China fires up giant coal power plant in face of calls for cuts

China, under fire for approving new coal power stations as other countries try to curb greenhouse gases, has completed the first 1,000-megawatt unit of the Shanghaimiao plant, the biggest of its kind under construction in the country.

A report published this month by researchers at China’s State Grid Corporation said energy security concerns mean the country is likely to build as much as 150 gigawatts (GW) of new coal-fired power capacity over the 2021-2025 period, bringing the [country’s] total to 1,230 GW.

This would be a 14% increase (150/(1230-150)).

Coal power’s sharp rebound is taking it to a new record in 2021, threatening net zero goals

After falling in 2019 and 2020, global power generation from coal is expected to jump by 9% in 2021 to an all-time high.

Depending on weather patterns and economic growth, overall coal demand could reach new all-time highs as soon as 2022 and remain at that level for the following two years.

The rebound is being driven by 2021’s rapid economic recovery, which has pushed up electricity demand much faster than low-carbon supplies can keep up. The steep rise in natural gas prices has also increased demand for coal power by making it more cost-competitive.

Overall coal demand worldwide – including uses beyond power generation, such as cement and steel production – is forecast to grow by 6% in 2021. Coal prices reached all-time highs in early October 2021.

“Coal is the single largest source of global carbon emissions, and this year’s historically high level of coal power generation is a worrying sign of how far off track the world is in its efforts to put emissions into decline towards net-zero,” said IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol. “Without strong and immediate actions by governments to tackle coal emissions – in a way that is fair, affordable and secure for those affected – we will have little chance, if any at all, of limiting global warming to 1.5°C.”

In China, where more than half of global coal power generation takes place, it is expected to grow by 9% in 2021. In India, it is forecast to grow by 12%. This would set new all-time highs in both countries, even as they roll out impressive amounts of solar and wind capacity.

“Asia dominates the global coal market, with China and India accounting for two-thirds of overall demand.” said Keisuke Sadamori, Director of Energy Markets and Security at the IEA. “These two economies – dependent on coal and with a combined population of almost 3 billion people – hold the key to future coal demand.”

The Expanding Coal Power Fleet in Southeast Asia

Coal combustion for power generation made up 30% of global CO2 emissions in 2018. To achieve the goal of the Paris Agreement to keep global average temperatures below 2°C, power generation must be decarbonized globally by mid-century. This requires a rapid phase-out of coal-fired power generation. However, global coal power expansion continues, mostly in developing countries where electricity demand continues to increase. Since the early 2010s, Southeast Asia’s coal power capacity expansion has been among the fastest in the world, following China and India, but its implications for the global climate and regional energy transition remain understudied. Here we examine Southeast Asia’s power generation pipeline as of mid-2020 and evaluate its implications for the region’s CO2 emissions over the plant lifetime as well as projected electricity generation between 2020-2030 in Indonesia, Vietnam, and the Philippines. We find that power plants under construction and planned in Southeast Asia as of 2020 will more than double the region’s fossil fuel power generation capacity. If all fossil fuel plants under development are built, Southeast Asia’s power sector CO2 emissions will increase by 72% from 2020 to 2030 and long-term committed emissions will double. Moreover, in Indonesia, Vietnam, and the Philippines, projected electricity generation from fossil fuel plants under development, combined with generation from renewable capacity targets and existing power capacity, will exceed future national electricity demand. As a result, fossil fuel plants will likely be underutilized and/or become stranded assets while also potentially crowding out renewable energy deployment.

The world is burning the most coal ever to keep the lights on

The world likely will generate more electricity from the dirtiest source this year than ever before, indicating just how far the energy transition still needs to run in the fight against climate change.

Coal-fueled generation is set to jump 9% from last year, according to an International Energy Agency report released Friday.

The U.S. and European Union had the biggest increases in coal use at about 20% each, followed by India at 12% and China—the world’s largest consumer—at 9%, the IEA estimated. The comeback is being driven by economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, which is outpacing the ability of low-carbon energy sources to maintain supply.

