EPA reconsiders withdrawal of California’s waiver to enforce greenhouse gas standards for cars and light trucks

As directed in President Biden’s Executive Order 13990 on “Protecting Public Health and the Environment and Restoring Science to Tackle the Climate Crisis,” and in response to requests by states and other stakeholders, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is seeking public input on its reconsideration of the Agency’s 2019... Read more →


US President Joe Biden announced a new target for the United States to achieve a 50-52% reduction from 2005 levels in economy-wide net greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in 2030. According to the most recent GHG inventory from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), US GHG emissions in 2019 (after accounting... Read more →


The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its 28th annual Inventory of US Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks (GHG Inventory), which presents a national-level overview of annual greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 to 2019. Key findings from the 1990-2019 US Inventory include: In 2019, US greenhouse gas emissions totaled 6,558... Read more →


UC transportation researchers offer to assist CARB with GHG reductions data analysis; Audit report “likely incorrect”

A group of 13 researchers from the University of California system have offered to assist the California Air Resources Board (ARB) with its analysis of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction data resulting from state programs and also to develop better long-term data collection and analysis tools. The group wrote to... Read more →


SEC creates enforcement task force focused on climate and ESG issues

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has created a Climate and ESG Task Force in the Division of Enforcement. The task force will be led by Kelly L. Gibson, the Acting Deputy Director of Enforcement, who will oversee a Division-wide effort, with 22 members drawn from the SEC’s headquarters, regional... Read more →


FedEx commits to carbon-neutral operations by 2040

FedEx Corp., home of the world’s largest cargo airline, has set a goal to achieve carbon–neutral operations globally by 2040. To help reach this goal, FedEx is designating more than $2 billion of initial investment in three key areas: vehicle electrification; sustainable energy; and carbon sequestration. This includes a pledge... Read more →


The Covid-19 crisis in 2020 triggered the largest annual drop in global energy-related carbon dioxide emissions since the Second World War, according to IEA data, but the overall decline of about 6% masks wide variations depending on the region and the time of year. After hitting a low in April,... Read more →


UN report finds nations must be more ambitious with national climate action plans to achieve Paris goal

UN Climate Change published the Initial NDC Synthesis Report, showing nations must redouble efforts and submit stronger, more ambitious national climate action plans in 2021 if they’re to achieve the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global temperature rise by 2 °C—ideally 1.5 °C—by the end of the century. The report... Read more →


CARB responds to State Auditor’s report; “doubling down”, new Scoping Plan in 2022

Earlier this week, the State Auditor of California released a report on an audit of the California Air Resources Board’s (ARB’s) transportation programs intended to reduce greenhouse gases. (Earlier post.) The report suggested that California might not meet its GHG reduction goals for 2030, determined that CARB must do more... Read more →


A report from the State Auditor of California finds that California may not successfully meet its upcoming greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction goal of 40% by 2030, which will require the State to reduce GHG emissions by nearly 40% over the next decade. Source: State Auditor Report Number: 2020-114 Although other... Read more →


California’s current strategy of recovering a myriad of fixed costs in electricity usage rates must change as the state uses more renewable electricity to power buildings and vehicles, according to the findings from a new report from the Energy Institute at the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business and non-profit... Read more →


CMU study finds taxes on emissions would result in more rapid electrification by ridesharing companies

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon’s College of Engineering have found that with an emissions-based incentive towards electrification, ridesourcing companies such as Uber and Lyft would electrify more and cut their emissions by amounts ranging from 10% in New York to 22% in Los Angeles. In LA alone, this represents a reduction... Read more →


Kobe Steel, Ltd. (KOBELCO) has successfully demonstrated technology that can reduce CO2 emissions from blast furnace operations by approximately 20% by combining the Midrex’ HBI technologies and the blast furnace operations of Kobe Steel. The demonstration test was conducted for a month at a large blast furnace (4,844 m3) of... Read more →


