Backlash to Indigenous communities and environmentalists opposing oil and gas projects have lead to a load of anti-protest fossil fuel bills in the USA

Anti-protest bills are obvious anti-democratic. Yet Republican run states have past bills prohibiting protest in 1 in 3 USA states in the last 4 years. The American Legislative Exchange Council helped write laws criminalizing protest against pipelines, gas terminals and other projects in 24 states in the USA. This is theoretically to protect critical infrastructure.

This is in response to successes in creating laws to keep fossil fuel companies accountable for the damage they do.

For the time being, laws in the USA have swung away from climate protection. We need the US central government to take up this cause, and reverse this issue.

Leading fracking company taken over by green energy group

Fracking is a problem. In many parts of the world (including in the UK) it only emerged as a means of getting oil out of the ground, after we should have stopped doing this.

It is known that most of the known reserves of oil and gas must be left in the ground. it is therefore insane to start a whole new industry extracting oil and gas in new ways.

There was a lot of people saying that if we need oil and gas, why not find it under Britain, but this fails to recognize that oil and gas use is falling fast and needs to fall faster.

If you look at graphs of petrol and diesel over the last few decades, the combination has remained pretty steady. Let demand is expected to fall off a cliff over the next decade.

This is as a result of dual threats, which could undermine most of the market for these damaging fossil fuels.

Firstly, each petrol or diesel car consumes on average about 2.3 tonnes of fuel. This means that each electric car sold reduces demand by 2.3 tonnes per year. Currently only 11% of cars in the UK are electric, but as the government has stated that new fossil fuel car sales will be banned in 2030, this should rise quickly. When surveyed, most drivers say they hope their next car will be electric. If new car sales are banned at this point, it will take a while for all fossil fuel cars to disappear from the roads.

However, there is likely to be an unpleasant feedback loop, where the more electric cars there are on the road, the fewer people want to buy.

In a similar way, fossil fuel free heating methods will replace gas boilers

As the number of consumers of a product reduces the savings from working in large quantities will be lost. This will push up prices for the remaining holdouts -which in turn will push more people to adopt electric alternatives.

By having a green energy company take over a fracking company, these changes are likely to happen as fast as possible. The new owners are not interested in holding on to fracking as long as possible – to the contrary, they will end its use as soon as possible.

This can only be good news in the world

DHL has ordered 12 all electric Alice cargo planes

While there is not yet a battery that can power a passenger jumbo jet, aviation is looking more and more likely to go electric at some point.

The Alice plane is a plane that when carrying passengers can sit around 20. In cargo mode it can fly around 500 miles. It can be flown by a single pilot, and can fly about 1200kg. Travelling at just short of 300 miles per hour, and taking roughly 30 minutes of charging for every hour in the air (it can only stay up for about 100 minutes) it is thought that using these planes will save about 70% of the cost.

DHL electric cargo plane

Also, being simpler engines with far fewer moving parts, the planes are expected to have higher reliability and lower costs for maintenance.

Even more exciting, these ranges are doable on current batteries. As there is huge amounts of money going into battery research it is highly likely that in the future, the range of these planes will be able to be increased.

Was Bulb as clean as it claimed? how can we tell?

In the UK (and I am sure in plenty of other countries) as the grid has cleaned, there have been a whole host of firms that have sprung up as a middleman – buying green electricity and providing it to their customers. There is nothing particularly unusual about this – we get our electricity from Octopus on a similar scheme. With many of these firms, they supply the electricity and gas, but often have few holdings themselves.

Octopus is busily investing in all sorts of green electricity generators, but the problem exists that if you do not own any of the electricity generation, then in tough times this can be your undoing.

Now, many of these claim to be fully green, but are not necessarily. The reputable ones match each unit used to a unit of renewable generation that went into the grid (Ofgems renewable energy guarantee of origin REGO). Alongside this, the reputable ones also invest in renewable generation.

So was Bulb as green as it suggested? Well the complaint came from the fact that only 5% of its power came directly from renewable energy projects, the rest was bought on the open markets through the aforementioned REGO. The point is, the electricity grid does not consist of electricity traveling like emails to specific places – it is supplied everywhere jointly by all the producers. This means that provided a supplier is paying for enough green electricity to cover all its customers uses (and has the REGO certificates to prove it) by definition, it is fully green.

Would it be better if the company had some green generation of its own? probably, but provided the scheme works it does not have to. It allows green electrical generation to be used as it is created – by who ever needs it, exactly as our grid is designed.

