Curious about Everything

Day: November 5, 2021

Half world’s fossil fuel assets could become worthless by 2036 in net zero transition

Jonathan Watts, Ashley Kirk, Niamh McIntyre, Pablo Gutiérrez and Niko Kommenda / The Guardian »

Countries that are slow to decarbonise will suffer but early movers will profit; the study finds that renewables and freed-up investment will more than make up for the losses to the global economy.

It highlights the risk of producing far more oil and gas than required for future demand, which is estimated to leave $11tn-$14tn (£8.1tn-£10.3tn) in so-called stranded assets – infrastructure, property and investments where the value has fallen so steeply they must be written off.

The lead author, Jean-Francois Mercure of the University of Exeter, said the shift to clean energy would benefit the world economy overall, but it would need to be handled carefully to prevent regional pockets of misery and possible global instability.

“In a worst-case scenario, people will keep investing in fossil fuels until suddenly the demand they expected does not materialise and they realise that what they own is worthless. Then we could see a financial crisis on the scale of 2008,” he said, warning oil capitals such as Houston could suffer the same fate as Detroit after the decline of the US car industry unless the transition is carefully managed.

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Ithaca, New York to electrify all its buildings » the first such decarbonization effort in the U.S.

John Engel / Renewable Energy World »

Ithaca’s Common Council gave approval to Mayor Svante L. Myrick to negotiate a contract with BlocPower, a Brooklyn-based climate tech startup focused on greening aging urban buildings.

Installation of air source heat pumps with supporting energy efficiency upgrades and building improvements will cut Ithaca’s 400,000 tons of CO2 by 40% and create 400 new, green jobs, BlocPower estimates. The project is in line with Ithaca’s Green New Deal, which the city approved in 2019 to address climate change, economic inequality, and racial injustice.

“At the same time COP26 takes place in Glasgow, the City of Ithaca demonstrates its commitment to fight climate change by taking this very important step towards fully decarbonizing our building stock,” said Savante Myrick, Mayor of Ithaca, NY. “Through this program, the City expects to eliminate most emissions from energy use in existing residential and commercial buildings, which today account for almost 40% of the total emissions in our city.”

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