Virginia Legislature passes Clean Car Standards bill; to Governor for signing

At the end of last week, the Virginia State Senate passed HB 1965, which directs the State Air Pollution Control Board to implement a low-emissions and zero-emissions vehicle program for motor vehicles with a model year of 2025 and later. With this rule, Virginia joins 14 other states and the... Read more →


A.P. Moller - Maersk to launch methanol-fueled feeder in 2023; all future newbuilds to support carbon-neutral fuels

Fast-tracked by advances in technology and increasing customer demand for sustainable supply chains, A.P. Moller - Maersk is accelerating its efforts to decarbonize marine operations with the launch of the first carbon-neutral feeder vessel in 2023—seven years ahead of the initial 2030 ambition. All future Maersk owned newbuildings will have... Read more →


White House forms Climate Innovation Working Group; on the way to ARPA-C

President Biden has created a new Climate Innovation Working Group as part of the National Climate Task Force to advance his commitment to launching an Advanced Research Projects Agency-Climate (ARPA-C). The working group is intended to help coordinate and strengthen federal government-wide efforts to foster affordable, game-changing technologies that can... Read more →


NCAR-led study finds COVID-19 lockdowns temporarily raised global temperatures due to reductions in aerosols

The lockdowns and reduced societal activity related to the COVID-19 pandemic affected emissions of pollutants in ways that slightly warmed the planet for several months last year, according to new research led by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). The counterintuitive finding highlights the influence of airborne particles, or... Read more →


Study finds methane emissions from coal mines ~50% higher than previously thought

The amount of methane released into the atmosphere as a result of coal mining is likely approximately 50% higher than previously estimated, according to research presented at the recent annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union. The research was done by a team at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Pacific... Read more →


Steelmaker Cleveland-Cliffs commits to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 25% by 2030

Steelmaker Cleveland-Cliffs has set a target to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 25% by 2030. This goal represents combined Scope 1 (direct) and Scope 2 (indirect) greenhouse gas emission reductions on a mass basis (metric tons per year) compared with 2017 baseline levels. Achieving this goal would bring the... Read more →


Qantas and bp form strategic partnership to advance net zero emissions

Qantas and bp announced a strategic partnership to advance their shared net zero ambitions further. Through the collaboration, the companies will work together on opportunities to reduce carbon emissions in the aviation sector and contribute to the development of a sustainable aviation fuel industry in Australia. The two companies have... Read more →


A new study by a team from Environmental Health & Engineering (EH&E) has found that greenhouse gas emissions from corn ethanol are 46% lower than those from gasoline—a decrease in emissions from the estimated 39% done by previous modeling. The report, led by David MacIntosh, Chief Science Officer of Environmental... Read more →


A new study by the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) has found that there are currently 6.2 million medium- and heavy-duty commercial vehicles on the EU’s roads, the average age of which is 13 years. Almost 98% of all these trucks run on diesel, according to the 2021 Vehicles in... Read more →


Deadline for applying for Keeling Curve Prize is 10 Feb; $250K for 10 projects

The deadline is fast approaching to apply for the 2021 Keeling Curve Prize, which will award $25,000 to each of 10 projects designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions or increase carbon uptake. The competition is open until 10 Feb to applicants from around the world. Previous winners have fixed carbon... Read more →


The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions standards for airplanes used in commercial aviation and large business jets. This action will align US standards with the international carbon dioxide emissions standards already set by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). In its technical support document for... Read more →


DOE intends to award $4M for projects to optimize safe, secure, and verifiable carbon storage

The US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy (FE) announced its intention to make $4 million in federal funding available for cost-shared research and development of tools and methods to optimize safe, secure, and verifiable carbon dioxide storage. (DE-FOA-0002401) DOE’s Carbon Storage Program focuses on developing, testing, and... Read more →


Next 10 report finds California must increase GHG reductions to 4.9%/year through 2030 to meet target

