Thursday, April 30, 2015

Canada’s Boundary Dam is world’s first large-scale power station to trap CO2

The International Energy Agency welcomed the launch of the world’s first large-scale power station equipped with carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology, calling it a historic milestone along the road to a low-carbon energy future. The 110MW retrofit of SaskPower’s Boundary Dam coal-fired power plant in Saskatchewan, Canada will trap around 1 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year. The captured CO2 will be injected into nearby oilfields to enhance oil recovery. Read more at ttp://

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Three Top Stocks for Fighting Climate Change

In the wider investing world, there isn't exactly an overflow of environmental stock opportunities. But SolarCity Corp, Tesla Motors Inc, and NextEra Energy Inc are successful corporations banking on the fight against climate change. If you're ready to put your green behind the green movement, these three companies may be your pathway to profit.  Investing in these three companies could allow you to make money, save the world, and feel good all the while.  Read more at

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Fossil-Fuel Subsidies in the Crosshairs at World Bank Spring Meetings

World Bank President Jim Yong Kim made headlines on the eve of the annual spring meetings of the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund last week with this simple declaration: “We need to get rid of fossil fuel subsidies now.” With the consumption of these subsidies reaching $550 billion in 2013, there is a lot of work to be done. Cutting fossil-fuel subsidies is a logical component of the World Bank’s efforts to promote carbon pricing. Subsidies are, in effect, a negative carbon price that incentivizes carbon pollution at the very moment countries around the world need to reduce it. At the U.N. Climate Summit last September, the Word Bank built a coalition of 73 nations and 11 regional governments that expressed support for a price on carbon. More than 1,000 companies and investors signed on to the declaration as well.  Read more at

Monday, April 27, 2015

Climate Change in Court: From the Netherlands to the World

The Dutch courts have just been handed a lawsuit that will test litigation in the Netherlands with this question in a manner that has implications for the entire world. The allegation in the lawsuit brought by the Urgenda Foundation and 990 individual Dutch citizens is that the Dutch government has failed to respond to the emergency of anthropogenic climate change and that failure violates the fundamental human rights of not just Dutch citizens, but of the entire world as well.
The Dutch lawsuit is based on the Oslo Principles on Global Climate Change Obligations, a document drafted by an international panel of legal experts from across all the major legal systems. The Oslo principles contend that judges have the power and the duty to entertain litigation of climate change issues even if the international negotiations to that end remain deadlocked.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Solar powered device to clean greenhouse gases

Researchers have developed an artificial photosynthetic system to convert carbon dioxide into useful products like plastics, pharmaceuticals and liquid fuels using solar power.  A potentially game-changing breakthrough in artificial photosynthesis has been achieved with the development of a system that can capture carbon dioxide emissions before they are vented into the atmosphere and then, powered by solar energy, convert that carbon dioxide into valuable chemical products, including biodegradable plastics, pharmaceutical drugs and even liquid fuels. Read more at

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Five priorities for the UN Sustainable Development Goals

This week, the United Nations is deliberating in New York how to implement the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that it will launch formally in September. Science must be at the heart of its plans. The SDGs place greater demands on the scientific community than did the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which they replace1.  Addressing climate change, renewable energy, food, health and water provision requires coordinated global monitoring and modelling of many factors — social, economic and environmental. Much remains to be done: the 17 goals comprise 169 targets, 91 of which need to be specified in more detail. Read more at

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

European carbon market reform set for 2019

European parliament vote to strengthen emissions trading scheme by taking 1.6bn surplus credits off the market to boost carbon prices, but critics call for steps to be taken earlier. Reforms to strengthen the EU’s flagship policy for cutting carbon, the emissions trading scheme (ETS), will start at the end of 2018. The carbon market is supposed to drive Europe’s transition to cleaner sources of energy, but a cocktail of recession, free allocations to polluters and over-achievement on green energy targets have created a flood of 2bn allowances. That has led to a carbon price of around €7 (£5) per tonne, too low to encourage power companies to switch from polluting fuels such as as coal. A new report by analysts Reuters Thomson Point Carbon estimates that by 2020, the reforms could nudge carbon prices up to €20 per tonne. Read more at

