Estimated Global Methane Emissions 2020

How Environmentally Friendly is Biomass Production?

Biomass production, which is classified as a renewable source of energy, today accounts for 10.5% of the world’s total energy mix. Biomass is a term covering all non-fossil organic material and organic waste, such as forestry and agricultural residues, both from animal and non-animal farming, but also garbage and sewage sludge. With some concerns about biomass production on land replacing food production, this is an exception to the rule. Biomass is usually residue, waste or a by-product. Only biofuel production is known to utilize ethanol from corn: wheat, corn or sugar-beet. (Eurostat 2017; REN21 2017; Victoria State Government 2017; World Energy Council 2016).

According to the World Energy Council (2016), straw as a residue from food production is an example of biomass. Each year, billions of tons of straw, stalk, and foliage remain unused for biomass production. Instead, these are either allowed to rotten or burned freely, emitting considerable amounts of greenhouse gases into the Earth’s atmosphere. All of this organic waste, when correctly processed, could instead be utilized as a source of bio energy.

Biomass as a source of energy production is supported by policies in many countries despite of ongoing discussion about the sustainability of certain bioenergy sources. This has led to uncertainties in some markets and affected the willingness to invest into bioenergy. Due to these risk factors, the bioenergy sector has adopted a number of standards, Sustainability Criteria for Bioenergy, known as ISO 13065. In 2016, primary energy supply for biomass was around 62.5 exajoules (one EJ = 1018 J; one J per second = one watt). While worldwide energy demand in the past decade alone has grown by 21%, bioenergy demand has within the same time frame, on average, grown by 2.5% annually and persistently held its 10.5% share of the total worldwide energy mix. (ECOS 2017; REN21 2017).

In its Global Futures Report 2017 the REN21 states that while biofuels have most commonly replaced fossil fuels in the transport sector, it is not the only technology available. Electric vehicles are another option, with markets such as Norway pioneering the electric vehicle industry. It is largely a question of national policies and new investments into research and development that determine how well various fossil fuel-replacing options can penetrate into a specific market. A world powered with 100% renewable energy is possible, although current infrastructures limit and slow down the pace of renewables replacing fossil fuels, mainly due to socio-economic impacts. (REN21 2017).

Greenhouse gas mitigation and carbon taxes are the main drivers for developing the bioenergy market, while drastically dropping oil prices in the past few years have both led to advancements and increased risks for the overall bioenergy market. In markets with zero competition from the fossil fuel industry, such as Sweden, bioenergy has gained significant foothold. Sweden ́s pioneering development within the bioenergy sector has led to the fact that more than one-third of the country’s total energy use comes from bioenergy. Sweden is so efficient with bioenergy usage and recycling that the country has to import waste to meet its energy demand. The country aims at becoming 100% renewable in terms of energy. (World Energy Council 2016).

In comparison to for instance solar energy and wind energy, bioenergy production consumes considerable amounts of water, requires large areas of land and forests, possibly contributing to increased deforestation, unless managed sustainably. Despite risks like deforestation, countries like Sweden and Finland are known to manage their forest resources in a sustainable manner on a global level, following the directives set by the European Union. (EUbioenergy 2017; European Commission/EU 2017; World Energy Council 2016).

Learn more about the topic by watching U.S. Department of Energy ́s video “Energy 101 | Biofuels”:

Although biomass is being classified as a renewable energy source, it accounts for some  3% (three per cent) of total global methane emissions (with methane being a powerful greenhouse gas and anthropogenic methane emissions contributing to the warming of Earth’s climate). According to Vattenfall, which is one of the largest European retailers for electricity and fully owned (100%) by the Swedish state, biomass is at this time the largest single renewable energy source in the European Union.

Biomass and waste currently account for 2/3 (two-thirds) of renewable energy production worldwide, stated by Vattenfall. The state of Sweden has learned how to utilize waste to such an extent that it today is obliged to IMPORT waste in order to keep up with its (biomass) energy production. What a genius idea to turn waste into energy! Of course, the most optimal solution would be not to create any waste at all, but at the current state of the world, many countries are facing problems with for instance recycling, not to mention how these countries manage waste. Why destroy the environment and our soils by dumping all kinds of waste to landfills without any recycling, when there are much better options, such as biomass production and recycling available? If Sweden can do it, why not other countries as well? 

