Largest North American Landfill Solar Farm Built on A Former Superfund Site.!

The Combe Fill North Landfill in Mount Olive Township, New Jersey, was a Superfund site twenty years ago. It is now North America’s largest landfill solar plant.

The 25.6-megawatt solar farm, which was finished on Friday, is only one illustration of an inventive trend that transforms places for producing sustainable energy into signs of throwaway culture.

We’re happy to have been able to collaborate closely with our dependable, long-term partners to transform yet another abandoned landfill into a facility that produces renewable energy, said Chris Ichters, executive vice president of CEP Renewables.

In spite of the fact that there are more than 10,000 closed landfills in the country, very few of these parcels have been rehabilitated. More of these waste sites being converted to solar projects would increase municipal tax revenue, employment opportunities, cleaner air, and inexpensive electricity for citizens across the nation.

According to Electrek, the New Jersey solar farm is the result of a collaboration between CEP Renewables and CS Energy, with steel skids provided by Lindsay Precast and rack systems offered by Terrasmart. CEP Renewables, the company that owns the property beneath the panels, has leased it on a long-term basis to NJR Clean Energy Ventures, a division of Garden State utility New Jersey Resources, which will be in charge of managing the farm.

Over 4,000 residences are expected to be powered by the farm’s 56,000 solar panels. In total, Mount Olive was able to recover roughly $2.3 million in taxes it had spent on the former Superfund site thanks to the operation.

All of this represents a significant turn of events for the old dump. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, the Combe Fill North Landfill first became a municipal landfill in 1966. (EPA). It accepted dry sewage sludge, household waste, and industrial waste for 12 years. In 1978, the Combe Fill Corporation (CFC) acquired it. The landfill was found to be polluting surrounding private wells and the groundwater beneath the property with volatile organic compounds the new owners.

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The landfill’s interior air was also tainted. Although CFC declared bankruptcy in 1981, the dump was never adequately closed. Finally, a plan to clean up the former landfill was created in 1986 by the EPA and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP), and it was finished in 1991. The dump was removed from the Superfund National Priorities List in 2004, but the EPA continues to evaluate the success of the cleaning activities every five years despite this.

The transition of the Combe Fill North Landfill from a landfill to a solar farm is becoming more typical. According to CEP Renewables and the EPA, the number of landfill solar projects in the United States has increased by 80% over the past five years. The business believes that this is because installation developers have become more skilled, and its partner CS Energy agrees.

Read More: In the First Three Quarters of 2022, Renewable Energy Sources Produced Around 25% of The Country’s Electricity.

With CEP Renewables, Lindsay Precast, and Terrasmart, this is our eighth project together, our seventh project with Lindsay Precast, and our fourteenth landfill solar project overall. Mike Dillon, director of operations for CS Energy, made the news. We were able to deliver this excellent landfill solar project, which will have major long-term financial and environmental advantages for this town, because of our solid partnerships with each of these sector leaders.

 

650+ Scientists Call on Global Leaders to Ban Tree Burning for Energy.!

In a letter to world leaders, more than 650 experts pleaded with them to put an end to the burning of trees for energy because it harms wildlife habitats and violates international agreements on biodiversity and climate change.

In the run-up to the UN biodiversity meeting COP15, which gets underway on December 7 in Montreal, scientists have urged nations to switch from utilizing bioenergy from forests to create electricity and heat to using renewable energy sources.

We are writing to voice our worry about the widespread use of forest bioenergy to provide power and heat, which is an emerging and growing threat to biodiversity. The scientists wrote in the letter, “We request that you and your countries cease all reliance on forest bioenergy and, over time, replace it fully with alternative renewable energy sources such as wind and solar.”

The letter was sent to President Xi Jinping of China, President Joe Biden of the United States, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak of the United Kingdom, President Ursula von der Leyen of the European Commission, President Yoon Suk-yeol of South Korea, and Prime Minister Fumio Kishida of Japan.