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

World’s first floating tidal BlueTEC platform ready for electricity generation

The floating platform, which holds tidal turbines beneath the sea surface, will soon be installed south of the island of Texel supplying clean electricity to the Dutch grid. This first BlueTEC will serve as a demonstration platform targeted at remote locations worldwide, such as islands in Indonesia, Philippines and the Pacific. It is also the start of further development of higher capacity tidal energy platforms, to be deployed in large farms. This platform is targeted at a worldwide market, it can be shipped as containers and installed anywhere in the world, to provide clean electricity in remote areas and small islands, replacing expensive and polluting diesel generators. An important advantage of tidal energy is its predictability and consistency, bringing stability to local electricity grids.  The platform is an application of Damen’s modular barge system – a flexible product that can be put into effect in the construction of a wide range of vessels from dredgers and jetties to ferries and pontoons. Damen used three standard container-sized modules to construct the Texel platform. The efficiency of containerized transportation combined with uncomplicated assembly means that the platform can be transported and installed anywhere in the world. Read more at

Monday, April 20, 2015

Building a More Competitive Mexico City Through Energy Efficiency

Hosted by Mexico City’s Ministry of the Environment (SEDEMA), a recent workshop marked the kickoff of Building Efficiency Accelerator activities in Mexico City. Mexico City was one of five global cities to make an early commitment to participate in the Accelerator at the UN Climate Summit in September 2014.  At least 20 percent of the city's emissions come from buildings, so improving energy use will help the city hit its goal of decreasing greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent by 2020. Read more at

Friday, April 17, 2015

Thousands March In Canada To Call For Action On Climate Change

The march in Quebec City, Quebec , which was organized by the environmental and social coalition Act on Climate, drew about 25,000 participants from across Canada, including representatives from First Nations, environmental groups, unions, and student groups. The protesters’ march comes a few days before Canada plans to host a provincial summit on climate change in Quebec City, during which the country’s premiers will discuss their plans in the lead-up to the U.N. climate talks this November in Paris. One of the messages the protesters wanted to send to the premiers was their opposition to proposed tar sands pipelines like Northern Gateway and Energy East. Those projects, opponents say, would endanger Canada’s land and water and accelerate the fossil fuel production that drives climate change. Read more at

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Ghana: Achieving Energy Efficiency through Consumer Behavioral Change

Ghana's energy crisis has deteriorated in recent times, hitting businesses hard, with authorities blaming the situation on low water levels in the Akosombo Dam and lack of gas to power the country's thermal plants.The path to a sustainable energy system for the future lies in two broad segments. The first is technology advancements and the second is conserving energy. The domestic sector accounts for 47% of the total consumption and has a saving potential of 18 – 25%. Now the biggest challenge is how to motivate domestic consumers to conserve energy or alter consumer’s behavior towards energy conservation. Read more at

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

How does climate stack up against other worst-case scenarios?

Climate change isn’t the only big problem facing society. There are half a dozen other candidates that seem to make it on various lists of the worst of the worst, and it’s tough to come up with a clear order of which most demands our attention and limited resources. In addition to climate change, let’s consider asteroids, biotechnology, nanotechnology, nukes, pandemics, robots and “strangelets,” strange matter with the potential of swallowing the Earth in a fraction of a second. Ideally, society should conduct serious benefit-cost analyses for each worst-case scenario: estimate probabilities and possible impacts, multiply the two, and compare it to the costs of action in each instance. Read more at tp://

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

By 2050, Most Energy Will Come From Renewables

Recently,  DNV GL, an international energy consulting company, asked 1,600 people who actually work in the field — at equipment manufacturers, power producers, utilities, policy-making agencies, energy retailers, regulators, and equity investment firms — about the future of renewables. One of the main questions: How quickly will renewables be generating 70 percent of the energy in the markets you work with? Almost half of the survey respondents said they could see that happening by 2030. And almost all of them — about 80 percent — thought renewables would dominate by 2050.  Read more at

Monday, April 13, 2015

Energy Efficiency is about Productivity

Anyone who has ever managed a budget can tell you that controlling your overheads will help to bring expenditures down and improve your overall productivity. Right now, Australia has the opportunity to do just that with national energy bill, and the building industry is well placed to be front and centre of this effort. The building sector is one of the major contributors to Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions. Emissions from power used on sites, together with emissions involved in creating all the materials used by the industry, contribute around 23 per cent of Australia’s total emissions. Read more at