These questions are very important in terms of both environmental and human well-being. Moreover, recycling, waste management, human health, animal health, planetary health, and the creation of sustainable business models can be lucrative income sources for businesses in societies around the globe, while improving the state of the planet. Biomass can of course not be created from any kind of waste. Today, biomass is being created and used mainly in countries focused on forest industries and agriculture, whereby waste from these can be utilized to produce biomass energy from (renewable) sources.

Although biomass is today regarded to be a renewable energy source, and definitely more environmentally friendly than the burning of and production of fossil fuels coal, gas and oil, the production of biomass involves both agriculture and forestry. If other renewable source of energy are at hand, there should be no need to excessively cut down forests or grow crops in order to produce biomass, if and when there are more environmentally friendly options available.

It is estimated that the demand for biomass will at least double in the upcoming decades, with scenarios up to 2050. According to the World Energy Council’s report World Energy Resources – Bioenergy | 2016, bioenergy currently accounts for one tenth of global energy supply, with biofuels being a sustainable option in the replacement of oil dependency. Moreover, with growing concerns for environmental well-being even in terms of biomass production, bioenergy is framed by sustainability standards such as ISO, only to mention one of many. The World Energy Council states that the use of waste and residues as raw material to produce bioenergy is most optimal.

Following video, “What is Biomass”, published by FairEnergy, briefly explains what biomass (production) is:

 

Thank you for reading and commenting! 

Connect with me on Twitter @annemariayritys. For climate/environment-related posts only @GCCThinkActTank. Subscribe to https://www.annemariayritys.com to receive my latest posts.

 

 

Estimated Global Methane Emissions 2020

Why Does The Global Oil Industry Remain One of The Largest Anthropogenic Methane Emitters Worldwide?

The oil/petroleum industry, together with the gas industry, account for a significant 24% of all anthropogenic methane emissions on a global average. In the United States, for instance, natural gas and petroleum systems currently are the cause of 31% of all methane emissions, although there has been a decrease of 16% in total methane emissions in the United States between 1990 and 2015. (Global Methane Initiative 2010; Environmental Protection Agency 2015.)

OPEC, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Algeria, Angola, Ecuador, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and Venezuela), recently published World Oil Outlook 2040, a comprehensive analytical report on the current developments in the global petroleum industry and its outlooks for the upcoming two decades, up to 2040. OPEC states in World Oil Outlook 2040 the current major changes and extreme volatility within the oil industry, with OECD commercial oil inventories dropping by more than 50% within less than a year, from the beginning of 2017 up to September 2017. OPEC estimates that sustainable market stability within the industry is necessary to avoid long-term negative consequences for all stakeholders and the overall global economy.

Secretary General of OPEC, Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, states that all 14 OPEC member countries have signed the Paris Agreement, and recognize the need for energy efficiency and the development of cleaner energy technologies. OPEC estimates global energy demand increasing by 35% from 2015 to 2040, with India and China leading the demand. Moreover, regardless of the rapid average annual growth (6.8%) of renewable energy sources (wind, photovoltaic, solar and geothermal energy), the total share of renewable energy sources is estimated to be rather low yet by 2040 on a global level. While overall global oil demand is projected to increase, oil demand in OECD countries will drop significantly. Total oil demand will slow down in the long-term with the oil industry being challenged by other sources of energy, such as renewables. OPEC also states that advancements in energy efficiency is known to have a central role in emission reduction policies, whereby government policies have a significant impact on the development of energy markets.

The OPEC member countries are identifying energy efficiency and climate change mitigation as a top priority, having signed the Paris Agreement and many of the OPEC member countries investing heavily in renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind. Despite OPEC ́s projections in its World Oil Outlook 2040 for oil accounting for more than half of total energy demand in 2040, estimating that the importance of gas and nuclear will continue to grow regardless of growth in other renewable energy sources such as solar and wind, OPEC identifies a number of uncertainties within the global energy sector, especially in regard to the worldwide oil market. These uncertainties are identified by the OPEC including: pace of technological advancements, including big data, climate change and environmental regulations, policy developments, and economic factors such as costs, fiscal conditions, and speculative financial activities.

Overall, the outlook and future of the worldwide oil industry depends largely upon governmental policies and developments within alternative energy sources, including renewables. Many countries worldwide are investing heavily in renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind energy, having ambitious targets not only to adhere to the Paris Agreement but in fact to take all necessary and possible actions to surpass the average targets of the Paris Agreement. The more efficiently countries are capable of switching over to alternative energy sources, the faster will the demand for petroleum products decreased. This allows for the oil and petroleum industry to continue developing cleaner technologies and investing in improved renewable energy technologies.

Learn more by watching Global Methane Initiative ́s video “Methane Mitigation Matters: Oil and Gas Sector”:

Connect with me on Twitter @annemariayritys. For climate/environment-related posts only @GCCThinkActTank.

Subscribe to my newsletter at https://www.annemariayritys.com to receive my latest articles/posts. 

Note from author: I originally published this analysis on my website https://www.annemariayritys.com and on LinkedIn on December 6th, 2017, as part of my research about factors causing anthropogenic climate change and to find out more about the current state and the projections of the global energy sector. My conclusions based on the sources that I used were that despite heavy investments into the renewable sector in many countries worldwide, the need for oil as a source of energy still remains due to a number of reasons, including the fact that when world population continues to grow rapidly, the need for energy increases as well, although a vast part of Sub-Saharan Africa’s population still lives fully without electricity. The expansion of renewables and the usage of traditional energy sources currently go hand in hand. Government policies have a major impact on any country’s energy market. Anne-Maria Yritys, September 2nd, 2019.  

 

GCC Think Act Tank cover 2019

Why Do We Urgently Need Sustainable Agriculture and Food Production?

According to both the FAO and the IPCC, global food production alone is responsible for a major proportion of greenhouse gas emissions. Not only are millions of hectares of forests being cut down annually in order to create space for more land to be cultivated, much of which is being wasted in many ways: crops are being grown to produce biofuels, or to feed cattle and other domesticated animals which ultimately end up on the human plate when those animals are being slaughtered.

 

Sustainable agriculture signifies that with a rapidly growing world population, we can no longer afford to waste essential natural resources. Moreover, poorly managed soils can take up to a century to recover and impoverished soils lead to impoverished nutritional values in any crop, or any food grown and produced.

 

What alternatives do we have?

 

  1. Using AI (Artificial Intelligence) to improve production methods in agriculture and farming.
  2. Radically reduce food waste, everywhere on this planet. Currently, much of crop/food is being thrown away.
  3. End (or at least reduce) animal farming drastically.
  4. Stop growing crops for the sake of, and stop wasting land, to produce biofuels.
  5. Transform the global agriculture and food sectors into increasingly much plant-based diets for human beings.
  6. Start valuing forests and trees as an essential source of food and nutrition not only for human beings, but also for animals.
  7. Innovate completely new food products, including food grown in laboratories ethically.

A-M. Yritys August 9, 2019

 

 

GCC Think Act Tank cover 2019

What if You Had Only One Minute?

If you had only 1 minute to take action to save the world from the environmental catastrophe that we are heading towards, what would your actions be? What would you be willing to give up on/sacrifice for the cause of saving flora & fauna, and perhaps even human beings?

 

  1. Would you support a sustainable economy based on putting the global ecology before greedy capitalism?

 

  1. Would you reduce or stop flying at all?

 

  1. Would you be willing to stop driving a car, and start using other means of transport (cycling, public transport)?

 

  1. Would you eat less meat? Become a vegetarian? Become a vegan?

 

  1. Would you consume more biological, organic, and fair trade products? And, consume more local and seasonal food products?

 

  1. Would you stop blaming governments, politicians and businesses for being responsible, and be willing to take personal responsibility for your consumption habits?

 

  1. Would you agree that the era of fossil fuels has to be replaced with renewable energy sources as soon as possible, and support renewables by choosing to consume renewable energy sources rather than fossil fuels?

 

What else would you be willing to do?

 

Feel free to comment.

 

Anne-Maria Yritys, August 1st 2019

 

 

Dry Chanterelles

Why Raping Forests Leads to Climate Change and Losses in Biodiversity

This is what chanterelles look like when the forest is dry and it hasn’t been raining for a while. In 2018, there were no chanterelles at all before August due to drought in Finland. Normally you can find chanterelles in June already. Last year’s mushroom crop was quite poor all in all. And when forests are being cut down, biodiversity suffers. No mushrooms grow in a cut down forest. Climate change and raping our local and global forests leads to huge losses in biodiversity and forest animals have less and less space to live.

 

We can also not start irrigating all forests of the world when and where there is lack of rain or freshwater (and groundwater). Too many unnecessary fresh water resources are already being wasted by irrigating cultivated land, including rice fields and vineyards.

 

Nor can we afford to experiment with activities such as importing whole icebergs due to lack of fresh water. Read more about importing icebergs by googling UAE and a lack of fresh water resources.

 

Life on planet Earth should not have to be an attempted imitation or reconstruction of the Frankenstein story.

 

#biodiversity #climatechange #foodsecurity #forestfood

 

Environmentally Friendly Chanterelle Pie

Environmentally Friendly Chanterelle Pie

Food consumption locally/worldwide has one of the single largest impacts on our environment. Not only do we throw away and waste a large proportion of all produced food. In Finland alone, food waste is a huge problem since at least 23 kg of food products are being thrown away per person each year. While in parts of the world population is still suffering from malnutrition and lack of food, more and more people suffer from overweight or are even obese.
There is no lack of food in our world, since today food is produced for at least 10 billion people worldwide, much of which is being thrown away and wasted. The largest problem is how our food is being produced and transported + the harsh reality of an immense amount of food waste.
An environmentally healthy diet is also good for your personal health. Learn more about environmentally healthy eating habits, and local food production/consumption.
Eatable mushrooms, including chanterelles, are a healthy option in many ways. Chanterelles, for instance, contain many healthy nutrients including vitamin D, iron, and non-animal proteins.
Here is a recipe I personally use to bake a chanterelle pie (I hunt my chanterelles personally from local forests where I live!).
Chanterelle pie (8 portions)
 
Crust:
 
125 g quark
125 g butter/margarine
3 1/2 dl flour
1/4 teaspoons of salt
1 teaspoon sodium bicarbonate (baking powder)
 
Filling:
 
1 litre of chanterelles
1 large onion (or, leek/spring onion)
1 tomato
1 fresh chili
One small package of cream cheese (not necessary, if you want less calories)
a pinch of salt
a pinch of black pepper
2 dl cream
1 egg
grated cheese
 
Preparation:
 
1. Mix the crust ingredients to an even dough. Then roll the crust onto a pie tin (a diameter of 26 cm is optimal for this crust size)
 
2. Fry the chanterelles on a medium temperature until most of the moisture evaporates. Add the onion, tomato, chili and continue frying until these take on a bit of color. Add (voluntarily) the cream cheese and fry until the cream cheese has melted. Remember to stir in-between.
 
3. Mix the egg and some grated cheese in a separate bowl. Add some black pepper. Stir.
 
4. Pour the pan ingredients (chanterelles, tomato, chili, onion, cream cheese) on top of the crust.
 
5. Pour the egg/grated cheese mix on top of the pie. Add some extra grated cheese if you want to.
 
6. Bake in 220 degrees Celsius in the oven for about 30 minutes.
 
7. Take the pie from the oven and serve.
 
Ps. For vegans/gluten intolerants; please adjust according to your special needs. Also adjust to your special needs if you are allergic to some ingredient.
 
Bon appetit!
 
 
 
Who is Responsible for The Global Climate Crisis?

Who is Responsible for The Global Climate Crisis?

With millions of people around the world marching and striking on behalf of the environment and citizens worldwide demanding increased and more rapid action and political decisions in terms of fighting back against anthropogenic climate change, it is without question a reality of today that people call governments and politicians for taking faster actions to meet the targets of the Paris Agreement. Never before has climate change, the environment, the climate crisis or for instance pollution and greenhouse gases been covered so intensely by various media outlets globally. It is obvious that climate change and the global environmental crisis are among the most discussed topics today.

Who is responsible for the global climate crisis? 

What almost appears as a global panic attack in terms of anxiety caused by the state of the global environment and the human-caused climate disaster, demonstrators across the world aim to put pressure on governments and politicians with a democratic justification to do so.

Don’t be afraid to stand for what you believe in, even if it means standing alone

Instead of blame-shifting and pointing fingers on who is the biggest criminal in terms of environmental destruction and human-caused climate change, we should better start recognizing the root causes that have placed humanity in the position that we are in today, followed by determined and smart actions throughout societies. This is already clear to the world: we know the root problems, and largely what to do about the problem. Around the world, businesses are already taking serious action to combat anthropogenic climate change. Citizens are taking action. Cities are taking action. Governments are taking action. Countries are OBLIGED to take action (see e.g. Paris Agreement).

A few facts concerning human-caused climate change (through emitting greenhouse gases):

  • The global energy sector alone is responsible for 80 % of emissions which is the main reason for the need to transition from fossil fuels to non-nuclear renewables
  • Cities worldwide are responsible for 70 % of all emissions which is why cities worldwide have no other option than to take action if they want to become carbon-neutral
  • Agriculture is both affected by and a major source of greenhouse gas emissions. Up to more than 30 % of ALL greenhouse gas emissions are caused either directly or indirectly by agriculture and farming practices.
  • Every human being on this planet contributes to man-made climate change and environmental destruction. Some less, others significantly much more. One major factor that has to be realized is that each and one of us has influence on how much of a burden we are to the environment. As consumers, we can vote through our consuming habits: demand better quality and consider what and how we consume.

Contact me directly for consultations. Anne-Maria Yritys, June 3rd 2019. All rights reserved.

 

Why Should You Have to Protect The Environment

Why Should You Have to Protect The Environment?

Repeat after me:

I do not want to protect the environment. I want us to create a world where the environment needs no protection. Anne-Maria Yritys

Why should you even have to protect the environment? Would it not be much easier to create a world where the environment needs no protection?

How can this be achieved in a world where man leaves a heavy footprint wherever he goes?

In brief: to create an economically more sustainable future for ourselves and for future generations, we must focus upon developing following sectors:

  1. Transition away from polluting and environmentally damaging fossil fuels and sources of energy that involve serious risks for both the environment and overall health => renewable energy sources such as geothermal energy, hydropower, ocean energy, solar energy and wind energy. The global energy sector is the main reason for human-caused climate change and global warming.
  2. Development of cleantech, including the previously mentioned energy sector.
  3. Circular economies, including recycling and drastic reduction of produced waste.
  4. Sustainable agriculture, farming, and fishing practices.
  5. Education => slowing down population growth.
  6. Legislation and taxation that supports sustainable economic development.

Contact me directly for further discussion.

Anne-Maria Yritys May 29th 2019.

 

 

Why We Are Not Taking Climate Action Fast Enough

During my studies/research on climate and environmental topics from a wide variety of angles since several years back, I have noticed how much progress has been made around the world in terms of environmental protection, and concrete climate action.

With climate change deniers, resistants, apathetic individuals and those who talk the talk without actually walking their talk, our world has plenty of individuals who actually are fully dedicated in their everyday lives to tackling both climate change and environmental destruction. These individuals take action in their personal lives, create businesses and contribute to/make significant political decisions in terms of protecting our local/global environment without which things could look much worse than they actually are today.

In terms of communicating climate and environment-related topics local and global journalism/media play a significant role; how else would the crowd be informed about any development that is taking place? Well-informed citizens of any country, or people who dig deep into specific topics out of personal or business interest of course know how to search for information through a wide variety of sources, which today is even more simple than ever thanks to the Internet and people around the world having public access to information and reports, many times for free.

