Climate Change: Whiteboard explanation

We love this video, great explanation. The way he divides the possible futures of humanity makes a lot of sense. Skip to 1:28 for the whiteboard magic a watch.

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#Repost @favianna1 ・・・ Remants of my art. Repost @rachelzhumphrey ・・・ #photooftheday #peoplesclimatemarch #defendourmother #brooklyn by rrrrosi

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Stayed up late working on this #flag for today's #marchagainstmonsanto event. I upcycled a #nonuclearenergy flag from the #peoplesclimatemarch last year. #protecthehoneybees #urbanbeekeeping #jcbeekeepers #treatmentfreebeekeeping #honeybees #matter where do you think the #beeswax used to make #mustachewax comes from? The #bees! #savethehoneybees #monsantoisthedevil by primal_feel

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Business and Climate Summit Paris May 2015

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#Repost @obeygiant ・・・ Three days until #peoplesclimatemarch. This print goes on sale today at a random time on #shepardfairey #obeygiant by ufi

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Doing Well by Doing Good summit Marrakech May 2015

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Tbt to The People's Climate March in New York City on Sep 21, 2014. That march was so amazing. Let's keep this up! Let's keep fighting! ~Julia #climatemarch #peoplesclimatemarch #fightclimatechange #protectourplanet #loveit #itsamazing #divestfossilfuels by dailyfactsclimatechange

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Banners by IP3 for the Indigenous delegation which led the way at the #PeoplesClimateMarch in NYC last Summer! #IP3Action #IndigenousPeoplesPowerProject #IndigenousEnvironmentalNetwork @IP3Action pic via @nancypili by thewilliemaze

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Lord Stern calls for countries to raise ambition of climate pledges

Lord Stern calls for countries to raise ambition of climate pledges by Charlotte Malone

USA power plant by squeaks2569 via Flickr

Lord Stern has warned that current greenhouse gas emission pledges to limit climate change do not go far enough to avoid dangerous levels of global warming, in a new paper. The report calls for counties to raise the ambition of their climate pledges.

The paper, published by the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, which Lord Stern is the chair of, argues that countries should seek ways to further reduce their emissions ahead of a crucial UN climate summit in Paris in December.
The paper states, “We think that it is important to offer preliminary analysis of how the pledges and announcements by some of the biggest emitters, together with assumptions about current and planned policies by other countries, compare against pathways for staying within the global warming limit of 2C.
“This allows us to confirm that there is a gap between the emissions pathway that would result from current ambitions and plans, and a pathway consistent with the global warming limit 2C. Consequently, countries should be considering opportunities to narrow the gap before and after the Paris summit.”
The pledges made so far mean that it is unlikely that the aggregate pledges made by all counties at the summit later this year will collectively be consistent with limiting temperature rise to 2C.
Estimates made by the UN suggests that in order to have a 50-66% chance of keeping global warming within the 2C targets annual emissions will have to be between 32 and 44 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent in 2030.
Together it is estimated that the EU, US and China will likely emit between 20.9 and 22.3 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent in 2030. This means that pledges put forward by the rest of the world cannot exceed emissions of 23 billion tonnes or the EU, US and China would have to raise their ambition.
However, the report indicates that current and planned policies suggest that emissions by the rest of the world could be around 35 billion tonnes, meaning there is a significant gap that will need to be closed in order to avoid dangerous levels of climate change.
The Grantham Research Institute report concludes, “The ambitious and plans agreed at the Paris summit in December 2015 should be regarded as a critical initial step. It is also important that countries make pledges that are credible.
“However, the magnitude of the gap between current intentions and the international targets of limiting global warming to no more than 2C clearly should that an international agreement in Paris will have to include dynamic mechanisms for the assessment of progress and raising of ambitious. Hence the Paris summit should not be regarded as just a one-off opportunity to fix targets.”
The latest report isn’t the only one to call for more ambitious targets, scientists from the Climate Action Tracker have warned that pledged are not ambitious enough. The organisation rated only two countries as ‘role models’, while ten government pledged were labelled ‘inadequate’.
Photo: squeaks2569 via Flickr


