Climate change mitigation and adaptation - omnibus thread

Applying the Dharma for the preservation of planet Earth and its inhabitants
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Re: Climate change mitigation and adaptation - omnibus thread

Post by Kim O'Hara » Sun Jan 27, 2019 10:52 pm

Germany to close all 84 of its coal-fired power plants, will rely primarily on renewable energy

Germany, one of the world’s biggest consumers of coal, will shut down all 84 of its coal-fired power plants over the next 19 years to meet its international commitments in the fight against climate change, a government commission said Saturday.

The announcement marked a significant shift for Europe’s largest country — a nation that had long been a leader on cutting CO2 emissions before turning into a laggard in recent years and badly missing its reduction targets. Coal plants account for 40% of Germany’s electricity, itself a reduction from recent years when coal dominated power production.

“This is an historic accomplishment,” said Ronald Pofalla, chairman of the 28-member government commission, at a news conference in Berlin following a marathon 21-hour negotiating session that concluded at 6 a.m. Saturday. The breakthrough ended seven months of wrangling. “It was anything but a sure thing. But we did it,” Pofalla said. “There won’t be any more coal-burning plants in Germany by 2038.” ...
:reading: https://www.latimes.com/world/europe/la ... story.html

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Re: Climate change mitigation and adaptation - omnibus thread

Post by Kim O'Hara » Wed Feb 20, 2019 12:04 pm

Business leaders are beginning to act, regardless of government policies.
Glencore moves to cap global coal output after investor pressure on climate change

... The Swiss-based resources giant said it would freeze coal production at current levels, and instead focus on commodities including copper, cobalt, nickel, vanadium and zinc, as part of its "global response to the increasing risks posed by climate change".

The company, headed by billionaire Ivan Glasenberg, acquired Rio Tinto's thermal coal business in 2017.

It said it would cap its global thermal and coking coal production at the current level of about 145 million tonnes after holding talks with the Climate Action 100+ initiative.

The group, whose global members collectively manage more than $US32 trillion in assets, includes a number of major Australian superannuation funds such as AMP Capital, AustralianSuper, Cbus, IFM Investors, QSuper and BT Financial Group.
[url]https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-02-20/ ... e/10831154[/url

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Re: Climate change mitigation and adaptation - omnibus thread

Post by Kim O'Hara » Wed Mar 27, 2019 6:06 am

Breaking down neoliberalism, one bit at a time -
How Insane is Global Trade?

The way trade works in the global economy can be insane – it wastes resources, worsens climate change, and undermines the livelihoods of millions of small-scale producers worldwide. Yet it is an almost unavoidable consequence of de-regulatory ‘free trade’ agreements and the billions of dollars in supports and subsidies – many of them hidden – that prop up the global economy.

To raise awareness about this issue, we’ve produced a short film and a fully-referenced factsheet that helps to explain how and why ‘insane trade’ happens:

Read our ‘Insane Trade’ Factsheet (PDF)

Watch and Share our 3-Minute Film ...
https://www.localfutures.org/programs/g ... factsheet/

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Re: Climate change mitigation and adaptation - omnibus thread

Post by Kim O'Hara » Sat Mar 30, 2019 11:07 am

The Coal Cost Crossover: Economic Viability Of Existing Coal Compared To New Local Wind And Solar Resources
March 24, 2019

America has officially entered the “coal cost crossover” – where existing coal is increasingly more expensive than cleaner alternatives. Today, local wind and solar could replace approximately 74 percent of the U.S. coal fleet at an immediate savings to customers. By 2025, this number grows to 86 percent of the coal fleet.

This analysis complements existing research into the costs of clean energy undercutting coal costs, by focusing on which coal plants could be replaced locally (within 35 miles of the existing coal plant) at a saving.

It suggests local decision-makers should consider plans for a smooth shut-down of these old plants—assessing their options for reliable replacement of that electricity, as well as financial options for communities dependent on those plants.

This report should begin a longer conversation about the most cost-effective replacement for coal, which may include combinations of local or remote wind, solar, transmission, storage, and demand response.
:reading: https://energyinnovation.org/publicatio ... crossover/

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Re: Climate change mitigation and adaptation - omnibus thread

Post by Kim O'Hara » Wed Apr 17, 2019 10:35 pm

Excellent news on EV's -
Batteries have been getting smaller and cheaper so much faster than expected that the experts at Bloomberg NEF (BNEF) have had to revise their own projections for electric vehicles every year.

BNEF projected in 2017 that “the crossover point when electric vehicles will be cheaper upfront than a combustion vehicle” would be 2026 (nine years), BNEF energy analyst Nathaniel Bullard tweeted last week.

