Blog

  • Looking forward to the International Conference on Negative CO₂ (and #BeyondFlying)... The first International Conference on Negative CO₂ Emissions will take place on May 24-26 2018 in Gothenburg, Sweden. As part of the ie-nets project team working on a (small) project to assess the potential for negative CO₂ emissions in Ireland, I’m delighted that we have had two abstracts accepted for presentation, and I’m very much looking forward to meeting and engaging with the emerging international community of researchers working on this critically important topic. And yet: I’m also torn. Dublin, where I live, and Gothenburg are 1240 km apart. My return flight would represent a combined GHG emission commitment of the order of 250-500 kgCOe. Trivial in a global sense: but if academic ...
    Posted May 18, 2018, 12:48 AM by Barry McMullin
  • Ireland’s domestic climate policy needs updating to include ten million tonnes of untargeted emissions The Environmental Protection Agency, the EPA, provides Ireland’s most recent complete emission inventory data, up to 2015, published 2017 [pdf]. Comparing inventory emissions with Ireland’s core climate policy it becomes clear that about 10 million tonnes CO2e of Ireland’s emissions (on a GWP-100 equivalence basis) are not currently targeted by national policy, even though these emissions are accounted in EU targets – and do, of course, physically affect Earth’s climate system by adding to global warming. These ‘missing emissions’ are primarily from manufacturing, industry, waste and also ‘F-gases’ (used in refrigeration and air conditioning). In this blogpost, we discuss this issue and some possible implications for climate policy and policy analysis.Ireland’s ...
    Posted Apr 17, 2018, 12:15 AM by Paul Price
  • Upcoming International Conference on Negative CO2 Emissions (and a "modest proposal"...) The IE-NETs project will be represented at the upcoming International Conference on Negative CO2 Emissions, where we will give two short presentations on summary results from our recently completed Post-Paris Literature Review of Negative Emissions Technology, and Potential for Ireland. We're very much looking forward to meeting and engaging with the emerging community of NETs/CDR researchers at this first international conference dedicated to these topics. That said ... we're also keenly aware of the environmental (and especially climate) impact of our own activities. With that in mind, we have just offered a "modest suggestion" to the conference organisers, which we share here in case it is of wider interest. Even if the suggestion proves too late ...
    Posted Apr 12, 2018, 6:28 AM by Barry McMullin
  • IE-NETs is hiring! Post-doc position, School of Natural Sciences, Trinity College Dublin Advert text:"This is a 9-month post-doctoral position on an EPA funded project entitled ‘Investigating the Potential for Negative Emissions Technologies (NETs) in Ireland’. The work involves the use of crop growth modelling to create a productivity map of the energy crops, Miscanthus and willow in Ireland and using Life Cycle Assessment of greenhouse gas emissions and techno-economic analysis of bioenergy production with a focus on the potential for BECCS (Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage). The work will be undertaken in The Botany Department, School of Natural Sciences, Trinity College Dublin under the supervision of Professor Mike Jones. For further details contact mike.jones@tcd.ie. Applications including a CV should also be sent to ...
    Posted Apr 12, 2018, 1:56 AM by Barry McMullin
  • Climate action or carbon debt? How quickly are different regions and nations committing to responsibility for substantial negative emissions? Or, to tacit mitigation failure?The Paris Agreement commits the signatory Parties (essentially all sovereign nations of the world) to aligning their actions with,“[h]olding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, recognizing that this would significantly reduce the risks and impacts of climate change”    Article 2, Paris AgreementThanks to the strong climate science showing a direct, linear relation between cumulative total human-caused emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and resultant long-term global warming, a global ...
