Shell accused of strategy risking catastrophic climate change

Royal Dutch Shell has been accused of pursuing a strategy that would lead to potentially catastrophic climate change after an internal document acknowledged a global temperature rise of 4C, twice the level considered safe for the planet.

ShellA paper used for guiding future business planning at the Anglo-Dutch multinational assumes that carbon dioxide emissions will fail to limit temperature increases to 2C, the internationally agreed threshold to prevent widespread flooding, famine and desertification.

nstead, the New Lens Scenarios document refers to a forecast by the independent International Energy Agency (IEA) that points to a temperature rise of up to 4C in the short term, rising later to 6C.

The revelations come ahead of the annual general meeting of Shell shareholders in the Netherlands on Tuesday, where the group has accepted a shareholder resolution demanding more transparency about the group’s impact on climate change.

Read more here

Are the churches speaking out at all?

“Human-induced climate change is a scientific reality, and its decisive mitigation is a moral and religious imperative for humanity,” says the declaration at the end of the early May Vatican summit, The Moral Dimensions of Climate Change and Sustainable Development, . “In this core moral space, the world’s religions play a very vital role.”

Vatican watchers and climate experts say the meeting shows that Pope Francis is − in marked contrast to his predecessors − keen for the Catholic church to be more involved in the climate change issue, and is also urging other religions to become more actively engaged.

The papal encyclical on the environment is due to be published this summer. It is said to be complete and is in the process of translation. Pope Francis has said over the two years since his election that he believes climate change is caused by human action. So It is expected that the encyclical will call for much stronger environmental protection, including limits on greenhouse gas emissions. A poll carried out on behalf of CAFOD (the official aid agency of the Catholic Church in England/Wales) found that between 72 and 80 percent of Catholics feel that we should care for God’s creation and that we have a moral obligation to protect the world’s poorest people (many of whom are, or will be impacted by climate change). The papal encyclical will be published ahead of the December meeting in Paris of global leaders and hopefully will have an impact on the decisions agreed there.

Christopher Lindley

 

Is there any point? Please add your thoughts below….

This is a personal appeal for your help. We are planning to show a well-made 2014 fifty minute documentary DISRUPTION in June – on Tuesday 23rd at 7.30pm at Marriott’s Warehouse. The Community Cinema Club will advertise it but my experience is that people – especially new people – will only come if they receive personal invitations. I will send out flyers for it in the next couple of weeks. We have an hour’s planning meeting at 8pm this coming Monday (11.05.15) at The Friends Meeting House, Bridge Street and on June 17th there is a parliamentary Lobby and rally in London.

A bye-line of the film isWhen it comes to climate change, why do we do so little when we know so much?’

It’s easy to lose the impetus we had back in January when we showed The Age of Stupid. I meet  a lot of people who have no sense of the urgency of the situation and quite a few people who feel there is no point in trying to do anything.

I find myself having this sort of conversation :

  • Is there any point?

If we care about the world we will leave our children and grandchildren, we must act.

  • But mass action sometimes achieves nothing. What about the anti-Iraq War demo?

True – but there are many examples of effectiveness.

  • Mass movements tend to be simplistic…

True but you have to start somewhere. Time is very short to make a difference, but some real momentum is building through the ‘Keep it in the Ground’ Campaign championed by the Guardian, and at the end of this year there will be a vital meeting in Paris.

Please add your thoughts below!

 

This weekend in Germany plus urgent message to Sweden from 350.org

Wow. This weekend over 6,000 people formed a 7.5km-long human chain against coal extraction in Germany.  The Rhineland lignite open-pit mines are the largest source of CO2 in Europe.

Like you and me, these 6000 people understand that to secure a stable climate and just transition to 100% renewable energy, we have to start keeping fossil fuels in the ground — starting with the dirtiest fuels like lignite coal.

Yet we’ve learnt that Sweden’s national energy company, Vattenfall, plans to sell off its huge German coal operations to the highest bidder over the summer – they contain over a billion tonnes of CO2 that will be burnt if it’s sold.

HELP US STOP THE SALE —   Tell Sweden to lead the way by keeping Vattenfall’s coal reserves in the ground: http://gofossilfree.org/sweden/  

An overwhelming majority of Swedes believe their government should halt the sale and instead set an example for other nations by transitioning Vattenfall into a sustainable, renewable energy company.

The campaigning group 350.org has teamed up with Greenpeace Sweden to help raise voices from all across Europe in opposition to the sale.

Carbon storage hopes rise again

Carbon capture and storage, if it proved possible, would help to make the main greenhouse gas harmless. American scientists say they are making progress.

LONDON, 20th April, 2015 — Two groups of US scientists are exploring new ways of capturing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. One technology mimics the tree by using artificial photosynthesis. The other exploits a membrane that is a thousand times more efficient than any tree.

Although the nations of the world agreed in 2009 to attempt to limit the global warming temperature rise this century to no more than 2°C above pre-industrial levels, colossal quantities of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide are still being emitted into the atmosphere.

So some researchers have been exploring the technology of carbon capture and storage (CCS): ways of trapping CO2 as it leaves the power station chimney or machinery exhaust and storing it for burial or reuse. Others have proposed “artificial trees” that could remove the gas from the atmosphere.

Renewable resources

Nanotechnology — engineering at precisions of a millionth of a millimetre — exploits a “forest” of light-capturing “nanowire arrays” dosed with selected populations of a bacterium called Sporomusa ovala to filter the flue gases for carbon dioxide. This inventive double act of silicon and a carbon-based life form then performs a conjuring trick called photo-electrochemistry: from the captured gas it delivers acetic acid, and it can go on doing so for about 200 hours.

A second bacterium — genetically engineered Escherichia coli — can then get to work on the product and turn it into acetyl co-enzyme A as the starting point for a range of valuable chemical products. These could range from a precursor to the anti-malarial drug artemisinin to the fuel butanol.

Storage problem

Klaus Lackner of Arizona State University’s Centre for Negative Carbon Emissions and colleagues are testing a synthetic membrane that can capture carbon dioxide from the air that passes through it.

The technology is based on a resin that works in dry atmospheres (in humid environments it actually releases the carbon dioxide, so it wouldn’t work everywhere). Prototype collectors trap between 10% and 50% of all the carbon dioxide that blows through the membrane.

“I believe we have reached a point where it is really paramount for substantive public research and development of direct air capture,” he told the American Physical Society meeting in Maryland. “The Centre for Negative Carbon Emissions cannot do it alone.” — Climate News Network

Read the full story at www.climatenewsnetwork.net/carbon-storage-hopes-rise-again/

hello!

Welcome to KLimateBlog.uk!

Hello!  Some of us in King’s Lynn who are very concerned about climate change felt that a blog and website would be a good way of communicating. Hugh has set this up – please use it to share thoughts and information.

A group of twenty people met for the first time in January. We watched the Pete Postlethwaite film, The Age of Stupid. After watching this, we had an even stronger sense that this is a vital time in terms of our response to climate change issues, a short window when we may be able to make a real difference to the future.  Spreading the word seems enormously important.  That film is available to borrow- and lend to others, and we’re aiming to show the 2014 documentary Disruption.