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Extracted

EXTRACTED: Daily News Clips 11/10/22

Mark Hefflinger, Bold Alliance (Photo: Bryon Houlgrave/Des Moines Register

By Mark Hefflinger

November 10, 2022

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PIPELINE NEWS

WASHINGTON UPDATES

  • Washington Post: Meet the Republicans who could lead key House environmental committees

  • Reuters: US, EU plan new pledge targeting oil and gas methane emissions – document

  • Politico: Democrats To Step Up Permitting Push, But GOP May Run Out The Clock

STATE UPDATES

EXTRACTION

  • Guardian: Oil and gas greenhouse emissions ‘three times higher’ than producers claim

  • Guardian: Oil and gas firms planning ‘frightening’ fossil fuels growth, report finds

  • Canada Action Coalition: Canada’s Role in a Sustainable Energy Future Ought to Shine in Egypt

TODAY IN GREENWASHING

  • Enbridge: Guidance, support and stability for America’s military veterans

OPINION

  • Bismarck Tribune: Letter: Summit Pipeline will not benefit North Dakota

  • Bloomberg: Oil-Consuming Nations Must Form Their Own Anti-OPEC+

  • The Hill: COP27: A global methane agreement can prevent climate catastrophe

  • Al Jazeera: Fossil fuels are the world’s worst deals to insure — here’s why

PIPELINE NEWS

Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement (ICCI): Iowa Climate Coalition Protests National Carbon Capture Conference to Oppose CO2 Pipelines
11/9/22

“Today, over 100 people from Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska and Minnesota marched to the Iowa Convention Center to denounce CO2 pipelines as a false climate solution while the National Carbon Capture Conference & Expo was concluding. It hosted Summit Carbon Solutions, Navigator CO2 Ventures and Wolf Carbon Solutions who want to build 2,000 miles of pipelines across the Midwest to capture carbon dioxide from ethanol and fertilizer plants. Gov. Kim Reynolds worked with Iowa State Senate Republicans to kill legislation that would have made it illegal to grant private companies eminent domain for these projects despite 80% of Iowans opposing its use for carbon pipelines. The protest called out elected leaders who continue to ignore the public objection of Indigenous communities, farmers, and everyday Iowans. While all communities will be impacted by the construction and operation of the CCS pipeline projects, Black and Indigenous communities who have historically been marginalized and people that do not own land, are being excluded from a real public engagement process. “The fight for climate justice is the fight for racial justice. The plans to construct these carbon pipelines through our state are a clear sign of environmental racism. It will be Black, Brown and Indigenous Iowans who suffer the most from the construction of these pipelines and the ongoing climate crisis,” said  Jaylen Cavil, Des Moines Black Liberation Movement Advocacy Director… “As the Iowa Utilities Board prepares to handle permit requests for carbon pipelines, Iowa residents can contact their representatives and file an objection in open dockets for Summit, Navigator and Wolf to oppose the CCS pipelines on Iowa Utilities Board’s website.”

DTN Progressive Farmer: Carbon Pipelines Seek Iowa Permits as Protestors Disrupt Industry Conference
Chris Clayton, 11/9/22

“Protestors opposed to carbon pipeline projects in Iowa disrupted the opening of a two-day Carbon Capture Conference and Expo,” DTN Progressive Farmer reports. “At least seven people stood up at separate times during an early panel discussion Tuesday, blowing whistles and cursing representatives from carbon pipeline and associated industries in attendance at the event. “Carbon Capture pipelines are not safe!” yelled one protestor as he was being escorted out. “They will kill us and kill our environment!” “…It’s an emotional issue we have to deal with all of the time,” said Jim Pirolli, chief commercial officer for Summit Carbon Solutions. Pirolli added protesters are a “loud minority voice,” and most of the opposition letters written to the Iowa Utilities Board over Summit’s permit docket are not from landowners. “Almost every single detractor and opposition letter that’s been filed against our docket are people that are not on the pipeline,” Pirolli said… “Burns-Thompson said there are different levers of regulatory oversight from counties and agencies in each state. And each state has different rules on how permits and public hearings are conducted. “I don’t think it should be easy, necessarily, to get permits, and I say permits because it’s not just one permit. There is no one single entity that we go to that allows these projects to move through,” Burns-Thompson said. “It’s a lot of oversight from a lot of different entities. I think there is a misconception around that. As Burns-Thompson and others from Summit and Wolf were speaking, they were repeatedly interrupted by protestors in the crowd. “As you’ve seen, this is an emotional issue as well,” she said.

