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This Tuesday history will be made with the start of the machine assembly of the world's largest experimental fusion reactor at ITER facility in southern France. The event will be Live on Youtube in the presence of government officials from seven ITER members, including India. The launch demonstrates the willingness of 30,000 people of the 35 partner countries to join together in an enduring way in their common fight against climate change.
Global gas flaring increased to 150 billion m3 in 2019, the highest level in more than a decade, primarily due to increases in the United States, Venezuela and Russia. Gas flaring, in conflict-affected countries climbed from 2018 to 2019, in Syria by 35%, Venezuela by 16%, 23% in the United States, and 9% in Russia. However, it fell by 10% in the first quarter of 2020, with declines across most of the gas flaring countries.
Amidst rising pressure on the oil and gas industry's stance on climate change, the members of the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI) have agreed to reduce the average carbon intensity of their aggregated upstream operations to ~20-21 kg of CO2e/boe by 2025. The OGCI includes BP, Chevron, Exxon and various other Oil & Gas giants which together account for over 30% of the world’s oil and gas production.
Donning face masks and abiding by social distancing guidelines because of the coronavirus pandemic, climate activists gathered at Royal Dutch Shell's headquarters in The Hague Tuesday during the oil giant's annual shareholders meeting to declare that "Shell must fall." Shell and its investors must now take responsibility," Greenpeace biologist Helena Spiritus told Reuters. "Shell has earned billions from oil exploitation, now these dirty investments must come to an end."
Equinor’s shareholders, dominated by the Norwegian government, rejected all climate resolutions proposed at their annual general meeting on Thursday. One of the resolutions was proposed by “Follow This”, a group that represents about 5,400 green-minded shareholders in oil and gas companies, called for adjusting Equinor’s climate targets in line with the 2005 Paris Agreement on global carbon dioxide (CO2) emission reductions. Their efforts rendered futile.
Following its rivals in the energy business, French energy major Total today revealed plans of cutting down carbon emissions, setting the aim of achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 or sooner. A statement from Chairman and CEO, Total read, “Energy markets are changing, driven by climate change, technology and societal expectations. Total is committed to helping solve the dual challenge of providing more energy with fewer emissions,”.
The International Energy Agency has expected global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions to decline by 8% to 30.6 gigatonnes (Gt) this year, accomplishing levels last observed in 2010. The Global Energy Review 2020 has credited the sharp decline in emissions to the slump in energy demand during 1Q20. In perspective, the decline is estimated to be almost twice as large as all earlier declines since the end of World War II.
Norwegian accredited registrar, DNV GL has approved Aker Solutions' carbon capture and heat recovery technology as qualified, paving the path for a full-scale demonstration project in Norway to eliminate carbon emissions at a cement plant. The post-combustion technology developed by Aker intends at capturing and liquefying 400,000 tons per year of the released carbon dioxide at the Norcem plant.
Oil supermajor, Royal Dutch Shell yesterday outlined one of the most extensive strategies yet in the oil and gas sector to drop greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero by 2050. As Shell plans to fully counterbalance carbon emissions from its own oil and gas production and the energy it uses by 2050, the company added that it will “pivot towards serving businesses and sectors that by 2050 are also net-zero emissions,”
In a welcome move, the UK government has announced major funding for multiple carbon capture schemes in its Budget for 2020. Although UK chancellor Rishi Sunak refrained from mentioning any new measures for North Sea oil and gas extraction, his first budget laid emphasis on environment-friendly investment. The UK Committee on Climate Change has proposed the country’s first carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) facility and it should be operational by 2026.
Oil supermajor, Exxon Mobil yesterday chalked out an action plan to reduce the methane emission from its operations, outlining its efforts as governments around the world formulate stringent environmental norms. Exxon is majorly hoping for governments to adopt the procedures the firm undertook over the past two years to reduce methane emissions by 20% in some of its US drilling operations.
Oil supermajor, BP Plc has established a new purpose and 2050 net-zero emissions plan. BP's new Group CEO, Bernard Looney said the company does not currently have short-term targets, adding: “We don’t expect progress to be in a straight line. But make no mistake… The direction is set.” BP has published a ten-point plan, that proposes a company restructuring, a new corporate purpose and an ambition to continue evolving despite changes.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) on Monday said that the oil and gas firms must increase their investment in low-carbon energies. Otherwise, they would face a global backlash that could jeopardize their long-term profits and social acceptance. “Every part of the industry needs to consider how to respond. Doing nothing is simply not an option,” IEA’s Executive Director Fatih Birol said. IEA suggested the sector to boost investments in the cleaner fuels.
A car show in central Brussels met with staged demonstrations from protest group Extinction Rebellion on Sunday, who rallied against the role of auto-industry in CO2 emissions. The protests forced the police to detain 185 protesters, and the show’s security personnel briefly halted admittance to the area. Extinction Rebellion was said to have targeted the show because the car industry told “a lot of lies in order to sell more cars”.
Oil supermajor, ExxonMobil took a big sigh of relief on Tuesday when Judge Barry Ostrager acquitted the firm in the 4-year long New York Climate-Change securities fraud trial. The ruling for the $1.6 billion lawsuit read, “The Office of the Attorney General failed to prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, that ExxonMobil made any material misstatements or omissions about its practices and procedures that misled any reasonable investor,”.
Global carbon emission has hit record levels in 2019 because of the increased use of natural gas. According to the analysis of the Global Carbon Project, CO2 emissions were on a course to rise 0.6% this year. This increase has been recorded even after a substantial decline in the use of coal. "Natural gas is now the biggest contributor to the growth in emissions", says the Carbon Budget report.
In unprecedented discussions, the Indian Parliament yesterday debated the air toxicity currently threatening the 48 million people residing in the Delhi NCR region. The debate saw opposition leaders demanding the government to set up a parliamentary panel to find long-term solutions to the problem. The air quality index in New Delhi exceeded 500 this month, about 10 times the recommended limit.
In protest against Shell’s plan to abandon parts of the giant structures in place in the British North Sea, Greenpeace activists, yesterday, boarded two Royal Dutch Shell oil platforms in the region. Photographs show two people climbing one of the giant, rusty structures and unfurling a banner which read “Clean up your mess, Shell!”. The British supermajor is currently looking for Governmental approval to abandon the steel legs of the platforms.