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Category Archives: Environment

Chart: The Countries With the Most Active Volcanoes

Source : Statista

Infographic: 5 Things to Know About Europe’s Scorching Heatwave

See large image . . . . . .

Source : Visual Capitalist

Greenwashed: Electric Pickup Trucks Are Dirtier Than You Think

James Gilboy and Peter Holderith wrote . . . . . . . . .

You can’t throw a steel ball these days without smashing the windows of a splashy new electric truck. The Ford F-150 Lightning, the Rivian R1T, the GMC Hummer EV, the upcoming Chevy Silverado EV and Ram 1500 EV, and yes, the Tesla Cybertruck—all aimed at making electrification really matter for the American mainstream. Pickups are the country’s best-selling vehicles, and as the least fuel-efficient, it only makes sense that the surest route to mass adoption of EVs and lowering emissions lies in pairing batteries with crew cabs. And the early returns are promising—the Lightning, for example, is for most practical purposes (except maybe towing) simply a normal F-150 minus a tailpipe. The sooner we get more electric trucks on the road, the better, the thinking goes.

But just because electric trucks don’t leave an invisible wake of carbon dioxide doesn’t mean they’re as guilt-free as they seem. These are large, heavy vehicles with massive batteries, and there’s still an environmental price to pay even if the costs have been pushed upstream and out of sight. Most electricity generation in the U.S. still produces CO2, though renewables are more in the mix depending on where you are. More important is that manufacturing electric trucks produces far more emissions than their internal-combustion counterparts. The crush of new models this year made us wonder: Where’s the break-even point between gas and electric pickups? How far would you need to drive both a 6.2L V8 Ram TRX and a silent Hummer EV before their lifetime emissions catch up and the Hummer becomes the truly greener option?

We crunched the numbers, and found out the answer is farther than you’d think. Will today’s electric trucks be better for the planet over time than their fossil-fueled equivalents? Absolutely. Do they cut carbon emissions enough in the short or long term to justify driving one over something smaller, even a gas car? Absolutely not.

The Efficiency Problem

Why electric trucks aren’t so green starts with a simple matter of physics: a 3,000-pound car needs a fraction of the energy to travel a mile that a 9,000-pound vehicle does. Throw in the preferred form factor of American pickups—big, heavy-duty, and squarer than the jaw of the person driving it—and an electric truck needs a much larger battery than an electric car to cover the same promised 300+ miles of range expected of today’s EVs. (That baseline expectation alone is problematic for battery production emissions, but we’ll leave that for another time.)

A bigger battery in turn adds weight, whose penalty must be offset with an even bigger battery, and so on until you end up with something like the GMC Hummer EV weighing 9,000 pounds. Its 2,900-pound, 212.7-kWh lithium-ion battery can propel it 329 miles. It’s about a third as efficient as a shapely Lucid Air, which can travel over 500 miles using a battery half that size.

The problem is better illustrated by MPGe, or miles-per-gallon equivalent, the metric intended to calculate the distance an electric (or electrified) vehicle can travel by expending the same amount of energy in a gallon of gas. It’s fairly useless in the real world, but it is good for comparing the overall efficiency of EVs. The GMC Hummer EV has an MPGe rating of 47. That’s exceptionally poor for an electric—but even trucks like the 70-MPGe Rivian R1T are well behind things like the 97-MPGe Ford Mustang Mach-E or the 125 MPGe Tesla Model Y.

Lower efficiency means charging more often. Charging more often means more energy consumption. You can see where this is going.

Carbon Cost of Entry

Transitioning from gas-guzzler to watt-waster doesn’t exactly feel like progress, but at least it’s a step in the right direction, right? Yes—except there’s one not-so-small snag. In large part because of the batteries, manufacturing electric vehicles releases significantly more emissions than building ICE cars, big electric trucks even more so. Not only do electric trucks pay off their carbon debts slower than pretty much any other car, they have more CO2 to answer for in the first place.