Iowa Utilities Board: IUB Sets Scheduling Conference for Proposed Summit Carbon CO2 Pipeline
11/9/22

“In an order issued November 8, 2022, the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) set a scheduling conference to discuss a procedural schedule and public hearing date for Summit Carbon Solutions, LLC’s, proposed carbon capture hazardous liquid pipeline in Docket No. HLP-2021-0001. The scheduling conference will be held immediately following the oral argument scheduled for December 13, 2022, in the IUB Hearing Room at 1375 E. Court Ave., Des Moines, Iowa… “The order also set November 30, 2022, as the deadline for interested parties to submit their proposed procedural schedule and for anyone who intends to participate in the scheduling conference to submit notice in the docket and indicate whether they will attend in person or remotely via Webex. Proposed procedural schedules should include an intervention deadline, testimony due dates, and potential public hearing dates.”

Coalition to Stop CO2 Pipelines: Carbon Capture and Storage: Climate Savior or False Solution?
11/9/22

“CCS/CCUS has been moved front and center in federal policies and plans to address climate change. This webinar, entitled “Carbon Capture and Storage: Climate Savior or False Solution” will take a closer look at the impacts of CCS/CCUS, its potential for significantly reducing carbon emissions and what the alternatives might be if we want to curtail rising global temperatures. It is clear that the path we take now in tackling climate change will have profound effects on the future. We also know that at a time when we need to commit to implementing effective climate mitigation measures, personal and organizational perspectives on CCS/CCUS vary from full support to adamant opposition. With the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, the U.S. is now poised to invest literally hundreds of billions of dollars on CCS/CCUS infrastructure. The question before us is “is this a wise use of precious time and money?” FREE WEBINAR: Tuesday, November 15, 2022, 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm. FEATURING: Dr. Mark Jacobson, Director Atmosphere/Energy Program, Stanford University; June Sekera, Senior Research Fellow, Boston University’s Global Development Policy Center; Dr. Albert Karvelis, Risk and Safety Analyst, Fellow-American Society of Mechanical Engineers.”

Reuters: Pipeline operator TC Energy looks to sell C$5 bln of assets next year
Rod Nickel and Arunima Kumar, 11/9/22

“North American oil and gas pipeline company TC Energy Corp  said on Wednesday it was looking to sell C$5 billion ($3.7 billion) worth of assets to repay debt and fund new projects, and reported an 8% rise in quarterly profit,” Reuters reports. “…TC Energy Chief Executive Francois Poirier said the company planned to raise more than C$5 billion through 2023 from selling assets and minority interests. He said the company also intended to approve C$5 billion worth of projects annually throughout the decade. The asset sales plans are bigger than previously expected, and TC now may reach its goal of reducing debt to less than five times earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) two years early, in 2024, Tudor Pickering Holt analyst Matthew Taylor told Reuters. Poirier told analysts on a call that he would not provide details about what assets TC may sell, but said the company would consider future greenhouse gas emissions in the sales. Among its projects, TC is building the C$11.2 billion Coastal GasLink pipeline to supply Shell PLC-led (SHEL.L) LNG Canada’s liquefied natural gas export terminal in British Columbia by 2025.”

