California ARB moves forward with climate and air quality actions

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On the first day of a two-day board meeting—the second day of which (Friday 24 March) will consider the Advanced Clean Cars Midterm Review—the California Air Resources Board (ARB) took a number of climate and air quality actions.

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BC government unveils climate plan

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The government of British Columbia recently unveiled its Climate Leadership Plan , targeting the reduction of net annual greenhouse gas emissions by up to 25 million tonnes below current forecasts by 2050 and the creation of up to 66,000 jobs over the next ten years. The Climate Leadership Plan will be further updated over the coming year, in response to work underway between the federal government and the provinces and territories to develop a pan-Canadian approach to climate action.

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Black carbon is a much larger cause of climate change than previously assessed; about twice previous estimates, and 2/3 the effect of CO2

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the distribution of black carbon in the atmosphere and determine its role in the climate system. Accounting for all of the ways black carbon can affect climate, it is believed to have a warming effect of about 1.1 Synthesis of black carbon climate forcing terms. Resources.

California Air Resources Board unanimously adopts Advanced Clean Cars Package

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The Advanced Clean Cars package will help clean our air, help us fight climate change, and perhaps most important for average citizens, save thousands of dollars over the life of the vehicles. Resources. Climate Change Emissions Fuel Efficiency Hybrids Plug-ins Policy

Comprehensive assessment concludes black carbon second-most important human emission in warming climate

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A comprehensive assessment of black-carbon climate forcing accepted for publication in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres estimates that black carbon, with a total climate forcing of +1.1?W?m Resources.

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Lifecycle study finds fuel switching from diesel to natural gas could produce net climate damage absent reductions in CH4 emissions and improved vehicle efficiency

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Otherwise, fuel switching can produce net climate damages (more radiative forcing) for decades. Although CH 4 decays more rapidly than CO 2 in the atmosphere, it is a more powerful greenhouse gas (GHG), and its influence on the climate is significant on decadal time frames. Resources.

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Lung Association report highlights health and climate costs of petroleum-based transportation and the benefits of shifting to ZEVs

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A new report produced by the American Lung Association concludes that over-reliance on petroleum-based fuels for transportation costs the 10 ZEV states in the US (California and nine other states that have adopted the California Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) program) an estimated $37 billion in health expenses and climate costs every year—with California costs alone hitting $15 billion. in hidden health and climate costs. Climate benefits include $5.5

MIT report finds China’s actions on climate change crucial; argues for global economy-wide greenhouse gas tax

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The report—titled “The Role of China in Mitigating Climate Change” and published in the journal Energy Economics , compares the impact of a stringent emissions reduction policy with and without China’s participation. We explore short- and long-term implications of several energy scenarios of China’s role in efforts to mitigate global climate risk. Resources. China Climate Change Policy

California Air Resources Board adopts GHG cap-and-trade program; first auctions slated for Aug/Nov 2012

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The California Air Resources Board on Thursday adopted the final greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions cap-and-trade regulation. The cap-and-trade joins a suite of other major climate program measures including standards for ultra-clean cars (Advanced Clean Cars, earlier post ), low-carbon fuels (Low Carbon Fuel Standard, earlier post ) and renewable electricity. Resources. Climate Change Emissions Policy

DOE Joint Genome Institute approves 41 projects for 2012 Community Sequencing Program; climate, environment and bioenergy feedstocks

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The projects span the globe and the unexplored branches of the tree of life, and promise to yield a better understanding of the interplay between climate, ecosystem and organism. The development of these genetic resources will enable scientists to identify genes that contribute to a number of traits that are essential to develop efficient biomass production including increased stress tolerance, water and nitrogen use efficiency and biomass production.

New international Climate and Clean Air Coalition to focus on reduction of short-lived climate pollutants

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Global benefits from full implementation of measures for reduction of short-lived climate pollutants in 2030 compared to the reference scenario. The climate change benefit is estimated for a given year (2050) and human health and crop benefits are. Resources.

Report argues advanced HD natural gas vehicles foundational for California to hit air and climate goals; near zero-emission potential

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California’s Climate Protection Strategies do not help meet NAAQS Standards. Widespread deployment of these near-zero and power plant emission-equivalent heavy-duty natural gas vehicles (NGVs) are needed to meet tough air quality and climate protection goals. Resources.

Scenarios For 2030 Zero-Emissions Cars In CA: Hydrogen Or Not?

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And it is now state policy to reduce emissions of climate-change gases, primarily carbon dioxide, from its 30 million-plus road vehicles by a whopping 80 percent by 2050. Green CARB California California Air Resources Board hydrogen plug-in cars state laws zero emissions With epic smog in the Los Angeles Basin, the state of California has led the nation''s charge to reduce emissions from road vehicles for more than half a century.

Field study finds soot particles absorb significantly less sunlight than predicted by models; climate models may be overestimating warming by BC

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Although viewed as a potential target in the global effort to reduce climate change, atmospheric black carbon particles absorb significantly less sunlight than scientists have predicted, according to a new study by an international team of researchers, published in the journal Science.

