threegenerationsleft

human activity and the destruction of the planet


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Climate economics need updating

Bob Ward, Policy and Communications Director at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment (LSE), has written a letter to the Financial Times on 28th December 2018.  It is copied in its entirety below:

“Your excellent editorial “ How to rescue the global climate change agenda” (December 27) is right to call for a transformation of the policy discussion on climate change in order to accelerate the transition to a zero-carbon economy. However, you neglected to highlight a key solution: economists and finance ministries must stop relying on models that are simply not fit for purpose when making investment decisions.

The potential impacts of climate change caused by fossil fuel use are grossly underestimated by the current generation of economic models, which cannot quantify the cost of, and therefore omit, tipping points in the climate system, such as the destabilisation of the land-based ice sheets in Greenland and West Antarctica, and apply inappropriate discounting such that huge damages to future generations are trivialised.

Similarly, economic models overestimate the costs of new zero-carbon technologies because they do not take adequate account of co-benefits, such as reductions in local air pollution, and of processes such as learning by doing. These models have failed to forecast how quickly the production and development costs of renewable energy technologies, such as wind and solar, have fallen over the past few decades and years.

The consequence of these shortcomings was starkly illustrated earlier this month during the Nobel Prize lecture by William Nordhaus, the great pioneer of climate economics. He told the audience in Stockholm that his widely used model indicates “optimal climate policy” would result in global warming of 3C by the end of this century and 4C by 2150. Such a result is simply not credible when compared with the scientific evidence collated by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change earlier this year, showing how devastating a global temperature rise of more than 1.5C would be.” 

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Norway aims for its fjords to become zero emission zones

This story has been taken from another wordpress website, with acknowledgements:

https://addressingthetenpercent.wordpress.com/reducing-emissions-from-waterway-transport/9-legislation-norwegian-fjords-to-become-a-zero-emission-zone-4-5-18/

FRED LAMBERT WRITES FOR ELEKTREK CO – A GREEN ENERGY BRIEFING.  POINTS MADE:

Norway, a well-known leader in electric car adoption, is now leading the charge when it comes to electric ferries. Its fjords have become popular tourist attractions over the years.

More than 300.000 cruise passenger visited Geiranger last year and as a result, local air pollution has become a periodical health hazard.

The Norwegian Parliament has acted to halt emissions from cruise ships and ferries in the Norwegian world heritage fjords – making them zero-emission zones by 2026.

Norway’s world heritage fjords, like the Nærøyfjord and Geirangerfjord, are fjords that UNESCO has included on its World Heritage List and in an effort to protect them, environmental organizations campaigned for the resolution adopted by the Norwegian Parliament.

Marius Holm, head of the environmental foundation ZERO says: “For the first time in the world there is a requirement for emission-free sailing in the fjords and their harbours. Norway has long been a world leader in emission-free ferries based on sound political decisions on zero-emission requirements. Now the country is taking a step further in the maritime green shift, that has global repercussions.  At the national level, this will mean a welcome development towards emission-free solutions on many tourist ships, a significant decrease in greenhouse gas emissions and a halt to harmful local air pollution.”

The operators of the first all-electric ferry in Norway, the ‘Ampere’, reported some impressive statistics after operating the ship for over 2 years. They claim that the all-electric ferry cuts emissions by 95% and costs by 80%.Unsurprisingly, the potential cost savings are attracting a lot of orders for new electric ferries and for the conversion of existing diesel-powered ferries.

Fjord1, a major Norwegian transport conglomerate which operates 75 ships, placed an important order with the Havyard Group to build a fleet of battery-electric ferries shortly after. Havila Holding AS, which operates some of the routes in the fjords, welcomed the decision. Per Sævik, CEO of Havila, commented: “Havila welcomes this decision, and not a moment too soon. We’ll be ready to sail emissions-free with our cruise ships in the fjords as early as 2021.”

The Norwegian authorities have also recently demanded zero-emission technology solutions as part of the effort to reduce emissions from the country’s ferry fleet outside the fjords, which is one of the most important in the world.


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Oxford is set to become the world’s first zero emissions zone

Plans set out by Oxford city council and Oxfordshire county council show it will phase out petrol and diesel cars in six streets in the city centre from 2020.

The zero-emissions zone will cover all non-electric vehicles across the entire city centre by 2035, cutting harmful levels of the pollutant nitrogen dioxide by up to 75%.

The scheme to replace the city’s fossil fuel powered cars will cost £7 million, with an additional £7 million for administration costs and CCTV cameras to enforce the ban. Those who break the rules will likely receive a fine, according to the Independent.

“Toxic and illegal air pollution in the city centre is damaging the health of Oxford’s residents,” said John Tanner, a councillor from Oxford city council. “A step change is urgently needed; the zero emissions zone is that step change.”

“All of us who drive or use petrol or diesel vehicles through Oxford are contributing to the city’s toxic air,” he added. “Everyone needs to do their bit, from national government and local authorities, to businesses and residents, to end this public health emergency.”

Oxford has already been awarded two grants of £500,000 and £800,000 to install charging points for electric taxis and residents’ electric cars respectively, according to the Guardian. Other schemes up for consideration include reduced parking fees for electric vehicles, electric taxi-only ranks, and electric delivery vehicle-only loading areas.

With acknowledgements to Global Citizen.