3 Bits – Some Help, Some Not So Much

3 Bits periodically provides three bite-sized items of interest about climate news.

  1. A Big Turn-On. Direct Air Capture (DAC) is starting to get more traction. DAC plants suck carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and re-sequester it underground. On September 9, 2021, Climeworks AG and Carbfix launched their Orca DAC plant in Iceland. Orca is now the largest of such facilities in the world. Orca has the capacity to remove 4000 tons of carbon from the air per year. With Orca’s launch, there are now 15 DACs globally with the capacity to remove a combined 9000 tons of CO2 from the air per year.  2020 global carbon emissions were 31.5 billion tons. As the saying goes, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. (Sources: https://www.economist.com/science-and-technology/2021/09/18/the-worlds-biggest-carbon-removal-plant-switches-on; https://www.reuters.com/business/environment/worlds-largest-plant-capturing-carbon-air-starts-iceland-2021-09-08/)
  2. Made in China. In advance of the upcoming UN climate conference (COP26) in Glasgow, President Biden pledged to provide $11.4 billion per year in financing support to support global climate action, doubling the US’s previous commitment. Communist Chinese leader Xi Jinping announced that China would stop financing coal-based power plants; however, that commitment will be limited just to foreign power plants while it continues to build new domestic coal burning power plants. According to Yale Environment 360, over half of China’s total energy consumption in 2019 was from coal. China produces 10.1 billion tons of carbon emissions or 28 percent of global CO2 emissions. The US produces 15 percent of global CO2 emissions. (Sources: https://news.un.org/en/story/2021/09/1100582; https://e360.yale.edu/features/despite-pledges-to-cut-emissions-china-goes-on-a-coal-spree; https://www.investopedia.com/articles/investing/092915/5-countries-produce-most-carbon-dioxide-co2.asp )
  3. Show Me the Money. Indonesia had a $1 billion arrangement with Norway for the protection of Indonesian forestlands and peatlands. In discussions since 2010, and in final negotiations for the Indonesian Environment Fund to receive its first $56 million payment, Indonesia abruptly pulled the plug on the deal. Why? Apparently, there were challenges with verifying, reporting, and measuring forestry emissions in accordance with international standards. This was compounded by political pressure in Indonesia. The government rescinded environmental protections to stimulate greater economic growth – for example, on September 19th, the government terminated a moratorium on new permits for palm oil concessions. These changes represent significant risks to the Indonesian environment. 10% of the world’s tropical rainforests and 36% of global tropical peatlands are in Indonesia. (Source: https://www.climatechangenews.com/2021/09/20/indonesia-ends-forest-protection-deal-norway-raising-deforestation-fears/ )

3 Bits shares pertinent news from the ocean of climate-related news and information. While the urgency surrounding climate change demands attention, CCC also wants to showcase where progress is being made and where committed organizations and people are doing their part. We hope you find 3 Bits to be interesting and informative.