How much more isn’t something most automakers could—never mind would—tell you. Most car companies have not publicized life-cycle carbon assessments for their products that would clarify the environmental impact of their EVs’ manufacture, disposal, and to a smaller degree, use. I contacted current and future electric truck producers Ford, General Motors, Ram, and Rivian for such assessments, and only received responses from GM and Rivian, neither of which had conducted such a study.

So far, the one exception to the rule is Polestar, the Sino-Swedish offshoot of Volvo focused on EVs. It has released a life-cycle carbon assessment of its first EV, the Polestar 2, which offers intriguing insights into the true impact of car manufacturing. For a variety of reasons, Polestar’s study can’t paint an accurate picture of the auto industry as a whole, but its numbers are the only ones available. What’s more, they still let us make an educated guess as to the CO2 generated by producing trucks like the Hummer EV—and as a result, how long it takes one to break even with an equivalent ICE truck.

First, the numbers themselves. Creating a Polestar 2 with the long-range battery and twin-motor, all-wheel-drive powertrain is associated with 17 metric tons of CO2 from refining raw materials, seven from the batteries, 2.1 from the chassis’ manufacture, and half a ton for disposal, totaling 26.6 metric tons. That’s almost 10 tons more than the 16.7 released by producing a hybrid Volvo XC40, which Polestar identified as an equivalent ICE model. Put both on the road, and it’d take about 68,000 miles for the XC40’s total life cycle emissions to finally surpass the Polestar’s based on the global average energy mix, which generates 475 grams of CO2 per kWh per the International Energy Agency. That’s over four years of driving for the average American.

Back to the GMC Hummer EV, which I don’t mean to pick on but seriously, that 9,000-pound curb weight is such a convenient target. It won’t be spot-on because of differences in manufacturing processes, but we can use Polestar’s numbers to safely ballpark how much CO2 is released in the process of making each Hummer EV. For the Polestar 2 LR AWD, everything that’s not the battery results in one metric ton of CO2 for every 198 pounds of chassis, and 92 kilograms of CO2 per kWh of battery. (That’s not bad as lithium-ion batteries go, they range from 39 to 196 kg/kWh according to a study by Transport & Environment.)

Take out the battery and the Hummer EV weighs 6,140 pounds. Using the chassis guidance above, we can estimate its associated raw materials, motors, and body result in 31 metric tons of CO2. Its 212.7-kWh battery is good for another 19.6 metric tons. Not counting end-of-life recycling (a relatively small piece of the puzzle anyway), it’s likely producing one Hummer EV releases 50.6 metric tons of CO2. That’s nearly twice that of the Polestar, and more than triple the 15.2 metric tons of CO2 emissions Americans averaged in 2018 according to the World Bank.

Applying the Data, or: You Can’t Fight Physics

Of course, a Hummer EV is supposed to mark an improvement over a similar fossil-fueled truck, such as the Ram TRX, with which it shares its overkill attitude and emphasis on acceleration and off-road performance. The Ram’s horrible gas mileage (about 12 mpg combined) is a good match for the Hummer’s resource-intensity and inefficiency, too. Using that Polestar-Volvo data, we can estimate a TRX’s production to be associated with 26.5 metric tons of CO2, while FuelEconomy.gov rates it at 889 grams of CO2 (and upstream greenhouse gas emissions) per mile driven. Based on the U.S. energy production average 386 g CO2/kWh, the Hummer EV’s 1.6 miles per kWh means it’s responsible for 241 grams of CO2/mi, or just over a quarter of what the TRX emits.

It takes just under 37,200 miles to achieve parity with a TRX, at 59.6 metric tons of CO2 emitted over the total life cycle, and finally, it’s all gravy for GM from there.

