Crown turns to renewable power in US and Canadian beverage can plants

Read the full story from Beverage Daily.

Crown Holdings is now operating all 14 of its beverage can plants across the US and Canada with renewable energy.

Reporting program collects data on water use in Illinois

Read the full story from the Prairie Research Institute.

Scientists investigating present and future water resources in Illinois find a wealth of data through the Illinois Water Inventory Program (IWIP) at the Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS).  

Living In Harm’s Way: Why Most Flood Risk Is Not Disclosed

Read the full story from NPR.

A growing body of research suggests that the lack of transparency and growing flood risk due to climate change are leading millions of Americans to put their safety and their financial futures in jeopardy.

L.A.’s coast was once a DDT dumping ground.

Read the full story in the Los Angeles Times.

Shipping logs show that every month in the years after World War II, thousands of barrels of acid sludge laced with this synthetic chemical were boated out to a site near Catalina and dumped into the deep ocean — so vast that, according to common wisdom at the time, it would dilute even the most dangerous poisons.

Regulators reported in the 1980s that the men in charge of getting rid of the DDT waste sometimes took shortcuts and just dumped it closer to shore. And when the barrels were too buoyant to sink on their own, one report said, the crews simply punctured them.

The ocean buried the evidence for generations, but modern technology can take scientists to new depths. In 2011 and 2013, Valentine and his research team were able to identify about 60 barrels and collect a few samples during brief forays at the end of other research missions.

Cargill ramps up supply of segregated sustainable palm oil in North America

Read the full story at FoodBev.

Cargill has announced that it is expanding its supply of segregated certified palm oil in North America to help customers meet sustainability commitments.

Enhancing US-Japan cooperation on clean energy technologies

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Japan’s October 2020 pledge to reach net-zero emissions by 2050 presents an opportunity to expand the robust US-Japan energy partnership into additional clean energy areas. But with a stark divide on energy policy in the United States, how can the US-Japan energy partnership appeal to disparate visions of the energy transition and be politically durable? In the wake of Japan’s net-zero announcement, the Global Energy Center is launching this new report, “Enhancing US-Japan cooperation on clean energy technologies,” which explores how the United States and Japan can increase the politically durable foundation for clean energy cooperation in their already robust energy partnership.

Reed Blakemore and David W. Yellen analyze which technologies could form such a foundation, and they recommend that the two countries prioritize technologies that address three interrelated goals: enhancing energy security and resilience, becoming more competitive and spurring economic growth, and reducing remissions. The report suggests a path forward for the United States and Japan, not only to expand bilateral clean energy cooperation, but also to lay the groundwork for a broader Indo-Pacific partnership on clean energy markets and technologies.

Next Round: Bulleit Frontier Whiskey Is Replanting White Oak Forests, and It’s Not a Marketing Gimmick

Read the full story at Vinepair.

In this episode of “Next Round,” VinePair CEO and founder Adam Teeter speaks to Ed Bello of Bulleit Bourbon and Eric Sprague of American Forests. While an unlikely pair, Bulleit recently teamed up with American Forests to launch their Frontier Fund, which hopes to restore the white oak population across the Eastern United States by planting 1 million trees over the next five years.

Coronavirus relief funds could easily pay to stop the worst of climate change while rebooting economies

Global economic support for COVID-19 relief is providing an opportunity to kick-start a shift toward a green future. Maksim Chernyshev/EyeEm via Getty Images

by David L. McCollum (University of Tennessee)

CC BY-ND

As of late summer, governments around the world had pledged US$12.2 trillion of relief in response to the coronavirus pandemic. That’s around 15% of global GDP, three times larger than government spending put forward during and after the 2008-2009 global financial crisis and enough for every adult in the world to receive a $2,000 check.

A good chunk of initial COVID-19 aid funding is being used – quite rightly – to support health care systems, preserve people’s livelihoods and stabilize employment. But much is slated for investment into infrastructure and economies. Whether those are climate-friendly investments or not still remains to be seen.

While the world’s bout with the virus is far from over, there is already talk amongst leaders like Joe Biden and Boris Johnson about rebuilding toward a more sustainable, more resilient future.