Unfortunately, many nations are relying more and more on forest biomass to achieve net zero targets since it has been falsely labeled as carbon neutral. When we most need the trees on our planet, this is hurting them. The letter claimed that contrary to what the logging industry maintains, many of the wood pellets burned at power plants for bioenergy come from complete trees rather than logging trash and residue.

By 2030, bioenergy is expected to account for one-third of all energy classified as low-carbon, according to a forecast from the International Energy Agency, according to The Guardian.

Although we must change our energy system, we cannot do it at the expense of the environment. Energy security is a significant societal concern, but burning our magnificent woods is not the solution. According to Professor Alexander Antonelli, Director of Science at Kew Gardens and one of the letter’s primary authors, labeling this “green energy” is inaccurate and could worsen the world’s biodiversity catastrophe, as Carbon Pulse highlighted.

According to The Guardian, $6.81 billion in subsidies have been provided over the last ten years to assist the burning of biomass as part of the UK’s net zero ambition.

This logging is occurring at an alarming rate. For instance, the letter stated that 5.7 million metric tonnes of wood pellets were exported from the US to the UK in 2019, necessitating the destruction of an area bigger than the UK’s New Forest.

Carbon that would have been stored in forests is released into the atmosphere when trees are cut down for bioenergy.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recently highlighted the crucial role that forests play in keeping their stored carbon out of the atmosphere, in addition to its effects on wildlife. According to the experts’ letter, harvesting for bioenergy substantially impairs forests’ capacity to store and sequester carbon.

According to The Guardian, burning wood emits more carbon dioxide into the sky than burning gas or even coal. Additionally, the gathering and delivery of the wood require more energy.

Read More: Findings from New Study Reveal the UK’s Greenest City Centers.!

Estonia, Canada, and The United States Provide the Majority of The Wood used for Biomass.

The fact that many of these trees come from old, biodiverse, and/or climate-critical forests is further alarming. For instance, we are aware that the wood pellets burned in the UK are made from clear-cuts of mature hardwood forests in the North American Coastal Plain Biodiversity Hotspot in the Southeast of the United States, protected forest ecosystems in the Baltics, which are vital habitats for imperiled birds and mammals, and primary forests in Canada, including the boreal forest, one of the last intact forests in the world and a stronghold for global bird populations.

According to the letter, rare species like the prothonotary warbler, boreal woodland caribou, and black stork are already in decline as a result of the destruction and loss of these forests.

The letter made note of the fact that forests absorb about a third of fossil fuel emissions and that up to one million species could become extinct by the year 2100 due to habitat loss and fragmentation.

Biomass energy frequently uses wood that has been harvested through unethical methods like clearcutting. Investigations conducted on the ground reveal that two of the largest pellet producers in the world, Enviva, and Drax, produce their pellets using wood that has been clear-cut from forests.

 

Read More: In the First Three Quarters of 2022, Renewable Energy Sources Produced Around 25% of The Country’s Electricity.

Even in reserves meant to safeguard forests and rare and endangered species, clearcutting for wood pellets takes place throughout the EU and the UK (e.g. European Union s Natura 2000 network). The scientists wrote in the letter that research in tropical forests has revealed that after a forest has been clear-cut, it takes decades, if not centuries, for it to regenerate and return to its prior level of ecosystem output and biodiversity.

The letter stated that the international community must stop using biomass as fuel if 30 percent of Earth’s land and oceans are to be maintained for wildlife by 2030. The letter found that biomass energy had the opposite effect on biodiversity and the climate than preserving forests.

Despite a $20 Billion Deal for A Transition to Clean Energy, Indonesia Plans to Construct Coal Plants.!

Thanks to Hans Nicholas Jong

  • The Indonesian government will still permit the construction of new coal-fired power plants, despite recently signing a $20 billion energy transition financing deal with industrialized countries.
  • The plants are accommodated in the government s 10-year energy plan and covered by a presidential regulation.
  • The newly announced Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP), by contrast, doesn t make clear what restrictions if any, it puts in place on Indonesia building new coal plants.
  • Activists have called for a complete ban on new coal power so that a just energy transition can happen as envisioned in the new climate finance partnership.

