Extracts from our weekly newsletters:
Climate Science and Politics 🌎
It’s The End of Oil: Blockbuster IEA Report Urges No New Fossil Fuel Development From The Energy Mix: No new investment in oil, gas, or coal development, a massive increase in renewable energy adoption, and speedy global phaseouts for new natural gas boilers and internal combustion vehicles are key elements of a blockbuster Net Zero by 2050 report released by the International Energy Agency. https://theenergymix.com/2021/05/19/its-the-end-of-oil-blockbuster-iea-report-urges-no-new-fossil-development/
Time to Stop Playing Nice with Fossil Fuel Companies, by Seth Klein From the National Observer: In the face of the climate emergency, this is the time of our Phoney War. Most of us know the battle for our lives must soon get underway, and most of our leaders — in government and industry — are now talking tough on climate. But in deeds, they aren’t there yet. https://www.nationalobserver.com/2021/05/17/opinion/time-stop-playing-nice-fossil-fuel-companies-blocking-climate-action
Australian energy giant Woodside Petroleum wants out of troubled Kitimat LNG project From the Vancouver Sun: Woodside and Chevron want out of the multi-billion dollar proposed LNG development on Haisla Nation land. The proposed Kitimat LNG project seems doomed. https://vancouversun.com/news/australian-energy-giant-woodside-petroleum-wants-out-of-troubled-kitimat-lng-project
In 2030, We Ended the Climate Crisis: Here’s How, by Eric Holthaus A Hopeful Year-By-Year Chronology, from 2020-2030. https://thecorrespondent.com/214/in-2030-we-ended-the-climate-emergency-heres-how/28330740746-6b15af77
One of Canada’s biggest carbon sinks is circling the drain, by Barrie SaxifrageFrom The National Observer: Canada’s continent-spanning forest used to remove massive amounts of CO2 from the air each year. It was a hugely valuable “carbon sink”, slowing the pace of climate change and benefiting our logging industry. But that carbon sink has steadily collapsed to the point where the forest now emits CO2. That adds fuel to our accelerating climate crisis, and spells trouble for Canadian logging. https://www.nationalobserver.com/2021/05/07/news/canada-carbon-sink-managed-forests-circling-drain
These graphics show how the world is racing to climate failure Barry Saxifrage, National Observer, April 26th 2021https://www.nationalobserver.com/2021/04/26/news/these-graphics-show-how-world-racing-climate-failure
Amsterdam just banned advertising for “fossil products”from metro stations. France’s new climate law will prohibit ads for oil, coal or gas. https://verbiedfossielereclame.nl/eerste-concrete-stap-amsterdam-weert-fossiele-reclame-uit-de-metro/
Germany pledges to reduce emissions 65% by 2030 https://theenergymix.com/2021/05/07/germany-pledges-65-emissions-cut-by-2030-net-zero-by-2045
The climate verdict of the German Constitutional Court https://www.socialeurope.eu/the-climate-verdict-of-the-german-constitutional-court
Net Zero is a Dangerous Trap https://theconversation.com/climate-scientists-concept-of-net-zero-is-a-dangerous-trap-157368
BP Emerges as Lead Customer for Woodfibre LNG Despite Low-Carbon Messaging https://theenergymix.com/2021/05/09/bp-emerges-as-lead-customer-for-woodfibre-lng-despite-low-carbon-messaging/
UN Urges 45% Methane Cuts by 2030 https://theenergymix.com/2021/05/09/un-urges-45-methane-cut-this-decade-to-reduce-warming-protect-health/
Electric cars cheaper will be cheaper to produce than fossil fuel vehicles than by 2027 https://www.theguardian.com/business/2021/may/09/electric-cars-will-be-cheaper-to-produce-than-fossil-fuel-vehicles-by-2027
Climate Solutions 🌎
Downscaling the Doughnut Economy to the City, with Kate Raworth
A great 11’ video introduction to downscaling the Doughnut Economy’s social and planetary boundaries to the city, so that it can become a tool for transformative action: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YCqGf7T9ABo
Record Low Price for Solar PV: 1.35 cents US/kwh
From Clean Technica: Last year, the Abu Dhabi Power Corporation announced the lowest ever tariff for solar energy for its gigantic new 2 GW solar power plant, the Al Dhafra Solar PV project: USD 1.35 cents/kWh. This is 44% lower than the tariff set three years ago for Abu Dhabi’s first large-scale solar 1.2GW PV project which commenced commercial operation in 2019. The new PV power plant is scheduled to come online in mid-2022. Covering 20 square kilometers, it will help the Emirate state achieve its 2030 goal to reduce carbon intensity by 70% compared to 2015. https://cleantechnica.com/2020/06/08/1-35-cents-kwh-record-abu-dhabi-solar-bid-is-a-sober-reminder-to-upbeat-fossil-fuel-pundits/
The Sky’s the Limit: Solar and wind energy potential is 100 times as much as global energy demand
