Climate Change News from Across the Pond

france frack

Newsflash #1 France has announced that it might stop importing shale natural gas from the United States because it’s extracted using hydraulic fracturing.  Fracking was banned in France in 2011. Two French utilities currently contract with Houston-based Cheniere Energy, which sells them liquified natural gas (LNG) comprised of 40% shale gas. Notably, this policy debate in France is taking place as the US seeks to step up its LNG…
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Climate Talk Vermont

climate talk vermont

Now you too can attend Climate Talk Vermont – Global Ambition, Local Action, VLS’s Earth Day 2016 celebration, thanks to Bob the Green Guy. Co-sponsored with the Vermont chapter of the Sierra Club, this climate change event kicked off with remarks by Aaron Mair, National President of the Sierra Club.  The first panel focused on the global dimensions of…
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Solar Energy Growth Really Heating Up

Solar Market Garden in Benin

News about the increase in solar energy potential and development has been robust across all the climate news aggregators for some time. And, targeted outlets like the U.S-based Solar Energy Industries Association News (weekly) and the Australian-based Solar Daily abound with exciting stories. The overwhelming consensus is that this technology has really caught fire, as…
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Clean cars, clean energy

electric car

This piece in Bloomberg news, The Dirty Road to Cleaner Cars, captures well the conundrum of cleaning up vehicular emissions.  22% of US CO2 emissions come from the transportation sector.  (This number is17% worldwide.) Tesla set records when it launched its Model 3 in April, racking up more than 400,000 reservations for the $35,000 sedan since then. So it’s clear that there…
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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…
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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…
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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…
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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…
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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%…
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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…
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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…
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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…
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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…
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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…
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