Despite a recent $20 billion agreement with the G7 group of industrialized countries to aid it in its transition to sustainable energy, Indonesia will keep constructing new coal-fired power facilities.

Activists claim that this puts the Just Energy Transition Partnership agreement, which was signed at the G20 conference that Indonesia hosted earlier this month, in danger of disintegrating before it even gets off the ground.

According to Andri Prasetiyo, a researcher at Trend Asia, a Jakarta-based charity that promotes the transition to sustainable energy, JETP in Indonesia runs a significant danger of failing in its attempt to decarbonize [Indonesia’s] power system. This is due to the government’s ongoing deployment of conflicting signals in the energy transition by failing to provide a firm timeline for halting the development of new coal-fired power plants.

Indonesia will strive to cap its emissions from the power sector by 2030, earlier than the planned objective of 2037, and to produce 34% of its electricity from renewable sources by that year, under the agreement, the single largest climate finance cooperation to date.

The construction of new coal plants, which have already been tendered out and have a combined 13 gigawatts of power, will nevertheless be permitted by the Indonesian government. The program is described in the nation’s ten-year energy plan for 2021–2030. Importantly, a law released in 2022 by President Joko Widodo permits the development of captive coal plants, which are created expressly to supply specific sectors rather than the grid.

According to a joint statement from Indonesia and its JETP partners, which also include the G7 and Denmark, and Norway, they want to limit the construction of captive coal-fired power plants in accordance with the 2022 presidential directive. They say that the cooperation must continue if no new coal plants are built in areas where timely, emission-free, cost-effective, and dependable alternatives can be found. The alliance also calls for the creation of a plan to prevent the creation of new coal-fired power plants and to identify investments in renewable energy as captive-coal alternatives.

Read More: Findings from New Study Reveal the UK’s Greenest City Centers.!

The Indonesian Center for Environmental Law’s program director, Grita Anindarini, claims that any constraints the JETP imposes on captive coal are still unclear (ICEL). She urged the Indonesian government to change any rules and guidelines that continue to support the development of additional coal power and obstruct the just energy transition envisioned in JETP. The construction of new coal power plants is expressly permitted, according to the 2022 presidential rule, according to Grita.

Behind behind China, the United States, India, and the entire EU, Indonesia was the fifth-largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world in 2019. Deforestation and coal combustion, which account for 61% of the nation’s energy generation, are the main sources of its emissions.

Since Indonesia’s economy is the largest in Southeast Asia and ranks 17th globally in terms of nominal GDP, it is expected that emissions from the electricity sector would continue to rise. In particular, it is anticipated that captive coal for industrial parks will expand by 9.5 gigawatts to support the nation’s mineral-processing sector, which includes the production of the nickel used in electric vehicle batteries.

Read More: In the First Three Quarters of 2022, Renewable Energy Sources Produced Around 25% of The Country’s Electricity.

The problem with captive coal plants almost prevented the JETP from being realized. The main issue impeding the JETP deal, according to sources from the EU’s diplomatic staff for the Council of the EU, was a 5 GW captive coal power plant in Indonesian Borneo. The donor organization stated that the contract would be off the table if that project went forward.

With the agreement in place for the time being, Indonesia and the donor nations must create an investment plan over the following six months that includes information on where the financing will come from and how it will be used.

According to Grita from ICEL, this investment plan should be more specific than the initial joint statement about restrictions on new coal plants.

The public should also be consulted in the creation of the plan, especially communities that may be impacted by the energy transition program, according to Tata Mustasya, coordinator of Greenpeace Indonesia’s climate and energy campaign.

According to him, JETP must always be conducted in an open, participatory, and responsible manner if it is to meet its objectives.

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Even when their plants are shut down as part of the partnership, the investment plan, according to Grita, should ensure that coal plant operators are held accountable for the harm they have caused to populations living nearby.

She claimed that numerous coal plants had hurt people as well as impacted the environment. The [Indonesian] government must ensure that the funding plan doesn’t eliminate the obligation of plant owners to restore the environment and settle disputes, particularly with impacted populations.