Renewable jobs growing 7x faster than average

turbines field By  cariliv via Flickr

Jobs in the renewable energy sector are growing seven times faster than the UK national average, new analysis reveals. In total there are now over 112,000 people employed in the sector.
According to the Renewable Energy Association (REA) employment in renewable energy increase by 9% across all sectors this year. This compares to the 1.2% average growth the Office of National Statistics reported for the whole of the UK over the same period.
The East Midlands, North West England, London and Scotland saw particularly large increases in a number of renewable energy sectors, while the highest performing sector was biomass, which saw jobs increase by almost a fifth.
Dr Nina Skorupska, chief executive of REA, commented, “We are delighted to see such significant jobs growth across all technologies and industries in the renewable energy sector. This reflects greater confidence not only in the renewables market, but also the wider economy as a whole.
“Our industry offers a wealth of unique and exciting career opportunities and plays an essential part in ensuing that the UK meets its renewable energy targets.”
With the general election less than a week away, the figures also highlight the potential opportunities for economic growth and energy security for the incoming government. While both Labour and the Liberal Democrats have pledged to grow the number of green jobs should they win the general election, the Conservative part has not made a similar pledge.
“It is of the upmost importance that renewable energy remains a priority for the incoming government,”Skorupska added.
“We look forward to working with the next government to ensure that even more is done to support our industry to ensure we can continue to create more skilled jobs and maintain the important growth seen over the last couple of years.”
Photo: cariliv via Flickr

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Huge solar projects in north Africa target Europe, but will Brussels help?

One of the most interesting solar projects around, TuNur, hopes to generate two nuclear power plants’ worth of renewable electricity in the Tunisian desert, export it to Italy via a 1,000km high-voltage DC cable and connect it to European grids as far afield as the UK, where it could power over 2m homes.
Three developments are helping and could set a precedent for further projects: strides in the cost-effectiveness both of undersea transmission cables and solar power, the EU’s Energy Union and climate packages, and the new Tunisian government’s liberalisation of its energy laws.
In technological terms the project looks achievable. A €10bn joint venture between British solar developer Nur Energie and a group of Tunisian, Maltese and British investors including London-based Low Carbon, TuNur plans to use Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) – unlike solar photovoltaic panels (PV) – to generate a potential 2.5GW of electricity on 100km2 of desert in South West Tunisia by 2018.
Thousands of mirrors will concentrate sunlight onto a central tower to heat up molten salts, create steam and drive turbines. The cable to Italy is expected to lose only 3 per cent of its electricity along the way. An additional innovation is the storage capability, which enables reliable renewable energy generation by heating the molten salts during the day and releasing the heat by night.
Part of what makes TuNur feasible is the falling cost of CSP. As Jonathan Walters, a former World Bank director and adviser to the project points out: “CSP is made from common materials such as steel and glass. Costs fall very fast as scale increases, so it is not surprising that CSP costs are falling faster than PV costs, albeit from a greater height”. PV generation has seen its costs halve in five years, but the panels are harder to manufacture and require rare-earth metals.
TuNur will still require a feed-in-tariff to be financially successful. So it is hoping to secure a minimum price guarantee from the British government, but at a 20 per cent discount on those offered to offshore wind.
“The existing framework of the contract for difference scheme does not currently allow for imported solar power but given the competitive price and predictable production, TuNur has been in discussion with the UK Department For Energy and Climate Change (DECC) over the past year in order to try to change this and establish what an appropriate mechanism would be”, Daniel Rich, COO of Nur Energie, said.
“We are also considering other EU countries such as Germany, France and Switzerland…CSP with storage is attractive for nuclear replacement, and we are targeting the German market as a priority along with the UK,” he added.
The politics of asking individual member state governments to subsidise a solar project in the Tunisian desert remains complex, even for large projects like TuNur. And this emphasises the importance of the EU’s role in setting a clear framework, supporting strategic investment and maybe even acting as a central buyer of renewable energy.
The recent Energy Union communication states that “as part of a revitalised European energy and climate diplomacy, the EU will use all its foreign policy instruments to establish strategic energy partnerships with increasingly important producing and transit countries or regions”.
The current EU-Tunisia Action Plan commits the EU “to gradually integrate the Tunisian electricity network into the European market”.
On top of this, the European Parliament is calling for the EU to use some of its €90bn R&D budget (60 per cent of which is earmarked for sustainable development) on “research diplomacy” in its Southern and Eastern neighbourhood to further its strategic aims. One of these is a 27 per cent renewables deployment target across the whole EU by 2030, rather than apportioning member states with individual targets.
The final condition rests on the new Tunisian government’s ability to create the environment for long term investment. A new law to permit the export of electricity was passed last year, although there are still questions as to the exact role of the Tunisian parliament in overseeing new energy projects.
Riccardo Fabiani, Senior Analyst for MENA at Eurasia Group is upbeat, “there are still risks but they are lower than for the rest MENA. For the first time in a long time we have an Arab country aiming to introduce a series of transparency reforms that could transformits investment climate”.
Large scale solar exports from North Africa to Europe have been mooted for a long time. One of the lessons from the failure of the Desertec Industrial Initiative has been that foreign direct investment on energy export projects must help local economies. TuNur is keen to emphasise that it will bring “significant social, industrial, technical and economic benefits” to Tunisia. It is an exciting prospect.
Edward Robinson is a political analyst and director of Culmer Raphael

Source: Financial Time