International News

Carbon Pricing: an Idea Whose Time has Come

Climate Crocks - January 30, 2018 - 9:42pm
Or at least an idea that keeps creeping in under the doorjam. While the President’s broadcast from an alternative dimension celebrated the end of the “war on beautiful clean coal”, here on Earth, momentum increases to move to the energy of the future. One of the key results of recent elections in New Jersey and […]
Categories: International News

Voters Ready for Climate Candidates

Climate Crocks - January 30, 2018 - 8:09pm
Voters in Texas ready to address climate change. In Texas. If anyone wants some pointers, I tried my hand at a public meeting last spring. (above) Houston Chronicle: It seemed like a preposterous idea as we gathered along the sofas of my living room last summer. Could we really pull off a candidate forum specifically […]
Categories: International News

Dirty Energy in Peruíbe – not here, not anywhere!

350.org - January 30, 2018 - 8:00pm

By Caroline Kwasnicki

The city of Peruíbe, in the Southeast region of Brazil, has been struggling against the installation of a thermoelectric power plant, which could be one of the largest of its type in an urban area in the world. Citizens have organized themselves, pressured city councilors, and are about to get the approval of an amendment to the municipal law that would prevent other mega-polluting projects from being built in the city. 

The community of Peruíbe has been mobilizing for months to prevent the thermo plant. It is truly a great example of how people power can fight and win for a Fossil Free world.

Peruíbe has clean and sustainable energy to spare and holds unquestionable tourist potential. The region is one of the last reserves of continuous Brazilian Atlantic rain forest in the world, and more than half of the city’s territory is in a preservation area. With the construction of the thermoelectric power plant, its several beaches (some even untouched) would be threatened – as well as other key sites. Indigenous communities, terrestrial and marine biodiversity, and fishermen who have their livelihood, history and roots there would be put at risk.

The controversial industrial project, estimated at R$ 5 billion, belongs to Gastrading Comércio de Energia and provides for the construction of a natural gas-fired thermoelectric plant, an energy transmission line, two underground pipelines and an offshore port. The project called “Green Atlantic” – which is anything but green – would have the capacity to generate up to 1.7 gigawatts of energy. Last December, the Environmental Company of the State of São Paulo has already denied Gastrading’s environmental license, but this is unfortunately not enough to prevent the construction of the plant once and for all.

The power is in our hands

The process of voting on the amendment to the law has been going on since last year. The project has been presented several times in Peruíbe’s City Hall, and during one of the voting sessions, the community was surprised by a political maneuver: six councilors “fled” the vote and the minimum of 10 votes was not reached for the final approval of the amendment. Other councilors who are against the power plant have pledged to take the project to a new voting session. And they kept their promise.

We now come, once again, to this final step in the process to permanently stop the construction of the thermoelectric plant in Peruíbe. The approval of the law remains in the hands of the councilmen, but the community will attend in strong numbers and show that the decision is ours. The decision belongs to the people. And the population of Peruíbe has already made it clear what it wants: true and fair development, and a future with 100% clean, renewable and free energy!

We at 350.org Brazil support this fight and together with the community of Peruíbe we want to prevent the installation of this harmful and dangerous project. This Wednesday will be a historic and decisive day for the future of the city. Send your message of support using the hashtags #UsinaNão and #TermelelétricaNão.

And you, what would you do to protect your home? From wherever you are, you can also join the Fossil Free movement.

Categories: International News

Dirty Energy in Peruíbe – not here, not anywhere!

350.org - January 30, 2018 - 8:00pm

By Caroline Kwasnicki

The city of Peruíbe, in the Southeast region of Brazil, has been struggling against the installation of a thermoelectric power plant, which could be one of the largest of its type in an urban area in the world. Citizens have organized themselves, pressured city councilors, and are about to get the approval of an amendment to the municipal law that would prevent other mega-polluting projects from being built in the city. 

The community of Peruíbe has been mobilizing for months to prevent the thermo plant. It is truly a great example of how people power can fight and win for a Fossil Free world.

