Sustainable Arlington

Arlington Vision 2020 Committee/Mass. Climate Action Network (MCAN) Chapter


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This page includes content from the Climate Change News blog, which is maintained daily by David Landskov, and content from our old SA blog archives.

  • Analysis:  BP Significantly Upgrades Its Global Outlook for Wind and Solar – Again

    Climate Change News Feb 21, 2018 | 21:15 pm

    Analysis:  BP Significantly Upgrades Its Global Outlook for Wind and Solar – Again Renewables by far the fastest-growing fuel source over next two decades, according to oil giant, although it expects fossil fuels to still play major role. BP, the oil and gas major, has significantly increased its global outlook for wind and solar energy. The main scenario in the company’s latest annual Energy Outlook, released yesterday, shows renewables rising four-fold to 2,000 million tonnes of oil equivalent (Mtoe) by 2035.  This is an upwards revision of around 400Mtoe compared to last year’s main forecast. The projections also show, for the first time, global oil demand peaking by 2040.  Oil remains the world’s largest fuel source, however. This 2018 edition of BP’s outlook also projects coal will peak before 2030, an even earlier projection than it gave last year. Read more at Analysis:  BP Significantly Upgrades Its Global Outlook for Wind and Solar – Again

  • The Carbon-Capture Era May Finally Be Starting

    Climate Change News Feb 21, 2018 | 08:00 am

    The Carbon-Capture Era May Finally Be Starting Analysis of a newly approved tax credit shows it could make an immediate dent in industrial emissions and narrow the financial gap for power plants. The budget bill that President Donald Trump signed into law earlier this month provides a huge incentive for capturing and storing carbon emissions. Energy researchers who have crunched the numbers in the days since have concluded that on many projects the boosted tax credit could finally tip the scales for a technology that’s long proved far too expensive. The provision won’t completely offset the high cost of retrofitting power plants, though it will certainly lower the price tag.  But it could make an immediate difference in cutting emissions from a source that’s otherwise very difficult to address:  the industrial sector, which produces a significant portion of the greenhouse-gas emissions in the United States. “I think we’ll see dozens of [carbon-capture] projects appear in the next couple of years that could not have happened otherwise,” says Julio Friedmann of the Energy Futures Initiative, who was previously principal deputy assistant secretary at the US Department of Energy’s Office of Fossil Energy.  Most energy researchers believe carbon capture and storage will need to be a significant piece of any realistic plan to address the growing dangers of climate change.  A number of studies have found that without this technology, it’s unlikely the world can prevent temperatures from rising more than 2 ˚C (see Potential carbon capture game changer nears completion). The credit will apply equally to scrubbing technologies,[…]

  • Hundreds of U.S. Mayors Collectively Oppose Trump Reversal of Clean Power Plan

    Climate Change News Feb 21, 2018 | 07:15 am

    Hundreds of U.S. Mayors Collectively Oppose Trump Reversal of Clean Power Plan Mayors from 233 U.S. cities, representing more than 51 million Americans in 46 states and territories, have released a joint letter voicing their opposition of the Trump administration’s efforts to repeal the Clean Power Plan, arguing that the reversal would “put our citizens at risk and harm our efforts to address the urgent threat of climate change.” Signatories of the letter, sent directly to Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt, include mayors from states such as Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Texas, and Michigan.  They point to the increasing frequency and intensity of extreme weather events impacting communities across the United States, from severe storms to heat waves.  They also cite the growing cost of responding to and preparing for these disasters, as well as for sea level rise. The annual cost of coastal storm damage is expect to reach $35 billion by the 2030s, and coastal property valued at up to $106 billion could be flooded by 2050, according to a report by the Risky Business Project, which analyzes the economic impacts of climate change in the U.S. The Trump administration has made reversing the Clean Power Plan, which limits greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, a key goal in their effort to rollback U.S. environmental regulations.  The EPA officially moved to repeal the plan in October 2017 and is in the process of hearing public input on the reversal. “Not only are climate change impacts felt locally — our communities are also where climate change adaptation and mitigation efforts are[…]

  • Former UN Chief Ban Ki-Moon to Lead Global ‘Green Growth’ Push

    Climate Change News Feb 21, 2018 | 06:30 am

    Former UN Chief Ban Ki-Moon to Lead Global ‘Green Growth’ Push Former UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon will take over as head of a global organization promoting sustainable economic growth, it was announced on Tuesday. Ban was elected president and chair of the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI).  His heavyweight diplomatic record boosts the profile of the fledgling intergovernmental treaty organisation, which was formed in 2012 and has 27 member states. Ban, who towards the end of his term leading the UN oversaw the creation of the Paris climate deal and the UN’s sustainable development goals, is currently serving as South Korea’s foreign minister.  The GGGI is based in the South Korean capital, Seoul. He said he would use the position “to contribute to promoting green growth and sustainable development around the world.  I will also try my best to fulfill the expectations of the international community in this regard”. The GGGI supports developing and emerging economies with knowledge and finance.  It aims to promote new ideas and technologies, preventing poor countries from following the environmentally damaging route to prosperity taken by industrialized nations. Read more at Former UN Chief Ban Ki-Moon to Lead Global ‘Green Growth’ Push