From Carbon Tracker: Solar and wind potential is far higher than fossil fuels and can meet global energy demand many times over. With current technology in a subset of available locations we could capture 6,700 PWh (petawatt hours) a year from solar and wind, more than 100 times global energy demand. The collapse in renewable costs means that half of this solar and wind technical potential now has economic potential; by 2030 it will be over 90%. The land required for solar panels alone to provide all global energy is 450,000 km2, 0.3% of the global land area, less than the current land footprint of fossil fuel infrastructure. “The world does not need to exploit its entire renewable resource — just 1% is enough to replace all fossil fuel usage.” “We are entering a new epoch, comparable to the industrial revolution. Geopolitics will be transformed as nations are freed from expensive imports of coal, oil and gas. Clean renewables will fight catastrophic climate change and free the planet from deadly pollution.” https://carbontracker.org/reports/the-skys-the-limit-solar-wind/
The Global Steel Industry is Cutting out CoalFrom The Narwhal: As Alberta and B.C. mull expanding metallurgical coal mining in the Rockies, some steel manufacturers are pledging to do away with the need for the carbon-heavy material altogether. https://thenarwhal.ca/steel-coal-mining-hydrogen/
Want to Encourage Electric Trucks? Let Them Haul More, Says BCFrom The Tyee: Last week, the B.C. Transportation Ministry announced it would allow electric and hydrogen-powered commercial vehicles to carry up to 1.5 tonnes more weight than gas- and diesel-burning trucks to help offset extra costs and encourage more “green” fleets. https://thetyee.ca/News/2021/05/17/Encourage-Electric-Trucks-Haul-More-BC/
Nasa leads push for electric planes in next frontier of cutting emissions
From The Guardian: A long, international flight may have to rely on a hybrid model of battery and jet fuel, but advances in lithium-ion battery technology and other components are leading to the development of smaller, propellor-driven electric aircraft that are now coming to fruition. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/may/18/electric-planes-nasa-carbon-emissions
David Attenborough’s 95th BirthdayFrom the BBC: 95 Years in 95 Seconds https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=1855602467935567
The Role of Water in the Global Climate
Walter Jehne is a soil microbiologist who believes that restoring the water cycle through regenerative land practices is central to cooling the planet, since water constitutes 95% of our planetary heating/cooling system. He believes that this could create significant cooling in a relatively short period of time https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K4ygsdHJjdI
Shenzhen: Heart of the Electric Vehicle Revolution
The city of Shenzhen, in south China, has a population of 12 million people. Starting in 2015, the city made a commitment to the full electrification of transportation, which has been bearing fruit. To get a sense of it al, watch this 18’ video on The City with 16,000 Electric Buses & 22,000 Electric Taxis.
Currently, 25% of all new vehicle purchases are EVs. By 2019 there were 92,000 electric cars, with a choice of 100 EV models, with a range up to 700 km at the top end. An SUV such as the BYD Song sells for $27,000, with a 300 km range. https://wattev2buy.com/china-ev-price-list-rank-chinese-electric-cars-by-range-and-price/
There are also 16,000 electric buses, both single-deckers and double-deckers. They drive a million kilometres a day, and carry 1,100,000 riders a day. They have 250 km range, with charging infrastructure at either end of a route at 180 EV bus recharging depots. They produce no air pollution, are very quiet, and are easy to operate. Each bus uses 93 kWh/100 km.
The entire city fleet of 22,000 taxis is electric. Taxi-drivers in the BYD fleet can rest at a recharging depot and enjoy the use of a restaurant or gym, take a health check, or have a massage. Every taxi is digitally mapped, with live-streamed data.
By 2019 there were 62,000 electric light trucks and vans for urban freight movement, representing 35% of the city’s urban delivery vehicles. Vehicle purchase subsidies and operational subsidies have created close to upfront cost parity compared to their internal combustion competitors. The city is planning to deploy electric garbage trucks, utility vehicles, road construction trucks, and 600 electric dump trucks.
So the next time someone says “it can’t be done”, show them this data, and send them the video. For a deep dive, the Rocky Mountain Institute has published A NEW EV HORIZON – Insights From Shenzhen’s Path to Global Leadership in Electric Logistics Vehicles.