This problem has arisen because the government allows green electricity and the certificate of it being green to separate people. However, provided the certificates only cover the amount of green electricity that is being created, it is not counted twice it is merely worth more to the creator.

What is wrong with this? If creators of green energy are aware that they can make more money than those burning gas, many will switch. This still does what is needed, and provided green electricity certification is accurate it wont be double counted.

Possibly, the last nail bulbs coffin, was caused by the government setting out plans to make this loophole smaller. These so called pale green energy tariffs – where green energy was not bought directly from a renewable energy project are supposed to be eliminated.

I think the British government needs to be careful here. It is quite possible that in the near future, these providers will not be necessary as all the electricity in the grid will be green. However, for the time being it is worth continuing to offer this premium to green electricity creators and the ability for suppliers to make sure they have covered their promises.

Now in the case of Octopus they are also replanting and rejuvenating a section of the Amazon rainforest to offset any gas emissions. It is currently unfortunately true that it is far cheaper to heat using gas – heat pumps are likely to greatly change this, as they are 300% or greater efficient (in terms of electricity in, and heat out) however for now gas is used. A reforestation scheme can be guaranteed to suck up the carbon it is promised to capture.

Our guaranteed green electricity and offset gas monthly cost is roughly £5 more than the best price on the market, and for us £60 a year to know that our electricity and gas use is not increasing the problems of global warming. Having said that, we are still trying to reduce our use through: Smart devices, added insulation and when we get them installed – solar panels and thermal solar panels. The other advantage with a scheme like this, is it guarantees you a price for you exported electricity – so if you have solar, and are currently not being paid for anything that you export perhaps now is the time to switch. This essentially means that you can use Octopus as a battery.

If you are interested in transferring to this or another Octopus scheme please click on the link. This will give you a £50 credit on your account, as well as on ours – thereby supporting the site, without costing you a penny

Half of the world’s fossil fuel resources will be worthless by 2036

It is thought there are roughly £20 trillion fossil fuel resources left in the ground. Yet it is also recognised that in order to meet the temperature increase targets of 1.5 to 2 degrees c half of it needs to be left in the ground.

That means that £10 trillion of assets and resources owned by some of the most wealthy companies in the world cannot be extracted. Looking at it differently, worldwide companies will be desperately trying to sell 10 trillion pounds worth of useless products to get them off their books.

When you cut the bottom out of a market like that it can have devastating impacts. It is thought that the crash that this would cause would be bigger than that felt back in 2008.

Despite knowing that fossil fuel extraction is going to have to end soon, views on the safety of fossil-fuel Investments have not changed. Indeed, the UK, most local councils currently own fossil-fuel investments. 

Fossil-fuel Investments have been quite popular since they arrived. So long as the estimate of the amount of fossil fuels available is accurate, you will get your money back plus more – however if the fossil fuels you have invested in I left in the ground you are likely to lose almost all of your money.

The crash in oil prices during the epidemic is a very bold sign telling us what is going to happen. The big concern for oil companies is clear to see coming down the road. Oil demand did not disappear, it merely reduced as a few people were driving. Yet over the next 20 to 30 years, it is likely that virtually all of the world stock of fossil fuel cars will need to be replaced by electric ones. This will reduce fossil fuel demand by roughly 26%. This increases to 45% when you include air travel – and while currently we do not know how to replace all planes, the current crop of electric vehicles in the pipeline (particularly aircraft such as EasyJet single aisle 180 person plane run on batteries) are likely to reduce aviation fuel requirements by 50% or more. That increases the reduction in fossil fuel requirements to 35% at a minimum – this will occur in the next couple of decades.

Partnering this with a dramatically reducing use of fossil fuels to heat homes, we could easily see oil demand falling by more than half.

This will depress the price by so much that many different untapped resources will no longer be economically viable.

For economists and business analysts as well as those of us who are nearly amateur watches, the next few decades are going to be fascinating, building a market that moves away from a system they have used for hundreds of years is essential and must occur in perhaps as little as a decade.

What will the impact on large oil companies, when it becomes clear that resources that they have paid billions to exploit must be left alone? Will the companies even survive? Shares are likely to take a huge hit, and as each of these companies will see their core business lost, will there be anything to replace the huge profits that they have been used to over the last few hundred years?

Do rich countries need to target aid more carefully?

Air pollution kills more people than Malaria Aids and TB combined, yet it receives just 1% of the aid budget.

Alarmingly, last year, rich countries gave 20% more to fossil fuel projects than to programmes to cut the air pollution they cause. Dirty air, is responsible for roughly 4 million deaths a year.

