You are here

News Feeds

CCC: England has ‘lost a decade’ in fight to prepare for climate change impacts

The Carbon Brief - Tue, 03/28/2023 - 16:01
.shadeBg{ background: rgba(0,0,0,0.18); }

No single sector in England is prepared for the impacts of climate change – with the last 10 years being a “lost decade” for government action, according to a new assessment from the UK’s climate advisers.

From 40C heat causing train tracks to buckle to fierce winter storms knocking out power supplies, climate change is already affecting every aspect of society, says a new progress report on adaptation from the UK’s Climate Change Committee (CCC).

As temperatures continue to rise, the UK will increasingly face both known and novel threats – including possible food shortages as extreme weather events overseas affect international supply chains and food prices, the report says.

But, despite worsening impacts, efforts to prepare for climate change are not increasing at the scale required, it adds.

The CCC identifies 45 outcomes that will be needed to prepare for climate change across key sectors, ranging from nature and food security to finance and telecommunications.

The government has not yet delivered on any of these – and only has credible policies and plans in place to deliver in the future for five of the 45 outcomes, according to the report.

The findings come shortly after an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report warned that – globally – far too little is being done to adapt to worsening climate impacts. With high levels of warming, limits to adaptation are likely to be exceeded, it added.

Below, Carbon Brief sums up the main findings of the CCC’s 2023 adaptation progress report and examines the risks identified for nature, agriculture and food security, energy, health and transport. 

Worsening extremes

In its report to parliament, the CCC notes that the UK has faced a run of severe and often record-breaking extreme weather events since its last report in 2021.

In 2022, the UK experienced 40C heat for the first time amid a widespread heatwave. The record far surpassed the previous high of 38.7C, set in 2019 (shown in the chart below).

Highest annual maximum temperature in central England from the 1800s to present day. Source: CCC (2023).

The July to August heatwave led to a record number of heat-related deaths in England, the CCC says. The heat also caused power cuts due to conductors sagging and transformers overheating. At a press briefing, Baroness Brown, chair of the CCC adaptation committee, told journalists:

“[The heatwave] led to around 1,000 more heat-related deaths. 20% of operations were cancelled at the peak of the heatwave because our hospitals are not prepared for the very hot weather. We had rail disruption – overhead wires expanding, rail buckling, speed restrictions.” 

As well as being hot, England’s 2022 summer was also the sixth driest on record – leading to widespread drought, according to the analysis. In East Anglia – a key region for producing food – it was the fourth driest.

The hot and dry conditions fuelled widespread wildfires. A new record was set in 2022 for the highest number of wildfires larger than 30 hectares observed in the same year, with fire services facing “major pressure” in mid-July, the report says.

As well as summer heat extremes, the UK has also faced more destructive winter storms. In February 2022, the UK faced storms Dudley, Eunice and Franklin in quick succession, causing “extensive damage to local electricity grids and flooding across the country”. The report adds:

“Storm Arwen left over one million customers without power and the north-east of Scotland experienced the equivalent of almost two years’ worth of overhead line faults in a twelve hour period.”

Huge waves crash the against the sea wall and Roker Lighthouse in Sunderland in the tail end of Storm Arwen, November 27 2021. Credit: PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo. ‘Lost decade’ for climate adaptation

The CCC usually reports to parliament on adaptation progress every two years, as required by the 2008 Climate Change Act.

However, this report looks back further – over the past decade. This allowed the CCC to take stock of the UK government’s first and second national adaptation programmes, which ran from 2013-2018 and 2018-2023, respectively. 

It comes ahead of the third national adaptation programme, which is due to be published this summer.

Looking back, the report says there is “very limited evidence” that past adaptation programmes have led to action “at the scale needed to fully prepare for climate risks facing the UK across cities, communities, infrastructure, economy and ecosystems”. It adds:

“While the recognition of a changing climate within planning and policy is increasing, with some policy in most areas, it is clear that the current approach to adaptation policy is not leading to delivery on the ground and significant policy gaps remain.”

Speaking at a press briefing, Baroness Brown added:

“The last decade has been a lost decade in terms of preparing for and adapting to the risks – the risks we already have, and those that we know are coming.”

Also at the press briefing, CCC chief executive Chris Stark noted that one of the “oddities” about adaptation in the UK is that it is under the control of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) – a ministry with relatively limited funds and influence. He said:

“That’s a sort of strange place in Whitehall for this stuff to be led.”

How different sectors are unprepared for climate change

For its assessment of adaptation progress, the CCC identified 45 outcomes that will be required if the UK is to prepare for climate change across key sectors.

The government has not yet delivered on any of these outcomes. And it only has policies and plans in place to deliver in the future for five of the 45 outcomes, according to the report.

The graphic below gives an overview of the lack of preparedness across key sectors, including nature, “working lands and seas” (agriculture and fisheries), food security, water supply, energy, telecommunications and IT, transport, towns and cities, buildings, health, community preparedness, business and finance.

On the graphic, the inner rings represent progress for policies and plans, while the outer rings represent progress for delivery and implementation. The level of progress is indicated through colour.

Preparedness for climate change across key sectors in England. The inner rings represent progress for policies and plans, while the outer rings represent progress for delivery and implementation. The level of progress is indicated through colour. Source: CCC (2023).

Below, Carbon Brief runs through the in-depth findings for some of the key sectors.


For nature, the CCC identifies three outcomes that will be needed to adequately prepare for climate change. These are that land, freshwater and marine habitats are all in “good ecological health”.

Healthy ecosystems are more resilient to climate change impacts such as droughts, floods and heatwaves, the report says. They hold “intrinsic value” and also offer important services to people, such as by soaking up CO2 from the atmosphere and helping to protect people from flood risk.

But the report finds there has been “insufficient progress” for delivering the outcomes for land and freshwater habitats – and “mixed progress” on delivering for marine habitats.

Between 1970 and 2018, the average abundance of the 149 species considered to be “important” for conservation in the UK fell by over 80%, the report says. (“Abundance” is a term for the number of individuals of a species in a given area.)

(Species of conservation importance are those that are threatened, in decline or those where the UK accounts for a significant proportion of the global population.)

The last few decades has also seen the abundance of priority species in England continuously decline, the report notes (shown on the chart below).

Abundance of priority species in England from 1970-2018. Source: CCC (2023).

The CCC makes a number of recommendations for how the government should ensure nature is prepared for climate change, with most of these aimed at Defra.

This includes a recommendation for Defra to publish the full details of its long-awaited Environmental Land Management scheme, its post-Brexit replacement for the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy.

Agriculture and food security

For “working lands and seas”, the CCC identifies three outcomes that will be needed to adequately prepare for climate change. These include that the UK’s agricultural production, commercial forestry sector and fisheries and aquaculture sector are all “climate resilient”.

For agricultural production, the CCC says it is unable to evaluate progress on delivering the outcome due to “insufficient data”. It adds there are “insufficient policies and plans” in place to deliver in the future. The report says:

“Defra still lacks a plan to ensure the agricultural sector remains productive as the climate changes. Emerging details on the Environmental Land Management Scheme indicate some consideration of risks from future climate change, but this is not enough to strengthen the capability of agriculture to shift to more resilient production approaches.”

For forestry and fisheries, the report says there has been “mixed progress” in delivering the outcomes and there are “partial policies and plans” in place to ensure they are delivered in the future.

On food security in the UK, the CCC identifies two outcomes that will be needed to prepare for climate change. The first is that climate-related disruption to food and feed import supply chains is “minimised”. The second is vulnerability to food price shocks is “reduced”.

The report notes that the UK is “embedded within a complex international food system”. 

Around 50% of food consumed in the UK is imported, the report says, with higher import shares of 85% for fresh fruit and 65% for other fruit and vegetables.

Many of the countries that the UK imports fruit and vegetables from are currently considered “water stressed” or “climate vulnerable”, the report says. 

It notes that “the complexity and interlinkages of the food system allow climate change risks to be transmitted through trade, financial, cultural and political connections between countries”, adding:

“This means that an extreme weather event in one country can trigger an impact elsewhere in the world and risks can cascade across the globe in a complex way.”

In its assessment, the CCC says it was unable to evaluate progress towards minimising climate-related food disruption due to a lack of data reporting by large food companies. It adds there are “insufficient” policies and plans in place to ensure disruption is minimised in the future.

There is also currently “insufficient progress” on reducing vulnerability to food price shocks, the report says.

Among its recommendations, the CCC says that Defra should set out specifically how the government’s food strategy will ensure that food supply chains are resilient to climate shocks.


For England’s energy sector, the CCC identifies three outcomes that will be needed to prepare for climate change.

The first is that the vulnerability of England’s energy systems to extreme weather events is “reduced”. The second is that England achieves security of supply at a “system level”.

The third is that “interdependencies” between energy systems and other systems are “identified and managed”. (This is to reduce “cascading risks” for impacts from one system affecting another, the report says. For example, ensuring a risk to power supplies does not disrupt healthcare.)

The report says that changes to UK weather could lead to larger impacts on energy systems. 

Some of these impacts are known, the report says. This includes the impact of heat increasing the electricity demand for air conditioning and leading to generation losses through the overheating of power station components.

However, some of these impacts are more “uncertain”, according to the report.

Such impacts include possible “wind droughts” – periods of low wind speeds – which could affect turbines. The report says high-resolution climate projections for the UK suggest there could be decreases to wind speeds in the summer under higher levels of global warming.

In its assessment, the CCC says there has been “mixed progress” on reducing the vulnerability of England’s energy systems to extreme weather events. It says there are “partial policies and plans” in place to ensure this outcome is achieved in future.

It adds there has been “mixed progress” on achieving a system-level security of supply and “limited policies and plans” in place to ensure this outcome is met in future. 

In addition, there are “insufficient policies and plans” in place to identify and manage “interdependencies between energy systems and other systems, according to the CCC.

Among its recommendations, it says that the UK’s new Department for Energy Security and Net Zero should conduct a review of the energy system’s resilience to climate hazards. It also says the department should give the energy regulator Ofgem a clear mandate of ensuring the resilience of energy systems to climate hazards.


For health, the CCC identifies two outcomes that will be needed to prepare for climate change. 

The first is to protect the population from the impacts of climate change. The second is to ensure that people can access quality healthcare during extreme weather events.

England’s population is increasingly facing threats to their health from climate change, the report says. 

For example, increasing frequency and intensity of extreme heat is increasing the number of heat-related deaths, as well as heat-related disease and illness. Heatwaves can “also create significant stress on the functioning of the health and social care system”, the report says.

Warmer temperatures are also creating more favourable conditions for vectors of infectious disease, with projections suggesting ticks and mosquitoes will have more suitable habitat in the UK in future, the report says.

Other hazards include flooding, which can lead to deaths and impacts on mental health, the report says. 

In its assessment, the CCC says there is “insufficient progress” for delivering on protecting the population from climate change and ensuring access to healthcare is maintained during extreme weather events. It adds there are “limited policies and plans” in place to ensure this is achieved in the future.

The report notes that all of England’s health services have been instructed to create a “green plan” to help the NHS achieve its goal of reaching net-zero emissions by 2040. However, it says that this was a “missed opportunity” to incorporate long-term adaptation planning.


For transport, the CCC identifies six outcomes that will be needed to prepare for climate change. (The report notes that many of England’s transport systems already face threats from extreme weather events, such as floods, heatwaves and storms.)

The first is to ensure the reliability of the rail network in the face of climate change. The assessment says there has been “mixed progress” on delivering this but there are “credible policies and plans” in place to address it in the future.

The second is to ensure the reliability of England’s road network in the face of climate change. Again, the assessment says there has been “mixed progress” on delivering this but there are “credible policies and plans” in place to address this in the future.

It notes that the second Road Investment Strategy includes a “vision for climate resilience” and that the government agency National Highways has reported its climate change risk assessment and adaptation plans.

The third is to ensure the reliability of local roads. The assessment says there has been “mixed progress” on delivering this and there are “insufficient policies and plans” to ensure it is achieved in future. 

“There is a lack of credible plans for local roads,” the report says.

The fourth is to ensure the reliability of airport operations. The CCC says it was unable to evaluate delivery on this because of a lack of available indicators. It adds that “partial policies and plans” are in place to achieve this in future – with 11 of the UK’s 40 airports putting forward plans for dealing with climate risks.

