Archive for the tag “carbon emissions”

Why is India holding out on the Paris Climate Agreement?

Global Risk Insights reports: Recent developments suggest that India has been seeking to leverage its ratification of the Paris Agreement. Specifically, the Modi Government has claimed it will only be able to meet emissions reduction targets if it rapidly expands its capacity to produce nuclear energy, which would be difficult to achieve without NSG membership.

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India charts a roadmap to achieve ambitious solar targets

Katherine Ross reports: Last month’s release of India’s ambitious year-on-year solar energy capacity targets chart a roadmap for achieving the country’s 2022 goal. This sequence of yearly targets—as opposed to an assumed growth trend between current capacity and targeted capacity—shows that India is making concerted plans to reach its goals announced at the Paris talks.

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Industrial civilisation can’t wean itself off fossil fuels painlessly

Chris Martenson writes: The data seems to confirm this: Humanity is not going to painlessly wean itself off of fossil fuels. Instead, we will hit some sort of a wall: a food/population crisis, a climate crisis, or a debt/fiscal/economic crisis.  Each of those candidates has its roots in our global societys addition to fossil fuels.

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Why technology cannot adequately address climate change

The developed worlds average per capita emissions are now a little more than twice the corresponding level in developing countries. But the emissions gap between rich and poor individuals, regardless of nation, has increased. And rich countries and individuals, as always, can rely on their wealth to protect them from many effects of global warming.

Toward sustainable, equitable societies

How viable is renewable energy?

Both solar and wind energy depend on rare earth elements that will likely become scarce in 20 years or so. China accounted for 95 percent of the worlds rare-earth production, raising fears that it might exert monopolistic control. Meanwhile, renewable energy technologies that could function without rare earths, particularly photovoltaic technologies, arent close to deployment.

Clear path, indecisive travelers

Sagar Dhara, Bulletin of Atomic Scientists

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India’s Energy Crisis

Can India modernize its manufacturing economy and supply electricity to its growing population without relying heavily on coal—and quite possibly destroying the global climate?

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Richard Martin, Technology Review

An old man wakes on the floor of a hut in a village in southern India. He is wrapped in a thin cotton blanket. Beside him, music wails softly on a transistor radio. A small wood fire smolders on the floor, filling the space with a light haze; above it,the bamboo timbers of the hut’s roof are charred to a glossy black.

The man’s name is Mallaiah Tokala, and he is the headman of Appapur village, in the Amrabad Tiger Reserve in Telangana state. On his forehead he wears the vibhuti, the sacred daub of white ash. He is uncertain of his exact age, but he is well into his 10th decade. He has lived in this village his whole life, a period that encompasses the tumultuous 20th-century history of India: the rise of Gandhi, the Salt March, the end of the Raj and the coming of independence, Partition and the bloodshed that followed, the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi and the dawning of a new era of sectarian violence and terrorism. And now he has lived long enough to witness the coming of electricity to Appapur, in the form of solar-powered lights and TVs and radios. Read more…

Special: Institutions are pulling out investments worth billions from fossil fuels

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What is fossil fuel divestment?
Divestment is the opposite of investment – it is the removal of your investment capital from stocks, bonds or funds. The global movement for fossil fuel divestment (sometimes also called disinvestment) is asking institutions to move their money out of oil, coal and gas companies for both moral and financial reasons. These institutions include universities, religious institutions, pension funds, local authorities and charitable foundations.

It is the fastest-growing divestment campaign in history and could cause significant damage to coal, gas and oil companies, according to a study by Oxford University. Previous divestment campaigns have targeted the tobacco and gambling industries and companies funding the violence in Darfur. Divestment is perhaps most well known for its role in the fight against apartheid in South Africa. Read more…

Research: Burning existing fossil fuels will melt the Antarctic ice sheet

READ ORIGINAL PAPER:
Combustion of available fossil fuel resources sufficient to eliminate the Antarctic Ice Sheet
By Ricarda Winkelmann, Anders Levermann, Andy Ridgwell and Ken Caldeira