As climate ‘net-zero’ plans grow, so do concerns from scientists

Scientists and monitoring groups are growing increasingly alarmed at the slew of vague net-zero pledges that appear to privilege offsets and future technological breakthroughs over short-term emissions cuts.

“They’re not fit for purpose, any of them,” Myles Allen, director of Oxford Net Zero at the University of Oxford said of today’s carbon neutrality plans.

“You can’t offset continued fossil fuel use by planting trees for very long. Nobody has even acknowledged that in their net-zero plans, even the really ambitious countries,” he told AFP.

According to Net Zero Tracker (NZT), 90 percent of global GDP is now covered by some sort of net-zero plan. But it said that the vast majority remain ill-defined.

Take offsets. These are when countries or companies deploy measures—such as tree planting or direct CO2 capture—to compensate for the emissions they produce. NZT found that 91% of country targets, and 48% of public company targets, failed to even specify whether offsets feature in their net-zero plans.

The UN climate change body, UNFCCC, analysed the latest national emissions cutting plans during COP26. It found that they would see emissions increase 13.7% by 2030.

Many countries and businesses plan to deploy mass reforestation as part of net-zero plans. Experts say this is problematic for two reasons.

The first is simple science: Earth’s plants and soil already absorb enormous amounts of manmade CO2 and there are signs that carbon sinks such as tropical forests are reaching saturation point.

“The concern is that the biosphere is turning from a sink to a source by warming itself,” said Allen. “So relying on the biosphere to store fossil carbon is really daft when we may well need all the nature-based solutions we can find just to keep the carbon content of the biosphere stable.”

And because humans have already burned through most of the carbon budget—that is, how much total carbon pollution we can produce before 1.5˚C is breached—there simply isn’t time to delay.

“We need to be very sceptical of any target that doesn’t have clear milestones in terms of how the company is going to halve emissions by 2030,” he said. “Any net-zero target without a 2030 milestone is just unbelievable, basically.”

The East African Pipeline

TotalEnergies & China’s CNOOC will drill more than 431 wells in Uganda and pump the crude in a pipeline heated to 50˚C 1,450km (900 miles) to a port in Tanzania.

The pipeline will deliver 1.7bn barrels of crude (270,300 million litres).

Road and pipeline construction will devastate habitat of giraffes, pangolins, hyenas, lions, chimpanzees, buffaloes, hippos, hartebeests, waterbucks, warthogs, oribis, Uganda kobs and grey duikers, elephants, hippos and lions.

UN: Greenhouse gas concentrations hit a new record in 2020

The World Meteorological Organization reported Monday that greenhouse gas concentrations hit a new record high last year and increased at a faster rate than the annual average for the last decade despite a temporary reduction during pandemic-related lockdowns.

In its annual report on heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere, the U.N. weather agency also pointed to signs of a worrying new development: Parts of the Amazon rainforest have gone from being a carbon “sink” that sucks CO₂ from the air to a source of CO₂ due to deforestation and reduced humidity in the region, it said.

“At the current rate of increase in greenhouse gas concentrations, we will see a temperature increase by the end of this century far in excess of the Paris agreement targets of 1.5 to 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels” said WMO Secretary-General Prof. Petteri Taalas. “We are way off track.”

Concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2), the most important greenhouse gas, reached 413.2 parts per million in 2020 and is 149% of the pre-industrial level. Methane (CH4) is 262% and nitrous oxide (N2O)  is 123% of the levels in 1750 when human activities started disrupting Earth’s natural equilibrium. The economic slowdown from COVID-19 did not have any discernible impact on the atmospheric levels of greenhouse gases and their growth rates, although there was a temporary decline in new emissions.

Germany portrays itself as a climate leader. But it’s still razing villages for coal mines.

Germany’s Garzweiler coal mine has already swallowed more than a dozen villages. Centuries-old churches and family homes have been razed and the land they were built on torn away. Farmland has disappeared, graveyards have been emptied.