The fifth is to ensure the reliability of port operations. The CCC says it was unable to evaluate delivery on this too because of a lack of reporting from ports. It notes that there are “limited policies and plans” in place to achieve this in the future – with only four of the UK’s largest ports putting forward plans for dealing with climate risks.

The final outcome is to ensure “interdependencies” between different transport systems are identified and managed. The report says there is “insufficient progress” on delivering this and “insufficient policies and plans” to do so in the future.

The Carbon Brief Interview: ‘Loss-and-damage’ finance pioneer Robert Van Lierop

UN climate talks



Q&A: How the EU wants to race to net-zero with ‘Green Deal Industrial Plan’

EU policy



Analysis: Fuel-duty freezes have increased UK CO2 emissions by up to 7%




UK spring budget 2023: Key climate and energy announcements




jQuery(document).ready(function() { jQuery('.block-related-articles-slider-block_3f27c706b32a828756037c1c50ba25ac .mh').matchHeight({ byRow: false }); });

The post CCC: England has ‘lost a decade’ in fight to prepare for climate change impacts appeared first on Carbon Brief.

Categories: I. Climate Science

Tuesday April 4th Final Hearing of Sonoma Coast

Wine And Water Watch - Tue, 03/28/2023 - 15:03
Don’t let Permit Sonoma usurp community and Planning Commission recommended wording. Mining, vineyards, toxins, off shore industrial development and more. Tell your supervisor to stay with what was proposed and tell Permit Sonoma NO!
Categories: G2. Local Greens

Michael Moore releases free viewing of “Bowling For Columbine”

Wine And Water Watch - Tue, 03/28/2023 - 14:52
On the 20th anniversary of “Bowling For Columbine” winning an Oscar, Michael Moore is allowing viewing of his historical movie through next weekend. In light of the mass shooting in Tennessee of 3 children and 3 adults his movie is profound and shows little has changed in our violent country. Here’s the link on YouTube: …

Michael Moore releases free viewing of “Bowling For Columbine” Read More »

Categories: G2. Local Greens

Summary of Winery Event Ordinance & Impacts for Community

Wine And Water Watch - Tue, 03/28/2023 - 14:40
Recap of Winery Event Ordinance – Supervisor’s Vote 3-2 “Usual Suspects” (Supervisor Hopkins, Gore & Rabbitt vote for wine industry interests, again). On March 14, 2023, the Board of Supervisors adopted the Winery Event Ordinance by a 3-2 vote. After approximately 10 years of debate, workshops, stakeholder groups and hearings, the approved Winery Event Ordinance …

Summary of Winery Event Ordinance & Impacts for Community Read More »

Categories: G2. Local Greens

Budget 2023 signals Canada is open for sustainable business (media release)

Pembina Institute News - Tue, 03/28/2023 - 14:01
The Pembina Institute notes that the 2023 Federal Budget sends a clear message that Canada is committed to building a cleaner future. We were pleased to see investments that support the development of the low-carbon economy, while also creating good, long-term jobs for Canadians.

MarinHealth Medical Center nurses ratify new contract with strong measures to improve patient safety and nurse retention

National Nurses United - Tue, 03/28/2023 - 13:05
MarinHealth Medical Center nurses ratify new contract with strong measures to improve patient safety and nurse retention njones March 28, 2023 RNs at MarinHealth Medical Center in Greenbrae, Calif., voted overwhelmingly in favor of ratifying a new three-year contract yesterday, March 27, winning protections to improve patient safety and nurse retention. California Nurses Association/National Nurses United Mar 28, 2023 California
Categories: C4. Radical Labor

Carbon credit rule-makers must engage Indigenous People

Climate Change News - Tue, 03/28/2023 - 12:01

Many have heard the expression that tropical rainforests are ‘the lungs of the Earth’. But for Indigenous Peoples, the rainforest is more like our beating heart. Forests are the center and soul of our communities, our culture, and our health.

Sixty million Indigenous Peoples almost wholly depend on forests for our livelihoods. In the Amazon basin, Indigenous People manage more than 30% of forested territories. Likewise, in Mesoamerica, Indigenous People and local communities steward half of the region’s forests.

Satellite imagery shows that deforestation rates in our territories are roughly half of rates found in surrounding lands.

Despite centuries of history and clear evidence that Indigenous Peoples and local communities are the most knowledgeable and experienced stewards of our rainforests, we are not consulted in key decisions about how to conserve them.

Governments battle over carbon removal and renewables in IPCC report

When it comes to using carbon credits as a tool to halt deforestation and stop climate change, it is critical that we are included in decision-making and consultation processes. This is especially true with regards to the Integrity Council for the Voluntary Carbon Market (IC-VCM), which will soon release new criteria for high-quality carbon credits called the Core Carbon Principles (CCP). However, their process to define carbon credit “integrity” was developed without input from Indigenous Peoples and local communities.

The Integrity Council is nearing the end of their process to develop this guidance, and has not adequately consulted us on important issues that directly impact our communities, our livelihoods, and our ability to conserve our rainforests. Consultation with Indigenous Peoples and local communities has been limited to one disappointing webinar plagued by technical problems, and one lunch at Cop27 in Egypt—which, despite featuring a promising and robust discussion, has seen no follow-up.

One urgent issue for our communities that we have not been able to weigh in on is the treatment of high-integrity jurisdictional REDD+ crediting in the Integrity Council’s guidance. Jurisdictional REDD+ credits are designed to incentivise the conservation of large regions of forests that span Indigenous territories, states, and whole countries. For our communities, these credits can unlock the finance needed to support our work to safeguard forests.

Mexico launches global push for geoengineering restrictions

With jurisdictional approaches to forest conservation, Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities can generate high-integrity credits based on improvements in emissions and removals across wide regions or territories of forests, preventing deforestation from simply shifting to nearby plots of land.

Because of our efforts, Indigenous territories are often home to High Forest, Low Deforestation (HFLD) regions—meaning that we have high forest cover, yet low rates of deforestation. However, HFLD territories face increasing threats of deforestation. It is Indigenous Peoples who can best defend these territories in circumstances of high vulnerability. However, our only pathway to leverage carbon markets is through HFLD approaches.

It is critical that the Integrity Council does not exclude jurisdictional REDD+ credits, HFLD territories, or Indigenous wisdom from carbon markets. The Integrity Council can get this right by creating guidance for high-quality carbon credits that includes jurisdictional REDD+ programs, including those in HFLD territories, and that reflects Indigenous and local communities’ perspectives and priorities.

I’m a COP veteran. Here are 3 suggestions for the new Loss and Damage fund

The Council should look closely at the Tropical Forest Credit Integrity (TFCI) guide, published by Indigenous Peoples organizations and environmental groups last month. Working together, these groups created guidance to distinguish high-integrity credits that have the greatest forest conservation impact and respect the rights and livelihoods of Indigenous Peoples. The guide shows that jurisdictional REDD+ crediting can be done with high integrity, with Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities at the decision-making table, and with great impact for forests and climate.

Without the inclusion of Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities in the development process, the Council’s Core Carbon Principles will not be effective in the long term. We need to be represented in governing bodies and spaces like the IC-VCM board with a real, legitime representation to contribute to the design and oversight of both the market and individual projects, and have effective channels to address grievances.

The Integrity Council has an opportunity to embody ‘integrity’ by including Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities as partners and honoring our power in the voluntary carbon market. Working together, we can enable finance to flow to one of the most impactful climate solutions—our forests—and Indigenous Peoples and local communities who can best safeguard them.

Levi Sucre is the general coordinator of the Mesoamerican Alliance of Peoples and Forests and Fermin Chimatani is the presidente of the Asociación Nacional de Ejecutores de Contrato de Administración de Reservas Comunales del Perú 

The ICVM responded that it is “deeply commited to working in partnership with indigenous people and local communities to ensure the voluntary carbon market protects and promote their rights and livelihoods”.

It said it has three seats on its board for indigenous people and local communities, one member of its “distinguished advisory group” is from the Shuar people and two members of its expert panel have “significant expertise of working with indigenous people and local communities”.

The ICVM said it is recruiting two experts on indigenous people and local communities and has “engaged extensively” with them during its standards development process and offered them an extended deadline to submit responses “in consideration of technical issues on one of the webinars”.

The post Carbon credit rule-makers must engage Indigenous People appeared first on Climate Home News.

Categories: H. Green News

Marina del Rey nurses to hold informational picket for a fair contract

National Nurses United - Tue, 03/28/2023 - 11:12
Marina del Rey nurses to hold informational picket for a fair contract njones March 28, 2023 RNs at Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital will hold an info picket on Thurs., March 30, to inform the public about management’s demand that nurses waive their bargaining rights over policies on education benefits, paid time off, leave of absence, and holidays. California Nurses Association/National Nurses United Mar 28, 2023 California
Categories: C4. Radical Labor

Paris BPU, TVA, Silicon Ranch Debut Latest Solar Farm 

Solar Industry Magazine - Tue, 03/28/2023 - 11:12

Silicon Ranch, an independent power producer and a community-focused renewable energy company, the Paris Board of Public Utilities and the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) have completed a 6.75 MW AC solar facility in Puryear, Tenn.

The Paris Solar Farm – Puryear was developed as part of TVA’s Generation Flexibility Program. The program is designed to encourage local power companies to develop distributed generation facilities and provide local solutions to the renewable needs of customers.

“This new solar farm is a testament to how carbon solutions can be used to bring big brands and local power companies together to benefit a community for the long-term at scale,” says Laura Zapata, CEO and co-founder of Clearloop. “Rivian and Paris BPU are setting a clear example for other communities on how mutual partnership can benefit parts of the country that can benefit the most by aligning decarbonization and economic opportunity.” 

Silicon Ranch will generate hundreds of thousands of dollars in new tax revenue for the county over the life of the project which will help support infrastructure and other community-identified priorities, while requiring little to no county services in return.

The post Paris BPU, TVA, Silicon Ranch Debut Latest Solar Farm  appeared first on Solar Industry.

Cop28 host UAE tried to weaken global shipping’s climate ambition

Climate Change News - Tue, 03/28/2023 - 09:09

The United Arab Emirates tried to weaken global shipping’s climate target last week, sparking fears that it will lack ambition as host of the Cop28 climate summit.

According to four sources in the room, the UAE was one of around a dozen countries which argued against more ambitious climate targets at the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) last week.

Their representative to the IMO Mohamed Khamis Saeed AlKaabi joined nations like China, India and Brazil in opposing a 2050 zero emissions target and pushing for the target to be to “aim for net zero, preferably by mid-century, and to phase-out emissions before the end of the century”. He also opposed setting interim targets for 2030 and 2040.

A spokesperson for the UAE’s Cop28 presidency told Climate Home that IMO negotiations were outside of their scope but “the Cop28 UAE presidency sees a substantial and important role for industries, including shipping, to deliver action to keep 1.5 alive”.

In a seeming rebuke to their negotiator’s oppostion to a 2030 target, the spokesperson added that the Cop28 presidency echoes the IPCC scientists’ finding that carbon emissions must fall 43% between 2019 and 2030.

A big emitter

The ships that carry goods and people around the world burn large amounts of dirty fuel. The industry is responsible for 3% of global emissions. If it was a nation, it would be the fifth most polluting in the world, ahead of Japan.

Like international air travel, international shipping is not mentioned in the Paris Agreement and is not covered by most countries’ climate plans.

Greens stop blocking Australia’s new fossil fuel projects

A broad group of countries, led by climate vulnerable Pacific nations, has called for the industry to set a zero emissions by 2050 target at its next marine environment protection committee meeting in July.

But a group, mainly made up of big emerging economies opposed this at the last meeting in December, arguing that clean fuels are technologically unproven and are likely to cost more and those costs will be passed on to consumers.

Leading the opposition

Last week, intersessional talks were held at the headquarters of the IMO, the UN’s shipping arm, on the banks of the river Thames in London. Journalists were unable to watch proceedings but campaigners and other observers were allowed in the room.

John Maggs, president of the Clean Shipping Coalition, was among them. He said the UAE repeatedly emphasised the “end of the century” part of their proposed net zero target. “It was ‘their baby'”, he said, “they took the floor early on to state this and when the languaage disappeared form the draft they took the floor to support it going back in.”

