By Helena Wright, Research Postgraduate, Centre for Environmental Policy
Earlier this month Carbon Tracker came to Imperial College London to discuss their report on ‘Unburnable Carbon’. The report outlines research which shows between 60-80% of coal, oil and gas reserves of publicly listed companies are ‘unburnable’ if the world is to have a chance of keeping global warming below the globally-agreed limit of 2°C. The event was followed by a lively debate.
The research, led by the Grantham Research Institute at LSE and the Carbon Tracker Initiative, outlines the thesis that a ‘carbon bubble’ exists in the stock market, as companies with largely ‘unburnable’ fossil fuel reserves are being overvalued.
By Dr Niall Mac Dowell, Centre for Environmental Policy
For centuries, all of the world’s economies have been underpinned by fossil fuels. Historically, this has primarily been oil and coal, but since the mid-1980s natural gas has become increasingly important. Over the course of the last decades, there has been an increasing focus on electricity generation from renewable sources, and since about 1990 carbon capture and storage (CCS) has become an important part of the conversation around the mitigation of our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
The role of CCS in addressing our GHG mitigation targets is clear and unambiguous – see for example the IEA CCS technology roadmaps which show that by 2050, almost 8 GtCO2/yr needs to be sequestered via CCS; a cumulative of 120 GtCO2 in the period from 2015 to 2050.
By Torben Struve, Research Postgraduate, Department of Earth Science & Engineering and Grantham Institute for Climate Change
How to start a retrospective on two amazing months at sea? Probably at the beginning! In the beginning there was…an idea! The idea was to reconstruct abrupt changes in chemistry and ocean circulation in the Equatorial Atlantic Ocean to learn about global climate and deep-water habitats. The plan was to do so by collecting sediments, seawater and deep sea corals and analysing all of these for their geochemical composition.
Developing this idea into our actual scientific cruise, JC094, took several years of planning and preparation, led by principal investigator and chief scientist Dr.
By Ajay Gambhir
A fortnight ago a journalist at New Scientist asked me if I’d seen the latest report by the Netherlands Environment Assessment Agency (PBL) and Joint Research Centre (JRC) on last year’s global CO2 emissions figures. He wanted some quick reactions on analysis that showed China’s emissions per unit of economic output (its “emissions intensity”) had declined by over 4% in 2012, compared to 2011 levels. The following analysis is based on my response.
In absolute terms, China’s emissions actually increased by about 3% in 2012, according to the PBL/JRC analysis. But its GDP increased by almost 8% over the course of 2012, so a 3% increase in emissions means between a 4 and 5% decrease in CO2 emissions intensity.