Posts Tagged Low carbon technologies

Reduced Emissions in Deforestation and Degradation

Posted by on Wednesday, 23 March, 2011

REDD[Reduction in De forestation and degradation]is an UN initiative to create a financial value for the carbon stored in forests, offering incentives for developing countries to reduce emissions and invest in low-carbon technologies to sustainable development. This mechanism of flow of funds from developed to developing countries could lead to reduction of carbon emissions and could also help in conserving the depleting biodiversity.

Deforestation and Degradation:

Around the world, forests are being destroyed at a rate of about thirteen million hectares a year and deforestation accounts for an estimated 17 – 20% of all global emissions.

Global deforestation was estimated at 13 million ha/yr for 1990-2005 (FAO 2005) Deforestation and forest degradation result in substantial reductions in forest carbon stocks and increase in emissions.

IPCC WG1 estimated emissions from deforestation since 1990s at 5.8 GtCO2/ yr.

Rainforests provide a wide variety of ecosystems services, from regulating rainfall to purifying groundwater and keeping fertile soil from eroding; deforestation in one area can seriously damage food production and access to clean water for an entire region.

Deforestation World Map:

Forests and other terrestrial carbon sinks play a vital role in preventing runaway climate change, soaking up a full 2.6 Gt of atmospheric carbon every year. The destruction of forests, therefore, not only emits carbon – a staggering 1.6 Gt a year, which severely impairs forests’ capacity to absorb emissions from other sources – but also drastically reduces the amount of forested land available to act as a carbon sink in the future.

Rainforests are also a home and source of income for a huge number of people in Africa, Asia, and South America. Despite this, economic pressures frequently drive both local communities and national governments in the developing world to exploit these forests in ways that are unsustainable, clear-cutting vast areas for fuel, timber, mining, or agricultural land.

 

Another serious problem is forest degradation. This occurs when the structure or function of a forest is negatively affected by external factors such as fire, pests or pruning for firewood thereby reducing the forests ability to provide the services and products. Forest degradation is also a huge source of CO2 emissions.

Main causes for forest degradation:

They are broadly classified into three main sources, they are Gathering fuel wood – Collecting the woods by individuals for local use and for commercial use in the urban areas directly as charcoals, Timber harvesting and Fire.

Some of the methods to combat degradation include, reduced impact logging, integrated fire management, improved forest governance, fuel wood management and forest certification

 

REDD Major Players:

The REDD activities are under taken by some NGO’s, private sectors, national or local governments or any combination of these. The genuine actors of REDD, however, will be the populations whose livelihoods derive from forests.

REDD is pushed strongly by the World Bank and the United Nations for setting up the bases for the carbon market and the legal and governance frameworks of countries receiving REDD. The World Banks Forest Carbon Partnership Facility, the UN-REDD Programme, and Norway’s International Climate and Forest Initiative are such e.g.

Indigenous Peoples and forest-dependent communities will be the front liners of REDD, and the success of REDD activities will largely depend on their engagement.

UNFCCC Discussions on REDD

REDD was first discussed under the UNFCCC in 2005 at the eleventh Conference of the Parties (COP 11). Consideration of the issue has continued since that time. As well as discussions at the yearly COP and at biannual meetings of the Subsidiary Bodies, several UNFCCC workshops have been held: one in Rome, Italy in August 2006, another in Cairns, Australia in March 2007 and another in Tokyo, Japan in June 2008.

Key issues discussed have included:

•              The causes of deforestation;

•              Policy tools for REDD, including bilateral and multilateral cooperation;

•              Ways to provide incentives for REDD, including financial mechanisms; and technical issues associated with measuring.

REDD Benefits:

Capacity building opportunities for local communities

Poverty alleviation

Greater financial flow into developing countries

Restoration and rehabilitation of degraded forests

Sustaining/ preserving ecosystem service

Biodiversity conservation

Watershed protection and soil conservation

REDD objective:

It is a multi path way process and all the objectives are interrelated to each other.

