Wednesday, September 19, 2018

New Jersey Wants to Build 1,100 Megawatts of Offshore Wind Capacity

New Jersey plans to deploy 3,500 megawatts of offshore wind by 2030. (Credit: greentechmedia.com) Click to Enlarge.
The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities is seeking proposals from developers to build 1,100 megawatts (MW) of offshore wind capacity, the largest single-state solicitation of its kind in the United States to date, according to Greentech Media.  The order is the first step in New Jersey’s new goal to generate 100 percent of its electricity from renewable energy by 2050.

Governor Phil Murphy, a Democrat, has also asked the state’s utilities board to open two more offshore wind solicitations for 1,200 MW of capacity in 2020 and 2022.  The state is working toward a goal of building 3,500 MW of offshore wind capacity by 2030 — enough to power approximately 2.5 million homes.

“In the span of just nine months, New Jersey has vaulted to the front of the pack in establishing this cutting-edge industry,” Governor Murphy said in a statement.  “We campaigned on rebuilding New Jersey’s reputation as a clean energy leader and that involves setting an aggressive timetable on offshore wind.”

Read more at New Jersey Wants to Build 1,100 Megawatts of Offshore Wind Capacity

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Tuesday 18

Global surface temperature relative to 1880-1920 based on GISTEMP analysis (mostly NOAA data sources, as described by Hansen, J., R. Ruedy, M. Sato, and K. Lo, 2010: Global surface temperature change. Rev. Geophys., 48, RG4004.  We suggest in an upcoming paper that the temperature in 1940-45 is exaggerated because of data inhomogeneity in WW II. Linear-fit to temperature since 1970 yields present temperature of 1.06°C, which is perhaps our best estimate of warming since the preindustrial period.

Major ZEV Announcements at Global Climate Action Summit

Global Climate Summit (Credit: cleantechnica.com) Click to Enlarge.
EV infrastructures across North America and Europe will receive a major boost in charging points by 2025.  In announcements at the Global Climate Action Summit, ChargePoint, and EVBox  — along with 3 other energy companies — have committed to a total of 3.5 million new chargers on the road.  EV industry growth projections confirm the messages coming out of the Global Climate Action Summit — determined leadership today will produce a rapid transition to a net-zero emissions society tomorrow, and the results will be good for both the environment and business.

Read more at Major ZEV Announcements at Global Climate Action Summit

More Than 130 Companies Have Made Science-Based Targets This Year Alone

Mexico City (Credit: cleantechnica.com) Click to Enlarge.
Since the beginning of the year, more than 130 new companies have joined the Science Based Targets initiative, pushing the total number of companies close to 500 and representative of approximately one-eighth of total global market capitalization.

The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) was first launched back in September of 2014 by Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), the United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute, the World Wide Fund for Nature, and now in partnership with the We Mean Business coalition, with the aim of developing “a methodology that will help companies to set targets to cut down on greenhouse gas emissions.”

Over that time, and especially since the landmark Paris Agreement was drafted in 2015 and put into action the following year, the SBTi has grown from strength to strength, and now boasts nearly 500 companies from around the world (from 38 countries) which have committed to enacting science-based targets approved by the initiative.

Even more impressive is that more than 130 new corporations have made science-based emissions reduction commitments this year alone, a 39% increase from the same period last year.  Nearly a fifth of Fortune Global 500 companies have committed to set science-based targets, including this year alone big names such as McDonald’s, IKEA, and AB InBev.  Altogether, the combined market capitalization of those companies that have joined the Science Based Targets initiative amounts to nearly $10 trillion.

“This is a pivotal year for global climate action.  Nearly three years after the world came together for the historic Paris Agreement, the race is on to meet its goal of restricting global temperature rise to below 2°C and heading off the worst effects of climate change,” said Anand Mahindra, CEO of the Mahindra Group and co-chair of the Global Climate Action Summit held California last week at which the news was announced.

“Targets based on science are the only effective way to meet the challenges we face.  Around the world, hundreds of businesses are already showing that this is possible with substantial benefits to brand reputation and the bottom line.  I urge all other companies to join this initiative immediately; the time for science-based action is now.”

What’s even more important, however, is the belief within the Initiative that the current momentum is not likely to run into a wall anytime soon.

“Yes, the momentum for science-based targets is growing at pace.  130 new companies joined the initiative between January and August 2018, with commitments to set science-based targets within two years,” said Alexander Farsan, Global Lead, Science Based Targets, WWF, one of the Science Based Targets initiative partners.  “This is a 39% jump from the same period in 2017, so interest is clearly snowballing.  We fully expect this trend to continue.  And it’s critical that it does – with global emissions needing to peak by 2020 at the latest and start declining rapidly afterwards.

