90 Percent of New Power in Europe From Renewables

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Renewable energy sources made up nearly nine-tenths of new power added to Europe’s electricity grids last year, in a sign of the continent’s rapid shift away from fossil fuels. But industry leaders said they were worried about the lack of political support beyond 2020, when binding EU renewable energy targets end.

Of the 24.5GW of new capacity built across the EU in 2016, 21.1GW — or 86 percent, was from wind, solar, biomass and hydro, eclipsing the previous high-water mark of 79 percent in 2014. For the first time windfarms accounted for more than half of the capacity installed, the data from trade body WindEurope showed. Wind power overtook coal to become the EU’s second largest form of power capacity after gas, though due to the technology’s intermittent nature, coal still meets more of the bloc’s electricity demand.

Germany installed the most new wind capacity in 2016, while France, the Netherlands, Finland, Ireland and Lithuania all set new records for windfarm installations. The biggest project was the Gemini windfarm off the Netherlands’ coast, which was connected to the grid last February and will be the world’s second largest offshore windfarm when finished this year.

“The installation numbers for now look OK, and the investment number is very good,” said Giles Dickson, chief executive of WindEurope. “But on the longer term outlook, only seven out of the EU’s 28 countries have clear policies and volumes [for wind power] in place for the period beyond 2020.

Read more here: http://www.climatecentral.org/news/90-percent-new-power-europe-renewables-21157?utm_content=buffere1366&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

Cameroon to restore 12 million hectares of forest in species-rich Congo Basin

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Cameroon has committed to restoring over 12 million hectares of deforested and degraded land by 2030 as part of the Bonn Challenge initiative. The pledge is the biggest made so far in the species-rich Congo Basin, home to the world’s second-largest tropical rainforest.

The Bonn Challenge, launched in 2011 at an event hosted by Germany and IUCN, is a global effort to restore 150 million hectares of degraded and deforested land by 2020 and 350 million hectares by 2030. With Cameroon’s commitment, the Challenge has reached over 148 million hectares pledged in total.

Cameroon is delighted to join this ambitious movement,” says Cameroon’s Minister of Environment, Nature Protection and Sustainable Development, Pierre Hele. “By restoring our unproductive landscapes, we will help local communities develop sustainably, increase their resilience to climate change and contribute to climate change mitigation.”

Deforestation and land degradation are among the biggest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions globally, and the Bonn Challenge pledge brings Cameroon closer to its national goal of cutting carbon emissions by 32% by 2035 – part of the country’s Paris Agreement commitment as announced by President Paul Biya at the COP21 in Paris.

Forty-six per cent of Cameroon is covered in forests that are highly regarded for their biodiversity,” says Cameroon’s Minister of Forestry and Wildlife, Philip Ngole Ngwese. “In recent years, we have seen an upward trend in deforestation and degradation. Restoring these valuable ecosystems will help us protect our natural heritage and contribute to our carbon reduction targets.

Follow the link to learn more about that serious issue, and probably do the same effort,by helping the environment: Article from: International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN): https://www.iucn.org/news/forests/201702/cameroon-restore-12-million-hectares-forest-species-rich-congo-basin

Europe faces droughts, floods and storms as climate change accelerates

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Europe’s Atlantic-facing countries will suffer heavier rainfalls, greater flood risk, more severe storm damage and an increase in “multiple climatic hazards”, according to the most comprehensive study of Europe’s vulnerability to climate change yet.

Temperatures in mountain ranges such as the Alps and the Pyrenees are predicted to soar to glacier-melting levels, while the Mediterranean faces a “drastic” increase in heat extremes, droughts, crop failure and forest fires. Europe and the entire northern hemisphere are warming at a quicker pace than elsewhere, to the extent that tropical diseases such as West Nile fever are expected to spread across northern France by mid-century.

Nasa, Noaa and the Met Office confirmed that 2016 had broken the record for the hottest year ever previously held by 2015, which had itself broken the record that had been held by 2014.

Read here more about the issue, and what the European Environment Agency supports: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jan/25/europe-faces-droughts-floods-storms-climate-change-accelerates