Drive to 1.5
A 1.5°C limit on average global warming is the long-term, “aspirational” goal in the Paris Agreement. But more and more research is showing that a 1.5 target is essential, not optional - and that it may not take unproven, potentially dangerous carbon capture techniques to get there.
Scientists Debate Whether Revised Temperature History Reduces Available Carbon Budget
A recent revision of sea surface temperature records from the mid-20th century to the present has scientists and policy-makers considering whether the carbon budget to keep average global warming to 1.5°C should be revised downwards by as much as a third—and questioning researchers whether the update is relevant to the climate impact communities actually experience on the front lines of the crisis.
Saudis Lead Fossil States to Block 1.5°C Report, Declare Island States a ‘Disposable Global Zone’
A landmark report on 1.5°C pathways was forever dropped from formal consideration in United Nations climate negotiations, and Climate Action Network-International scorched countries for their “weak political positions on responding to the climate crisis,” as mid-year negotiations to implement and push beyond the 2015 Paris Agreement wrapped up yesterday in Bonn.
Saudi Arabia Obstructs UN Adoption of IPCC’s 1.5°C Pathway Report
Countries participating in mid-year climate negotiations in Bonn this month are at risk of excluding the IPCC’s landmark report on 1.5°C pathways from their consideration of climate science, with alarmed health professionals calling out Saudi Arabia for its continuing refusal to accept the conclusions in the October, 2018 special report.
Atmospheric CO2 Hits 415.26 PPM, Highest Level Since Humans Evolved
Atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide were measured at 415.26 parts per million (ppm) on Saturday, believed to be the highest level since humans first evolved.
CO2 Emissions Rise 1.7% in 2018 as Energy Demand Sets Record, Coal Consumption Grows
Global carbon dioxide emissions increased 1.7% in 2018, driven by record-high energy demand and still-increasing use of coal-fired power plants, the International Energy Agency reported yesterday.
Massive Arctic Warming Can Still Be Averted by Rapid GHG Cuts, Carbon Brief Concludes
Climate analysts are taking a second look at a key paragraph in a widely-reported study, published last week by the UN Environment Program, that appears to have overstepped with the claim that Arctic warming between 5.0 and 9.0°C is locked in and inevitable by 2080.
Atmospheric Methane Increases Could ‘Negate or Reverse Progress’ on CO2 Cuts
Increases in atmospheric methane between 2014 and 2017 could put the targets in the Paris Agreement out of reach, and point to the “urgent need to reduce methane emissions, especially from the fossil fuel industry,” according to a new research article published last week by the American Geophysical Union.
Average Warming Could Temporarily Exceed 1.5°C in Next Five Years
Four major meteorological agencies have now confirmed that 2018 was the fourth-warmest year on record, with the UK Met Office calculating a 10% chance that average global warming will temporarily exceed the critical 1.5°C threshold in at least one of the next five years.
2019 Set to Deliver Big Jump in Atmospheric CO2
Scientists are looking ahead to a “worrying” jump in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations this year, right on the heels of a report declaring 2018 the fourth-warmest year on record.
The Hard Work Starts Now as COP Delivers Incomplete Rule Book, Low Ambition
After two weeks of marathon negotiations ended with a deeply equivocal, incremental response to the global climate crisis, COP 24 in Katowice, Poland ended where it began: with a wide spectrum of delegates and other climate specialists declaring that the hard work begins now.
COP Refuses to ‘Welcome’ 1.5°C Report as Major Negotiation Points Bog Down
As the first week of this year’s United Nations climate change conference (COP 24) drew to a close, debate ground down Saturday night on a decision that should have been easy—whether the world’s governments should actually “welcome” the landmark 1.5°C pathways report they commissioned from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in 2015. With petro-states Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Russia, and the United States obstructing the decision, delegates were left to simply “note” the report’s arrival after chewing up valuable negotiating time on a matter of semantics.
CO2 Emissions in Richest Countries Set to Show First Increase in Five Years
Carbon dioxide emissions in the world’s richest countries are on track to increase slightly this year after five years of reductions, and the International Energy Agency (IEA) is pointing to oil and gas consumption as the main culprit.
Climate Emergency, Community Devastation ‘Redefine the Politics’ as COP 24 Begins
The annual United Nations climate change conference (COP 24) got under way yesterday in Katowice, Poland, amid urgent calls for action in response to a year of back-to-back climate emergencies and repeat warnings that the window of opportunity for pathways to 1.5°C average global warming is just a dozen years from closing.