California Air Resources Board approves updated environmental analysis of state climate plan, re-approves AB 32 Scoping Plan; cap-and-trade back in motion

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The California Air Resources Board (ARB) approved an updated environmental analysis of the Scoping Plan. California Air Resources Board, et al., Resources. Climate Change Emissions PolicyApproval of the updated environmental analysis (known as the Functional Equivalent Document, FED) was also accompanied by a vote to re-approve the AB 32 Scoping Plan.

UNEP and partners launch Global Initiative for Resource-Efficient Cities; role of public transport

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The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and partners have launched a new initiative that aims to reduce pollution levels, improve resource efficiency and reduce infrastructure costs in cities across the world. Urban areas account for 50% of all waste, generate 60-80% of all greenhouse gas emissions and consume 75% of natural resources, yet occupy only 3% of the Earth’s surface, UNEP said. —“Sustainable, Resource Efficient Cities in the 21 st Century”. Resources.

Cambridge study of near-term alternative London bus technologies finds lean-burn CNG most costly with greater climate impact than diesel

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The study considered emissions of non-methane hydrocarbons (NMHC), CO, NO x , PM 2.5 , sulfur dioxide (SO 2 ), and ammonia (NH 3 ), as well as the lifecycle climate impact of CO 2 and non-CO 2 greenhouse gases (GHG) on a CO 2 -equivalent basis. Climate. Resources.

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Final report of Garnaut Review Update recommends carbon pricing scheme for Australia to do its fair share on climate change

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It will be much harder and more expensive for Australia to do its fair share on climate change without a carbon pricing scheme, according to the final report of the Garnaut Climate Change Review – Update 2011, Australia in the Global Response to Climate Change. In November 2010, the Australian Government commissioned Garnaut to provide an independent update to his 2008 Climate Change Review. Resources. Australia Climate Change Emissions Policy

National Academies report finds climate models need to evolve substantially, calls for strategy of increased unification amidst diversity

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A new generation of climate models will be needed to address a wide spectrum of climate information needs. Promoting unification in some aspects of the US climate modeling enterprise could enable more efficient, coordinated progress. Resources.

DOE launches major 10-year project to use high performance computing for climate change research; ACME

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Eight national laboratories—Lawrence Livermore, Argonne, Brookhaven, Lawrence Berkeley, Los Alamos, Oak Ridge, Pacific Northwest and Sandia—are combining forces with the National Center for Atmospheric Research, four academic institutions and one private-sector company in a 10-year project to use high performance computing (HPC) to develop and to apply the most complete climate and Earth system model. Resources. Climate Change Climate models High Performance Computing

California ARB votes to move forward with light-duty vehicle GHG and ZEV programs through 2025; cranking it up post-2025

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After considering the Advanced Clean Cars Midterm Review ( earlier post ), the California Air Resources Board voted unanimously on Friday to continue with the vehicle greenhouse gas emission standards and ZEV program for cars and light trucks sold in California through 2025. Resources.

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Study projects thermoelectric power in Europe and US vulnerable to climate change due to lower summer river flows and higher river water temperatures

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A study published in Nature Climate Change suggests that thermoelectric power plants (i.e., nuclear and fossil-fueled generating units) in Europe and the United States are vulnerable to climate change due to the combined impacts of lower summer river flows and higher river water temperatures. 16% in the United States depending on cooling system type and climate scenario for 2031—2060. Resources. Nature Climate Change doi: 10.1038/NCLIMATE1546.

Air Resources Board seeks nominations for 2014 Haagen-Smit Clean Air Awards

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The California Air Resources Board is accepting applications for the 2014 Haagen-Smit Clean Air Awards. The awards are annually bestowed upon scientists, policy makers, community leaders and educators who have made outstanding contributions to the advancement of clean air and climate change science, technology and policy. Resources.

PwC analysis finds meeting 2 C warming target would require “unprecedented and sustained” reductions over four decades

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—Leo Johnson, Partner, Sustainability and Climate Change, PwC. Resilience will become a watch word in the boardroom—to policy responses as well as to the climate. —Jonathan Grant, director, sustainability and climate change, PwC. Resources.

Study suggests cap and trade programs do not provide sufficient incentives for energy technology innovation; implications for climate policy

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Policies incentivizing the private sector to push to develop innovative “clean” technologies are likely to play a key role in achieving climate stabilization. This effect is worth noting, given the likely importance for long-term climate stabilization of capturing the potential of R&D to create and improve clean technologies, as well as develop scienti?c Resources. Climate Change Policy

Study finds climate impact of long distance trip can vary by factor of 10 depending upon mode, efficiency and occupancy

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GWP100 weighted specific climate impact (g CO 2 -eq per pkm) as a function of vehicle occupancy. 25% occupancy, the climate impact is at the level of an average air trip, whereas a car with three or more passengers, 60% occupancy or more, it is at the low level of average trains or coaches.

NRC releases report on potential for climate change to pose or to alter security risks for the US over next decade

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A schematic model showing the links between climate events and outcomes of national security concern, highlighting the roles of exposure and vulnerability. Core features of the climate change situation are known with confidence. Climate change is a global and a long-term phenomenon.

