Geothermal Energy

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 16:15:00 UTC

Part IV: Justice Delayed — Will Politics Trump Justice in the Case of the Clean Power Plan?

By the time this column is published, oral arguments in the legal challenge to the Clean Power Plan will have already been made. The en banc panel of 10 appeals court judges is not likely to render its decision before the New Year.  No matter the opinion, it will be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

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Tue, 06 Sep 2016 17:17:00 UTC

US and China Join Paris Agreement, Bringing it Much Closer to Taking Effect

The United States and China on Sept. 3 formally joined the Paris Agreement in a ceremony in Hangzhou, China, ahead of the G20 Summit. President Obama and President Xi both deposited their country’s official instrument with United Nations Secretary, General Ban-Ki Moon.

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Wed, 24 Aug 2016 16:51:00 UTC

The Clean Power Plan: Justice Delayed

In the case of the Fossil Fuel Industry, et. al. VS Earth, et. al., I find myself asking—not for the first time—is justice delayed, justice denied? It should come as no surprise that I am convinced it is.

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Mon, 22 Aug 2016 14:41:00 UTC

Will the G20 Spur Post-Paris Climate Action? 3 Signs to Look For

The G20 meeting in Hangzhou, China, this September brings together leaders of the world’s largest economies for the first such gathering since the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate. G20 Leaders Summits traditionally focus on economic growth and financial stability, but since more than 190 countries collectively agreed to greatly enhance mitigation of the causes and impacts of climate change, the need to tackle a changing climate and foster clean energy has become a clear economic and business reality.

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Mon, 27 Jun 2016 17:01:00 UTC

Raising Our Game in Clean Energy Innovation

Recently I traveled to San Francisco to participate in international efforts to meet the challenge of climate change and accelerate the global transition to clean energy. The main event was the Seventh Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM7), a meeting of 23 countries and the European Commission.

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Fri, 13 May 2016 12:10:00 UTC

What’s Next? EU, US and Colombia Show They’re Moving Forward with the Paris Agreement

Less than two weeks after 175 nations signed the pivotal Paris Agreement on climate change, a question lingers: What happens now?

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Fri, 08 Apr 2016 16:48:00 UTC

Papua New Guinea First to Finalize Climate Plan Under Paris Agreement

Papua New Guinea recently became the first country to formally submit the final version of its national climate action plan (called a “Nationally Determined Contribution,” or NDC) under the Paris Agreement. The small Pacific nation’s plan to transition to 100 percent renewable energy by 2030 is no longer just an “intended” nationally determined contribution (INDC) — it is now the country’s official climate plan.

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Fri, 26 Feb 2016 14:24:00 UTC

How Crowdfunding is Going to Save the Planet

Clean, renewable energy is the single most needed technology by the millennial generation. Not only is it the key to slowing global warming and climate change, but it also solves a host of other problems, such as respiratory diseases and national security.

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Mon, 27 Jul 2015 14:24:00 UTC

Major US Corporations Pledge To Increase Renewable Energy Usage, Decrease Carbon Footprint

Executives from 13 major U.S. corporations are announcing at least $140 billion in new investments to decrease their carbon footprints as part of a White House initiative to recruit private commitments ahead of a United Nations climate-change summit later this year in Paris.

Companies including Apple Inc., Berkshire Hathaway Energy Co., and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. will join Secretary of State John Kerry and top administration officials at the White House for the announcement. In addition to pledges to cut emissions, provide financing to environmentally-focused companies, and reduce water consumption, the companies have said they will procure at least 1,600 MW of new, renewable energy. The White House said in a statement that it expects to announce a second round of similar pledges later this fall from additional companies.

The commitments are being announced as President Barack Obama is looking to build momentum toward a legacy-defining global climate accord in Paris. In addition to company-specific commitments, the corporate leaders on Monday will signal their support for a strong climate agreement out of the United Nations talks. They administration is using the pledges to set an example for companies to find ways to eliminate their carbon emissions.

Climate Talks

“As the world looks toward global climate negotiations in Paris this December, American leadership at all levels will be essential,” the White House said in a fact sheet detailing the announcement.

The administration’s actions are pushing the issue into the 2016 presidential debate. Hillary Clinton, the front-runner for the Democratic nomination, released an energy strategy saying she would both defend and go beyond Obama’s efforts. Republican candidates have criticized the administration’s initiatives as costly to the economy and unnecessary.

Among the pledges, aluminum manufacturer Alcoa Inc. has agreed to reduce emissions by 50 percent from its 2005 levels, while agricultural giant Cargill Inc. says 18 percent of its total energy use will come from renewable sources.