But things have changed quickly since then and the timeframe has narrowed significantly: in 2018, it was 2024 (six years), and now, in 2019, BNEF projects the crossover point will be 2022 — just three years away.

Achieving parity for upfront, initial cost means that the buying decision for electric vehicles (EVs) is about to become a no-brainer. And that means decarbonizing much of the transportation sector is also becoming a no-brainer. ...
https://thinkprogress.org/electric-vehi ... 86bd2aebe/

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Re: Climate change mitigation and adaptation - omnibus thread

Post by Kim O'Hara » Sun Apr 21, 2019 10:38 pm

A very good explainer from Climate Reality on Natural Gas and fracking.
...

IS NATURAL GAS A CLEAN FORM OF ENERGY?

No.

See, that was easy.

When people make this argument, they’re (mostly) referring to one thing in particular that is indeed true of natural gas: a new, efficient natural gas power plant emits around 50 percent less carbon dioxide (CO2) during combustion when compared with a typical coal-based power plant, according to the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL).

To be sure, we should take seriously any source of energy that reduces our dependence on coal and oil, the primary sources of the carbon emissions that drive climate change. But let’s also engage in some real talk: 50 percent less CO2 isn’t zero CO2, and reaching net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by the second half of this century is essential to the long-term health of our planet and ourselves.

Plus, CO2 isn’t the only harmful GHG emission generated by natural gas development. Which brings us back to methane.

Methane is a very, very powerful greenhouse gas. In the atmosphere, compared to carbon, it’s fairly short-lived: only about 20 percent of the methane emitted today will still be in the atmosphere after 20 years. However, when it first enters the atmosphere, it’s around 120 times more powerful than CO2 at trapping heat and 86 times stronger over a 20-year period.

“While methane doesn't linger as long in the atmosphere as carbon dioxide, it is initially far more devastating to the climate because of how effectively it absorbs heat,” according to the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF).

Bottom line: We’re still talking about a fossil fuel here, one that still contributes to climate change when burned.

Period.

PERSONAL KNOWLEDGE IS PERSONAL POWER

So what do we do? We fight back. ...
https://www.climaterealityproject.org/b ... ossil-fuel

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Re: Climate change mitigation and adaptation - omnibus thread

Post by Kim O'Hara » Mon Jun 10, 2019 10:22 am

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is plunging $500 million into an effort to close all of the nation's remaining coal plants by 2030 and put the United States on track toward a 100% clean energy economy.

Addressing the Massachusetts Institute of Technology commencement, Bloomberg laid out his plan, which in many ways bypasses the top national politicians even though, as he told MIT's class of 2019, "climate change is now first and foremost a political problem, not a scientific quandary or even a technological puzzle."

Bloomberg said he'd work with states and utilities to shutter "every last U.S. coal-fired power plant by 2030." It's a goal he says is achievable -- "we're already more than halfway there," he said ...
:reading: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/michael-bl ... s-by-2030/

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Re: Climate change mitigation and adaptation - omnibus thread

Post by Virgo » Sun Jun 16, 2019 7:23 pm

A nice hour long video of Paul Beckwith at the Kanata-Carleton Green Party Nomination Meeting:


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Re: Climate change mitigation and adaptation - omnibus thread

Post by Kim O'Hara » Mon Jun 17, 2019 10:39 am

Meanwhile, South of the (Canadian) Border ...
Leading carbon price proposals: A bipartisan dialogue
Featuring U.S. Sen. Chris Coons and U.S. Rep. Francis Rooney

Economists overwhelmingly recommend a price on carbon as a way to control the risk of climatic disruption. A fee on carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions would shift the relative prices of different sources of energy and other goods by an amount that depends on how damaging they are to the earth’s climate. A well-designed, economy-wide approach could help the United States achieve its emissions targets under the Paris Accord, lower conventional air pollutants, supplant more costly and less effective regulation, incentivize investment and innovation, and obviate a proliferation of disparate state-level measures. It could also help pay for infrastructure investments, rebates to households, deficit reduction, and other priorities.

Lawmakers from both parties are increasingly proposing new legislation with a price on carbon at its center. This event will showcase the policy ideas of two such climate thought leaders in Congress, U.S. Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) and U.S. Rep. Francis Rooney (R-Fla.), to explore the potential for common ground on the polarized but critical issue of reducing the risk of dangerous climatic disruption. We will discuss such questions as how best to use the revenue from a carbon price, how to protect emissions-intensive trade-exposed industries, and how to build enduring bipartisan support for climate action. ...
:reading: https://www.brookings.edu/events/leadin ... -dialogue/

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Re: Climate change mitigation and adaptation - omnibus thread

Post by Kim O'Hara » Thu Jun 20, 2019 5:50 am

More for American friends -
Seawalls to protect US against rising oceans could cost $416bn by 2040

Defending against rising seas could cost US communities $416bn in the next 20 years, according to a new report.

