Friday, January 21News That Matters

Tag: Fuel Emissions (Transportation)

Exxon Sets a 2050 Goal for Net Zero Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Technology, World
HOUSTON — Exxon Mobil, under increasing pressure from investors to address climate change, announced on Tuesday that it had the “ambition” to reach zero net greenhouse gas emissions from its operations by 2050.The oil company, the largest in the United States, still remains behind several of its major competitors in its public climate commitments.Exxon said it had identified 150 modifications of its exploration and production practices to help reach its goals, including electrification of operations with energy from renewable sources. Initial steps will include elimination of the flaring and venting of methane, a byproduct of drilling that is a powerful greenhouse gas.“We’ve got a line of sight,” Exxon’s chief executive, Darren Woods, said in an interview. “By the end of this year, 90 perc...

U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions Bounced Back Sharply in 2021

Technology, World
WASHINGTON — America’s greenhouse gas emissions from energy and industry rose 6.2 percent in 2021 as the economy began recovering from pandemic lows and the nation’s coal plants roared back to life, according to a preliminary estimate published Monday by the Rhodium Group.The rebound was not a total surprise: The nation’s emissions had plummeted more than 10 percent in 2020, the largest one-year drop on record, after the initial coronavirus outbreak triggered widespread lockdowns and energy use plunged to its lowest level in decades. As restrictions eased and economic activity picked back up, emissions were expected to bounce back.“If anything, last year’s rebound in emissions was lower than it could have been because the pandemic is still causing disruptions and the economy isn’t back to ...

Biden ‘Over-Promised and Under-Delivered’ on Climate. Now, Trouble Looms in 2022.

Technology, World
But cracks in Mr. Biden’s agenda quickly appeared.In June, a federal judge in Louisiana sided with Republican attorneys general from 13 states who argued that Mr. Biden lacked the legal authority to pause new oil and gas leases. As gasoline prices surged in the summer and fall, the White House sought to increase oil production, even as Mr. Biden implored world leaders to stop burning fossil fuels.Just days after the Glasgow climate talks, the administration auctioned off nearly 80 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico, a record for that location, for offshore drilling, despite a campaign promise by Mr. Biden that he would end drilling on federal lands and waters.White House officials said they were legally compelled to hold the lease sale, which the Interior Department said had the potential...

E.P.A. Announces Tightest-Ever Auto Pollution Rules

Technology, World
WASHINGTON — The Environmental Protection Agency on Monday announced strengthened limits on pollution from automobile tailpipes in a bid to reduce a major source of the carbon dioxide emissions that are heating the planet.The more stringent rule — the most significant climate action taken to date by the Biden administration and highest level ever set for fuel economy — would require passenger vehicles to travel an average of 55 miles per gallon of gasoline by 2026, from just under 38 miles per gallon today.That would prevent the release of 3.1 billion tons of climate-warming carbon dioxide through 2050, according to the E.P.A. It would save about 360 billion gallons of gasoline from being burned, leading to a 15 percent annual reduction in the nation’s gasoline consumption by 2050. And mot...

How Roundabouts Help Lower Carbon Emissions

Technology, World
“Just imagine a post-Sandy, post-Katrina or post-Andrew world where recovery funds were put to work building resilient, sustainable modern roundabouts instead of rebuilding fragile, polluting signalized intersections,” Mr. Sides, the traffic engineer, said.The United States has been slow to adopt modern roundabouts, though that is changing somewhat. By one count, they now number about 7,900 countrywide, with hundreds added each year. Still, hesitation remains.5 Takeaways From the COP26 Climate SummitCard 1 of 51. Time for action is running out. The major agreement struck by diplomats established a clear consensus that all nations need to do much more, immediately, to prevent a catastrophic rise in global temperatures.2. How much each nation needs to cut remains unresolved. Rich c...

6 Automakers and 30 Countries Say They’ll Phase Out Gasoline Car Sales

Technology, World
GLASGOW — At least six major automakers — including Ford, Mercedes-Benz, General Motors and Volvo — and 30 national governments pledged on Wednesday to work toward phasing out sales of new gasoline and diesel-powered vehicles by 2040 worldwide, and by 2035 in “leading markets.”But some of the world’s biggest car manufacturers, including Toyota, Volkswagen, and the Nissan-Renault alliance did not join the pledge, which is not legally binding. And the governments of the United States, China and Japan, three of the largest car markets, also abstained.The announcement, made during international climate talks here, was hailed by climate advocates as yet another sign that the days of the internal combustion engine could soon be numbered. Electric vehicles continue to set new global sales records...

Trams, Cable Cars, Electric Ferries: How Cities Are Rethinking Transit

Technology, World
The roar of engines has long been part of the soundscape of a city.For a century, for billions of urban people worldwide, getting around has meant boarding a bus powered by diesel or an auto rickshaw that runs on gasoline, or among the affluent, a car.Today, a quiet transformation is underway. Berlin, Bogotá and several other cities are taking creative steps to cut gas and diesel from their public transit systems. They are doing so despite striking differences in geography, politics and economics that complicate the transformation.Berlin is reviving electric tram lines that were ripped out when the Berlin Wall went up. Bogotá is building cable cars that cut through the clouds to connect working-class communities perched on faraway hills. Bergen, a city by the fjords in western Norway, is m...
Ford’s Truck of the Future Looks Pretty Familiar

Ford’s Truck of the Future Looks Pretty Familiar

Technology, World
Advertisements have always told us that by buying one new product, we can improve our lives. Increasingly, though, they’re promising something different. Now they suggest we can buy our way to maintaining the lifestyle we already have, armed with products made from new materials (steel straws, hemp T-shirts) or redesigned so they don’t belch offensive exhaust (electric vehicles). The status quo, they promise, can stay — without so much ecological damage.“Make It Revolutionary” joins this tradition and helps us to see its blind spots. It’s no accident that Zhao gives more screen time to pickups than any other car, even though Ford’s first electric pickup doesn’t go on sale until next spring. In America, the company’s F-series pickups have outsold every other vehicle, of any type, for 39 yea...
Biden Outlines a Plan for Cleaner Jet Fuel. But How Clean Would It Be?

Biden Outlines a Plan for Cleaner Jet Fuel. But How Clean Would It Be?

Technology
When asked for comment, both the E.P.A. and Department of Energy referred questions to the White House, which did not respond.The concerns underscore the difficulty of cleaning up an industry that has come under increasing pressure to tackle its emissions. Aviation currently makes up about 3 to 4 percent of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions — it’s by far the most energy-intensive way to travel — and while planes have become more efficient, growing demand for flights has outpaced those advancements.Lauren Riley, managing director of global environmental affairs and sustainability at United Airlines, said that the airline was looking to a more promising source of sustainable fuel: forest waste, like fallen branches, or leaves and stalks left over from growing crops. On Thursday, the airlin...
Building a More Sustainable Car, From Headlamp to Tailpipe

Building a More Sustainable Car, From Headlamp to Tailpipe

Technology, World
In the 1970s, Chrysler’s TV commercials played up its vehicles’ “rich Corinthian leather.” That meaningless phrase, dreamed up by marketers and cooed by the actor Ricardo Montalbán, became emblematic of what defined a luxury vehicle.Fifty years later, those words have been replaced by elements that are creating a new concept of automotive luxury: recycled PET bottles, coffee grounds and tree fiber.“The definition of a premium automobile is changing,” said Rüdiger Recknagel, Audi’s chief environmental officer. “It’s now who’s using the best materials with the least environmental impact.”As companies around the world turn their attention to reducing the effect their products have on the environment, carmakers are turning away from traditional materials that are hard to recycle, such as leath...