Mexico launches global push for geoengineering restrictions

Three other observers said the UAE was among the group opposing zero emissions by 2050 and pushing for a weaker target. One was Faig Abbasov, shipping lead at the Transport and Environment NGO, who added that the UAE also opposed adding new 2030 and 2040 targets.

Abbasov said the UAE’s stance was “baffling given the country hosts Cop28 later this year”. He added: “If the UAE does not align itself with this goal, including for shipping, then COP28 risks being an official “climate oilwashing” event.”

Aoife O’Leary, CEO of Opportunity Green, also watched proceedings. She told Climate Home: “It is alarming to witness the upcoming Cop President, UAE, being one of the leading voices for lower ambition at the International Maritime Organization (IMO) meetings”.

Governments battle over carbon removal and renewables in IPCC report

UAE command respect

Another observer, who did not want to be named, said that, while the UAE has “excellent potential” to bring climate leadership into the IMO, “there were no signs of that at [the intersessional talks last week], instead they were working against those calling for progress.”

O’Leary and the Clean Shipping Coalition both compiled lists of which countries opposed the net zero by 2050 target. Since there was no voting, they judged on comments and formal submissions, so the lists differ slightly. But both feature China, India, Argentina, Bangladesh, Brazil, Saudi Arabia and South Africa.

The Clean Shipping Coalition’s list of countries which voiced support for zero emissions by 2050 last week includes several Pacific island nations, most European governments, the US, Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, Turkey, Japan and the Bahamas. Most also voiced support for 2030 and 2040 targets.

The post Cop28 host UAE tried to weaken global shipping’s climate ambition appeared first on Climate Home News.

Categories: H. Green News

Summit Ridge Energy Nets Tax Equity for Community Solar Projects

Solar Industry Magazine - Tue, 03/28/2023 - 08:21

Summit Ridge Energy (SRE), a commercial solar company, says it has secured a $67 million tax equity commitment from Foss & Company, an institutional investment fund sponsor. The partnership will fund more than 50 MW DC of community solar projects in Maine and Illinois.

The funding will support a development pipeline of 13 projects to provide residential and commercial subscribers with clean energy and an opportunity to support the local renewable economy.

This latest funding builds on the relationships between SRE and Foss & Company. Together, they have closed $122 million in tax equity commitments in two years. SRE first partnered with Foss & Company in April 2021, securing a $55 million tax equity commitment that funded 73 MW of solar projects that achieved commercial operations in late 2021.

This investment utilizes the Inflation Reduction Act’s Qualified Advanced Energy Project Credit program. Once the rulemaking for low and moderate Income community incentives and domestic content requirements program is finalized, the firms expect to expand their partnership and make renewable energy more accessible, both in underserved and traditional energy communities. 

“In addition to targeting robust cash flow and economic returns for our investors, this portfolio is expected to increase access to low-cost clean energy for thousands of families and small businesses in Illinois and Maine,” says Bryen Alperin, managing director, Foss & Company. “This investment will allow us to continue building upon our current partnership with SRE, as well as advance our long-term mission of supporting a renewable energy future for all.”

SRE started construction on the portfolio in early 2023 and expects the projects to achieve commercial operations in 2024. Once operational, the projects will generate clean power and energy savings for residential and commercial customers across six utility service territories. Commercial customers include small, medium and large businesses who will remotely subscribe to the community solar projects.

The post Summit Ridge Energy Nets Tax Equity for Community Solar Projects appeared first on Solar Industry.

Alta. finance & environment ministers won’t seek re-election

Rabble - Tue, 03/28/2023 - 07:34

I’d like to say the rats are leaving the sinking ship, but I don’t think Travis Toews or Sonya Savage are rats, and I’m not certain the United Conservative Party (UCP) is sinking. With that caveat, it is a fact that Finance Minister Toews and Environment Minister Savage will not be seeking re-election as members of the version of the UCP led by Premier Danielle Smith. 

Say what you will of the policies they advanced, both were capable cabinet ministers and members of what we might call the rapidly diminishing sane wing of the UCP. It is entirely understandable that neither of them would want to risk the damage to their reputations that would have been done by being part of a Smith Government with an electoral mandate. 

Toews, MLA for Grande Prairie-Wapiti and finance minister in both Jason Kenney’s and Smith’s governments, ran for the leadership of the party against Smith and was narrowly defeated on the sixth ballot. Ms. Smith had 53.8 per cent of the final vote; Toews had 46.2 per cent. 

An accountant and a rancher, the first-term MLA was a powerful and influential minister under Kenney, much less so under Smith.

It’s said here that as a genuinely austerity minded Conservative, there is no way he could have been very happy with Smith’s high-spending approach to contesting the expected 2023 election. It must have nearly killed him to publicly tout his February 28 budget. 

In a letter he posted on social media, Toews said that after “deliberate and prayerful consideration, I have decided not to seek re-election.”

Savage, a lawyer and energy industry lobbyist before running for the first time in the 2019 provincial election, was well-known and respected in the Alberta oilpatch when she was given the energy portfolio by Kenney. As energy minister she opposed the end of the polluter-pay principle advocated by lobbyist Danielle Smith and later by Premier Danielle Smith.

In Smith’s first cabinet Savage was demoted to environment minister. She also faced a strong challenge in her Calgary-North West riding from the NDP’s Michael Lisboa-Smith. 

Her decision was reported early this afternoon by Radio Canada’s JeanEmmanuel Fortier on social media. 

Responding to Toews’s announcement, Opposition Finance Critic and former NDP environment minister Shannon Philips, wished him well in a tweet. “I do not admire his record … but he conducts himself with decency and is mostly grounded in reality, unlike the new crop of Smith candidates.”

However, the Lethdridge-West NDP MLA criticized Toews’s record in a tweet thread for, among other things, being “one of the largest drivers of costs on Albertans.” 

“He cost Albertans over $600 million in higher income taxes, he gave Alberta the highest auto insurance rates in Canada, he grabbed control of teachers’ pensions, without consultation, provoking an unnecessary conflict with educators, and during the pandemic, he appeared to be the only person in Alberta who figured a pay cut for nurses and other health professionals was ‘reasonable,’” she said. (I have edited her statements, made in a series of tweets, to summarize them in a single quote.)

As for Savage, well, she will have to live with ignominy of being the minister in charge of Kenney’s notorious “War Room,” officially and misleadingly known as the Canadian Energy Centre.

Still, both were among the more capable and sensible UCP ministers. As such, they will probably be missed, and not just by the UCP. 

It remains to be seen which other members of Smith’s cabinet, if any, conclude that discretion is the better part of valour. 

Naturally, as a result of Toews’s timing, there have also been rumours that Smith may call an early election before the scheduled May 29 date while she still enjoys some lingering political benefit for not being Jason Kenney. 

The post Alta. finance & environment ministers won’t seek re-election appeared first on

Categories: F. Left News

Big Benji Bonanza เกมสล็อตเว็บตรงสมัครฟรี

Pittsburgh Green New Deal - Tue, 03/28/2023 - 07:18
Big Benji Bonanza เกมสล็อตเว็บตรงสมัครฟรี

Big Benji Bonanza เกมสล็อตเว็บตรงสมัครฟรี เกมสล็อตเรื่องราวของการปกครองที่ได้ออกแบบมาได้อย่างคลาสสิค เกมสนุก พร้อมฟีเจอร์พิเศษมากมาย ที่จะช่วยให้คุณมีโอกาสชนะรางวัลได้ง่ายมากยิ่งขึ้นอีกด้วย เกมสล็อตโบนัสแตกดี จ่ายเงินจริง

โดยตัวเกมมีการออกแบบสัญลักษณ์และรูปแบบเกมมาให้มีความทันสมัย ผสมกับความคลาสสิคได้อย่างลงตัว สนุกตื่นเต้น พร้อมมีเงินรางวัลมอบให้แบบไม่อั้น สามารถเลือกเล่นได้ที่ค่าย Yggdrasil slot เกมดีพร้อมมีเงินให้แบบนี้ ไม่ต้องคิดนาน มาสนุกไปพร้อมกันได้เลย กับเว็บตรง ไม่ผ่านเอเย่นต์ มั่นคง ปลอดภัย จ่ายรางวัลสูง

วิธีการเล่นBig Benji Bonanza เกมสล็อตเว็บตรงสมัครฟรี

สำหรับตัวเกมจะถูกสร้างสรรค์มาให้เป็นเกมสล็อตวิดีโอที่มี 5 รีลเกม และ 3 แถว จะสามารถชนะรางวัลได้เมื่อมีการสปิน แล้วมีสัญลักษณ์ที่เหมือนกัน ปรากฏขึ้นมาพร้อมรีลเกม เริ่มต้นที่ 3 ตัว และสัญลักษณ์ที่เหมือนกันและปรากฏขึ้นมาพร้อมกันนั้น จะต้องเรียงติดต่อกันจากรีลซ้ายสุด ไปรีลขวาสุด จึงจะถือว่าชนะรางวัล และรับรางวัลไปได้อย่างง่ายดาย มีสิทธิ์ได้ลุ้นรับรางวัลสูงสุดมากกว่า 25000x เท่า โดยภายในเกม จะมีไลน์เดิมพัน ที่ใช้ในการกำหนดการชนะรางวัลทั้งหมด 25 ไลน์เดิมพัน

สัญลักษณ์ภายในเกม จะมีค่าการจ่ายรางวัลที่แตกต่างกัน โดยมีสัญลักษณ์ แบงค์ ที่จ่ายรางวัลสูงที่สุด ส่วนสัญลักษณ์อื่นๆจะมีค่าการจ่ายรางวัลมากน้อยเพียงได้ เราจะมาแนะนำให้คุณดังนี้

1.สัญลักษณ์ แบงค์ โดยสัญลักษณ์จะมีการจ่ายรางวัล เมื่อชนะการเดิมพันเริ่มต้นตั้งแต่ 25 , 50 และ 250 ตามลำดับ ซึ่งการจ่ายรางวัล จะได้รับเมื่อปรากฏสัญลักษณ์นี้ขึ้นมาพร้อมกัน 3 – 5 ตัว

2. สัญลักษณ์ 7 โดยสัญลักษณ์จะมีการจ่ายรางวัล เมื่อชนะการเดิมพันเริ่มต้นตั้งแต่ 75 , 125 และ 375 ตามลำดับ ซึ่งการจ่ายรางวัล จะได้รับเมื่อปรากฏสัญลักษณ์นี้ขึ้นมาพร้อมกัน 3 – 5 ตัว

3. สัญลักษณ์ เพรช โดยสัญลักษณ์จะมีการจ่ายรางวัล เมื่อชนะการเดิมพันเริ่มต้นตั้งแต่ 37 , 62 และ 187.50 ตามลำดับ ซึ่งการจ่ายรางวัล จะได้รับเมื่อปรากฏสัญลักษณ์นี้ขึ้นมาพร้อมกัน 3 – 5 ตัว

4. สัญลักษณ์ ระฆัง โดยสัญลักษณ์จะมีการจ่ายรางวัล เมื่อชนะการเดิมพันเริ่มต้นตั้งแต่ 25 , 50 และ 150 ตามลำดับ ซึ่งการจ่ายรางวัล จะได้รับเมื่อปรากฏสัญลักษณ์นี้ขึ้นมาพร้อมกัน 3 – 5 ตัว

5. สัญลักษณ์ เชอรี่ โดยสัญลักษณ์จะมีการจ่ายรางวัล เมื่อชนะการเดิมพันเริ่มต้นตั้งแต่ 20 , 45 และ 125 ตามลำดับ ซึ่งการจ่ายรางวัล จะได้รับเมื่อปรากฏสัญลักษณ์นี้ขึ้นมาพร้อมกัน 3 – 5 ตัว

6. สัญลักษณ์ A โดยสัญลักษณ์จะมีการจ่ายรางวัล เมื่อชนะการเดิมพันเริ่มต้นตั้งแต่ 12.50 , 30 และ 75 ตามลำดับ ซึ่งการจ่ายรางวัล จะได้รับเมื่อปรากฏสัญลักษณ์นี้ขึ้นมาพร้อมกัน 3 – 5 ตัว

