Tag archives for climate

In the aftermath of the historic joint U.S.-China climate announcement in November, international attention has now swung to India. With new national leadership firmly in place, many are wondering what Prime Minister Narendra Modi will do on energy and climate. Some pundits have called on India, the world’s third largest greenhouse gas emitter, to announce…

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…

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…

The Reverend Jose Ramon Villarin radiates wisdom and wit. Father Jett, as he is better known, is not just president of Ateneo de Manila University, the oldest Jesuit school in the Philippines, but he is also a scientist and advocate for environmental sustainability. Father Jett edited the 2001 book Disturbing Climate, which won the Manila…

How do Obama’s words on energy compare to Team Romney’s? Last week, while the Republicans were celebrating the Romney-Ryan ticket in Tampa, Florida, we posted a count-the-words analysis of their energy plan. The plan’s overall aim is to achieve energy independence for North America. The numbers told us the path to independence for the Romney…

On the heels of the violent storm system that felled enough overhead wires to disrupt electricity for 4.3 million utility customers on the U.S. East Coast,  new research suggests that the technology for transmitting power without connection to the vulnerable electric grid may be closer at hand than most people think. “Wireless power” will be…

Delegates gathered this week in Rio de Janeiro at the 20th anniversary of the historic Earth Summit  affirmed that climate change “requires urgent and ambitious action,” in an agreement that commits them to no new steps toward meeting that goal. But while nations are as far as ever from putting a global price on carbon…

Negotiators picked up discussions toward a new global climate treaty in Bonn, Germany this week. The meeting was the first since the 2011 17th Conference of the Parties (COP17) in Durban, where leaders initially agreed to put together a plan that would limit Earth-warming emissions. The stakes for the 10-day meeting are high—negotiators have set goals of building support for funding…

Alexandra van Huffelen, vice mayor for sustainability for the city of Rotterdam, discusses why her city is an appropriate host for the Powering Progress business forum on the linked stresses that the world faces in meeting its water, food, and energy needs.

The U.S. Department of State has received a new application from TransCanada—the company behind the controversial Keystone XL project—to ship crude oil via a proposed pipeline running from the Canadian border to existing infrastructure in Nebraska. TransCanada had its initial application rejected by the Obama administration in January. The reapplication to the U.S. State Department…

Nearing record highs in March, gasoline prices have dropped for most of April across the U.S. and on average are cheaper than they were a year ago. As pump prices ease, federal prosecutors are turning up the heat in the BP oil spill case, arresting an ex-engineer accused of obstructing justice by deleting potentially damaging e-mails. And as the…

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Monday approved the first large-scale liquefied natural gas export terminal in the lower 48 states despite record falling gas prices. Shipping from the $10 billion Louisiana plant is projected to begin as early as 2015. The Cheniere plant is the third liquefied natural gas plant in the works in Louisiana. Others are planned elsewhere in the country. The plants…

Under a new rule from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, new oil and gas wells that are hydraulically fractured—or “fracked”—will have to use new equipment to capture the gases that escape, rather than releasing them into the air or burning them off. Hydraulic fracturing has been in use since the 1950s, but in the past…

Gasoline prices have edged off the pedal in recent days, but the Energy Information Administration this week released new data showing motorists will pay about a quarter more per gallon during peak travel season—April through September. Prices will top out at $4.01, on average, in May. The last time gasoline spiked to such levels was…

Before Congress headed home for spring recess, the Senate, with a rate vote of 100, approved President Obama’s new round of sanctions designed to deter Iran’s nuclear ambitions. The president’s decision was based on an analysis of current oil supply and the likely effect of further sanctions on prices. The Senate also shot down the president’s bid to reduce subsidies to oil producers. Oil…

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released long-awaited greenhouse gas rules for new power plants this week. Using the Clean Air Act, the agency standard would set the first national limits on the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions new power plants can emit. The EPA proposed the rule after delaying it several times since July 2011. Power plants are the largest…

Ireland has always been known for its lush green landscape. But turning its energy a matching shade has been a longer road. The country long relied heavily on peat, its only domestically produced source of “fossil” fuel. Peat is a partially decayed plant matter that grows in bogs on that familiar countryside, and it takes…

After public pressure, Chicago will shut two aging coal-fired power plants, and the owner of one of the power plants, Midwest Generation, may shut its other four coal plants in Illinois. Since the start of 2010, more than 100 coal plants have been slated for early retirement. A major reason for coal plants shutting has been public opposition to…

In a major speech on energy at the University of Miami, President Obama said rising gasoline prices are a “painful reminder” of the need for alternatives. He was on the offensive, trying to counter criticisms of the GOP presidential candidates—including Newt Gingrich, who promised he’d get gasoline down to $2.50 a gallon. Countering calls to “drill, baby,…

Maldives leader Mohamed Nasheed, called the “world’s most environmentally outspoken president” because of his calls for drastically cutting greenhouse gas emissions, was forced to resign—at gunpoint, he claimed. He had used stunts such as an underwater cabinet meeting to highlight his island nation’s vulnerability to sea-level rise. His resignation followed weeks of protests and was apparently motivated by internal politics unrelated to…

It could easily have been one of the most fossil fuel-intensive Super Bowls ever. Not only did the New York Giants and the New England Patriots face off in Lucas Oil Stadium, named for a petroleum motor lubricant company, but the facility’s bright stadium lights, signature retractable roof and giant screens all draw energy from…

Average prices of oil and gasoline at the pump reached an all-time high in 2011, according to U.S. Energy Information Administration data. Brent crude oil, the global benchmark, averaged $111 a barrel—the first time it broke $100 for a whole year. In some ways, these records snuck up on Americans, since there was no extreme…

In November, the Obama administration decided to delay a decision on whether to approve the Keystone XL pipeline to bring tar sands from Canada to the United States. But in December, Republicans attached a provision to a tax bill, which President Obama signed, that urges the administration to decide on the pipeline within 60 days,…

Prices in Europe’s carbon emissions trading scheme have collapsed this year, in part because there were too many allowances in the system starting off, threatening the future of the whole market. “Without intervention … Europe’s climate policy is over,” one analyst said. Some of Europe’s biggest energy and manufacturing firms also wrote a letter to…

As the COP17 conference concluded in South Africa with what has been called “modest” progress on stemming climate change, a bolder plan in Scotland to reduce emissions and move toward renewable energy faces criticism over costs and lack of planning. A government audit released this month found that Scotland’s plan to reduce emissions by 42…