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Carbon Emissions

Monitoring greenhouse gases from biofuel crops

Global issues such as climate change and energy security have driven rapid growth in renewable energy production - wind, solar, tidal, geothermal, hydro, biofuels etc. However, logically, each of these methods should deliver a net benefit in terms of greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction, so researchers in the United States have employed portable FTIR analysers to study the GHG emissions of biomass production processes. “It would be futile to manufacture biofuels in an attempt to mitigate climate change if the production process created more GHGs than were saved by using biofuels instead of fossil fuels,” says Dr.Joe Storlien from the Texas A&M University Department of Soil & Crop Sciences.


Ancient marine algae provides clues of climate change impact on today’s microscopic ocean organisms

A study of ancient marine algae, led by the University of Southampton, has found that climate change affected their growth and skeleton structure, which has potential significance for today’s equivalent microscopic organisms that play an important role in the world’s oceans.

Coccolithophores, a type of marine algae, are prolific in the ocean today and have been for millions of years. These single-celled plankton produce calcite skeletons that are preserved in seafloor sediments after death. Although coccolithophores are microscopic, their abundance makes them key contributors to marine ecosystems and the global carbon cycle.


The ‘microbial garden’ taking the shine off glaciers

The first study of the ecological diversity of an entire glacier has found that microbes can drastically reduce the reflectivity of the surface and have a non-negligible impact on the amount of sunlight that is reflected back into space.

The research, led by the University of Leeds and published today [12 June] in the journal FEMS Microbiology Ecology, will help improve climate change models that have previously neglected the role of microbes in darkening the Earth’s surface.

Observing how life thrives at extreme cold temperatures also has important implications for the search for life on distant worlds, such as Jupiter's icy moon Europa.


Climate meeting generates optimism for a final agreement

Picture of sunrise over Bonn for Your Expert Witness storyJune saw two weeks of meeting in Bonn to pave the way for a final international agreement on climate change in Paris next year. Despite early disappointment at the small number of environment ministers attending – despite an undertaking given in Warsaw last year for ministers to attend – the communique issued on 15 June was upbeat.

It stated: “The positivity around the past two week’s meetings culminated at the close when governments asked that the elements of a draft treaty be made available by July in advance of the next meetings in Bonn in October.”


Renault has reduced its carbon footprint by 10% in three years

By making a public commitment to reduce its carbon footprint by 10% between 2010 and 2013, and by meeting that objective, the Renault group has achieved an automotive industry first.

The policy is part of the Group’s determination to reduce the greenhouse gases (and CO2 in particular) emitted by its products and activities and to play an active part in the fight against global warming potential worldwide.


BBC staff criticized for ‘Blinkered Broadcasting on Climate’.

altAt 8.30am on Wednesday 26th March, activists from Climate Rush will redecorate the main visitors’ entrance to Broadcasting House, Portland Place.

Members of the environmental action group will divide the iconic entrance in two and invite the BBC’s staff to choose which entrance they walk through, and so which organization they work for. The options are: ‘Blinkered Broadcasting on Climate’ or ‘Best Broadcaster on Climate’.


Climate Engineering – What do the public think?

altMembers of the public have a negative view of climate engineering, the deliberate large-scale manipulation of the environment to counteract climate change, according to a new study.

The results are from researchers from the University of Southampton and Massey University (New Zealand) who have undertaken the first systematic large-scale evaluation of the public reaction to climate engineering.


Marine reserves enhance resilience to climate change

altA new study, led by a University of Southampton scientist, highlights the potential for fish communities in marine reserves to resist climate change impacts better than communities on fished coasts.

The study, which is published today in the journal Nature Climate Change, involved an Australian research team from the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies at the University of Tasmania and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) Marine and Atmospheric Research.


Climate Center urges industry to get ahead of the curve of coming F-Gas changes

Climate Center, the UK’s leading supplier of cooling equipment is urging customers not to wait for the impending review of F-Gas regulations to review refrigerant options.

The European Commission is finalising new controls on the use of very high global warming potential (GWP) refrigerants, with new European-wide regulations expected to be introduced in 2014.


We take the science seriously in tackling climate change, says Minister

Climate change experts met in Cardiff this week to discuss Wales’s approach to managing climate change.

The event, hosted by the Welsh Government and sponsored by the Minister for Natural Resources, Alun Davies, brought together independent and internationally renowned scientists from the Met Office, the Climate Change Consortium of Wales and the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Resource following the recent publication of a comprehensive assessment of global climate change by the UN.


Agreement on sharing of miscanthus genetic resources between Republic of Korea and UK

Aberystwyth University is set to sign agreements with Seoul National University to share miscanthus germplasm, based on principles of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity to help boost bioenergy production and combat climate change.

East Asian indigenous genetic resources of miscanthus are useful for improving existing miscanthus bioenergy crops elsewhere in the world. Miscanthus may be used to create higher energy yields on lower grade lands which are less suitable for food production.

European energy policy makers recognise the importance of bioenergy crops in the future mix of renewables, and national policies are being developed to encourage their commercial deployment.


China 'bans' airlines from joining EU carbon scheme

Environment UK chinaAnalysts say there could be a protracted legal dispute, with the EU unlikely to give way.
China has "banned" all airlines in the country from joining the European Union's Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) aimed at cutting carbon emissions.

The authorities have also barred the airlines from increasing their fares or adding new charges for the scheme.

The ban comes just weeks after the China Air Transport Association said its members did not support the ETS.


Ministers admit pollution breach

bluThe government has admitted breaching European Union pollution legislation, during a High Court battle with environmental campaign group. Lawyers for Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman made the admission following action by ClientEarth.

But Judge Mr Justice Mitting said any enforcement action was a matter for the European Commission.

He refused to make any declaration, or to order Mrs Spelman to outline plans for cutting pollution levels.


Mega-Dam in Peru’s Amazonian rainforest halted by indigenous peoples’ opposition

In what is being internationally heralded as a victory for the world's indigenous peoples, Brazilian construction company, Odebrecht, has announced its withdrawal from the planned development of the Tambo-40 Hydroelectric Dam on the Tambo River in the Peruvian Amazon, due to the strong opposition by potentially affected indigenous communities.


Essex business is UK’s fastest growing in cleantech industry

cliClimate Energy Ltd, a Witham based carbon reduction agency, has been recognised as the UK’s Fastest Growing Large Cleantech company at the GP Bullhound Cleantech Connect Awards 2011.


Government urged to introduce energy intensive compensation package or risk UK investments - EEF

Analysis shows Carbon Price Floor to cost manufacturing £1.2 billion annually by 2020

EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation has published a compensation package of measures for energy intensive sectors that it believes government must introduce or, risk future investment and job creation in the UK.  


Environmental activists give London Mayoral candidates a 7am wake-up call

alicecleanairlondonAt 7am this morning eight women from environmental action group Climate Rush visited the homes of Boris Johnson and Ken Livingstone – the Conservative and Labour London Mayoral candidates. Dressed in scrubs and wearing surgical masks the women invited the two candidates to commit to bringing London’s air quality within legal limits and to join a direct action protest planned for the evening of Wednesday 13th July.


Cameron falls short of his green promise

leafGreen campaigners praise David Cameron and his energy secretary, Chris Huhne, for setting bold new carbon emissions cuts. And so they should. The UK now has the toughest legally binding targets in the world, and with them the chance to be a leader in a job-rich green economic future. But that does not mean it has in place the policies to deliver.