renewable energy

Alberta Climate Announcement Puts End to Infinite Growth of Oilsands

Alberta Climate Change Announcment

The days of infinite growth in Alberta’s oilsands are over with the Alberta government’s blockbuster climate change announcement on Sunday, which attracted broad support from industry and civil society.

This is the day that we start to mobilize capital and resources to create green jobs, green energy, green infrastructure and a strong, environmentally responsible, sustainable and visionary Alberta energy industry with a great future,” Premier Rachel Notley said. “This is the day we stop denying there is an issue, and this is the day we do our part.”

Notley and Environment & Parks Minister Shannon Phillips released a 97-page climate change policy plan, which includes five key pillars.

Sunshine State Solar Industry Fighting Onslaught From Koch Brothers in Florida

With its nickname “The Sunshine State,” it would make sense for Florida to lead in solar energy in the United States. But industry opposition and a climate change-denying governor have allowed the state to fall dangerously behind when it comes to harnessing the power of the sun.

Today, solar energy only accounts for 2% of the total energy production in Florida, and industry analysts believe that the poor solar production is likely because the state’s average energy costs are about 30% below the national average, diminishing the demand for a cheaper, cleaner energy source.

But when you dig past the industry’s talking points and excuses, you’ll find something much more sinister at work.

Six Commitments Missing From the Oil and Gas Major’s Climate Declaration

Major fossil fuel companies have today released a Joint Collaborative Declaration under the Oil & Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI) recognising the need to limit global average temperature rise to 2⁰C. Launched in Paris this morning, they are calling for an “effective climate change agreement at COP21”.

In the declaration, ten oil and gas giants call for “widespread and effective pricing of carbon emissions”. Signatories include the CEOs of Total, Statoil, BP, Shell, BG Group, Saudi Aramco, Pemex, Sinopec, Eni, Reliance, and Repsol.

The companies also back natural gas as a cleaner alternative to coal and want to see more research and development into renewables and carbon capture and storage.  However, the declaration has been criticised for lacking concrete targets.

California Finding New Ways To Extend Benefits Of Solar To Low-Income, Minority Communities

The California legislature has sent a bill to Governor Jerry Brown’s desk that aims to extend the benefits of solar energy to communities that often have no access to clean energy technologies.

Assembly Bill 693 would create the Multi-Family Affordable Housing Solar Roofs program, which would be authorized to spend $100 million a year for at least 10 years to install solar panels on 210,000 affordable housing units in the Golden State.

It’s estimated that beneficiaries of the program would save more than $38 million per year on their electricity bills and receive another $19 million a year in solar tax credits and other benefits, a total of $1.8 billion over the life of the program, according to Al Jazeera America.

Cost Of Doing Nothing To Hit $400 Trillion

The numbers are in, and they aren’t looking good for climate change deniers. According to the latest reports, the cost of doing nothing on climate change, even based on moderate warming models, will top $400 trillion in economic losses.

If that figure isn’t startling enough, then consider the additional $43 trillion in damages that we’ll see in the next few decades just from the additional release of CO2 and methane from melting permafrost. That $43 trillion figure assumes all current emissions stay the same, or even fall slightly. If emissions continue to rise, that $43 trillion number is going to climb rapidly.

Low-Carbon 'Policy Gap' Risks UK Missing Emission Reduction Targets Warns Lord Deben

sun setting on wind turbines in the distance via Chrishna Flickr

The government must end the uncertainty clouding the direction of Britain’s low-carbon policies writes Lord Deben, chairman of the Committee on Climate Change (CCC), in a letter sent today to Energy Secretary Amber Rudd.

Recent policy changes – including cuts to renewable subsidies and abolishing the Green Deal as well as the Zero Carbon Standard for homes – “have been widely interpreted to have reduced the action being taken to meet the clear commitment to carbon budgets. They have, in some areas, left a policy gap which urgently needs to be addressed,” Deben argues.

The uncertainty created by changes to existing policies and a lack of replacement policies up to and after 2020 could well lead to stop-start investment, higher costs and a risk that targets to reduce emissions will be missed.”

Renewable Energy Triumphs in Lancashire as Solar Farm is Approved Next to Rejected Fracking Site

Anti-Fracking campaigners have welcomed a local council’s decision to approve the development of a solar farm just across the road from where Cuadrilla has spent years trying to get permission to carry out hydrolic fracturing.

The solar farm is expected to produce enough electricity to power around 1,300 homes and save approximately 2,310 tonnes of carbon emissions every year, the equivalent of taking 513 large family cars off the road.

Fylde Council unanimously approved the application for the Staining Wood solar farm subject to the completion of a habitat regulation assessment, which it looks likely to pass. The site is expected to be operational by March 2016

Government Keeps Climate Cards Close to its Chest

It’s been four months since Amber Rudd was made head of the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and there are just three months before the Paris climate conference. So, what do we know about the UK’s contribution to international climate change negotiations? Turns out, not much.

According to the (very limited) information released to DeSmog UK by DECC under a Freedom of Information request, Rudd has met with international counterparts five times since May 2015, in Berlin, Luxembourg and Beijing, to discuss the COP21 climate targets.

And, well, that’s about it. The department acknowledged that they hold briefing materials that were provided to the Secretary of State ahead of these meetings but have withheld all of these.

Islamic Leaders Join Growing Chorus Of Religious Voices Making Moral Case For Climate Action

A symposium of Islamic leaders from 20 different countries meeting in Istanbul today released a Climate Change Declaration that presents the moral case for the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims to “tackle habits, mindsets, and the root causes of climate change, environmental degradation and the loss of biodiversity.”

The declaration calls for world governments to adopt an agreement in Paris during UN climate talks to be held this December that would phase out fossil fuels and limit global warming to 1.5 to 2 degrees Celsius.

California Distributed Energy Incentive Program Disproportionately Benefiting Fossil Fuels, Regulators OK With That

A California program designed to spur innovation in technologies for distributed generation of low-emission energy is disproportionately benefiting fossil fuels projects, primarily natural gas — and a new proposal to update the emissions threshold that determines which projects are eligible will not change that, critics of the program say.

Some 70 percent of the energy generation that has so far received rebates from California’s $83-million-a-year, ratepayer-funded Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) has been fossil-fueled, according to the Sierra Club.

SGIP, administered by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), provides rebates for distributed energy systems installed on the customer side of the utility meter — “behind the meter” in industry parlance.


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