Coca-Cola Co. said it would drive down the carbon footprint of its beverage production by 25 percent over the next five years, while Google says it plans to triple its purchases of renewable energy over the next decade. Berkshire Hathaway says it plans to invest up to an additional $15 billion in the construction and operation of renewable energy generators, while Bank of America Corp says it will increase its environmental business initiative by $75 billion over the next decade, according to the White House

Other participating firms include Wal-Mart, United Parcel Service Inc., PepsiCo Inc., Microsoft Corp., General Motors Inc.

The corporate commitments won’t be the administration’s only major climate announcement in the next few weeks. The Environmental Protection Agency is set to present final regulations that aim to reduce carbon emissions from power plants by 30 percent from 2005 levels by 2030 later this week.

While visiting Kenya over the weekend, Obama repeatedly praised the country for its efforts to address climate change, saying its efforts tor educe emissions “has put it in the position of being a leader on the continent.” And next month, the president will travel to Alaska for an international summit on Arctic climate issues.

©2015 Bloomberg News

For more, see Big Companies, Big Renewable Investments.

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Thu, 16 Jul 2015 15:54:00 UTC

Climate Talks Nearing Consensus in Behind-the-Scenes Meetings

Publicly, the United Nations climate-change talks look mired in disputes over everything from money to the length of the proposed agreement.

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Mon, 13 Jul 2015 14:30:00 UTC

The Latest Sign That Coal Is Getting Killed

Coal is having a hard time lately. U.S. power plants are switching to natural gas, environmental restrictions are kicking in, and the industry is being derided as the world's No. 1 climate criminal. Prices have crashed, sure, but for a real sense of coal's diminishing prospects, check out what's happening in the bond market.

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Thu, 02 Jul 2015 17:27:00 UTC

Germany Gives Dirtiest Coal Plants Six Years for Phase Out

German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel said 13 percent of power stations burning lignite, a cheap form of coal, would be phased out by 2021 under a program to cut power industry pollution. The government abandoned talks on proposals to impose a climate-change fee that the industry said would have forced mines and plants to close, threatening jobs.

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Wed, 01 Jul 2015 18:06:00 UTC

Clean Energy Companies Beat the Stock Market

Stocks of clean-energy companies are proving to be better investments than those of companies that produce most of the Western Hemisphere's power, and are outperforming the rest of the stock market as well.

The evidence is found in the New York Stock Exchange Bloomberg Americas Clean Energy Index. Its 141 companies, all based in North and South America, returned 32.62 percent in the past two years. In contrast, the 40 conventional-energy companies in the Standard and Poor's 500 Energy Index returned 1.02 percent over the same period, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Clean energy also is beating the rest of the stock market. The Clean Energy Index is up 6.02 percent so far this year. Lagging behind are both the S&P 500 and the Russell 3000 Index, which gained 3.12 percent and 3.86 percent respectively in 2015.

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Mon, 29 Jun 2015 17:39:00 UTC

‘Snail’s Pace’ in Climate Talks, Weak Pledges Frustrate UN Chief

The secretary general of the United Nations is frustrated with the pace of negotiations for what’s intended to be a crucial agreement limiting global warming.

Climate change pledges submitted so far from the world’s leading economies won’t be enough to keep the planet from warming dangerously, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said Monday in New York.

Proposals to reduce heat-trapping emissions need to be “a floor, not a ceiling,” he said.

The global increase in temperatures will exceed 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) under the national pledges already submitted to UN, Ban said. That’s the goal scientists and the UN have set to avoid the worst effects due to global warming.

The proposals submitted to date “will not be enough to place us on a 2-degree pathway,” Ban said.

Without any changes to global emissions, the world is on track to warm by 4 degrees Celsius or more, UN Assistant Secretary-General for Climate Change Janos Pasztor said earlier this month.

World leaders have five months to go before a meeting of almost 200 nations in Paris that’s intended to seal a new global pact to cut planet-warming carbon emissions. If successful, the agreement would be the first ever to require both developed nations like the US and growing economies like China to address climate change.

“The pace of UN negotiations are far too slow,” Ban said. “It’s like a snail’s pace.”

The U.S., the world’s biggest historic source of greenhouse gases, pledged earlier this year to cut its emissions by as much as 28 percent by 2025. The European Union has promised a 40 percent cut by 2030. Several other major economies, including Australia and Japan, have yet to submit climate plans to the UN.

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Thu, 25 Jun 2015 16:36:00 UTC

Australian Renewable Energy Law Paves Way for $11 Billion in Projects

Long-frustrated wind and solar developers in Australia can now get to work on more than A$14 billion ($11 billion) in projects after a new renewable energy target passed parliament.

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