“All destroyed for coal,” said Eckhardt Heukamp, surveying the vast pit that drops away from the edge of his fields, 20 miles west of Cologne.

But there’s still more under his feet to be mined: Six more villages are threatened.

In the European Union, Germany is the second-largest consumer of hard coal, and the biggest consumer of the less-energy-efficient lignite, or brown coal.

With its last black coal mines closed, Germany is the biggest producer of brown coal in the world.

Germany has pledged to stop burning coal by 2038. This appears increasingly out of step with Europe’s larger economies. Britain says it is phasing out coal by 2024, France by 2022 and Italy by 2025.

Making it more difficult for Germany is its decision to phase out nuclear by 2022 in the wake of Japan’s 2011 Fukushima disaster, plus its large manufacturing industry. Experts say Germany needs to rapidly ramp up renewables to fill the gap, but soaring gas prices could complicate efforts for that transition, with fears it could increase electricity bills even further.

Climate: Removing CO₂ from the air no longer optional

“We need drastic, radical emissions reductions, and on top of that we need some CDR,” said Glen Peters, research director at the Centre for International Climate Research.

There are basically two ways to extract CO₂ from air.

One is to boost nature’s capacity to absorb and stockpile carbon. Healing degraded forests, restoring mangroves, industrial-scale tree planting, boosting carbon uptake in rocks or the ocean—all fall under the hotly debated category of “nature-based solutions”.

The second way—called direct air capture—uses chemical processes to strip out CO₂, then recycles it for industrial use or locks it away in porous rock formations, unused coal beds or saline aquifers.

A variation known as bioenergy with carbon capture and storage, or BECCS, combines elements from both approaches.

CO₂ removal will be required for two reasons. Firstly, even if the world begins drawing down carbon pollution by 3, 4 or 5% per year—and that is a very big “if”—some sectors like cement and steel production, long-haul aviation and agriculture are expected to maintain emission levels for decades.

Secondly, the August report from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) makes it alarmingly clear that the 1.5˚C threshold will be breached in the coming decades no matter how aggressively greenhouse gases are drawn down. CO₂ lingers in the atmosphere for centuries, which means that the only way to bring warming back to 1.5˚C by 2100, is to suck some of it out of the air.

BECCS was pencilled into IPCC climate models more than a decade ago as the theoretically cheapest form of negative emissions, but has barely developed since.

A peer-reviewed proposal in 2019 to draw down excess CO₂ by planting a trillion trees sparked huge excitement in the media and among gas and oil companies that have made afforestation offsets a central pillar of their attempts to align with Paris treaty goals. But the idea was sharply criticised by experts, who pointed out that it would require converting twice the area of India into mono-culture tree farms.

Also, planting trees to soak up CO₂ is fine until the forests burn down in climate-enhanced wildfires.

Among all the carbon dioxide removal methods, direct air capture (DAC) is among the least developed but the most talked about. Assuming investment of a trillion dollars a year starting now, DAC knocked off some two billion tonnes of CO₂ annually from global emissions by 2050 in models. But only when coupled with the most ambitious carbon-cutting scenario laid out by the IPCC was that enough to bring temperatures back down—after rising to 2˚C—to around 1.7˚C by 2100.

For David King, chair of the Climate Crisis Advisory Group, “Net-zero by 2050 is no longer enough. We must revise global targets beyond net zero and commit to net negative strategies”.

Colossal Fossil Total Projects Peak Oil by 2030, Still ‘Leaves it to Others’ to Meet Paris Targets

Total Energies is leaving it to others to meet the carbon reduction goals in the Paris agreement, after the Paris-based colossal fossil predicted the world will hit peak oil demand around 2030 but still produce 40 to 64 million barrels per day in 2050.

At Total’s annual Investor Day Monday and Tuesday, CEO Patrick Pouyanné said the company expects virtually no decrease in oil consumption by 2030.

“According to our trajectory, by 2030 we are more around 90 million barrels per day, and that means that we need to continue to invest in some oil and gas fields” Pouyanné said.

