US energy use of coal drops big

EIA coal drop

The US Energy Information Administration reported last week that US power plants reduced their use of coal by almost 30% during the past nine years.  In 2015, 739 million short tons of coal were burned to produce electricity, down from a 1.045 billion short tons in 2007, the peak year. Coal use also fell in nearly every state. States with the largest…
Read the full article…


Climate – Free Trade Policy Mismatch

bl09_free_trade_jp_2367461f

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) was high on the U.S.-EU agenda last week (here and here), reigniting nagging questions about the continued disconnect between international trade policies and climate change policies that has been problematic for decades. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has acknowledged that the misalignment allows international trade…
Read the full article…


Survey says . . .

political survey results

A new study by Yale and George Mason universities of US registered voters and their attitudes about climate change reports some consistent results:  Democrats are more likely than Republicans to be convinced that human-caused global warming is happening and to support climate action by elected officials. But the studies’ authors dig deeper to show more nuanced shifts in public opinion about climate change.  As they…
Read the full article…


Fair and balanced?

CNN

A recent study concludes that CNN viewers see more fossil fuel ads than reporting on climate change. Oil industry advertisements outstripped climate-related coverage by almost 5 to 1 in periods following major climate announcements, according to Media Matters. For example, after reporting that 2015 was the hottest year on record and that February 2016 was the most abnormally…
Read the full article…


Paris Agreement Signed. What Next?

PA signing

On Friday, April 22, 175 Parties (174 countries + the EU) signed the Paris Agreement at the UN ceremony.  By doing so, they signaled their intent to ratify it, the next step in making the Agreement binding internationally and in their countries. Article 21 of the Paris Agreement requires ratification by at least 55 countries representing at least 55%…
Read the full article…


Today is the day

Here's how I spent Earth Day last year.

Happy Earth Day! ›Since the first Earth Day in 1970, when 20 million Americans celebrated it, the day has gone global.  In 1990, 200 million people in 141 countries took part. ›In 2000, more than 4500 organizations in 180 countries marked the 30th Earth Day in their own ways. Last year, 1 billion people across the globe feted…
Read the full article…


March continues the warming trend

earth on fire

The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced yesterday that last month was the 11th straight record warmth month, joining the longest warmth streak in 137 years. March 2016 also stands out for its variance from the 20th century average global temperature:  it was 2.2°F higher than the average over the last century. Gavin Schmidt, Director of the NASA Goddard…
Read the full article…



London’s Tube prepares for climate change

LU

A new, unpublished report on flood risk to London’s Tube shows that 57 of its busiest subway stations are at high risk of flooding, including Waterloo, King’s Cross, and London Bridge.  The report finds the risk of flooding is increasing due to climate change, which has resulted in more frequent heavy rainfall in the UK. The report, obtained by the…
Read the full article…


Exxon redux: who knew what and when

exxon memo

From the Panama Papers to the Pentagon Papers with a stop in between at the internal memos exposed during the states’ litigation against Big Tobacco in the 1990s, industry documents are powerful tools in showing who knew what when – and shifting the tide of public opinion. We’ve reported on Inside Climate News‘ expose and political and legal reactions…
Read the full article…


Methane, the other GHG

partner-challenge-emissions

Methane (CH4), the main component of natural gas, is the second most prevalent GHG emitted globally. It has a higher global warming potency but shorter shelf life: methane is more than 80 times more warming than carbon dioxide over 20 years.  While it usually gets second billing to CO2’s long term impacts and prevalence in the fossil fuel-based…
Read the full article…


SCF, Meet Loss and Damage

Screen Shot 2016-04-12 at 8.13.32 PM

The Warsaw International Mechanism (WIM) on Loss and damage (L&D) is going on a somewhat surprising date this year with the Standing Committee on Finance (SCF). The job of the SCF is to assist the UNFCCC Conference of Parties (COP) in conducting its climate finance functions. The job of the WIM is to enhance action…
Read the full article…


Climate Policy For Sale?

Screen Sho-IM Big Oil Graphic-Apr2016

A newly released study from the UK-based, non-profit InfluenceMap reveals that just 5 oil industry entities collectively spend an estimated nearly $115 million every year through lobbying and influence to obstruct climate policy. And the report’s team considers this a conservative estimate. Topping the list are the American Petroleum Institute (API) ($65 mill), ExxonMobil ($27…
Read the full article…


Breaking up is decreasingly hard to do

Decoupling_sparkline_graphic_v2

A common concern of developed and developing countries has been that breaking up the 19th and 20th century association of economic development and fossil fuels will lead to GDP decline.  Referred to as “decoupling,” economists have warned that economic growth would decline as climate change policy made carbon more expensive. But last year the International Energy Agency (IEA) reported…
Read the full article…


UK hits new carbon low

uk-energy-infrastrucutre-closures_499x255

The United Kingdom’s carbon emissions have fallen to their lowest level since the 1920s. Coal consumption in 2015 fell 22% from 2014, and led to a 4% decrease in GHG emissions. Renewable energy produced 25% of the UK’s electricity in 2015. This trend is expected to continue in 2016, as four coal plants closed in March. The Cameron government has pledged…
Read the full article…