The graph at the top compare life-cycle CO2 and GHG emissions in kilograms on the y axis and miles driven on the x axis. Both trucks start well above zero, because manufacturing is energy-intensive and thus generates a significant environmental impact. Though the Hummer EV has a big head start on emissions, the Ram’s steeper ascent as it burns gas means it catches up to the Hummer at 37,191 miles. Improving on a TRX’s environmental impact isn’t exactly something to brag about, though, and it’s hard to call an accomplishment when the Rivian R1T breaks even with the TRX sooner, just before the 17,000-mile mark with 41.6 metric tons of CO2 on the board. Unwind this same math elsewhere and it shows the Ford F-150 Lightning doesn’t turn the table on the hybrid F-150 Powerboost until around the 61,000-mile mark, at 46.5 metric tons of CO2. On one hand, it demonstrates electric trucks inevitably do become the greener option compared to ICE trucks over time. On the other, what happens to the calculation if the Lightning needs a new resource-intensive battery at 150,000 miles and the gas version keeps running just fine?

An electric truck is still a truck, and its shape makes it permanently less efficient than an electric car. But the graph below takes it one step further and throws in the lifecycle emissions for some gas-powered economy cars for good measure. And lo: those too pollute less than electric trucks.

Down there at the bottom are a selection of economy cars with differing drivetrains, including the regular Honda Civic, the hybrid Toyota Prius, and electric Nissan Leaf, with the hybrid Ford Maverick thrown in for the hell of it. Interestingly, while the Civic and Maverick track each other over the first couple hundred thousand miles (reaffirming my belief that the Maverick is a Corolla-killer in disguise), and hover around the Hummer’s CO2-per-mile, their comparatively tiny size and manufacturing impacts mean their lines never converge. And it’d take over 140,000 miles for them to catch up to the tamer Rivian R1T and Ford F-150 Lightning.

There are two main takeaways from all this. One, simply being an EV is not enough to be sustainable. Electric trucks do represent a long-term improvement over pure combustion and even hybrid trucks if they can stay on the road, but their resource-intensive manufacturing and sheer size make them less green than smaller gas-powered cars. And two, while we’ve been able to use what little data we have to better understand the effects of electrification, the lack of information from most OEMs we contacted demonstrates the auto industry has a transparency problem we’d do well to start taking seriously. Carmakers won’t share the true environmental impacts of their EVs unless it hurts them not to. If we’re going to get serious about sustainability, that has to be our starting point. That, and not pretending an electric Hummer can ever be a stand-in for a Civic.


Source : The Drive

U.S. Has Eight Years to Cut Its Emissions by Half. Scientists Say There’s a Way

Adam Barnes wrote . . . . . . . . .

The U.S. can achieve its goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent by 2030 if it implements several goals, including operating the electric grid with 80 percent clean energy and ensuring most cars sold by the end of the decade are electric, according to a new study.

“By 2030, wind, solar, coupled with energy storage can provide the bulk of the 80 percent clean electricity. The findings also show that generating the remaining 20% of grid power won’t require the creation of new fossil fuel generators,” said Nikit Abhyankar, one of the study’s authors and a scientist at the Electricity Markets & Policy Department at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

President Biden announced his emissions reduction goal last year, months after rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement, with the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius compared to preindustrial levels.

The authors noted the main barrier to achieving the goals laid out in the study will not be based on costs but developing a coordinated effort among policy makers.

“This study should give policy makers and other energy stakeholders some level of comfort, by showing that everybody in the field is pointing in the same direction. The case for clean energy is stronger than ever before and our study shows that the 2030 emission target can be achieved,” Abhyankar said in a release.

The study’s findings, which were based on an analysis of six recent economic models that simulate U.S. energy operations, might also reduce greenhouse gas emissions by further electrification of industries and buildings.

Findings also suggest that powering the U.S. electric grid with renewable energy, while there may be a net benefit of 1,000 per households with electric cars. Meanwhile, they note the transition could prevent up to 200,000 premature deaths and save up to $800 billion in environmental and health costs.

