California and NASA unveiled a $100 million satellite project that aims to pinpoint large emissions of greenhouse gases from individual sources like power plants and oil refineries. The project, also known as the Carbon Mapper project, is backed by billionaire Michael Bloomberg and will launch its first two satellites in 2023. The program intends to launch 20 satellites in total, which will be constructed and operated by San Francisco’s Planet company.
The project is part of the increasing use of space-age technology to identify significant sources of methane, a greenhouse gas that is 80 times more potent than carbon dioxide during its first 20 years in the atmosphere. Experts argue that identifying methane sources is vital to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and avoiding the worst impacts of climate change.
“We can’t afford to be complacent. I hope this is the start of a competition between companies, institutions, and space agencies about providing the most accurate atmospheric CO2 (carbon dioxide) and CH4 (methane) satellite data to help meet the challenges associated with reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” Paul Palmer, a scientist at Edinburgh University, told BBC News.
The announcement of the methane identification initiative comes only days after research from St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia determined that Canadian methane emissions are likely undercounted.
Environment and Climate Change Canada estimates national methane emissions by relying on mathematical modelling, instead of actually measuring emissions rates. Researchers argue the government needs to transition to measuring methane rather than estimating it. CBC News has that story.
Shell is urging stakeholders to approve its strategy to shift the company to cleaner energy sources, despite criticism that it does not go far enough to meet Paris climate agreement goals. Shell’s strategy involves programs to reduce the carbon intensity of the energy it produces by 20 per cent by 2030. It also includes a framework for the energy giant to become a carbon neutral company by 2050.
“It is a strategy that we believe creates value for our shareholders, our customers and wider society,” Shell CEO Ben van Beurden said.
The vote will take place at Shell’s annual stakeholder meeting in May, but the result will not be binding. The Guardian has more.
India will spend $200 million over the next five to seven years to promote the use of hydrogen, according to Indu Shekhar Chaturvedi, an official at India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy. The government has already ordered state-run oil and gas companies to set up seven hydrogen pilot plants by the end of this financial year. It was not noted whether India will focus on blue hydrogen or the more environmentally-friendly green hydrogen.
In Washington, state lawmakers have passed a bill that would stop all sales of gasoline-fueled vehicles in the state by 2030. The target, which is five years earlier than California’s plan, is not a firm mandate and is dependent on the state also adopting a tax on vehicle miles traveled, which will be used to help pay for transportation infrastructure, according to the text of the bill.
On Friday morning at 8:48 a.m., West Texas Intermediate was trading at US$63.44 and Brent Crude was going for US$67.05.
Conservatives are fanning out to explain their climate plan, which was released by party leader Erin O’Toole on Thursday. Laurel Collins, the New Democratic Party environment and climate change critic, condemned both the Conservative and Liberal policies, arguing neither party goes far enough in its climate strategy.
“What the Conservatives announced today is no plan at all. It’s even weaker than Liberal commitments when it comes to reducing emissions and does even less to reimburse families for the costs of carbon,” she said.
Meanwhile, Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson described the Conservative plan as a “petro points” rewards program where “the more you burn, the more you earn.” iPolitics has that story.
Staying with Wilkinson, the environment minister announced a $1.3 million investment that will support five projects seeking to reduce plastic waste, prevent plastic pollution and support the transition to a national circular plastics economy. The initiative is part of the Canada-wide Strategy on Zero Plastic Waste.
Finally, a committee that is supposed to consult Albertans on coal development in the Rocky Mountains will not consider concerns regarding water or land use. According to the committee’s terms of reference, it will only discuss matters related to coal that are under the administration of the minister of energy.
“The terms of reference say we’re consulting on everything but what we want to talk about,” said local landowner Kevin van Tighem. The Canadian Press has the full story.
Canadian Crude Index was trading at US$49.16 and Western Canadian Select was going for US$52.01 this morning at 8:49 a.m.