Archive for the ‘Emissions’ Category


The war on the harmless trace gas carbon dioxide is in full swing at the EU. The diesel scandal, which was about nitrogen oxides, seems strangely to have been used as an excuse to press for a more punishing policy towards CO2. But they appear to ignore the fact that even if electric car sales go up, this mainly transfers the supposed problem to fuel-burning power stations.

The European Parliament wants to cut CO2 emissions from new cars and vans by 40 percent by 2030 and will try to convince the European Union’s 28 nations to back the idea despite objections from the powerful car industry, reports Phys.org.

The proposed cut agreed on by the legislators Wednesday was a compromise between environmentalists who wanted tougher commitments and those who wanted to avoid too much damage to the auto industry.

The EU nations will discuss the measures further this month. Car producers in the EU are warning that tough cuts would cost manufacturing jobs.

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Another case of ‘do as we say, not as we do’ as UN globe-trotting by fuel-powered machines takes precedence over its claims that there’s a serious problem with man-made carbon dioxide emissions. Not so serious that they can’t ignore it whenever it suits them to do so, which seems to be most of the time judging by this report.

The head of the UN body that leads on sustainability and green issues has been criticised for extensive and expensive air travel, reports BBC News.

A draft internal audit, obtained by the Guardian and seen by the BBC, says that Erik Solheim’s actions risked the reputation of UN Environment.

The report says he incurred costs of $488,518 (£373,557) while travelling for 529 out of 668 days.

There was “no oversight or accountability” to monitor this travel.

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German car giants face EU emissions probe

Posted: September 18, 2018 by oldbrew in Emissions, Legal, News, Travel
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Note this is not about the original issue of diesel ‘defeat’ devices. Another report at AFP says ‘Daimler and VW are widely reported to be putting themselves forward as whistle-blowers in the case, in order to win leniency with the EU authorities.’ Sounds like a guilty plea.

German carmakers BMW, Daimler and Volkswagen are to face an EU inquiry for allegedly conspiring to restrict diesel emissions treatment systems, BBC News reports.

The European Commission said it was investigating whether they agreed to limit the development of systems to reduce harmful emissions. It said that if proven, this could mean that consumers had been denied the chance to buy less polluting cars.

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Whether wood is truly renewable or not is a matter of opinion. Trees can be burnt in minutes but regrowth obviously takes many years. Theory has it that new trees can over time recover the carbon dioxide from tree burning but how realistic is that? Not very much, according to experts. The same politicians who attend climate conferences proclaiming ’emissions’ are a terrible problem now actively support making them worse. You couldn’t make it up.

Europe’s decision to promote the use of wood as a “renewable fuel” will likely greatly increase Europe’s greenhouse gas emissions and cause severe harm to the world’s forests, according to a new paper published in Nature Communications.

European officials on final language for a renewable energy directive earlier this summer that will almost double Europe’s use of renewable energy by 2030.

Against the advice of 800 scientists, the directive now treats wood as a low-carbon fuel, reports Phys.org, meaning that whole trees or large portions of trees can be cut down deliberately to burn.

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Old town, Frankfurt


Not just older diesels are implicated, but some petrol cars too. The ban would apply to certain areas within the city only, at the initial stage. Tougher rules would come in later.

First Hamburg and Stuttgart, now the diesel ban has come for Germany’s financial capital. A new ban could affect a quarter of vehicles in Frankfurt, as well as countless commuters, says DW.com.

The western German city of Frankfurt must introduce a ban on diesel vehicles, a court ruled on Wednesday.

Environmental activists had sued the state of Hesse for allowing Germany’s financial capital to exceed maximum safe levels of nitrogen oxide.

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Lots of coal in Australia


Disastrous virtue signalling is out and reliable affordable energy generation is in, according to this GWPF report.

Energy Minister Angus Taylor has unveiled a new energy policy focused exclusively on reducing electricity prices, in a strong signal the Morrison government will abandon all efforts to lower carbon emissions.

The move comes a week after the issue of climate change precipitated the ousting of former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull. “My No.1 priority is very, very simple,” Mr Taylor said in a speech on Thursday. “It is to reduce power prices, and to do this while we keep the lights on.”

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Ex-PM Malcolm Turnbull [image credit: BBC]


Same for every other government. Unless they can change the orbit of the Earth or control the Sun, they are likely to be out of luck.

Turnbull replaced by treasurer who brought lump of coal to parliament, says Climate Home News.

Australia’s governing party cannot agree a climate policy because of anti-science forces within, the outgoing prime minister said just moments after being deposed in a party room coup on Friday.

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Where does this leave people who were encouraged to buy wood burning stoves?

The UK government is consulting on proposals to ban wood and coal burning in households, reports Energy Live News.