Wider Emissions Gap Shows ‘Countries Are Not Doing Enough’, UN Agency Reports
The gap between countries’ greenhouse gas reduction plans and their promises under the Paris Agreement is even wider than previously believed, according to a major report released by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) ahead of the annual UN climate conference opening next week in Katowice, Poland.
IEA Sees Signs of Energy Transition, But Backtracks on Paris-Compliant Modelling
An end to new fossil plant construction, a coal industry already past its production peak, a surge in natural gas use, and up to a billion electric vehicles on the road by 2040, with gasoline demand peaking in 2025, are among the key findings and projections in the annual World Energy Outlook (WEO) released this week by the International Energy Agency.
Climate Home News Compiles ‘37 Things to Know’ About IPCC’s 1.5°C Report
The UN published a summary on the science of 1.5°C global warming on Monday. It’s a big deal.
1.5°C Is Doable, but Just a Dozen Years Left to Get on a Low-Carbon Pathway
Humanity has a dozen years to hold off the accelerated risks of extreme heat waves, wildfires, flooding, drought, sea level rise, and extensive poverty that would result from 2.0°C average global warming by pursuing a tough but doable pathway to 1.5°C, according to a long-awaited science report released in Incheon, South Korea this morning by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
Reaction: IPCC Report Combines Urgency and Hope, but ‘Every 0.1° is a Choice Between Life or Death’
About 40 representatives of climate, energy, international development, and other groups affiliated with Climate Action Network-International were monitoring the negotiations in Incheon, South Korea. Here are some of their reactions to the IPCC’s 1.5°C report.
Abreu: ‘The Science Prevailed’ as IPCC Hands Governments a 2050 Deadline for Net Zero Emissions
Catherine Abreu is executive director of Climate Action Network Canada, and was Climate Action Network-International’s Head of Delegation for last week’s high-stakes meeting of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in Incheon, South Korea. In this in-depth interview with The Energy Mix, she talks about the alarming but extraordinary result that scientists, civil society advocates, and government negotiators are bringing home from IPCC 48, and how it came about.
Alarming Findings in IPCC Report Become ‘Thunderous Call to Action’
With representatives of more than 130 countries and about 50 scientists gathered in Incheon, South Korea to negotiate final details of the IPCC’s 1.5°C science report, the Washington Post headlined that they were “struggling to find the right words for very bad news.”
IPCC Special Report Could Drive Faster, Deeper Carbon Cuts Through Talanoa Dialogue
With pressure and momentum building for countries to speed up their action on climate change in the crucial decade between 2020 and 2030, veteran climate negotiator Alden Meyer of the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) sees today’s IPCC report on 1.5°C as one of the building blocks for a significant “2020 moment” during COP 24 in December.
With Countries ‘Nowhere Near on Track’ to 1.5°C, IPCC Author Urges Massive Transformation
A massive transformation in the world’s energy production, transportation patterns, and food systems will be needed to limit average global warming to 1.5°C—and right now, countries are “nowhere near on track” to achieve that goal, according to an author of the forthcoming report on 1.5° scenarios produced by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
IPCC ‘Pulls Its Punches’ in Crucial Report on 1.5°C Warming
Reviewers watching over the production of a crucial special report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) are warning that its statements about the dangers of climate change are being watered down to accommodate some of the world’s heaviest carbon polluters.
IPCC Report on 1.5°C ‘Guardrail’ Draws Support from Some Climate Hawks, Alarm from Others
An upcoming report on ways to limit average global warming to 1.5°C has been generating a lot of discussion at this week’s climate negotiations in Bangkok, and in the weeks leading up to the meetings, with some climate policy advocates asking delegates to take the report seriously while others question its most basic scientific assumptions.
Average Warming On Track to Exceed 1.5°C by 2040: Leaked IPCC Report
Average global warming is on track to exceed 1.5°C by about 2040, according to a leaked draft of a special report commissioned by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
Fiji Dismisses Chief Climate Negotiator, Raising Concerns for COP 23 Momentum
Fiji’s presidency of the UN climate talks was an unprecedented opportunity for the Pacific island state to make its mark internationally.
2.0°C Would Bring ‘Profound Climate Shifts’ to Every City in the World
Virtually 100% of all global cities will experience profound shifts in climate by 2050 if average global warming reaches 2.0°C, with 77% on track to experience the temperature and rainfall patterns now associated with equatorial regions and 22% projected to suffer conditions never before seen in any city on Earth, says a new study.
Two Million People Lose Access to Water as Drought, Dam Management Problems Hit Harare
Only about half of the 4.5 million people living in the Zimbabwe capital of Harare and four satellite towns have access to municipal water supplies, with some suburbs going weeks without water and reported cases of typhoid beginning to emerge, Climate Home News reports.