“Since announcing the nation’s emissions reduction pledge at the 2021 United Nations climate conference, the United States has taken steps in the right direction,” Abhyankar continued. “But a lot still needs to happen. What we are hoping is that this study will give some level of a blueprint of how it could be done.”


Source : The Hill

The “Net Zero” Agenda Has Devastating Consequences… Here’s What You Need To Know

Chris MacIntosh wrote . . . . . . . . .

Human beings — regardless of race, religion or culture — like to embrace any belief that is absolute. This is because absolute beliefs are simple, easy to comprehend, and false positives that offer us a false sense of security.

If we come to believe that a particular idea, place, or group of people are either all good or all bad, then we humans fool ourselves into thinking that we have got a piece of a particular equation all figured out.

Such a binary viewpoint is psychologically comforting, allowing us to feel assured and in control. The more control we feel the more assured we feel so there is a feedback loop here which takes hold.

Now, think of propaganda, which is, of course, a group reassuring another group of a particular narrative. Consider that if you have decided that a group of people are all bad, then all you have to do is stay away from them or keep them away from you. Life just got easier. If you decide that a group of people are your enemy, all you have to do is make war against them and once they are all gone, life would surely be better, right?

The problem with absolute thinking

The problem with absolute thinking is that it causes pain and suffering in the life of the person who adheres to an all-or-nothing attitude in any facet of his thought process. This is because the person is routinely exposed to contradictions to his beliefs, which creates a sense of threat to his world view. Eliminating the threat (canceling) brings about relief and even the canceling of any contradiction provides reassurance.

This is why absolute thinking is the genesis of, among other things, genocides.

Why bring this up? Because when hearing statements that are universally absolute like: “the science is settled.”, you know that we are dealing with a cult, not science.

It is why the governments’ statements about carbon zero and the road to zero emissions are dangerous. Because they’re absolute, allow for the demonization, and hence eradication of anyone that opposes this narrative.

It is literally impossible to get to truth without the ability to view the possibilities of other or new facts.

This is true of any field, not just climate science.

As of right now you’ll notice the “absolute,” which cannot therefore be questioned can be found in the following topics:

  • Covid
  • Climate change (CO2 emissions and “net zero”)
  • Ukraine
  • BLM
  • LGBQT
  • Critical race theory
  • Privileged white males

There are others, but you’ll know that all of the above will bring hell fury if you are to question the orthodoxy of views held in relation to these topics.

This means that most anything can be done in the name of these topics and escape scrutiny which would otherwise not be the case.

These are all worrying attributes of this current hysteria we’re living in, but let us deal with the facts and the realities.

Facts and realities

Facts and realities are what typically bring societies back to some sense of rationality. Mao’s China never gave up on attempting centralized farming because debate and discussion resulted in their thinking to themselves, “My oh my, this doesn’t look good, perhaps we were wrong in our assumptions.” No, they starved tens of millions of people first and only when the evidence was absolutely overwhelming and the hysteria had burned itself out there was the ability to chart a different course.

We’ve many examples throughout history but let us today consider this one of CO2 emissions which feeds into “renewables” and a “sustainable” future.

Never in the history of man have we transitioned from a more dense energy form to a less dense one. The reason is simple. It is “barse-ackward.”

If we look at any time we’ve transitioned from a less energy dense form to a more energy dense one we see a number of things.

  • Higher productivity
  • Lowered inflation (the two going hand in hand)
  • Rising standards of living

It stands to reason that by doing the opposite we’re likely to see the following:

  • Lower productivity
  • Increased inflation
  • Falling standard of living

Energy Return on Investment (EROI)

Looked at purely from an investment perspective an important ratio is energy return on investment. The multiple of your energy input that translates into output.

Proponents of solar will point out that solar generates decent energy returns.

What is often missed is that the numbers used to support this are more often than not cherry picked from locations (enjoying sunlight) and daytime hours. This is a problem given that solar doesn’t work when the sun doesn’t shine, which is on a cloudy or rainy day as well as at night. And this is the time when the bulk electricity demand comes into play to cover for the lack of solar energy.

