The announcement that the UK is phasing out coal has been widely welcomed, but plans to shift to gas power have been described as an alcoholic swapping one type of drink for another.
North Dakota's Industrial Commission (NDIC) has established natural gas capture targets in an effort to reduce the amount of flared gas.
Volkswagen has set a target for the end of the month asking staff who had knowledge about its diesel emission test cheating to step forward. The company said workers who made contact with internal investigators would be exempt from dismissal.
Statoil said it is already close to achieving its aim of reducing CO2 emissions on the Norwegian Continental Shelf by up to 800,000 tonnes by 2020. The Norwegian operator said it has now decided to increase its target by 50% to 1.2million tonnes. Seven years ago the petroleum industry, led by Konkraft, agreed on a goal of improved energy efficiency of up to one million tonnes of CO2 between 2008 and 2020.
Pledges made by countries to cut greenhouse gases up to 2030 make it possible to avoid dangerous climate change, but only with much bigger and expensive action in the future, a report suggests. National climate plans put forward by scores of countries to cut emissions over the next 10 to 15 years, ahead of crucial UN talks in Paris on a new climate deal, “begin to make a significant dent” in the growth of greenhouse gases, UN climate chief Christiana Figueres said. But campaigners warned the promises are not bold enough, in the face of the dangerous climate change expected with global temperature rises of more than 2C, and countries will need to urgently ramp up ambition.
Catholic bishops across the world have called for a “major breakthrough” on a global deal to tackle climate change at talks in Paris at end of the year. The worldwide call from the Catholic Church appeals for a strong limit to rising temperatures, the phasing out of emissions from fossil fuels and measures to protect the poor and vulnerable from the impacts of climate change. In a 10-point proposal, the Catholic cardinals, patriarchs and bishops call for a “fair, transformational and legally-binding global agreement” which recognises the need to live in harmony with nature, protects human rights and sets a goal to decarbonise the world economy by mid-century.
New low-carbon power sources are the most cost-effective way to meet electricity needs in the 2020s and tackle climate change, government advisers have said. Investment is needed in new power generation in the 2020s to replace closing coal and nuclear plants, while stripping carbon emissions from the energy sector is important for meeting the UK’s legally-binding climate targets, the Committee on Climate Change said. Backing low-carbon power is set to add around £105 on the average consumer electricity bill in 2020 and £120 by 2030, before costs fall, a report from the committee said. While the cost of low-carbon technology such as nuclear and renewables will be slightly higher than investing in gas, it will deliver more greenhouse gas reductions and cut down on the “social” costs that fossil fuel pollution imposes on the UK and world, it said.
The European Union says its emissions fell 4% last year, meaning the 28-nation bloc has already surpassed its target for 2020. A report by the EU’s environment agency said 2014 emissions were 23% lower than in 1990. The EU is the world’s third largest greenhouse gas polluter.
Volkswagen’s top US executive has apologised as the emissions-rigging scandal engulfing the world’s largest carmaker deepened and members of Congress said the company violated the public’s trust. “On behalf of our company, my colleagues in Germany and myself, I would like to offer a sincere apology for Volkswagen’s use of a software program that served to defeat the regular emissions testing regime,” Volkswagen of America chief executive Michael Horn told a House subcommittee. Calling the company’s admission “deeply troubling”, Mr Horn said: “We have broken the trust of our customers, dealerships and employees, as well as the public and regulators.”
An open letter by 41 signatories has been sent to the executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) regarding CCS (Carbon Capture Storage). Scientists and experts from Scotland to China said they had written to reassure the UNFCCC that CCS is “safe, secure and effective”. They said extensive research had shown CO2 storage at selected sites was unlikely to lead to any leakages.
Volkswagen is to halt delivery of its 2016 Jetta, Golf, Passat and Beetle diesel cars in the US - raising speculation that the emissions-cheating device similar to those in earlier models is also in its new vehicles.
The leaders of eight of the world’s top oil companies are set to meet in Paris next week to show how they will combat climate change. The move is part of an offensive ahead of a UN summit which will be held in December. The meeting will be followed by a press conference where the company bosses are also expected to renew a call for a global carbon pricing mechanism. Total chief executive Patrick Pouyanne said company leaders would present proposals to combat global warming ahead of the talks.
Volkswagen was warned years ago about the use of illegal tricks to defeat emissions tests, according to reports in the German media.