7. สัญลักษณ์ K โดยสัญลักษณ์จะมีการจ่ายรางวัล เมื่อชนะการเดิมพันเริ่มต้นตั้งแต่ 12.50 , 30 และ 75 ตามลำดับ ซึ่งการจ่ายรางวัล จะได้รับเมื่อปรากฏสัญลักษณ์นี้ขึ้นมาพร้อมกัน 3 – 5 ตัว

8. สัญลักษณ์ Q โดยสัญลักษณ์จะมีการจ่ายรางวัล เมื่อชนะการเดิมพันเริ่มต้นตั้งแต่ 10 , 25 และ 50 ตามลำดับ ซึ่งการจ่ายรางวัล จะได้รับเมื่อปรากฏสัญลักษณ์นี้ขึ้นมาพร้อมกัน 3 – 5 ตัว

9. สัญลักษณ์ J โดยสัญลักษณ์จะมีการจ่ายรางวัล เมื่อชนะการเดิมพันเริ่มต้นตั้งแต่ 10 , 25 และ 50 ตามลำดับ ซึ่งการจ่ายรางวัล จะได้รับเมื่อปรากฏสัญลักษณ์นี้ขึ้นมาพร้อมกัน 3 – 5 ตัว

10. สัญลักษณ์ 10 โดยสัญลักษณ์จะมีการจ่ายรางวัล เมื่อชนะการเดิมพันเริ่มต้นตั้งแต่ 10 , 25 และ 50 ตามลำดับ ซึ่งการจ่ายรางวัล จะได้รับเมื่อปรากฏสัญลักษณ์นี้ขึ้นมาพร้อมกัน 3 – 5 ตัว


สำหรับเกมสล็อตสุดสนุกนี้ มาพร้อมกับสัญลักษณ์พิเศษภายในเกมที่จะประกอบไปด้วย สัญลักษณ์ FREE SPIN ที่จะช่วยให้คุณได้รับรางวัลโบนัสแบบไม่อั้น โดยจะได้รับฟรีสปินพร้อมเบอร์เซิร์ก ในการสุ่มที่มีจำนวนแตกต่างกันออกไป จะได้รับสปินฟรีพร้อมเบอร์เซิร์ก ก็ต่อเมื่อปรากฏสัญลักษณ์ Scatter ขึ้นมาพร้อมกันบนรีลเกม 3 ตัวขึ้นไป

และยังมีสัญลักษณ์ Wild ที่มีคุณสมับิตในการคูณพร้อมกับคุณสมับิตพิเศษที่จะสามารถแทนสัญลักษณ์ตัวอื่นๆที่อยู่ภายในเกมได้ทุกตัว โดยจะยกเว้นสัญลักษณ์ Free Spin ที่ไม่สามารถแทนได้นั่นเอง

Credit สล็อตเว็บตรง


The post Big Benji Bonanza เกมสล็อตเว็บตรงสมัครฟรี appeared first on

Categories: B3. EcoSocialism

Revealed: How Shell cashed in on dubious carbon offsets from Chinese rice paddies

Climate Change News - Tue, 03/28/2023 - 07:07

Shell is a partner in a series of contested rice farming offsetting projects in China that could generate millions of worthless carbon credits, Climate Home News has found.

The initiatives are meant to slash methane emissions by changing irrigation methods in rice paddies. But projects in which Shell is involved have implemented a series of accounting tricks that would help them avoid stricter controls.

The oil and gas giant says the projects, certified by the leading carbon standard Verra, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase rice productivity, and provide job opportunities – particularly for women.

But their integrity is now under question.

Verra is now carrying out a quality review of its rice farming offsets after identifying a series of concerns with how rules were applied. It also banned any future use of the methodology under which the activities were developed.

Verra has put the projects linked to Shell on hold, pending its review. But the activities have already generated hundreds of thousands of carbon credits, which have been used by fossil fuel giants to compensate for part of their greenhouse gas emissions.

An investigation by Climate Home News has found alarm bells could have rung sooner.

It found rice paddies which are part of Shell’s carbon offsetting projects have allegedly been chopped into smaller plots to avoid stricter rules, according to an analysis of satellite images and emission reductions data.

Additionally, the techniques used are not entirely new, which further undermines their integrity. For nearly two decades, China had already rolled out the methane-reducing irrigation techniques championed by the project.

Governments battle over carbon removal and renewables in IPCC report

Shell acts as a ‘carbon credits broker’ in at least nine of the Chinese rice farming projects currently under review by Verra. The role grants the oil and gas giant the right to either claim the credits against its own emissions or transfer them to other companies, potentially profiting from their sale.

Fossil fuel companies including state-owned PetroChina have purchased more than 450,000 carbon credits issued by the rice farming projects in which Shell is involved. According to Quantum, a carbon market data provider, credits in Chinese rice farming projects have been traded for around $6, meaning that Shell may have pocketed up to $2.7m from their sale. 

Gilles Dufrasne, an expert from Carbon Market Watch, says the findings “raise concerns about the quality of the credits”.

“If project proponents are willing to ‘game the system’ in that way, these credits are not worth what they’re supposed to be worth. They should not be used for offsetting emissions”, he added.

Verra said it takes any concerns about the integrity of projects registered in the VCS Program very seriously and is committed to investigating them thoroughly.

A Shell spokesperson told Climate Home News the company is conducting its own internal review.

“We are aware of the review Verra is conducting of some of its rice cultivation projects and will look carefully at the results when they are published. Our diverse portfolio of carbon credits includes rice cultivation,” it added.

Carbon credits form an integral part of Shell’s net zero strategy. The company aims to offset emissions of around 120 million tonnes a year by 2030 with nature-based solutions of “the highest independently verified quality”.

But Shell has also become a major player in producing offsets, as well as buying them. In 2022 it invested $92 million in carbon credits projects.

This line of Shell’s business has repeatedly come under fire. The company’s purchase of forest carbon credits has been a particular focus of controversy. At the same time, however, Shell has been acquiring a primary role in a nascent, and less scrutinised, niche of the carbon credits market: rice farming.

UN tells governments to ‘fast forward’ net zero targets

Lowering rice emissions

The farming of rice is a big contributor to climate change. The flooded fields, known as paddies, that rice traditionally grows in, encourage bacteria.

This breaks down decaying plants, turning them into a potent greenhouse gas called methane.

To reduce the damage to the climate and save water, over the last few decades some farmers have started to periodically drain their fields. With less standing water, there are fewer bacteria and less methane.

A rice farmer in a field irrigated with alternate wetting and drying methods. Photo credit: IRRI Photos/Flickr

In the early 2000s, the UN’s official carbon offsetting scheme was set up. Known as the Clean Development Mechanism, it established a set of rules for how to get paid to reduce emissions.

One of these sets of rules was meant to reward rice farmers for reducing their methane emissions, encouraging them to drain their fields.

The scheme was aimed at small communities who wouldn’t otherwise have been able to afford the switch to the more climate-friendly irrigation method.

To encourage small farmers to get involved, the rules allow small-scale projects to face fewer checks and paperwork.

Any project which cuts less than 60 kilo tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent every year is defined as small-scale.

But announcing a review of the methodology, Verra said it was concerned about how certain projects had been categorised as small-scale, therefore benefitting from looser requirements.

Chopped up rice fields

Climate Home News has analysed all of the 37 rice farming projects that have been registered by Verra using this methodology.

On average they declared annual emission reductions of 58.2 kilo tonnes of CO2. For one of the Shell projects the number is 59.99.

In other words, they manage to qualify as small-scale by a very narrow margin. If they had surpassed the 60 kilo tonnes threshold, they would have not been eligible as carbon credits.

!function(){"use strict";window.addEventListener("message",(function(a){if(void 0!["datawrapper-height"]){var e=document.querySelectorAll("iframe");for(var t in["datawrapper-height"])for(var r=0;r

Shell is a partner in at least nine paddy fields offsetting projects in China. They are all located in one of the country’s most important areas for rice production, the Eastern Anhui province.

On paper, the projects are presented as unrelated small-scale initiatives. But, at closer inspection, the similarities are striking. They were all approved on the same day, 29 May 2017, by the same proponent: Hefei Luyu, an agricultural technology company based in the capital of the Anhui province. The documents outlining the project's characteristics are broadly identical to one another and were written by the same Shanghai-based consultancy.

Each of those projects bundles together ten of thousands of disparate farms sitting on either side of the Yangtze river.

Our analysis can point to the close proximity of rice paddies grouped by Hefei Luyu under distinct projects. Climate Home News has identified the geographical location of the farms on satellite images. They show rice paddies intersecting into different projects without clear distinction. As little as 280 metres separate farms belonging to separate projects.

If all of those rice projects were merged into one, they would stretch for over 200 kilometers. They would also sum emissions reductions of over 500 kilo tonnes of CO2 per year, rendering them ineligible to be registered as carbon offsets.

Some of the rice fields included in different offsetting projects are only a few hundred meters away from one another

Verra began registering the projects in 2021 after having the proponent’s claims verified by external certification bodies based in China. Now, nearly two years later, Verra says its review has identified quality issues with the work of the validators.

Verra told Climate Home News it cannot comment on specific projects while they are under review.

Kazunori Minamikawa, a senior researcher at the Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences who has conducted several studies on irrigation methods in rice paddies, believes the projects’ proponent may have artificially divided up fields across several projects to obtain the ‘small-scale’ status.

“They just follow the current rule,” he told Climate Home News. “But I think the developers of AMS-III.AU [the rice cultivation methodology] did not imagine such loophole at that time. To solve the concerns in the short run, Verra should create additional strict rules.”

Hefei Luyu did not respond to a request for comment.

Credits without integrity

The categorisation of a project as small-scale is not a trivial matter. In fact, this grants proponents a series of advantages.

Small-scale projects have more leeway in demonstrating that their type of activity is not already a common practice in the project's region. This key principle is known as additionality.

Under this requirement, a proponent needs to demonstrate that its emission reduction project would not have happened without the money obtained through the sale of carbon credits.

Climate in court: The Paris Agreement’s role in safeguarding human rights 

Carbon Market Watch’s Gilles Dufrasne says the concept of additionality underpins the credibility of a carbon offsetting activity.

“The whole logic is that these projects should generate extra emission reductions and that's why they can be used to compensate other emissions somewhere else,” he told Climate Home News. “So it's plus one here, minus one there, it sort of matches up. But if that is not true, it actually leads to an increase in overall emissions. The entire system falls apart”.

The rice farming projects aim to cut methane emissions by helping farmers change irrigation method, switching from continuously flooded paddies to intermittently flooded ones. Thanks to the carbon credits, the projects outline says, farms have been equipped with the cement ditches necessary for the new water regime.

Greens stop blocking Australia’s new fossil fuel projects

Documents submitted by the proponents claim people in the areas “have poor living standards and economic backwardness”. Therefore, they would have been unable to implement a new methane-cutting irrigation system without the carbon offsetting initiatives. The documents add the additionality findings are based on surveys conducted by a local academy of social sciences.

Climate Home News has not been able to check the claims.

But opinions from experts and scientific literature suggest that the use of intermittent flooding in Chinese rice paddies is not entirely a new concept.

Chris Butenhoff, a physicist from Portland State University, studied efforts to reduce methane emissions in Chinese rice paddies in the early 2000s. He says it is certainly the case that changes in rice water management in China likely date back to at least the 1980s.

“The transition to intermittent flooding and drying of the rice paddy was driven in part by increased demand for water resources due to population growth, industrialization and expansion of hydropower resources,” he added.

Butenhoff says the data on this is poor so it is hard to have a precise historical record of how the practice spread geographically.

Rice farmers in the Anhui province of China take part in a trial implementing water-saving techniques. Photo credit: IRRI Photos/Flickr

Scientific studies suggest that in 2018 - when the offsetting projects began - around 41% of rice paddies in China were already being irrigated using an alternative wetting and drying method.

This rollout has coincided with the Chinese government making water-saving techniques a key tenet of its agricultural policy. The 2015 National Agricultural Sustainable Development Plan urged to “accelerate the construction of an efficient and water-saving agricultural system”. It set out a plan to increase the proportion of agricultural areas using water-saving irrigation to 75%.

Mexico launches global push for geoengineering restrictions

Kevin Chen, China Leader for CGIAR Mitigate + Initiative, says in recent years, China has invested significantly in building high-yield paddies through the construction of good irrigation systems. “At present, the water management method of paddy fields in most areas of China has changed from traditional flooding irrigation to mid-stage drying and wetting irrigation”, he added.