Spending on seawalls alone could total almost as much as the initial investment in the interstate highway system, the authors said. And the billions involved will represent just a fraction of adaptation efforts governments in coastal states will have to fund if they do not want to simply retreat. ...

“I don’t think anybody’s thought about the magnitude of this one small portion of overall adaptation costs and it’s a huge number,” said Richard Wiles, executive director of the Center for Climate Integrity (CCI), which published the report.

Estimates of how much sea-level rise will cost often focus on impacts by 2100, Wiles said, adding that people will be paying for the climate crisis much earlier.

“You’re looking at close to half a trillion spent over the next 20 years and no one has thought about that. So the question is, who’s going to pay for that? Is it really going to be taxpayers? The current position of climate polluters is that they should pay nothing, and that’s just not tenable.”

According to the report, Florida faces the highest costs, $76bn by 2040. Louisiana comes in second at $38bn and North Carolina third at $35bn. ... Many places are starting to pay such bills. Staten Island in New York, for example, is planning a $615m, five-mile seawall to withstand a 300-year storm. ...
:reading: https://www.theguardian.com/environment ... ost-report

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Re: Climate change mitigation and adaptation - omnibus thread

Post by Kim O'Hara » Fri Jun 21, 2019 4:10 am

Chennai water crisis in India leaves millions reliant on filthy wells and expensive trucked-in supply

Millions of people in the South Indian city of Chennai, the country's sixth largest metropolis, are facing an acute water shortage as the main reservoirs have dried up after a poor monsoon season. Some schools in the city have cut working hours and dozens of hotels and some restaurants have reportedly shut down due to the shortage.

The city of more than 4.5 million has been left to rely on wells and water brought in by truck. Thousands of wells dug across the city are leading to a rapid drop in the ground water level, and raising even further the concerns of environmentalists.
New wells are being dug as deep as 1,000 feet. Much of the water they produce isn't even fit to drink. ...

All four of the primary reservoirs that supply water to the city have dried up, either partly or completely.

On Tuesday, K. Palaniswami, chief minister of Tamil Nadu state where Chennai is located, acknowledged the crisis would continue for about five more months [which is when the next rains season is due]. "Until then we have to meet the requirements only from groundwater sources," he said. ...
:reading: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/chennai-wa ... 019-06-20/

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Re: Climate change mitigation and adaptation - omnibus thread

Post by Kim O'Hara » Wed Jun 26, 2019 4:12 am

Another step in the right direction -
Steelmakers Are Next in the Crosshairs as Climate Pressure Grows
Thyssenkrupp, ArcelorMittal are exploring furnaces that use hydrogen instead of coal.

...Governments are forcing the steel industry to clamp down on pollution as part of a drive to make good on pledges under the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change. While the challenge is a global one, the issue is most pressing in Europe where the regulatory standards are toughest. ...

Adding to the pressure is the Climate Action 100+, a group of 320 investors that manage more than $33 trillion in assets that’s demanding companies adhere to the Paris targets. The group has forced changes at oil major Royal Dutch Shell Plc and mining giant Glencore Plc and is now looking at steelmakers. ...
:reading: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles ... sure-grows

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Re: Climate change mitigation and adaptation - omnibus thread

Post by Kim O'Hara » Wed Jun 26, 2019 11:15 pm

For the first time ever renewables beat coal in the US
Renewables provided 23% of U.S. power in April, while coal generated 20%.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) announced Wednesday that, in April, “U.S. monthly electricity generation from renewable sources exceeded coal-fired generation for the first time.”

While coal provided 20% of U.S. power in April, renewables — which include utility-scale hydropower, wind, solar, geothermal, and biomass — provided 23% of total generation. ...
This is only a seasonal figure, but on an annual basis -
Renewables will likely top coal in the next decade, but the exact timing will depend on who the president is in 2021. President Donald Trump is trying to hold on to the dirty energy sources of the past, while all the Democrats running have promised to speed up the switch to clean energy in order to protect public health and avoid catastrophic climate change.
:reading: https://thinkprogress.org/renewables-ov ... bca2a510f/

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Re: Climate change mitigation and adaptation - omnibus thread

Post by Kim O'Hara » Fri Jul 05, 2019 11:26 am

Meanwhile in Singapore -
Singapore plans huge 50MW floating solar project

Singapore’s national water agency will work with Norwegian technical consultancy DNV GL to develop what will be one of the largest single floting solar systems in the world – a 50MW project planned for the Tengeh Reservoir in the island’s north-west. ...