If a source generates electricity at a time inconsistent with demand, the price it can sell for can often be negative. It’s like trying to sell me a cold cappuccino at 3pm. I don’t want it. I want it hot and at 7am, thanks.

However, to get a true reflection of overall electricity costs, we need to factor in the storage and delivery costs to obtain the EROI (energy return on investment).

If future EROI will be lower than any preceding electricity EROI (and it will be due to more costly, less dense and less effective energy sources), then consequently we can expect lower productivity, higher costs, higher inflation, and lower living standards.

If we look at man’s history from an energy perspective, we see the following: wood, biomass, coal, oil, natural gas, uranium. Biomass is denser in energy than wood, and coal denser still, and so on.

Dense forms of energy with high EROI let nature do the work. For example, oil is just concentrated solar from eons ago.

Infrastructure

Another issue that requires consideration is that solar and wind infrastructure require a lot of dense fuel to build.

Those wind turbines require a lot of steel. In order to produce steel we need iron ore mines and coking coal to form the steel. Then there is the concrete and the graphite. All of these things need to be mined, brought to the earth’s surface, trucked, shipped, forged, and so on. All of these processes are, if you think about it, components of energy density.

But we’re told by the absolutists that we’re getting rid of all of these processes. Zero is the absolute word.

Achieving Net Zero

We may well approach some level of “zero” in parts of the world. It’ll be zero energy, zero food, zero life. And that means conflict of the sort we’ve never experienced in our lives.

I wish it wasn’t so, but that is the road we’re on with the absolutists steering this titanic catastrophe in the making.


Source : International Man

Scientists Make Paper Durable Like Plastic, Without the Pollution

Audrey Carleton wrote . . . . . . . . .

Researchers at the University of Tokyo have found a way to waterproof paper with biodegradable materials that also destroy bacteria. They’re calling it Choetsu, and they think it could make a dent in the global plastics crisis.

Detailed in a paper published Friday in the peer-reviewed journal Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, the researchers developed a silica-resin coating that can “compensate for paper’s weaknesses,” turning paper products, like single-use straws or forks, into viable alternatives to plastic by making them waterproof and durable.

“Using coated paper instead of plastic products can help to cut down on harmful waste,” Dr. Zenji Hiroi, professor in solid state chemistry at the University of Tokyo and co-author on the study, told Motherboard in an email.

“We can change the liquid composition to accommodate most materials,” he added. “The Choetsu coating will keep these materials safe for a long time.”

Choetsu is made out of titanium dioxide nanoparticles that, when dispersed in a silica-based film with a thickness of a few micrometers, can be coated on paper and degrade environmental pollutants like certain bacteria when exposed to light.

The exact ingredients that went into it were the result of countless trials by the paper’s first author, Yoko Iwamiya, who worked on it independently before Hiroi came by her side. “She has been working on it for a long time, but society’s recognition was low” due to a “lack of scientific evidence,” he told Motherboard. The team published a paper last year about the silica-resin coating, but without the addition of titanium dioxide and its associated antimicrobial effects.

Besides titanium dioxide, the liquid coating agent is composed of a cocktail of chemicals, like methyltrimethoxysilane, isopropyl alcohol, and tetraisopropyl alcohol, that harden when applied to paper and left to dry. Once dry, a layer of silica forms atop the paper, protecting it. The coating is porous, and has absorptive properties, so it captures pollutants and decomposes them via photocatalysis—a reaction that occurs when an object absorbs light—protecting them from the elements better than a paper product would on its own.

“Paper cutlery may be the most straightforward application,” Hiroi said. “We have already created some prototypes in collaboration with industry. The paper package can be reinforced and used even in the rain. Agricultural mulch for weed control can be made from coated paper and degrade in nature without harming the environment. Any paper product will gain more application options.”