According to data from BP, the world extracted just under 95 million barrels per day of oil in 2019. This dropped slightly in 2020 to 88 million barrels per day, due to the Covid pandemic.

Norway to keep searching for oil and gas

A minority coalition of the Labour Party and the rural Centre Party will take power after defeating the Conservative-led government in last month’s election.

“The Norwegian petroleum industry will be developed, not dismantled,” the two parties said in a joint policy document, adding that it will maintain the existing system of handing out exploration licences.

The oil industry welcomed the new government’s plans.

“Giving access to attractive acreage is the most important measure authorities have to ensure continued development and value creation from oil and gas, but also to finance a green transition,” said Norwegian Oil and Gas, a lobby group.

‘Running out of time’: Asia struggles to kick coal addiction

Hopes for a cleaner future have been fired by pledges from top coal consumer China and other countries to go carbon neutral, but much of the region is making a painfully slow transition to renewable sources.

The challenge is illustrated by the enormous Suralaya coal plant on Indonesia’s Java island, one of the biggest in Southeast Asia, which can power about 14 million homes a year.

Indonesia has committed to be carbon neutral by 2060, and to stop building new coal-fired plants from 2023, but despite this—the facility is undergoing a $3.5 billion expansion that will boost its capacity.

Nearly 60% of China’s economy is still powered by the fossil fuel and in a sign of the difficulties ahead, this month authorities even ordered mines to expand production to cope with a nationwide energy crunch.

Japan, another major Asian financier of coal overseas, has also pledged to tighten rules for investment in foreign power stations but will not end government funding.

New Delhi has so far resisted pressure to set a target date for its emissions to reach net zero, and is even pushing ahead with new investments in coal mining.

A new global energy economy is emerging, but the transformation still has a long way to go

Today’s emission reduction pledges cover less than 20% of the gap that needs to be closed by 2030 to keep a 1.5 °C path within reach.

For all the advances being made by renewables and electric mobility, 2021 is seeing a large rebound in coal and oil use. Largely for this reason, it is also seeing the second-largest annual increase in CO2 emissions in history.

Public spending on sustainable energy in economic recovery packages has only mobilised around one-third of the investment required to jolt the energy system onto a new set of rails, with the largest shortfall in developing economies that continue to face a pressing public health crisis.

China’s pledge on overseas coal — by the numbers

China’s promise to stop financing coal power abroad is a positive step, but researchers say the emissions savings pale in comparison to those from its domestic coal use.

“China is a long way from phasing out coal altogether.” 

Despite the country’s plans to become carbon neutral by 2060, its domestic coal production has nearly tripled since 2001. By contrast, the amount of coal produced in the United States and Europe has roughly halved over this time. China accounted for more than half of the 7.7 billion tonnes of coal produced globally in 2020, dwarfing the contributions of the next biggest producers.

China commissioned 38.4 GW of new coal plants last year, 76% of the global total of new coal-fired power plants, according to the non-profit organization Global Energy Monitor.

Experts say that halting the financing of overseas coal-power projects is a good start, but add that the emissions they produce are dwarfed by those generated by the 1,000 GW of coal-power that China generates domestically. This is more than four times the capacity of either India or the United States, which are the next biggest generators of coal power.

The almost 2,500 coal-power stations operating in the world today might still emit more than 200 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide over their lifetimes, making it hard to rein in global warming to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial temperatures.

“The 1.5 °C goal is out of reach if coal-fired plants aren’t replaced by cleaner energy technologies very soon,”

“Alas, an end of coal is not yet in sight.”

Wave of net zero emission targets will still cause dangerous warming

National net zero emission targets could, if fully implemented, reduce best estimates of projected global average temperature increase to 2.0–2.4 °C by 2100, bringing the Paris Agreement temperature goal within reach.

A total of 131 countries are discussing, have announced or have adopted net zero targets, covering 72% of global emissions.

Currently implemented policies will increase warming by 2.9–3.2 °C, and pledges submitted to the Paris Agreement will increase warming by 2.4–2.9 °C.

