Advancing Equitable Deployment of Regional DAC Hubs

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Despite the importance of community buy-in, little public opinion research exists on what voters and specific communities think about DAC, and CDR more broadly. Data for Progress worked to fill this gap by conducting community workshops across the country in partnership with local communitybased organizations and researchers at Stanford University. Our early efforts to support communityfirst climate infrastructure on the ground focuses on DAC hubs given their climate potential, the scale of recent federal investment, and the DOE’s intention to grant funds for implementation this year. In this work, we are looking to set a new precedent for project development, particularly the development of climate innovation projects, by engaging communities before projects begin in a meaningful and iterative way.

Great Lakes Environmental Justice Grant Program (GLEJGP)

Application deadline: Aug 11, 2023
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This Request for Applications (RFA) solicits applications from eligible entities for up to six cooperative agreements to be awarded pursuant to the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Action Plan III (GLRI AP III). This RFA is the Great Lakes National Program Office’s (GLNPO’s) major competitive grant funding opportunity for FY-23 and uses funding provided by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, P.L. 117-58, 2021 (IIJA), also known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL).

The purpose of the RFA is to help fulfill EPA’s commitment to environmental justice (EJ) by establishing Great Lakes Environmental Justice Grant Programs (GLEJGPs) to be used for issuing and overseeing subawards for environmental restoration projects in underserved Great Lakes communities. Approximately $30 million may be awarded in the form of up to six cooperative agreements. The number of cooperative agreements and total amount awarded is contingent upon funding availability, the quality of applications received, Agency priorities, and other applicable considerations. 

AES signs PV recycling agreement with Solarcycle

Read the full story at PVTech.

AES Corporation has signed a Recycling Services Agreement with US solar recycling company Solarcycle, which will see modules from AES’ projects sent to Solarcycle’s Texas facility to be recycled and repurposed.

The companies first worked together in April when decommissioned panels from an AES plant in Arizona were taken to Solarcycle’s Odessa, Texas location and recycled. The agreement establishes a formalised, non-exclusive framework for future collaboration.

Simultaneously, AES announced a pilot programme to assess end-of-life and construction breakage waste across its solar PV portfolio.

Global warming to bring record hot year by 2028 – probably our first above 1.5°C limit

Person holding up a sign drawn on a piece of cardboard that says "It's getting HOT in here" written in black marker. There are flames drawn in marker beneath the words.
Photo credit: Markus Spiske temporausch via Canva

by Andrew King, The University of Melbourne

One year in the next five will almost certainly be the hottest on record and there’s a two-in-three chance a single year will cross the crucial 1.5℃ global warming threshold, an alarming new report by the World Meteorological Organization predicts.

The report, known as the Global Annual to Decadal Climate Update, warns if humanity fails to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero, increasingly worse heat records will tumble beyond this decade.

So what is driving the bleak outlook for the next five years? An expected El Niño, on top of the overall global warming trend, will likely push the global temperature to record levels.

Has the Paris Agreement already failed if the global average temperature exceeds the 1.5℃ threshold in one of the next five years? No, but it will be a stark warning of what’s in store if we don’t quickly reduce emissions to net zero.

boy plays in fountain during heatwave
One year in the next five will almost certainly be the hottest on record, bringing more heatwaves like this boy experienced in Britain around the time the last record was set. Andy Rain/EPA

Warming makes record heat inevitable

The World Meteorological Organization update says there is a 98% chance at least one of the next five years will be the hottest on record. And there’s a 66% chance of at least one year over the 1.5℃ threshold.

There’s also a 32% chance the average temperature over the next five years will exceed the 1.5℃ threshold. The chance of temporarily exceeding 1.5℃ has risen steadily since 2015, when it was close to zero. For the years between 2017 and 2021, it was a 10% chance.

Human-caused greenhouse gas emissions have already driven up global average temperatures by more than 1℃ since the late 19th century. The update notes the 2022 average global temperature was about 1.15℃ above the 1850-1900 average, despite the cooling influence of La Niña conditions. Temperatures are now rising by about 0.2℃ per decade.

Global average surface temperatures relative to 1850-1900 from major datasets. The temperature is increasing by about 0.2°C per decade. UK Met Office

We now have more than a century of global mean temperature data. That means it should be getting harder, not easier, to achieve new records. If there was no trend, we would expect to see fewer records as time passes and the data we’ve collected better captures the full range of natural climate variability.

Instead, because we are warming the world so quickly, more heat records are being set globally and at the local level. The human influence on the climate is pushing temperatures to unprecedented highs with alarming frequency.

Add El Niño, then extreme highs are likely

The current record global average temperature dates back to 2016. A major El Niño event early that year pushed up the global average temperature.