Record Arctic Heat Produces Wildfires, Health Alerts in Alaska and Beyond
A record heat wave across Alaska and much of the Arctic is thawing tundra and sucking moisture out of circumpolar forests and peat bogs, triggering wildfires and choking, black smoke that are starting earlier, burning hotter, and spreading farther north than they have before.
Ocean Acidification Could Drive Mass Extinction Without Rapid Drop in CO2 Emissions
Ocean acidification driven by ever-increasing carbon dioxide levels could take on a life of its own and begin driving a sudden, mass extinction if emissions are not brought under control by the year 2100, according to a new paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
UN Stresses Adaptation Funding as Frequency of Global Climate Disasters Hits One Per Week
The frequency of major climate disasters has reached one per week around the world, a top United Nations official warns, in a new report that calls for developing countries to prepare now for the “profound impact” they will continue to face.
Climate Damages Could Hit $69 Trillion by 2100
The impacts of climate change could cost the global economy US$69 trillion through 2100 if average global warming is allowed to hit 2.0°C, according to a new study by consultants at Moody’s Analytics.
Scientists Scramble to Understand Sudden Drop in Antarctic Sea Ice
Researchers startled by a sudden nosedive in Antarctic sea ice since 2014—at a rate that makes current Arctic melting look slow by comparison—are pointing to the likelihood of further accelerated melting at both poles as yet another reason to limit average global warming to 1.5ºC.
Climate-Driven Heat Stress Could Put 80 Million Jobs at Risk by 2030, UN Agency Warns
Heat stress caused by climate change could put the equivalent of 80 million jobs at risk by 2030, with poor countries facing the most serious impacts, according to an International Labour Organization (ILO) report released Monday.
Poorest Will Face ‘Climate Apartheid’ if Crisis Deepens, Rule of Law Crumbles
Near-universal failure to acknowledge the magnitude of the climate crisis risks setting the stage for an era of “climate apartheid,” in which private wealth becomes the only guarantor of (relative) well-being and positive social forces like democracy and the rule of law crumble, warns a recent United Nations report.
Europe Bakes as Early Summer Heat Wave Drive Temperatures Above 40°C
With nighttime temperatures exceeding 30°C in Madrid and weekend day temperatures expected to soar far above normal for June in many cities across their continent, Europeans are struggling to keep hydrated and cool, while officials work to staff hospitals and warn of “extreme” forest fire risk
India’s Sixth-Largest City Runs Out of Water
India’s sixth-largest city has run out of water, after a crippling drought and heat wave left its four main reservoirs completely dry.
Permafrost in Remote Canadian Arctic Thawing 70 Years Earlier Than Predicted
Permafrost in the remotest parts of the Canadian Arctic is thawing 70 years earlier than predicted, providing further evidence that the global climate crisis is accelerating and drawing the planet ever closer to dangerous feedback loops.
Dengue Risk to Hit Two Billion More People in 2080 Unless Carbon Emissions Are Curtailed
Based on a warming scenario “roughly representative of the world’s current emissions trajectory,” more than two billion additional people will be at risk of dengue fever by 2080, within its current geographic range and well beyond, according to a study just published in the journal Nature Microbiology.
Oceans Could Lose 17% of Biomass by 2100 Unless GHG Emissions Are Brought Under Control
The world’s oceans could lose 17% of their biomass by 2100 if humanity fails to get greenhouse gas emissions under control, representing a devastating blow to biodiversity and a terrifying reduction in a resource base upon which much of humanity ultimately depends.
Villages Evacuate, Leaving Sick and Elderly Behind, as India’s Crippling Drought Deepens
Families in hundreds of villages in parts of India have been forced to leave the sick and the elderly behind, as they evacuate their communities in the face of extreme heat and drought.
Annual Peace Index Cites Climate Change as ‘Tipping Point’ for Conflict
Climate change will threaten peace in countries around the world in the next decade, according to the latest edition of an annual index produced by Australia’s Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP).
India Bakes Under Stifling Heat Wave as Data Show Warming Trend
Much of the Indian subcontinent was blanketed in a stifling heat wave last week, with five of the 15 hottest places on the planet located in India or Pakistan and the northern town of Churu hitting a high of 50°C (122°F) on Monday.
‘Conflicts Are Predestined’ Where Climate Disasters Threaten Food, Water, Livelihoods
Governments must invest new effort and money to prevent climate change from driving new conflicts, according to a diplomatic statement drafted by the German foreign office.