Findings from New Study Reveal the UK’s Greenest City Centers.!

In a recent study, the University of Sheffield examined 68 urban areas in the UK and ranked them according to their availability of parks, sports fields, and greenery. The greenest place in England was discovered to be Exeter, in the county of Devon in Southwest England, followed by the London Borough of Islington, Bournemouth, a tourist destination on England’s southern coast, and Cambridge, which is located about 61 miles north of London.

There were at least 100,000 people living in each of the city centers included in the study, which the authors claim is the first to define and rank metropolitan areas based on various green features. Glasgow, Scotland, came in last on the list, followed by Leeds in Yorkshire, Northern England, and Liverpool, the city where the Beatles’ rock group was founded in 1960.

According to Jake Robinson, the study’s principal researcher, urban greening is thriving these days, which may increase ecotourism, as reported by The Guardian.

According to Robinson, who was quoted by The Guardian, “several of the cities in our analysis are particularly lush and green, which could lead to a growth in urban ecotourism, where people travel to cities to enjoy the wonder of urban nature.” Cities are popular tourist destinations around the world, and they are putting more of a focus on their natural surroundings to attract more visitors. Enhancing our urban green spaces will also draw gorgeous animals. This not only adds to the visiting experience but is essential for preserving biodiversity.

Published in the journal PLOS One, the study is titled Urban center green metrics in Great Britain: A geospatial and socioecological study.

One of the study’s key results was that all of the best city centers were in the south of England, while the cities with the lowest scores were all found in Northern Britain’s erstwhile industrial regions, according to The Guardian.

One of the study’s senior authors, Dr. Paul Brindley of the Department of Landscape Architecture at the University of Sheffield, told BBC News that the study “clearly highlights the need to urgently improve the greenness of city centers at the bottom of the list, and to ensure that local authorities take action to close the gap.”

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The study, according to the researchers, highlighted disparities in the greenness of urban cores.

According to the study’s authors, disparities in green infrastructure across the nation, together with population and deprivation-related patterns, are crucial for socioecological and social justice. This study serves as a foundation and a catalyst to assist local governments and urban planners in developing and overseeing fair greening interventions in urban/city centers.

According to The Guardian, Amal Ghusain, lead councilor for Exeter’s City Management and Environmental Services, claimed her city benefits from a variety of available green spaces.

According to Husain, who was quoted by The Guardian, we have access to a variety of green open areas, including our six Exeter Valley Parks, which are overseen by Devon Wildlife Trust, sports fields, 1,400 allotments, and a number of leafy cemeteries. We are aware of the value of our parks for mental health, and overall welfare, and supporting our goal of being carbon neutral. Our parks assist to break up the urban nature of the city.

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By planting more than 700 trees, Islington expanded its tree canopy by 25% last year, according to Rowena Champion, executive member of the city council for environment, air quality, and transportation.

Islington is one of the most densely populated local authorities in Britain, and only 13% of the borough’s land is green space. For this reason, Champion added, it’s crucial to make the most of what we have in order to improve everyone’s health results.

In the First Three Quarters of 2022, Renewable Energy Sources Produced Around 25% of The Country’s Electricity.

So far, 2022 has been a successful year for renewable energy in the United States.

In its first nine months, renewable energy sources generated more electricity than coal and nuclear combined, according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) analyzed by the SUN DAY Campaign.

According to Ken Bossong, executive director of the SUN DAY Campaign, renewable energy sources easily outproduced coal and nuclear power during the first three-quarters of 2022 by 15.52% and 28.25%, respectively. In reality, over the previous half-decade, the mix of renewables has surpassed coal and nuclear to take second place among electrical-producing sources, moving them from fourth to second.

The research was based on the EIA’s Electric Power Monthly report, which was released the day before Thanksgiving and included data up to September 30. It was discovered that during the first nine months of 2022, a total combination of renewable energy sources—including wind, utility- and small-scale solar, hydropower, geothermal, and biomass—generated 22.66 percent of the country’s electricity. For the first nine months of 2021, this was up from 20.33 percent.