El Niño events are associated with warmer-than-normal seas over much of the central and eastern Pacific. This helps warm the lower atmosphere and raise global temperatures by about 0.1℃. This might not sound like much, but with rapid background warming it’s often enough to break the previous record.

In the seven years since the current global temperature record, humanity has continued to intensify the greenhouse effect. This is making a new record ever more likely.

El Niño conditions are starting to form in the Pacific and are looking increasingly likely to take hold in June and July. This could be the first significant El Niño since 2016. An El Niño would greatly increase the chance of breaking that year’s record high global average temperature, particularly in 2024.

Does this mean the Paris Agreement has already failed?

Almost all nations around the world have signed the Paris Agreement. The aim is to limit global warming to well below 2℃ and preferably below 1.5℃ above pre-industrial levels.

The prediction that an individual year above 1.5℃ global warming is more likely than not is alarming. But it doesn’t mean we have failed to achieve the Paris Agreement’s goals. The agreement aims to limit long-term global warming to a level that avoids major climate impacts, including ecosystem loss. One or two years that pop over the 1.5℃ level don’t constitute failure.

However, the world is getting closer to the 1.5℃ global warming level due to our continuing high greenhouse gas emissions. The forecast of a probable year that exceeds that level should serve as a warning.

Yet another sign of humanity’s damage to the climate

Past inaction on reducing emissions and tackling climate change means we have already warmed the world by more than 1.2℃. Global emissions remain at near-record high levels, so we are continuing to intensify the greenhouse effect and warm the planet.

If we are to limit global warming to well below 2℃, then we must act so future generations don’t suffer a much less hospitable planet.

We have understood the solution for decades. We must reduce emissions to net zero to stop warming Earth. Countries such as Australia, with high historical emissions, have a leading role to play by decarbonising electricity supply and ramping down coal, oil and gas production in line with goals laid out by the United Nations.

Failure to act should not be considered an option. Otherwise we are locking in more record hot years and much worse climate change impacts for decades and centuries to come.

Andrew King, Senior Lecturer in Climate Science, The University of Melbourne

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

U.S. power plants may start to cap emissions. Here’s why (and how)

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently released a new proposal to cut emissions from existing power plants, aptly titled the Greenhouse Gas Standards and Guidelines for Fossil Fuel-Fired Power Plants. The EPA’s third attempt to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from power plants will affect a select set of new and existing fossil fuel-fired turbines, including natural gas-powered plants, with its new standards and emissions guidelines. To successfully fall within these new parameters, the proposal recommends the use of “proven, cost-effective control technologies” to utilities, such as carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology.  

In its current state, the proposal marks the most aggressive carbon standards suggested by the EPA for the power sector. 

Researchers who agree to manipulate citations are more likely to get their papers published

Read the full story in Nature.

Researchers who are coerced by editors into adding superfluous citations in their manuscripts are more likely to succeed in publishing papers than are those who resist, finds a study published in Research Policy.

Resale’s big secret? It may need stores

Read the full story at Retail Dive.

To join the secondhand market boom, many apparel retailers and brands have turned to third-party platforms that struggle to sustain a profit.

Additive renders plastic packaging biodegradable

Read the full story at Plastics Today.

UK-based Symphony Environmental Technologies launched an additive that plastics manufacturers can use to make packaging biodegrade harmlessly in natural land and marine environments, the company says.

Symphony’s d2w additive uses biodegradable plastic technology to enable conventional plastic to break down sufficiently for bacteria and fungi to bio-assimilate it.

The additive is compatible with polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP), including linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE), low-density polyethylene (LDPE), high-density polyethylene (HDPE), and biaxially oriented polypropylene (BOPP).

Colgate-Palmolive, Keurig Dr Pepper enhancing reuse efforts

Read the full story at Packaging Dive.

Keurig Dr Pepper and Colgate-Palmolive are each pursuing further reusable packaging pilots and enhancing reporting, according to ESG investing firm Green Century Funds, which recently resolved shareholder resolutions with the companies calling for them to reduce their plastic packaging use.

Keurig Dr Pepper will publish an annual reuse/refill baseline assessment in its June corporate social responsibility report. By 2024, the company plans to launch certain new reuse and refill pilots, according to a Green Century press release Monday. Keurig Dr Pepper had such efforts in the works prior to the engagement with Green Century, according to the company.

Colgate-Palmolive will more thoroughly disclose reuse pilots it has launched or planned, Green Century said in a March 31 press release. It will also publish a reuse/refill baseline assessment in its upcoming 2023 sustainability report and look at accelerating the creation of 2030 plastic reduction targets, the company confirmed.

An unglamorous solution to fashion’s sustainability problem: make less stuff

Read the full story at Fashion Dive.

Overproduction, greenwashing and unchecked growth have created a huge problem. Experts say strict regulations may be the only solution, but it won’t be easy or fast.