Russia’s New Nord Stream 2 Gas Pipeline

Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, shown as the dashed line in the image below, was connected on September 10, 2021.

The 1,230km (764 mile) long pipeline will double the capacity of the gas exported from Russian gas fields to Germany, duplicating the existing original Nord Stream pipeline.

Shell & 4 other investors paid more than half of $11.3bn cost.

Reducing CO₂ emissions by targeting the world’s hyper-polluting power plants

Maps of fossil-fueled power plants’ CO2 emissions.

  • Taller spikes indicate that plants emit CO2 at higher levels.
  • Colors signify plants’ primary fuels (blue = coal, yellow = natural gas, black = oil).
  • Plants with red spikes are the world’s ten biggest polluters (all of which rely primarily on coal).

Findings suggest that instead of relying on sweeping environmental initiatives, substantial environmental progress can be made through selectively targeting nations’ hyper-polluters—the worst-of-the-worst—that are responsible for the lion’s share of their carbon pollution. As the fossil-fuel-burning energy infrastructure continues to expand and the urgency of combating climate change grows, nations will likely need to consider more expedient strategies of this sort.

Global electric power demand returns to pre-pandemic levels

Carbon dioxide emissions from the global electric power sector rebounded in the first half of 2021 to above pre-pandemic levels, according to an analysis, signalling that the world has failed to engineer a “green recovery” and shift decisively away from fossil fuels.

Catapulting emissions in 2021 should send alarm bells across the world. We are not building back better, we are building back badly,” 

The Energy Information Administration, part of the Energy Department, forecast that the U.S. economic recovery and a changing fuel mix would lead to a “significant increase in energy-related carbon dioxide emissions this year.”

It is a worrying sign that China, the world’s largest [greenhouse gas] emitter’s focus on a fossil-fuelled industrial recovery is at odds with its long-term goal of reaching net-zero emissions by 2060.

Greenhouse gas emissions must peak within 4 years, says leaked UN report

Global greenhouse gas emissions must peak in the next four years, coal and gas-fired power plants must close in the next decade and lifestyle and behavioural changes will be needed to avoid climate breakdown, according to the leaked draft of a report from the world’s leading authority on climate science.

Rich people in every country are overwhelmingly more responsible for global heating than the poor, with SUVs and meat-eating singled out for blame, and the high-carbon basis for future economic growth is also questioned.

The top 10% of emitters globally, who are the wealthiest 10%, contribute between 36 and 45% of emissions, which is 10 times as much as the poorest 10%, who are responsible for only about three to 5%, the report finds. “The consumption patterns of higher income consumers are associated with large carbon footprints. Top emitters dominate emissions in key sectors, for example the top 1% account for 50% of emissions from aviation,” the summary says.

The report underlines the lifestyle changes that will be necessary, particularly in rich countries and among the wealthy globally. Refraining from over-heating or over-cooling homes, walking and cycling, cutting air travel and using energy-consuming appliances less can all contribute significantly to the reductions in emissions needed, the report finds.

Eating patterns in many parts of the rich world will also need to change. “A shift to diets with a higher share of plant-based protein in regions with excess consumption of calories and animal-source food can lead to substantial reductions in emissions, while also providing health benefits … Plant-based diets can reduce emissions by up to 50% compared to the average emission intensive western diet,” the report says.

The investment needed to shift the global economy to a low-carbon footing is also missing. Current investment falls below what is needed “by a factor of five”, even to hold warming to the higher limit of 2˚C, according to the report.

The scientists echo the recent advice from the International Energy Agency that no new fossil fuel development can take place if the world is to stay within 1.5˚C of heating.

IPCC report’s verdict on climate crimes of humanity: guilty as hell

“If we do not halt our emissions soon, our future climate could well become some kind of hell on Earth,” says Prof Tim Palmer at the University of Oxford.

Governments that continue to fail to take action have nowhere left to hide – the crystal-clear report has bust all of their alibis. “Too many ‘net-zero’ climate plans have been used to greenwash pollution and business as usual,” says Teresa Anderson at ActionAid International.

The gravity of the situation laid out in the report blows away blustering over the supposed costs of climate action. In any case, not acting will cost far more. “It’s suicidal, and economically irrational to keep procrastinating,” says Prof Saleemul Huq, director of the International Centre for Climate Change and Development at the Independent University, Bangladesh.

The IPCC’s report means all the evidence that will ever be needed is now in place. “The continued dithering to address climate change is no longer about the lack of scientific evidence, but directly tied to a lack of political will,” says Kristina Dahl of the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Major climate changes inevitable and irreversible – IPCC’s starkest warning yet

The comprehensive assessment of climate science published on Monday, the sixth such report from the IPCC since 1988, has been eight years in the making. It represents the world’s full knowledge to date of the physical basis of climate change. [This] will be followed next year by two further instalments: part two will focus on the impacts of the climate crisis; and the third will detail the potential solutions.

António Guterres, the UN secretary general: “[This report] is a code red for humanity. The alarm bells are deafening, and the evidence is irrefutable: greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel burning and deforestation are choking our planet and putting billions of people at immediate risk.” “This report must sound a death knell for coal and fossil fuels, before they destroy our planet.”

Doug Parr, chief scientist at Greenpeace UK: “The increasing frequency, scale and intensity of climate disasters that have scorched and flooded many parts of the world in recent months is the result of past inaction. Unless world leaders finally start to act on these warnings, things will get much, much worse.”

Joeri Rogelj, director of research at the Grantham Institute, Imperial College London, and an IPCC lead author: “This report is likely to be the last report from the IPCC while there is still time to stay below 1.5˚C”. “It shows we can stay within 1.5˚C but only just – only if we cut emissions in the next decade,” he said. “If we don’t, by the time of the next IPCC report at the end of this decade, 1.5˚C will be out the window.”

Keeping Earth cool: Is the 1.5˚C target ‘mission impossible’?

Earth’s temperature is projected to hit 1.5˚C or 1.6˚C around 2030 in all five scenarios—a full decade earlier than a similar prediction the IPCC made less than three years ago.

The news gets worse.

By mid-century, the 1.5C threshold has been breached across the board—by a tenth of a degree along the most ambitious pathway, and by nearly a full degree at the opposite extreme.

The glimmer of hope for 1.5˚C is that by century’s end Earth’s surface will have cooled a notch to 1.4˚C under the most optimistic “if-we-do-everything-right” storyline.

A brief overshoot does not mean the target has been missed, scientists caution.

But long-term trajectories do not look promising in the other four scenarios.

Temperature increases by 2090 forecast range from a hugely challenging 1.8˚C to a catastrophic 4.4˚C.

“There is definitely a difference of opinion among scientists about whether the 1.5C target is reachable,” Tim Lenton, director of the Global Systems Institute at the University of Exeter and an authority on climate tipping points, told AFP.

Some experts who think 1.5C is mission impossible simply avoid the subject to avoid casting a pall over efforts to ramp up climate action, he added. “They don’t discuss it.”

Betting on the best case: higher end warming is underrepresented in research

Probabilities of warming for CO2 concentrations from 400 to 1000 ppm and the relative occurrence of this warming in the IPCC reports for all AR5 working groups and all special reports until 2020 (both in %).

We find that there is a substantial mismatch between likely warming rates and research coverage. 1.5 °C and 2 °C scenarios are substantially overrepresented. More likely higher end warming scenarios of 3 °C and above, despite potential catastrophic impacts, are severely neglected.

Critical measures of global heating reaching tipping point, study finds

“There is growing evidence we are getting close to or have already gone beyond tipping points associated with important parts of the Earth system”

  • The 5 hottest years on record have all occurred since 2015
  • Livestock now number more than 4 billion, and their total mass is more than that of all humans and wild animals combined.
  • Forest loss in the Brazilian Amazon increased in both 2019 and 2020, reaching a 12-year high in 2020.

