Tag Archive: Greenhouse Gas

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 …

Tar Sands – European Sales Temporarily Saved by the Netherlands and UK

Tar sand oil has a bad reputation. Its production destroys large expanses of land and requiring huge amounts of energy (emanating from fossil fuel) input, heavily pollutes the atmosphere adding to global warming. Transporting the oil to refineries and consumers threatens even more land and people. In short, tar oil is about the dirtiest and most harmful source of energy you can think of. Now, Europe is on the brink to introduce a labeling system for energy sources according to their greenhouse gas footprint. Tar sand oil, will get the little attractive label of producing 22% more emissions than …

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 …

EIO – Carbon Ranking Methodology Explained

The EIO’s new environmental tracking carbon index methodology deserves a short explanation because it highlights the complex ecologic, economic and political context of carbon ranking. First, one has to consider the multiple goals of the ranking: It aims both at measuring reliably and comprehensively corporate greenhouse gases emission (GHG) intensity as well as at incentivising companies to become more transparent about their emissions and to verify GHG data. These requirements translate into a rather complex methodology, which I will try to explain in three steps. Please note that corresponding to the EIO’s transparency goal, only publicly available data was …

USA – Refuse Even to Fund Crumbling Highways

US highways are in a bad shape, one out of nine bridges are “structurally deficient”. Some 40 years after being built, upkeep is getting more expensive while available funding is decreasing. Due to falling mileage and better fuel efficiency of US cars, the 18.4 cents fuel tax per gallon is yielding less and less money. Between 2007 and 2010 the highway trust fund received one-seventh less money. At the same time, nobody seem to be prepared to pay more fuel tax and politicians don’t even dare thinking of it.
On the first sight it may be a surprise that car …

Investors urge for better environmental reporting

The recent publication of EIO’s environmental tracking (ET) carbon rankings highlighted the low level of greenhouse gas (GHG) emission transparency particularly of Northern American companies. Now the corporate social responsibility (CSR) coalition, a group of financial institutions, NGOs and investors led by Aviva Investors calls for integration of corporate social responsibility (CSR) data into financial reports. Politicians should adopt international agreements requiring companies to publish so called “integrated reports”, which substantially improve the level of level of CSR disclosure.
ON green policy. It is interesting to note that voluntary measures have obviously failed to sufficiently incite companies to properly disclosing …

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 …