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The world could completely abandon fossil fuels by 2050

The world could completely abandon fossil fuels by 2050

Climate summit commitments judged insufficient to avoid warming, divestment from fossil fuel investment soars into the trillions, and the world could be running on 100 per cent renewable energy by 2050.

Warming unavoidable?

Just over two months from now, representatives from nations around the world will be gathering in Paris to discuss a new plan for addressing the threat of climate change.

However, according to a Reuters report, U.N. Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres said that the current pledges – the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) from a total of 62 nations – only cover 70 per cent of global emissions. Furthermore, a report in The Guardian said that information from UK government sources revealed that the remaining INDCs that are expected to come in before the summit would only bring that figure up to 85 per cent.

Based on those numbers, covering only 70 per cent of emissions would apparently only limit us to 3.0 degrees C of warming, while reaching 85 per cent of emissions would mean a 2.5 degree C rise. With the intended target being 2.0 degrees C of warming – meant to avoid the worst consequences of climate change – the pledges, as they stand now and those expected, are not sufficient.

“What the INDCs will do is mark a very substantial departure from business as usual,” Figueres said, according to The Guardian. However, she went further to say: “Is 3oC acceptable? No.”

The world is already committed to a certain level of warming based on the emissions that have already been released into the atmosphere.

As of 2015, global temperatures have risen by 0.85oC since the start of the Industrial Revolution. If we stopped emitting greenhouse gases today, the contribution already added to the atmosphere, along with any secondary effects (such as climate feedbacks), would likely mean another 0.6oC of warming by the end of this century.

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Can’t Touch This: To Stave Off Climate Disaster, Arctic Oil Must Stay in Ground

Can’t Touch This: To Stave Off Climate Disaster, Arctic Oil Must Stay in Ground

‘There is no reasonable scenario in which Arctic oil drilling and a safe climate future co-exist,’ says Oil Change International in new report

U.S. Arctic oil will be exposed to increasing risks associated with mounting public opposition, marked by creative direct actions like this flotilla, says the report from Oil Change International and Greenpeace. (Photo: Backbone Campaign/flickr/cc)


Just days after Royal Dutch Shell commenced drilling at the bottom of the Chukchi Sea, two major environmental groups released a new report confirming what many activists and scientists have already warned—to avert the looming climate crisis, U.S. Arctic offshore oil should be considered “untouchable.”

“There is no reasonable scenario in which Arctic oil drilling and a safe climate future co-exist,” said report author Hannah McKinnon, senior campaigner with Oil Change International (OCI), which issued the study along with Greenpeace. “Drilling in the Arctic is a climate disaster, plain and simple.”


“The President can’t continue to leave the the fate of the Arctic—and his climate legacy—up to a disastrous corporation like Shell.”
—Tim Donaghy, Greenpeace


Untouchable: The Climate Case Against Drilling (pdf) reiterates the warning that, according to the best available science, at least three-quarters of existing fossil fuel reserves must stay in the ground in order to limit global warming to 2° Celsius. “Projects that expand or break open new reserves and generate more greenhouse gas emissions clearly fail a test of what is safe for the global climate,” the report states.

Shell Oil’s mishap-plagued hunt for oil in the Arctic is a prime example of such a project, the authors charge, given that “the only scenarios published in defense of Arctic oil exploration are consistent with at least 5 degrees Celsius of global warming—a level widely considered to be disastrous.”

Not only is Arctic drilling bad for frontline communities and the environment, it’s expensive, with Shell depending on sustained high oil prices if it wants to make a profit, the report explains. And from an investor perspective, U.S. Arctic oil is an asset that has a high risk of becoming stranded as billions are poured into exploration for a resource that experts say ultimately cannot be burned safely.

 

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Mexico’s Pemex Plagued By Deadly Offshore Explosions and Major Pipeline Spills

Mexico’s Pemex Plagued By Deadly Offshore Explosions and Major Pipeline Spills

It’s been a disastrous year for Pemex, the state-owned Mexican oil company at the center of the nation’s landmark energy reforms.

In just over a month, Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) starred in three tragic incidents, two fatal.

First was a deadly explosion aboard a Pemex offshore oil processing platform, which killed at least four, injured 16, and—despite the company’s comments to the contrary—looks to have spilled a miles-long plume of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. A mere 15 days later, a spill from a Pemex pipeline in the state of Tabasco fouled three rivers and temporarily left half a million people without access to drinking water. Fast forward three weeks, and another accident on an offshore rig killed two workers.

