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The International Energy Agency (IEA) on Monday said if the world achieves a 30 per cent cut in methane emissions from human activity by 2030, it would have a similar impact on global warming as switching all world's cars, trucks, ships and planes -- the entire global transport sector -- over to net zero emissions technologies.
After two weeks of intensive discussions on how to step up international efforts to tackle global warming, the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow concluded on Saturday night.
The IEA has played an active role throughout, participating in a range of events addressing the ways in which the energy sector can help solve the world's climate challenge.
IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol joined dozens of world leaders, led by US President Joe Biden and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, at the launch of the Global Methane Pledge, underscoring that reducing methane emissions is the most impactful way to limit near-term climate change.
An official statement quoting Birol said he welcomed the commitment by more than 100 countries worldwide to join the pledge to cut global methane emissions from human activity by 30 per cent by 2030 and highlighted the IEA's longstanding efforts to push for an end to methane leaks from fossil fuel operations.
Multiple leaders including Colombian President Ivan Duque, at the Global Methane Pledge launch, noted the IEA's important role in advocating measures to clamp down on methane emissions.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that his country was the first to commit to meeting the IEA goal of 75 per cent reduction in energy-related methane emissions by 2030.
US Special Presidential Climate Envoy John Kerry, who moderated the event, said the IEA has "played a tremendous role for all of us" and expressed appreciation to Birol for his leadership.
At COP26, Birol also met key leaders and top officials from around the world for discussions on key energy and climate issues, including a substantive meeting with Chinese Special Envoy on Climate Change Xie Zhenhua.
They discussed the IEA's recent Roadmap to Net Zero by 2050 and Energy Sector Roadmap to Carbon Neutrality in China, as well as China's energy transition and climate goals.
Birol also held a bilateral meeting with UAE's Special Envoy for Climate Change, Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, at which they discussed cooperation between the UAE government and the IEA to support the Gulf nation's efforts to accelerate its clean energy transition and diversify its economy with the goal of reaching net zero emissions by 2050.
At a meeting with Indonesian Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Arifin Tasrif, Birol focused on strong and growing programme of IEA-Indonesia cooperation on the energy transition, including the country's net zero roadmap and the energy agenda for its G20 Presidency in 2022.
During the first week of COP26, the IEA published a commentary on new analysis showing that if all the climate pledges made by countries around the world as of November 3 -- covering methane as well as carbon emissions -- were to be met in full and on time, it would limit the rise in global temperatures in this century to 1.8 degrees Celsius.
That's a notable improvement from the 2.1 degrees Celsius of warming that was projected by its World Energy Outlook 2021's Announced Pledges Scenario in mid-October, based on the climate pledges to date at that point.
But Birol believes this progress is still not enough to put the world in line with the critical goal of limiting warming to 1.5 Celsius -- and the pledges still need to be backed up with clear policies to actually put greenhouse gas emissions into decline.
Tracking and accountability will be critical to ensure that countries and companies are following through on their promises.
At the request of the UK's COP26 Presidency, the IEA is leading the tracking of global progress against the Glasgow Breakthroughs -- five goals aimed at driving down the costs of clean technologies. Meeting these goals will be essential to enabling the achievement of governments' long-term net zero pledges. (IANS/JB)
Keywords: Climate Change, World Climate Crisis, International Energy Agency, COP26, Global Warming.
Canadian researchers have discovered an overlooked gene that plays a major role in the development of antibodies, which help the immune system recognize and fight viruses including SARS-CoV-2, bacteria and other causes of infectious disease. The gene -- FAM72A -- facilitates production of high-quality antibodies by enabling the effect of an enzyme called AID (for Activation-Induced Deaminase), the researchers showed.
Immunologists have known for two decades that AID is essential to produce antibodies capable of clearing infections, but the full mechanism of its effect has remained unknown. "Our findings answer the long-standing question of how AID does its work," said Alberto Martin, a professor of immunology at the University of Toronto's Temerty Faculty of Medicine. "FAM72A helps AID to promote mutations in antibody genes that are essential for the development of effective antibodies," he added.
Genetic mutations that lead to lasting changes in DNA occur through a process called mutagenesis. | Pixabay
Genetic mutations that lead to lasting changes in DNA occur through a process called mutagenesis. In the context of antibody development, mutagenesis unfolds largely through the AID-driven mechanisms called somatic hypermutation and class switch recombination -- both of which help antibodies gain the diversity and potency they need to counter a wide range of pathogens.
The results published in the journal Nature will help researchers better understand antibody development broadly, but they also have implications for cancer. Uncontrolled mutagenesis in B cells that produce antibodies is linked to B cell lymphoma, and FAM72A is present at very high levels in other cancers such as gastrointestinal, breast, lung, liver and ovarian cancers.
"Our data show that high levels of FAM72A promote mutations in antibody genes, so increased levels of FAM72A could spur cancer development, progression or drug resistance by increasing mutagenesis,a Martin said. Martin's team is now exploring those possibilities. Intriguingly, unlike other mammals, humans have four gene versions of FAM72A and their roles in cancer and antibody production are still unknown. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: researchers, cancer, mutagenesis, antibody, development, antibodies, canada, COVID
Mahanadi Coalfields Limited (MCL), a subsidiary of Coal India will set up a 50 megawatt (MW) solar power plant in Odisha's Sambalpur at a total cost of Rs 301.92 crore, moving steadily towards its goal to achieve carbon neutrality by 2024. MCL has placed a turnkey order to set-up a 50 MW solar power plant with a Chennai-based firm M/s Hild Energy Ltd, which will establish this green energy project within a timeline of 10 months, the MCL said in a statement on Saturday.
This solar plant would cater to the captive power requirement of MCL. The Central PSU had successfully set-up a 2MW solar power plant in Sambalpur in 2014. The company said it has pledged a target of installing 182 MW of solar power by 2024 in order to become a net zero energy company, aligning itself to use cleaner forms of energy for coal production.
The company said it has pledged a target of installing 182 MW of solar power by 2024. | Photo by Mariana Proença on Unsplash
This 50 MW solar power project will reduce CO2 emission by 91,020 tonnes per annum and carbon offsets of around 24,824 tonnes per annum, claimed the MCL. MCL is the leading production subsidiary of Coal India, having mining operations in Angul, Jharsuguda and Sundargarh districts of Odisha. Having achieved the highest ever capital expenditure of Rs 2,419 crore in the financial year 2020-21, the company has coal production and dispatch targets of 163 million tonnes and 182 million tonnes, respectively.
MCL was the coal mining company to introduce environment-friendly surface miner technology, which contributes over 95 per cent in coal production. As another environment-friendly initiative, the company has successfully introduced vertical rippers for blast-less over-burden removal in Hingula and Kaniha opencast projects. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: solar plant, carbon neutrality, Odisha, Sambalpur, Coal India, subsidiary, Mahanadi Coalfields Limited, solar energy
As the nation celebrated the 114th birth anniversary of his father - renowned poet Harivansh Rai Bachchan - megastar Amitabh Bachchan remembered his dad as he penned a heartfelt note for him. The actor took to his blog where he poured his heart out and also shared an unseen photo with his father. The image in question is from Big B's wedding in 1973, where the two are caught in a sweet moment as they look at each other.
Amitabh Bachchan wrote on his blog,
"My Father , my all .. November 27th his birth in the year 1907 .. Which makes it his 114th Anniversary .. He is in the heavens, with my Mother and they celebrate .. as do we , in thought word and deed .. (sic). But first."
He then posted the picture followed by elaborate paragraphs. The megastar wrote,
"Those rare moments when one would find himself rushing against the winds to prevent the distance between us and to close it down as soon as it can be. The day of my wedding and his expression of fulfilment to not just be in congratulation but instead to be in the face of a belief, a chime, an ultimate season of love and great passion, of the quarries of the fears and conditionings of these deprived gym routines kart ..(sic)". "This could have been unknown for long facilitating years, to give not expected versions and lastly large scale informations of the insides ; but as time passed by, as does now , they explained purposely, the values of education and similarity .. Be in peace and love .. (sic)",
the veteran actor concluded his note. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Amitabh Bachchan, Harivansh Rai Bachchan, actor, blog, birth anniversary, 114th birthday