He added that the substance shouldn’t just be used for paper. Should Choetsu prove scalable, it can be applied to ceramic, glass, and even plastic, he said.

“Once the coating liquid’s ingredients are determined, simply brush it on the materials and allow it to dry,” Hiroi told Motherboard. “Because the process is so simple, it can be applied to a wide range of products.”


Source: VICE

Fastest Carbon Dioxide Catcher Heralds New Age for Direct Air Capture

Researchers from Tokyo Metropolitan University have developed a new carbon capture system which removes carbon dioxide directly from the atmosphere with unprecedented performance. Isophorone diamine (IPDA) in a “liquid-solid phase separation” system was found to remove carbon dioxide at the low concentrations contained in the atmosphere with 99% efficiency. The compound is reusable with minimal heating and at least twice as fast as existing systems, an exciting new development for direct air capture.

The devastating effects of climate change are being felt around the world, with an urgent need for new policies, lifestyles and technologies that will lead to reduced carbon emissions. However, many scientists are looking further ahead than a net-zero emission goal, to a future “beyond zero” where we can actively reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The field of carbon capture, the removal and subsequent storage or conversion of carbon dioxide, is developing rapidly, but hurdles remain before it can be deployed at scale.

The biggest challenges come from efficiency, particularly in processing atmospheric air directly in so-called direct air capture (DAC) systems. The concentrations of carbon dioxide are such that chemical reactions with sorbents are very slow. There is also the difficulty of getting the carbon dioxide out again in more sustainable capture-and-desorption cycles, which can be very energy intensive in itself. Even leading efforts to build DAC plants, such as those using potassium hydroxide and calcium hydroxide, suffer serious efficiency issues and recovery costs, making the hunt for new processes notably urgent.

A team led by Professor Seiji Yamazoe of Tokyo Metropolitan University have been studying a class of DAC technology known as liquid-solid phase separation systems. Many DAC systems involve bubbling air through a liquid, with a chemical reaction occurring between the liquid and the carbon dioxide. As the reaction proceeds, more of the reaction product accumulates in the liquid; this makes subsequent reactions slower and slower. Liquid-solid phase separation systems offer an elegant solution, where the reaction product is insoluble and comes out of solution as a solid. There is no accumulation of product in the liquid, and the reaction speed does not slow down much.

The team focused their attention on liquid amine compounds, modifying their structure to optimize reaction speed and efficiency with a wide range of concentrations of carbon dioxide in air, from around 400ppm to up to 30%. They found that an aqueous solution of one of these compounds, isophorone diamine (IPDA), could convert 99% of the carbon dioxide contained in the air to a solid carbamic acid precipitate. Crucially, they demonstrated that the solid dispersed in solution only required heating to 60 degrees Celsius to completely release the captured carbon dioxide, recovering the original liquid. The rate at which carbon dioxide could be removed was at least twice as fast as that of the leading DAC lab systems, making it the fastest carbon dioxide capture system in the world at present for processing low concentration carbon dioxide in air (400ppm).

The team’s new technology promises unprecedented performance and robustness in DAC systems, with wide implications for carbon capture systems deployed at scale. Beyond improving their system further, their vision of a “beyond zero” world now turns to how the captured carbon may be effectively used, in industrial applications and household products.


Source : EurekAlert!

China Promotes Coal in Setback for Efforts to Cut Emissions

Joe Mcdonald wrote . . . . . . . . .

China is promoting coal-fired power as the ruling Communist Party tries to revive a sluggish economy, prompting warnings Beijing is setting back efforts to cut climate-changing carbon emissions from the biggest global source.

Official plans call for boosting coal production capacity by 300 million tons this year, according to news reports. That is equal to 7% of last year’s output of 4.1 billion tons, which was an increase of 5.7% over 2020.

China is one of the biggest investors in wind and solar, but jittery leaders called for more coal-fired power after economic growth plunged last year and shortages caused blackouts and factory shutdowns. Russia’s attack on Ukraine added to anxiety that foreign oil and coal supplies might be disrupted.

