The World’s Most Insane Energy Project Moves Ahead

The World’s Most Insane Energy Project Moves Ahead

SOURCE: Rolling Stone DATE: June 14, 2019 SNIP: Thanks to President Trump and his transparent and perverse desire to enrich his golfing buddies in the fossil fuel industry and to accelerate the climate crisis, the U.S. is the most notorious climate criminal in the world right now. But the Aussie’s are giving us a run for our money. Exhibit A: the decision this week by the Queensland State government to allow a big coal mine in northeastern Australia to move forward. The project, known as the Carmichael mine, is controlled by the Adani Group, an Indian corporate behemoth headed by billionaire Gautam Adani. If it ever opens, the Carmichael mine would not be the biggest coal mine in the world, or even the biggest coal mine in Australia. But it may be the most insane energy project on the planet, and one that shows just how far supposedly civilized nations (and people) are from grasping what’s at stake in the climate crisis. The site for the Carmichael mine is in the Galilee Basin, an unspoiled region of Queensland that Adani has been itching to get his hands on for at least a decade. The battle over the mine has been the usual sordid tale of fossil fuel industry development, in which a rich, powerful, politically connected corporation gets its way with weak and corrupt politicians. But of course there are a lot of stupid and destructive energy projects in the world right now. What makes Adani worse than the others? Let’s start with the Great Barrier Reef. The Australian Marine Conservation Society called the approval of the mine “bad...
Single-use plastics a serious climate change hazard

Single-use plastics a serious climate change hazard

SOURCE: The Guardian and Center for International Environmental Law DATE: May 15, 2019 SNIP: The proliferation of single-use plastic around the world is accelerating climate change and should be urgently halted, a report warns. Plastic production is expanding worldwide, fuelled in part by the fracking boom in the US. The report says plastic contributes to greenhouse gas emissions at every stage of its lifecycle, from its production to its refining and the way it is managed as a waste product. This plastic binge threatens attempts to meet the Paris climate agreement. It means that by 2050 plastic will be responsible for up to 13% of the total “carbon budget” – equivalent to 615 coal-fired power plants – says the research published on Thursday. While plastic pollution in the oceans has become a high-profile concern, the effect on climate change of the ubiquitous use of plastic has not been a focus. “After the extraction of fossil fuels to produce plastic, the carbon footprint of a material which has become ubiquitous across the globe continues through the refining process, and on well past its useful life as a drinks bottle or plastic bag, through the way it is disposed of and the plastic afterlife,” the report says. “With the petrochemical and plastic industries planning a massive expansion in production, the problem is on track to get much worse.” The key actions which the authors say are required are: • Immediately end the production and use of single-use, disposable plastic. • Stop development of new oil, gas and petrochemical infrastructure. • Foster the transition to zero-waste communities. • Implement a system where...
In blow to climate, coal plants emitted more than ever in 2018

In blow to climate, coal plants emitted more than ever in 2018

SOURCE: Washington Post DATE: March 25, 2019 SNIP: Global energy experts released grim findings Monday, saying that not only are planet-warming carbon-dioxide emissions still increasing, but the world’s growing thirst for energy has led to higher emissions from coal-fired power plants than ever before. Energy demand around the world grew by 2.3 percent over the past year, marking the most rapid increase in a decade, according to the report from the International Energy Agency. To meet that demand, largely fueled by a booming economy, countries turned to an array of sources, including renewables. But nothing filled the void quite like fossil fuels, which satisfied nearly 70 percent of the skyrocketing electricity demand, according to the agency, which analyzes energy trends on behalf of 30 member countries, including the United States. In particular, a fleet of relatively young coal plants located in Asia, with decades to go on their lifetimes, led the way toward a record for emissions from coal fired power plants — exceeding 10 billion tons of carbon dioxide “for the first time,” the agency said. In Asia, “average plants are only 12 years old, decades younger than their average economic lifetime of around 40 years,” the agency found. Monday’s report underscores an unnerving truth about the world’s collective efforts to combat climate change: Even as renewable energy rapidly expands, many countries — including the United States and China — are nevertheless still turning to fossil fuels to satisfy ever-growing energy demand. “We are in deep trouble,” Rob Jackson, a professor of Earth system science at Stanford University, said of Monday’s findings. “The climate consequences are catastrophic. I...
B.C. government announces new tax credit for LNG projects

B.C. government announces new tax credit for LNG projects

SOURCE: CBC News DATE: March 25, 2019 SNIP: The B.C. government is introducing new legislation that it says would attract more LNG projects to the province, in part by granting tax credits. Finance Minister Carole James said the proposed changes will bring thousands of jobs to B.C. “British Columbians are counting on us to attract LNG investment that meets strict conditions: delivering jobs and financial benefits to B.C., creating economic partnerships with Indigenous peoples and protecting our clean air, land and water,” James said in a news release. Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver said the new legislation sends mixed messages about the government’s commitment to addressing climate change. “Continuing to push for LNG development is short-sighted and works directly against CleanBC objectives,” Weaver said in a statement. He described the decision as “a generational sellout” that will only serve to increase greenhouse gas emissions. Karen Ogen-Toews, who heads the First Nations LNG Alliance, believes that project could be a windfall for Northern B.C. communities. “There’s a definite opportunity. Once the pipe is in the ground, our community will be seeing legacy payments.” She says Northern B.C. towns have suffered wildfires, lost logging and mill jobs to pine beetles and watched mines close. She is applauding the tax breaks and tax credits which she says are needed to get B.C. gas to...
Oil Giants Invest $110 Billion In New Fossil Fuels After Spending $1 Billion On Green PR

Oil Giants Invest $110 Billion In New Fossil Fuels After Spending $1 Billion On Green PR

SOURCE: HuffPost DATE: March 21, 2019 SNIP: The world’s five largest publicly traded oil companies are increasing their investments in oil and gas, putting a combined $110 billion in new fossil-fuel production. Meanwhile, those firms are projected to spend just $3.6 billion on low-carbon investments, such as biofuels and renewables, according to a new analysis that Influence Map, a British nonprofit that analyzes corporate influence on climate policy, derived from industry data and numbers buried in company disclosures. The reckless disparity comes just months after the United Nations warned that the world must rapidly phase out fossil fuel use over the next decade or face catastrophic global warming of at least 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit. Exxon Mobil Corp., Royal Dutch Shell, Chevron, BP and Total together have spent more than $1 billion on public relations promoting green energy projects and lobbying on behalf of climate policy in the past three years, after virtually every nation on Earth agreed to cut emissions under the Paris Agreement. The report found that the companies spent $195 million annually over the past three years promoting their role in helping to address the climate crisis. The companies spent a combined $200 million a year lobbying on activities to influence climate change policy both directly and by funding trade associations, the report...