Chen says the impact has been known for a long time. "The adoption of intermittent flooding by paddy rice farmers might have reduced global emissions of methane from rice fields by about 12% during the decade 2000 to 2009".

Verra raised concerns about China’s rice farming offsetting projects not exceeding what is required by government regulations — the so-called surplus regulatory requirements.

Shell’s offsets

The rice farming projects first came into existence years before Shell entered the picture. Hefei Luyu decided to develop all its carbon credit projects at a meeting of their stockholders held on 29 May 2017.

Only three years later Hefei Luyu and a carbon trading consultancy based in Shanghai - its then partner in the projects - began submitting requests to Verra to have the offsetting projects validated and listed on the exchange.

Shell bursts onto the scene after Verra gave the green light. Starting from December 2021, Shell (Energy) China, a subsidiary of the oil giant, signed a series of agreements with Hefei Luyu, becoming a partner in at least nine rice farming projects.

In particular, according to the documents, Shell took on the role of an exclusive agent for the projects. Those were transferred into the Verra account of Shell (Energy) China, granting the company the right to request the issuance and transfer of carbon credits generated by the projects.


“Shell appears to be acting as a broker for the carbon credits”, Carbon Market Watch’s Gilles Dufrasne says.

“This is becoming increasingly common. Once they have access to the credits they can do what they want. They can use the credits towards their own targets or they can profit by selling them to other companies.”

In recent years, Shell has become an increasingly active player in the carbon credits industry through partnerships and direct acquisition of project developers.

I’m a Cop veteran. Here are 3 suggestions for the new Loss and Damage fund

On a dedicated webpage illustrating its carbon credits portfolio, Shell says it “employs a rigorous internal screening process” to ensure it invests in activities with clear climate and environmental benefits. Shell’s environmental products division markets these carbon credits to customers needing them for compliance requirements or voluntary carbon compensation.

The portfolio lists dozens of offsets, including the nine rice farming projects in the Anhui province. Shell says they “cut greenhouse gases, increase rice productivity, and provide job opportunities - particularly for women”.

More than 450,000 credits issued by the rice farming projects in which Shell is involved have been purchased and used to compensate for emissions between June 2022 and January 2023, according to Verra’s registry.

The credits give polluters a license to emit 450,000 tons of carbon dioxide, more than Tonga emits in a year.

Over 85% of those credits ended up in the hands of PetroChina, the country’s state-owned oil and gas company. 

Verra says its investigation does not affect credits that were issued before the review began unless any excess credits were issued. "If Verra finds that excess VCUs [carbon credits] have been issued, the project proponent will be responsible for compensating for these excess VCUs," it added.

Shell and PetroChina are close commercial partners. In 2021 the companies signed a five-year deal for the supply of what they described as carbon-neutral liquified natural gas (LNG). For each cargo delivered under this agreement, PetroChina and Shell promised to offset the emissions generated using high-quality carbon credits. 

At the time environmental groups branded the initiative as 'greenwashing'. 

PetroChina did not respond to a request for comment.

The post Revealed: How Shell cashed in on dubious carbon offsets from Chinese rice paddies appeared first on Climate Home News.

Categories: H. Green News

Agilitas Energy Acquires Six Storage Projects

Solar Industry Magazine - Tue, 03/28/2023 - 07:06

Agilitas Energy, an integrated developer, builder, owner and operator of distributed energy storage and solar photovoltaic systems in the northeastern U.S., has agreed to acquire a portfolio of six standalone energy storage system projects in the greater Houston area from Gulf States Renewable Energy, a subsidiary of GSR Energy. The deal value approximates $75 million.

The acquisition and new market entry will add 60 MW to Agilitas Energy’s renewable energy and battery storage project pipeline of more than one gigawatt.

The projects will operate in the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which manages the flow of electric power to more than 26 million Texas customers—representing about 90% of the state’s electric load. 

The battery storage systems will deliver low-cost energy for customers of CenterPoint Energy, a domestic energy delivery company headquartered in Houston. It will enhance the grid’s reliability and resiliency by charging batteries from the grid at low peak when there is excess energy and costs are lower, and then subsequently discharging that energy when demand is high.

“Our strategy is to continue expanding into new geographies, but we’re also planning to bolster our renewable portfolio to include sources beyond solar, partnering with other leading renewable developers to achieve these goals as necessary,” says Barrett Bilotta, president, CEO and co-founder of Agilitas Energy. 

Each of the six projects has an identical design with battery supply from BYD Energy batteries and a system size of 9.96 MW/20.721 MWh. Two of the six projects are expected to begin commercial operation in 2023, with the other four following in 2024. Agilitas Energy expects to purchase each of the six projects in the portfolio when they are fully permitted and ready for construction.

The post Agilitas Energy Acquires Six Storage Projects appeared first on Solar Industry.

Guest post: The gaps in India’s ‘heat action plans’

The Carbon Brief - Tue, 03/28/2023 - 06:31

The spring months of February and March typically bring some of India’s best weather of the year.

Smoggy winter gives way to warm conditions that still retain a pleasant chill in the air, forming a buffer before the searing heat of summer.

But recent years have seen the summer heat arrive early, with heatwave alerts providing an unwelcome intrusion into the calm of spring.

Last year, for example, brought record-breaking temperatures in March. By the end of April, heatwaves had affected nearly three-quarters of the country’s landmass and ravaged the standing wheat crop. 

The start of 2023 has been similarly alarming. Following a 2022 monsoon and winter perversely marked by sudden flooding in cities and drought-like conditions in rice-producing villages, India has just witnessed its hottest February in history

Ominously, the Indian Meteorological Department has warned of the “enhanced probability of heatwaves” and above normal temperatures in the coming months. 

The Indian government’s primary policy response to the life-threatening heat comes in the form of “heat action plans”. These set out measures for state, district and city government departments to prepare and respond to heatwaves.

In a new report, published this week, my coauthor and I carry out the first-ever critical review of heat action plans in India.

​​We find that heat plans have spread to several jurisdictions nationwide and they urge a healthy mix of different solution types – from infrastructure and nature-based solutions to behavioural adjustments. However, most plans do not account for local context, are underfunded and are poor at identifying and targeting vulnerable groups.

Planning for heat

The early heat of 2023 has shined a spotlight on India’s preparedness for extreme conditions.

The government seems to be tracking the threat. For example, India’s prime minister Narendra Modi chaired a heat preparedness meeting in March, a capstone to several heat reviews across the bureaucracy in recent weeks.

Heat action plans (HAPs) provide the primary safeguard between heatwaves and the loss of life and income (because it is too hot to work). 

These plans are meant to guide heatwave preparation and emergency response across the government. They typically list standard procedures for individual departments – from public health to agriculture and electricity. They are necessarily broad in scope and ambitious because of the far-reaching and unpredictable consequences of heatwaves. 

We analysed India’s HAPs to assess what they cover and what gaps remain. Our findings offer lessons to others developing and refining heat plans in the global south, where the challenges of extreme weather and state capacity are similar. 

Our analysis covers 37 HAPs at the city (nine), district (13) and state (15) levels across 18 Indian states. We find that they all carry major gaps that will likely undermine their effectiveness. 

For example, only two of the 37 plans include vulnerability assessments – maps that make it possible to locate and channel protective resources to those least able to cope.

Equally worryingly, only three of 37 plans identified funding for at least some of their measures. This is despite most HAPs recommending expensive changes to infrastructure, city plans and buildings. 

Map of 37 heat action plans assessed in the study. Credit: Pillai & Dalal (2023)

More positively, the HAPs recommend an encouragingly varied palette of interventions (shown, grouped by type, in the figure below). 

For example, nature-based solutions – actions to protect and restore ecosystems that help address societal challenges – feature prominently. In its recent synthesis report, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) noted that these approaches have been effective at reducing urban heat risks.

Additionally, a healthy proportion of interventions are longer-term measures – shown by the darker shades in the figure below – that could reduce heat risks for two heat seasons or more. The Indian cross-section yields a toolkit for HAP designers to pick from in their local contexts.

The mix of interventions identified across the 37 heat action plans, grouped by type (exact wording may vary between plans). Darker shades indicate longer-term solutions that cover more than one heat season. Credit: Pillai & Dalal (2023) Local context

India’s vulnerability to extreme heat could significantly change the country’s economic trajectory and health outcomes with a disproportionate impact on the poor. 

For example, a recent paper suggests that India will bear nearly half of all labour losses incurred by the 10 countries that stand to lose the most productivity because of hot and humid conditions. 

Around three-quarters of the Indian labour force (pdf) are employed in “heat-exposed” sectors that produce around half of the country’s GDP. These sectors can include those exclusively involving work outdoors – such as agriculture, mining and quarrying – as well as those in indoor settings with poor air-conditioning penetration – including manufacturing, hospitality and transport.

A man uses his mobile phone as he sits amidst the outer units of air conditioners, at the rear of a commercial building in New Delhi, India on April 30, 2022. Credit: Adnan Abidi / REUTERS / Alamy Stock Photo

On the health front, the government’s own mortality figures (pdf) show that almost 26,000 lives were lost to heatwaves between 1990 and 2020, despite widely acknowledged challenges in accurately estimating mortality. 

But these wider trends mask very different lived local realities of heat. A coastal town might have higher humidity, which could bring life threatening consequences at lower temperatures. A mining town in central India could have close to its entire population exposed and unable to work. A bustling city of tarmac, concrete and glass facades will create heat islands. 

Heat plans are meant to study the nature and distribution of local heat, employment, vulnerable populations and built environments – among other things – to build accurate targeting mechanisms for the interventions it prescribes. 

We find, however, that most plans fail to do this. They rarely consider humid heat, the possibility of hot nights – that prevents the body cooling down and increases death tolls – and the extent of built-up area, among other local characteristics. 

By generally failing to conduct vulnerability assessments, these plans have a limited view of the social distribution of risk. And, crucially, none build climate projections into their planning, which limits understanding of when and where to make structural changes to India’s ever expanding and densifying cities and towns. 

Funding, transparency and coverage

Worryingly, the 37 HAPs we reviewed also lacked appropriate financial backing. Despite pushing for an extensive list of short and longer-term measures, only 11 of 37 plans mentioned funding (see chart below), of which eight simply asked implementing government departments to find funding for them. 

Percentages of assessed Indian heat action plans with explicit vulnerability assessments (left), that discuss funding mechanisms (middle) and that establish a process for periodic review (right). Credit: Pillai & Dalal (2023)

This exposes another frailty. None of the plans are notified under existing laws, which means they are less likely to be funded and complied with. With state governments still burdened with large debts after the Covid-19 pandemic, India’s HAPs will likely be unevenly implemented.

In a context where, as we show, there were no independent evaluations of these plans and insufficient public consultation, finance is unlikely to flow to these plans. 

Yet, perhaps our most basic observation was that it was unclear how many plans were in existence. 

Some estimates claim the existence of over 100 plans nationwide, but we were only able to locate 37 – many of which were not publicly available. For example, Delhi – with a population of more than 20 million and some of the hottest weather on earth – does not have a HAP. 

Despite the encouraging spread of heat planning across subnational governments in the last decade – driven by exhortations and guidelines from the national government – there are still significant gaps in coverage. 

Lessons for climate policy

Heat plans are relatively new public policy instruments and are, therefore, constantly evolving. 

While several frailties listed here will be common to plans in other countries, two lessons of wider utility emerge from this analysis. 

First, it is important for plans to be unambiguously focused on the local, lived realities of vulnerable populations to stand any chance of being effective. The hyper-localisation of any policy instrument is challenging, but many climate impacts will call for the state to extend itself in these ways. 

The second relates to finance. Across the world, HAPs tend to be hard to fund because of how sprawling and ambitious they are. 

Yet, this multi-sectoral scope could be an advantage. If designed correctly, interventions can be supported with existing sectoral schemes and programmes – for example, passive cooling could be built into state-funded low-cost housing programmes. 

A systematic stocktake of such opportunities could help identify other schemes that could be used to help with planning and responding to heatwaves.

Guest post: How the energy crisis is boosting heat pumps in Europe

Guest posts



Guest post: What 13,500 citations reveal about the IPCC’s climate science report

Guest posts



Guest post: How climate adaptation plans for European cities are gradually getting better

Guest posts



Guest post: Can higher ambition in developed countries create ‘carbon space’ for others?