Peruíbe has clean and sustainable energy to spare and holds unquestionable tourist potential. The region is one of the last reserves of continuous Brazilian Atlantic rain forest in the world, and more than half of the city’s territory is in a preservation area. With the construction of the thermoelectric power plant, its several beaches (some even untouched) would be threatened – as well as other key sites. Indigenous communities, terrestrial and marine biodiversity, and fishermen who have their livelihood, history and roots there would be put at risk.

The controversial industrial project, estimated at R$ 5 billion, belongs to Gastrading Comércio de Energia and provides for the construction of a natural gas-fired thermoelectric plant, an energy transmission line, two underground pipelines and an offshore port. The project called “Green Atlantic” – which is anything but green – would have the capacity to generate up to 1.7 gigawatts of energy. Last December, the Environmental Company of the State of São Paulo has already denied Gastrading’s environmental license, but this is unfortunately not enough to prevent the construction of the plant once and for all.

 

The power is in our hands

The process of voting on the amendment to the law has been going on since last year. The project has been presented several times in Peruíbe’s City Hall, and during one of the voting sessions, the community was surprised by a political maneuver: six councilors “fled” the vote and the minimum of 10 votes was not reached for the final approval of the amendment. Other councilors who are against the power plant have pledged to take the project to a new voting session. And they kept their promise.

We now come, once again, to this final step in the process to permanently stop the construction of the thermoelectric plant in Peruíbe. The approval of the law remains in the hands of the councilmen, but the community will attend in strong numbers and show that the decision is ours. The decision belongs to the people. And the population of Peruíbe has already made it clear what it wants: true and fair development, and a future with 100% clean, renewable and free energy!

 

We at 350.org Brazil support this fight and together with the community of Peruíbe we want to prevent the installation of this harmful and dangerous project. This Wednesday will be a historic and decisive day for the future of the city. Send your message of support using the hashtags #UsinaNão and #TermelelétricaNão.

And you, what would you do to protect your home? From wherever you are, you can also join the Fossil Free movement.

Categories: International News

“Bully in the White House”. Scott Pruitt Called Trump a Threat to Constitution -Before Taking a Job from Him

Climate Crocks - January 30, 2018 - 1:31pm
If you had any questions about Scott Pruitt’s integrity, this should remove all doubt. The Pat Campbell Show KFAQ Talk Radio 1170 Tulsa Oklahoma Interview with Scott Pruitt February 4, 2016 Pat Campbell: Given your comments about hubris, I’m going to say that you’re probably not a big Trump supporter? Scott Pruitt: No. No, He’s […]
Categories: International News

CNN offers Yet More Climate Corrections for Trump

Climate Crocks - January 30, 2018 - 11:18am
Generally Trumpers can’t learn. Witness the “Mexico will pay for wall”. Nevertheless, teachable moment, for those that can hear.  
Categories: International News

The “Now they Call it Climate Change” Crock. Again.

Climate Crocks - January 30, 2018 - 10:40am
Seriously guys, I did this one seven years ago. Recently updated for Senator Ted Cruz.
Categories: International News

Colbert: Fact Checking Trump on Climate

Climate Crocks - January 30, 2018 - 10:24am
AP did it. Give the comedians a chance, too.
Categories: International News

Climate’s Not Going to Communicate itself. Tips for Effective Comms

Climate Crocks - January 30, 2018 - 10:16am
New handbook on climate communication from the IPCC has been released. It follows the basic principles that those on the front lines have worked out over the past few decades. Be Confident – people will trust you more if you use an authentic voice Talk about the real world, not abstractions Connect with what matters […]
Categories: International News

Emails Reveal Pruitt Was Closely Involved in Scrubbing EPA Climate Websites

Inside Climate News - January 30, 2018 - 9:28am
InsideClimate News

Documents show that EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt took a personal interest in and closely monitored the removal of information on the agency's website about the Clean Power Plan, which he planned to rescind. Environmental groups are now calling for him to recuse himself from decisions on the future of the CPP.

