Frozen and the State Department: How Elsa Could Fight Climate Change
Could Frozen’s Elsa, Anna, Sven and Olaf help stymie the global rise in temperature that the Earth is faced with today? Well, maybe.
While an idealist would love nothing more than the ability to control ice and snow as Elsa could in Disney’s 2013 movie Frozen, in the real world we’re not allowed to have superpowers. Not to mention, it’s unclear whether pumping freezing temperatures into the atmosphere would do more to hurt or help an already aching planet (scientists, you want to look into that for us?).
None-the-less, it appears that there’s a chance the cast of this hit animated movie might be doing their part to slow the progression of climate change, according to Adm. Robert Papp, U.S. Special Representative to the Arctic.
Speaking to audiences at the Arctic Frontiers conference in Norway this last January, Papp said he had been in discussions with a representative from Disney to gain the rights to use the characters to promote awareness of global warming. Unfortunately, the talks don’t seem to be showing much progress.
"As I continued to talk, I could see the executive getting more and more perplexed, and he said: 'Admiral, you might not understand: Here at Disney, it's in our culture to tell stories that project optimism and have happy endings,'" Papp said at the conference, according to National Journal.
It may be telling that the general consensus on climate change is bleak enough that Disney executives would allegedly pan the idea on the basis that it was too pessimistic—or ultimately depressing and horrifying.
Never-the-less, Papp presses on, telling audiences on March 12 at an event hosted by the Brookings Institute in Washington that conversations with Disney were ongoing and that he was hopeful they would be able to reach an agreement, according to National Journal.
Though somewhat discomforting that fictional, animated characters could in theory be able to succeed in rallying support to tackle the issue where a steady stream of scientists have failed, it’s intriguing all the same to think of the impact such a move would have with the youngest generation—the generation that will arguably suffer the most from the long-term implications of sustained carbon dioxide pollution.
Trafigura and Yara International explore clean ammonia usage
Reducing shipping emissions is a vital component of the fight against global climate change, yet Greenhouse Gas emissions from the global maritime sector are increasing - and at odds with the IMO's strategy to cut absolute emissions by at least 50% by 2050.
How more than 70,000 ships can decrease their reliance on carbon-based sources is one of transport's most pressing decarbonisation challenges.
Yara and Trafigura intend to collaborate on initiatives that will establish themselves in the clean ammonia value chain. Under the MoU announced today, Trafigura and Yara intend to work together in the following areas:
- The supply of clean ammonia by Yara to Trafigura Group companies
- Exploration of joint R&D initiatives for clean ammonia application as a marine fuel
- Development of new clean ammonia assets including marine fuel infrastructure and market opportunities
Magnus Krogh Ankarstrand, President of Yara Clean Ammonia, said the agreement is a good example of cross-industry collaboration to develop and promote zero-emission fuel in the form of clean ammonia for the shipping industry. "Building clean ammonia value chains is critical to facilitate the transition to zero emission fuels by enabling the hydrogen economy – not least within trade and distribution where both Yara and Trafigura have leading capabilities. Demand and supply of clean ammonia need to be developed in tandem," he said.
There is a growing consensus that hydrogen-based fuels will ultimately be the shipping fuels of the future, but clear and comprehensive regulation is essential, according to Jose Maria Larocca, Executive Director and Co-Head of Oil Trading for Trafigura.
Ammonia has a number of properties that require "further investigation," according to Wartsila. "It ignites and burns poorly compared to other fuels and is toxic and corrosive, making safe handling and storage important. Burning ammonia could also lead to higher NOx emissions unless controlled either by aftertreatment or by optimising the combustion process," it notes.
Trafigura has co-sponsored the R&D of MAN Energy Solutions’ ammonia-fuelled engine for maritime vessels, has performed in-depth studies of transport fuels with reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and has published a white paper on the need for a global carbon levy for shipping fuels to be introduced by International Maritime Organization.
Oslo-based Yara produces roughly 8.5 million tonnes of ammonia annually and employs a fleet of 11 ammonia carriers, including 5 fully owned ships, and owns 18 marine ammonia terminals with 580 kt of storage capacity – enabling it to produce and deliver ammonia across the globe.
It recently established a new clean ammonia unit to capture growth opportunities in emission-free fuel for shipping and power, carbon-free fertilizer and ammonia for industrial applications.