Group of 285 global investors with more than $20T in assets under management calls for urgent action on investment-grade climate change and energy policies; guidelines for governments

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Saying that “ investment-grade climate change and clean energy policy is required to shift private sector investment from high-carbon to low-carbon assets ”, a group of 285 investors has urged governments and international policy makers to take new and meaningful steps in the fight against climate change. Climate change presents major long-term risks to the global economy and to the assets in which we invest. Resources. Climate Change Policy

California Governor signs new super-pollutants legislation into law; black carbon, fluorinated gases and methane

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The law is in addition to California’s existing raft of climate legislation. SB 1383 reduces the emission of super pollutants (also known as short-lived climate pollutants) and promotes renewable gas by requiring a 50% reduction in black carbon and 40% reduction in methane and hydrofluorocarbon from 2013 levels by 2030. Reducing these pollutants can have a more immediate beneficial impact on climate change. Climate Change Diesel Emissions Environmental Justice Health

Chevrolet one of 16 organizations across US recognized by EPA for Climate Action; only automaker

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The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded 2015 Climate Leadership Awards to 16 organizations and one individual representing a wide array of industries from finance and manufacturing to retail and technology for showing what the agency said was exemplary corporate, organizational, and individual leadership in response to climate change. San Diego Regional Climate Collaborative (San Diego, Calif.):

U-Mich researcher’s first-principles analysis challenges conventional carbon accounting for biofuels; implications for climate policy

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In a paper that could have a significant impact on climate policies for transportation fuels, Dr. John M. Such an approach can indicate policy directions consistent with fostering the conditions that comprehensive analyses imply are necessary for climate protection. Resources.

Global Carbon Project: Low growth in global carbon emissions continues for third successive year

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This is a great help for tackling climate change but it is not enough. Although the break in emissions rise ties in with the pledges by countries to decrease emissions until 2030, it falls short of the reductions needed to limit climate change well below 2 degrees Celsius. Resources.

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U Toronto team assess the climate trade-off between reduced CO2 and increased Black Carbon from GDI engines

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is black carbon (BC)—a pollutant with large positive radiative forcing on the climate due to its ability to absorb incoming sunlight and reduce surface albedo on snow. A new study by a team at the University of Toronto has made a preliminary assessment of the climate trade-off (i.e.,

Study using paleoclimate data suggests climate sensitivity to CO2 doubling may be less severe than projected

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A new study, funded by the National Science Foundation’s Paleoclimate Program and published online this week in the journal Science , suggests that the rate of global warming from doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide from pre-industrial times may be less than the most extreme estimates of some previous studies and may be less severe than that projected by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report in 2007. and 2×CO 2 derived climate sensitivity more ambiguous than.

California ARB releases proposed strategy to reduce impact of short-lived climate pollutants

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The California Air Resources Board released a new draft of California’s Short-Lived Climate Pollutant Strategy to significantly reduce the near-term climate impacts of these potent pollutants. Science tells us that making cuts in emissions of these powerful climate pollutants will reduce the near-term impacts of climate change as we phase down fossil fuel carbon dioxide emissions. Methane is the most abundant of the short-lived climate pollutants in California.

California Air Resources Board signs MOU with Australian climate agency

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California Air Resources Board Chairman Mary D. Nichols and Chair of the Australian Clean Energy Regulator, Chloe Munro, signed a Memorandum of Understanding to guide collaboration between the agencies in addressing the global issue of climate change. The Australian Clean Energy Regulator and the Air Resources Board have been sharing practical lessons over the past year on methods for setting carbon prices.

Study concludes a shift from gasoline to diesel engines is consistent with long-term climate mitigation efforts

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Passenger transport affects climate through various mechanisms involving both long-lived—i.e. black carbon, BC—climate forcers. Many of them have indirect climate effects through chemical reactions or by changing the planetary albedo. Resources.

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California Air Resources Board releases draft regulations for cap-and-trade program linkage with Québec

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The California Air Resources Board (ARB) released proposed regulations to link its cap-and-trade program to Québec’s to form a joint carbon market to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Air Resources Board will consider the proposed regulations at its regular meeting on 28 June 2012. Linking with Québec is a significant advance in California’s efforts to fight climate change and steer our economy toward a clean energy future.

UNEP study: small number of measures targeting black carbon and tropospheric ozone could yield immediate climate benefits

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The climate change benefit is estimated for 2050 and human health and crop benefits are for 2030 and beyond. Black carbon and tropospheric ozone are harmful air pollutants that also contribute to climate change. Resources. Climate Change Diesel Emissions Policy

NOAA report finds 2010 one of the two warmest years on record; El Niño-Southern Oscillation and other climate patterns played major roles in weather events

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Source: State of the Climate in 2010. Worldwide, 2010 was one of the two warmest years on record, according to NOAA’s just-released 2010 State of the Climate report. Geographical distribution of notable climate anomalies and events occurring around the planet in 2010.