Exploring innovative ways to bring down methane emissions in the energy sector

After long years of neglecting the science about the negative climate impact of fossil gas (i.e. methane) the EU Commission finally came up with a Methane Strategy, with a concrete legislative proposal on the energy sector expected later this year. There is large consensus on the need to reduce methane emissions due to its high warming potential to limit global heating, but will the EU Commission propose sufficient measures and what other innovative policy options exist? Andy Gheorghiu summarizes the key highlights of an online event around a new study exploring this question.

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A new roadmap to phase out coal in Ukraine

Ukrainian municipalities in coal regions, which are still dependent on mining, are becoming increasingly aware of the sector’s terminal decline and are scouting for sustainable alternatives for the future. NGOs and active municipalities in the Lviv-Volyn coal basin in the west and Ukrainian-controlled territories of Donetsk and Luhansk regions in the east, are joining up forces to create post-industrial green options. Oleh Savytskyi has the details.

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Blue Hydrogen hype: A new analysis shows it could be worse than just burning gas

Promoted as a vital tool to slow climate change, hydrogen (H2) is set to decarbonize long-distance transportation, steel and other industries while utilities plan to blend it with fossil gas for electrical generation. Yet 96% of H2 is currently produced from fossil fuels – mostly gas – resulting in massive carbon pollution. Though industry counters with promises of capturing and storing that CO2 – so called “blue” H2, there’s been no peer-reviewed data available to refute their claims it’s clean. Until now. A new life cycle assessment published in the Journal Energy Science & Engineering by influential scientists Robert Howarth and Mark Z Jacobson finds that instead of being an improvement, blue H2 is at best a “distraction” away from genuinely green solutions. Lead blogger, podcaster and advisor to the Energy Transition, L. Michael Buchsbaum reviews the study and its implications in the first of a series piercing through some of the hydrogen hype.

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The long road to gender inequality in civic energy initiatives

Renewable civic energy initiatives are based on direct-democratic and dialogue-oriented forms of civil participation. The approach gave hope for broad participation regardless of age, origin, and gender, factors generally considered as barriers within the conventional energy industry. Unfortunately, however, these hopes have not been fulfilled. Women are hardly represented within leadership positions. Kathrin Meyer probes the enduring gender inequality in the energy sector.

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Phase out: Support grows for a global Fossil Fuels Non-Proliferation Treaty

With carbon emissions set to blow past limits agreed to under the 2015 Paris Agreement and most governments taking little or no action to curtail them, it’s clear new tactics to deal with the climate crisis are urgently needed. A bold new initiative seeks to establish a global Fossil Fuels Non-Proliferation treaty. Modeled after the UN’s treaty against the spread of nuclear weapons, last year Climate Breakthrough Award winner, Tzeporah Berman joined with other climate and energy activists to forge a new path towards ending the expanding volumes of climate killing coal, oil and gas still under development. Endorsed by tens of thousands of individuals, hundreds of NGOs as well as a growing list of cities worldwide – like Sydney and Toronto just this summer, lead blogger and Global Energy Transition podcaster, Michael Buchsbaum reviews the concept and what organizers plan for COP26 in Glasgow.

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PREMIERE! The Global Energy Transition Podcast – Episode 1

Pollution from the burning of ever more coal, oil and methane gas is accelerating the climate crisis. As national governments fail to control these emissions, cities and regions around the world are banding together to adopt a Fossil Fuels Non-Proliferation Treaty. Modeled after efforts to reduce the spread of nuclear weapons, this new global initiative is gaining support ahead of the upcoming COP26 climate conference in Glasgow. Launching the The Global Energy Transition Podcast series, host Michael Buchsbaum, lead blogger of Energy, reviews the treaty and interviews two of its team of all-star advocates. You can play the episode below, and it’s also available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.


Threatening Africa’s Eden – Oil and gas plans loom over the world’s largest nature conservation area

Environmental disasters and global warming severely threaten global biodiversity. Few wild places can boast diverse ecosystems that are largely intact. One such area – Kavango Zambezi Transfontier Conservation Area (KAZA) – is being threatened by plans by the oil and gas industry. Andy Gheorghiu reports on the fight to prevent oil and gas extraction in Southern Africa that is threatening our planet’s largest nature protection zone.

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Korea’s hydrogen ambitions – pioneering or heading down the wrong path?

Hydrogen has emerged as a key element in the race to net-zero worldwide. South Korea is one of the most proactive advocates of hydrogen, passing the world’s first hydrogen economy law last year. In its carbon neutrality scenarios unveiled last month, meanwhile, hydrogen is given more weight than renewables. What is the Korean government doing to boost the hydrogen economy, and why? Yi hyun Kang investigates.


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Energy Communities: The hidden gems of the EU energy transition

Energy communities have existed in the European Union (EU) for decades, yet they have been long overlooked as a way to ease the energy transition. Increasingly aware of their potential for socio-cultural and economic change, the EU is exploring these communities as key players in the energy transition. But more effort is needed to elevate them to forming a viable alternative. Teo Bierens and Anastasia Skapoula have the details.


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Prospects for carbon pricing adoption in the Western Balkans

Implementing carbon pricing mechanisms (CPMs) that impose fees on emissions in the power and industrial sectors can be a powerful tool to affect current production and consumption patterns. Under last year’s Sofia Declaration, Western Balkan countries pledged to align their climate change mitigation efforts with the EU targets and programs. Policy makers have declared pricing carbon to be one of the most important instruments in the effort to concretize political promises. However, the Western Balkan region has limited experience with carbon pricing initiatives – and only Albania and Montenegro have taken their first tentative steps so far. Daniel Muth has the details.

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