IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: China to launch world's largest cap and trade system; Pope Francis calls for a comprehensive UN climate treaty; New report finds the entire world can move to 100 per cent renewable energy in just 35 years; PLUS: Shell pulls the plug on its Arctic drilling adventure... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): China's climate announcements turn tables on GOP foes; China will pony up $3.1B to help poor combat climate change; What Exxon knew, and when they knew it; EPA overhauls pesticide use on farms; Survey shows majority of Republicans voters accept climate science; Evidence of toxic dumps at Okinawa US base; China and U.S. agree to international ivory ban... PLUS: How many deaths did VW's deception cause?.. and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Shell pulls the plug on its Arctic drilling adventure:
- Why Shell Quit Drilling in the Arctic (Bloomberg) [emphasis added]:
At $70, Chukchi oil would be "competitive," she told Bloomberg Businessweek, and at $110—a reasonable projection, according to the company's economists—it would be a huge winner. She was talking about prospective prices 15 years from now.
- Shell stops Arctic activity after 'disappointing' tests (BBC) [emphasis added]:
Shell had continued to explore for oil despite the slump in the price of oil. Other oil and gas majors have shelved expensive exploration projects but, having invested billions of dollars in its Arctic project, Shell persisted, believing that Arctic oil would be competitive in the longer term. This is why the announcement came as such a surprise.
- Shell Retreat Clouds Obama Admin's Future Exploration Policy (E&E News):
Royal Dutch Shell PLC's announcement [Monday] that it is putting an indefinite pause on its Arctic exploration activities could play a major role in the Obama administration's decision whether to hold additional oil and gas lease sales in the region.
- China to launch world's largest cap and trade system:
- VIDEO: President Obama and Chinese President Xi Joint News Conference (C-SPAN)
- Obama, Xi lay out joint vision for global climate agreement (Reuters)
- Touting deal with China, Obama raises pressure for UN climate pact (The Hill):
"When the world's two biggest economies, energy consumers and carbon emitters come together like this, then there's no reason for other countries, either developed or developing, to not do so as well," Obama said during a Rose Garden press conference with Xi on Friday.
- China Says It Will Start the World's Biggest Carbon Market by 2017 (Mother Jones) [emphasis added]:
To those who have closely followed China's extensive actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution, today's announcement that the planet's biggest emitter of CO2 will launch a nationwide cap-and-trade sysetm will not come as a surprise. The program-which builds upon seven regional carbon markets that are already active across the country-has been in the works for some time, and first appeared in the press last year. But Friday's high-profile announcement marks the first time that the Chinese president has committed to the cap-and-trade program...
- Chinese President Details Wide-Ranging Carbon Pollution Pledge At White House (Climate Progress):
These include prioritizing green energy on China's grid, a cap-and-trade or emissions trading system for China, additional low-carbon financing to developing countries, and emissions standards for heavy duty vehicles. The fact that these announcements were made during the world's most important bilateral meeting and official state visit lends them further significance.
- China to become world's leading carbon emissions trader (RT)
- Pope Francis says 'harm to the environment is harm to humanity':
- Pope Francis stresses 'right to environment' in UN speech (BBC)
- Transcript: Read the Speech Pope Francis Gave to the United Nations (TIME) [emphasis added]:
First, it must be stated that a true "right of the environment" does exist... the environment itself entails ethical limits which human activity must acknowledge and respect....Any harm done to the environment, therefore, is harm done to humanity. Second, because every creature, particularly a living creature, has an intrinsic value, in its existence, its life, its beauty and its interdependence with other creatures....[T]he Creator, who permits man respectfully to use creation for the good of his fellow men and for the glory of the Creator; he is not authorized to abuse it, much less to destroy it.
- Pope Looks Towards Paris Climate Agreement, Says Unbridled Capitalism Damages Environment (Climate Progress)
- Pope Francis and the case for climate change optimism (Washington Post):
And most of all it's in hearts and minds, as Pope Francis, arriving in the U.S. as a climate rockstar the likes of which we've really never seen before, tells a billion Catholics and then some that climate change is a moral issue - and gives the Paris talks even more momentum.