Study Predicts End of Civilization by 2050 if Global Warming Hits 3.0°C
An alarming new study by Australia’s Breakthrough National Centre for Climate Restoration is pointing to the “high likelihood of human civilization coming to an end” by 2050—with the all-important caveat that that’s the outcome to expect if humanity fails to take action on the climate emergency and get greenhouse gas emissions under control.
Japan’s 2018 Killer Heat Wave Was ‘Essentially Impossible’ Without Climate Change
Japan’s heat wave in July 2018 could not have happened without climate change.
Scientists Consider Possible Climate Connection to Severe Midwest U.S. Tornado Season
With the American Midwest looking like assembly line central for tornadoes this spring, many are wondering whether a toll of 1,000 twisters and counting means climate change—or just a very bad year.
More Countries Put Up Barriers as Migrants Flee Climate Chaos
With many governments still dragging their feet on climate action, many are also actively preparing—via militarized borders and regressive immigration policies—for one of its most dire and tragic consequences: refugees fleeing climate-driven conflict, desertification, and sea level rise.
Unchecked Warming Could Drive Two Metres of Sea Level Rise by 2100, Experts Say
Coastal communities around the world should gear their climate resilience planning for a “catastrophic” two metres (6.5 feet) of sea level rise by 2100, more than double the likely outcome most recently projected by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), if nothing is done to reverse the greenhouse gas emissions driving the climate emergency, according to a survey of expert judgement published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Bank of Canada Review Declares Climate Risk to Financial System, Wider Economy
The Bank of Canada cites climate change as a risk “to both the economy and the financial system” in its 2019 Financial System Review (FSR), the first in the annual series to examine the climate crisis as a threat to the country’s financial stability.
Rapid Warming Devastates Alaska Ecosystems, Destroys Ways of Life
Record-high sea surface temperatures, record-low Bering Sea ice, and the early disappearance of river ice in Alaska this winter are among the red flags of a rapidly warming climate that is devastating Arctic ecosystems, destroying traditional ways of life—and killing people outright.
Losing Up to a Million Species Will Create ‘Danger Zone’ for Humanity: UN Commission
The Earth is on track to lose up to a million species, many of them within decades, a rate of extinction that represents a danger zone for humanity, according to a leaked draft of a global biodiversity assessment due to be released today.
Epic Eastern Canadian Floods Drive Adaptation Discussion as GHG Reductions Lag
With record, devastating flooding in parts of Quebec, New Brunswick, and Ontario, thousands of people evacuated with their homes underwater, 2,000 Canadian Forces troops providing assistance, and everyone from students to inmates volunteering to fill sandbags or lend a hand, experts and commentators are calling for a more serious approach to climate change preparations and adaptation.
But it remains to be seen whether the latest round of climate-fuelled natural disasters will be enough to shift the national debate on greenhouse gas reductions.
Permafrost Loss Could Produce $70 Trillion in Long-Term Costs, and Abrupt Thawing May Make It Worse
Just a week after researchers placed the cost of Arctic ice and permafrost melt as high as US$70 trillion, albeit over a span of nearly three centuries, a commentary in the journal Nature concludes that sudden permafrost collapse could double the warming from greenhouse gases released from northern tundra.
Studies Show Accelerating Ice Loss in Greenland, New Threat to Antarctica’s Ross Ice Shelf
The rate of ice loss in Greenland has sped up massively, from 51 billion tons in the 1980s to 286 billion tons between 2010 and 2018, according to a study based on nearly a half-century of data published last week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Independent Data Confirms Warming Trend, as Models Suggest Worse May Be Ahead
A recent review of satellite data is confirming that the Earth is already warming, possibly somewhat faster in the highest latitudes than previously believed, while new modelling suggests a warming surge may be on the horizon.
Investment Houses See Climate Targets Undercutting Fossils, Warming Above 2.0°C Boosting Financial Risk
Continued fossil industry development came under increased pressure from investors over the last week, with a major fund manager concluding that climate targets could undercut global oil demand by the mid-2020s and one of the world’s biggest investment advisors warning of trouble ahead if global climate goals are missed.
Two New Studies Trace Massive Glacier Loss Linked to Climate Change
North America accounts for more than half of the 369 billion tons of snow and ice the world’s glaciers are losing each year, and the Alps are on track to see two-thirds of their glacier ice melt by 2100, according to two different studies released this week.
Mass Bleaching Drives Down Replenishment of Great Barrier Reef Corals by 89%
The replenishment of new corals on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef crashed 89% in a mass bleaching “event” in 2016 and 2017 triggered by climate change, and also produced a shift in the coral species on the reef, according to a new study in the journal Nature.
