Snippets for 30 July 2020


In this edition of Snippets we kick off with big news from the financial world, with one of the world’s largest banks starting to measure the GHG impacts of loans and investments.


Closer to home, Kiwibank has decided that it will no longer fund or provide services to the fossil fuels industry, and that it will seek out more sustainable activities to back.


We also have articles that discuss how massive GHG reductions can be made through improved air conditioner efficiencies as well as procurement of low carbon goods and services.


We round this edition off with articles that discuss sequestration, storage and use of CO2. Enjoy!



The US bank Morgan Stanley has become the latest financial firm to commit to measuring and disclosing the climate impact of its loans and investments by joining the Global Carbon Accounting Partnership (PFAC), comprising 66 formal members representing more than $5.3 trillion in assets. Launched globally last year, PCAF describes itself as a collaborative effort from financial institutions to develop "a harmonized approach to the assessment and disclosure of greenhouse gas emissions financed by loans and investments". Read more.....





Kiwibank has similarly announced that it is taking an ethical stance on the types of organisations it will do business with. As the Kiwibank CEO, Steve Jurkovich, says "As well as committing to never lend or invest in fossil fuel extraction, we will withhold all banking services (for example, savings and transactional banking) from entities that are directly involved in, or that get the majority of their business revenue from, the production, manufacturing and extraction of fossil fuels". All of which is really about guiding and educating markets. Read more.....







And talking about education, this next article discusses how universities see climate change as being the most important mission of the 21st century. And education comes in a variety of ways, whether it being through social dialogue, course material, promotion of awareness, research and by walking the talk, in having campuses strive to be as sustainable as possible. Networks such as the International Universities Climate Alliance, the Global Alliance of Universities on Climate and Australasian Campuses Towards Sustainability, are pushing for change in and by the sector. Read more.....





A new study has found that up to eight years’ worth of global greenhouse gas emissions (~ 460bn tCO2e) could be prevented over the next four decades by setting tougher standards for air conditioning. This would be enough to avoid up to 0.4C of global warming by the end of the century. Improving air conditioning efficiency would reduce the need for new power plants, cut emissions and save consumers trillions of dollars. Read more.....







Regulation is one way to reduce emissions, another is through the procurement process. Hutt City Council is using their procurement process to select a low emissions waste collection contractor. The council is looking for a contractor that reports their emissions and seeks to reduce them and one tender applicant says that they can provide the service to the council using electric vehicles. They estimate that this would save 82.3 tonnes of CO2e per annum. Read more.....







Any pathway to mitigate climate change requires rapid emissions reductions and negative-emissions technologies to cut atmospheric concentrations. This article is an in depth look at where carbon capture, use, and storage (CCUS) is heading. In the short to medium term, CCUS could continue to struggle unless three important conditions are met: (1) capture costs fall, (2) regulatory frameworks provide incentives to account for CCUS costs, and (3) technology and innovation make CO2 a valuable feedstock for existing or new products. Read more.....




The reduction of CO2 emissions to achieve “net-zero” is the main goal, but using some negative emissions technology can help remove billions of tonnes of CO2 emissions from the air. The chemical weathering reactions that degrade rock particles can lock the greenhouse gas into carbonates within months. Spreading readily available rock dust (from mining operations) on farmland can improve CO2 levels as well as improving the soil quality. Much of the carbonate will eventually wash into the ocean, ending up as limestone on the ocean floor, providing a permanent natural carbon sink. Read more.....




Another option is spreading rock dust on beaches to weather and take up CO2, but we shouldn’t rely on these enhanced weathering technologies to save us – as there is no substitute for reduction in emission levels. The process is expensive – it’s much cheaper to avoid creating emissions by replacing coal with low carbon energy. This weathering processes should really just be used to scrub the last few stubborn tonnes of CO2 from the air that we can’t avoid emitting. Read more.....





Growing trees and plants and locking away carbon in their leaves and wood might be a more effective way of reducing carbon levels, but this takes up vast quantities of land. In India, they plan to cover 235 million acres with trees by 2050 as a way of keeping their rivers clean and reducing emissions levels. In many places this quantity of land would not be available for growing trees. The best result will occur if we minimize emissions and use all possible carbon removal techniques.Read more.....









Hydrogen microgrids - resilliance in the making?

The IEA has projected that 30% of future electrification efforts will be supplied by microgrids. In the last decade, renewable energy sources have been transforming the microgrid landscape, consequently reducing or even eliminating the need for costly fossil fuels. This has been made possible through the use of hydrogen. Read more.....


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