Clean Technica

Coal pollution

G7 agree to close all coal-fired generating stations by 2035

Energy ministers from the G7 countries — Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the European Union — agreed at a meeting in Turin, Italy, to close all coal-fired generating stations in their countries by 2035 if not sooner. Putting an end date on coal — the most polluting of all fossil fuels — has been highly controversial at international climate talks. Until this point, Japan, which derived 32% of its electricity from coal in 2023 according to the climate advocate Ember, has blocked progress on the issue at past G7 meetings.

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Cargo ship in harbor

A majority of nations agrees to global tax on shipping emissions for first-time ever

Two weeks of talks at the U.N.’s International Maritime Organization have concluded in London, with a clear majority of countries emerging in favor of a historic, first-ever global emissions levy. The shipping sector, which accounts for 3% of global emissions and transports more than 90% of global trade, is regarded as one of the hardest industries to decarbonize, partly owing to the vast amounts of dirty fossil fuels the ships burn each year.

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Satellite over Earth

New satellite pinpoints global methane pollution in real-time

MethaneSAT, developed by the Environmental Defense Fund in partnership with the New Zealand Space Agency, is the size of a washing machine and cost $88 million to build and launch. While part of its mission is to spot polluters, the other side of the coin is that it can verify that others are indeed managing those emissions in a responsible fashion. Stemming methane leaks is the fastest single way to curb the escalation of average global temperatures, according to The Guardian.

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DSV rooftop solar in Horsens, Denmark

World’s largest rooftop solar power plant to be built in Denmark

Danish solar company SolarFuture has landed the order to establish a 35 MW rooftop solar power plant at DSV’s new logistics center in Horsens. The building at DSV’s logistics center is over 300,000 m2, an area that corresponds to the world’s 5th largest building, of which the majority of the roof surface will be covered by solar panels. The establishment of the construction site has just begun and is expected to be completed in December 2024.

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Traffic in a Chinese city

25% of new car sales in China were fully electric in 2023 for the first time ever

Electric vehicles sales in China, the world’s largest automotive market, are surging. All plugin models accounted for 37% of the market in 2023, up from just 6% at the end of 2021. Full electrics (BEVs) alone accounted for 25%. Plugins are expected to cross the 50% mark for plugins and electric by 2026, with BEVs likely to account for over a third of sales, if current trends persist.

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House in the snow

Leading heat pump manufacturers develop next-generation prototypes to withstand subfreezing weather

The U.S. Department of Energy has announced that four additional heat pump manufacturers successfully produced heat pump prototypes as part of the Residential Cold Climate Heat Pump (CCHP) Technology Challenge. Launched in 2021, this initiative brings together public and private sector stakeholders to address technical challenges and market barriers to adopting next-generation cold-climate heat pumps—a key clean energy technology that can potentially save households $500 a year or more on their utility bills while also slashing harmful carbon emissions.

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Fjord

Norway moves aggressively to curb cruise ship emissions to protect fjords

Starting in 2026, only ships powered by alternative fuels will be allowed to visit Norway’s fjords. Lawmakers want to protect the unique natural environment and stop marine diesel oil and mass tourism from damaging the climate. Some ships are now powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG), but that will no longer qualify as an acceptable fuel for cruise ships visiting the fjords of Norway.

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German flag

Germany reports lowest carbon emissions since the 1950s

In 2023, GHG emissions in Germany fell to 673 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent, according to Agora Energiewende. That is down 46% compared to the reference year of 1990 and the lowest level since the 1950s. At the same time, carbon emissions were about 49 million tons below the German national target of 722 million tons as specified by Germany’s Climate Protection Act and 73 million tons lower than the prior year.

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Wild Saiga antelopes in steppe near watering pond

Saiga no longer endangered with 1.9 million roaming Central Asian Steppe

The IUCN Red List status of this timeless talisman of the Central Asian steppes has been changed from Critically Endangered to Near Threatened. The dramatic downlisting reflects a remarkable rebound in saiga numbers, particularly its Kazakhstan stronghold, where populations have bounced back from a perilously low 48,000 individuals in 2005 to a new high of over 1.9 million.

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