Tag archives for climate change

In the Orinoquia region of Colombia, two oil fields run by Toronto-based Pacific Rubiales Energy last week became the first to be certified as “socially and environmentally responsible,” according to a new standard. The two sites produce approximately 250,000 barrels per day, or 25 percent of Colombia’s total output. That oil is being produced amid…

Can good economic times roll while carbon emissions decline? Maybe so. Last week the Obama administration proposed new rules to regulate carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from existing power plants under the auspices of the Clean Air Act. Once EPA officially publishes the rule in the Federal Register (most likely in a week or two), a…

A top Chinese climate adviser signaled Tuesday that the country planned to set a new cap on carbon emissions by the end of the decade, which would be the first such effort from the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases. The comments by He Jiankun, chairman of China’s Advisory Committee on Climate Change, came a…

Our world is facing an unprecedented growth in population, from seven to nine billion people by 2050, of whom 75 percent will live in cities. Mass urbanization, with expanding cities in China, India, the United States, and sub-Saharan Africa, is leading to much greater energy demand, air pollution problems, and climate change. There is no…

Natural gas emits significantly less carbon dioxide than either coal or gasoline when burned, but its ability to help reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions has been questioned. In the latest contribution to the debate, a study published this week by Duke University researchers concludes that switching to abundant shale gas as an energy source is…

For the first time in the short history of the U.S. government’s Renewable Fuel Standard, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed to decrease the total amount of renewable fuel required as part of the national supply, with a 41 percent cut to the advanced biofuel category. But a study recently published by our organization…

After decades of debate and with growing anxiety about climate change, the planet is no closer to a systematic solution to our collective energy challenge. Yet still we try. At its impressive Vancouver gathering, National Geographic asked a simple question:  Is natural gas the bridge to a sustainable energy future?  (See video featuring participants including…

California enacted its Global Warming Solutions Act (AB32) in 2006. Since then, an entire network of interacting, mutually-reinforcing legislation  has evolved in the state,  historic in how the different measures support one another. A solar roof mandate (one million by 2020)  augments  an electric vehicle mandate (also one million in 2020), while both bolster  a…

In a newly issued document, the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has shifted position on biofuels, for the first time acknowledging that they may have negative impacts that take away from their value in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The Working Group II contribution to the IPCC’s report, Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability ,…

British Columbia finds itself at the forefront of the global debate on natural gas, and its role in the future of energy. Some 15 energy company consortiums are vying to build massive export terminals on the Pacific coastline of Canada’s westernmost province, with an eye to shipping gas to energy-hungry Asia. British Columbia, in other…

Last year President Obama launched Power Africa, an initiative to double access to power in sub-Saharan Africa, where more than two-thirds of the population is without electricity.  In a parallel move, the House Foreign Affairs Committee leadership introduced the Electrify Africa Act to encourage access to electricity in sub-Saharan Africa.  Since then, there has been…

They came, they built super-efficient vehicles, gained friends and conquered. All 105 student teams from 15 nations participating in this year’s Shell* Eco-marathon Asia are going back to their home countries with a feeling of fulfillment and pride. But winners of the four-day race for fuel-efficiency—from Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore—were in an even more festive…

Long-term solutions, collaboration, and planning for resilience amid population growth, scarce resources, and climate-related disasters like Supertyphoon Haiyan are key to achieving sustainable development and growth in Asia, said environment, urban planning, and energy experts who gathered Thursday in the Philippines.  (See related, “Q&A With Philippines Climate Envoy Who’s Fasting After Super Typhoon Haiyan.”) Thought…

From their vantage point at Manila Observatory, scientists have monitored changes in temperature and rainfall that have altered life in the Philippines. But they also have watched changes due to human actions—land-use, building, and development decisions that have made people more vulnerable to extreme events, like Typhoon Haiyan. Antonia Yulo Loyzaga, executive director, talked about…

Our cities have the potential to be a key climate change solution. Already they are hot-beds of innovation in local and global approaches to the nexus of sustainability and quality of life.  People who live in cities drive less, use less energy to heat, cool, and light their homes, and even their water and sewer…

New study concludes that biofuels can be part of climate-energy solution.

Which is more important: Meeting energy demand, lowering carbon emissions, or conserving water? How about all three? The Three Big Challenges Facing the Electric Power Industry The U.S. electric power industry has huge challenges to meet in the coming decades. First and foremost it has to meet growing demand for electricity. By 2050 it is…

The British government’s long-awaited “policy framework” on the Arctic is not likely to please environmentalists who would like to see an outright moratorium on oil and natural gas drilling. But Clive Archer, emeritus professor and former head of the Manchester Metropolitan University’s European Institute, who has studied Arctic issues extensively, believes it is an important…

This week, the United States faces down the looming deadline for extending its debt ceiling, a line in the sand that economists say could have dire consequences for our nation’s and the world’s economy if the U.S. defaults on its credit obligations. With the federal government shut down for nearly two weeks on top of…

The United Kingdom may not be an Arctic nation, but it has a unique perch on the front line of the dramatic change reshaping the polar north. The U.K. government now is preparing to unveil an Arctic policy framework, its own version of the strategy documents  put forth by nations in the thick of decision-making…

The Arctic’s melt season has concluded, and this year the sea ice rebounded from its historic low last year, according to a release Friday from the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC). Sea ice extent fell to its lowest level of 2013 on September 13, reaching  1.97 million square miles (5.10 million square kilometers).…

The United States and China are talking different languages when it comes to reducing carbon emissions.

  Former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel’s now famous comment, “Never let a serious crisis to go to waste,” could not have been more true of Hurricane Sandy, which was a harbinger of the costly destructive power of climate change.  Sandy made clear that willful ignorance of climate science and inaction is simply…

The words in the title above came from Pogo, and they have bounced around in the back of my brain since the 1970s when I first heard them. Many times I’ve been confronted with the truth of that quip by Pogo, the beloved character of former Disney cartoonist Walt Kelly (1913-1973), in a poster he created for…

Global greenhouse gas emissions are higher than ever. What’s to be done? “Redrawing the Energy-Climate Map,” a special report [pdf] by the International Energy Agency (IEA), was released on Monday, and the findings are sobering. (See related story: “What’s Behind the New Warning on Global Carbon Emissions?“) In 2012 energy-related, global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions…