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Comment: Relying on Carbon Offsets in 'Green Bailouts' Lets Polluting Airlines Off the Hook

Read time: 4 mins

By Ben Christopher Howard for The Conversation

The coronavirus pandemic has grounded thousands of aircraft, contributing to the largest-ever annual fall in carbon dioxide emissions. At some point though, the planes will soar again and with them, global emissions.

Most airlines in the UK have committed to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050. From 2026, it will become mandatory for airlines worldwide to ensure that their annual emissions stay flat. But the UK aviation industry also plans to increase the number of passengers it serves by 70% in the next three decades.

Comment: Fossil Fuels are Heading Down but Not Yet Out

Read time: 4 mins
Wind turbines

By Kieran Cooke for Climate News Network

At a casual glance, you could be forgiven for thinking that fossil fuels are here to stay for a long time yet, although not everything on the horizon is rosy.

The world, admittedly, is awash with surplus oil. The use of coal is in sharp decline. The price of gas – in recent years the fuel of choice for an increasing number of power plants around the globe – is falling.

The fossil fuel industry – the main driver behind the growing climate crisis – is undoubtedly going through one of its worst times in decades.

Comment: Airline Bailouts Must Include Tough Emissions Goals

Read time: 5 mins
Commercial Airline

By Brian O'Callaghan and Cameron Hepburn for The Conversation

For airlines, the reckoning is no longer far away on the horizon. It’s now a jumbo jet meters from the runway, landing gear down. Without a sizeable external cash injection, many international airlines will follow Virgin Australia into insolvency within months, if not weeks. 

Should governments bail airlines out? And if so, should any conditions be imposed, particularly in a world that requires rapid progress to net-zero emissions

Fossil Fuel Firms Linked to Trump Get Millions in Coronavirus Small Business Aid

Read time: 6 mins
GOP rally with sign reading 'Trump digs coal'

By Emily Holden, The Guardian. This story was originally published by The Guardian, and is republished here as part of the Covering Climate Now partnership to strengthen the media's focus on the climate crisis.

U.S. fossil fuel companies have taken at least $50 million in taxpayer money they probably won’t have to pay back, according to a review of coronavirus aid meant for struggling small businesses by the investigative research group Documented and the Guardian.

International Energy Agency Says Global Demand for Fossil Fuels is Buckling

Read time: 4 mins
Protest in Birmingham

By Kieran Cooke for Climate News Network

The world’s energy markets are in upheaval, as experts report an historic fall in global fossil fuel demand.

One of the pillars of industrial society is tottering: global fossil fuel demand is buckling, with only renewable energy expected to show any growth this year.

Comment: 10 Years on from Deepwater Horizon, Coronavirus Shows Continued Need for a Just Transition Away from Big Oil

Read time: 5 mins
Deepwater Horizon

By Chris Garrard, Co-Director of Culture Unstained

Livelihoods lost and businesses closed overnight. A “slow, inadequate and incomplete” response. The health of a community severely hit. 10 years ago, an infamous moment created a new reality for those living along the US Gulf Coast.

At 9.45pm on Monday 20 April 2010, an explosion occurred on board BP’s Deepwater Horizon drilling platform killing 11 rig workers. A “blowout preventer” – a crucial device designed to shut off the oil well in emergencies – failed, and for the following 87 days, crude oil would flow into the Gulf of Mexico, polluting coastlines, waters and ecosystems.

A Decade After the Deepwater Horizon Explosion, Offshore Drilling Is Still Unsafe

Read time: 6 mins
Deepwater Horizon oil spill from space

By Donald Boesch, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science

Ten years ago, on April 20, 2010, the BP Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded, killing 11 crew members and starting the largest ocean oil spill in history. Over the next three months, between 4 million and 5 million barrels of oil spewed into the Gulf of Mexico.

I was a member of the oil spill commission appointed by President Obama to investigate the causes of the disaster. Later, I served as a courtroom witness for the government on the effects of the spill. While scientists now know more about these effects, risks of deepwater blowouts remain, and the energy industry and government responders still have only very limited ability to control where the oil goes once it’s released from the well.

Climate Research Only Got 3% of Funding Since 1990 – Study

Read time: 4 mins
researchers on ice

By Kieran Cooke for Climate News Network

Climate research is the poor relation of the academic world. Since 1990 it’s won less than 5 percent of the research funds available.

With the crisis of global heating now widely recognised as one of the most challenging issues facing the world today,  you might assume that vast amounts of money are going into climate research.

Focus Shifts to Scottish Environmental Protection Agency’s Big Oil Interests as Flaring Continues at Shell-Exxon Plant

Read time: 5 mins
Mossmoran Shell Exxon plant flaring

By George Kerevan for Bella Caledonia

The beginning of February 2020 saw a repeat of intense flaring at the Shell-Exxon petrochemical complex at Mossmorran, near Cowdenbeath in Fife, lighting up the night sky like bright sunshine and pumping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere in vast quantities.

A damning Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) report in November 2017 listed Mossmorran as the third biggest emitter of carbon dioxide in Scotland (after INEOS at Grangemouth and the now-closed Longannet power station).

Reliance on Coal Divides European States

Read time: 4 mins
Turów lignite coal mine and power plant

By Kieran Cooke for Climate News Network

Two European states with a traditional reliance on coal are taking radically different paths as the climate crisis worsens.

Both countries are in the European Union, both have for years been known for their reliance on coal. But now their policies could not differ more: one is turning away from coal, the most polluting fossil fuel, while the other is enthusiastically developing it.