Tag: energy

Legal bid to stop UK building Europe’s biggest gas power plant fails

Plan has been approved despite environmental objections and criticism over climate leadership

A legal challenge to the UK government’s approval of a new gas-fired power plant has failed in the court of appeal.

The challenge was brought after ministers overruled climate change objections from the planning authority. The plant is being developed by Drax in North Yorkshire and would be the biggest gas power station in Europe. It could account for 75% of the UK’s power sector emissions when fully operational, according to lawyers for ClientEarth, which brought the judicial review.

Related: Revival of Trans Europe Express ‘key to EU’s carbon neutrality’

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Jennifer Mills on how pandemic solidarity can help us tackle climate change and inequality

Author Jennifer Mills reflects on how the idea of breath ties together the three crises of 2020: the climate crisis, racial injustice and the pandemic. She compares Australia’s ‘gas-led recovery’ plan to Europe’s willingness to embrace solutions to the climate emergency as part of its economic recovery

This interview with Jennifer Mills is based on an essay she has written for the Fire, Flood and Plague anthology series. You can read it here or buy it in an anthology published by Penguin Random House.

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US greenhouse gas emissions fell 10% in 2020 as Covid curbed travel

But emissions reductions came at huge cost and will likely rebound as vaccines are distributed, authors of report say

Planet-heating emissions in the US fell by more than 10% in 2020, a record drop generated by extraordinary reductions in travel and industrial activity in the teeth of the coronavirus pandemic, new figures show.

The historic jolt to American life, which has resulted in more than 375,000 deaths and a huge surge in joblessness, caused many states to impose travel restrictions and curbs on business activity. This resulted in greenhouse gas emissions dropping by 10.3% last year, according to a new estimate by Rhodium Group.…

Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia pledged to slash greenhouse gas emissions. They failed.

washington oregon and british columbia pledged to slash greenhouse gas emissions they failed scaled - Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia pledged to slash greenhouse gas emissions. They failed.
washington oregon and british columbia pledged to slash greenhouse gas emissions they failed - Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia pledged to slash greenhouse gas emissions. They failed.

This story was produced in collaboration with InvestigateWest, a nonprofit newsroom in Seattle with a focus on the environment, public health, and government accountability.

With dozens of people killed by wildfires in the western U.S., millions of acres scorched, and choking smoke spreading far into British Columbia, Washington Governor Jay Inslee lit up the news wires in September. “These are not just wildfires,” Inslee asserted at a press conference from Olympia, “these are climate fires.”

Two days later on George Stephanopoulos’ Sunday-morning ABC News talk show, the recent presidential candidate recounted a poignant visit to a town nearly wiped out by the fires.…

Global heating could stabilize if countries go net-zero emissions, scientists say

global heating could stabilize if countries go net zero emissions scientists say - Global heating could stabilize if countries go net-zero emissions, scientists say
global heating could stabilize if countries go net zero emissions scientists say - Global heating could stabilize if countries go net-zero emissions, scientists say

This story was originally published by The Guardian and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

The world may be barreling towards climate disaster but rapidly eliminating planet-heating emissions means global temperatures could stabilize within just a couple of decades, scientists say.

For many years it was assumed that further global heating would be locked in for generations even if emissions were rapidly cut. Climate models run by scientists on future temperatures were based on a certain carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere. If this remained at the current high level there would be runaway climate disaster, with temperatures continuing to rise even if emissions were reduced because of a lag time before greenhouse gases accumulate in the atmosphere.…

FERC may finally help the public understand WTF it does

ferc may finally help the public understand wtf it does - FERC may finally help the public understand WTF it does
ferc may finally help the public understand wtf it does - FERC may finally help the public understand WTF it does

If you’ve heard of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, commonly referred to as FERC, but have no idea what it does, I don’t blame you. FERC is one of the most arcane government agencies we have in the United States. Generally tasked with regulating interstate energy infrastructure like pipelines, its proceedings are incredibly technical and confusing — just ask Tyson Slocum.

As director of the energy program for Public Citizen, a nonprofit consumer advocacy organization, Slocum says he is currently involved in more than 200 of FERC’s court-like cases, which are quietly shaping the energy landscape in the United States. There are cases about pipelines and transmission lines, electricity markets and the cost of renewable energy, hydroelectric dams, liquified natural gas plants, and more.…

A Massachusetts city will post climate change warning stickers at gas stations

a massachusetts city will post climate change warning stickers at gas stations - A Massachusetts city will post climate change warning stickers at gas stations
a massachusetts city will post climate change warning stickers at gas stations - A Massachusetts city will post climate change warning stickers at gas stations

This story was originally published by The Guardian and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

Cambridge, Massachusetts, has become the first U.S. city to mandate the placing of stickers on fuel pumps to warn drivers of the resulting dangers posed by the climate crisis.

The final design of the bright yellow stickers, shared with the Guardian, includes text that warns drivers the burning of gasoline, diesel, and ethanol has “major consequences on human health and the environment including contributing to climate change.”

The stickers will be placed on all fuel pumps in Cambridge, which is situated near Boston and is home to Harvard University, “fairly soon” once they are received from printers, a city spokesperson confirmed.…

Drilling and mining companies got a holiday gift from Trump

drilling and mining companies got a holiday gift from trump - Drilling and mining companies got a holiday gift from Trump
drilling and mining companies got a holiday gift from trump - Drilling and mining companies got a holiday gift from Trump

For a limited time only, some of America’s protected lands are open for heavy-duty industrial development. The Trump administration has made it a priority to open vast stretches of U.S. lands to mineral extraction projects. Over the past four years, at least 10 million acres have been leased to oil and drilling companies, turning formerly pristine forests and mountain-scapes into spreads of cratered, barren land laden with heavy machinery.

The next administration is likely to take a different approach to federal lands. President-elect Joe Biden will take office on January 20, 2021, and has announced a diverse and climate-conscious set of cabinet nominees.…

Floating ‘mini-nukes’ could power countries by 2025, says startup

floating mini nukes could power countries by 2025 says startup - Floating ‘mini-nukes’ could power countries by 2025, says startup
floating mini nukes could power countries by 2025 says startup - Floating ‘mini-nukes’ could power countries by 2025, says startup

This story was originally published by The Guardian and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

Floating barges fitted with advanced nuclear reactors could begin powering developing nations by the mid-2020s, according to a Danish startup company.

Seaborg Technologies believes it can make cheap nuclear electricity a viable alternative to fossil fuels across the developing world as soon as 2025.

Its seaborne “mini-nukes” have been designed for countries that lack the energy grid infrastructure to develop utility-scale renewable energy projects, many of which go on to use gas, diesel, and coal plants instead.

The ships are fitted with one or more small nuclear reactors, which can generate electricity and transmit the power to the mainland.…

‘Zero return’: government savaged over taxpayer grants to open up new gas basin in Australia

Coalition funding for gas exploration in Northern Territory labelled a costly plan ‘for a climate catastrophe’

The Morrison government has been accused of embarking on an “expensive plan for a climate catastrophe” after it announced it would pay the gas industry up to $50m to speed up exploration in the Northern Territory.

The commitment, revealed on Thursday, also prompted warnings that taxpayers’ money could flow offshore to companies linked to tax havens and a Russian oligarch.

Related: Putin’s blacklisted oligarch ally to cash in from Morrison government’s gas-led recovery

Related: Scott Morrison’s ‘gas-led recovery’: what is it and will it really make energy cheaper?