“This mentality of ensuring energy security has become dominant, trumping carbon neutrality,” said Li Shuo, a senior global policy adviser for Greenpeace. “We are moving into a relatively unfavorable time period for climate action in China.”

Coal is important for “energy security,” Cabinet officials said at an April 20 meeting that approved plans to expand production capacity, according to Caixin, a business news magazine.

The ruling party also is building power plants to inject money into the economy and revive growth that sank to 4% over a year earlier in the final quarter of 2021, down from the full year’s 8.1% expansion.

Governments have pledged to try to limit warming of the atmosphere to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above the level of pre-industrial times. Leaders say what they really want is a limit of 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit).

Scientists say even if the world hits the 2-degree goal in the 2015 Paris climate pact and the 2021 Glasgow follow-up agreement, that still will lead to higher seas, stronger storms, extinctions of plants and animals and more people dying from heat, smog and infectious diseases.

China is the top producer and consumer of coal. Global trends hinge on what Beijing does.

The Communist Party has rejected binding emissions commitments, citing its economic development needs. Beijing has avoided joining governments that promised to phase out use of coal-fired power.

In a 2020 speech to the United Nations, Xi said carbon emissions will peak by 2030, but he announced no target for the amount. Xi said China aims for carbon neutrality, or removing as much from the atmosphere by planting trees and other tactics as is emitted by industry and households, by 2060.

China accounts for 26.1% of global emissions, more than double the U.S. share of 12.8%, according to the World Resources Institute. Rhodium Group, a research firm, says China emits more than all developed economies combined.

Per person, China’s 1.4 billion people on average emit the equivalent of 8.4 tons of carbon dioxide annually, according to WRI. That is less than half the U.S. average of 17.7 tons but more than the European Union’s 7.5 tons.

China has abundant supplies of coal and produced more than 90% of the 4.4 billion tons it burned last year. More than half of its oil and gas is imported and leaders see that as a strategic risk.

China’s goal of carbon neutrality by 2060 appears to be on track, but using more coal “could jeopardize this, or at least slow it down and make it more costly,” Clare Perry of the Environmental Investigations Agency said in an email.

Promoting coal will make emissions “much higher than they need to be” by the 2030 peak year, said Perry.

“This move runs entirely counter to the science,” she said.

Beijing has spent tens of billions of dollars on building solar and wind farms to reduce reliance on imported oil and gas and clean up its smog-choked cities. China accounted for about half of global investment in wind and solar in 2020.

Still, coal is expected to supply 60% of its power in the near future.

Beijing is cutting millions of jobs to shrink its bloated, state-owned coal mining industry, but output and consumption still are rising.

Authorities say they are shrinking carbon emissions per unit of economic output. The government reported a reduction of 3.8% last year, better than 2020′s 1% but down from a 5.1% cut in 2017.

Last year’s total energy use increased 5.2% over 2020 after a revival of global demand for Chinese exports propelled a manufacturing boom, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.

Stimulus spending also might raise carbon output if it pays for building more bridges, train stations and other public works. That would encourage carbon-intensive steel and cement production.

China’s coal-fired power plants operate at about half their capacity on average, but building more creates jobs and economic activity, said Greenpeace’s Li. He said even if the power isn’t needed now, local leaders face pressure to make them pay for themselves.

“That locks China into a more high-carbon path,” Li said. “It’s very difficult to fix.”


Source : AP

Infographic: How Far Are We From Phasing Out Coal?

See large image . . . . . .

Source : Visual Capitalist

Video: 如・河活下去 – 重繫香港市區的河流

近年,渠務署在渠道化的市區河道進行了一系列活化工程,加入綠化及生態保育元素,修復因渠道化被破壞的自然環境。除此之外,河道活化能為社會帶來甚麼益處?

Watch video at You Tube (7:20 minutes) . . . .