Volkswagen is set to name Matthias Mueller as its new chief executive after the company was embroiled in a scandal over an alleged US vehicle emissions test rigging. The head of the Porsche sports car brand has been widely tipped to succeed Martin Winterkorn who stepped down from his role earlier this week. Officials in both Europe and the United States have stepped up their investigations into the scandal.
Representatives from energy companies including Shell and Statoil have joined forces to advise on making cleaner energy decisions. Shell Chairman Chad Holliday, Statoil Vice-President Bjorn Otto Sverdrup and RWE Chief Executive Peter Terium are among a list of commissioners acting in a personal capacity to advise governments on how to change their energy markets without damaging the environment.
Cities across the world should switch to LED for street lights in the next decade to save huge amounts of energy, money and carbon emissions, it has been urged.
The pressure is mounting on the European Union to tighten rules on pollution from cars after Volkswagen AG admitted it built a system to undermine tests in the US. Members of the European Parliament’s environment committee urged the European Commission to propose more stringent checks amid the widening scandal over emissions controls on VW’s diesel engines. VW has cheated on US air pollution tests for years, the Environmental Protection Agency said Friday. “We must assume that there are many tricks going on in Europe without us realizing because the Americans check more than we do,” said Peter Liese, a German member of the parliamentary committee, said in parliament in Brussels on Wednesday. “We need more realistic, stringent procedures not only for NOx but also for carbon dioxide and fuel consumption. We all know that our cars use more fuel than in the test cycle and people are losing patience.”
An environmental group has brokered a cross-party deal to make Scotland’s buildings more energy efficient and cut emissions from electrical generators, food producers and vehicles.
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is expected to propose regulations which will be aimed at reducing methane emissions by between 40 and 45% from the oil and gas sector over the next decade. The move is part of a wider strategy in place which is looking to reduce both greenhouse gases as well as combating climate change.
Australia is expected to announce plans to reduce its carbon emissions by at least 26% of 2005 levels by 2030. The move could see the country trail ahead of other regions. Australia is the world’s largest exporter of coal and iron ore and is one of the largest carbon emitters on a per capita basis due to its reliance on coal-fired power plants.
A Dutch court ordered the government to cut the country’s greenhouse gas emissions by at least 25% by 2020. Activists hope that the groundbreaking ruling will now set a worldwide precedent. The Hague District Court made the ruling in a case brought by a sustainability organisation on behalf of some 900 citizens, claiming that the government has a duty of care to protect its people against looming dangers - including the effects of climate change on this low-lying country.
Countries must set a global goal to slash carbon emissions to unlock more than £30 trillion needed in energy investments to tackle climate change, a report has urged. The World Energy Council study, which draws on insights of more than 2,500 industry leaders and policy makers, also calls for a global carbon price polluters must pay for their emissions, to level the playing field between traditional and clean energy schemes. Released ahead of key United Nations climate talks in Paris in December, the report warns uncertainty over global policies is one of the biggest obstacles to unlocking £31- £34 trillion in investments in the energy sector needed to address the problem.
Japan is proposing to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by up to 26% by 2030 amid international efforts to set a new framework for addressing climate change. The final draft of the government target, released today, says Japan will aim to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 26% by 2030 compared to 2013 levels, or 25.4% from 2005 levels. That is below the US target of a 26-28% cut by 2025 from 2005 levels, and the European Union’s target of 40% from 1990 levels.
A Labour government would bring in a legal target to slash carbon emissions from the power sector and improve energy efficiency for five million homes, as it seeks to create a million new “green” jobs. Setting out details of Labour’s “green plan”, shadow energy and climate change secretary Caroline Flint said that “building a more equal society means tackling climate change and protecting nature”. The plan includes a legally binding target to decarbonise electricity supplies by 2030, delivering energy efficiency upgrades to at least five million homes over 10 years and developing a green industrial strategy to create a million new jobs.
The UK’s greenhouse gas emissions dropped by more than 8% last year in the face of lower electricity use and less burning of coal to generate power, provisional figures show. Renewables such as wind, solar, bioenergy and hydropower generated almost a fifth (19%) of the UK’s electricity in 2014, a new record high for the clean technologies. There was a drop in emissions of 8.4% in 2014 compared with 2013, while output of the main greenhouse gas - carbon dioxide - fell by nearly a tenth (9.7%), statistics from the Department of Energy and Climate Change showed.