These incidents, argues Gustavo Ampugnani, lead energy and climate campaigner for Greenpeace Mexico, foreshadow worsening oil- and gas-related disasters as the country’s massive energy reforms open Mexico’s vast fossil fuel reserves up to international companies that are even less regulated and scrutinized than State-owned Pemex.

Explosion in the Gulf

On April 1st, an explosion rocked the company’s Abkatun-A Permanente platform, engulfing the rig in flames. The massive fireball and subsequent blaze sent hundreds of Pemex contractors into the sea. Nearly two months later, we know that four workers were killed, at least 16 were injured, and three are still missing, now presumed dead. Survivors described a terrifying scene, as crew members “jumped into the sea out of desperation and panic.”

Roger Arias Sanchez, an employee of Pemex contractor Cotemar, told the Associated Press that, “there was nothing you could do but run.”

With the 5-year anniversary of the massive Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf just behind us, Pemex and the Mexican government quickly clamped down communications about the disaster in the oil-rich Campeche Sound shallow water offshore region, offering optimistic, blue sky commentary about the severity of the incident, and the extent of any potential

 

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Fracking Has No Business in Lancashire – Local Firms Protest

Fracking Has No Business in Lancashire – Local Firms Protest

Local small businesses seem to be throwing their weight behind the anti-fracking movement rather than the pro-fracking business lobby in Lancashire, finds Ben Lucas, MA Investigative Journalist student at City University.

There are currently more businesses in Lancashire that oppose rather than support fracking, according to available data.

The industry-funded North West Energy Task Force lists 349 businesses that support fracking in the area. But as Greenpeace revealed this week, only 149 businesses, or less than half listed (43 percent), are actually from Lancashire.

The North West Energy Task Force is a pro-fracking lobby group set up and largely financed by energy companies Cuadrilla and Centrica.

Notable supporters from outside the county include Derbyshire firm PR Marriot Drilling Group and a Liverpool-based events company, both of which have had contracts with Cuadrilla in the past.

Local Businesses

However, at the end of January this year, more than 200 businesses from Lancashire signed aletter asking the County Council to reject fracking.

Upon inspection, the letter, drafted by Frack Free Lancashire, shows that there are currently 203 businesses that reject fracking in Lancashire – over 50 more than those in favour of onshore shale oil and gas. This is excluding the signatures of many residents’ associations and the three trade union councils of North East Lancashire, Preston and South Ribble, and Blackburn.

 

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Dramatic UK Emission Drop Just a ‘Taste of What Could Be Achieved

Dramatic UK Emission Drop Just a ‘Taste of What Could Be Achieved

UK greenhouse gas emissions fell by 8.4 percent between 2013 and 2014, according to official figures released today by the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC). Carbon emissions fell by 9.7 percent.

A 23 percent reduction in coal use and record warm temperatures were the main contributors to the decline in emissions. Continued falls in energy use were also a factor.

This dramatic drop in emissions is the largest on record for a growing UK economy. In fact, the economy grew faster in 2014 than it has in any year since 2007.

Economic Growth

It is extremely rare that emission reductions of more than 5 percent per year occur without an economic recession.

This is further evidence, if it was needed, that efforts to cut carbon pollution and boost our economy can go hand in hand,” said Doug Parr, chief scientist at Greenpeace UK.

DECC’s figures follow recent estimates by the International Energy Agency that global CO2 emissions stalled in 2014 during a period of global economic growth. If confirmed, it would be the first time in 40 years when a growing global economy was not accompanied by rising emissions.

 

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Greenpeace Calls on Information Commissioner to Repair ‘Transparency Travesty’ and Publish Full Fracking Report

Greenpeace Calls on Information Commissioner to Repair ‘Transparency Travesty’ and Publish Full Fracking Report

Greenpeace has appealed to the UK’s transparency watchdog over the government’s repeated refusal to publish an unredacted version of its Shale Gas Rural Economy Impacts report.

The environmental NGO has asked the Information Commissioner’s Office to force the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) to release the report in full.

An unredacted version should be released before Lancashire authorities vote on whether or not to grant fracking firm Cuadrilla planning permission for two sites in the area, argues Greenpeace.