Journal Courier: Senator calls for feds to ensure pipeline-impacted property in Scott, Greene and Jersey counties is restored
David C.L. Bauer, 11/10/22

“A natural-gas pipeline that carves through about 59 miles of Scott, Greene and Jersey counties is facing renewed scrutiny after U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth called for federal authorities to ensure restoration of pipeline-impacted property,” the Journal Courier reports. “In a letter to Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman Richard Glick, the Illinois senator contends it appears pipeline owner Spire Inc. “has misrepresented some of the facts in their reports submitted to FERC and it does not appear that Spire is as engaged in restoring landowners’ properties as necessary.” Spire representative Jason Merrill, director of integrated corporate communications, rebuts the comment, telling the Courier, “we continue to be proud of the work we’ve done to restore the right-of-way following construction of the Spire STL Pipeline.” He said the “vast majority of the land has been restored with vegetation returning to pre-construction conditions.” Members of Duckworth’s staff visited “multiple properties” Oct. 19 after landowners contacted her about unresolved restoration issues resulting from the pipeline. She told the Courier her staff “found the landowners’ claims to not only be legitimate, but serious. … There are serious concerns regarding erosion, drainage issues, compaction … soil contamination, debris and large rocks buried in the soils, among other damages that fall squarely within FERC’s jurisdiction.” “…Duckworth has asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to put into place an order that would require it to approve landowner remediation plans, in addition to requiring: Spire to file a plan to mitigate, address and satisfy all FERC-related compliance and restoration issues; Spire to prepare the plan in consultation with the landowners and allow the landowners at least 30 days for comments and recommendations of an appropriate plan; Spire to include with the plan documentation of the consultation, including copies of comments and any recommendations on the completed plan provided by the landowner; Duckworth said if Spire does not adopt a recommendation, the filing must include its reasons based on project-specific information and that Spire may not conduct the mitigation activities until the plan is approved by the federal agency.”

WASHINGTON UPDATES

Washington Post: Meet the Republicans who could lead key House environmental committees
Maxine Joselow, 11/9/22

“After polls closed Tuesday evening, the battle for control of Congress remains undecided. Many races are still too close to call, as Democrats dashed Republicans’ hopes for a red wave. But while the Senate is up for grabs, Republicans are still poised to win the House,” the Washington Post reports. “And already, key GOP lawmakers are teasing their plans if they’re in the majority, vowing to intensify oversight of the Biden administration’s climate agenda and pledging to push legislation that would increase the burning of fossil fuels, a primary driver of global warming… “Lucas, 62, could take the gavel of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee from current chair Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Tex.), who is retiring in January. Oversight plans: If he helms the panel, Lucas would continue to scrutinize the Energy Department’s Loan Programs Office, spokeswoman Heather Vaughan told the Post… “McMorris Rodgers, 53, could become the first woman to lead the House Energy and Commerce Committee following a string of male chairs, including Reps. Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J.), Greg Walden (R-Mich.) and Fred Upton (R-Mich.). Oversight plans: In a recent interview with The Climate 202, McMorris Rodgers said she hopes to investigate the climate investments in Democrats’ recently passed climate law, dubbed the Inflation Reduction Act… “Westerman, 54, could reclaim the gavel of the House Natural Resources Committee from Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.), who has led the panel since 2019. Oversight plans: In a recent interview with The Climate 202, Westerman said he would seek to conduct oversight of the Interior Department’s efforts to craft a new five-year plan for offshore oil and gas leasing in federal waters… “However, Republicans might prefer to pursue permitting changes in the next Congress, rather than in the lame-duck session, if they take control of one or both chambers, which is still a possibility.”

Reuters: US, EU plan new pledge targeting oil and gas methane emissions – document
Kate Abnett and Valerie Volcovici, 11/9/22

“The United States and European Union plan to unveil a joint agreement this week to step up efforts to reduce emissions of the potent greenhouse gas methane from the fossil fuel sector, and are hoping other nations will sign up,” Reuters reports. “A draft of the pledge, seen by Reuters, said the United States and EU will agree to target the energy sector with both domestic and international measures, such as policies to stop routine venting and flaring of natural gas, and require companies to fix leaks in their infrastructure… “The declaration would build on an agreement spearheaded by the United States and EU last year to slash methane emissions 30% by 2030 from 2020 levels. That ‘Global Methane Pledge’ has since been signed by 119 countries, among them 13 of the world’s top 20 methane emitters including Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico and Nigeria. A U.S. official told Reuters the United States and EU had lined up support from a few “major players” for the new declaration, without specifying further. The draft said signatories could also bolster monitoring and reporting of methane emissions – forcing companies to face up to the scale of their problem. A senior EU official told Reuters the declaration aimed to advance international standards for such monitoring and reporting. “The methane abatement work is suffering from the lack of international standards,” they told Reuters.