Friday, April 10, 2015

Climate change: Canada glaciers to shrink by 70 per cent by 2100

The study, published in the journal Nature Geoscience, was headed by Garry Clarke, a professor at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. The team used a computer model that combined four well-known scenarios for global warming this century, with data about three glacier-covered regions and dynamics of ice melt. Even at the lowest projected warming, most of the glaciers are essentially doomed, according to their forecast. "When the glaciers have gone, we lose the important services they provide: a buffer against hot, dry spells in late summer that keeps headwater streams flowing and cool, and sustains cool-water aquatic species." Read more at

Thursday, April 9, 2015

10 Energy Saving Tips for Spring

There are some easy things anyone can do to save energy and money both around the house and at the office.  Here are 10 energy saving tips for sppring season:
1. Service your air conditioner. Easy maintenance such as routinely replacing or cleaning air filters can lower your cooling system’s energy consumption by up to 15 percent. Also check your air conditioner’s evaporator coil, which should be cleaned annually to ensure the system is performing at optimal levels.
2. Open windows. Opening windows creates a cross-wise breeze, allowing you to naturally cool your space without switching on air conditioners. This is an ideal tactic in spring and fall when temperatures are mild.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Russia Pledges Essentially Zero To Global Greenhouse Gas Goals

Every country is supposed to issue their  intended nationally determined contributions (INDC) pledges before the next big U.N. climate change meeting in Paris this coming December. The Russians have just issued their INDC and it's kind of amusing. The Russians pledge to aim at "Limiting anthropogenic greenhouse gases in Russia to 70-75% of 1990 levels by the year 2030 might be a long-term indicator, subject to the maximum possible account of absorbing capacity of forests". Why amusing?  Russian emssions are already well below the 70 percent mark. Read more at

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Building a More Competitive Mexico City Through Energy Efficiency

Mexico City – 1 of 5 global cities – is now working on a Building Efficiency Accelerator for retrofitting buildings to use less energy and make them competitive. At least 20 percent of the city's emissions come from buildings, so improving energy use will help the city hit its goal of decreasing greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent by 2020. Efficient buildings—those that use fewer resources but provide the same level of services—are more livable and comfortable, improving the health of occupants and the productivity of workers. For example, integrating energy efficient building principles into the design of two LEED certified 7-Eleven stores in Monterrey, Mexico reduced energy use by 20 percent, improved customer experience, and increased sales by 22 percent compared to non-LEED stores in the area. Read more at

Monday, April 6, 2015

Climate Change: New study enables detailed projections of coral reef bleaching

There are regions within many countries where some reefs are projected to experience annual bleaching conditions 15 or more years later than neighboring regions. This applies to reefs in Florida, the Bahamas, Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Turks and Caicos, and Mexico. Reefs projected to experience bleaching conditions later can be conservation priorities. The loss of coral reefs can have economic, social and ecological effects. Coral reefs provide rich habitat for valuable fisheries that people depend on for food. They serve as protective buffers to coastlines by absorbing wave energy from storms, and they boost local economies by attracting tourists who fish, dive and explore these underwater treasures. Read more at

Friday, April 3, 2015

Renewable energy: annual report says global investments rebound strongly

Global investments in renewable energy rebounded strongly last year (2014), registering a solid 17 percent increase after two years of declines and brushing aside the challenge from sharply lower crude oil prices, said UNEP ninth annual report. Major expansion of solar installations in China and Japan and record investments in offshore wind projects in Europe helped propel global 2014 investments to $270 billion. According to the report, the 103 gigawatts (GW) of generating capacity added around the world made 2014 the best year ever for newly installed capacity. Read more at

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Graphene Light Bulb Expected to Last Longer, Be More Efficient, Save Money and Energy

The bulb’s developers — a Canadian-financed company called Graphene Lighting — expect the dimmable bulb to use 10 percent less energy than conventional bulbs, last longer and be priced lower than some LEDs, at roughly $20 each. It was designed at the University of Manchester, where the revolutionary material was discovered. Read more at

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

U.S. unvailed plan to stall climate change

The U.S. administration on Tuesday unveiled details about its proposal to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 26% to 28% below 2005 levels by 2025. This common-sense and achievable plan to decarbonize the U.S. economy will result in significant cost savings from cleaner technologies and create more American energy jobs to power our homes and businesses. Mr. Obama’s plan, part of a formal written submission to the United Nations ahead of efforts to forge a global climate change accord in Paris in December, detailed the United States’ part of an ambitious joint pledge made by Mr. Obama and President Xi Jinping of China in November.