The sale of the most-polluting fuels used in UK households are to get the chop as part of government plans to reduce emissions.

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Credit: greencarcongress.com


That’s the claim, but hydrogen still needs an energy source for its manufacture, so any sustainability depends on what that source is. And looking a bit closer, the report says: “If the extracted hydrogen gas is ultimately used as fuel, for example in a fuel cell of a car, the hydrogen reacts back to water with oxygen gas from the atmosphere.” So what happens when a hydrogen powered fuel cell vehicle trails water from its ‘exhaust’ on to a road in sub-zero temperatures? An icy, or more icy, surface seems likely to be the undesirable result.

The research group led by Leiden chemist Marc Koper has discovered a catalyst that minimizes the production of chlorine gas during salt water electrolysis, reports Phys.org.

The invention can enable the direct production of hydrogen from seawater.

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With electric vehicles mostly failing to impress buyers, and diesel sales taking a nosedive, European car makers are running short of options to get anywhere near the arbitrary emissions targets imposed on them. Battering a successful industry that so many people depend on for transport and employment seems a strange, not to say crazy, policy in a competitive world.

New analysis by IHS Markit suggests that automakers failing to meet 2021 fleet CO2 emissions compliance for passenger vehicles sold in the European Union (EU) could be fined more than €14 billion (US$16 billion) in 2021, reports Green Car Congress.

Legislators in the European Union (EU) are imposing a new passenger car fleet CO2 emissions target of 95 g/km, to be phased in during 2020, with 100% application in 2021 on Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP).

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This appears to be based around the same technology as used in car insurance tracking devices. In effect every road would potentially be a toll road, with variable charges according to whatever factors are applied.

In the current issue of Nature, economists Peter Cramton, Axel Ockenfels (both University of Cologne) and R. Richard Geddes (Cornell University) propose having drivers pay a dynamic fee for the use of roads, reports Green Car Congress.

This would contribute to avoiding traffic jams and protecting the environment, the researchers argue.

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Nairobi traffic


It’s debatable whether air quality was top class in many African cities before the arrival of these old diesels, but they aren’t doing much to improve it.

As emission regulations become stronger for new vehicles in industrialized countries, cars as old as 25 years no longer able to meet emission standards are being exported to Africa.

Air quality is suffering as a result, reports DW.com.

Any child playing at the Uhuru garden — a recreation park in the middle of the Kenyan capital Nairobi — is oblivious to the health dangers in the air around him or her. But that air is laden with toxic pollutants, which have become a leading cause of respiratory disease in Kenyan cities.

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The following calculations and graphics are based on information on worldwide CO2 emission levels published by BP in June 2018 for the period from 1965 up until the end of 2017.

https://www.bp.com/en/global/corporate/energy-economics/statistical-review-of-world-energy.html

The data can be summarised as follows:

Screen Shot 2018-06-22 at 12.16.18.png

Some initial points arising from the BP data:

  • Having been relatively stable for the last 7 years global CO2 emissions grew by ~1.3% in 2017.  This growth was in spite of all the international “commitments” arising from the Paris Climate Agreement.
  • The contrast between the developed and developing worlds remains stark:
    • developing world emissions overtook Developed world CO2 emissions in 2005 and they have been escalating since.
    • in terms of their history and the likely prognosis of their CO2 emissions.
  • Since 1990 CO2 emissions from the developed world have decreased, whereas the developing world has shown a fourfold increase since 1980.  CO2 emissions in the developing world are accelerating as the quality of the lives for people in the underdeveloped and developing world improves.  At least 1.12 billion people in the developing world still have no access to reliable mains electricity.
  • As a result CO2 emissions / head for India and the rest of the world’s Underdeveloped nations (~53% of the world population) remains very low at ~1.7 tonnes / head, (~40% of the Global average) meaning that the state of serious human deprivation and underdevelopment is continuing.
  • By 2017 CO2 emissions from the developing world were some 65% of the global emissions.
  • India and the underdeveloped world will certainly be continuing to promote their own development to attain comparable development levels to their other peer group developing nations.
  • India’s growth in CO2 emissions 2016 – 2017 was by a further 4.1%
  • China, (considered here as a “Developing Nation”),  showed CO2 emission growth of 1.4% in 2017.
  • China’s CO2 emissions / head for its population of some 1.4 billion has now approached the average emissions / head in Europe.
  • China’s CO2 emissions / head was already higher than most of the EU Nations other than Germany.

Even as long ago as October 2010 Professor Richard Muller made the dilemma for all those who hope to control global warming by reducing CO2 emissions, particularly by means of CO2 reductions from Western Nations, clear:  in essence he said:

“the Developing World is not joining-in with CO2 emission reductions nor does it have any intention of doing so.  The failure of worldwide action negates the unilateral action of any individual Western Nation”.

