Tagged with 'ecology'

WILL THE EUROPEAN CENTRAL BANK GET IT NOW?


Is Lagarde on the challenge of leading the bank in a climat awakening Europe?

My personal view is that any institution has to actually have climate change risk and protection of the environment at the core of their understanding of their mission,” Ms. Lagarde said.


Lagarde is pledging to make the European Central Bank more conscious of the environment as she now is confirmed as its new president. Lagarde has urged the European Parliament to start a project to create a unified classification system on what may be considered environmentally sustainable investments.
The European Central Bank could be open to channeling more of its bond purchases toward economic sectors that meet such criteria, she said. The European Central Bank has increased it´s scrutiny. The bank recently warned that “more frequent and severe disasters” would hit the banking and insurance industries, including the erosion of the value of collateral and assets held by banks, and insurance liabilities related to weather-linked catastrophes. An unexpectedly rapid shift by investors away from fossil fuels could also weaken bank balance sheets and destabilize the financial system, the bank added.
But the bank itself has also faced criticism. Environmental organizations have accused the European Central Bank of buying so-called dirty bonds from companies in industries that are said to be polluting, including cement makers and auto manufacturers, as part of its program to increase liquidity in the eurozone economy.

My personal view is that any institution has to actually have climate change risk and protection of the environment at the core of their understanding of their mission,” Ms. Lagarde said.

She will take over one of the world’s most powerful monetary institutions in November.
Members of the European Parliament — where political parties with an environmental platform made significant gains in elections this summer — also peppered her repeatedly with queries about the need to more effectively integrate fighting climate change into the bank’s mandate.

“The primary mandate is price stability,” she said, answering to members of the economic and monetary affairs committee. “But it has to be embedded that climate change and environmental risk are mission critical.” Asked whether she would shift the European Central Bank’s strategy to focus on buying bonds of nonpolluting companies, Ms. Lagarde was noncommittal but promised to review the situation.
Lagarde added that the bank had already been buying so-called green bonds that are earmarked for climate and environmental projects, but that there weren’t many available because the market was still being developed. Still, she said, if the central bank signals an interest in those assets, it could encourage a more rapid expansion of the market.
A few years ago bankers barely mentioned a warming climate in their assessments of the economy or of the global financial system. Today over 30 central banks and regulators not including those in the United States and Brazil have joined forces in a group called the Network for Greening the Financial System to focus on the potential financial consequences of global warming.
Founded by the Bank of England governor Mark Carney who first warned of the economic damage of climate change in a stark 2015 speech. And many of the world’s biggest companies, including Silicon Valley tech firms and large European banks, are preparing for the possibility that climate change could substantially hit their profitability within the next five years, according to a recent analysis of corporate disclosures.
“Lagarde could make the E.C.B. greener,” Sven Giegold, a German and co-leader of the Green Party members in the European Parliament, said in a statement after the hearing. “Lagarde will put climate risks at the center of financial stability. Lagarde has understood, that economics and ecology must go together.”


SOURCE: NY TIMES 4 September 2019

Power One AB consider hydrogen in Burundi

 

Power One´s concept combines wind, water and sun as sources of energy production. This reduces the need for expensive storage. Power One plans to use electrolyte storage, but will also set aside part of the solar park to operate a hydrogen gas production plant, which can be used, among other things, to operate boats. Since Tanganyika Lake is still clean and crystal clear, the electric propulsion of boats is an obvious complement for preserving it undisturbed. At present, there are a number of vessels operating on oil, which are used but have not so far done too much damage. Hydrogen has the advantage of being considerably cheaper as a fuel then fossil fuel, and is therefore an irresistible substitute from all points of view.

 

Hydrogen can be used for electrically driven transport on both land and water. During manufacture, water is divided into oxygen and hydrogen. The hydrogen gas is collected in tubes and then transformed into electricity via a so-called power cell. With a hydrogen tube, a power cell and an electric motor, many electric vehicles are operated today, ranging from mopeds, cars and trucks to boats. It is a durable and well-proven technology whose only residual product is oxygen and water. Oxygen is used in everything from healthcare to welding and is an import commodity in Burundi. Both oxygen and hydrogen can therefore be sold with good profits for Power One.

 

 

Hydrogen is a well-known and reliable energy storage system that has been used in industry for almost a century. The technique is simple: DC voltage produced during the day from solar panels is used in an electrolyser to separate water (H2O) into hydrogen (H2) and oxygen (O). The non-polluting oxygen is released and the hydrogen is stored under pressure into simple and durable containers. At night, when the sun is on the other side, hydrogen is led into a power cell that melts hydrogen with oxygen from the air back into water. Through this process, energy from daylight is restored back to electricity and used for night consumption.

 

If the solar park produces more energy under daylight than is consumed during the day and at night, the excess can be used to produce hydrogen for other applications, e.g. transport on the lake. In this case, hydrogen is transferred to gas tubes in the boats and then converted back to electricity via a fuel cell. This then provides electricity to the electric motor in the boat.

 

This is a very simple, well tested and durable system. With a simple pressure tank, a fuel cell and an electric motor, hydrogen can be used to operate all transport, including air, and today most of the major car manufacturers have developed hydrogen cars. The conversion of the region's boats to hydrogen operation is quite simple and plans are underway to start a rebuilding yard in Kabonga fishing port for this.

 

- By introducing an environmentally smart and emission-free boat traffic on Lake Tanganyika, Burundi will also market itself in quality tourism and offer an ecological alternative to other countries, says Janvier Nsengiumva, Commercial chief Port of Bujumbura.

In the midst of the Syrian war, a groundbreaking ecological movement is growing in the Kurdish region of Rojava

Green field and a small water irrigation system

Following the principles of the Mesopotamian Ecology Movement (MEM), local groups of Rojava are mobilizing an ecological resistance towards the exploitation of water and nature. Starting with teaching ecology at schools and creating school gardens, the predominantly Kurdish region in northeastern Syria is determined to establish what MEM describes as “a radical democratic, communal, ecological, women-liberated society.”

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