Edition for 04 June 2020

Top Stories

Why we can’t count on carbon-sucking farms to slow climate change (MIT Technology Review)

  • Corporations, politicians, and environmentalists have all embraced carbon farming as the feel-good climate solution of the moment.
  • But there’s a big problem: there is little evidence that carbon farming works as well as promised.
  • Studies have frequently found these systems can substantially overestimate reductions, as economic, environmental and political pressures all push toward issuing larger numbres of offset credits. 

Renewables surpass coal in US energy generation for first time in 130 years (Guardian)

  • Solar, wind and other renewable sources have toppled coal in energy generation in the United States for the first time in over 130 years, with the coronavirus pandemic accelerating a decline in coal that has profound implications for the climate crisis.
  • A rapid slump since then has not been reversed despite the efforts of the Trump administration, which has dismantled a key Barack Obama-era climate rule to reduce emissions from coal plants and eased requirements that prevent coal operations discharging mercury into the atmosphere and waste into streams.
  • Coal releases more planet-warming carbon dioxide than any other energy source, with scientists warning its use must be rapidly phased out to achieve net-zero emissions globally by 2050 and avoid the worst ravages of the climate crisis.

Global Environment Facility approves US$8.9 million in funding for new coastal resilience project in Liberia (ReliefWeb)

  • The Global Environment Facility (GEF) approved today US$8.9 million in new grant funding from the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF) for a coastal resilience project that will benefit 80,000 people in Liberia and rehabilitate 20,000 hectares of degraded coastal habitats.
  • The project brings together co-financing and support from a number of sources. USAID will provide US$28 million in co-finance, the World Bank will provide US$15 million, and Conservation International will provide US$500,000 of in-kind contributions through their on-going work in Liberia and West Africa.
  • It also builds on earlier and ongoing projects funded by the GEF and the Green Climate Fund.

LanzaJet launches to make renewable jet fuel a reality (TechCrunch)

  • Over a fifteen year stretch, LanzaTech has developed technologies that can turn carbon emissions into ethanol that can be used for chemicals and fuel.
  • The first tranche of money, a $25 million commitment from Suncor and Mitsui will be used to build a demonstration plant that will produce 10 million gallons per year of sustainable aviation fuel and renewable diesel starting from sustainable ethanol sources.
  • For LanzaTech chief executive, Jennifer Holmgren, the launch of LanzaJet is the next step in the process of bringing her company’s technology, which promises to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and curb climate change by creating a more circular carbon economy, to market.

Nokia and Elisa see sustainability leap in world-first 5G liquid cooling deployment (GlobeNewswire)

  • Nokia today announced that its liquid cooling 5G AirScale Base Station solution has helped Finnish mobile operator, Elisa, reduce the potential energy expenses of its base station by 30 percent and CO2 emissions by approximately 80 percent.
  • This is the first time a commercial 5G liquid cooling solution has been deployed anywhere in the world and highlights Nokia’s strong commitment to sustainability and combatting climate change.
  • Approximately 90 percent of energy consumed by base stations is converted to waste heat, however, with a heat re-use option – where waste heat is converted and repurposed – Elisa has been able to reduce its CO2 emissions by approximately 80 percent.

GCM Grosvenor closes on USD85m strategic capital partnership with Bakersfield Renewable Fuels (Private Equity Wire)

  • Alternative asset management firm GCM Grosvenor has closed on an agreement to provide USD85 million in debt financing to Bakersfield Renewable Fuels (BKRF) to help retool the former Alon oil refinery in Bakersfield, California. 
  • The investment is part of GCM Grosvenor's Labor Impact Strategy, which focuses on investing in infrastructure assets that rely on collaboration with union labor to seek opportunities that generate high-quality risk-adjusted returns for investors. 
  • RD is an established "drop-in replacement" for diesel fuel and, when compared to conventional diesel, is 100 per cent sustainable and can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 80 per cent.

The Energy 202: Big Oil could end up even bigger by the end of the coronavirus pandemic (Washington Post)

  • Analysts expect a coming wave of bankruptcies should the price of oil remain low.
  • That could allow the largest petroleum industry players to scoop up more wells on the cheap – and leave them with more reserves after all the market tumult.
  • Somewhere between 150 and 200 oil companies are expected to go bankrupt next year if the price of West Texas Intermediate, a U.S. oil benchmark, persists around $30 per barrel, according to the analytics firm Rystad Energy.

Feeding the world sustainably (McKinsey)

  • Since then, rising incomes have boosted protein consumption worldwide, and elevated new challenges: greenhouse-gas emissions from agriculture are increasing (more than a fifth of all emissions worldwide), while a host of practices, from waste to overfishing, threaten the sustainability of food supplies.
  • More than one-fifth of the world’s greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions stem from agriculture—over half from animal farming.
  • Non-CO2 emissions converted using 20-year global-warming-potential (GWP) values based on the fifth assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

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