Sustainability

Category Archives: Climate Change

Renewable power generation costs continue to fall and are already very competitive to meet needs for new capacity.

 

January 2018
ISBN : 978-92-9260-040-2

Renewable energy has emerged as an increasingly competitive way to meet new power generation needs. This comprehensive cost report from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) highlights the latest trends for each of the main renewable power technologies, based on the latest cost and auction price data from projects around the world.

http://www.irena.org/publications/2018/Jan/Renewable-power-generation-costs-in-2017

China to plant forest the size of Ireland in bid to become world leader in conservation

China wants forests to cover 26 per cent of its land by 2035.

China has announced plans to plant new forests in 2018 that will cover at least 6.6 million hectares, an area roughly the size of Ireland.

The move is China’s latest bid to shed its polluting image and become world leader in environment protection, since President Donald Trump chose to withdraw the US from the Paris Climate Agreement last year.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/01/05/china-plant-forest-size-ireland-bid-become-world-leader-conservation/

Atmospheric CO2 Reaches Highest Level in Nearly a Million Years

According to the World Meteorological Organization, atmospheric CO2 levels have reached the highest level in 800,000 years – a gain that took just a few decades. The agency warns that urgent action is needed to reverse this worrying trend — and notes that we have the technology, but perhaps not the political will.

This announcement is especially alarming, given that the Trump administration has adopted aggressively anti-environmental policies, including placing climate change deniers in key policymaking positions.

https://www.care2.com/causes/atmospheric-co2-reaches-highest-level-in-nearly-a-million-years.html

 

Costs of 2017 US Weather Disasters Demolish Previous Record

2017 saw the US scorched by record-breaking wildfires in California, record-breaking rainfall events like Hurricane Harvey in Houston (just one of the three most expensive hurricanes to ever hit the US, which all occurred in 2017), damaging hail events, tornadoes, and extreme droughts that wiped out crops.

These extreme weather events, most of which were fueled at least in part by anthropogenic climate disruption (ACD), cost the US nearly a third of a trillion dollars ($306 billion) over the past year.

That is more money than the US government spent on transportation, housing and community, international affairs, energy and the environment, and science, combined, in 2015.

The total cost of these extreme weather events was, by nearly $100 billion, a US record.

http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/43178-costs-of-2017-us-weather-disasters-demolish-previous-record

Farming for a Small Planet

How we grow food determines who can eat and who cannot—no matter how much we produce.

People yearn for alternatives to industrial agriculture, but they are worried. They see large-scale operations relying on corporate-supplied chemical inputs as the only high-productivity farming model. Another approach might be kinder to the environment and less risky for consumers, but, they assume, it would not be up to the task of providing all the food needed by our still-growing global population.

Contrary to such assumptions, there is ample evidence that an alternative approach—organic agriculture, or more broadly “agroecology”—is actually the only way to ensure that all people have access to sufficient, healthful food. Inefficiency and ecological destruction are built into the industrial model.

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2018/01/12/farming-small-planet

 

Cheap renewables undercut nuclear power

Cheap renewables are mounting a serious challenge to nuclear power, which in 2017 has had a difficult year.

Key projects have been abandoned, costs are rising, and politicians in countries which previously championed the industry are withdrawing their support.

Renewables, on the other hand, especially wind and solar power, have continued to expand at an enormous rate. Most importantly, they have got significantly cheaper.

And newer technologies like large-scale battery storage and production of hydrogenare becoming economic, because they harness cheap power from excess renewable capacity.

Cheap renewables undercut nuclear power

Belize Ends Oil Operations in Its Ocean Waters

Belize, home of the largest barrier reef in the western hemisphere, has permanently suspended oil operations in its ocean waters. The legislation marks the first time that a developing country has taken such a major step to protect its oceans—and all the life within—from oil exploration and extraction.

The new suspension of oil activity marks an enormous win for the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System World Heritage site, the wildlife that live there, and the hundreds of thousands of Belizeans who rely on the reef for survival.

https://www.ecowatch.com/belize-offshore-drilling-wwf-2522728566.html

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