GMI Calendar – Exciting Upcoming Events

August is a slow month here in hot, sticky Washington, D.C., where your GMI Administrative Support Group (ASG) is based, but more exciting months are ahead. Here’s what’s coming up in September/October:

16th International Symposium and Exhibition on CBM/CMM and Shale Gas in China
12-14 September 2016: Jincheng, China
nios-logoHeld by the National Institute for Occupational Safety (NIOS) and the China Coal Information Institute (CCII), the International Symposium on CBM/CMM and Shale Gas in China is an international communication platform which brings together stakeholders to share experiences and project-oriented solutions to the problem of CBM/CMM development. The Symposium will also consider shale gas policies and development and commercialization strategies.

International Solid Waste Association (ISWA) World Congress
19-21 September 2016Novi Sad, Serbia
How will Southeast Europe reach the standards and goals of waste management set out in the EU directive? We know that countries such as Austria, Sweden, Netherlands and Japan took more than 30 years to reach their current high levels of effective waste management. Can Southeast Europe meets its deadline in a decade? How and at what cost? How will this be financed? Which technologies will be used? What types of laws and regulations are needed to achieve this? How will authorities communicate to citizens the choices before them? What kind of lessons can be learned from the successful or failed attempts of other countries? Which sciences and studies can be applied in the region? These are the topics, challenges and debates expected at ISWA World Congress in Novi Sad in 2016.

Climate and Clean Air Coalition Working Group Meeting
20-21 September 2016: Paris, France
CCAC_logoThe Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) will hold its biannual Working Group Meeting in Paris, following the last Working Group Meeting at the Global Methane Forum. The focus of this Working Group Meeting will be learning more about the progress and impact of CCAC initiatives through interactive sessions. It will also involve discussion and agreement on changes to the CCAC partnership and governance following the work of the Task Team, including changes to streamline the funding process, and preparations for the High Level Assembly (HLA) in Marrakesh on the margins of COP22. A member of the GMI ASG will attend to represent GMI in its new role as non-state Partner. As this meeting is not open to the public, stay tuned for our report on the meeting.

24th World Mining Congress: Mining in a World of Innovation
18-21 October 2016: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
world-mining-congress-logoThe World Mining Congress is a world mining event that takes place every 3 years. The event aims to promote and support, both technically and scientifically, the cooperation for the national and international development of mineral areas and resources, and implement a global information network concerning mineral science, technology, economy, occupational health and safety and environmental protection.

11th Session Group of Experts on Coal Mine Methane / GMI Coal Subcommittee Meeting
24-25 October 2016: Geneva, Switzerland
The UNECE Group of Experts on Coal Mine Methane (CMM) undertakes and promotes activities aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions from coal mines. Apart from its focus on reduction of the carbon footprint of the mining industry, the Group of Experts also works toward the improvement of underground mine safety conditions. Through its activities in the field of methane recovery and use, the Group of Experts helps to reduce the risk of coal mine explosions, and thus helps to save lives and avoid large-scale economic losses.

 

 

June News Round-Up

June was a somewhat quiet month in methane-related news, so let’s start with some shameless promotion of friends:

First, Scientific American profiled how a Chinese company, TOVEN, creatively turned the city of Xiangyang’s sewage sludge problem into an opportunity. (See our re-blog and trip dispatch too).

Second, our friend, and a supporter of the Global Methane Forum in March, GHGSat, launched its satellite technology designed to measure the carbon dioxide and methane emissions leaking from Alberta’s sprawling tar sands operations, and eventually fossil fuel operations anywhere. We look forward to following GHGSat’s results!

Perhaps the biggest news of the month came from our friends Canada and Mexico which held the ‘Three Amigos’ summit along with the United States in Ottawa, Canada. These three GMI Partner Countries committed to an ambitious goal of North America generating at least 50 percent of its energy from “clean” sources by 2025. As part of the new partnership, Mexico also will agree to join Canada and the United States in decreasing methane emissions.

In other news, researchers from Oxford University pointed out the flaws of measuring the effects of methane in terms of carbon dioxide equivalent, and suggested a new way to measure methane that highlights the considerable differences in how each gas contributes to warming.

Finally, a new study names several American oil & gas companies as the largest methane emissions culprits, citing their aggregate emissions to be the equivalent of running seven coal-fired power plants for a year. Relatedly, NASA released images taken from space of the massive Aliso Canyon methane leak.

See you at the end of July!

 

June Methane News Round-Up

 

GMI Visits Biogas Facilities in China

Earlier this week we shared a post by a blogger in China about a sludge-to-energy project that GMI supports. As it turns out, GMI Municipal Solid Waste Subcommittee Chair Tom Frankiewicz – among other staff – was recently in China, working on a host of biogas projects (including that one). Check out below some photos from sites on his itinerary!

Liumingying Biogas Supply Plant

china1-3Started in 1991, the Liumingying Biogas Supply Plant uses chicken manure in anaerobic digesters to create biogas that is supplied to seven nearby villages for cooking gas. The villages maintain the biogas plant operations, and each household receives a cooktop for using the biogas to prepare meals.