Guest posts



jQuery(document).ready(function() { jQuery('.block-related-articles-slider-block_d34b602ff454e19e2ab3217fe701b2a0 .mh').matchHeight({ byRow: false }); });

The post Guest post: The gaps in India’s ‘heat action plans’ appeared first on Carbon Brief.

Categories: I. Climate Science

Webinar Sheds Light on Community’s Fight Against Fracking Waste Injection Well

Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund - Tue, 03/28/2023 - 06:11

Thursday, April 6th at 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM EDT

FracTracker Alliance and Halt the Harm Network will host a special virtual screening of the documentary film “Hellbent” on April 6, 2023, at 2 p.m. ET. The screening will be followed by a discussion with the filmmakers and those involved in the fight to protect Grant Township, PA, from a fracking waste injection well.

“Hellbent” tells the story of a community’s battle to prevent a fracking waste injection well from being built in their town. The wastewater posed a threat to the Little Mahoning Creek, the community’s only source of fresh water and a refuge for the endangered eastern hellbender salamander. The moderated discussion will dive deeper into the community’s fight, the implications of their story for other injection well cases, and the science and ongoing advocacy surrounding fracking wastewater pollution.

The discussion panel includes Ted Auch from FracTracker Alliance, film co-director Justin Grubb, Chad Nicholson from the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund, and Matthew Kaunert, Hellbender biologist & P.h.D candidate at the University of Ohio.

The screening will be the first time that the director, scientific experts, and the activists involved in the film come together to discuss “Hellbent” and the campaign to protect Grant Township.

“We’re excited to host this event and bring attention to the important work being done to protect communities from the harmful effects of fracking waste injection wells,” said Ted Auch from FracTracker Alliance. “The story of Grant Township is a powerful reminder that individuals and communities can make a difference in protecting our natural resources.”

The screening and discussion will take place via Zoom. Register via the link below.

For more information about “Hellbent,” visit

About FracTracker Alliance and Halt the Harm Network:
FracTracker Alliance is a nonprofit organization that provides data, tools, and analyzes to inform and support movements to protect public health, the environment, and communities from the harms of oil and gas development. Halt the Harm Network is a national organization that provides support and resources to communities impacted by fracking and other forms of extreme energy development.


The post Webinar Sheds Light on Community’s Fight Against Fracking Waste Injection Well appeared first on CELDF.

Categories: G1. Progressive Green

Достапното, одржливо домување може да го појасни Зелениот договор

Green European Journal - Tue, 03/28/2023 - 05:41

Влијанието на пандемијата и на инфлацијата во подем дополнително го притискаат системот за домување што веќе е во криза во многу земји во Европа. Хроничното отсуство на достапно домување ја влошува социјалната нееднаквост, а неуспехот да ѝ се даде приоритет на одржливоста исто така создава долгорочни последици. Се разгледуваат решенија како зголемени јавни инвестиции во зелено и достапно домување и финансирање на зафати за реновирање со ниски емисии на јаглероден диоксид, што може да се засили со посилна регулатива на европско ниво.

За сè поограничениот пристап до пристојно, одржливо и достапно домување се подготвува идеална бура. Со тренд на пораст на цените на недвижнините и на цените за наем што трае со децении и при што цените растат побрзо од инфлацијата, уделот на приход на домаќинствата што се троши на сместување пораснал во просек за пет процентни точки меѓу 2005 и 2015 година, изнесувајќи 31 процент од приходот за домаќинствата со средни примања во повеќето земји членки на OECD. Ситуацијата се влоши во текот на пандемијата, кога цените на куќите се качија во просек седум проценти во Европа. Лондон, Даблин, Амстердам и Париз се едни од најнедостапните градови, а трошоците за стан во земјите од Вишеградската група (Чешка, Унгарија, Полска и Словачка) пораснаа за 12 просечни годишни плати.

Our latest issue – Priced Out: The Cost of Living in a Disrupted World – is out now!

Read it online in its entirety or get your copy delivered straight to your door.


Повеќе од 60 проценти од домаќинствата со ниски примања трошат повеќе од 40 проценти од нивниот приход на домување, а помалку од половина жители на земјите од OECD пријавуваат дека се задоволни со достапноста на станбен простор со добар квалитет во нивното место. Пазарот со недвижнини се покажува како неефикасен, поради неговиот општ неуспех да обезбеди доволно станбен простор во урбани области со доволно работни места каде што проблемите со достапноста се најголеми. Во просек, во земјите од OECD јавните инвестиции во изградбата на станови опаднаа од 0,17 проценти од БДП во 2001 година на 0,06 проценти БДП во 2018 година.

Според Борис Курнед, заменик-раководител на одделот за јавна економија на OECD намалувањето на јавните инвестиции е резулат на оддалечувањето на политиката од изградба на социјални домови кон субвенции за домување за изнајмувачи со ниски примања што е широко распространето. Ова оддалечување се одвиваше во периодот 2000-2010, иако според него, „од 2010 година, се намали и надоместокот за домување“. Иако пакетите за постпандемиско закрепнување опфаќаат обезбедување социјално домување како приоритет за неколку земји-членки на ЕУ, меѓу кои Грција, Ирска и Луксембург, постои значителна разлика во финансирањето во износ од 10 милијарди евра годишно за да се постигне целта за реновирање на постојните достапни домови до 2050, а тоа да се направи со ниска емисија на јаглерод диоксид.

Слика 2.1 Јавните инвестиции во изградба на станови се намалија, додека трошоците за издатоци за домување растат. Слика 2.4 Јавните инвестиции во изградба на станови се намалија од 2001 година, додека трошоците за издатоци за домување значително пораснаа Позеленото домување може да направи огромна разлика

Освен обезбедувањето станбен простор, декарбонизацијата е есенцијална за ефикасно климатско дејство. Резиденцијалното домување учествува со 17 проценти во емиисите на стакленички гасови поврзани со енергенсите и нивните процеси и со 37 проценти во емисиите на фини честички глобално. Декарбонизацијата на постојните објекти има потенцијал да изврши одлучно влијание. Водечката тинктенк организација за одржливост на градбите Институт за ефикасност на градбите Европа (BPIE) проценува дека „умерените“ политики треба да ги намалат емисиите за 42 проценти до 2030 година. Според анализата на BPIЕ, поамбициозни политики што промовираат потемелно реновирање во комбинација со обновливи енергетски цели би можеле да ги намалат емисиите за 60 проценти, според анализата на BPIЕ.

OECD препорача низа акции што креаторите на политики можат да ги преземат за да се справат со овие вкрстени предизвици и да го направат домувањето позелено и подостапно. Прво, инвестирање во изградба на зелен станбен простор за социјално домување, и второ, субвенционирање на осовременување на постојните станбени простори. Поголемите инвестиции во социјално и достапно домување имаат двојна придобивка: ги штитат ранливите или домаќинствата со ниски примања, додека директно ја шират понудата на станбен простор, при што го ублажуваат нагорниот притисок на цените на становите. Оливер Рапф, извршен директор на BPIE, смета дека „треба да постои разлика помеѓу зелено и сиво социјално домување. Сите јавни финансии треба да ја поддржат зелената трансформација на едно општество, а голем дел треба да се посвети на ранливите групи во општеството“. Во однос на јавните инвестиции во осовременувањето, Рапф го истакнува потенцијалот за поширока економска поддршка: „Точната комбинација на модели за финансиска поддршка, добро конципирани за специфични целни групи, може да поттикне приватни инвестиции за фактор 5 до 10 за секое евро потрошено од јавните фондови“.

Кризата со животните трошоци како и зависноста од увоз на фосилни горива кои се понагласени поради војната во Украина се дополнителен поттик за националните влади да инвестираат и да одредат соодветни рамки за инвестициите на приватниот сектор во достапно и одржливо домување. „Високите цени на енергенсите, освен што ја оптоваруваат куповната моќ, исто така го зголемуваат повратот на инвестиции за заштеда на енергијата. Многу е важно да се адресира прашањето за вакви инвестиции, почнувајќи од домаќинствата со ниски примања и ограничена ликвидност“, смета Курнед.

На европско ниво, главните двигатели на политиките согласно Зелениот договор на ЕУ ја опфаќаат стратегијата Бран реновирања чија цел е да се удвои стапката на реновирање. Иако тој не претставува обврзувачка легислатива, Бран реновирања има приоритети (вклучително и декарбонизација на греењето и на ладењето и справувањето со енергетска сиромаштија) и ги истакнува достапните европски фондови за реновирање. Во врска со ова, Иницијативата за пристапно домување на ниво на ЕУ создава 100 проекти базирани на пристап во мали области, обезбедувајќи и оние што го овозможуваат социјалниот станбен простор да имаат придобивки од бранот реновирања.

Друг клучен политички инструмент е Директивата за енергетска ефикасност на објектите (EPBD), камен-темелник на градежната легислатива во ЕУ, чија ревидирана верзија во моментов се разгледува во Европскиот парламент. Оваа ревизија вклучува двигатели како „стандарди за минимална енергетска ефикасност“ што ја регулираат употребата на енергија во објектите. Таквите стандарди веќе се покажуваат како ефикасни при декарбонизација на неколку градежни сектори во Велика Британија и во Холандија, на пример, така што бараат недвижнините што се за наем да постигнат разумна енергетска ефикасност. Сепак, групите за поддршка, како Домување Европа, предупредуваат дека овие алатки треба да се користат внимателно за да се избегне влошување на кризата со пристапност.

Посилна регулатива може да ги смени нештата

Членот на Зелената партија во Европскиот парламент и известувачот за ревизијата на EBPD Сиаран Кaф е сигурен дека нацрт-легислативата ќе помогне да се одреди силна регулаторна рамка за пристапно и одржливо домување.

„Размислуваме да ги прошириме иницијативите за инвестирање во социјален станбен простор така што ќе се осигураме дека земјите-членки ги имплементираат стандардите за минимална енергетска ефикасност кои ги таргетираат објектите со најлоша ефикасност и домаќинствата со ниски примања“, објаснува Каф.

Земјите-членки мора да ја следат оваа амбиција. Националните влади ќе мора да го надгледуваат зголемувањето на стандардите за енергетска ефикасност на постојните објекти како и да овозможат таргетирани модели на финансирање за најранливите домаќинства и да ги пријават мерките што ги преземаат за декарбонизирање на постојните објекти во нивните национални планови за реновирање на објектите.

За Каф, улогата на финансиите во нацрт-ревизијата е клучна: „Сакаме извештаите на земјите-членки (преку националните планови за реновирање) да ги содржат мерките што тие ги преземаат за да привлечат финансии од приватниот сектор“. Употребата на јавни финансии за субвенции, заеми без камата и планови за даночни кредити за стимулирање на реновирањето се покажаа ефикасни во поттикнувањето приватни инвестиции, при што соодносот јавно-приватно инвестирање се движеше од 1:2 до 1:83 за секое потрошено евро од јавните средства. Во членот 15 од EPBD се наведени финансиската поддршка за реновирање и референци за постојни извори на финансирање во ЕУ што ги опфаќаат Механизмот за закрепнување и отпорност, Социјалниот климатски фонд и Фондот за европски регионален развој.

Земјите-членки мора да ја следат оваа амбициј на европско ниво.

Каф признава дека главните фактори во јавното финансирање се подготвуваат за финансирање на осовременување од големи размери. Тој вели: „Мојата канцеларија е во комуникација и со Европската инвестициска банка (која наскоро ќе се преименува во Климатска банка) и со Европската централна банка со цел да ја разбере перспективата на финансиските институции и верувам дека ќе има поддршка за зголемување на реновирањето низ Европа откако ќе усвоиме цврста регулаторна рамка“.

Ставот дека легислативата има важна улога го дели и Доминик Д. Кејзер, глобален раководител за одржливост на холандскиот мултинационален и глобален финансиски фактор ING. Кејзер и неговиот тим се одговорни за глобалното интегрирање на стратегијата на ING за одржливост во личното банкарство и во активностите на ING за одржливост на 25 пазари. „ING е активно инволвирана во агендата за социјално домување најрано од 2017 година,“ вели Кејзер. Банката нуди зелени хипотекарни кредити во Холандија и Полска, како и кредити за екореновирање во Белгија. Во Германија, ING соработува со KfW, најголемата банка за национален развој во светот која е во државна сопственост, за да создаде нови програми за субвенции со фокус на финансирање енергетски ефикасен недвижен имот.