California’s progress in reducing greenhouse gas emissions has temporarily reversed, with pollution upticks signaling an increasingly difficult path ahead in achieving the state’s 2030 and 2050 climate targets, according to the 12th annual California Green Innovation Index—released by the nonpartisan nonprofit Next 10 and prepared by Beacon Economics. This year’s... Read more →


3 East Coast states and DC first to participate in TCI-P cap-and-invest program for transportation

The governors of Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island, and the mayor of the District of Columbia announced that theirs will be the first jurisdictions to launch a new multi-state program that the principals expect will invest some $300 million per year in cleaner transportation choices. The Transportation and Climate Initiative... Read more →


Rio Tinto to invest $10M with China Baowu Steel in low-carbon steelmaking projects and research

Rio Tinto has committed to invest $10 million with the world’s largest steel producer China Baowu Steel Group over the next two years in low-carbon steelmaking projects and research. This investment is the next step in advancing the partnership formed between Rio Tinto, China Baowu and Tsinghua University in 2019... Read more →


ACEA and PIK declare that by 2040 all new trucks sold need to be fossil-free

Europe’s truck manufacturers have concluded that by 2040 all new trucks sold need to be fossil free in order to reach carbon-neutrality by 2050. It will be possible to meet this target provided the right charging/refueling infrastructure is built and a coherent policy framework is put into place, including comprehensive... Read more →


Rio Tinto and Nippon Steel Corporation to cooperate on low-carbon emission steel value chain

Rio Tinto, a leading global mining and metals company, and Nippon Steel Corporation, Japan’s largest steel producer, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) jointly to explore, develop and demonstrate technologies to transition to a low-carbon emission steel value chain. The purpose of the partnership is to explore a breadth... Read more →


Three of the most popular plug-in hybrids in 2020 all emitted more CO2 than advertised when tested in the real world, according to tests commissioned by European environmental NGO Transport & Environment (T&E). T&E said governments should therefore end the purchase subsidies and tax breaks for plug-in hybrids. T&E has... Read more →


IMO Environment Committee approves draft mandatory regulations to cut ship carbon intensity; technical and operational

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) has approved draft new mandatory regulations to cut the carbon intensity of existing ships. This builds on current mandatory energy efficiency requirements to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions from shipping. The MEPC also agreed the terms of reference for assessing... Read more →


Global renewable energy investment increased between 2013 and 2018, reaching its peak at US$351 billion in 2017, according to a new report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and Climate Policy Initiative (CPI). The 2020 edition of Global Landscape of Renewable Energy Finance highlights however, that while a cumulative... Read more →


Audi of America launches Internal Carbon Price program to support goal of lowering CO2 footprint 30% by 2025

Audi of America is among the first in the automotive industry to implement an internal carbon price program as a key initiative in the brand’s pursuit of lower CO2 emissions. This is part of the global commitment Audi has made to lower its carbon footprint by 30% by 2025, and... Read more →


California’s latest greenhouse gas data shows that while the state continues to stay below its 2020 target for emissions, there is much more work to do to achieve carbon neutrality by 2045. The California Air Resources Board released GHG emissions data for 2018 showing that emissions remain below 1990 levels... Read more →


AFWERX extends submission deadline of Reimagining Energy Challenge for Air Force, DoD

AFWERX, the US Air Force’s innovation catalyst (earlier post), is seeking solutions from public and private industries; commercial sectors; government; and academia for the Department of Defense (DoD) Reimagining Energy Challenge to modernize and create the future of resilient energy production, transmission, utilization and storage for the US Air Force.... Read more →


A new study by a team from San Jose State University and Stanford University has found that—even under heightened damage estimates—the additional mitigation costs of limiting global warming to 1.5 °C (relative to 2.0 °C) are higher than the additional avoided damages this century under most parameter combinations considered. An... Read more →


CAISO, CPUC, and CEC issue preliminary report on causes of August rotating outages in California

