From FORESIGHT Climate & Energy, Watt Matters is a podcast all about the energy transition and the shift to a decarbonised economy.
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The European Union is currently working on a law to monitor and tackle methane emissions, which have a significant impact on the climate and have, so far, been somewhat overlooked in EU legislation.
There are moves, both internationally and on the EU level, to tackle these emissions, including a pledge made at COP26 to reduce emissions by at least 30% by 2030, based on 2020 levels.
The EU’s Methane Regulation should help the bloc meet this pledge, but the European Parliament and EU countries differ on what they want from the legislation as they gear up for negotiations, known as trilogues in EU jargon, to decide the final law.
On this week’s episode of Watt Matters, Kira, Jan and Michaela are joined by Jutta Paulus, a Green MEP from Germany, who is a negotiator in the trilogues for the European Parliament.
Enjoy the show.
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Illustration: Masha Krasnova-Shabaeva.
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The concept of transition bonds began as an idea to sell bonds that were difficult to market as green bonds, mainly natural gas bonds, but has evolved into an opportunity to accelerate decarbonisation efforts
A development being planned in Sacramento, California, could provide a blueprint to tomorrow’s cities. Many of the answers are already here, but some research remains, says Geeti Silwal from design firm Perkins and Will
Natural gas has not yet reached its peak in the US, but the summit is in view
Cement and steel manufacturing are two of the most carbon intensive industries in the world. Electrification can play a role in decarbonising both, though technology innovation is expensive and removing all emissions from the processes is a tall order
The European Union is faced with making a number of key decisions imposed by the climate emergency and the need for drastic CO2 reduction. More than ever, the fight against climate change also needs to contribute to the economic recovery by developing the EU industry and technologies of the future. Low-carbon hydrogen meets both ambitions, says Christelle Rouillé, from EDF subsidiary Hynamics
Decarbonisation of heating requires switching from systems and appliances that combust fossil fuels to those that rely on renewable energy. Nowhere is the switch more challenging to achieve for existing building stock than in the UK. If it can be done there, it can be done anywhere
Continued backing for gas infrastructure from the European Union is not in line with its climate ambitions, says Dominic Kavakeb from environment NGO Global Witness
There is no clear definition of climate neutrality despite 117 cities worldwide setting it as a target in the coming decades. Where Paris will include all emissions it produces, regardless of the sector or source, Copenhagen only calculates CO2 emissions related to heating and electricity. But both will claim to be neutral. This results in different levels of ambition, says Raphael Hasenknopf from Energy Cities
Low-carbon hydrogen will almost certainly be needed to cut emissions across a range of hard-to-abate sectors. However, if it is used to solve too many problems, it could end up delaying the energy transition and putting urgent decarbonisation plans in jeopardy
The nuclear sector wants to cash in on the emerging demand for low-carbon energy by powering hydrogen electrolysis, but not everyone is convinced the industry’s arguments stack up
Venture capitalists are putting record amounts of money into climate tech, drawn by the opportunity to make money while fostering the innovation needed for decarbonisation. Digitalisation remains a focus, but investors are increasingly looking to tap into asset-heavy investment opportunities that are crucial to the energy transition
The shipping sector must avoid taking the wrong pathway that would end up locking in polluting fuels for decades, says Delphine Gozillon at Transport & Environment
The heavy industry sector has made significant progress in increasing energy efficiency in recent years and further gains are possible with greater electrification, digitalisation and changes in production processes. Meanwhile, material efficiency measures reducing demand for products like steel and cement offer major potential for energy savings for customers
As with other hard-to-abate sectors, the shipping industry is facing many challenges to decarbonise sufficiently by 2050. Currently, the alternative fuel of choice for many is liquified natural gas (LNG) but the short-term gains negate the persistent long-term emissions. There are genuine low-carbon alternatives at hand if shipping can adjust its outlook
Oil and gas companies are making a ton of cash by selling fossil fuels that are destroying our future. Could the industry instead be spending lavishly to make amends? It turns out things are not so simple
Europe’s search for alternative gas supplies fails to recognise what this energy crisis really is: a fossil fuels crisis. Investing in costly, stranded fossil-fuel assets is the exact opposite of our way out of the multifaceted emergency we are in, says Eva Brardinelli at Climate Action Network Europe (CAN Europe)
Once carbon has been captured, the next piece of the puzzle is storing it. One option being explored in Iceland is to mineralise the carbon so it forms as solid rock below the ground—providing a more permanent storage solution. With the growth of carbon markets around the world, the finances behind this plan are also looking solid
Harnessing the power of hydrogen through scalable and colour-agnostic infrastructure that already exists today will accelerate the clean energy transition, argues David Burns from Linde
Methane leaks across the supply chain need to be better measured so appropriate steps can be put in place to reduce emissions from this highly potent greenhouse gas
It is clear that society’s greenhouse gas emissions are costing the Earth but there is still little consensus on what the real price of carbon should be
As the International Energy Agency launches its Methane Portal, Poppy Kalesi, Director of Global Energy at the Environmental Defense Fund, calls on EU decision makers to make the most of all regulatory opportunities to force reductions in methane emissions
Deciding exactly how powerful methane is as a greenhouse gas relative to carbon dioxide is a complicated business
As methane emissions from the oil and gas sectors come under increasing scrutiny, Cate Hight and Laura Hutchinson from the Rocky Mountain Institute, a US-based NGO, call for a differentiated gas standard that focuses on climate change and sets the bar for acceptable methane emissions
Questions around definitions, targets and the funding of green hydrogen in Europe still need answering
Enshrine stability and predictability in law to ramp up investment
Germany’s first climate law does not include fossil gas, but behind the scenes discussions about the role of gas in the country’s energy mix, particularly hydrogen gas, is intensifying
Efficiency measures have cut greenhouse gas emissions in the shipping industry, but if the sector is to be part of the climate solution, radical action to adopt new cleaner fuels is the only answer
“Electrification is the most efficient way of decarbonising”
COVID-19 may have reduced emissions in the short-term, but much more needs to happen to slash fossil fuel use to meet climate targets
Germany is testing whether a nitrate salt thermal storage system could aid the provision of process steam for industry while earning subsidies for capturing emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, and combusting it for energy supply