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Tom and Dr. Heinz-Peter Mang, biogas technical expert, inspect tanks used to store biogas for distribution to the villages (above). The biogas plant also uses digestate to produce compost that is used in agriculture (below).

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Beijing Century Green Environmental Engineering & Technology Ltd. (CGEET)

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Tour of the GCEET sludge treatment and utilization plant. Treated sludge is turned into compost that is used in urban landscaping.

 

CANFIT Resource Recovery

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Tom and delegates from Senegal observe a model of the CANFIT Resource Recovery facility located in Beijing. Mr. J.C. Yu, President of CANFIT, explains how waste products like sludge and discarded organic waste are turned into beneficial products (i.e., compost, biogas, biochar, biodiesel and biomethane) for sale to customers. The facility serves over 4 million inhabitants and plans are underway for expansion of the facility to accept more discarded waste for use in beneficial products.

Global Methane Forum Presentations – China Waste Session

Over the coming weeks Methane International will feature presentations from the 2016 Global Methane Forum. First out of the gate is a set of presentations from the plenary session China’s Food Waste and Sludge Management Practices, Challenges, and Lessons Learned held on 29 March 2016. This session provided presentations and a panel discussion about current practices, challenges, and lessons learned for managing organic waste in China.

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Panel members at the discussion following the session’s presentations. Left to right: Ms. Lijin Zhong of the World Resources Institute; Mr. Zhang Yue, Director General of the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development; and Mr. Tom Frankiewicz,  U.S. EPA and chair of GMI’s Municipal Solid Waste Subcommittee.

Mr. Zhang Yue, Director General of the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development

Director-General Zhang delivered a keynote address highlighting organic waste management challenges and successes in China. His talk introduced the audience to the state of affairs of waste management in China, setting the stage for the sector-specific presentations that followed. DG Zhang closed his remarks with a vision for “greening” Chinese cities through low carbon waste practices. He emphasized the connection between urban municipal solid waste and wastewater treatment and methane emissions and the opportunities for reducing these emissions in China.

 

Sing (Terry) Cho, Senior Water & Sanitation Specialist with the World Bank

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Terry Cho presenting on the World Bank’s recent projects around wastewater management in Chinese urban areas.

Terry presented the results of a recently completed project on urban wastewater sewage sludge management in China, and summarized international best practices in sludge management. Currently, China mostly lacks advanced sludge management treatment but conditions are favorable for the introduction of new technologies and practices, particularly anaerobic digestion, and especially if incorporated into urban management plans. Terry closed by outlining some of the components of the World Bank’s recommended guidelines for developing an effective sludge management master plan for China.

 

 

Lijin Zhong, China Water Lead, and Vijay Jagannathan, Senior Fellow, with the World Resources Institute

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The World Resources Institute’s Vijay Jagannathan presenting sludge-to-energy case studies.

Lijin and Vijay highlighted the importance of viewing waste as a resource and highlighted successful case studies of organic sludge-to-energy projects in China. Presentation and summary coming soon!

 

Li Yong, International Marketing Manager with Bioland Group

Li offered a private sector perspective on the challenges and opportunities for food waste management in China. She started with a general overview of the food waste market in China: the country currently produces more than 30 million tonnes of food waste per year, of which only about 30% is recycled. Food waste management faces several challenges in China, such as safe collection and sorting practices, frequent disconnect with local authorities, and a lack of new technology and efficient management systems. She highlighted as a case study example the new Bioland Food Waste Treatment Project in Nanning, China. Fully cooperating with municipal authorities to ensure a steady waste stream, the new project utilizes state-of-the-art technology to ensure efficient organic waste sorting, recycling, and anaerobic digestion of more than 200 tonnes of food waste per day, and produces biogas-upgraded compressed natural gas, fertilizer, and clean water.

#GMF2016 Day 1: Importance of Methane Mitigation and Methane Project Financing

Hello from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., USA, where we have just completed the first morning plenary session of the Global Methane Forum! We had a packed house of methane mitigation enthusiasts ready to discover the importance of mitigating methane as part of a near- and long-term strategy for implementing the COP21 goal of limiting global warming below 2 degrees Celsius.

GMI-Forum-Packed-Room
A packed house before the first Plenary Session of the 2016 Global Methane Forum. Photo credit: Christopher Voell, Director of the U.S. EPA’s AgSTAR program and Co-Chair of GMI’s Agriculture Subcommittee.

The first session kicked off with a talk by GMI Steering Committee Chair & Acting Assistant Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Janet McCabe on methane’s critical role as a short-term climate forcer and the global cooperative efforts on its mitigation, including the Global Methane Initiative. She also detailed U.S. domestic plans for methane mitigation in the oil & gas sector, including the recent announcement with the government of Canada. Her talk was followed by a complementary discussion on the outcomes of COP21 and the implications of future methane work by the U.S. State Department’s Deputy Special Envoy for Climate Change, Karen Florini. Ms. Florini also acts as a key player in the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC), the co-host of the Forum.

