Monthly Archives: March 2021

From carbon accounting to carbon accountability: It’s time for banks to step up

The Partnership for Carbon Accounting Financials recently welcomed its 100th member, a milestone that reflects banks’ growing focus on measuring financed emissions. But while robust carbon accounting is necessary for the long term, it is no substitute for action now. To pick up the pace of Paris alignment, banks must begin targeting financed emissions in carbon-intensive sectors immediately.

Improving data and disclosure is a valid long game, with mandatory climate risk disclosure and corporate leadership playing important roles. But financial institutions already have many of the tools and much of the data points needed to ramp up action in carbon-intensive sectors.

Read More »

Posted in Methane, Methane regulatons / Comments are closed

4 things every utility, fleet and energy regulator should know about heavy-duty truck charging

The transition to electric heavy-duty trucks is upon us, sparked by a steady decline in battery costs, continuous improvements in electric truck and charging technology, and growing recognition of the climate and local air quality impact of diesel trucks. But even as household names like FedEx, PepsiCo and Amazon have made public pledges to electrify their truck fleets, concerns that charging infrastructure will be able to meet fleets’ needs cost effectively threaten to slow the market-wide transition.

A study commissioned by EDF and conducted by Gladstein, Neandross and Associates addresses these charging questions and provides a pathway to ensuring heavy duty trucks can electrify.

Read More »

Posted in California, Electric Vehicles, Grid Modernization / Comments are closed

What does it really mean for a gas utility to go net-zero?

SoCalGas – the nation’s largest gas utility recently pledged to go net-zero on their greenhouse gas emissions. At face value, this is a great move, but what does this really mean for a gas-only company that has had some major climate missteps in the past? And what are the implications for current and future SoCalGas customers?

Today, customers use natural gas for a variety of purposes — to warm our homes, to take hot showers, to cook hot meals. But as part of the transition to a cleaner energy economy, more and more customers are shifting to electric appliances to perform those same functions. That shift means that they will be leaving the gas system to a decarbonized electric grid.

That’s great news for the climate, but it’s less great news if you’re a gas-only company or if you’re one of the few gas customers left on the system, especially if you are a large industrial customer and there is not an electric alternative available for your business process.

Read More »

Posted in California, Gas to Clean, Natural Gas, New Jersey, New York / Comments are closed

Congress should restore critical methane pollution standards

By Rosalie Winn and Raisa Orleans

EDF Legal Fellow Edwin LaMair contributed to this post.

Lawmakers last week introduced joint resolutions under the Congressional Review Act to restore widely-supported methane pollution protections and allow the Environmental Protection Agency to move forward swiftly with ambitious next-generation standards for new and existing oil and gas facilities. The move has received broad support from environmental groups and at least one industry trade group.

The resolutions have widespread support among both House and Senate leadership and will be fast-tracked in the coming weeks.

EPA first adopted the standards in 2016 to reduce the oil and gas industry’s pollution of methane — a potent greenhouse gas and the primary component of natural gas — along with other smog-forming and hazardous local air pollution.

Methane is responsible for a quarter of the warming that we are experiencing today, and the oil and gas industry is the largest industrial source of methane pollution in the U.S. Local health-harming pollution from the industry impacts more than 9 million Americans who live on the frontlines of oil and gas development. Read More »

Posted in General, Methane, Methane regulatons / Comments are closed

Careful accounting is critical to assessing the climate benefits of biomethane

By Mark Omara and Joe Rudek

Multiple states are exploring the use of renewable natural gas to decarbonize their gas systems. Renewable natural gas tends to be a generic term that describes a variety of fuels, including hydrogen, synthetic gas and biogas.

As we explained in an earlier blog, not all biogas (a biomethane precursor) is created equal. In order to provide climate benefits, renewable natural gas fuels must result in a net reduction in methane emissions, since methane is a very potent greenhouse gas that is rapidly increasing the rate of near-term global warming. The simple label of “bio” on the methane does not mean that it is automatically renewable or that it provides climate benefits. Both the selection of source of the organic fuels and the injection methods must be done correctly to provide climate benefits.

But what does “done correctly” mean?

Read More »

Posted in California, Methane / Comments are closed

Curbing methane emissions is a climate opportunity for national oil companies

By Ratnika Prasad

The energy transition is accelerating, as social, political and economic pressures build on political and corporate leaders to meet the Paris goal of limiting global temperature rise to well below two degrees Celsius.

While carbon dioxide is often the focus, at least a quarter of today’s warming is caused by methane emissions from human sources. Methane is 84 times more potent than carbon dioxide in the first two decades after its release, making methane reductions especially useful in slowing the rate of warming.

As a major source of global methane emissions, the oil and gas industry bears a special responsibility for urgent action to bring methane leakage and flaring under control. Some operators are embracing the challenge. However, barring a few exceptions, national oil companies — those that are fully or majority-owned by a national government — have largely lagged behind their privately owned counterparts.

A new report by Carbon Limits explores the critical role NOCs can play in mitigation of methane emissions. Over half of total global oil and gas production comes from NOCs, with an estimated 75% of industry’s methane emissions stemming from the countries they operate in, according to IEA data. This outsized relationship between emissions and production underscores the need for concerted action by NOCs to curb methane emissions.

Read More »

Posted in Methane, Natural Gas / Comments are closed