“In this commentary, we share some perspectives on how to ensure high-ambition and high-integrity with respect to demand for and supply of credits. Crucially, we argue that companies’ investments in NBS should only qualify for consideration as carbon credits if the company can demonstrate that it is doing all that it should to eliminate carbon emissions from its operations and value chains, aligned with Science-Based Targets. The remainder of this commentary describes why, and how this would work.“
More than 1,500 companies have committed to net-zero emissions by mid-century, as have 11,000 cities and at least $9 trillion in private assets under management. This raises crucial questions as to how much offsetting of carbon can take place in mid-century and, more importantly, how much can take place on the path to get there. The January 2021 report of the Taskforce on Scaling the Voluntary Carbon Market suggested a market of 1-5 Gigatons of CO2e by 2030, with perhaps two-thirds directed at Nature Based Solutions (NBS), meaning that tens of billions of dollars of investment in NBS are potentially at stake.
The COVID-19 pandemic is first and foremost a human tragedy, infecting more than 120,000 and killing more than 4,200 people as of March 12, 2020. The loss of human life is heart-breaking and set to continue ticking upwards.
The virus has also hit society like a global tsunami, disrupting travel, cutting off communities, shuttering factories and shaking up economic markets. The global manufacturing sector has suffered its worst contraction since the 2009 recession. Goldman Sachs forecasts zero earnings growth for U.S. companies, while airlines and cruise lines are reeling as people opt to stay home.
Unsurprisingly this major global disruption is leading to lower energy demand, which in turn reduces global greenhouse gas emissions. China’s industrial output has dropped 15% to 40% since the crisis began, leading to a roughly 25% drop in emissions over that same period.
WASHINGTON (September 22, 2020)— Today in remarks delivered before the United Nations General Assembly, President Xi Jinping made a surprise announcement that China aims to achieve carbon neutrality before 2060 and to peak carbon emissions before 2030. This is the first time Chinese leadership has made a commitment about reaching net zero emissions.
Following is a statement from Helen Mountford, Vice President, Climate and Economics, World Resources Institute:
“President Xi sent an extremely important signal today with his unexpected announcement that China will strive for carbon neutrality by 2060 and strengthen its national climate commitment including peaking emissions before 2030. The devil will be in the details and China should set more specific near-term targets and an earlier peaking date, but China’s direction of travel toward a zero-carbon future is coming into focus. Tiếp tục đọc “China Aims For Carbon Neutrality By 2060”→
Lockdown won’t save the world from warming, but the pandemic is an opportunity to pursue a green economic recovery
Christiana Figueres was head of the UN climate change convention that achieved the Paris agreement in 2015
The air is clean and fresh, fish have reappeared in urban waterways, birds are frequenting uncut gardens, wild mammals are meandering through cities and greenhouse gas emissions will likely drop by an unprecedented 8% this year. Nature has clearly benefited from several months of dramatically reduced economic activity. From a climate crisis perspective, this drop in emissions is astonishingly close to the 7.6% yearly reduction in emissions that scientists have advised will be necessary during the next decade. And yet none of this is cause for celebration.
This Insight continues the OIES series considering the future of gas. The clear message from previous papers is that on the (increasingly certain) assumption that governments in major European gas markets remain committed to decarbonisation targets, the existing natural gas industry is under threat. It is therefore important to develop a decarbonisation narrative leading to a low- or zero-carbon gas implementation plan.
Previous papers have considered potential pathways for gas to decarbonise, specifically considering biogas and biomethane , and power-to-gas (electrolysis) . This paper goes on to consider the potential for production, transport and use of hydrogen in the decarbonising energy system. Previous papers predominately focused on Europe, which has been leading the way in decarbonisation. Hydrogen is now being considered more widely in various countries around the world, so this paper reflects that wider geographical coverage. Tiếp tục đọc “Hydrogen and decarbonisation of gas: false dawn or silver bullet?”→
Le Thi Vinh used to put up with a smoky kitchen, filled with soot particles formed in her muddy stove. That changed in late 2016, when she stopped using firewood but turned to biogas, generated from the waste of the 46 pigs she raises. The biogas generated is enough to support a family of four for three meals a day. But it’s not cheap—the biodigesters needed to make the gas cost about $600 to build, five times Le’s monthly income of VND 3 million ($130).
Le, a 53-year-old farmer, is among the 7 million living in Hanoi, Vietnam’s capital and its second most populous city. The city is filled with diesel-powered motorcycles, some 5 million, choking the air and causing traffic jams.
But Hanoi is changing. In addition to an ambitious plan to ban motorbikes by 2030, Hanoi is one of 63 provinces and cities in the country that is adopting biogas for cooking. Le used her own savings and borrowed money from relatives to build the biodigesters, which are part of a program funded by the Dutch government that uses Chinese technology. The goal of using biogas is to both breathe cleaner air and fight against climate change, one of the biggest challenges of the century.
The Handbook is a resource for city leaders around the world to take real and meaningful action toward their commitments with ready-to-implement, no regrets solutions that have proven success.
Debris remaining in pond and destruction from 1998 Hurricane Mitch in Savanna Bight village Guanaja Bay Islands Honduras
Why it Matters
Cities are at the forefront of climate change risk and opportunity. Nearly 600 cities making climate commitments, but they will only get us so far and must be substantiated with on-the-ground solutions that enable cities to make rapid progress toward near-term decarbonization, and put them on a path to full climate-neutrality.
The Handbook, developed with support from Rockefeller Brothers Fund, is an actionable resource for city mayors, chief sustainability officers, and other leaders who are in the drivers seat in making key decisions that shape their community’s future.
Download the handbook here https://www.rmi.org/carbonfreecities/
The challenge of our generation: Avert dangerous global warming – invest in social cohesion and wellbeing of people – build local, national, and transnational alliances for transformative change towards sustainability
1. We can reach the goals of the Paris Agreement – but ambitious action is needed now! Climate change is a threat to humanity. Irreversible Earth systems changes need to be avoided. This is a civilisational challenge which requires unprecedented joint action around the globe. We are under huge time pressure. Global CO2 emissions must decline to zero by mid-century in order to achieve the ambitious Paris goal, aimed at stabilising the global mean temperature well below 2 degrees C, and if possible at 1.5 degrees C. This translates into a stylised “carbon law”, whereby emissions must be halved every decade in analogy to the Moore’s law of semiconductors. We have the resources and the technology to achieve this, but do we have the political will and the resolve? Recent developments, such as the declaration by the US President to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, can be interpreted as a major setback. At the same time, they may inspire counter-movements, strengthening the determination to vigorously combat climate change. In particular, OECD countries and emerging economies should make commitments within the G 20 and within their national policies to ensure the achievement of global decarbonisation by the middle of the century. Tiếp tục đọc “The Climate – Justice – Cooperation Nexus: 10 Cornerstones of the Great Transformation towards Sustainability”→
The world relies heavily on fossil fuels to meet its energy needs, and the development and trade of those fuels has influenced relationships among countries throughout modern history. Most reasonable projections of the next several decades anticipate that the role of coal, oil, and gas will be maintained but lose market share to lower-carbon energy sources like wind, solar, nuclear, and greater efficiency. Despite the continued role for fossil fuels, the push for greater reliance on lower-carbon energy sources has made progress since it began in earnest several decades ago. Nearly $318 billion was invested in new clean energy sources around the world last year, up from $60 billion in 2004. Nearly half of this investment took place in large developing economies, particularly China but also Brazil, India, and South Africa.