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eu democracy

Talkshop readers may remember a damning report by UBS about the billions of public money lost in the ETS carbon trading system. It calculated that if the money had been invested in modernising the European power generation fleet, CO2 could have been cut by 40% (and generate a huge number of high quality jobs). EU emissions rose 1.8% last year.

Despite all the recent turmoil over the UK steel industry and meetings in Brussels today, the reality is that the European Union has actually been subsidising the Chinese steel industry for years, in payments hidden amongst its efforts to combat Climate Change.

Using complex methods of carbon credits and carbon offsets, the EU devised rules on climate change ended up paying Chinese steel manufacturers billions to upgrade their steel mills and other energy intensive industry.

According to the analysis company, European Insights, almost €1.5 billion was paid to over 90 steel plants in China with the purpose of modernising them to consume less energy, and making the plants more efficient. Taken with the downturn in Chinese trade and the need for them to reduce world market prices to sell their product, the output of these mills has flooded onto the European market making steel products artificially cheap and endangering thousands of jobs in the UK. One plant alone, Anshan Iron and Steel, received a payment of €150 million to help pay for the installation of up to date equipment and replace the old inefficient Communist era machinery.

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Thumbs down for Paris e_car scheme [image credit: businessinsider.com]


Another ‘green’ fantasy bites the dust in the face of old-fashioned economic realities. Once again, without massive subsidies of public money the numbers just didn’t add up. Calling a taxi seems to have won the day. Now it’s see-you-in-court time as recriminations kick off.

The city of Paris is pulling the plug on an electric car-sharing system once hailed as the future of urban transport, with officials voting to cancel the contract in the face of mounting losses, as Phys.org reports.

The more than 4,000 silver Autolib hatchbacks had become a fixture on the streets of the French capital, with docking stations for the electric vehicles found every few blocks.

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Proposed new nuclear plant, Anglesey [image credit: walesonline]


They jokingly claim this will help to ‘supplement’ renewables which sometimes provide close to zero input to the electricity grid system. The reverse is much closer to the truth – renewables supplementing nearly everything else, but only when the weather and/or time of day allow it.
H/T AC Osborn

Ministers will this week reverse decades of opposition to investing taxpayer money in nuclear energy by agreeing to bankroll a £15bn-plus power station in Wales, says The Times @ the GWPF.

The government will commit to taking a direct stake in the Wylfa plant on Anglesey, planned by the Japanese industrial giant Hitachi, after more than two years of negotiations.

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Crazy world of climate finance [image credit: renewableenergyfocus.com]


They can tinker at the margins with energy policy, but giving up fuel burning altogether is not a serious option given current dependency on it as a power source. The obvious problem being that the preferred ‘renewable’ replacements are too ineffective and unreliable to deliver power on the scale needed. Wasting money on such futile policies must detract from other projects too.

When President Donald Trump announced the US exit from the Paris climate deal one year ago, the mayor of Philadelphia was among those who vowed to keep carrying the torch, says Phys.org.

“Philly is committed to upholding at (the) local level the same commitment made by the US in the Paris climate agreement,” tweeted the sixth largest US city’s mayor, Jim Kenney, a Democrat.

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Dutch Parliament buildings [credit: Wikipedia]


To what extent can courts tell governments what so-called ‘climate policies’ they should be adopting? Isn’t there a burden of proof in such cases? Appeal verdict awaited – eventually.

The Dutch government on Monday appealed against a landmark 2015 court ruling which ordered it to slash greenhouse gases by a quarter by 2020, reports Phys.org.

“The current government is already extraordinarily active in terms of climate,” lawyer Bert-Jan Houtzagers told the Hague Appeals Court.

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Wood burner [image credit: BBC]


That point was probably reached ten years ago when the UK’s notorious Climate Change Act was passed. Now we have things like this “Scandal of ‘killer’ wood burning stoves”.

The bitter truth is that these fiascos caused by our obsession with wood-burning are just a part of a larger disaster that taints almost every green scheme governments have foisted on Britain, writes Christopher Booker in the Daily Mail.

The Government earned plaudits from the green lobby yesterday for its new plan to crack down on the craze for wood-burning stoves.

As the Mail reported on its front page, the stoves chuck out lethal pollution, particularly from wet wood, and contribute to thousands of early deaths from lung and heart disease.

But hang on!

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Credit: carsdirect.com


One of the sub-headings to this BBC News story is ‘Push and go faster’. That really would be a fuel saver if it worked 😉

The government’s ambition to clean up motor vehicles by 2040 is not ambitious enough, a leading energy expert says.

Professor Jim Watson, head of the prestigious UK Energy Research Centre, said the target should be at least five years earlier, as in Scotland.

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