If comparing the number of years of life lost to each cause of death, HIV receives 34 times as much funding, and. Africa and Latin America have 500,000 deaths a year from air pollution, yet they receive 5% and 10% of the funding respectively.

Now it is true that greening the economies of the world may in the future, eliminate many of these deaths, but we also give more money to fossil fuel projects than we do to green power that might replace it – this is despite the fact that the green project is often cheaper to build and to run and doesnt have the negatives on local people that come with burning things.

JBS a beef giant in Brazil has promised to go deforestation free – in 14 years; response?

Much of the deforestation that is occurring in Brazil is to make more room for cattle grazing. The promise of a beef giant to stop deforesting in 14 years is not worth anything. Apart from anything, it is likely that the have calculated that it will take 14 years to clear the land that they currently have access to.

A promise to reform your bad behaviour in 14 years is worth nothing. Indeed in a new Soy and Cattle deforestation tracker, JBS scored 1 point out of 100. As a point of context, its nearest competitors scored 40 and 46 out of 100.It has congratulated itself as the first company in its industry to make commitments, but no one else is impressed. They have had to many chances, now we must move away from buying their product.

The fact that they felt they needed to make a commitment would suggest that market pressure is working, clearly there has not been enough pressure bought to bare on this group. A boycott would likely be a good move. Morrisons Aldi Sainsbury and Lidl all buy meat from this company. My suggestion is that you buy your meat from companies which actually worry about things like this – If one of these companies are forced to drop this beef supplier, it is likely to force the others to do the same. They managed to get good converge last September, when they remade a commitment that they originally made in 2009 to halt deforestation through its suppliers – the bigger question should have been why havent you lived up to your 2009 pledge. It should be noted, the forests they are clearing are not grown for wood, they are old growth natural woodland, coming with it are the tens of thousands of species that are endangered or eradicated as their forests are lost.

JBS has consistently worked to keep their supply chain as opaque as possible, presumably to avoid being held accountable. They have now had enough time, and so it is time for action. If you shop at any of the food chains above, ask about where the meat comes from, and avoid any beef that does not have its origin clearly labelled.

We may not have rainforests to cut down in the UK, but if you continue to eat JBC meat, you may as well have got out the axe yourself.

25 biggest European banks are failing on their own green pledges

Over the last decade or so, the laws of countries across the developed world have not kept up with changes in our knowledge of threats to the natural world. As a result, promises to not fund projects that destroy ecosystems are what consumers have to go on in choosing which bank to let use your money.

Yet, out of the 25 biggest European banks none are actually living up to their promises. ShareAction, the body which carried out the research, did state that some banks such as NatWest are doing well on net zero targets, and restricting funding for fossil fuel projects.

Continue reading “25 biggest European banks are failing on their own green pledges”

British Banks have funded more than 800 million tonnes of carbon production a year

Alarmingly this quantity is twice the amount that the UK emitted in the same year, indeed British banking would be the 9th highest emitter in the world.

In this day and age it is not good enough to merely be environmentally conscious yourself. Many of these products would not been able to take place without funding from the UK.

These banks must change their policies. For one it is severely damaging the worlds, however even if the banks are not interested in whether they are damaging the world, these Investments are clearly poor, as they will have to stop being used long before they make their money back.

The British public must take action. If banks and companies that are investing in in industries that are emitting large quantities of carbon, they are destroying our future. We must take action by defending them completely so that they either change their behaviour or go out of business.

I encourage you, to look into your banks behaviour, and move your money if they are not acting in the planets best interest – make sure they know why you are moving.

A fine is handed down for another car emission scandal.

Volkswagen had to pay a huge amount of money in the USA for cheating on their car emissions. It would appear that they did not learn their lesson.

A group of car companies including Volkswagen BMW and Daimler have been colluding on emissions tech

The German car companies were fined £750 million for agreeing to not compete on AdBlue tech, which is designed to clean emissions.

Daimler avoided fines as it was the company that admitted to the con.

Rather disgustingly, the companies in question did not agree and are still complaining,

My feeling is that given this is not the first time, the car companies have got away easy, or indeed too easy.

The move to electric cars does seem impossible to stop now, though these and other companies are still trying to slow the move. My thoughts are that fines need to grow over the next decade or less, to the point where if you are caught taking part in a scheme like this it is likely to mean bankruptcy. Shareholders and boards must also make sure that chief executives know that if they set up or partake in a scheme it will hit their money personally even after they have retired.

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