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Tag: Greenhouse Gas Emissions

77 countries have pledged to phase out coal, the dirtiest of the fossil fuels that drive global warming

But China, India and the USA did not sign the agreement at the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow.

One nation alone, China, accounts for more than 40% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions from burning coal. China is not joining the world in this commitment and instead promises to increase building coal fired power plants to meet soaring power demand.

To boost coal output, China has “revived old mines, hurried through permits for expansions and loosened some safety regulations. They’ve also stepped in on prices to ensure electricity generators are incentivized to fully use power plant capacity.” (Bloomberg)

China is also seeking to increase imports of foreign coal. China’s demand for the fossil fuel in the power and industrial sectors could break the country’s 2013 record for emissions from coal.

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COP26 serves an important role, but we need to do more to drive down greenhouse gas

The 2021 UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) will fall short.

James Temple, MIT Technology Review »

Six years after nations adopted the landmark Paris climate agreement, countries haven’t committed to, much less enacted, the necessary policies to reduce emissions anywhere near as much as required to achieve the accord’s stated goal: preventing 2 ˚C of global warming this century while striving to limit the increase to 1.5 ˚C. And rich countries are still tens of billions of dollars short of the $100 billion in annual funds they agreed to provide to help developing nations address climate change.

If countries do no more than fulfill the loose pledges they’ve made for 2030 under the agreement, the planet is likely to heat up by around 2.7 ˚C this century, according to the UN Environment Programme’s “emissions gap report,” released earlier this week. If all they do is abide by domestic climate policies already in place, temperature increases could exceed 3 ˚C.

In a 3 ˚C warmer world, coral reefs likely disappear, the ice sheets begin to collapse, hundred-year droughts will occur every few years across vast stretches of the globe, and sea-level rise could force hundreds of millions of people to relocate, according to various studies.

“If the goal is to maintain a safe, livable climate for the majority of the world’s population, the grade is an F-,” says Jessica Green, an associate professor of political science at the University of Toronto who focuses on climate governance. “We’re not there; we’re not even close.”

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New York regulator blocks two new natural gas power plants

Natural gas produces 21% of global CO2 emissions.

Tim De Chant , Ars Technica »

The Department of Environmental Conservation denied permits for two proposed natural gas power plants, saying they were incompatible with the state’s climate law, which calls for an end to fossil fuel-generated electricity by 2040.

Though the proposed plants would be more efficient than those currently in operation, the state agency said the plants would generate “significant” amounts of pollution and that their construction now, less than 20 years from the targeted net-zero emissions date, would be “inconsistent” with what is required by the climate law.

New York’s climate law requires polluters to account for two sources of emissions: from the plants themselves and from the natural gas supply chain. Once the latter was included—figures which in the past were nearly always ignored when determining a power plant’s pollution—the emissions quickly exceeded the DEC’s thresholds, the decisions say.

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