Greenpeace says councillors should have access to all the available evidence when making a decision “which is likely to have significant repercussions for communities in Lancashire and beyond.” The appeal follows similar calls from Lancashire County Council, which voted unanimously for Defra to publish a full version of the report.

Government Cherry-Picking

Louise Hutchins, a Greenpeace UK energy campaigner, said: “Authorities in Lancashire and elsewhere in the country are about to make crucial decisions on whether to allow this controversial industry in their area. They should be given access to all the available evidence, not have it cherry-picked for them by the government.”

 

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Let’s Not Sacrifice Freedom Out Of Fear

Let’s Not Sacrifice Freedom Out Of Fear

A scientist, or any knowledgeable person, will tell you climate change is a serious threat for Canada and the world. But theRCMP has a different take. A secret report by the national police force, obtained by Greenpeace, both minimizes the threat of global warming and conjures a spectre of threats posed by people who rightly call for sanity in dealing with problems caused by burning fossil fuels.

The RCMP report has come to light as federal politicians debate the “anti-terrorism” Bill C-51. Although the act wouldn’t apply to “lawful advocacy, protest, dissent and artistic expression,” its language echoes the tone of the RCMPreport. It would give massive new powers to the Canadian Security Intelligence Service to prevent any person or group from “undermining the security of Canada,” including “interference with critical infrastructure” and the “economic or financial stability of Canada.” And it would seriously infringe on freedom of speech and expression. The new CSIS powers would lack necessary public oversight.

The RCMP report specifically names Greenpeace, Tides Canada and the Sierra Club as part of “a growing, highly organized and well-financed anti-Canada petroleum movement that consists of peaceful activists, militants and violent extremists who are opposed to society’s reliance on fossil fuels.” The report downplays climate change, calling it a “perceived environmental threat” and saying members of the “international anti-Canadian petroleum movement … claim that climate change is now the most serious global environmental threat and that climate change is a direct consequence of elevated anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions which, reportedly, are directly linked to the continued use of fossil fuels.” It also makes numerous references to anti-petroleum and indigenous “extremists”.

 

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Four Years After Greenpeace Sting: PR Firm Dumps Oil Lobbyists

Four Years After Greenpeace Sting: PR Firm Dumps Oil Lobbyists

Perhaps you heard the good news – the world’s largest public relations firm, Edelman, justspun off an advertising subsidiary so that it could show a commitment to not aiding the denial of climate change science. The Guardian explains how API’s contracts with Edelman were so massive–tens of millions of dollars–that it was up to 10% of the PR giant’s income.

For years, Edelman has managed multi-million dollar contracts with the American Petroleum Institute (API), using its Blue Advertising subsidiary to help API run commercials selling fantasies to people: that oil and gas are our only viable, plentiful, “AMERICAN” sources of energy.

In the saga that led Edelman to dump the lobbyists at API, Greenpeace had a small role to play: we infiltrated a commercial shoot, run by Edelman’s Blue advertising arm for API. The commercials were to be called “Vote 4 Energy,” casting the illusion of mass popular demand for more oil and gas drilling (and more pollution, more climate change, and more government giveaways to prop it all up).

After being dressed up in a button-down, plaid orange shirt–I’m not sure what look they had in mind for me–I was put in front of the camera and told to repeat lines back. This despite the casting call for “REAL PEOPLE not Actors!” Huh.

 

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How Can Cameron Stop Fracking Causing Earthquakes? Easy. Change the Definition of Fracking.

How Can Cameron Stop Fracking Causing Earthquakes? Easy. Change the Definition of Fracking.

David Cameron’s government has snuck a new definition of fracking onto the statute books – allowing hydraulic fracturing for shale gas to take place outside the new regulatory regime.

Cuadrilla’s exploratory fracking, which caused two earthquakes in 2011 at Preese Hall in Lancashire, would not be classified as hydraulic fracturing under the new official definition set out in the controversialInfrastructure Act.

Doug Parr, chief scientist at Greenpeace UK said: “The shift in fracking definition illustrates again how desperate Government is to get fracking moving despite the problems and opposition.”

DeSmog UK is the first to report on how the government appears to have rendered its own regulation of fracking useless, as the late changes made to the Infastructure Bill have gone unnoticed.

Under the new Infrastructure Act, shale gas exploration and extraction must involve more than a total 10,000 cubic metres of fluid in order to be defined as hydraulic fracturing.

