Energy sector’s carbon emissions to grow for second year running

Energy sector’s carbon emissions to grow for second year running

SOURCE: The Guardian DATE: October 7, 2018 SNIP: Carbon emissions from the energy sector are on track to grow for the second year running, in a major blow to hopes the world might have turned the corner on tackling climate change. Preliminary analysis by the world’s energy watchdog shows the industry’s emissions have continued to rise in 2018, suggesting that an increase last year was not a one-off. The finding comes as the world’s leading climate scientists issue a landmark report on whether the world can meet a tougher global warming target, of limiting temperature rises to 1.5C. Dr Fatih Birol, the executive director of the International Energy Agency (IEA), told the Guardian: “When I look at the first nine months of data, I expect in 2018 carbon emissions will increase once again. This is definitely worrying news for our climate goals. We need to see a steep decline in emissions. We are not seeing even flat emissions.” The IEA would not say exactly how much emissions were up this year, as it will not publish official figures until March 2019, but confirmed they had definitely risen to a historic high so...
Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions climb again amid climate policy vacuum

Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions climb again amid climate policy vacuum

SOURCE: The Guardian DATE: September 28, 2018 SNIP: Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise, fuelled by the expansion in gas exports and production, according to new figures published by the Department of Environment and Energy. The government quietly published its quarterly emissions figures on Friday afternoon, a public holiday in Victoria and the day of the release of the interim royal commission report into the banking sector. The figures show that Australia’s policy vacuum on climate continues to drive emissions upward and further away from the country’s Paris targets. The data show emissions climbed 1.3% in the year to March 2018. Fugitive emissions in the energy sector rose 13.7% in the year to March. “On present trends, with virtually no policies apart from the renewable energy target, which will expire in 2020 and not be replaced, emissions are set to gallop way past the Paris agreement...
Emissions in savannas triple previous estimates

Emissions in savannas triple previous estimates

SOURCE: The University of Edinburgh DATE: August 24, 2018 SNIP: Widespread tree felling in African savannas is producing at least three times as many carbon emissions as was previously thought, research suggests. The findings highlight the extent to which humans are impacting one of the world’s major ecosystems – the Miombo woodlands, which cover 2.5 million square kilometres, across countries including Angola, Zambia, Tanzania and Mozambique. Edinburgh researchers used radar satellite data to show that degradation releases around twice as much carbon as deforestation – the clearing of entire areas for commercial activities. These losses are widespread close to major cities and roads. Combined carbon losses from degradation and deforestation are between three and six times higher than previously thought, depending on the data used, the team...
Trump Administration Unveils Its Plan to Relax Car Pollution Rules

Trump Administration Unveils Its Plan to Relax Car Pollution Rules

SOURCE: Inside Climate News and New York Times and New York Times and The New Republic and many others DATE: August 2, 2018 SNIP: Transportation is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in America, and the majority of it comes from cars and small trucks. That’s a major reason why President Barack Obama, in 2012, introduced a rule requiring automobile manufacturers to make their vehicles more fuel efficient—from 37 miles per gallon to more than 51 miles by the year 2025. As a side benefit, drivers would save money on gas and America’s oil reserves would last longer, reducing the incentive for energy companies to extract more of it. But now President Donald Trump wants to “Make Cars Great Again”—by letting them remain as dirty as they are now. The Trump administration’s plan to halt the drive for more efficient U.S. passenger vehicles will downshift the nation’s ambitions on climate change at the same time that it triggers an epic battle with California, the leader on clean cars. The administration is casting its proposal, issued on Aug. 2, as neutral on climate and even beneficial from a safety standpoint. But the costs will be enormous, according to those who favor stricter regulations. It’s not just that consumers will have to pay the price at the pump, they say—everyone will have to pay for the health and ecological costs of air pollution and global warming. Every new gas-guzzler sold will lock in some of those costs for years to come. The rule would freeze emissions and efficiency standards at 2020 levels, or the equivalent of 43.7 miles per gallon...
Permafrost and wetland emissions could cut 1.5C carbon budget ‘by five years’

Permafrost and wetland emissions could cut 1.5C carbon budget ‘by five years’

SOURCE: Carbon Brief DATE: July 9, 2018 SNIP: Emissions of CO2 and methane from wetlands and thawing permafrost as the climate warms could cut the “carbon budget” for the Paris Agreement temperature limits by around five years, a new study says. These natural processes are “positive feedbacks” – so called because they release more greenhouse gases as global temperatures rise, thus reinforcing the warming. They have previously not been represented in carbon budget estimates as they are not included in most climate models, the researchers say. The findings suggest that human-caused emissions will need to be cut by an additional 20% in order to meet the Paris Agreement’s 1.5C or 2C limits, the researchers estimate. … The researchers then used the model to simulate the response of permafrost and natural wetlands to climate change. When the additional CO2 and methane emissions are incorporated, the available carbon budget shrinks substantially – falling to 533bn-753bn tonnes of CO2 for 1.5C, or 14-20 years of emissions. That means accounting for the impacts of permafrost and wetlands takes around five years off the 1.5C budget. And, as the table below shows, the budgets for the 1.5C overshoot and 2C scenarios are similarly...