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This is not all about some politically correct green act of bunny hugging or however you want to put  it. Cake. Have. Eat.  is my message to you. (April 2021)

I want you to raise your eyes. I want you to imagine that you’re arriving in Britain in 2030; you arrive in your zero-carbon jet made in the UK, you flash your Brexit blue passport, you get an EV electric vehicle taxi and as you travel around you see a country that is and has been transformed for the better. Walking among the millions of trees that have been planted, going for picnics in the new wild belts that now mark the landscape ....

Their plan is a market-led , technology-driven 10 point plan for a Green Industrial Revolution. And a month ago he told the UN why he was so confident his approach would work. “When Kermit the frog sang ‘it’s not easy being green’, I want you to know he was wrong. It is easy, it’s not only easy but its right to be green.

Global Investment Summit 2021: The 10 point plan, the new decalon which I brought down from Sanai last year is today being elaborated in our plan for net zero to build back greener.

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But what is the 10 point plan?

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... we will contribute to a net-zero world, where society stops adding to the total amount of greenhouse gases emissions (GHGs) in the atmosphere.

This supports the more ambitious goal to tackle climate change laid out in the Paris Agreement: to limit the rise in average global temperature to 1.5°Celsius.

Becoming a net-zero emissions energy business means that we are reducing emissions from our operations, and from the fuels and other energy products we sell to our customers. It also means capturing and storing any remaining emissions using technology or balancing them with offsets.

We are transforming our business to meet our target, providing more low-carbon energy such as charging for electric vehicles, hydrogen and electricity generated by solar and wind power.

We are also working with our customers as they make changes, including in sectors that are difficult to decarbonise, such as aviation, shipping, road freight and industry.

And yet whatever greenwash Shell come up with to try and make you think they are sustainable and care about the environment the truth is quite different. Read here about 8 scandals that prove Shell's contempt for people and planet. And while Shell claim to be heading for a Carbon Zero future it is still exploring new oil and gas fields and still a part of the destruction of the environment.

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The impacts of climate change demand urgent action, and we are determined to be global leaders. We must adapt to these impacts at home and overseas. That is why the UK is fulfilling a key commitment of the Paris Agreement and asking others to do the same both at today’s Climate Ambition Summit, and ahead of COP26 in Glasgow next year as we come together for our planet.

We can’t rest on our laurels, which is why, as well as implementing the bold actions set out today, we’re developing a long-term vision and framework to help us ensure resilience to climate risk up to 2050 and beyond.

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“We will not directly finance projects involving fracking in the UK and Europe; 
In addition, we will not provide any financing to companies primarily engaged in fracking activities in the UK and Europe; 
Any financing for a company involved in fracking activities outside the UK and Europe, is subject to EDD [Enhanced Due Diligence]” 

Most of the world's fracking activity takes place outside Europe. Between 2016-2019, Barclays provided US$17.5 billion of financing for fracking.  Analysis of syndicated loan and bond data shows that Barclays was involved in transactions with 15 of the 30 largest fracking companies. Of these 15 companies, the majority are headquartered in the US, and all but one have operations in the US. This level of financing makes it the world’s fifth largest fracking financier over the period 2016 to 2019.  In addition, restrictions on project financing — whether subject to EDD or not — do not affect projects like planned the Wink to Webster pipeline, which:

[...] would run 650 miles from the Permian Basin in West Texas to the Gulf Coast near Houston, carrying over one million barrels per day of fracked oil to refineries and export terminals. The project — a joint venture of ExxonMobil, Plains All American Pipeline, MPLX, Delek US, Lotus Midstream, and Rattler Midstream LP — would enable expansion in the world’s most prolific oil basin, locking in decades of overproduction and threatening the health of communities near the fracking sites. There is no project financing specific to this pipeline, meaning the banks that provide general corporate financing to the joint venture partners — like Barclays, Bank of America, and JPMorgan Chase — are helping to light the fuse to one of the world’s largest carbon bombs.

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“[Paris-alignment involves] selecting a reference scenario or set of reference scenarios against which to measure alignment […] We have chosen the IEA SDS scenario because it is Paris-compliant, reputable, open-sourced, and contains sufficient data to allow us to calculate targets for our financing portfolio.”

The so-called Sustainable Development Scenario (SDS) produced by the International Energy Agency (IEA) has been so heavily and roundly criticised  that even the highly-conservative IEA has introduced an alternative Net-zero Emissions (NZE) scenario in its 2020 World Energy Report. SDS failings include:

  • it only gives a 50% chance of keeping temperature increase under 1.65°C 

  • that relies on massive deployment of 'negative emissions technologies' that either do not exist or are extremely unlikely to be practical at the huge scale required 

  • it's the same scenario used by the fossil fuel industry - at conferences organised by Barclays, for instance - to make 'compliant' plans for the world to burn almost as much oil and gas in 2040 as it does today 

Basing a decarbonisation strategy on the SDS is a decision to pursue ‘business as usual’, and profits from fossil fuels, as long as possible, rather than taking climate change seriously.

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“BlueTrack™ is Barclays’ methodology for measuring our financed emissions. [It] uses both an absolute emissions metric, and an emissions intensity metric [...] The Power sector, which is responsible for generating the world’s supply of electricity, is best measured initially using an intensity metric.” 

“Power portfolio emissions intensity will reduce by 30% by 2025.” 

Climate change can only be avoided by reducing overall CO2 emissions, that is, an absolute reduction. A reduction in power portfolio ‘intensity’ by no means entails an absolute reduction, and can instead simply be greenwash. Gas-fired power stations generally produced about half the CO2 per MWh as coal-fired power stations, so this can be shown with some before-and-after examples – for simplicity, considering power stations all of equal output.

In example A, financing 2 gas power stations instead of 1 coal power station achieves an intensity reduction of 50% - but the amount of CO2 emitted is unchanged. In example B, financing 2 gas power stations as well as a coal power station still achieves an intensity reduction of 33% - but twice as much CO2 is emitted. So, intensity reduction gives no real indication of what matters, absolute CO2 reduction. The only reasons to use intensity as a metric are 1. to make a small absolute reduction sound bigger, 2. to hide an absence of CO2 reduction, or even a CO2 increase. These reasons ideally fit the likely aim of BlueTrack for Barclays - to continue profiting from their existing customers' fossil fuel production and use, by 'transitioning' to extensive use of gas, particularly for power generation. Investing in gas infrastructure - tying countries into fossil fuel use for years to come - benefits fossil fuel companies and their banks, but is otherwise disastrous. For numerous reasons, gas “cannot form a bridge to a clean energy future”,  as recognized in the EU's sustainable finance drafting. 

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Recycling Bottles

Nearly all types of plastics can be recycled. However, the extent to which they are recycled depends upon technical, economic and logistic factors. Plastics are a finite and valuable resource, so the best outcome after their initial use is typically to be recycled into a new product.

The US is on the verge of a renewed plastic boom. The market is already flooded with cheap virgin plastic: More than half of all plastic ever created was produced in the last 15 years, and as of 2019, about 335 million tons of new, virgin plastic is created each year. That flood is about to be a tsunami.

Virtually all of that new plastic will be made, as it always has been, out of oil and gas. As the world slowly turns away from fossil fuels as an energy source, giants like Exxon and Shell are planning to have a larger share of their profits come from plastic instead. (Exxon declined to comment, referring questions to the American Chemistry Council, which did not respond by publication.) By 2050, plastic production is slated to account for 20% of all fossil fuel use.

It's hard to choose which information to share here - it's all shocking. Try this for a start and then head over to the report for more information. 

also a story from Greenpeace

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