Energy Exchange

The commitment goes on: MARPOL’s 50th anniversary and EDF’s multi-disciplinary approach to shipping decarbonization

By Dana Rodriguez

Today marks the celebration of World Maritime Day. This year’s theme — ‘MARPOL at 50 — Our commitment goes on’. This theme spotlights the 50th anniversary of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, and encourages discussions on the next phase of the International Maritime Organization’s work to promote a just transition to sustainable shipping.

The MARPOL Convention was adopted in response to a series of tanker accidents in 1976 and 1977 that caused millions of gallons of fuels to spill into our oceans. Since 1973, MARPOL has evolved into a fundamental aspect of the international framework for protecting oceans, and today, it covers the prevention of pollution from ships to the marine environment.

In keeping with the theme of Maritime World Day, Environmental Defense Fund is reflecting on its global shipping work one year into its consultative status at the IMO. Through engagement, collaboration and an array of scientific research, EDF has been a strong proponent of ambitious decarbonization targets, and of implementing solutions to achieve those targets in an equitable and just manner. The organization also advocates for specific mandates to adopt alternative means of propulsion and non-fossil-based fuels for the shipping sector to contribute to limiting global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels, in alignment with the Paris Agreement.

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Pennsylvanians want climate action; methane offers an opportunity for Gov. Shapiro to deliver

Marcellus shale gas-drilling site along PA Route 87, Lycoming County.

Marcellus shale gas-drilling site along PA Route 87, Lycoming County.
Photo courtesy of Nicholas A. Tonelli

By John Rutecki

As we wrap up a summer of sweltering heat waves and dangerous air quality, new poll results show strong majorities of Pennsylvanians want action to address the climate crisis. The poll from EDF Action, Earthworks Action Fund, Sierra Club and Clean Air Task Force Action found that the majority of Pennsylvanians support one of the best ways to slow the current rate of warming — cutting methane pollution.

Methane from fossil fuel operations, agriculture and other industries is responsible for at least 30% of current warming.

With the U.S. EPA finalizing its nationwide methane rule for oil and gas producers this fall, Gov. Shapiro has the opportunity to give the majority of Pennsylvanians what they want by delivering a strong state implementation plan to reduce methane emissions.

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Beyond the application: what’s next for DOE’s hydrogen and direct air capture hubs, and how to engage in the process

By Jona Koka

The Department of Energy’s $7 billion  hydrogen (H2) and $3.5 billion direct air capture hubs program has been hailed as an opportunity to unleash innovation and create a new vision for industrial development. We’ve written about it before and agree this is a great opportunity to set a much higher bar for what high-quality projects could look like, including strong environmental protections and much deeper and more authentic partnership with communities.

But Environmental Defense Fund has been asked several times: How does this really work? What are the timelines? And how can I make my voice heard in the process?

For easy access, we’ve pulled together all the information in one place.

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Once again evidence indicates stronger methane action needed in Canada

By Ari Pottens and Scott Seymour

Last week, the Canadian Government released new estimates for the country’s greenhouse gas emissions, including emissions of the potent climate pollutant methane. Methane is the second most prevalent greenhouse gas and is causing about a third of current global warming.

The oil and gas industry is the second largest source of methane in Canada, and according to the latest emissions inventory, it reduced emissions 34% from 2012 levels — the baseline level from which Canada measures its climate progress.

This indicates progress has been made since Canada first took steps in 2020 to help reduce methane emissions from the oil and gas industry. Unfortunately, a new report out today by an independent government auditor reveals that, due to significant flaws with the way Canada estimates emissions, it’s virtually impossible to know how much emissions have really been reduced. Study after study shows that emissions are up to twice as high as what the government reports.

The Commissioner’s report explains that “it cannot be certain” Environment and Climate Change Canada will hit its emission reduction target, despite the department’s assurance that it’s on track.

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Earth Day Italia Shines A Light On Methane

By Flavia Sollazzo

One of Italy’s most picturesque cities, Venice, topped the list of European regions most at risk for floods and sea level rise in a recent climate analysis from Cross Dependency Initiative. The research comes just weeks before thousands of environmental activists, experts, government officials, celebrities and citizens will descend on Rome for Earth Day Italia to stress the urgency and need for solutions that will create a healthier and safer planet for everyone.

One urgent climate opportunity has made this year’s main stage: methane.

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A North Star for Sustainable Aviation: Science, People and Nature.

By Pedro Piris-Cabezas and Glenda Chen

The Biden administration has worked to keep its promise to follow the science in dealing with challenges like housing, COVID, air pollution — and especially climate change. The next major test is coming soon. The Treasury Department is preparing to issue guidelines about which alternative fuels will qualify for federal refundable tax credits for sustainable aviation fuels created by last year’s Inflation Reduction Act.

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