The global economic rebuild could include efforts to avoid the worst impacts of one of today’s looming mega-threats: climate change.

Money needed to achieve climate goals

Moving toward a cleaner energy world is cheaper than many people perceive.

My work at the Electric Power Research Institute, University of Tennessee and with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change focuses on the costs and benefits of energy and climate decisions made by governments and companies.

According to research done by me and my colleagues, we estimate it would cost around $1.4 trillion per year over the next five years in clean-energy investment to meet the goals of the Paris climate agreement. This amount – if invested around the globe in things like solar and wind power, advanced power grids, carbon capture and storage, biofuels, electric vehicles, better insulated homes and other carbon-saving efforts – would start to bend the emissions curve, putting the world on a path to net-zero emissions by midcentury.

In other words, it is by no means impossible to hold global temperature rise to +1.5 C (2.7 F).

Two people walking in front of a large solar panel at a solar farm.
Investments in low-carbon energy production, like solar, as well as energy efficiency improvements, can do much to reduce carbon emissions. AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli

A lot is already being spent on climate initiatives

While $1.4 trillion per year sounds like a lot of money, it’s actually not so much greater than what is already being spent on clean energy worldwide.

Countries are projected to invest an estimated $1.1 trillion per year over the next five years into low-carbon energy strategies. This pathway would take the world toward 3 degrees Celsius of warming, a level that could be quite harmful for the planet.

Much of this funding comes in response to national, state and local policy mandates and incentives. But a lot is happening thanks to pure economics as well: companies aiming to profit from new clean energy installations, which are becoming increasingly more affordable in many places.

Thus, taking into account the $1.1 trillion per year baked into the system already, the additional amount of clean energy investment needed to get on a 1.5 C track comes to just $0.3 trillion – or $300 billion – per year over the next five years.

For the entire globe, $300 billion per year over five years – or $1.5 trillion cumulative – is not an outrageous sum of money. It represents just one-eighth of the $12.2 trillion governments around the world have announced for COVID-19 relief to date.

Thus, a fraction of current bailout funding could provide the extra near-term boost the world needs to get on track to meet +2 or 1.5 C (+3.6 or 2.7 F) of warming, the levels countries committed to in the 2015 Paris climate agreement.

Joe Biden speaking at a lectern outside in front of a stand of trees.
President-elect Joe Biden has proposed large investments into clean energy. AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

Change course, then move forward

President-elect Joe Biden is calling for some $1.7 trillion investment in clean energy and energy efficiency over the next 10 years. This level of investment, if also realized in other countries, could put the world on a path to meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement.

The U.S. has already committed trillions of dollars for COVID-19 relief, much of which is going toward important needs like patient care, vaccine research and direct economic bailouts. But economic recovery plans contain money for long-term economic growth, too. And that’s the money I am suggesting could be directed toward climate-friendly investments.

Meeting the Paris goals will ultimately demand continued and increasing investments going forward, climbing above the $300 billion per year over the next five years that would get the world on track to 1.5 C (2.7 F). Nevertheless, an initial injection of funds into clean energy could achieve two goals: boost the global economy through large infrastructure spending and accelerate the deployment of clean energy production and energy efficiency measures.

Like with so many things, the question seems to be one of political will – are governments and companies willing and able to turn toward a cleaner, more prosperous future to the benefit of all?

Public funding appears to be available – for now – and given how massive this funding is, it provides a unique opportunity to catalyze the development, deployment and dissemination of clean technologies during the next decade, an absolutely critical period in the fight against climate change.

David L. McCollum, Senior Research Scientist, University of Tennessee

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

How plastic particles move through the soils. “It’s all cyclical”

Read the full story at ZME Science.

Scientists have mapped the many ways through which microplastics and other particulate pollutants travel long distances through soils and other porous media. The findings by Princeton University researchers could help us prevent or at least reduce the spread and accumulation of contaminants in food and water sources.

Increase in burning of plastic ‘driving up emissions from waste disposal’

Read the full story in The Guardian.

Expansion of energy-from-waste incineration could stop UK hitting its net zero carbon target, campaigners warn