Politico: Democrats To Step Up Permitting Push, But GOP May Run Out The Clock
JOSH SIEGEL, BEN LEFEBVRE, 11/9/22

“Congressional Democrats are expected to press ahead with plans to update energy permitting rules before the end of the year, but Republicans may not be in the mood to strike a compromise if they take control of the House or Senate,” Politico reports. “ Instead, House Republicans who dismissed Sen. Joe Manchin’s proposal to streamline permitting rules this summer as too modest are likely to push their own plan next year if the votes from Tuesday that are still being tallied give them the majority. That would set up a partisan struggle over the effort to ease the regulatory requirements for new energy infrastructure. Washington Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, who is in line to chair the Energy and Commerce Committee if Republicans win the chamber, told POLITICO in an interview ahead of the election that permitting would be a ‘top priority,’ and criticized Manchin’s effort because it ‘doesn’t get us to where we need to be.’”

STATE UPDATES

Santa Barbara Independent: Is ExxonMobil Sailing Off into Santa Barbara’s Sunset?
Nick Welsh, 11/9/22

“Given the South Coast’s historic antipathy to the oil industry, one might have expected a few historic gasps in response to the news that ExxonMobil — one of the biggest oil companies on the planet — has decided to sell all its onshore and offshore assets along the Gaviota Coast to a mysterious new entity called Sable Offshore Corporation,” the Santa Barbara Independent reports. “To the extent the news, released last week, qualified as a shot heard around the world, a silencer was clearly involved. Even now, Santa Barbara County energy planners, elected officials and long-term environmental activists are scrambling to figure out what’s really afoot and what influence, if any, they can hope to exert over future developments… “Last week, ExxonMobil quietly confirmed the sale of all its assets associated with its Santa Ynez Unit — three offshore platforms, Heritage, Harmony, and Hondo, with 112 wells — its 135-acre production facility along the coast at Las Flores Canyon, and 123 miles of pipeline that ExxonMobil purchased from Plains All American Pipeline just the week before… “Precipitating the deal in the first place was the Plains pipeline rupture of 2015 that left 3,400 barrels of oil on the beaches by Refugio Canyon. That immediately and effectively shut down the pipeline upon which Exxon depended to get its oil to market… “According to Supervisor Joan Hartmann — whose district includes Exxon’s facilities — it appears the plan is no longer to install 123 miles of new and improved oil pipelines to replace the ones found to be corroded by federal pipeline safety inspectors. Instead, she said, it appears it is to replace and repair only those portions of the pipeline that have been deemed to be defective.”

Carlsbad Current-Argus: Carlsbad’s air pollution from oil and gas probed by New Mexico agency as industry grows
Adrian Hedden, 11/10/22

“New Mexico is taking a harder look at air pollution in the Carlsbad area during a time of expanded oil and gas production in the southeast corner of the state that environmentalist and state officials tied to worsening air quality,” the Carlsbad Current-Argus reports. “The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded about $59,000 in federal funds to the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) for a project to monitor the air in Carlsbad for volatile organic compounds (VOCs), via the Inflation Reduction Act passed into law earlier this year. Specifically, the air monitor to be developed with the funding will target emissions of benzene, ethylene, and xylene – air pollutants all known to form ground-level ozone known as smog and emanate from fossil fuel development. The need for such research grew along with oil and gas operations in the community, Kayley Shoup with Carlsbad-based environmental group Citizens Caring for the Future told the Argus… “I don’t think many people think about all the oil and gas production in the area, and that it could be harmful to them,” Shoup told the Argus. “This gives them some really good data. They don’t know what’s in the air we breathe. If they have health concerns, this could help them connect the dots.” “…EPA Administer Michael Regan said the agency was committed to address air pollution throughout rural, underserved communities like Carlsbad, hoping to reign in emissions from polluters like fossil fuel companies in the Permian Basin. “The air monitoring projects we are announcing today, which include the first EPA grants funded by President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, will ensure dozens of overburdened communities have the tools they need to better understand air quality challenges in their neighborhoods and will help protect people from the dangers posed by air pollution,” he said in a statement.