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In a panel of technical experts on coal mine methane, Scott Foster of the United Nations’ Economic Commission for Europe called for increased international cooperation. Photo credit: GMI project staff.

As the policymakers exited the stage, the scientists entered – CCAC’s Climate Advisory Panel scientists Dr. Johan Kuylenstierna, Deputy Director, Stockholm Environment Institute, University of York, and Dr. Drew Shindell, Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University. In a ‘tag team’ talk, Dr. Kuylenstierna and Dr. Shindell explained the far-reaching impacts of methane emissions not only as a climate forcer, but on air quality as well – which negatively impacts human health, agricultural crop yields, etc.

The final session of the morning featured a roundtable moderated by Dianne Rudo, during which the speakers detailed varying approaches to methane project financing, including:

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Steven Wan speaking on financing Ventilation Air Methane (VAM) projects after the collapse of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). Photo Credit: GMI project staff.
  • Steven Wan, Fortman (Beijing) Clean Technology Co., Ltd., discussed establishing a public-private partnership with SinoSteel to finance coal mine methane projects.
  • Scott Cantor, Carbon Finance Specialist, World Bank described the World Bank’s new innovative, award-winning climate finance mechanism, the Pilot Auction Facility, based on providing a price guarantee for methane projects via auctioning put options.
  • Samuel Tumiwa, Deputy Regional Director, Asian Development Bank, outlined approaches to climate project financing in Asia, including smaller scale, easily replicated loans used to add biogas digesters to existing projects.
  • Laurence Blandford, Center for Clean Air Policy (CCAP), presented on his recently-published CCAP paper on converting COP21 INDCs into action. The major takeaway: publishing a country INDC investment strategy.
  • Bob Ichord, Ichord Ventures, LLC, discussed improving enabling environments for mitigating methane emissions from the oil & gas sector. As he noted, oil and gas production will not cease anytime soon, so we must deal with the emissions.

All in all, a successful morning. Stay tuned to our Twitter page for live updates, and please check our website in a few weeks for presentation materials from this morning.

Global Methane Forum – Speaker Highlights

GMI and our partners at the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) have many interesting and exciting speakers lined up for the Global Methane Forum. Here is a little information about two of them.

 

Terry Cho, World BankMicrosoft Word - Copy _2_ of Interview 1 - Marx LiPi Records_lia
Terry Cho is a specialist working in urban water and sanitation issues as part of the World Bank’s China and Mongolia Sustainable Development project. His presentation on 29 March, in the 14:00 China session, will highlight tremendous opportunities for improving sludge treatment practices while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The presentation will focus on a new World Bank report on sludge management strategy in China that analyzes current sludge management practices and recommends improved best management practices from projects across the globe. Mr. Cho holds an M.S. in Chemical Engineering from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

 

Jose Penido, COMLURBjose-penido-2

Jose Henrique Penido Monteiro is a Senior Advisor to the Rio de Janeiro City Solid Waste Company (COMLURB). Mr. Penido has coordinated efforts among GMI, the CCAC, and the C-40 Cities Climate Leadership Group to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the waste sector. At the Forum, he will be presenting a case study of Rio de Janeiro’s transformation of its waste management practices to become a greener and cleaner city ahead of the 2016 Summer Olympics.

 

Stay tuned for more news and highlights about the fantastic slate of speakers lined up for the Forum! For a draft agenda and other information about the Forum, visit globalmethane.org/forum or our FAQ post.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GMI Outreach in China

In October 2015, MSW Subcommittee Co-Chair, Tom Frankiewicz, traveled to China to participate in an international waste conference and conduct a training workshop.

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Tom presented GMI’s new Urban Municipal Waste and Wastewater Program at the International Solid Waste Management Conference, held in Suzhou by the China Association of Urban Environmental Sanitation (CAUES) and International Solid Waste Association.

Heinz-Peter Mang, University of Science and Technology - Beijing, (left) and Mark Hudgins, GeoCost (right)

Heinz-Peter Mang, University of Science and Technology – Beijing, (left) and Mark Hudgins, GeoCost (right) presenting at GMI’s training seminar in Ningbo, China.

GMI conducted a 2-day training seminar for municipal officials and other stakeholders to develop best practices for the handling and treatment of food waste in Ningbo, China. Representatives from the World Bank and the Ningbo Environment and Sanitation Management Office made opening remarks at the training seminar. Once operational, Ningbo will be the first residential food waste separation, collection and treatment project in China. The summary of the training workshop is available in both English and Chinese.

Zhang Yue, MOHURD (left) and Tan Hau, CAUES (right)

Tom met with Zhang Yue, Director-General, with Ministry of Housing and Urban Rural Development (MOHURD) and Tau Hau with CAUES to discuss MOHURD’s interest in collaborating with GMI to advance organics and sludge treatment best practices.