The number of companies putting a price on their carbon pollution has risen sharply in the past 12 months as governments prepare to agree on tougher action to combat climate change this year. General Motors, Cathay Pacific and mining company Glencore are among 437 companies reporting the use of carbon pricing measures to environmental data group CDP, an environmental data group, triple the number from last year.
German car giant Volkswagen has admitted to cheating emissions tests both in the US and around the world. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, some cars had devices in diesel engines that could detect when they were being tested, changing the performance accordingly to improve results. The company has already set aside $7.3 billion to deal with the problem and fired its chief executive Martin Winterkorn on Wednesday. It has now admitted that around 11 million clean diesel cars sold worldwide contain these “defeat devices.”
The push by British Columbia to develop a new liquefied natural gas (LNG) export industry raises questions about the impact such activities would have on greenhouse gas emissions, both within the province and globally. One particular source of concern involves fugitive methane emissions that escape from drilling and processing activities. Andy Skuce analyzed the province’s low estimates of these releases and found them too hard to believe.
For the first time, the U.S. has proposed federal regulations that would require oil and gas companies to significantly reduce the amount of methane that can escape from drilling sites, specifically those related to oil and gas fracking. The new rules were put forward by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which has set a broad goal of lowering the country’s methane emissions by up to 45 per cent from 2012 levels by 2025.
Research shows more travelers than ever want to lower their environmental impact and expect the hospitality industry to follow suit. Many hotel chains are stepping up to the challenge, but home-sharing services like Airbnb are arguing that they have a sustainability edge. One study commissioned by Airbnb found that in North America, Airbnb guests used an average of 63 per cent less energy than hotel guests.