- More countries announce UN emissions treaty commitments:
- We May Have Just Bought Ourselves An Extra Decade To Avoid Catastrophic Climate Change (Climate Progress):
The good news, as you can see, is that the INDCs have bought us another five to 10 years of staying close to the 2°C path. I asked Andrew Jones, one of the systems-thinking savants behind Climate Interactive, if that was correct and he said, "Yep, about seven years." By "staying close" I mean staying close enough to the 2°C path that it remains plausibly achievable - though (obviously) politically still very, very challenging.
- Paris 2015: Tracking country climate pledges (The Carbon Brief)
- Indonesian pledge suggests no increase in emissions to 2030 (The Carbon Brief)
- India and Brazil will not follow China's pledge to donate to poorer nations' climate efforts (E&E News):
"Historical responsibility can not be wished away by any new parameters. It will always remain," Javadekar said. He argued that this is particularly true when it comes to delivering finance.
- Greenpeace: World can acheive 100 per cent renewable by 2050:
- Energy Revolution 2015 (Greenpeace) [emphasis added]:
While our predictions on the potential and market growth of renewable energy may once have seemed fanciful or unrealistic, they have proved to be accurate. the US-based Meister Consultants Group concluded earlier this year that "the world's biggest energy agencies, financial institutions and fossil fuel companies for the most part seriously under-estimated just how fast the clean power sector could and would grow". It wasn't the IEA, Goldman Sachs or the US Department of Energy who got it right. It was Greenpeace's market scenario which was the most accurate.
- 100% Renewable Energy by 2050? Why wait? (Greenpeace)
- New Greenpeace Report Outlines Pathway To 100% Renewable Energy By 2050 (Clean Technica):
While the predictions “may once have seemed fanciful or unrealistic, they have proved to be accurate,” the global environmental NGO wrote. In fact, according to US-based Meister Consultants Group, “the world’s biggest energy agencies, financial institutions and fossil fuel companies for the most part seriously under-estimated just how fast the clean power sector could and would grow.”
- We CAN Make the Switch to Clean Energy (Thom Hartmann Program, Radio Sputnik)
- Is 100 percent renewable energy possible by 2050? Greenpeace says yes. (Christian Science Monitor)
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- China Climate Announcements Turn Tables on U.S. Congress Foes (Reuters):
Donald Trump was succinct last week when asked how the United States should respond to climate change. 'It's not a big problem at all,' the leader in opinion polls for the Republican presidential nomination told a radio talk show host. 'If you look at China, they're doing nothing about it.'
- China Will Pony Up $3.1 Billion to Help Poor Countries Fight Climate Change (Mother Jones):
The commitment matches an earlier sum pledged by the United States to the United Nation's Green Climate Fund.
- Sunday Toons: 'Political Climate Change' Edition (The Brad Blog)
- AUDIO: What Exxon Knew and When They Knew It (The Brad Blog) [emphasis added]:
Guest: Neela Banerjee, co-author of an explosive report on Exxon's long knowlege of man-made global warming and their efforts to obscure it
But then, with a drop in oil prices, things changed, including leadership at the company. Exxon began discussing "uncertainty and kept cherry-picking quotes from scientists to say that there was too much that was unclear to warrant enormous action on cutting back fossil fuels and changing our economy." In other words, they knew, they denied, and they didn't seem to care.
- EPA Overhauls Rules for Pesticide Use on Farms (LA Times):
The Environmental Protection Agency unveiled revised rules aimed at better protecting farmworkers from pesticides, an overhaul that brings safeguards for agricultural laborers closer to parity with employees in other industries.
- Survey of Republican Voters Shows a Majority Believe in Climate Change (NY Times):
A majority of Republicans — including 54 percent of self-described conservative Republicans — believe the world’s climate is changing and that mankind plays some role in the change, according to a new survey conducted by a trio of prominent Republican pollsters.
- How Many Deaths Did Volkswagen’s Deception Cause in U.S.? (NY Times):
Volkswagen’s diesel deception unleashed tons of extra pollutants in the United States, pollutants that can harm human health. So while many commentators have been quick to say that the cheating engines are not a highway safety concern, safety — as in health — is still an issue.
