By the time you read this, the village of Lützerath may already be gone – part of the price paid for getting RWE, Germany’s largest energy producer, to stop mining and burning brown coal by 2030. Yet short term, RWE is ramping generation at their lignite-burning plants, among the most polluting in Europe, to make up for sanctioned Russian gas and help Germany get through the next two winters. But climate scientists warn, burning all the coal underneath the activist-occupied town could risk breaking the emissions limits set under the 2015 Paris Agreement. Worse, as lead blogger and podcaster Michael Buchsbaum relates, the steep terms of the deal are splintering the Greens, potentially setting party leadership against its most ardent climate activists.
All posts tagged: fossil fuels
Winter is coming – plastic must go
Scientists and climate activists have highlighed and warned against the significant global warming impact of fossil gas and an expansion of related infrastructure. Furthermore, analysts have also repeatedly criticized Europe’s deep dependency from Russia – created particular by Germany with the help of petrochemical giant BASF and it’s daughter Wintershall Dea. Putin’s war in Ukraine is forcing the EU now to profoundly restructure it’s energy landscape and to save gas for the coming winter. But while the public is being told to shower cold and heat less Europe is still feeding a fossil fuels hungry petrochemicals and plastics industry. Andy Gheorghiu outlines the major findings of a new report that reveals the significant dimension of this gluttony and that calls for a profound new diet for this sector.
East Asia’s top economies to rise as top importers of Russian fossil fuels by end of year
While media coverage has mainly focused on China and India’s record-level imports, other countries in Asia – particularly East Asia – have also been among the top global importers of Russian energy – and are therefore also implicit contributors to the war effort. A new data visualization website shows that countries in the region are likely to become top importers of Russian fossil fuels once Europe finalizes its plans to phase them out, and that moving towards renewables makes more sense considering the global security risks of fossil fuels, the climate crisis and the falling costs of renewables.
A Total mess
TOTAL is creating a social and economic disaster in Mozambique, consulting the same playbook it uses in Myanmar and Yemen where it extracts resources and silences communities. Ilham Rawoot and Daniel Ribeiro report. This article was originally published in Africa Is a Country.
The New Energy Charter Treaty in Light of The Climate Emergency
After 2 years and 15 negotiation rounds, on June 24, 2022, the Contracting Parties of the Energy Charter Treaty (“ECT”) finaly reached an agreement in principle on a reform of the Treaty. The deal, the detailed text of which remains confidential, contains a package of amendments and changes meant to modernise the Treaty’s investment provisions and bring it in line with the Paris Agreement (the “new ECT”). Crucially, this new ECT will grant existing fossil fuel investments in the European Union and the United Kingdom an additional 10 years of investment protection and even maintain, for now, indefinite protection in other Contracting Parties. It is therefore clearly not aligned with the rapid phase-out of fossil fuels that science shows is required to avoid climate catastrophe, or consistent with the International Energy Agency’s (“IEA”) widely recognised scenario to limit global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. Amandine Van den Berghe, Lukas Schaugg and Helionor de Anzizu have the details. This blog was originally published on Jus Mundi.
The most dangerous radicals are those ignoring the IPCC
Russia’s invasion into Ukraine coincided with the release of two sweeping assessments by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on the perilous state of our planet’s health. Desperately warning of the need to get off fossil fuels, as the body starts hammering out a synthesis report, lead blogger and podcaster Michael Buchsbaum reflects on how Europe’s desperate attempts to find alternative fossil fuel sources may end up turbo-charging climate chaos.
GFANZ must tighten the screw on fossil fuel expansion
Pressure on the fossil fuel industry to stop developing new projects and to start to phase out the production of coal, oil and gas is steadily increasing. On May 18, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres stated unequivocally that “Fossil fuels are a dead end — environmentally and economically. […] We must end fossil fuel pollution and accelerate the renewable energy transition, before we incinerate our only home.” Global finance, and especially the leadership of the Glasgow Financial Alliance on Net Zero (GFANZ), needs to follow Guterres’ lead, stop waffling on fossil fuels and send a clear message to the industry that its days are numbered. Paddy McCully gives a broader look. This article was originally published in Reclaim Finance.
How treaties protecting fossil fuel investors could jeopardize global efforts to save the climate – and cost countries billions
Fossil fuel companies have access to an obscure legal tool that could jeopardize worldwide efforts to protect the climate, and they’re starting to use it. The result could cost countries that press ahead with those efforts billions of dollars. Rachel Thrasher, Blake Alexander Simmons and Dr. Kyla Tienhaara discuss the issue. This article was originally published in The Conversation.
LNG terminals for Germany Part II: Climate impacts, possible suppliers and priorities in an energy and climate crisis
On April 4, 2022, the IPCC published he third part of the Sixth Assessment Report, Climate Change 2022: Mitigation of Climate Change. Referring to the findings and key results, UN General Secretary António Guterres said that “investing in new fossil fuel infrastructure is moral and economic madness” while also outlining that “such investments will soon become stranded assets”. In this blog post, Andy Gheorghiu explains why new LNG terminals in Germany are not an exception – even after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Energy in Southeast Asia Series I: Pursuing Energiewende in the region
Southeast Asia’s Energiewende is already underway, albeit it needs to be sped up and its ambitions increased. There is a regional understanding that the transition to renewables must occur but serious work to translate this vision into reality remains missing. Policy, however, is not attuned to this need to accelerate. Energy generation is still with the hands of energy elites. Laurence L. Delina explores the potential for a just and accelerated Energiewende in this world region as first part of our Southeast Asia Series. What could Southeast Asia as a regional grouping do to facilitate this grand vision?