Obama urges action on climate during Yosemite visit
This weekend, President Barack Obama visited California’s Yosemite National Park to warn of the dangers of climate change and take aim at political opponents who have done little to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
On Saturday, Obama delivered his message from a podium placed in front of Yosemite Falls which, at 2,425 feet, is one of the world’s tallest waterfalls. This year marks the centennial of America’s national parks — natural sites that the US government has deemed worth preserving.
"Here in Yosemite, meadows are drying up, bird ranges are shifting farther northward, mammals are being forced further upslope," Obama said. "Yosemite's famous glacier, once a mile wide, is almost gone. We are also facing longer, more expensive wildfire seasons.”
The President took the opportunity to criticise presidential-hopeful Donald Trump’s views on climate change, which he has claimed is a “hoax invented by the Chinese”. The presumptive Republican nominee has also vowed to pull the US out of the Paris climate accord established at last year’s COP21 conference.
Obama said: “We can’t treat [climate change] like it’s someone else’s problem, it shouldn’t lead to careless suggestions that we don’t get serious about carbon emissions or that we scrap an international treaty that we spent years putting together to deal with this.”
The Obama administration has protected 265 million acres of land during the past eight years.
The President’s trip to Yosemite comes as Secretary of State John Kerry visited Greenland to shed light on the impact of climate change there.
Drax advances biomass strategy with Pinnacle acquisition
The Group’s enlarged supply chain will have access to 4.9 million tonnes of operational capacity from 2022. Of this total, 2.9 million tonnes are available for Drax’s self-supply requirements in 2022, which will rise to 3.4 million tonnes in 2027.
The £424 million acquisition of the Canadian biomass pellet producer supports Drax' ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and will make a "significant contribution" in the UK cutting emissions by 78% by 2035 (click here).
This summer Drax will undertake maintenance on its CfD(2) biomass unit, including a high-pressure turbine upgrade to reduce maintenance costs and improve thermal efficiency, contributing to lower generation costs for Drax Power Station.
In March, Drax secured Capacity Market agreements for its hydro and pumped storage assets worth around £10 million for delivery October 2024-September 2025.
The limitations on BECCS are not technology but supply, with every gigatonne of CO2 stored per year requiring approximately 30-40 million hectares of BECCS feedstock, according to the Global CCS Institute. Nonetheless, BECCS should be seen as an essential complement to the required, wide-scale deployment of CCS to meet climate change targets, it concludes.