October 15, 2021

The Queens County Citizen

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As oil slumps, Norway explores new fields in the Arctic | Setting

As oil slumps, Norway explores new fields in the Arctic | Environment

The large environmental information of the 7 days is surprising and, in a planetary perception, encouraging.

Oil giant BP slashed $17.5bn from the price of its oil and fuel assets, warning of the enduring influence of the COVID-19 crisis, which it expects will speed up the shift absent from fossil fuels.

Cutting down carbon emissions to web zero by 2050 is a main ingredient of the Paris Arrangement to prevent runaway climate adjust.

“We have reset our selling price outlook to mirror that effect and the probability of bigger endeavours to ‘build again better’ to a Paris-dependable world,” claimed BP chief govt Bernard Looney, who assumed his function in February.

The paradox of COVID-19 is that despite the distress it has wrought, it does present a great chance for governments to revive their economies in a local weather-friendly way, which could force a full load of oil and fuel to be still left in the floor, as renewables just take around the international grids.

And it appears this is how Looney sees the upcoming. Previously this calendar year, he promised BP would commit additional in clean electricity and considerably less in fossil fuels more than the future 30 years.

Of class we must apply a generous sprinkling of scepticism to the pronouncements of an oil huge. Only when the drilling in fact stops can you be positive of the firm’s dedication to shrinking its carbon footprint to zero.

Norway carries on exploring

But the go does make you appear askance at Norway. This week, MPs in the super-rich oil nation are envisioned to vote towards even further security of just one of the world’s most important organic hotspots, so enabling ongoing exploration in the Barents Sea.

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This will come off the again of a pledge to hold off far more than $10bn in taxes for petroleum corporations, to spur financial investment which will assistance fund drilling in a uniquely biodiverse space referred to as the marginal ice zone.

This is where by Arctic sea ice meets the open ocean and wherever phytoplankton and fish, polar bears and birds, seals and whales, have thrived for hundreds of thousands of several years. Now the zone is threatened as shrinking sea ice tempts the oil prospectors with the prospective of untapped reserves. And the federal government is ushering them in by way of an open up, dollar-lined doorway.

The criticisms are numerous. Dr Peter Winsor, WWF Arctic Programme director claimed: “By ignoring science, Norway is failing to deliver world-wide leadership on weather change and inserting oil income in advance of mother nature.”

Interactive: Greenread Clean Energy

But then Norway is environmentally at odds with alone.

You have the oil that made it just one of the richest nations on earth. Then stroll all-around Oslo and you will see electric powered autos all in excess of the spot – in fact, a few out of 4 autos now offered in Norway are either wholly or partially electric powered.

And 98 % of Norway’s electric power comes from renewable electricity, of which hydropower is the main supply. The country talks hugely of its personal sustainable prowess. And very well it could.

But all these fossil fuels Norway extracts? They go overseas. The country may possibly not emit too a lot of greenhouse gases, but it exports them on a colossal scale. Norway’s prosperity is a person else’s smog.

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You do ponder though, specified BP’s stated posture, for how considerably lengthier?

How considerably of your country’s electricity comes from thoroughly clean strength sources?

Your ecosystem round-up

1. Coal: As electricity demands decline amid the coronavirus pandemic, and more affordable renewables catch the attention of investors, some power authorities are predicting a possible conclusion to coal, the most polluting of all fossil fuels.

2. Endangered turtles: View tens of hundreds of endangered green turtles swim to their nesting grounds on Raine Island off the coastline of northeastern Australia. The drone footage, very first recorded in December 2019 and launched this month, captures the “world’s major aggregation of environmentally friendly turtles”.

3. Brazil: Associates of the Kambeba tribe in the Amazon rainforest make clear how they utilised each Western and Indigenous medications to tackle a COVID-19 outbreak in their communities.

4. Insects: Scientists audio the alarm as insect populations – important to our survival – continue to rapidly decrease.

5. Cities: As residents carry on to appreciate cleaner air amid the pandemic, cities like Mexico Town, Copenhagen, and Los Angeles are functioning on strategies to keep their skies clear.

The last term

As but the wind is an untamed, unharnessed power, and pretty quite possibly 1 of the best discoveries hereafter to be built will be the taming and harnessing of it.&#13

Abraham Lincoln, 16th US President, 1858

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