The ongoing tensions between Ukraine and Russia is an excellent occasion for the European Union to assess its dependence from foreign fossil fuels, especially oil and natural gas from the Russian Federation.
As Kees van der Leun noted on his Twitter last week, the EU buys to Russia over half a billion euros of oil and natural gas each day. The amounts total over 200 billion euros ( $277 billion ) a year.
Here is more data : the European Union currently buys over six million barrels of oil per day to Russia, for an amount of over $600 million (430 million euros). Read more →
Deforestation is a large driver of increasing greenhouse gases emissions and an important environmental issue as every minute of every day the equivalent of 50 football fields of trees are being cut down. But this could change soon.
The World Resources Institute, Google, USAid, and UNEP, and many more institutions and companies have teamed up to create the Global Forest Watch, a near-real time online monitoring platform solely dedicated to trees and forests.
Many environmental websites such as Treehugger or Cleantechnica wrote about the initiative. Let’s hope this will indeed help end deforestation as soon as possible.
It seems the huge floods in the United Kingdom could become the new normal because of climate change. The frequency of such destructive events could almost double by mid century as a new study published in Nature Climate Change reports.
According to the Guardian :” The huge cost of flood damage is set to soar fivefold across Europe in coming decades, according to the first comprehensive analysis of risk across the continent. “
These costs are indeed due to go from the current 4.5 billion euros to 23 billion euros per annum by 2050. I guess this makes just another reason to act on climate change and rising sea levels.
While coal might still be the first source of energy for electricity generation in the world, the tides may be turning in two of its largest markets, the People’s Republic of China and the United States of America.
Several facts are pointing to that conclusion.While China consumes now as much of the black dirty stuff than all other countries combined I noted in a previous article that coal consumption could peak there soon.
This was backed by several factors as well as a study from a prestigious bank.Some analysts believe that this may take place as early as 2015. Read more →
Here is another opinion piece I wrote for Cleantechies : ” There is a question that currently puzzles me : why is the European Union so unambitious on climate and energy goals ? “
” We have seen recently that the European Commission unveiled plans to cut carbon emissions by 40 percent by 2020 and that these cuts would be insufficient to prevent climate change. “
The rest of the article is about how a select group of European nations is already benefitting from these clean energy sources and how they could do much more as a group.
According to PeakOil.com, the seven largest oil companies of the Western world — ExxonMobil, Shell, BP, Chevron, Total, ConocoPhillips and Eni —have seen their oil output decline by 12.4 percent between 2009 and 2013.
According to the IEA, if total world oil supply has risen from 85.66 million barrels per day in 2009 to 91.53 million in 2013, the seven leading western majors have seen their share of total supply fall from 12.7% to 10.4% over the same period.
This is bad news for these companies as their investments to find new oil sources have been increasing as prices skyrocketed from around $20 to above $100 in recent years
What the common point between famous buildings around the world such as the White House in the United States, the Vatican, the Taj Mahal in India, the Burj Khalifa in the United Arab Emirates and the Eiffel Tower in France ?
You give up ? They are all at least partly powered by solar. This was pointed out by Solar Mosaic. So if you thought that solar photovoltaic or thermal panels would ruin old buildings and landmarks, think again.
Solar will answer an increasing share of our needs and thus will become ubiquitous this century as previous studies have shown. Solar panels thus do belong everywhere, from India’s slums to the palaces of the world.
This could be world-changing news. According to Xinhua, the Chinese State media agency : ” China’s coal consumption growth slowed in 2013, with the price of coal declining, according to the China National Coal Association “
Several factors are explaining this : old inefficient coal-fired plants are being closed and replaced by more efficient ones, environmental protection is being strengthened and the economic growth of the country as a whole is slowing down.
As a result, coal consumption in China grew by 2.6 percent only last year, a huge change from the 9% or more annual growth witnessed in 2009. Read more →
To Desmogblog : ” The exact worth of massive global fossil fuel subsidies is incredibly hard to figure. There’s no real consistency in the definitions of subsidies, or how they should be calculated. “
” As a result, estimates of global subsidy support for fossil fuels vary widely. According to a new analysis by the Worldwatch Institute, these estimates range from $523 billion to over $1.9 trillion “
I don’t know about you but I believe paying this much to keep on polluting our atmosphere and whole biosphere is just insane. Read more →
Here are good news, as according to Grist : ” The Arctic will be safe from drilling efforts by accident-prone Shell this year, and the oil company says it is reconsidering its very future in the region.”
” (…) The company announced on Thursday that it won’t pursue exploratory drilling in the Arctic this year, and its CEO told reporters that the company is “reviewing our options” in the Arctic.”
Let’s hope this will remain the case ad vitam aeternam. The last thing the Arctic needs as it is warming is oil spills, exploding offshore drilling platforms and the likes…