EXTRACTION

Guardian: Oil and gas greenhouse emissions ‘three times higher’ than producers claim
Fiona Harvey, 11/9/22

“Greenhouse gas emissions from oil and gas facilities around the world are about three times higher than their producers claim, new data has shown,” according to the Guardian. “Climate Trace, a project to measure at source the true levels of carbon dioxide and other global heating gases, published a new report on Wednesday showing that half of the 50 largest sources of greenhouse gases in the world were oil and gas fields and production facilities. Many are underreporting their emissions, and there are few means of calling them to account… “The “shocking” under-reporting of emissions is a big problem in trying to tackle the climate crisis, according to Al Gore, former vice-president of the US, a founding member of the Climate Trace coalition. “We can only manage what we can measure,” Gore told the Guardian at Cop27 in Egypt. “Climate Trace is the neighbourhood watch for the globe.” Under the UN system, countries are responsible for reporting their own greenhouse gas emissions. Gore said: “There are some inherent vulnerabilities in a self-reporting framework. If there is a bad actor, who doesn’t want to report, or if there is a brand name company that wants to sell its high emitting asset through a dark private equity group, it disappears from the self-reporting framework. But we still see it because we have empirical data. So we can help them protect against cheating.” “…Climate Trace uses evidence from satellites, remote sensors and other sources to monitor emissions globally, using artificial intelligence to build a clear picture of emissions sources around the world. The group’s database provides emissions information from 2015 to 2021 for all countries that are party to the Paris agreement, which encompasses all world nations apart from a handful of failed states. None of those nations have yet submitted to the UN a full account of their greenhouse gases for 2021, and 52 countries have not submitted any emissions inventories covering the last 10 years.”

Guardian: Oil and gas firms planning ‘frightening’ fossil fuels growth, report finds
Damian Carrington, 11/9/22

“Oil and gas companies are planning a “frightening” expansion that would result in 115bn tonnes of climate-heating CO2 being pumped out, equivalent to more than 24 years of US emissions, a new analysis has found,” the Guardian reports. “Virtually all oil and gas companies are planning further exploitation of fossil fuels, the report found, pouring $160bn dollars into exploration since 2020. None of this investment is compatible with the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) route to reaching net zero emissions by 2050 and limiting the climate crisis, the report said. It was released at the Cop27 climate summit in Egypt, where leaders have been warned that deep and rapid cuts to carbon emissions are needed to avoid climate catastrophe. But the analysis found that 655 of 685 (96%) of exploration and production companies have expansion plans, which have increased by 20% since 2021. The IEA said in 2021 that no new fossil fuel projects could go ahead from 2022 if the world is to tackle global heating and its worsening impacts on billions of people. The analysis, by German NGO Urgewald and 50 NGO partners, also found expansion plans for the export of liquefied gas around the world would more than double under current plans. This would lead to emissions equivalent to the current annual emissions of the African continent… “The outcome of our calculations is truly frightening: oil and gas companies’ short-term expansion plans are not in line with the net zero emissions course put forward by the IEA,” Fiona Hauke at Urgewald told the Guardian. “Keeping these oil and gas resources in the ground is the bare minimum of what is needed to keep 1.5C attainable.”

Canada Action Coalition: Canada’s Role in a Sustainable Energy Future Ought to Shine in Egypt
11/10/22

“As more than 40,000 participants descend on the Egyptian coastal city of Sharm el-Sheikh for United Nations climate discussions this week and next, a Canadian grassroots coalition is urging Canadian delegates to represent our country’s climate record accurately and with real pride,” according to the Canada Action Coalition. “We have to fly our flag and speak strongly about our long-standing leadership position on climate mitigation, rather than to allow activists to misrepresent Canada’s record,” Canada Action founder and chief spokesperson Cody Battershill said. “With some 3,000 media representatives in attendance at the conference venue, filing stories virtually daily, it’s vital those reporters have an accurate picture of Canada’s leadership in responsible oil and gas development, environmental protection, and our record on renewables, climate innovation, carbon capture and storage, and clean tech,” Battershill said.

TODAY IN GREENWASHING

Enbridge: Guidance, support and stability for America’s military veterans
11/9/22

“This Nov. 11, spotlight shines on Duluth’s 148th Fighter Wing and their families as UMD Bulldogs take on Mavericks,” according to Enbridge. “…Among the fans will be local service members and their families—attending free of charge thanks to a Fueling Futures donation from Enbridge, which purchased 150 tickets to the game and made them available through the 148th and the Red Cross. Our Enbridge employees will also host a letter-writing booth in the arena concourse, with game spectators encouraged to write a note of thanks to deployed service men and women from the region. When game play stops on Nov. 11, hockey players, coaches, spectators, veterans, and military members and their families will pause to watch a one-minute video telling the story of the 148th Fighter Wing’s deployments over the past year… “Moments like this transcend sport and competition, bringing community together in our shared humanity. In moments like this, everyone wins.”

OPINION

Bismarck Tribune: Letter: Summit Pipeline will not benefit North Dakota
Todd McMichael, Casselton, 11/10/22

“On Oct. 18 the new CEO of Summit Carbon Solutions, Lee Blank wrote a letter to the editor in The Bismarck Tribune. I would like to comment on some of those comments,” Todd McMichael writes for the Bismarck Tribune. “Lee states that the 32 ethanol plants need this project to lower their carbon intensity and sell there ethanol at a premium. Of these plants only one resides in North Dakota, Tharaldson Ethanol in Casselton. The largest market for low carbon fuels is California, the Canadian market is relatively small. The California LCFS fuel credit has also diminished greatly; the value of the LCFS credit was 199.00 on 1-28-2021 to 64.00 on 10-31-2022. Many of us would like to know how many easements Summit has signed in ND not the number of landowners. If Summit was willing to address concerns, then give us the Plume studies we have been asking for over a year. The Plume study will tell us the concentration of the CO2 and how fast it will dissipate… “This project is 100% about our federal tax dollars and not for the benefit of North Dakota. Summit will make 1,530,000,000.00 annually (18M x 85.00) from the 85.00 45Q tax credit. Also remember none of this CO2 may be extracted for the use of enhanced oil recovery.”

Bloomberg: Oil-Consuming Nations Must Form Their Own Anti-OPEC+
Carl Pope, 11/9/22

“Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s complicity with Russian President Vladimir Putin in violating a Saudi-US agreement to lower oil prices underscores a simple reality: OPEC+ must go,” Carl Pope writes for Bloomberg. “The oil cartel’s purpose was monopoly pricing. Its side effect has been catastrophic volatility. Its current mission appears to be to knee-cap the world’s last chance to avoid climate catastrophe… “The idea that the US has no tool except a begging bowl to influence global oil prices is absurd… “A successful challenge to the OPEC+ monopoly would leave plenty of oil, much of it US shale, to meet the world’s needs. A bill now pending in Congress known as NOPEC, the “No Oil Producing and Exporting Cartels Act,” would override sovereign immunity protections and subject Saudi Arabia and its allies to US antitrust laws. If the US and Europe initiated antitrust enforcement — such as import duties, limitations on access to public financial markets, fines and sanctions — against Saudi Aramco, Russia’s Rosneft Oil Co. and similar government-controlled oil,  the cartel’s ability to engage in price gouging would crumble, and the price of oil with it. Such potential legal action enjoys genuine bipartisan support in the US Congress… “To replace OPEC+, the US and European Union should organize a broad anti-cartel of responsible oil producers and consumers. Such an Organization for Clean and Affordable Transportation — OCAT — would manage oil prices within an affordable but adequately profitable range — probably starting between $70 and $90 a barrel, with the range being lowered as crude demand falls. It should also require all oil exporters to reduce pollution and carbon risk… “Demand for oil will not vanish overnight, but by ensuring a competitive supply of petroleum at buffered prices, plus continued strong investment in electrified transport, OCAT could accelerate the end of the age of oil while maintaining a stable energy economy during the transition… “OPEC+ can and should be replaced — Saudi Arabia and Russia cannot be trusted to set the world’s energy prices.”