The Tengeh Reservoir floating solar PV project is billed as being completed and operational by 2021 and will be used to power the reservoir’s water treatment facilities, eliminating 28,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions annually in the process.

An island city-state off the southern coast of Malaysia, Singapore is one of the world’s global financial centres, but has limited renewable options and resources. According to Singapore’s Energy Market Authority (EMA), the country has “no hydro resources, our wind speeds and mean tidal range are low, and geothermal energy is not economically viable.”

Unsurprisingly, then, solar energy “remains the most viable renewable energy option for Singapore” ...

Nevertheless, Singapore is making significant strides towards achieving its Paris Agreement pledges, which include a pledge to reducing emissions by 16% by 2020 and reducing its Emissions Intensity by 36% from 2005 levels by 2030, and to stabilise their emissions with the aim of peaking around the 2030 mark. ...
:reading: https://reneweconomy.com.au/singapore-p ... ect-39564/

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Re: Climate change mitigation and adaptation - omnibus thread

Post by Kim O'Hara » Mon Jul 08, 2019 5:51 am

Climate crisis disasters are happening at the rate of one a week, though most draw little international attention and work is urgently needed to prepare developing countries for the profound impacts, the UN has warned.

Catastrophes such as cyclones Idai and Kenneth in Mozambique and the drought afflicting India make headlines around the world. But large numbers of “lower impact events” that are causing death, displacement and suffering are occurring much faster than predicted, said Mami Mizutori, the UN secretary-general’s special representative on disaster risk reduction. “This is not about the future, this is about today.”

This means that adapting to the climate crisis could no longer be seen as a long-term problem, but one that needed investment now, she said. “People need to talk more about adaptation and resilience.”

Estimates put the cost of climate-related disasters at $520bn a year, while the additional cost of building infrastructure that is resistant to the effects of global heating is only about 3%, or $2.7tn in total over the next 20 years.

Mizutori said: “This is not a lot of money [in the context of infrastructure spending], but investors have not been doing enough. Resilience needs to become a commodity that people will pay for.” That would mean normalising the standards for new infrastructure, such as housing, road and rail networks, factories, power and water supply networks, so that they were less vulnerable to the effects of floods, droughts, storms and extreme weather.
:reading: https://www.theguardian.com/environment ... k-un-warns

We in rich countries need to act for the sake of those in poor countries, who have done least to create to problems and yet suffer the most from them.

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Re: Climate change mitigation and adaptation - omnibus thread

Post by Kim O'Hara » Tue Jul 09, 2019 12:28 pm

Coal is dead. It is just taking a while to fall over.
Second struggling Chinese coal plant files for bankruptcy

Reuters:

Datang Group, one of China’s biggest power generators, said a subsidiary in northwestern Gansu province that operates a coal-fired power station has applied for bankruptcy and liquidation after it defaulted on about 16.44 million yuan ($2.39 million) of debt.

China’s coal-fired power producers are struggling as Beijing promotes the use of renewable energy and opens up the state-controlled power market. Another Datang Group coal-fired plant went bankrupt last December.

Datang International Power Generation Liancheng Power Plant in Gansu, which has a total installed capacity of 660 megawatts, had total assets of about 594 million yuan and 1.77 billion yuan of debt by the end of May, Datang International said in a filing to the Shanghai Stock Exchange late on Thursday.

Datang Group owns 55% of Datang International Power, while state-owned China Guodian Corporation owns 25% and the provincial government backed GEPIC Energy Development Co has a 20% stake.

In December, Datang announced the bankruptcy of its Baoding Huayuan thermal power plant after it failed to pay out billions yuan of debt.

China’s total investment in thermal power construction in 2018 was the lowest since 2004 and more than half of the country’s coal-fired power plants have been in the red for two years, according to data from the China Electricity Council.
That's via IEEFA (who do very good work on the economics of climate change) at http://ieefa.org/second-struggling-chin ... ankruptcy/

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Re: Climate change mitigation and adaptation - omnibus thread

Post by Kim O'Hara » Fri Jul 19, 2019 9:56 pm

Australian grin farmers attempt to cope with hotter, drier climate -
Researchers are scouring the planet for drought and heat-resistant crops as many Australian grain farmers face another failed winter season.

The forecast for the 2019 winter grain harvest is down considerably, with important growing regions like southern Queensland missing their third crop in a row.

Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) northern panel chair John Minogue said ongoing dry weather had already created a shortage of domestic grain. ...