Се разбира, за севкупна декарбонизација на постојните резиденцијални објекти „веќе постои значителен интерес од страна на банките, и посветеност, бидејќи и ние самите целиме кон нула-нето емисии,“ вели Кејзер. „Сепак, без цврста регулатива што ќе ги опфати EPBD и другите цели од Зелениот договор што може да ги поттикнат сопствениците на објектите да направат одржливо реновирање, предвидуваме дека побарувачката на клиентите нема да ја испорача неопходната промена во следните неколку години. Регулативата може да одигра клучна улога во поместување на побарувачката, а тоа би ги сменило нештата.“

Локалните и националните иницијативи го трасираат патот

Многу вредни програми што го поддржуваат обезбедувањето одржливо и пристапно домување веќе функционираат на локално и на регионално ниво во Европа. Во Ирска, планот Подобра енергија, потопли домови обезбеди бесплатна енергетска обнова на домаќинства кои се приматели на социјална помош од 2000 година. Renovatieversneller (забрзувач на реновирање) во Холандија има буџет од 100 милиони евра (2020-2023) и обезбедува субвенции и техничка поддршка за социјално домување. Во Данска, фондот основан во 1966 година финансира реновирање и нови градби за социјално и пристапно домување. Овие иницијативи делумно се должат на долгорочниот тренд на националните влади да префрлаат поголеми одговорности за домување на локално ниво, заедно со зголемената амбиција на локалната власт за одржливо и пристапно домување, особено во градските административни области каде што недостигот од станбен простор е најизразен.

Во извештајот на OECD Тула по тула се вели дека: „Во текот на последните 30 години, многу национални влади имплементирале политички реформи да им овозможат на локалните власти улога во развојот, координирањето и имплементирањeто на политиките за домување, вклучувајќи ги и оние насочени кон предизвиците во поглед на постојните објекти за социјално домување и достапноста“. Локалната власт има клучна улога во обезбедувањето социјален станбен простор покрај одговорноста за поголемиот дел од трошоците за домување. Но, со генералното намалување на јавните инвестиции во станбениот простор, локалната власт можеби нема да може да обезбеди соодветни финансии од централната власт за да одговори на локалните потреби за домување. Според неодамна објавениот извештај на OECD Декарбонизирање на објектите во градовите и регионите, овие административни тела често се поамбициозни од националните влади кога станува збор за одржливи градби. Извештајот истакнува дека „88 проценти од градовите и регионите опфатени во извештајот бараат повисоки стандарди за енергетска ефикасност одошто државата во изградбата на енергетски кодови, а 25 проценти дури бараат и нула-нето енергетско ниво“. Сепак, остануваат разлики помеѓу капацитетите, за што како водечка причина е наведен недостигот финансии (види слика подолу).

Слика 4.1 Пречки со кои се соочуваат градовите и регионите при декарбонизација на објектите

Јасно е дека е неопходна подоследна, рационализирана акција меѓу националната и локалната власт, како и во рамки на националните влади бидејќи во повеќето земји политиката за домување опфаќа неколку министерства. Во Европа, секторот за пристапно домување се движи во опсег од 4 проценти од постојните објекти во една држава (Унгарија) до 35 проценти во Холандија, при што секторот на јавно, кооперативно и социјално домување претставува 11 проценти од вкупното домување во Европската Унија, со што тој е важен фактор за придвижување на пазарната побарувачка за одржливо домување.

Наспроти оваа различна заднина, „гледаме дека се неопходни колективни решенија за да дојде до промена“, вели Кејзер. „Затоа имаме намера да склучиме партнерства и да дојдеме до иновации со други фактори на пазарот за домување.“ Како што е случај со примарната банка за поголеми асоцијации за домување во Холандија (каде што 1,2 милиони домови се во сопственост на асоцијации за домување) ING, која обезбедува советување и 50 милиони евра во нискобуџетно финансирање за осовременување преку „Wartmefonds“ (национален фонд за греење).

Од криза до промена што трае

Војната во Украина уште повеќе за забрзува динамиката на пошироката агенда за декарбонизација поради политичката неопходност да се намали зависноста на Европа од увоз на руски фосилни горива. Во однос на што значи тоа за давањето приоритет на домувањето со ниски емисии на јаглерод диоксид, Рапф смета дека треба да бидеме внимателни: „Јас дефинитивно забележувам поголемо политичко влијание врз решенијата за декарбонизација на објектите, но гледам и нерамнотежа во корист на одредени технологии. Она што недостига е сеопфатен пристап кој ќе ја намали енергетската загуба во нашите објекти така што намалената енергетска потрошувачка би можела да биде обезбедена исклучиво со обновлива енергија. Изгледа дека отсуствува политичко разбирање дека зачувувањето на енергијата и порастот на обновливите извори мора да одат рака под рака.

Широкораспространетата станбена криза, растечките животни трошоци и политичката неопходност да се ограничи зависноста од увоз на фосилни горива заедно претставуваат моќен случај за радикална јавна интервенција на пазарот на домување.

Од политичка перспектива, Каф е категоричен: „Сите пари што ги трошиме на фосилни горива ја помагаат убиствената војна на Путина. Ова е можност да се премине кон економија заснована на обновливи извори на енергија и од еколошка и од морална перспектива. Повеќе фосилни горива не се решение на кризата што е влошена со нашето прекумерно потпирање на фосилните горива. Најдобриот начин да се изолира Путин е енергетски да се изолираат нашите домови“.

Секоја криза во себе содржи семе на можност. Широкораспространетата станбена криза, растечките животни трошоци и политичката неопходност да се ограничи зависноста од увоз на фосилни горива заедно претставуваат моќен случај за радикална јавна интервенција на пазарот на домување. Точно опишан од Домување Европа како „душата на Зелениот договор“, обезбедувањето одржливо и пристапно домување е клучна компонента на вистински праведна нискојаглеродна транзиција за Европа.

Categories: H. Green News

Is Georgia Still on the European Path?

Green European Journal - Tue, 03/28/2023 - 03:34

Georgia’s authoritarian governing party is veering away from the country’s commitment to EU membership. The plan to pass a Russian-style “foreign agents” law seems to be off the table for now, but the government hostility towards protesters, journalists and civil society runs much deeper. We spoke with journalist Mariam Nikuradze about the situation in Georgia and the prospects for change.

Green European Journal: How would you describe the current situation in the country?

Mariam Nikuradze: The situation hasn’t been this tense in a while and society is deeply polarised. The March protests on the draft law on foreign agents were among the biggest protests in the history of Georgia. These Russian-style laws targeted NGOs and civil society organisations that received funding from abroad and would have required them to register themselves as “agents of foreign influence”. The Parliament passed one of these laws already in the first hearing, which sparked widespread outrage. In the beginning, media and civil society organisations led the demonstrations against the law, but eventually it turned into a full-scale protest with tens of thousands of participants. There were massive clashes and the police used tear gas and water cannons to disperse the crowd.

The government eventually dropped the draft law. But officials and ruling party members keep making controversial, anti-Western statements and they constantly insult protestors. At the same time, another, smaller counter-protest in Tbilisi saw conservative groups tear down the European flag from outside the Parliament and burn it.

Our latest issue – Priced Out: The Cost of Living in a Disrupted World – is out now!

Read it online in its entirety or get your copy delivered straight to your door.


You say that it was conservative groups who were burning the flags, but in the news media they were referred to as far far-right groups.

They are far-right, indeed. It is mainly Alt-Info and its supporters; the same people who were behind the 5 July violence to prevent the Tbilisi Pride in 2021, when more than 50 media workers got injured, and one of them died. They have a TV channel, which is not big, but it was given a national broadcasting license and some of the communication companies are including them in their offer. So, you can watch it all over the country. I think this is problematic because they are promoting violence.

Are they popular?

I would say they are not, but I still think that their presence is problematic and that the four people leading this group should be in jail.

You mentioned polarisation in society. Is it between supporters and critics of the government?

 Mainstream media in Georgia is deeply polarised. There are several major TV channels in the country, and they are either pro-government propaganda or they are supportive of the opposition. There are no balanced TV channels nowadays. We have a public broadcaster which still airs some good talk shows, but at the same time, we know that it has a blacklist of people who are not allowed to be interviewed. And the situation is such that government officials boycott opposition channels. They never go to critical media channels to give interviews. And that’s the case vice versa. You will never see opposition MPs or leaders talking on the government propaganda channel. So, you cannot get the full picture from television despite it being Georgians’ main source of information.

Another part of the problem is that the opposition is currently very weak. The biggest opposition party is still the United National Movement (UNM – the former governing party founded by Mikheil Saakashvili, the former anti-corruption crusader who was president of Georgia and later governor of Odessa in Ukraine; he is currently in prison in Georgia), but their support has shrunken to single digits. The rest of the opposition parties have even less support. The lack of a strong opposition is, in my opinion, one of the reasons why we are where we are now. We don’t see many new parties emerging, except for the Greens, who are still very new in the political arena. Hopefully, they will be turning into something stronger. They they still don’t have many resources, but their member Tamar Jakali is  one of the most active organisers of the protests.

Is the lack of independent channels something that is due to the Georgian Dream government or was it like this before?

During Saakashvili’s presidency from 2004 to 2013, there were no national opposition channels, only a few regional ones in Tbilisi. So, in that sense the situation has gotten better. These days, we have three big opposition channels: Mtavari, Formula and TV Pirveli. On the other side, we have TV Imedi, a pro-government channel, which has the highest viewership. In addition, we have a public broadcaster with a relatively modest viewership and a fringe propaganda channel.

In the case of Mtavari, it is obvious that there is a political agenda. It is openly supporting Saakashvili and his party. They are campaigning to free him. Formula is, compared to Mtavari, more balanced, but still there are clear political affiliations. From the three of them, Formula is the best. They have good talk shows and very professional journalists. But still, they can’t ask both sides due to the boycotts. At the same time, we have real independent media online which are becoming more prominent.

How would you describe the Georgian Dream party?

It started out as a left-wing party, maybe because initially it was easier for their election campaign to promise healthcare for everyone, create jobs and to build hundreds of factories. In 2012, when they were still new and when the billionaire Bidzine Ivanishvili (who became prime minister from 2012 to 2013) was putting together this new party, he collected people who were popular but who were not necessarily politicians – for example, football players, wrestlers, and judo fighters. This mix of celebrities and left-wing promises turned out to be a successful recipe for victory. In the first years it indeed seemed like they were a leftist party: national healthcare was actually implemented, this was one of the big things that people still remember. They also managed to introduce a labour reform, which was not the best, but it was still better than Saakashvili’s libertarian labour legislation, which gave all the rights to the employers and zero rights to the employees. So, we definitely had some positive changes under Georgian Dream in the past decade, but the implementation of their laws, even the well intentioned ones, was extremely poor. In the early years, the government was also trying to be more neutral than its predecessor. It was friendlier with Russia, nevertheless, it signed an association agreement with the EU – which was actually inherited from the previous government –; in addition, it managed to achieve visa liberalisation and also adopted an antidiscrimination law.

The authoritarian turn became clearly visible only in the past year and a half. It started with the 5th of July aggression against the planned Tbilisi Pride march. Instead of condemning the perpetrators, Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili was blaming Pride organisers. In the follow-up, the government started a hate campaign against journalists and civil society, which became more extreme after the full-scale invasion. In the past year, we have seen a lot of conspiracy-theories on attempts by the West and Ukraine to drag Georgia into a war with Russia.

Do they still have support in society?

Their audience is shrinking, but if we had parliamentary elections tomorrow, I think they still could win because there is no real alternative. Some of the electorate would vote for anyone who stands against Georgian Dream.  At the same time, a large segment in the population hates the National Movement so much that they would rather vote for Georgian Dream than bring the previous government back. It doesn’t help that in the previous campaign the UNM didn’t seem to have any program apart from releasing Saakashvili from prison. There was completely no vision.

After two nights of protests, the government decided to drop the controversial bill. Why did they do so?