- FOIA Docs Reveal Hot Spots, Fish Kills And Toxic Dumps on Okinawa Base (Japan Times):
Following an 18-month scuffle under the Freedom of Information Act, the Pentagon has released records detailing serious contamination on Okinawa base land slated soon for return to civilian use.
- 2.1 Million Audi Vehicles Have Suspect Software (AP):
Volkswagen AG's upmarket Audi brand says 2.1 million of its vehicles are among those with the engines affected by the emissions-rigging scandal.
- China and US Agree on Ivory Ban in Bid To End Illegal Trade Globally (Guardian UK):
While differences on cyber security and talk of sanctions dominated the headlines for Chinese president Xi Jinping’s visit to the US, the two countries also signed up to a major agreement to end the global trade in ivory.
- 9 Massive US Companies Pledge To Go 100% Renewable (Climate Progress):
Nine more giant corporations, including Nike and Walmart, pledged to transition to 100 percent renewable energy Wednesday. The announcement, made during Climate Week, is intended to show international governments that there is broad-based business support for going off fossil fuels in advance of the United Nations climate talks in December.
- Exxon: The Road Not Taken: Exxon's Own Research Confirmed Fossil Fuels' Role in Global Warming Decades Ago (InsideClimate News):
Top executives were warned of possible catastrophe from greenhouse effect, then led efforts to block solutions.
- VIDEO: If We Burn it all, We Melt it All (Climate Crocks):
In a major surprise to the scientists, they found that half the melting could occur in as little as a thousand years, causing the ocean to rise by something on the order of a foot per decade, roughly 10 times the rate at which it is rising now.
- Ex Machina: No Techno-Fix For Irreversible Ocean Collapse From Carbon Pollution (Climate Progress):
The Nature Climate Change study examined what would happen if we continue current CO2 emissions trends through 2050 and then try to remove huge volumes of CO2 from the air after the fact with some techno-fix. The result, as co-author John Schellnhuber, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, put it, is "we will not be able to preserve ocean life as we know it."
- Every country is now pledging to tackle CO2 emissions. It's still not enough. (Vox.com):
In other words, if the world wants to stay below 2°C of global warming - which has long been considered the danger zone for climate change - these pledges are only a first step. Countries will have to do a whole lot more than they're currently promising. And the IEA has a few ideas for what "do a whole lot more" might entail.
1. Increase energy efficiency in the industry, buildings, and transport sectors.
2. Progressively reduce the use of the least efficient coal-fired power plants and banning their construction.
3. Increase investment in renewable energy technologies in the power sector from $270 billion in 2014 to $400 billion in 2030.
4. Gradually phase out fossil fuel subsidies to end-users by 2030.
5. Reduce methane emissions in oil and gas production.
- Now's Your Chance to Help Save the Imperiled Monarch Butterfly-and Get Paid to Do So (Take Part) [emphasis added]:
Another threat, according to Grant, has been well-intentioned individuals who have planted a tropical form of milkweed, which competes with native varieties and is not beneficial to monarchs or other pollinators.
FOR MORE on Climate Science and Climate Change, go to our Green News Report: Essential Background Page
- Skeptical Science: Database with FULL DEBUNKING of ALL Climate Science Denier Myths
- 4 Scenarios Show What Climate Change Will Do To The Earth, From Pretty Bad To Disaster (Fast CoExist):
But exactly how bad is still an open question, and a lot depends not only on how we react, but how quickly. The rate at which humans cut down on greenhouse gas emissions--if we do choose to cut them--will have a large bearing on how the world turns out by 2100, the forecasts reveal.
- How to Solve Global Warming: It's the Energy Supply (Scientific American):
Restraining global warming to no more than 2 degrees Celsius will require changing how the world produces and uses energy to power its cities and factories, heats and cools buildings, as well as moves people and goods in airplanes, trains, cars, ships and trucks, according to the IPCC. Changes are required not just in technology, but also in people's behavior.
- Warning: Even in the best-case scenario, climate change will kick our asses (Grist)
- NASA Video: Warming over the last 130 years, and into the next 100 years:
- Video Proof That Global Warming is a 'Hoax'!: NASA Temperature Data 1888-2011 (The BRAD BLOG):
- NASA climate change video: This is the U.S. in 2100 (NASA).
- Greenpeace: World can acheive 100 per cent renewable by 2050: