European Council agrees on 35% cut in new car CO2 by 2030

The European Council agreed on setting a target of a 35% average reduction in CO2 emissions form new cars by 2030. This position is a basis on which to begin talks with the European Parliament, which just came out with its own target of 40% by 2030 (earlier post). The... Details →


Columbia University engineers make breakthrough in understanding electroreduction of CO2 for conversion to electrofuels

Electrocatalysis and photocatalysis (artificial photosynthesis) are among the most promising ways to achieve effective storage for renewable energy. CO2 electroreduction has been capturing the imagination of researchers for more than 150 years because of its similarity to photosynthesis. Recent research in electrocatalytic CO2 conversion points the way to using CO2... Details →


Aerosols are tiny particles released into the atmosphere by human activities; they have proven negative effects on air quality—damaging human health and agricultural productivity. However, while greenhouse gases cause warming by trapping heat in the atmosphere, some aerosols can have a cooling effect on the climate because the aerosol particles... Details →


PNNL: increases in aerosols from East Asia decreased effects of reductions in US emissions in western states by 25%

A study led by scientists at the US Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory found that, in the western United States, increases in aerosols from East Asia decreased the radiative warming effect induced by reductions in US emissions by 25% from 1980-2014. The open-access study appears in the AGU... Details →


CARB proposes amending California LEV III Greenhouse Gas Emission Regulation to maintain stringency if US standards change

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has proposed amending the California Low-Emission Vehicle III Greenhouse Gas Emission Regulation to ensure that cars and light-duty trucks for model years 2022-2025 continue to meet California standards even if Federal standards are frozen. (Earlier post.) Recognizing the value of a national program to... Details →


The California Air Resources Board (CARB) announced that greenhouse gas emissions in California in 2016 fell below 1990 levels for the first time since emissions peaked in 2004—a reduction roughly equivalent to taking 12 million cars off the road or saving 6 billion gallons of gasoline a year. Under Assembly... Details →


Greyrock, NREL study determines reduction in GHG and criteria pollutant emissions from using synthetic fuels produced from flare gas

A “well-to-wheel” life cycle assessment (LCA) by a team from synthetic fuels producer Greyrock (earlier post), and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has determined the potential reduction of greenhouse gases and criteria pollutant emissions from the use of synthetic fuels directly converted from flare gas. The results of this... Details →


During the first three years of California’s 5-year-old cap-and-trade program, the bulk of the greenhouse gas reductions occurred out of state—i.e., state residents did not see the benefits of improved air quality from presumed reductions in harmful co-pollutants, such as particulate matter—according to a new study led by UC Berkeley... Details →


New phase of globalization could undermine efforts to reduce CO2 emissions

A new study finds that the growth of carbon production from Chinese exports has slowed or reversed, reflecting a “new phase of globalization” between developing countries that could undermine international efforts to reduce emissions. The paper is published in Nature Communications. The study, involving researchers from the University of East... Details →


Rio Tinto and Alcoa announce world’s first carbon-free aluminum smelting process; Apple assist; Elysis JV to commercialize

Rio Tinto and Alcoa Corporation announced a revolutionary process to make aluminum that produces only oxygen as a by-product, eliminating all direct greenhouse gas emissions from the traditional smelting process. In Canada alone, use of the technology could eliminate the equivalent of 6.5 million metric tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions,... Details →


California ARB readying regulatory options to maintain state LDV GHG standards in event of Federal change

In April 2018, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) completed the Midterm Evaluation (MTE) process for the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions standards for cars and light trucks for model years 2022-2025, and determined that the current standards are not appropriate and should be revised. (Earlier post.) The California Air Resources... Details →


In Japan, Aichi Prefecture, Chita City, Toyota City, Chubu Electric Power, Toho Gas, Toyota Motor Corporation, and Toyota Industries have launched the Chita City and Toyota City Renewable Energy-use Low-carbon Hydrogen Project. The project is a first step toward realizing the 2030 vision of a low-carbon hydrogen supply chain formulated... Details →


A new earth modeling system will support weather-scale resolution and use advanced computers to simulate aspects of Earth’s variability and anticipate decadal changes that will impact the US energy sector in coming years. After four years of development, the Energy Exascale Earth System Model (E3SM) is being released to the... Details →


The International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) reports that the Marine Environment Protection Committee of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has adopted a resolution codifying an initial greenhouse gas (GHG) strategy for international shipping. This strategy, which represents the first global climate framework for shipping, includes quantitative GHG reduction targets... Details →


Researchers measure actual CO2 emissions from fossil fuel use and compare to reported levels

Researchers have measured CO2 emissions from fossil fuel use in California and compared them to reported emissions. This is the first time fossil fuel emissions have been independently checked for such a large area. The team of researchers, led by researchers from Imperial College London (ICL), developed a technique to... Details →


Stanford Energy Modeling Forum project confirms carbon pricing can be effective way to curb GHG emissions

The Stanford Energy Modeling Forum (EMF) was established at Stanford more than 40 years ago to bring together leading experts and decision makers from government, industry, universities, and other research organizations to study important energy and environmental issues. For each study, the Forum organizes a working group to develop the... Details →


EPA: GHG emissions standards for cars and light trucks should be revised; joint process with NHTSA (updated with more reactions)

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt announced the completion of the Midterm Evaluation (MTE) process for the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions standards for cars and light trucks for model years 2022-2025, and his final determination that the current standards are not appropriate and should be revised. Administrator... Details →


Numerous studies have tackled the future environmental impact of battery-electric vehicles; the resulting assessments are highly uncertain. Now, a team of researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institut in Switzerland, with colleagues at Leiden University (Netherlands) and PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency have used Monte Carlo and global sensitivity analysis to... Details →


ICCT: decline in diesel sales will have negligible impact on attainment of European CO2 emission standards

The current decline is ales of diesel light duty vehicle in Europe does not put EU CO2 targets out of reach of automakers, according to a new analysis by the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT). Other technologies—such as efficiency improvements in gasoline engines as well as the rollout of... Details →


Audi begins initial engine testing of Global Bioenergies, Fraunhofer e-gasoline

Audi remains convinced of the potential of the fuels e-gas, “e-benzin” (e-gasoline) and e-diesel and is continuing to pursue its e-fuels strategy. (Earlier post.) Audi and its development partners Global Bioenergies S.A. (earlier post) and the Fraunhofer Center for Chemical Biotechnological Processes (CBP) now report that they have for the... Details →


Average CO2 emissions generated by new cars in Europe increased during 2017—the first rise in 10 years—according to a new analysis by JATO Dynamics. Covering 23 European markets, the study found that average CO2 emissions increased by 0.3 g/km in 2017, finishing at 118.1 g/km. This rise in average CO2... Details →


Greenhouse gas emissions (GHGE) from the Information and Communication Industry (ICT) could grow from roughly 1–1.6% in 2007 to exceed 14% of the 2016-level worldwide GHGE by 2040, accounting for more than half of the current relative contribution of the whole transportation sector, according to a new study from McMaster... Details →


Crude palm oil is one of the more than ten renewable raw materials that Neste uses to produce a range of renewable products, including renewable diesel. Palm oil represents approximately 20% of Neste’s renewable raw material usage annually. Neste has been exploring ways to contribute to improving palm oil industry’s... Details →


The UK automotive industry warned that the current anti-diesel agenda combined with the ongoing slow take-up of electric vehicles could mean industry misses its next round of CO2 targets in 2021, with negative consequences for the UK’s own climate change goals. The warning came as a new report published by... Details →


OECD: governments should make better use of energy taxation to address climate change; “meaningful” increases limited to road sector

Greater reliance on energy taxation is needed to strengthen efforts to tackle the principal source of both greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution, according to a new OECD report. Taxes are effective at cutting harmful emissions from energy use, but governments could make better use of them. In 2015, outside... Details →


A cradle-to-grave (C2G) assessment of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and costs for current (2015) and future (2025–2030) light-duty vehicles by a team from US DOE and national laboratories, major automakers, EPRI and Chevron has found that currently, hybrid and plug-in hybrid petroleum-fueled vehicles provide the most attractive cost in terms... Details →


Removing fossil fuel subsidies would have only a small effect on CO2 emissions and renewable energy use, according to a new study led by the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) and published in the journal Nature. Fossil fuel subsidies amount to hundreds of billions of dollars worldwide, and... Details →


Marine shipping fuels will get cleaner in 2020 when a regulation by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) requires a decrease in the allowable amount of sulfur in fuel oil from 3.5% to 0.5%—i.e., from 35,000 parts per million (ppm) to 5,000 ppm. This marks the most significant improvement in global... Details →


Ultrafine aerosols—minute particles from urban (e.g., vehicles) and industrial air pollution—fuel powerful storms and influence weather much more than has been appreciated, according to a study published in the journal Science. Scientists have known that aerosols may play an important role in shaping weather and climate; the new study shows... Details →


Europe’s transport sector is making only mixed progress in meeting its environment, health and climate policy targets, according to the latest European Environment Agency (EEA) assessment which tracks the short and long-term environmental performance of this key economic sector across the European Union. The EEA Briefing “Transport and Environment Reporting... Details →


In an open-access paper published in Scientific Reports, a team from Fraunhofer ISI and KIT (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology) has presented the first systematic overview of empirical findings on the electrification of vehicle mileage based on on actual PHEV (plug-in hybrid) and BEV (battery-electric vehicle) usage for the US and... Details →


Eight energy majors commit to reduce methane emissions within natural gas industry

BP, Eni, ExxonMobil, Repsol, Shell, Statoil, Total and Wintershall committed to reduce further methane emissions from the natural gas assets they operate around the world. The energy companies also agreed to encourage others across the natural gas value chain—from production to the final consumer—to do the same. The commitment was... Details →


Global Carbon Project reports global CO2 emissions suddenly on the rise after 3-year hiatus; need for reducing uncertainties

Global emissions of carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels have risen again after a three year hiatus, according to new analysis from the Global Carbon Project (GCP). According to the GCP, global emissions from all human activities will reach 41 billion tonnes in 2017, following a projected 2% rise in... Details →


EC proposes 30% CO2 reduction from 2021 to 2030 for light-duty vehicles

As part of a newly released Clean Mobility package, the European Commission is proposing a 30% reduction in average CO2 emissions for new cars and vans from 2021 to 2030. The proposal includes targets both for 2025 and 2030. The 2025 intermediary target of a 15% reduction is intended to... Details →


Ports of LA, Long Beach approve 2017 Clean Air Action Plan; targeted GHG reductions; zero-emissions on-road drayage by 2035

The governing boards of the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach unanimously approved the 2017 Clean Air Action Plan (CAAP) Update, ushering in a new era of aggressive clean air strategies for moving cargo through the nation’s busiest container port complex. The document provides high-level guidance for accelerating progress... Details →


UN Environment report says national GHG pledges only bring one-third of reductions needed for Paris Agreement

The eighth edition of UN Environment’s Emissions Gap report, released ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn, finds that national pledges only bring approximately one-third of the reduction in emissions required by 2030 to meet climate targets, with private sector and sub-national action not increasing at a rate... Details →


WMO reports GHG concentrations at highest in 800K years

Concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere surged at a record-breaking speed in 2016 to the highest level in 800,000 years, according to the World Meteorological Organization’s Greenhouse Gas Bulletin. Globally averaged concentrations of CO2 reached 403.3 parts per million in 2016, up from 400.00 ppm in 2015 because of... Details →


Study finds cities can reduce CO2 more easily from residential conservation than transportation

A new study by a team from the University of Pennsylvania and MIT suggests it will be easier for cities to reduce CO2 emissions coming from residential energy use rather than from local transportation. This reduction will happen mostly thanks to better building practices, not greater housing density. The study... Details →


OGCI makes first three investments: Achates Power, Solidia, and gas power with CCS

The Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI) has made its first three investments, moving forward the organization’s commitments to spur the growth of promising low carbon technologies. (Earlier post.) OGCI Climate Investments is the $1-billion investment fund established last year by OGCI to invest in promising technologies and business models... Details →


Study: expanding Brazilian sugarcane for ethanol could reduce global CO2 emissions by up to 5.6%

Vastly expanding sugarcane production in Brazil for conversion to ethanol could reduce current global CO2 emissions by as much as 5.6%, according to a new study by an international team led by researchers from the University of Illinois. This would be a massive undertaking, involving the conversion of hundreds of... Details →


Mayors of 12 major cities pledge to procure only zero-emission buses from 2025; major areas to be zero-emission by 2030

The mayors of London, Paris, Los Angeles, Copenhagen, Barcelona, Quito, Vancouver, Mexico City, Milan, Seattle, Auckland and Cape Town have pledged to procure only zero-emission buses from 2025 and ensure that a major area of their city is zero emission by 2030. The signatories of the C40 Fossil-Fuel-Free Streets Declaration... Details →


Global CO2 emissions stalled for the third year in a row

The annual assessment of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by the JRC and the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL) confirms that CO2 emissions have stalled for the third year in a row. The report provides updated results on the continuous monitoring of the three main greenhouse gases: carbon dioxide (CO2),... Details →


Emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) from global shipping are on the rise again, according to a new study released by the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT). Overall, the study found that maritime fuel consumption increased from 291 to 298 million tonnes (+2.4%) from 2013 to 2015, compared to a... Details →


Global Mobility Report finds world not on track to achieving sustainable mobility

The transport sector is not on track towards achieving sustainable mobility, according to the newly published Global Mobility Report 2017 (GMR). The GMR is the first study to assess the global performance of the transport sector and the progress made toward four main objectives: universal access, efficiency, safety, and green... Details →


EPA proposes repeal of Obama Clean Power Plan

As anticipated, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), proposing to repeal the Clean Power Plan (CPP). Released in 2015 by the Obama Administration EPA, the CPP established the first national standards to limit CO2 emissions from fossil-fuel-fired power plants (Electric Generating Units,... Details →


EIA: US energy-related CO2 emissions down 1.7% in 2016; carbon intensity of economy down 3.1%; transportation emissions up

US energy-related CO2 emissions decreased by 89 million metric tons (MMmt), from 5,259 MMmt in 2015 to 5,170 MMmt in 2016. Although real gross domestic product (GDP) increased 1.5% over that period, other factors contributing to energy-related CO2 emissions more than offset the growth in GDP, leading to a 1.7%... Details →


ExxonMobil expands methane emissions reduction program

ExxonMobil announced an enhanced program to reduce methane emissions from its production and midstream facilities across the United States. The program prioritizes actions at sites operated by subsidiary XTO Energy and includes efforts to develop and deploy new, more efficient technologies to detect and reduce facility emissions. Methane detection and... Details →


California Legislature passes $1.5B California Clean Air Initiative to cut emissions; $895M for mobile sources

The California state legislature has passed a set of bills (AB 134 and AB 109) providing $895 million towards programs that will reduce air pollution from mobile sources which are responsible for 40% of the state’s greenhouse gas emissions. Titled the “California Clean Air Initiative,” the bills will invest the... Details →


Scientists at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have developed a new electrocatalyst that can directly convert carbon dioxide into multicarbon fuels and alcohols using record-low inputs of energy. The work is the latest in a round of studies coming out of Berkeley Lab tackling the... Details →


European auto industry proposes further 20% cut in passenger car CO2 by 2030 from 2021; conditional on EV uptake and infrastructure; no ZEV mandate

At the Frankfurt Motor Show, the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) outlined the industry’s proposal for a pathway to future CO2 reductions: a 20% CO2 reduction for passenger cars by 2030, compared to 2021. The European Commission will reveal its proposal on CO2 targets for cars post-2021 later this year.... Details →