The California Independent System Operator (CAISO), California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), and California Energy Commission (CEC) issued a Preliminary Root Cause Analysis of the August 2020 heat wave and rotating outages in California, finding that resource planning targets have not evolved to keep pace with extreme weather events, and that... Read more →


With demand for lithium set to increase over the next decade, Roskill has calculated, using its in-house analysis, that CO2 emissions from lithium production are set to triple by 2025 versus current levels and to grow by a factor of six by 2030, with the vast majority of this coming... Read more →


Crop switching and relocation of crop production to different states could prevent up to half of predicted losses in agricultural profits from climate change impacts according to new research conducted by the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics and Political Science... Read more →


Ricardo plc has made a public commitment to its shareholders, customers and workforce to achieve net zero carbon emissions from its operations by the end of calendar year 2030. Ricardo has been working actively towards this goal of achieving Net Zero carbon emissions for some time and has been helping... Read more →


Aviation accounts for 3.5% of the human-made climate impact; two-thirds of this impact are caused by emissions other than CO2, according to a new study by researchers in Europe and the US. The study was published in the journal Atmospheric Environment This new study is based on a thorough review... Read more →


ARPA-E awarding $16.5M to six projects for technologies supporting the biofuels supply chain

The Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (APRA-E) will award $16.5 million in funding for six projects as part of the Systems for Monitoring and Analytics for Renewable Transportation Fuels from Agricultural Resources and Management (SMARTFARM) program. These projects will develop technologies that bridge the data gap in the biofuel supply chain... Read more →


Study finds advanced cellulosic biofuels show real promise for replacing some fossil fuels

A new study led by Colorado State University predicts significant climate benefits stemming from the use of advanced biofuel technologies. Accounting for all of the carbon flows in biofuel systems and comparing them to those in grasslands and forests, the team found that there are clear strategies for biofuels to... Read more →


Study: 25% EV adoption would save US $17B annually from avoided climate change & pollution damages

A new study led by researchers from Northwestern University projects that if electric vehicles replaced 25% of combustion engine cars currently on the road, the United States would save approximately $17 billion annually by avoiding damages from climate change and air pollution. The open-access paper is published in AGU’s journal... Read more →


Canada Nickel launches subsidiary to develop zero-carbon production of nickel, cobalt and iron

Canada Nickel Company Inc. has created a wholly-owned subsidiary, NetZero Metals, to begin the research and development of a processing facility that would be located in the Timmins, Ontario region with the goal of utilizing existing technologies to produce zero-carbon nickel, cobalt and iron products. The Company has applied for... Read more →


NYK Line, Japan Marine United Corporation (JMU), and Nippon Kaiji Kyokai (ClassNK) signed a joint R&D agreement for the commercialization of an ammonia-fueled ammonia gas carrier (AFAGC) that would use ammonia as the main fuel, in addition to an ammonia floating storage and regasification barge (A-FSRB). Ammonia-fueled Ammonia Gas Carrier... Read more →


Univ. of Surrey researchers to develop Li-CO2 battery technology

Researchers at the University of Surrey (UK) are to begin work on a new lithium-ion battery technology that is capable of capturing CO2 emissions, following a £243,689 award from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). The project, which will be led by Dr Yunlong Zhao, will undertake research... Read more →


IHS Markit: oil sands greenhouse gas intensity declined 20% over past decade

New research by the IHS Markit Canadian Oil Sands Dialogue shows that the combined greenhouse gas (GHG) intensity of Canadian oil sands projects has declined 20% from 2009 levels. The new analysis, using most recent data available, shows trends remaining in line with previous IHS Markit projections that oil sands... Read more →


Researchers from the GEOMAR Helmholtz Center for Ocean Research Kiel have found that considerable quantities of the greenhouse gas methane escape uncontrolled into the water from abandoned oil and gas wells in the North Sea. The work, published in the International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control, confirms earlier studies based... Read more →