Establishment of protected areas

Strict and effective implementation of forest laws

Use of agro forestry, reduced impact logging

Incentives to the land owners to not cut down trees or degrade forest

Country wise specific information on REDD:

Germany:

Reducing Emissions from Deforestation in Developing Countries in a Post 2012 Climate Regime

http://unfccc.int/files/methods_science/redd/methodologies/other/application/pdf/redd_uba_final_report_final_040908_cor.pdf

Australia:

Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation and International Forest Carbon Initiative [IFCI]

http://www.climatechange.gov.au/government/international/redd.aspx

Norway:

Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries

http://unfccc.int/files/methods_science/redd/country_specific_information/application/pdf/redd_oar_english.pdf

Guyana:

“Preparing Guyana’s REDD+ participation: Developing capacities for monitoring, reporting and verification”

http://unfccc.int/files/methods_science/redd/application/pdf/guyana_mrv_workshop_report_nov09.pdf

Reference:

Pictures:

http://www.myclimatechange.net/UserImage/3/ArroundTheWorld/DeforestationMap.jpg

Websites:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations_Framework_Convention_on_Climate_Change

http://www.redd-monitor.org/tag/redd-in-the-news/

http://www.hedon.info/docs/REDD_Casebook-TNC-CI-WCS.pdf

http://www.un-redd.org/Portals/15/documents/events/20090309Panama/Documents/UN-REDD%20Strategic%20Overview%203Ma09.pdf

http://unfccc.int/methods_science/redd/items/4531.php

http://www.slideshare.net/pallavip/reducing-emissions-from-deforestation-and-forest-degradation

http://www.unutki.org/downloads/File/Publications/REDDPocketGuide_web.pdf

http://www.treehugger.com/files/2009/06/carbon-emissions-forest-degradation-just-as-bad-deforestation.php

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Summary of the Report on Co2 Capture and Storage in Scotland by SCCS

Posted by on Saturday, 19 March, 2011

Carbon capture, transport and storage (CCS) is a rapidly growing industry that offers environmental benefits and substantial business, employment and research opportunities for Scotland and the UK. In 2009, the report Opportunities for Co2 Storage around Scotland identified the size of these opportunities and key initiatives that need to be acted upon to move CCS forward in Scotland.  Government, industry and stakeholder organizations joined with Scottish Carbon Capture and Storage (SCCS) researchers in Scottish Carbon Capture and Storage study to progress some of the actions required to inform the deployment of the entire CCS chain in Scotland and the UK.

The study presents new insights on:

  • Path to deployable CCS technologies: This was explored and mapped out by the study members in July 2009. This path presents their view of the timescales and activities required to implement CCS in Scotland which, adopted together with other low-carbon technologies, will contribute to the national target of 80% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
  • Refining Scotland’s Co2 storage assets and assessing environmental impact: Scotland’s large North Sea saline aquifiers appear to offer substantially greater total capacity for long – term storage. To refine the estimated Co2 storage capacity a more detailed evaluation was undertaken of one of the ten saline aquifier sandstones shortlisted in 2009 report. Three areas of North Sea were examined as potentially suitable for further investigation; the Moray Firth, the Central North Sea and the Forth Approaches Basin.
  • Skills and Capacity Building: Prospective employment in Scotland and the UK, based on International energy projections of CCS projects worldwide, was presented to the Scottish Government and educators in September 2010 to inform future training needs.
  • Public Communication and Engagement for CCS Projects in Scotland: To inform developers of future CCS projects in Scotland key points were drawn from a review of previous practice on public engagement worldwide. The study provides tools for the design of an engagement strategy at the level of individual CCS projects.

The Key Conclusions of the Study are:

  • Scotland’s potential for a North Sea Carbon Storage industry is endorsed.
  • The European significance of Scotland’s Co2 storage resource, estimated in a basin – wide assessment in 2009, is supported by the more detailed evaluation of the Captain Sandstone, which has shown its estimated storage capacity is at least as large as previously calculated.
  • The Captain Sandstone alone could provide a feasible secure store able to hold 15 to 100 years of Co2 output from Scotland’s existing industrial point sources.
  • Offshore Carbon Storage can be implemented in accordance with existing environmental legislation.
  • CCS could create 13,000 jobs in Scotland by 2020, and increase in the following years, with a demand for a wide range of professional and craft skills.
  • The UK plc share of the worldwide CCS business is potentially worth more than £10 billion per year from around 2025, with the added value in the UK worth between £5 billion and £9.5 billion per year.
  • There are the best practice approaches to engaging the public and the study provides the tools to design and implement an effective engagement strategy. Public support will be essential if the environmental and economic benefits of CCS are to be realized.