The GRDC said it had researchers all over the world looking for crops that would flourish in difficult conditions.

Mr Minogue said the organisation had spent a large chunk of its $180-million yearly budget on finding climate change-resilient crops.

"We've got people in Syria, in Africa, in all of the parts of the world, which have historically had these crops grown for thousands of years," Mr Minogue said.

"We're extracting those plants to see what mechanisms they use to overcome the variability and then adapting it to the Australian crop so that we can become more resilient with our production systems in the changing climate. ...
https://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2019- ... s/11320498

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Re: Climate change mitigation and adaptation - omnibus thread

Post by Kim O'Hara » Mon Aug 05, 2019 12:14 pm

“I don’t think it will be the humans. I think we’ll go quite early on,” says Julie Gray with a laugh. I’ve just asked Gray, a plant molecular biologist at the University of Sheffield, which species she thinks would be the last ones standing if we don’t take transformative action on climate change. Even with our extraordinary capacity for innovation and adaptability, humans, it turns out, probably won’t be among the survivors. ...

It may seem like just a thought experiment. But discussing which species are more, or less, able to survive climate change is disturbingly concrete. As a blockbuster biodiversity report stated recently, one in every four species currently faces extinction. Much of this vulnerability is linked to climate change, which is bringing about higher temperatures, sea level rise, more variable conditions and more extreme weather, among other impacts. ...
:reading: http://www.bbc.com/future/story/2019073 ... ate-change

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Looks like this life is your best chance for enlightenment, folks, if there aren't going to be many more of offer.
(Human lives, that is.)

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Re: Climate change mitigation and adaptation - omnibus thread

Post by Kim O'Hara » Fri Aug 09, 2019 10:58 pm

One of the world’s largest banks thinks the writing is on the wall for the oil industry

Plunging prices for batteries and renewables are driving an electric vehicle (EV) revolution so rapidly that the economics of oil “are now in relentless and irreversible decline.”

That’s the startling conclusion of a detailed new analysis for “professional investors” of the economics of EVs versus gasoline cars produced by BNP Paribas, the world’s eighth largest bank by total assets.

The report is good news for humanity because it means peak oil demand may be less than a decade away, which in turn means ambitious climate goals will be more affordable than previously thought.

But the bank’s analysis, “Wells, Wires and Wheels,” is devastating for Big Oil. ...

... one of the most startling findings is that because the cost of running EVs on solar or wind power is dropping so rapidly, the only way gasoline cars can compete with these renewable energy-powered EVs in the 2020s is if the price of oil were to drop to $11 to $12 per barrel. The current price of oil is over $50.

... Lewis notes that many independent analyses — including Bloomberg New Energy Finance and the risk management firm DNV GL — have concluded that in the 2022-2024 timeframe, the total lifecycle cost of owning an EV will be cheaper than that of owning a gasoline-fueled car.

If the future is so bad for oil, then why hasn’t there been a crash in either the price of petroleum, or the stock prices of major oil companies?

“There is a catch, and it is a big one,” explains the report, “oil has a massive incumbency advantage.” ...

From a broader perspective, Lewis warns that all this money currently being spent on finding and producing new oil is a huge waste — “an opportunity cost to society as a whole.”

Exactly how big a cost? BNP Paribas calculates “the size of that opportunity cost is $24 trillion over the next 25 years on gasoline alone.” And that’s without counting the cost of saving a livable climate.

It’s time for investors and governments to walk away from Big Oil before the crash — and before it’s simply too late to save our children and future generations from catastrophe.
:reading: https://thinkprogress.org/oil-faces-irr ... 8101ef4a8/

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Re: Climate change mitigation and adaptation - omnibus thread

Post by Kim O'Hara » Tue Aug 20, 2019 4:44 am

Countries reducing their pressure on the environment - some by accident.
Data from the Population Reference Bureau showed in 2006 that there were 20 countries in the world with negative or zero natural population growth expected between 2006 and 2050.

What Does Negative Natural Population Growth Mean?
This negative or zero natural population growth means that these countries have more deaths than births or an even number of deaths and births; this figure does not include the effects of immigration or emigration. Even including immigration over emigration, only one of the 20 countries (Austria) was expected to grow between 2006 and 2050 ...

In 2017, the Population Reference Bureau released a fact sheet showing that the top five countries expected to lose population between then and 2050 were:
China: -44.3%
Japan: -24.8%
Ukraine: -8.8%
Poland: -5.8%
Romania: -5.7%
Thailand: -3.5%
Italy: -3%
South Korea: -2.2% ...
https://www.thoughtco.com/negative-popu ... th-1435471

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