E.P.A. Will Ease Path to New Coal Plants

E.P.A. Will Ease Path to New Coal Plants

SOURCE: NYTimes and NPR DATE: December 6, 2018 SNIP: The Trump administration plans to eliminate an Obama-era requirement that new coal-fired power plants have expensive technology to capture carbon dioxide emissions. This latest administration effort to boost fossil fuel industries comes as leaders from nearly 200 countries are meeting in Poland to discuss how to keep greenhouse gasses out of the atmosphere. And amid reports that CO2 emissions are rising again, as well as the administration’s own report that climate change is causing more severe weather more frequently and could eventually hurt the U.S. economy. “This says we’re expecting more coal-fired power plants in the future, and we’re going to make it easier to get there,” said Richard J. Lazarus, a professor of environmental law at Harvard University. “This is just one more foolhardy move by a misguided administration that will be judged harshly by future generations,” said David Doniger, senior strategic director of the Climate & Clean Energy program at the Natural Resources Defense Council. Under the Trump administration’s rule, carbon dioxide emissions from new coal plants would not be allowed to exceed 1,900 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt-hour of electricity, according to two people knowledgeable about the proposal. That’s compared to the Obama rule, which limited emissions to 1,400 pounds of carbon dioxide per...
Greenhouse Gas Emissions Accelerate Like a ‘Speeding Freight Train’ in 2018

Greenhouse Gas Emissions Accelerate Like a ‘Speeding Freight Train’ in 2018

SOURCE: NYTimes DATE: December 6, 2018 SNIP: Greenhouse gas emissions worldwide are growing at an accelerating pace this year, researchers said Wednesday, putting the world on track to face some of the most severe consequences of global warming sooner than expected. Scientists described the quickening rate of carbon dioxide emissions in stark terms, comparing it to a “speeding freight train” and laying part of the blame on an unexpected surge in the appetite for oil as people around the world not only buy more cars but also drive them farther than in the past — more than offsetting any gains from the spread of electric vehicles. Worldwide, carbon emissions are expected to increase by 2.7 percent in 2018, according to the new research, which was published by the Global Carbon Project, a group of 100 scientists from more than 50 academic and research institutions and one of the few organizations to comprehensively examine global emissions numbers. Emissions rose 1.6 percent last year, the researchers said, ending a three-year plateau. The analysis found that the world is on pace to release a record 37.1 gigatons of planet-warming emissions in 2018, led in large part by China, the United States and India. Even as coal has fallen out of favor in some markets, the rise in emissions has been driven by stronger demand for natural gas and oil, scientists said. And even as the use of renewable energy like solar and wind power has expanded exponentially, it has not been enough to offset the increased use of fossil...
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...
Climate Change Will Cost U.S. More in Economic Damage Than Any Other Country But One

Climate Change Will Cost U.S. More in Economic Damage Than Any Other Country But One

SOURCE: Inside Climate News DATE: September 24, 2018 SNIP: The United States stands to lose a lot more from climate change than it realizes. In a study published Monday, scientists estimate for the first time how much each country around the world will suffer in future economic damage from each new ton of carbon dioxide pumped into the atmosphere. What they found may come as a surprise: the future economic costs within the U.S. borders are the second-highest in the world, behind only India. The results suggest that the U.S. has been underestimating how much it benefits from reducing its greenhouse gas emissions and that the country has far more to gain from international climate agreements than the Trump administration is willing to admit. “Our analysis demonstrates that the argument that the primary beneficiaries of reductions in carbon dioxide emissions would be other countries is a total myth,” said lead author Kate Ricke, an assistant professor at the University of San Diego’s School of Global Policy and Strategy and Scripps Institution of...