Next steps along the path to CCS in Scotland:

Concerted and co-ordinated activities by Government, regulators, industry and academia in the two years since publication of the Opportunities for Co2 Storage around Scotland Report have contributed to the establishment and growth of a CCS industry in Scotland and the UK.

  • Further assessment and appraisal of the Captain Sandstone as a Co2 store is justified by the encouraging research results from this study.
  • The integrity of the rocks that seal the Captain Sandstone store must be demonstrated to the full satisfaction of regulators for a site to obtain a Co2 storage permit.
  • To fully realize the European – scale storage potential outlined in the opportunities for Co2 storage around Scotland report, additional North Sea Sandstones should be investigated alongside further detailed evaluation of the Captain Sandstone.
  • Further analysis of skills needs in the CCS industry is required and a review with government and its training agencies of actions is needed to identify additional skills requirements to maximize the economic benefit to Scotland and the UK.
  • The tools provided in this study should be used to design and implement a strategy for early public engagement and communication of CCS with the public and stakeholders in Scotland.

Scotland is committed in reducing 80% greenhouse gas emission by 2050. Scotland, UK and European Union ambitions are for CCS to be available as a low carbon deployment option for power generation and major industrial plants by 2020, via a programme of commercial – scale demonstration projects.

Fossil fuel electricity generation accounts for 41% of Scotland’s Co2 emissions. Scottish Government and Industry joined with SCCS researchers to assess options for CCS in Scotland in 2008. The Opportunities for Co2 storage around Scotland report was published in May 2009. It identified the annual Co2 output from Scotland’s three largest power stations and sites offshore Scotland with the potential for geological storage of Co2. Options for a network to transport Co2 from industrial sources to offshore stores, the economics, business risks, models and funding options were reviewed in this report.

In July 2009, consortium members defined a path to deployable CCS technologies that could be used in clarifying objectives for the deployment of CCS in Scotland. In August 2009 a second consortium of Scottish Government, industry and SCCS researchers established the Scottish Carbon Capture and Storage Development study to progress and map out further steps towards the deployment of CCS in Scotland.

In the report, the potential Co2 storage capacity of Scotland’s North Sea sandstones was assessed on a basin wide-scale and presented as a range of values. Refining Scotland’s Co2 storage assets and assessing environmental impact moves to a site characterization appraisal of one sandstone using data and methods familiar to oil and gas exploration and follows internationally recognized CCS best practice. The assessment of skills and capacity building needed for the future CCS industry and power association. The findings were presented to the Scottish Government and educators in September 2010 to inform future training needs.

Study investigations were selected for the benefit of overall implementation of CCS industry in Scotland and they were all undertaken within the study budget of £290,000 commenced August 2009 and completed by December 2010.

Study members considered some essential requirements for CCS to be available as a low carbon deployment option in Scotland and four of these requirements were selected for detailed consideration:

  • Deliver commercial scale CCS demonstration projects by 2015.
  • Prove the large – scale Co2 storage capacity in North Sea sandstones by 2020.
  • Provide the underpinning research and development by and for UK economic development.
  • Provide both the skills and staff members needed for the future CCS industry.

Work resulting from, or in parallel with this study:

  • The path to deployable CCS technologies was adopted by the Scottish Government and Scottish Enterprise and informed their document Carbon Capture and Storage – a Roadmap for Scotland in March 2010.
  • Scottish Government undertook a CCS regulatory test exercise in August 2010 to ensure an appropriate consenting and regulatory framework for CCS.
  • SCCS researchers were actively involved in CASSEM (Co2 Aquifier Storage Site Evaluation and Monitoring).

Scotland and UK initiatives and opportunities:

  • Post-combustion Co2 capture pilot plant has been tested.
  • Support from the UK government for the implementation of CCS has extended from a single demonstrator to four projects.
  • Out of nine bids in UK, three bids have been made for Scotland.
  • Initial proposals for funding were included in Government’s Electricity Market Reform Consultation Document, which closed for consultation in March 2011.

To read details of Carbon Capture and Storage in Scotland:

http://www.geos.ed.ac.uk/sccs/progress-to-co2-storage-scotland/ProgressingScotlandCO2Opps.pdf

 

Related Terms in the Glossary:

Carbon Capture and Storage

Greenhouse Gas

Carbon Sequestration

Fossil Fuels