In general, renewable energy sources performed 15.44% better than they did the year before. Additionally, the report provided a breakdown by electricity source:

  1. Wind increased by 18.64 percent, generating nearly 10 percent of all electricity.
  2. Solar increased by 25.68 percent and accounted for 5.01 percent of the total electricity mix.
  3. Hydroelectric power increased by 7.98 percent and made up 6.29 percent of the total.
  4. Geothermal grew by 6.95 percent.
  5. Biomass decreased by 1.12 percent.

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The results follow the EIA’s prediction that renewable energy will supply 22% of electricity until the end of 2022 and 24% of electricity in 2023, primarily due to an increase in wind and solar capacity.

Since wind, hydropower, and wind generation all decreased in relation to September of 2021 and since renewable output for this September was only up by 1.45% compared to the same month last year, Bossong said the September data suggested that renewable output could fall to at or below that prediction by the end of the year.

According to Bossong, the EIA has been predicting for some time that renewable energy sources will account for 22% of U.S. electricity generation in 2022, up from 20% a year earlier. Although they are currently ahead of that mark, a slowdown in wind and hydropower generation over the final quarter of this year might cause renewables to fall short of that goal while still exceeding their record output from 2021.

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According to E&E News, if they do achieve the 22 percent forecast, it will be higher than the 20 percent forecast for coal and the 19 percent forecast for nuclear. In the United States, the last time renewable energy topped coal was in 2020, a year that was notable for the decline in demand brought on by the coronavirus lockdowns.

Renewable energy experts now have faith that the investments made under the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) will continue to increase capacity in the future.

According to Steve Cicala, an economics professor at Tufts University, the essential thing is that it keeps expanding and that we install more capacity and produce more energy from renewable sources. This is significant since it will result in less generation using fossil fuels.

 

The United States Tariff Avoidance Strategies of Four Chinese Solar Companies

According to preliminary findings of a federal inquiry, four large Chinese solar cell manufacturers switched some of their operations through Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, and Malaysia in order to avoid paying U.S. taxes, according to The Wall Street Journal.

About 80% of the solar panels imported into the United States come from those nations. The Biden administration tried to lessen the impact of the industry disruption created by the Commerce Department inquiry by imposing a 24-month safe harbor term on solar panel imports from those nations and using the Defense Manufacturing Act to increase domestic production.

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The development of renewable energy in the U.S. is being slowed down by a shortage of solar panels as well as prohibitions on the importing of goods made in China using slave labor.

The final Commerce Department decision, which may differ from the preliminary results and will take into account on-site audits and public feedback, will be made public in May.

To delve farther further:

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Journal of Commerce

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Bats Are the Death Metal Bands of The Animal Kingdom. That’s a Big Surprise!

As part of the Climate Desk partnership, this article was originally published by the Guardian and is being reprinted here.

It is well known that Ozzy Osbourne enjoys eating bats. However, it appears that the mammals are now also admirers of his.

Scientists have found that bats can vocally stretch much beyond most humans, and they can greet each other with death-metal growls.

They employ ventricular folds, which are thick structures in the larynx, to communicate at low frequencies in addition to emitting ultrasonic chirps to echolocate flying insects in the dark.

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In the animal realm, the ability to produce sound through the ventricular folds, which are located directly above the vocal cords, is thought to be uncommon. With the addition of bats, this elite group will now include almost exclusively death metal and Tuvan throat singers.

According to Prof. Coen Elemans, who oversaw the study at the University of Southern Denmark, you can hear these sounds very clearly if you listen to a bat colony in the summer. Although the purpose of the sounds is unknown to us, they are made when the birds are irritated with one another, when they fly away, or when they decide to join a colony.

When the researchers started looking into how bats make high frequency noises for echolocation, they by chance made the discovery. The ventricular folds were found to be vibrating at low frequencies between one and five kilohertz while high speed video of bat voice cords in use was being recorded by the researchers.