“A major lesson from Covid-19 is that even colossally decreased transportation and consumption are not nearly enough and that, instead, transformational system changes are required.”

California’s carbon mitigation efforts may be thwarted by climate change itself

To meet an ambitious goal of carbon neutrality by 2045, California’s policymakers are relying in part on forests and shrublands to remove CO₂ from the atmosphere, but researchers warn that future climate change may limit the ecosystem’s ability to perform this service.

Studies have estimated that the 2012-2015 drought killed more than 40% of ponderosa pines in the Sierra Nevada range. Another issue is the loss of trees from California’s worsening wildfire situation.

Covid recovery to drive all-time emissions high: IEA

Carbon emissions are set to hit an all-time high by 2023 as just two percent of pandemic recovery finance is being spent on clean energy.

“Not only is clean energy investment still far from what’s needed to put the world on a path to reaching net-zero emissions by mid-century, it’s not even enough to prevent global emissions from surging to a new record”.

‘Reckless’: G20 states subsidised fossil fuels by $3tn since 2015, says report

This backing for coal, oil and gas is “​​reckless” in the face of the escalating climate emergency, according to the report’s authors, and urgent action is needed to phase out the support. The $3.3tn could have built solar plants equivalent to three times the US electricity grid.

60% of the fossil fuel subsidies went to the companies producing fossil fuels and 40% to cutting prices for energy consumers.

Amazon rainforest now emitting more CO₂ than it absorbs

“The positive feedback, where deforestation and climate change drive a release of carbon from the remaining forest that reinforces additional warming and more carbon loss is what scientists have feared would happen. Now we have good evidence this is happening.”

Fires produced about 1.5 billion tonnes of CO₂ a year, with forest growth removing 0.5 billion tonnes. The 1 billion tonnes left in the atmosphere is equivalent to the annual emissions of Japan, the world’s fifth-biggest polluter.

Even without fires, hotter temperatures and droughts mean the south-eastern Amazon has become a source of CO₂, rather than a sink. 

US drilling approvals increase despite Biden climate pledge

“Every indication is they have no plans of actually fulfilling their campaign promise”.

France Drops Plans to Enshrine Climate Fight in Constitution

The French government said that it would drop its plans to enshrine the fight against climate change in the Constitution, effectively giving up on what was seen as a major step in the country’s environmental commitments.

The scientists fighting to save the ocean’s most important carbon capture system

Kelp are essentially the ocean’s equivalent of trees, capturing up to 20 times more carbon per acre than land forests. They also provide a vital habitat for a broad range of marine life; without them, entire ocean ecosystems would crumble.

Reducing carbon emissions not enough, expert warns

Chair of CCAG, Sir David King said: “I believe we have five years left to get on top of this global problem. We began talking seriously about climate change in 1992, yet we are now in a worse position with growing emissions and rising risks—watching greenhouse gases increase year after year.”

“But we’ve also let this problem get to the point where rapid emission reductions alone won’t be enough—we also need to develop ways to remove large amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and to preserve critical parts of the Earth system while we still can.”

No breakthrough during ‘exhausting’ online climate talks

“I cannot say that there was really any breakthrough in the consultations that took place here” said United Nations climate chief Patricia Espinosa.

Carbon dioxide levels hit 50% higher than preindustrial time

“Carbon dioxide going up in a few decades like that is extremely unusual”. “For example, when the Earth climbed out of the last ice age, carbon dioxide increased by about 80 parts per million and it took the Earth system, the natural system, 6,000 years.”

By comparison, it has taken only 42 years, from 1979 to 2021, to increase carbon dioxide by that same amount.

“The world is approaching the point where exceeding the Paris targets and entering a climate danger zone becomes almost inevitable,”

Earth’s history sends climate warning

“If we allow fossil fuel burning to continue to grow, our grandchildren may experience CO₂ levels that haven’t been seen on Earth for around 50 million years, a time when crocodiles roamed the Arctic.”

Prepare for DISORDERLY shift to low-carbon era

“There is no longer any realistic chance for an orderly transition.”