“So far in 2018, the number of companies committing to set science-based targets is up almost 40% compared to last year, with 130 new commitments,” Farsan added.  “In particular we’re seeing huge momentum in India, which has had a four-fold increase in commitments since January 2018 – rising from 6 to 24.  Globally, we’ve seen the monthly rate of company commitments go up from an average of 13 per month between February-August 2017, to an average of 18 per month between February-August 2018.  We can be confident this trend will continue apace as more and more corporate leaders realize the business imperative of future-proofing their business with a science-based target.”

Read more at More Than 130 Companies Have Made Science-Based Targets This Year Alone

Paul McCartney’s New Climate Anthem Is Fire

Storm & Ship--McCartney (Credit: Grist / Jimmy Baikovicius) Click to Enlarge.
The music legend who co-wrote the 1966 hit The Yellow Submarine is back with another marine-themed song, and guess what?  It’s about climate change.

“Despite repeated warnings of dangers up ahead, the captain won’t be listening to what’s been said,” Paul McCartney sings in “Despite Repeated Warnings,” a 7-minute, rage-fueled song on his new record Egypt Station.

Despite Repeated Warnings

The solo album, McCartney’s 17th, soared to the No. 1 spot on Billboard 200 last week, transmitting an important message to thousands of eager fans:  This submarine we’re all living in might never resurface if we don’t do something to rein in emissions.

The opening bars of the track are evocative of Golden Slumbers, part of a medley that appeared on Abbey Road.  But the song quickly sails into less tranquil waters as McCartney sings angrily about a captain steaming ahead “despite repeated warnings.”
Below decks, the engineer cries

The captain’s gonna leave us when the temperatures rise

The needle’s going up, the engine’s gonna blow

And we are gonna be left down below
Who’s the delusional captain in “Despite Repeated Warnings”?

“Well, I mean obviously it’s Trump,” the singer told BBC in an interview last week.  “But there’s plenty of them about.  He’s not the only one.”

The song touches on climate-related issues, including wildfire smoke — “red sky in the morning (What can we do?).”  It’s a timely reference, as smoke from fires choked the western U.S. in August.  McCartney’s song also alludes to the scientists who raised the alarm about climate change:  “a sailor’s warning signal should concern us all.”

But the best part of the song, in this writer’s opinion, is McCartney’s not-so-subtle jab at climate deniers:  “Those who shout the loudest may not always be the smartest.”  He doubled down on those lyrics in the BBC interview.  “People who deny climate change … I just think it’s the most stupid thing ever,” the second-best Beatle said.

Read more at Paul McCartney’s New Climate Anthem Is Fire

Monday, September 17, 2018

Monday 17

Global surface temperature relative to 1880-1920 based on GISTEMP analysis (mostly NOAA data sources, as described by Hansen, J., R. Ruedy, M. Sato, and K. Lo, 2010: Global surface temperature change. Rev. Geophys., 48, RG4004.  We suggest in an upcoming paper that the temperature in 1940-45 is exaggerated because of data inhomogeneity in WW II. Linear-fit to temperature since 1970 yields present temperature of 1.06°C, which is perhaps our best estimate of warming since the preindustrial period.

It’s Time to Make Polluters Pay for Climate Damages

School children in the Philippines contemplate the aftermath of Super Typhoon Haiyan in 2013. Climate change is making tropical storms more intense (Picture Credit:  Pio Arce/Genesis Photos) Click to Enlarge.
In the last few days as Hurricane Florence battered the east coast of the United States of America and Super Typhoon Mangkhut hit Philippines and China an important scientific breakthrough took place.

Previously, scientists have taken weeks to assess the contribution of global warming to extreme weather events such as storms, droughts and heatwaves.  This time, a study emerged as the storms were gathering and even before they made landfall.

It estimated that Hurricane Florence carried up to 50% more water (which led to extreme rainfall and flooding) than it would have done without human influence on the climate.  Experts say with increasing confidence that climate change makes storms wetter and fiercer.

In many cases the damage caused by such events is non-linear, in that it is the extra severity due to climate change that causes most of the damage, like the proverbial straw that breaks the camel’s back.  We now have unequivocal scientific proof that human-induced climate change is causing loss and damage to lives, property, and livelihoods here and now.

This is significant in the context of the ongoing negotiations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), where the discussions on loss and damage under the Warsaw International Mechanism (WIM) and Article 8 of the Paris Agreement have stalled.

The main issue for discussion is financial support for the victims of climate impacts.  Developed countries have promoted insurance against these risks but proved unwilling to consider other solutions.  While insurance can certainly play a role and there are several pilot programs going on around the world, it is no panacea.  It is particularly unsuitable for the poorest and most vulnerable communities who cannot afford to pay of the insurance premiums, even if they are subsidized.

Hence the time has come to think about raising money for compensate victims of climate change through innovative sources, applying the “polluter pays” principle wherever possible.  A global fund does not require developed countries to accept liability but could be based on solidarity contributions or a tax levied on polluters.

Read more at It’s Time to Make Polluters Pay for Climate Damages