According to Elemans, these vocal folds are solely used by humans for throat singing in Tuva and death metal. Death metal grunting results in oscillations that are incredibly erratic and harsh.

Black Sabbath’s Ozzy Osbourne made headlines in 1982 in Des Moines when he notoriously chewed the head off a bat while performing there. Until he bit down and noticed a strange sensation, he claimed he thought the bat was a rubber toy. When it was hurled on stage by a teenage admirer, the animal may have already been dead.

The only two well-known singers that have a vocal range of five octaves are Mariah Carey and Prince. The question of how bats reach seven is cleared up by the Danish research.

We’ve established that the range of the vocal membranes used for echolocation is three to four octaves, and this new structure expands the range below, according to Elemans.

A highly specialised larynx that has undergone changes to make it ideal for producing ultrasonic chirps up to 120 kilohertz has evolved in bats. Prior to the bat, these high frequency sounds serve as a spotlight to locate flying insects. The chirps, however, are very directed and only reach a few metres, thus the animals required a different way to produce low frequency calls to interact with one another across great distances.

According to Elemans, we believe that the selection pressure on these echolocation calls is so great that bats had to come up with a completely new method of communicating. Plos Biology has published the study.

An Estimated $1.6 Trillion in Investment Potential Exists in India’s Cooling Market.

According to a recent World Bank assessment, as India’s temperatures continue to rise due to climate change, there may be a $1.6 trillion investment opportunity in cutting-edge green energy technologies by 2040.

According to a news release from the World Bank, alternative cooling technologies could generate up to 3.7 million new employment while also significantly reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

By 2030, more than 160 to 200 million people could be exposed to catastrophic yearly heat waves in India as annual temperatures rise. Additionally, a drop in productivity brought on by heat stress could result in the loss of employment for roughly 34 million individuals nationwide.

By 2037, it is anticipated that India would require eight times as much cooling as it does now, which will result in a projected increase in greenhouse gas emissions of 435 percent per year for the following 20 years.

According to Auguste Tano Kouam, the World Bank’s Country Director in India, we must make sure that the nation’s cooling initiatives do not increase GHG emissions and contribute to further warming.

According to the press release, new initiatives are being developed to aid Indians in adjusting to the country’s rising temperatures. In 2019, the nation launched the India Cooling Action Plan (ICAP), which introduces sustainable cooling practices to various industries, including refrigeration and a cold temperature-controlled supply chain network for pharmaceuticals and agriculture, as well as air conditioning for buildings and transportation. By 2037 to 2038, the cooling demand is anticipated to drop by as much as 25%.

Kouam stated in the press release that India’s cooling plan may help save lives and livelihoods, lower carbon emissions, and concurrently establish India as a global powerhouse for manufacturing green cooling. By 2040, the report’s recommended cooling strategy might prevent the emissions of 300 million tonnes of carbon dioxide yearly.

It will be ensured that people who are the poorest are not disproportionately impacted by rising temperatures if cooling measures are made standard for structures sponsored by both private and public funding.

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The Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, India’s affordable housing program, might proportionally incorporate these improvements, which could assist with the construction of more than 29 million rural dwellings and 11 million urban homes, according to the report Climate Investment Opportunities in India’s Cooling Sector.

The research suggested funding through private investments in cooling technology for districts that employ subterranean pipelines to transmit chilled water to several buildings and a central plant to manufacture it. The method can reduce cooling costs for particular buildings by 20 to 30 percent, resulting in a reduction in energy costs.

In order to reduce the growing amount of food and medications that are lost during shipment, the research recommended filling holes in cold chain systems. By investing in refrigerated and pre-cooling transportation, food loss can be decreased by about 76%, and carbon emissions can be cut by 16%.

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Food Is Wasted During Shipment Every Year for Around $13 Billion Owing to Heat.