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Categories: International News

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee Rejects Vancouver Oil Terminal

Inside Climate News - January 30, 2018 - 9:27am
Oregon Public Broadcasting

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has rejected a permit to build the nation's largest oil-by-rail terminal on the Columbia River. The state's Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council unanimously voted last year to reject the project. Inslee noted several concerns, including the potential of earthquake damage to the facility and risk of an oil spill or explosion.

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Categories: International News

Coal Firms Plead to Courts, Trump for West Coast Export Terminals

Inside Climate News - January 30, 2018 - 9:25am
Reuters

The U.S. coal industry is ramping up its lobbying to the Trump administration to win approval for West Coast coal export terminals that could provide it a lifeline to Asia markets. Coal producers have filed two lawsuits against Washington state and California to challenge local decisions that block port projects.

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Categories: International News

State Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Appeal in Colorado Teens’ Fossil Fuels Lawsuit

Inside Climate News - January 30, 2018 - 9:24am
The Longmont Times-Call

The Colorado Supreme Court will review a state Court of Appeals' ruling in favor of the young plaintiffs in the 2013 case, which argued that state oil and gas regulators must consider public health and the environment when issuing new drilling permits.

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Categories: International News

New Jersey to Rejoin East Coast Carbon Market, Virginia May Be Next

Inside Climate News - January 30, 2018 - 9:23am
InsideClimate News

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed an executive order Monday directing the state's environment agency and public utilities board to begin the process of having New Jersey rejoin the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, the East Coast's carbon cap-and-trade system.

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Categories: International News

After Four Months, Much of Puerto Rico Still Dark and Damaged

Inside Climate News - January 30, 2018 - 9:21am
The Atlantic

Four months after Hurricane Maria ravaged Puerto Rico, 450,000 of the island's 1.5 million electricity customers are still without power, and people who do have electricity suffer frequent blackouts. This photo story captures how people have been faring since the storm.

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Categories: International News

Can Seaweed Help Save Shellfish from Ocean Acidification?

Inside Climate News - January 30, 2018 - 8:32am
NPR

Acidifying seawater is causing problems for oyster farms along the West Coast, and with climate change, it's only expected to get worse. Bay Area oyster farmers are teaming up with scientists to figure out ways to adapt, like using seagrass to pull carbon out of the water, making it slightly less acidic.

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Categories: International News

Southern Gas Corridor Dirty as Coal

350.org - January 30, 2018 - 7:01am

In less than two weeks a section of the Southern Gas Corridor could receive the European Investment Bank’s largest ever public loan of 1.5 billion Euros but fresh analysis reveals that this pipeline will likely be dirtier than coal due to all the methane leakage associated with gas power. New research commissioned by Bankwatch shows exactly why European institutions and financiers must subject massive new energy and infrastructure projects to a climate test ensuring they will be compatible with Europe’s climate targets.

What is the Southern Gas Corridor?

The Southern Gas Corridor is a proposed interconnected system of gas pipelines stretching nearly 3,500 kilometers through six countries transporting up to 31 billion cubic meters of fossil gas from Azerbaijan to Italy (see route below).

Route and sections of the Southern Gas Corridor. Source: Bankwatch

It is a hugely expensive project estimated to cost around 45 billion US dollars, and requires the support of European public finance institutions, such as the European Investment Bank and the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development. The European Commision has admitted its failure to assess the impact of this massive new gas pipeline on the climate. That is, to determine whether or not this project adheres to Europe’s long term commitment to limit global warming to 1.5°C degrees (above pre-industrial levels) under the Paris Agreement.

This pipeline failed its climate test

European institutions and politicians may have jumped the gun and financed a pipeline without understanding the full consequences of their actions, but researchers from the Observatori del Deute en la Globalització and the Polytechnic University of Catalonia have delivered a climate test for the Southern Gas Corridor. The results are in and it is bad news: the pipeline failed because it’s climate footprint will likely be comparable to coal power. This is because of greenhouse gas emissions that always leak from the highly pressurised lines and equipment used in transporting natural gas.

