In the news / New articles / Conference and seminar annoucements / Open positions
In the news:
- “Global investment in activities to reduce planet-warming emissions and vulnerability to climate change grew 18 percent to $391 billion in 2014, as private backing for renewable energy technologies surged… Around three quarters of total investment and over 90 percent of private finance was raised and spent in the same country.” The fact that most of the money comes from inside the country is important and shows that renewable energies really boost income at home. This, for example is an important difference to big nuclear projects such as #HinkleyPointC in UK, where – if this nuclear power plant is really ever built – the profits will accrue to foreign investors (France and China). Despite this surge in investments: “around $16.5 trillion is required between 2015 and 2030 to shift the global energy system in line with the 2 degree goal.” So annual investments must more than double in order to reach 2°C warming.
- “The 2014 package called for a 70% recycling target for municipal waste for 2030, and a total ban on landfill for all recoverable and reusable waste. But leaked documents obtained by EurActiv ahead of the EU’s executive planned launch of the new package next week, only call for a 65% recycling goal, and will allow a 10% landfill quota. Commission First Vice-President Frans Timmermans promised the European Parliament that the new package would be “more ambitious” than the old one after ditching it in December last year.” Way to go, European Parliament!
- “Four of nine planetary boundaries have now been crossed as a result of human activity” (climate change, biosphere integrity, land-system change, and altered biogeochemical cycles) Bad news for mankind, good news for cockroaches.
- Faced with unprecedented levels of air pollution (15 times higher than regulatory standard in Beijing) China now pledges to reduce power plant emissions by 60% by 2020.
- COP21 news: “progress on measurement, reporting, and verification (MRV) of emissions reductions, as well as on adaptation. But finance and differentiation remained “crunch issues”; “Germany and France [raise] the level of ambition in Paris to the safer 1.5°C goal.”; at least fourty governments demand the stop of fossil fuel subsidies; around 60 carbon pricing schemes are established around the world covering 12% of total emissions – but little discussion about a global carbon price at COP21;
- How the world can go 100% renewable by 2050: While this Stanford University report proposes that it should be possible, there are recent estimates (HERE) that 100% renewables in Germany by 2050 is simply too expensive. One of the huge problems there is, for example, the grid, another one is energy storage. It would be nice to know whether the difference in results comes from different assumptions on the evolution of grids and storage or other additional reasons. One of the issues for some countries when it comes to 100% green energy is a lack of hydropower. There are, nevertheless, already some countries that envision a 100% renewable scenario: Costa Rica, already 100% green electritiy; Denmark targets 100% renewables by 2050; Sweden and Finland.
- Download the E-BOOK “Towards a Workable and Effective Climate Regime”, ed edited by Scott Barrett, Carlo Carraro and Jaime de Melo