Poland will not be able to meet the EU’s 2050 zero-emissions target without additional funds. In an interview with the Financial Times, the country’s chief energy advisor, Piotr Naimski, argues that the European Union needs to take its particular circumstances into account.
Poland’s extreme reliance on coal makes the goal to reduce net emissions to zero a tall order. Coal generates about 80 percent of Poland’s electricity. It also curbs its reliance on Russian energy, which is of geopolitical significance.
There is a political consideration as well. Mining unions are still strong in Poland. The industry has long provided well-paying jobs with a high degree of stability. Miners enjoy special retirement provisions. This makes them a powerful voting bloc. Read more “Poland Needs EU Support to Meet Climate Goals”
America is out of the environmental protection businesses; so says the haughty God-Emperor Donald Trump, whose word is apparently law.
Too bad even god-emperors cannot change facts. Too bad, especially, for the billions who are almost certain to be disrupted, displaced and decimated by the looming geopolitical effects of climate change.
That basic truth is denied heartily by many who have incentive to play games for short-term gain. These are old-school industrial concerns, for whom environmental regulation hammers a bottom line; alt-right, alt-truthers, for whom simple science is a threat to their incoherent worldview; and shattered working classes, seeking a simple scapegoat for the complicated story of their economic dissolution and disenfranchisement. Read more “How Climate Change Will Be the Biggest Geopolitical Crisis of the Century”
Amid the election victory of the intensely pro-coal, global-warming denier Donald Trump, the United Nation’s annual Climate Change Conference is underway in Marrakech, Morocco and is aiming to build on last year’s Paris Agreement.
Last month’s United Nations Climate Change Conference in Peru brought new attention to a long-standing conflict between those seeking to develop the South American country’s economy and those trying to protect its environment.
Consecutive Peruvian governments have been accused of disregarding the effects of extractive activities on the environment and on its indigenous peoples. A general desire to cash in on Peru’s natural resources is seen as a threat in the north of the country while drug traffickers, illegal miners and loggers have helped contribute to the ransacking of the jungle areas of the east.
While federal ethanol subsidies expired last year, the Obama Administration’s strict clean fuel standards still give farmers across the United States an incentive to plant corn — to the detriment of the environment.
The Associated Press reports that “across the Dakotas and Nebraska, more than one million acres of the Great Plains are giving way to cornfields as farmers transform the wild expanse that once served as the backdrop for American pioneers.”
A United States State Department study released late Friday afternoon found “no significant impacts to most resources” along the route of a proposed pipeline extension from Canada to Oklahoma, defying environmentalists’ warnings that building the pipeline will degrade underwater water supplies.
The report leaves President Barack Obama, who delayed approval of the pipeline’s construction more than a year ago, with little reason to further obstruct the project.
A previous State Department study, released in August 2011, similarly anticipated minimal environmental impact from building the pipeline.
The editorial pages of local newspapers in coal mining states in the United States this week chastised the Obama Administration for what opposition Republicans have dubbed its “war on coal.”
The Journalpoints out that West Virginia is losing thousands of jobs in the coal industry, largely as a result of new environmental regulations that, the newspaper says, are “making it more difficult for surface mines to obtain permits.”
Obama’s defenders insist the war on coal is a myth. But production cuts, mine closings and thousands of layoffs are no myth. They may be gratifying to a White House determined to wreck the coal industry but they are new causes for concern among residents of West Virginia, Ohio and many other states where tens of millions of people rely on inexpensive electricity generated from coal.