Tag Archive: CO2

Good-Bye Coal

In a surprisingly bold move, US President Obama set ambitious emission targets (1,000lbs of carbon dioxide for each megawatt hour) for new power plants, which will basically prevent the construction of new coal power plants. The only fossil energy source that will be able to comply with the new regulation is natural gas, which is booming thanks to the fracking technology.
ON-green-policy! Mr. Obama is basically heading into the right direction, acting against greenhouse gas emissions without favouring a particular energy source. Still, this approach has a few shortcomings.

Natural gas production receives a preferential treatment and it will be very …

Global Warming – Invalidating Sceptics

The German newspaper “Die Zeit” helps to invalidate some of the more common misbeliefs of climate warming deniers:
 
1. Global warming has stopped since 1998:
That’s only true if you look at the last 10-15 years because of an exceptionally warm 1998. But this period is just too short to make out a trend. If you look at the more relevant last 30 years, the trend has not stopped at all.
 
2. The sun causes global warming (so there’s nothing we can do or need to change)
If anything the sun gets weaker and according to a broad consensus of scientists it contributes …

Sustainable Development Indicator

How can human development be measured? GDP is limited to measuring economic activity and thus fails to take into account other essential indicators of human well being. Accounting for life expectancy and schooling besides economic performance, the Human Development Index (HDI) is already more comprehensive but still lacks one essential component: sustainability. What is the highest income, perfect education and health good for, if the worlds natural resources are depleted and the planet’s ability to sustain life is ruined? Climate change and excessive carbon emissions probably being the single most dangerous long term threats to decent human life conditions, …

Greenhouse Gas Emissions – Europe Emits 15% More if Consumption is Considered

Chinas is now the worldwide biggest emitter of greenhouse gases (GHG). However, if we take into account the end-consumers of Chinese goods, the ranking looks notably different. After all, Chinese industries export a very substantial part of their production to western states. As pointed out recently by the Environmental Investment Organisation (EIO) in its Global 800 2011 Carbon Rankings, it’s the west that basically outsources GHG intensive manufacturing into emerging countries, taking advantage of low production costs and environmental standards and thereby lowering domestic CO2-emissions. In a recent ranking by IFO calculated the real carbon footprint of countries. China’s …

Environmental Investment Organisation – New Carbon Ranking

The Environmental Investment Organisation (EIO) in London has published a new carbon ranking. In five major reports covering Europe’s, North America’s, Asia/Pacific’s and BRICS’s 300 as well as the Global 800 biggest companies, the British NGO sheds light (based on publicly available data) on carbon transparency and efficiency of the global business leaders. The reports venture into a new dimension of carbon reporting and for the first time take into account indirect (scope 3) emissions. Combined with the important role of reporting transparency and thanks to the all inclusive (in contrast to the traditional best-in-class) approach in the ranking …

Investors – Punishing CO2-intensive companies

The ”Carbon Disclosure Project” collects and publishes data concerning climate relevant behaviour of corporations. While this alone is not noteworthy, it gets interesting because more than 400 investors of multinational companies are relying on this database in order to make investment and cooperation decisions. 56% of interviewed firms declare to take the climate-consciousness of suppliers into account and to favour those providing proof of sustainable energy management. Similarly the US stock exchange supervision announces to require quoted companies to provide a climate impact assessment of their activities.
Only a few weeks after the disappointing climate-summit in Copenhagen the economy – …

Coal – China’s Addiction and What we Should do About it

It is now generally acknowledged that coal-fired power plants emits huge amounts of the greenhouse gas CO2 and menace the world climate more than any other sources of energy. As a consequence, developed countries are trying to switch to other more sustainable power sources. Unfortunately the saved coal is still being mined and then shipped to China where it is burnt in mostly very polluting power plants in order to satisfy China’s exploding energy demand. China – once a coal exporter – has become the biggest coal importer. It now consumes about halve of the yearly worldwide coal production …

Coal Power – Micronesia Disputes Czech Power Plant

The Czech republic, which relies on coal for more than 60 percent of its power generation, plans to build one of the biggest coal power stations in Europe. Its CO2 emissions will be 40 times bigger than the total CO2 emissions of the whole state of Micronesia. The small state, situated mostly just one meter above sea level will simply disappear from the maps if climate warms and as a consequence sea level rises as projected by all serious climate scientists. Quiet understandibly, Micronesia’s government considers the Czech power plant as an indirect threat to its very existence and disputes the construction permit, more …

CO2-Taxes in Canada – It Works

According to Stephen Harper, Prime Minister Taxes on CO2 and higher energy prices screw everybody. Well, apparently not British Columbians. Three years ago the Canadian province introduced a gradually rising tax on CO2 emissions and thus energy while redistributing the additional money back to the people by lowering income taxes. Heavy polluters had to pay more and energy efficient people and companies enjoyed a net benefit. Now first conclusions can be derived and guess what? British Columbians not only have lower CO2 emission than the rest of Canada, but they have also lower taxes and a strong economy. No …