Last-Minute Addition

Parr added: “Having failed to win the argument at public level and with major oil companies saying it will be no big deal, Government is left conjuring up new definitions to help steamroller unwanted, risky and irresponsible fossil fuel exploitation onto the British countryside.”

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Cameron Agrees ‘Rare Deal’ on Climate Change with Opposition Ahead of Election

Cameron Agrees ‘Rare Deal’ on Climate Change with Opposition Ahead of Election

Environmental leaders have welcomed a rare cross-party deal to tackle climate change struck between Britain’s leading political parties ahead of the general election.

Prime Minister David Cameron, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and opposition leader Ed Miliband of the Labour Party have jointly agreed to end the use of ‘unabated’ coal for power generation unless it uses new clean-up technology – and achieve a “fair, strong, legally binding” global climate deal.

John Sauven, Greenpeace UK executive director, said: “This pledge marks a turning point in the collective effort to take Britain’s energy system out of the Victorian age and into the 21st century.

“For the first time all of the UK’s main political parties have committed to ending carbon pollution from coal plants, giving this country a better chance of tackling climate change.”

Unusual Deal

This “highly unusual” deal was brokered by environmental think tank Green Alliance and supported by NGOs including WWF, Christian Aid and Greenpeace. It also sees the three parties promising to work together to transition to a “competitive, energy efficient low carbon economy” as well as set carbon budgets in line with the 2008 Climate Change Act.

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‘Canaries not for sale!’ Islanders protest oil drilling (VIDEO) — RT News

‘Canaries not for sale!’ Islanders protest oil drilling (VIDEO) — RT News.

Hundreds of people have protested against oil drilling by Spanish oil giant Repsol, in Spain’s Canary Islands. The islanders’ protest follows previous Greenpeace’s actions stopped by the Spanish Navy.

Protesters gathered in front of Gran Canaria’s government delegation building waving banners and chanting “Canaries, not for sale”. They are opposed to exploratory drilling on an oil platform around 50 km off the island’s coast. An organizer from ‘Coordinate Canaria Against Surveys’ said that despite drilling having begun, protesters would “continue to fight.”

Simultaneous protests also took place across the Canary Islands, coinciding with a public ballot over the issue, which Spanish Industry Minister Jose Manuel Soria has defended.

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Edelman’s TransCanada Astroturf Documents Expose Oil Industry’s Broad Attack on Public Interest | DeSmogBlog

Edelman’s TransCanada Astroturf Documents Expose Oil Industry’s Broad Attack on Public Interest | DeSmogBlog.

 

Documents obtained by Greenpeace detail a desperate astroturf PR strategydesigned by Edelman for TransCanada to win public support for its Energy East tar sands export pipeline. TransCanada has failed for years to win approval of the controversial border-crossing Keystone XLpipeline, so apparently the company has decided to “win ugly or lose pretty” with an aggressive public relations attack on its opponents.

The Edelman strategy documents and work proposals outline a “grassroots advocacy” campaign plan to build support for TransCanada’s Energy East pipeline as well as to undermine public opposition to oil and pipelines generally.

The documents should cause well-deserved embarrassment for Edelman, the largest PR company in the world, as well as TransCanada.

But this is not just a temporary black eye for a PR firm and its corporate client. The Edelman documents reveal a broader industry campaign to undermine the public interest and attack the oil industry’s critics across the board.

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Is France’s Love Affair with Nuclear Over?

Is France’s Love Affair with Nuclear Over?.

French President Francois Hollande has promised to limit the growth of the country’s nuclear power, many older reactors have been targeted for decommissioning, and Greenpeace and other environmental groups have been relentless in their anti-nuclear campaigning. But until now, it seemed unlikely that France would ever truly rethink its love affair with nuclear power.

Last week, it did. On Oct. 10, France’s parliament voted to begin moving to undo decades of nuclear growth and to reduce its importance to the country’s energy mix. Over the next 11 years, France will reduce the amount of electricity coming from nuclear by one-quarter — from 75 percent to 50 percent. To do that, estimates are that as many as 20 of France’s 58 reactors would have to be closed.

The vote was part of a package of legal reforms in France’slong-awaited energy transition law, a main pillar of which was slowing nuclear power production and then maintaining it at the new lower level before progressively lowering it over the next 10 years.

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