Infrared image of methane leakage. Source: EDF

This new study quantifies the greenhouse gas leakage produced along the Southern Gas Corridor, focusing on extraction and transmission operations, it takes account of carbon dioxide and methane, a greenhouse gas 25 times as potent as carbon dioxide over a hundred year period. We now know:

  • In 6 out of 9 projected scenarios the Southern Gas Corridor will be as damaging as coal power, in terms of emissions intensity.
  • The pipeline will very likely unleash annual greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to the country of Bulgaria.

European gas expansion is a reckless undertaking

This research completely undermines claims that the Southern Gas Corridor will help to displace coal power with so-called cleaner gas – it will not help the EU meet its long-term climate targets. Instead it reinforces the argument that European gas expansion is a white elephant when it comes to finance and energy security, and downright dangerous in relation to climate change and community wellbeing.

Gas compressor and pumping station. In Europe demand is falling. Source: Siemens

There are plenty of signals to suggest that by betting on gas, European politicians and financiers are making a big mistake. In 2017 the gas industry giants Siemens and General Electric had to close their gas turbine construction facilities and lay off workers because orders have dropped off a cliff – as a result more than 12,000 people lost their jobs. Around the same time financial behemoths like the Norwegian Sovereign Wealth Fund and the World Bank announced their intentions to stop investing in gas and other fossil fuels.

Time to reassess Europe’s priority projects

Some Members of the European Parliament are starting to catch on to the dangers of the EU railroading through a swathe of massive new gas projects without adequate impact and risk assessment. Last week 13 MEP’s wrote a letter of concern to the secretariat of the Parliament’s Industry Committee, formally raising an objection to the proposed ‘Projects of Common Interest’ or PCI list. These are the major infrastructure projects that are being prioritised and fast-tracked by the European Union, but the list includes plans for gas expansion that we now know could be as damaging to the climate as building new coal plants.

“It is the first post-Paris list of key energy infrastructure that Europe is supposed to have to face the energy challenges of the future, nonetheless it continues to include an extravagant number of gas projects”

Antoine Simone, Friends of the Earth

One lesson we can learn from this groundbreaking new analysis of the Southern Gas Corridor is that major new infrastructure projects on Europe’s PCI list must be subject to a climate test in order to be approved and to receive finance. There is no time to lose, climate impacts are already hitting frontline communities here and now: last year alone Europe suffered a deadly heatwave (the most severe since 2003), devastating wildfires in Portugal that killed more than 60 people, and the strongest Atlantic storm ever to hit Ireland, according to records, that took even more lives.

Wildfires on the horizon in Portugal. Source: Contando Estrelas

The divestment movement has already been extremely influential in getting financiers to take climate change into consideration and ditch fossil fuels but we need to build our strength further as Europe teeters on the edge of a climate cliff by gearing up to build massive new gas infrastructure that will lock us in to 40 more years of dangerous, dirty energy. We need to pile on the pressure to ensure that decision-makers and financiers are applying a climate test to these projects, and when they fail we must be there to cut the financial flows that breathe life into unwanted fossil fuels.

To find out how to stop gas expansion in Europe visit defundtap.org

Categories: International News

Did Religion Make America go Nuts?

Climate Crocks - January 29, 2018 - 7:46pm
The increasing domination of Republican grass roots by, well, let’s face it, Religious nut jobs, has lead the party to embrace the paranoid and irrational, while fleeing the discipline of reason and evidence. I have no quarrel with sincere spiritual feeling or insight, but using religion as an excuse for paranoia, hatred and racism is one […]
Categories: International News

Old Flame: The End of Natural Gas?

Climate Crocks - January 29, 2018 - 5:55pm
Natural gas – “the bridge fuel” to a renewable world, we’ve been told. That was a lot more true in 1985 than it is now. 5 years ago big energy manufacturers were fighting over natural gas turf. Now they are fleeing in disarray. Outlines not yet completely clear, but there are suggestions that Natural gas […]
Categories: International News

New Jersey, Virginia Take Steps Toward Joining East Coast Carbon Market

Inside Climate News - January 29, 2018 - 11:00am
InsideClimate News

As the Trump administration rolls back federal environmental regulations, states are moving forward with carbon cap-and-trade plans: a New Jersey legislative committee advanced a bill to rejoin the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), and Virginia is taking steps toward carbon trading, as well.

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