boris Johnson announced that more than 100 countries had joined the Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land Use, which seeks to halt and reverse the alarming levels of global deforestation by 2030. The declaration also emphasizes the need for countries to facilitate sustainable trade and development policies, promote food security through sustainable agriculture, and “accelerate the transition to [a green] economy.” To that end, more than $19 billion in public and private funds have been pledged for the plan, backed by countries including Brazil, China, Colombia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Indonesia, Russia, and the United States.

257 Groups Say No To ‘Nature-Based Solutions’

In a statement released today, 257 organisations, networks and movements and 78 individuals from 61 countries say no to “nature-based solutions”. The statement warns that “nature-based dispossessions” and harmful practices such as monoculture tree plantations and industrial agriculture lurk behind the “nature-based solutions” marketing front that the UK government, the world’s biggest corporate polluters and the conservation industry are peddling at the UN climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland. “The climate damage caused when corporations keep releasing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere cannot be offset through planting trees, protecting forests, restoring soils or tweaking industrial farming practices”, says Focus on the Global South.

COP26 Will Showcase False Solutions That Protect Corporate Profits, Not The Planet

The COP 26 United Nations climate meeting is underway in Glasgow Scotland. Following the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's recent "Code Red" report that proves urgent action is critical, the world is looking at the corporate-dominated COP 26 to do what is necessary. Clearing the FOG speaks with Anne Petermann, executive director of the Global Justice Ecology Project, who says COP 26 is focused on 'false solutions' promoted by large corporations to protect their profits instead of the planet. Petermann describes a new publication, "Hoodwinked in the Hothouse," that explains what these false solutions are and what is necessary, the real solutions. She also discusses what people can do to save the planet.

IEN On Bipartisan Infrastructure Package And Build Back Better Act

Let us be frank. As communities on the frontlines of the climate crisis and fossil fuel extraction, our situation is dire. While we experience unparalleled disaster in the form of floods, fires, droughts, Missing & Murdered Indigenous Peoples and state-sanctioned violence against Indigenous and Black communities, the crisis at the so-called border, and other results of climate chaos, we know U.S. elected leadership is in the position to redirect course on behalf of Mother Earth and future generations. The truth is, Congress promised our communities they would work to solve the climate crisis and environmental justice once we elected them into office, but instead, we see them fighting to fund fossil fuels and false promises masquerading as climate solutions to the tune of billions of dollars.
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