Legislative & Regulatory Update

Why Dedicating Land to Bioenergy Won't Curb Climate Change

Regulatory news - ENN - February 2, 2015 - 7:11pm
This post originally was published on WRI.org.How does bioenergy contribute to a sustainable food and climate future?A new WRI paper finds bioenergy can play a modest role using wastes and other niche fuelstocks, but recommends against dedicating land to produce bioenergy. The lesson: do not grow food or grass crops for ethanol or diesel or cut down trees for electricity.Even modest quantities of bioenergy would greatly increase the global competition for land. People already use roughly three-quarters of the world’s vegetated land for crops, livestock grazing and wood harvests. The remaining land protects clean water, supports biodiversity and stores carbon in trees, shrubs and soils -- a benefit increasingly important for tackling climate change. The competition for land is growing, even without more bioenergy, to meet likely demands for at least 70 percent more food, forage and wood.

Why Dedicating Land to Bioenergy Won't Curb Climate Change

Climate Change News - ENN - February 2, 2015 - 7:11pm
This post originally was published on WRI.org.How does bioenergy contribute to a sustainable food and climate future?A new WRI paper finds bioenergy can play a modest role using wastes and other niche fuelstocks, but recommends against dedicating land to produce bioenergy. The lesson: do not grow food or grass crops for ethanol or diesel or cut down trees for electricity.Even modest quantities of bioenergy would greatly increase the global competition for land. People already use roughly three-quarters of the world’s vegetated land for crops, livestock grazing and wood harvests. The remaining land protects clean water, supports biodiversity and stores carbon in trees, shrubs and soils -- a benefit increasingly important for tackling climate change. The competition for land is growing, even without more bioenergy, to meet likely demands for at least 70 percent more food, forage and wood.

Study Finds Leaks in Boston's Natural Gas Pipelines

Climate Change News - ENN - February 2, 2015 - 4:37pm
A team of researchers led by Kathryn McKain of Harvard University has recently discovered that approximately three percent of the natural gas delivered to Boston leaks directly into the atmosphere, taking with it a heavy load of methane, a known greenhouse gas. Their study doesn’t just have significant environmental implications: It’s estimated that the city is losing around $90 million to leaks every year. Correcting leaks is a relatively straightforward task, though it would require some investment in natural gas infrastructure and consumer education. However, these costs would be mitigated by the substantial savings offered if Boston was able to cut down on its methane problem.

Is there an emerging consensus on climate change action?

Climate Change News - ENN - February 2, 2015 - 8:39am
Once again, the world is on a sprint toward a new agreement on global climate change. The last time this happened — in 2009 — the sprint ended in acrimony in Copenhagen. This time, the signs are more auspicious. As someone who has been writing for nearly 25 years about the difficulties of making serious progress on climate change, I am more optimistic today than I have been in a very long time. When governments gather in Paris late this year, I believe they are likely to adopt a watershed strategy for slowing climate change.  I’m optimistic for two reasons. First, the logic of Paris is new. In the past, governments have tried to negotiate single, massive, and integrated A shift in strategy was evident at climate talks in Lima in December, where Peru’s Manuel Pulgar served as conference president.

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