I think it was the strong resistance. I’ve been in journalism for 15 years and I’ve covered probably all the major protests that have taken place in the country in these years. I’ve never seen such resistance to the riot police. In the past you would have seen tear gas and water cannons, and then the protests would die out or at least visibly shrink. But this time, the protests grew bigger, and people were resisting the police until six in the morning. Many of the protestors were school kids who hated the fact that the government was jeopardising the country’s European path. For many participants the protest was about more than just this particular piece of legislation.

Many of the protestors were school kids who hated the fact that the government was jeopardising the country’s European path. For many participants the protest was about more than just this particular piece of legislation.

What exactly would the foreign agent law mean for the impacted newsrooms and NGOs?

I think the most obvious problem is the foreign agent label, which is an unnecessary stigma for these organisations. The government’s main argument for the law was the need for transparency and regulation; but foreign support is already transparent and well-regulated. Government bodies already receive financial statements from the supported organisations, and donors are also required to disclose who they support. It cannot be more transparent than that.

In addition, there were some rather problematic articles in the draft about possible penalties for those who fail to register as foreign agents and a vaguely phrased section about the rights of the Justice Ministry to monitor newsrooms and NGOs twice a year. The law didn’t specify what this monitoring would mean, and according to some lawyers this could have allowed the Ministry to ask for personal information on employees and beneficiaries or the sources that journalists were working with. Or maybe they could use some alleged violations of this law as a pretence to freeze our accounts.

How dependent are media and civil society on getting support from Europe or from the US?

In general, we are quite dependent on Western funding as a country, because there are numerous public projects, such as building roads and renovating schools, which are funded by western institutions and western governments. Media and civil society receive only a small percentage of this funding. But when we look at it from the point of online independent media outlets, we can see that they are completely dependent on donors. There is barely any other source of revenue for them. People are not used to paying for journalism, so we can’t dream of being self-sustaining with reader funding alone. We are trying, but reader-generated revenues are limited. At the same time, advertising decreased dramatically during the pandemic. There are some organisations that receive maybe more than 10 per cent from advertising, but they cannot survive on that. In this situation, you have to have donor funding if you want to be independent from the government. Same with civil society. The situation is very similar in the case of human rights organisations, almost all of them are donor funded.

Is there also Russian support coming in for illiberal projects?

There might be, but it is not visible, except in the case of clearly Russian-affiliated outlets like Sputnik. We assume that the Alt-Info party and its media are funded from Russia, because once the war started in Ukraine, many of the leaders of Alt-info went to Moscow, and overall, the party’s stance is very pro-Russian. There are also suspicions that the Alliance of Patriots, another right-wing party with its own TV channel, probably receives Russian funding, but it’s difficult to find clear proof for that. But as for the pro government channels, I don’t think they have Russian funding. We would probably know about that.

It is also questionable how much attention the Kremlin can pay to Georgia these days. In the case of Alt-Info, we can see that their funding had most likely reduced after the full-scale invasion. Prior to the war they were actively opening offices all around the country and all of a sudden, their regional activity has completely died out. A lot of the offices were closed and there have been rumours that their TV station might also shut down due to lack of funding.

And overall, how do you see the influence of Russia on Georgian society and Georgian politics?

To be honest, I don’t think they are succeeding in influencing society. In fact, the Russian influx of the last year has played a significant role in weakening Russia’s position. Most people don’t like the fact that they are here, and in the latest poll by the National Democratic Institute, the overwhelming majority said they were for abolishing the visa free-regime of Russians. On paper, the Russian influx has triggered an economic boom. Russians opened businesses, brought a lot of cash, opened bank accounts, bought property, and so on. But despite all this, the people are not feeling well. I can also see that in my immediate surrounding: half of the people in my team lost their flats in Tbilisi. One of them was kicked out three times in the last year because the rent price kept increasing. And usually, the reason for the rent hikes would be that Russians are willing to pay more. For many people, including the middle-class this is becoming a struggle to survive from month to month. When you walk about in Tbilisi, you will see a lot of anti-Russian messages on the walls and there are lots of Ukraine flags, lots of EU supporting messages.

And what about the Russian connections of the Georgian Dream party?

I never know how to answer this question. For sure, there will be people in Georgia who will tell you that the Georgian Dream’s latest measures were dictated by Putin, but personally, I am not sure if this is true. I think it is plausible that the government is acting the way it acts because it is scared of the war, and maybe even more scared of losing power. Most of what is happening is just an effort to survive politically.

At the same time, the Kremlin is definitely happy with the way the Georgian government is acting. The Kremlin even praised the Georgian government for not joining sanctions, there have been talks to resume direct flights between Russia and Georgia, and there were also plans to restore diplomatic relations.

Last year, Georgia was granted a potential candidacy by the EU, and was given a list of 12 priorities to implement to catch up. What does this say about Georgia’s chances to become an EU member?

I think we lost the opportunity last year. We were much closer to the EU prior to the full-scale invasion, but government sabotage of reforms, the impunity of the violent mob that attacked the Tbilisi Pride March on 5 July 2021, and the imprisonment of the director of the Mtavari station have sabotaged this relationship. So, when the EU gave us these 12 priorities, the people in Georgia clearly saw it as a “no”. This is why we had such great protests last summer. I’ve never seen so many people in the Rustaveli Avenue before. People are really disappointed, because they want to be part of the EU, part of NATO, and it was seen as a lost opportunity.

People are really disappointed, because they want to be part of the EU, part of NATO, and it was seen as a lost opportunity.

Where does the Georgian Dream party plan to take the country and why?

I think what they are doing now is trying to retain power at all costs, and to do that, they are ready to take radical steps for it like further pressuring and marginalising civil society and demonising media. The course they’ve taken is very visibly anti-Western, to me it looks like they are a bit desperate to stay in power not necessarily taking the country anywhere specific but doing everything to achieve that goal of winning the next election in 2024.

The country passed a new human rights strategy recently, but it completely disregards the rights of sexual minorities, at the same time, there was a successful Pride in 2022. How do you see the progress of LGBTQ rights and the government’s role in it?

There was no pride in 2022, at least not a march, just a small festival. In 2019 there was an attempt to organise a Pride march, but it mobilised very few people, who were marching outside the Interior Ministry, far away from the city centre. It was a very positive thing, but I wouldn’t say it was a proper Pride. There was an attempt to hold a Pride March in 2021, which did not happen. Instead, we had journalists being beaten up. And then last year there was not even a plan for the march to be held, there was a music festival instead. Of course, It is a positive development that we can hold such a queer event in open space in Tbilisi, but things could be far better.

Overall, I think some things are slowly changing. We remember that on 17 May 2013, human rights groups and queer rights activists wanted to hold a protest – just a protest, not pride. There were a few dozen of people who were demanding an improvement of the LGBTQ rights situation, and they were attacked by an aggressive mob. The situation has improved a lot since. Last year there was no violence, just some far-right protesters trying to disrupt the festival – without success. However the progress comes from the effort of activists, civil society, and the community, not the government. The Tbilisi club scene might have played a role as well, as it helps put Georgia on the map in a way.

What can Europe and especially progressives in Europe do to support Georgia now in this situation?

I keep saying that statements of concern might not work with our government anymore. In the past, statements of Western politicians used to have an impact, but those days are gone. In fact, we can see that members of our government constantly accuse MEPs and ambassadors of being part of a radical opposition. I don’t want to be dictating how sanctions are applied, but maybe sanctioning some key individuals, such as Ivanishvili, could make a difference.

Categories: H. Green News

Climate in court: The Paris Agreement’s role in safeguarding human rights 

Climate Change News - Tue, 03/28/2023 - 02:04

When the gavel dropped on 12 December 2015 and the world finally reached the Paris Agreement to tackle climate change, cheers erupted and tears flowed. History was made. This year, the​​ European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) could write the next hopeful chapter when it addresses the climate crisis for the first time. 

This is a watershed year for climate litigation:​​​​​​ three cases in Strasbourg stand to transform the climate policies of 32 European countries. Their effect could reverberate across the globe.

Hearings for two of these cases will happen on 29 March, with a third due to be heard after the summer. Behind the cases are brave plaintiffs from all ages and backgrounds: Portuguese children and young people, Swiss senior women, and French MEP Damien Carême.

All are desperately trying to protect their present and future from disastrous climate change. In each​ case​, the plaintiffs argue that their human rights are being violated by governments’ failure to tackle greenhouse gas emissions at the pace required to keep temperatures – and themselves – safe.

Greens stop blocking Australia’s new fossil fuel projects

The Paris Agreement will be instrumental in all three cases. As one of its architects, I see this as a compelling signal that the landmark treaty is doing its job, especially when states are not.

When scientists, politicians and diplomats designed the Paris Agreement, we relied on the best science and legal advice that 197 countries could offer. ​​​​​​We also heeded states’ preference to decide themselves how they reduce emissions — and designed the Paris Agreement in a way so they could.

But while the Paris Agreement protects countries’ sovereignty over their climate action, it is crucial that they abide by the spirit and objective of the treaty: to limit global warming to 1.5C by mid-century.

In practice, a vast majority of states are not yet acting fast enough, effectively using the design of the Agreement as a means to play “chicken” with the safety of their citizens, something the courts have a clear mandate to dismantle.

Mexico launches global push for geoengineering restrictions

Judges can give scientific facts the force of law. If the ECtHR finds a human rights violation in these cases, it will require governments to remedy it – which will mean speeding up the phase-out of fossil fuels and upping their climate ambition.

It was obvious in 2015 that some states would drag their feet: we knew this and anticipated that the treaty would have to invite external pressure from other areas of law, especially human rights law, to compel countries to act faster​.​

After all, while Paris culminated in a formal agreement among governments, it was largely the fruit of decades of global mobilisation and warnings from scientists, environmental experts, civil society at large, and voices within the business sector. There would be no Paris Agreement without widespread pressure and scrutiny.

Nor are these hearings in Strasb​o​urg coming out of the blue. Climate litigation is advancing everywhere, as courts take stock of their role in protecting citizens from man-made climate impacts. Last year, Brazil’s Supreme Court became the first judicial body to recognize the Paris Agreement as a human rights treaty, giving itself the power to enforce it. There are more than 2,000 climate-related litigation cases underway in the world today, with 80 of them challenging governments.

Governments battle over carbon removal and renewables in IPCC report

Crucially, these rulings can shed light on the evolving role of the Paris Agreement itself. No two legal systems are the same, but an international treaty can serve as reference to any and all, helping the courts to uphold and interpret their mandate.  We always intended the Paris Agreement to play this role as it became integrated into other areas of law at the national, regional and international level.

​​​The ECtHR is specific in that it is only empowered to enforce a single legal instrument, the European Convention on Human Rights. However, it can refer to treaties like the Paris Agreement to interpret countries’ duties to uphold human rights under its own mandate. And the opportunity is great: as its judgments are legally binding, it has the power to compel European countries to significantly accelerate their efforts to reduce emissions.

The window to stay under the safer limit of 1.5C is closing fast. This year could strengthen the Paris Agreement against a backdrop of catastrophic climate impacts all over the planet.

The world is watching: these rulings will have deep, lasting, and transformative consequences for millions today and billions in the future. These brave plaintiffs are standing up for their human rights. Thanks to them, we could all be rewarded.

Laurence Tubiana is the CEO of the European Climate Foundation and, as French climate envoy, played a key role in negotiating the Paris agreement

The post Climate in court: The Paris Agreement’s role in safeguarding human rights  appeared first on Climate Home News.

Categories: H. Green News


The Fine Print I:

Disclaimer: The views expressed on this site are not the official position of the IWW (or even the IWW’s EUC) unless otherwise indicated and do not necessarily represent the views of anyone but the author’s, nor should it be assumed that any of these authors automatically support the IWW or endorse any of its positions.

Further: the inclusion of a link on our site (other than the link to the main IWW site) does not imply endorsement by or an alliance with the IWW. These sites have been chosen by our members due to their perceived relevance to the IWW EUC and are included here for informational purposes only. If you have any suggestions or comments on any of the links included (or not included) above, please contact us.

The Fine Print II:

Fair Use Notice: The material on this site is provided for educational and informational purposes. It may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. It is being made available in an effort to advance the understanding of scientific, environmental, economic, social justice and human rights issues etc.

It is believed that this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have an interest in using the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. The information on this site does not constitute legal or technical advice.