By 2047, India also intends to phase out hydrochlorofluorocarbons, which are ozone-depleting coolants for refrigerators and air conditioners. Over the next 20 years, switching to alternatives with a reduced carbon footprint and improving the maintenance, servicing, and disposal of equipment that uses hydrochlorofluorocarbons has the potential to generate two million jobs and reduce the requirement for refrigerants by around 31%.

Large-scale private investment in this industry can be boosted by the appropriate combination of public investments and policy initiatives. The report’s authors, Mehul Jain of the World Bank and Abhas K. Jha of the Practice Manager, Climate and Disaster Risk Management, South Asia, called for the acceleration of these initiatives by establishing a flagship government mission to address the opportunities and risks associated with rising temperatures in India.

A New Bill Is Being Drafted to Help Reduce Plastic Waste in High-Risk Areas

The damage that their manufacture and combustion can do to the health of those who live nearby is one of the primary risks associated with plastics. For instance, one of the biggest sources of air pollution in Louisiana’s Cancer Alley is plastic manufacturing facilities.

The Protecting Communities from Plastics Act, which was just introduced, aims to solve this environmental justice issue.

U.S. Representative Jared Huffman (D-CA), who filed the bill, stated in a statement emailed to EcoWatch that plastic pollution is a huge environmental injustice that directly affects frontline and fenceline communities throughout the plastics lifecycle.

By reducing greenhouse gas emissions that are causing the climate crisis and the fossil fuel industry’s petro-dictatorship as it views plastics as a safety net, my bill will safeguard the health of our communities. The time is running out, and while we’ll continue to work on this Congress, we want to warn the oil and gas industry right away. Our neighborhoods must come first.

The legislative group behind the Break Free from Plastic Pollution Act, including Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ), Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR), and Representative Alan Lowenthal (D-CA), launched the legislation on Thursday. The law would establish national targets for reducing the production of specific single-use plastics and promoting the use of reusable materials in food and other packaging, in addition to tightening health and environmental rules for plastics manufacturers.

The proponents of the measure also stressed how the manufacturing and consumption of plastics, which are expected to quadruple over the next 10 years, contribute to the climate catastrophe.

Fossil-based plastic manufacture poses a threat to our attempts to address the climate catastrophe as we switch to clean and renewable energy, Booker said in a statement emailed to EcoWatch. Residents of fenceline settlements that are close to plastic manufacturing facilities suffer from the emission of hazardous pollutants and an increase in the prevalence of life-threatening illnesses like cancer and heart disease.

I’m glad to have put forth this legislation, which will set national targets for plastic source reduction and halt the permitting of new and enlarged plastic facilities until the EPA changes regulations for plastic facilities, to address these environmental injustices.

According to E&E News, the measure would specifically request that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) target certain chemicals used in the manufacture of plastics, such as styrene and vinyl chloride, and look into their effects using the Toxic Substances Control Act.

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The law also calls for a moratorium on permits for new or enlarged plastics operations and a study into the health effects of plastic polymers, additives, and byproducts. Last but not least, it shifts away from chemical recycling as a remedy for the plastics challenge and requests that the EPA exclude such facilities from its National Recycling Strategy.

More than 30 different organizations have approved the legislation, including the Ocean Conservancy, which collaborated closely with the bill’s architects.

Dr. Anja Brandon, associate director of U.S. plastics policy at Ocean Conservancy, said in a statement emailed to EcoWatch that the Protecting Communities From Plastics Act is a crucial step toward addressing the extensive harms brought on by the petrochemical industry and ending our dependence on single-use plastics. It also takes the significant step of forbidding the EPA from including chemical recycling technology in the national recycling strategy, which would sustain our reliance on virgin plastic derived from fossil fuels. Instead, it places an emphasis on producing less plastic.

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Naturally, The Plastics sector Opposes the Law.

According to a statement made by Joshua Baca, the American Chemistry Council’s director of plastics work, switching to materials with a higher carbon footprint would result in the loss of American jobs, the risk of billions of dollars in investments in new technology, and a worsening of the climate crisis.

Republican senators and the industry’s opposition might be enough to kill the bill. Congress has been unable to advance the Break Free from Plastic Pollution Act, which includes comparable pauses on new plastics permitting and source reduction goals.