    Posted Mar 22, 2018, 9:42 AM by Paul Price
  • Where is the low carbon [sic] energy vision Ireland needs to mitigate climate change? The 2018 Spring Energy Policy Seminar of the Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA) All Ireland Forum took place on Friday 9th March in Omagh, Northern Ireland. The NFLA "... lobbies for improvements in the provision of renewable energy across Ireland, the encouraging of Council-led decentralised energy schemes and provides information on the risks to Ireland from the UK's nuclear energy and waste programme, as well as promoting the support of moves for international multilateral nuclear disarmament. The All-Ireland Forum is part of the UK and Ireland NFLA organisation which has four national Forums and itsheadquarters in Manchester."I was invited to give a presentation at the event, with suggested title "Where is the low carbon energy vision ...
    Posted Mar 13, 2018, 4:17 AM by Barry McMullin
  • ie-nets team contributes to event by the Royal Irish Academy for the recent EASAC report on negative emissions The European Academies Science Advisory Council (EASAC) provide independent science advise for EU policymakers, based on the expertise of leading scientists in national academies from EU member states, Norway and Switzerland. On February 1st, EASAC released a report entitled ‘Negative emission technologies, What role in meeting Paris Agreement targets?’. The report was written by a group of senior scientists in the area, one of which was ie-nets team member, Prof. Mike Jones. The report found that Negative Emission Technologies (NETs) had ‘limited realistic potential’ and are unlikely to be delivered at the scale envisioned by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)’s scenarios. This has significant implications for the feasibility for Europe achieving nett emission reductions aligned ...
    Posted Mar 9, 2018, 2:04 AM by Alwynne Hanna McGeever
  • How to spend the dwindling global carbon “budget”? (and Ireland’s dwindling carbon quota share of it) Viable pathways to "well below 2ºC"?Due to continued high global greenhouse gas emissions it is becoming very difficult to show viable mitigation pathways to stay "well below 2ºC" of global warming without resorting to some serious commitment to carbon dioxide removal (CDR) from the atmosphere using negative emissions technologies (NETs). This would, of course, be in addition to the imperative necessity of achieving sustained reductions of gross (“positive”) emissions. Allowing negative emissions in mitigation planning theoretically enables a slightly more gradual reduction in fossil fuel use but comes at a cost of added risks, including the risk that negative emissions technologies may fail to deliver at scale, as discussed in detail by Larkin et al. 2017 (open access). The ...
    Posted Jan 31, 2018, 3:29 AM by Paul Price
  • Document Release: A Post-Paris Literature Review of Negative Emissions Technology, and Potential for Ireland The main aim of the ie-nets project is to assess the scale and speed of negative emissions technology (NET) deployment that is required by currently envisaged decarbonisation pathways (globally and nationally), consistent with the Paris agreement goals. The first Work Package for this project is a preliminary review of the most relevant international and Irish literature. The output of this work is now freely available to download here. The review comprises of two main parts:Chapters 1-6: An overall review of international research specific to NET. Topics include climate policy, carbon budget management, strengths and challenges of various NET options, mitigation pathway modelling, risk assessment, governance;Chapters 7-9: A review and analysis of the most relevant Irish ...
    Posted Mar 13, 2018, 8:16 AM by Barry McMullin
  • IE-NETS Event at Engineers Ireland, Clyde Road, Dublin 6:30 PM Wed 6th Dec 2017 (Webcast Live) EPA Climate Change Research Project 2016-CCRP-MS.36: Dissemination Event Report UPDATE: Links to event video and slides now available! Presentation slides And video recording (via Engineers Ireland): The EPA Research Project Investigating the Potential for Negative Emissions Technologies (NETs) in Ireland held a dissemination event at Engineers Ireland in Dublin on 6th December 2017 before a live audience at the Clyde Road venue and via webcast. Results were presented from a comprehensive review of NETs literature relevant to achieving future, additional atmospheric carbon dioxide removal at scale in Ireland, which could assist in reaching low-carbon transition targets aligned with Paris Agreement commitments. The presentation also detailed a preliminary assessment of Irish NETs potential and estimates of Ireland ...
    Posted Apr 18, 2018, 4:14 AM by IE Nets
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