  • Moody's:  Carbon Transition Poses Increasing Risk for Global Oil Refiners

    Climate Change News Feb 21, 2018 | 05:57 am

    Moody's:  Carbon Transition Poses Increasing Risk for Global Oil Refiners Global oil refiners face significant carbon transition risks in the coming decades as a tightening regulatory environment and technological changes impact demand, Moody's Investors Service says in a new report.  Oil consumption is responsible for more than 30% of carbon emissions globally, making oil refineries and the consumption of refined products key targets for carbon reduction policies. "Carbon transition risks facing refiners include lower demand for refined products over time due to policy initiatives, vulnerability to changing consumer preferences and technological shocks, especially in the transportation sector," according to John Thieroff, a Moody's Vice President. Moody's base case scenario expects oil's incumbency, particularly as a fuel for heavier forms of transportation, to lead to continued demand growth through 2040, and that the transition to alternative fuels will be gradual.  However, Moody's expects demand in the OECD will peak much sooner, with fuels for passenger fuel vehicles coming under greatest pressure.  Further, there is considerable risk that demand for refined product could reduce faster than anticipated. "We see more than 10% of existing global throughput capacity at risk of closure by 2025," Thieroff says.  "An oil demand peak by 2020 consistent with a 2 degree pathway would render up to 25% of existing global refining capacity unnecessary by 2035, although we don't see that scenario as likely at this time." Emission-related regulations for refineries and refined products will increase noticeably in coming decades and will vary by jurisdiction.  The timing and costs of carbon-pricing regulations will also vary considerably by nation,[…]

  • Seas to Rise About a Meter Even If Climate Goals Are Met - Study

    Climate Change News Feb 21, 2018 | 05:47 am

    Seas to Rise About a Meter Even If Climate Goals Are Met - Study Sea levels will rise between 0.7 and 1.2 meters (2.3-7.5 feet) in the next two centuries even if governments end the fossil fuel era as promised under the Paris climate agreement, scientists said on Tuesday. Early action to cut greenhouse gas emissions would limit the long-term rise, driven by a thaw of ice from Greenland to Antarctica that will re-draw global coastlines, a German-led team wrote in the journal Nature Communications. Sea level rise is a threat to cities from Shanghai to London, to low-lying swathes of Florida or Bangladesh, and to entire nations such as the Maldives in the Indian Ocean or Kiribati in the Pacific. By 2300, the report projected that sea levels would gain by 0.7-1.2 meters, even if almost 200 nations fully meet goals under the 2015 Paris Agreement, which include cutting greenhouse gas emissions to net zero in the second half of this century. Ocean levels will rise inexorably because heat-trapping industrial gases already emitted will linger in the atmosphere, melting more ice, it said. In addition, water naturally expands as it warms above four degrees Celsius (39.2°F). The report also found that every five years of delay beyond 2020 in peaking global emissions would mean an extra 20 centimeters (8 inches) of sea level rise by 2300. Read more at Seas to Rise About a Meter Even If Climate Goals Are Met - Study

  • Tuesday, Feb 20

    Climate Change News Feb 21, 2018 | 04:52 am

    Tuesday, Feb 20

  • Global Grazing Lands Increasingly Vulnerable to a Changing Climate

    Climate Change News Feb 20, 2018 | 05:25 am

    Global Grazing Lands Increasingly Vulnerable to a Changing Climate Maps of worldwide precipitation trends show the impact on pasture -- and people. Some 800 million people around the world depend on livestock that graze on natural vegetation for their livelihoods and food security.  In a good season, grasses and other plants flourish, supporting robust herds.  In a bad season, the system suffers -- as do the people who rely on it.  The difference between a good and bad year?  One significant and increasingly volatile factor is precipitation. A new study in Nature Climate Change reveals that over the past century year-to-year precipitation variability has increased significantly on 49 percent of the world's grazing lands, affecting vegetation and constraining its ability to support livestock.  The study's authors, led by a team from the UMN Institute on the Environment, used climate data from 1901 to 2014 to create global maps of precipitation variability trends.  While some grazing lands showed decreases in rainfall variability, the overall trend is an increase in fluctuation, both within and between years. "Visualizing precipitation variability trends allows us to identify grazing lands that have undergone large changes -- and to learn from those places where people have managed to adapt well despite increased variability," says lead author Lindsey Sloat, a postdoctoral research associate with IonE's Global Landscapes Initiative. This insight is important, because grazing lands are already typically marginal:  unsuitable for crops, either too dry or with poor soils.  "Even small changes in rainfall put them at more risk," says Paul West, co-director of GLI.  Furthermore, some[…]

  • Monday, Feb 19

    Climate Change News Feb 20, 2018 | 05:01 am

    Monday, Feb 19

  • Nissan Sees 2025 As Turning Point for Electric Cars - By Peter Campbell, Financial Times with Commentary by Jennifer RunyonChief Editor

    Climate Change News Feb 19, 2018 | 22:19 pm

    Nissan Sees 2025 As Turning Point for Electric Cars - By Peter Campbell, Financial Times with Commentary by Jennifer RunyonChief Editor “We think that 2025 will be the turning point where the cost of an EV [electric vehicle] car, the same EV and internal combustion engine, will be the same,” he told the Financial Times.  “That will be a turning point for the customer.”  Nissan, through its global alliance with Renault and Mitsubishi, is the world’s largest electric car producer, selling more than 500,000 since launching the first battery Leaf car in 2010.Read more at The Financial Times ($). Editor's Take:  I am watching closely how the U.K. and EU are approaching Electric Vehicles (EVs).  I see more news coming out of that region about plans for more charging stations, greater market adoption, government incentives for EVs than I do from any other region.  The Financial Times article that you can access from the link gives an interesting prediction about when price parity between EVs and Internal Combustion Engines (ICEs) will take place and how EVs will flourish immediately after.  In response to that article Delphine Clement, EMEA Mobility Segment Manager at Eaton sent Renewable Energy World the following statement about why the government needs to get serious about energy storage infrastructure such as charging stations and how these new grid assets will require additional solar, microgrids and load management techniques.Looking forward, we will move from talking about ‘range anxiety’ for electric vehicles and start to really tackle the infrastructure changes needed to transform and facilitate the rise of electric vehicles.  The industry will think much more about how to work[…]