There Will Be a Surge in Heat Pump Sales in 2022 as Countries Try to Solve Their Climate and Energy Problems.!

The heat pump is one environmentally friendly device that has gained more attention as energy and climate problems merge.

Heat pumps use electricity to move hot air to cool areas and vice versa in order to warm or cool a place. They do not generate heat as a furnace does. Sales of these products are soaring because of their energy efficiency and environmental friendliness, particularly in Europe where the continent is looking for ways to heat its homes and buildings after Russia cut the region’s supply of gas.

International Energy Agency (IEA) Executive Director Fatih Birol stated in a news release introducing a new report on the device that heat pumps are an essential component of any plan to reduce emissions and the use of natural gas, and an urgent priority in the European Union today. Even in the coldest of climes, the technology has been tried and tested.

When driven by low-emission electricity, the devices are referred to as the key technology in the global transition to safe and sustainable heating in the paper, The Future of Heat Pumps.

The executive summary of the research states that even when fueled by the existing mix of fossil and renewable electricity, they still contribute to reducing emissions from heating because they are three to five times more efficient than natural gas boilers.

Ten percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions are currently attributed to heating buildings, and about ten percent of spaces are heated by heat pumps.

However, 2021 was a boom year for gadgets, with worldwide sales increasing by approximately 15% and about 35% in the EU. They anticipate record sales in 2022, and certain European nations saw a doubling of their first-half sales compared to the first half of 2021.

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The EU in particular has come under pressure to provide heat for its citizens this winter as a result of a decrease in Russian gas as a result of sanctions put in place by the bloc after Russia invaded Ukraine. But adopting heat pumps would also help the EU achieve its climate objectives. Sales of heat pumps in Europe could increase if this happens, from two million in 2021 to seven million in 2030.

According to Birol, policy makers ought to support this technology, which is currently gaining unheard-of velocity. In order to protect vulnerable households and businesses from excessive prices, meet climate goals, and ensure that everyone can heat their homes this winter and the one after, heat pumps will be a key component of these efforts.

What is beneficial to Europe is also beneficial to the rest of the globe. Overall, the IEA estimated that by 2030, heat pumps would provide one-fifth of space heating assuming governments uphold their obligations to the environment and energy security.

Heat pumps would provide 25% of the world’s heating needs by 2050 if nations increase their commitments in line with the Paris Agreement’s objective of keeping global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. By 2030, heat pumps could, according to the EIA, cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 500 million tonnes, which is equivalent to taking all gas or diesel-powered vehicles off the road in Europe.

Another IEA analysis published Friday attributes a portion of the two percent increase in energy efficiency this year over 2021 to heat pumps. The agency stated in a press statement that this is roughly quadruple the rate from the previous two years and nearly double the rate from the previous four.

Three million heat pumps were acquired in Europe, which is double the 1.5 million bought in 2019, and the US Department of Health and Human Services launched a heat pump refund program, according to UPI.

Efficiency, one of the important areas for international efforts to reach net zero emissions by 2050, might hit a critical turning point in 2022 if the current rate of improvement can be built upon further in the next years, according to the IEA.

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The IEA observed in the heat pump report that there are still obstacles standing in the way of the widespread use of heat pumps. Despite long-term cost advantages, installing heat pumps is more expensive upfront.

Other barriers include a lack of knowledge about the technology or antiquated building requirements, problems with the supply chain or manufacturing, and a shortage of qualified technicians. The IEA suggested a number of policy changes, such as incentives and tax breaks, modifications to regulations, national manufacturing targets, and the inclusion of heat pump installations in existing certification programs.

According to the news release, all the elements are in place for the heat pump market to explode, following the path taken by other critical climate technologies like solar PV and electric cars.

Many of the policy makers’ top worries regarding the cost of energy, supply security, and the climate issue are addressed by heat pumps. Although there are currently policy measures in place, they urgently need to be strengthened in order for heat pumps to realize their tremendous economic and environmental potential.

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