The Hill: COP27: A global methane agreement can prevent climate catastrophe
Durwood Zaelke is president of the Institute for Governance & Sustainable Development (IGSD) in Washington, D.C. and Paris; Paul Bledsoe is strategic adviser at the Progressive Policy Institute and professorial lecturer at American University; Gabrielle Dreyfus, Ph.D., is chief scientist at IGSD and an adjunct professor at Georgetown University, 11/9/22

“All the parties participating in the climate negotiations in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt this week and next would do well to remember that today’s climate emergency is about two basic concepts: time and temperature,” Durwood Zaelke, Paul Bledsoe and Gabrielle Dreyfus write for The Hill. “…As important as decarbonization will be post-2050, it is essential to couple it with a strategy to immediately cut methane and the other short-lived super climate pollutants, as this can avoid four times more warming at mid-century than decarbonization alone can… “Last year at the COP26 UN climate negotiations in Glasgow, the U.S. and EU led an effort to launch the Global Methane Pledge. With nearly 130 countries and growing, the pledge is encouraging a reduction of at least 30 percent of human-caused methane emissions by 2030. Yet, the Global Methane Pledge is voluntary, and three of the world’s largest methane emitters — Russia, China and India — have yet to commit to the pledge or to make meaningful commitments to cutting methane, although in Glasgow last year China reached a separate agreement with the U.S. that included efforts to cut methane. Because cutting methane is now the single most important strategy for slowing near-term warming, it is essential to start moving from a pledge to sectoral commitments building to a mandatory methane agreement. The Montreal Protocol provides the inspiration and some of the architecture that can be borrowed for a methane agreement, including how the protocol balances the North-South dynamic and implements the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities… “In the face of the climate emergency, global leaders should build on the success of the Montreal Protocol and use this powerful sectoral agreement as inspiration to develop a global methane agreement as quickly as possible to prevent a climate catastrophe.”

Al Jazeera: Fossil fuels are the world’s worst deals to insure — here’s why
Irene Wabiwa Betoko, International Project Leader for the Congo Basin forest, Greenpeace Africa, and Kuba Gogolewski, Lead Campaigner, European Money for Change, Greenpeace, 11/8/22

“Since the Paris Agreement was signed in 2015, it has only become less likely that the world will meet that pact’s goals. Emissions must now be halved by the end of this decade to avoid the worst effects of the climate crisis,” Irene Wabiwa Betoko and Kuba Gogolewski write for Al Jazeera. “Making finance flows and services consistent with this pathway is essential not only for the planet, but for the financial sector itself. Munich Re, the world’s largest reinsurance company, adopted a new policy last month excluding oil insurance and reinsurance. It is not a single actor: As of October, 41 insurers  — including industry heavyweights such as Allianz, Munich Re and Swiss Re — representing 39 percent of the market for primary insurance and 62 percent for reinsurance had withdrawn or reduced cover for coal. For oil and gas, those figures now stand at 38 percent of reinsurance and 15 percent of primary insurance markets. Coal companies now face soaring premiums of up to 40 percent, reduced coverage and longer searches to access insurance. Yet insurance and reinsurance companies need to move faster. Lloyd’s of London, for instance, announced in 2020 that it would stop insuring fossil fuel projects by 2030. But last year, it issued guidance suggesting this policy was optional for agents. According to the global campaign group Insure Our Future, many other insurers continue to insure new oil and gas projects in defiance of climate science and evidence… “Insurance companies have enormous power to force change. Without insurance, most new fossil fuel projects cannot proceed and existing ones must close… “It is also critical to phase out support for existing projects and for insurers to divest all assets from coal, oil and gas companies that are not aligned with a pathway that limits the planet’s temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit). Finally, insurers must maintain robust due diligence and verification mechanisms to ensure clients fully respect and observe all human rights.”

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