If We Burned All the Fossil Fuel in the World
Elizabeth Kolbert, The New Yorker

What would happen if we burned through all of the fossil-fuel resources known to exist? In a paper published today in the journal Science Advances, a quartet of German, American, and British researchers take on this question. The answer, not surprisingly, is grim. If mankind managed to combust the world’s known conventional deposits of coal, gas, and oil, and then went on to consume all of its “unconventional” ones, like tar-sands oil and shale gas, the result would be emissions on the order of ten trillion tons of carbon. Average global temperatures would soar, and the world would remain steamy for millennia. After ten thousand years, the planet would still be something like fourteen degrees Fahrenheit hotter than it is today. All of the worlds mountain glaciers and the Greenland ice sheet would melt away; Antarctica, too, would eventually become pretty much ice free. Sea levels would rise by hundreds of feet. Read more…

Sagar Dhara: The climate challenge is deeper than technology

DEVELOPMENT AND DISARMAMENT ROUNDTABLE

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Technologys role in a climate solution
If the world is to avoid severe, widespread, and irreversible [climate] impacts, carbon emissions must decrease quickly—and achieving such cuts, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, depends in part on the availability of key technologies. But arguments abound against faith in technological solutions to the climate problem. Electricity grids may be ill equipped to accommodate renewable energy produced on a massive scale. Many technological innovations touted in the past have failed to achieve practical success. Even successful technologies will do little good if they mature too late to help avert climate disaster. Below, experts from India, the United States, and Bangladesh address the following questions: To what extent can the world depend on technological innovation to address climate change? And what promising technologies—in generating, storing, and saving energy, and in storing greenhouse gases or removing them from the atmosphere—show most potential to help the world come to terms with global warming? Read more…

Series: INDCs and the road to Paris 1

(Note: Indias Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC), its eagerly awaited promise of action to counter climate change ahead of the Paris climate talks this year, was released earlier this month. Starting with this one, we present a series of posts that look at whether Indias pledge is all its claimed to be. In this post, we present some of the initial coverage of the pledge that summarises its contents and a guide to understanding the importance of INDCs, apart from Indias INDC document itself)

Full text of Indias INDC

A concise summary of Indias INDCs: India Announces New Climate Targets

A primer on INDCs and what they imply, read: Adding up INDCs: what country commitments could mean for climate change

ANALYSES

India’s INDC is fair, and its renewable energy and forestry targets are ambitious, says CSE
CSE India
India’s INDC reflects its development challenges, aspirations and the realities of climate change. India’s renewable energy target is more ambitious than that of the US. India’s emission intensity target is exactly similar to that of China’s. About 85 per cent of countries have submitted their INDCs. Their collective pledges are not in line with keeping the world within the safe 2°C temperature rise target.

 5 Key Takeaways from India’s New Climate Plan
World Resources Institute
As the world’s third-largest emitter and a country that’s highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, it is encouraging to witness India invest in actions to tackle climate change while addressing critical issues such as poverty, food security and access to healthcare and education.

Indias climate pledge: keeping promises will be a tall order
Nihar Gokhale, Catch News
While it is true that much of the climate action plan depends on getting money and technology from abroad, some of the activities are urgent. Of the total cost, about $206 billion will be needed for just dealing with the adverse impacts of climate change, known in climate jargon as adaptation. Whether or not India actually spends on renewable energy, this is a cost it must bear. This includes saving its people from vagaries of rainfall, sudden and extreme events like cyclones, and in maintaining water security amidst a warming world.

Indias first step towards climate solution is good, but it has miles to go on a complex road
Rohini Mohan, The Economic Media
International climate change watchers have praised Indias INDC for being superior to many other countries, even though it only contributed to 4 per cent of historical emissions. They are not legally binding, but the sustainability language and low carbon targets show a major leap in Indias recent willingness to act against climate change. The domestic strategies to meet the targets, however, tell a more complex story. Even as India talks of low-emissions plans, it continues high-emission growth, and is unlikely to stop soon. Whether or not technological solutions and renewables achieve total emission cuts in the long run, without a core shift in approach, India will be chasing a moving goal.

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