Nevertheless, and despite important political decisions and legislative changes in terms of environmental protection, journalism and media have a huge responsibility and lots of power when it comes to bringing public awareness about specific issues, climate change and environmental protection. Anthropogenic climate change and environmental protection are both no new topics.

Those with longer life experience and more years behind them know that specific climate/environmental issues have been discussed for several decades. In recent years, however, there has been a significant increase in climate change and environmental topics brought up by various media outlets. Since the Paris Agreement was signed on April 22nd 2016, most countries on our planet have actually pledged to concrete climate action; some countries with more ambition than others.

The main goal of the Paris Agreement is for all countries that have signed (and ratified) the agreement to take concrete actions in order to stop global warming and to prevent global average temperatures from rising above 1,5 degrees Celsius (34,7 Fahrenheit), since research indicates that even slight increases in global (or regional) average temperatures can and will lead to drastic changes worldwide in terms of for instance food security. The purpose of the Paris Agreement is also to ensure that countries take all possible action to reduce GHG ́s (greenhouse gas emissions), which are found to be increasing the global average temperatures through the warming effect that these create.

The question is, however: Do We Take Climate Action Fast Enough?

In the global energy sector, renewable energy sources (excluding nuclear energy), today account for 25,6 % of the total global energy sector, a vast majority of which comes from hydropower (15,9 %). (IHA 2019). Despite the growing capacity of renewable energy sources worldwide in recent years, energy-heavy sectors such as cooling, heating and transport lag behind and renewable energy sources such as solar and wind today account for 2,1 % respectively 4,6 % of total global energy. (IHA 2019; REN21 2018).

Climate marches and school strikes on behalf of climate action and environmental protection that gather millions of people together around the world of course bring an important message and put increasingly much pressure on both educational institutions and schools, businesses in all industries, and governments/politicians, but the focal point here is to focus upon concrete action, which can be taken on various levels throughout societies: in our personal lives, in businesses, and in terms of legislation.

It is comforting to notice that despite of certain climate change resistance or complete ignorance even among world leaders, major cities around the world and in countries such as the U.S. are committed to taking action and concrete measures to either eliminate or reduce their carbon emissions, including for instance New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. Furthermore, research and reports published by IRENA and OPEC reveal how even traditional oil-drilling/oil-producing regions invest into renewable energy sources such as solar and wind.

Nevertheless, with a rapid population growth globally and a continuous increase in energy consumption worldwide, environmentally more sustainable solutions are much needed to keep up with the current development in order to meet the demands of the Paris Agreement which aims not only to protect, but in fact to save our planet Earth from complete destruction.

Anne-Maria Yritys 13.5.2019

 

Why Do We Need a Green Finland?

According to polls, more than 30% of youth in Finland want to vote green. It, along with the continuous climate strikes among students in Finland, speaks for how concerned children and youth are about the state of the environment. We live in important times.

 

Finland’s parliamentary elections take place on April 14th, followed by European Parliament elections in May, and Finland’s Presidency of the European Council starting on July 1st.

 

Finland aims to act as a role model for the rest of the world in terms of taking action upon anthropogenic climate change and in meeting the targets of the 2015 signed Paris Agreement.

 

Cities are cooperating to find ways of becoming increasingly much sustainable, and Nordic countries have agreed upon increased cooperation to tackle climate change, its consequences and what needs to be done.

 

Contrary to certain attitudes and beliefs according to which it is pointless for sparsely populated countries like Finland to do anything in terms of climate change or in terms of taking climate action, it is a fact that developed, high-tech, welfare countries such as Finland do play a significant role in terms of environmental well-being.

 

Although e.g. China and India are among the most populous countries on our planet, western societies and developed countries contribute more together than most developing countries, with for instance production being outsourced to low-cost developing countries such as India, China, Turkey, Vietnam, and Cambodia.

 

Anne-Maria Yritys 6.4.2019