Climate-Induced Warming Harms Food Chains by Leaving Insects ‘No Place to Hide’
Overheating is just as hazardous to insects in shaded woodlands as it is in open grasslands, meaning they receive no respite from climate-induced warming, according to a new study from the UK that points to possible impacts on food chains that depend on the smaller creatures.
Midwestern U.S. Loses Hundreds of Miles of Levees After ‘Bomb Cyclone’ Flooding
Severe flooding across midwestern U.S. states like Nebraska, Iowa, and Missouri has taken out hundreds of miles of levees, leaving officials to compare the failed system to Swiss cheese, on the heels of mid-March “bomb cyclone” storm conditions that inundated more than a million acres (405,000 hectares) of farmland.
Australian Farmers Face Suicide Risk as Multi-Year Drought Turns from ‘Crisis’ to ‘Marathon’
A brutal, multi-year drought brought on by climate change is taking its toll on the mental health of Australia’s farmers, just as it has in India, leading to higher suicide rates as farm incomes and the communities that depend on them suffer.
‘Ecological Turmoil’ of Ocean Heat Wave Produces Six-Year Drop in Australian Dolphin Population
A single, extreme heat wave in Shark Bay, Australia spanning two months in 2011 drove down the local bottlenose dolphin population by 12% over the six years that followed, leading to a decline in dolphin calf births and suggesting “that the ecological consequences of extreme weather events may be too sudden or disruptive for even highly adaptable animals to respond,” concludes a new study in the journal Current Biology.
Extreme Weather Displaced Two Million, Affected 62 Million in 2018, WMO Reports
Extreme weather affected 62 million people in 2018 and displaced two million as of September that year, according to the latest in an annual series of State of the Climate reports released Thursday by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).
738 Dead, 1.8 Million in Urgent Need, Cholera Cases Hit 271 as Cyclone Impacts Wrack Mozambique
Half a month after Cyclone Idai ripped through parts of Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and Malawi, destroying 90% of the port city of Beira, the numbers that trace the devastation are continuing to mount: At least 738 dead with many more missing, an estimated three million people affected and 1.8 million in urgent need, 136,000 displaced and 50,000 homes destroyed in Mozambique alone, and deadly disease spreading quickly to people with no choice but to drink contaminated water.
Svalbard’s ‘Doomsday’ Seed Vault in Trouble Due to Rapid Arctic Warming
The Global Seed Vault in Norway, intended as “the ultimate failsafe for biodiversity of crops,” is now threatened by rapid warming in Longyearbyen, the town on the island of Svalbard that is the world’s northernmost community with 1,000 or more residents.
Climate Disaster Losses Could Undermine Financial System Stability, U.S. Federal Bank Exec Warns
Economic losses from natural disasters and other climate impacts could produce enough risk to undermine the security of the financial system, according to a research letter released Monday by Glenn D. Rudebusch, a senior policy advisor and executive vice president with the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
Pine Ridge Reservation in Crisis, 13 Million People at Risk, as Experts Say Midwestern U.S. Flooding Could Continue for Months
The record-breaking floods that hit parts of the midwestern United States last week are shaping up as a long-term, slow-moving disaster, with residents of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation stranded for nearly two weeks with limited food and water, at least 50 levees across the region breached or overtopped, experts predicting months of flooding, and nearly two-thirds of the lower 48 states facing elevated risk through May.
Rising Premiums Due to Severe Weather Could ‘Threaten Social Order’, Insurers Warn
The world’s biggest reinsurer, Munich Re, is warning that climate change may soon turn rising insurance costs into a pressing social issue, as more frequent, severe weather puts rates beyond the reach of most households.
Humanitarian Disaster in Mozambique Points to ‘Fundamental Injustice of Climate Change’
With thousands of people in Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and Malawi still in need of rescue in the aftermath of Cyclone Idai, and nearly three million affected, meteorologist and Grist climate writer Eric Holthaus is pointing to the massive natural and humanitarian disaster as an example of the “fundamental injustice of climate change”.
Researchers Scramble to Understand Environmental Health Impacts of Climate Disasters
As wildfires and other climate-driven natural disasters become more frequent and severe, scientists are scrambling to understand the human and animal health hazards they leave behind.
Up to 1,000 Feared Dead in Mozambique, Making Tropical Cyclone Idai Africa’s Worst Ever
More than 1,000 people are believed dead, 90% of the port city of Beira has been destroyed, and 1.5 million people have been affected after Tropical Cyclone Idai slammed into Mozambique late last week with wind speeds of 175 kilometres (110 miles) per hour, before pushing inland to Zimbabwe and Malawi.
Air Pollution Causes 8.8 Million Early Deaths Per Year, More Than Tobacco Smoking
Air pollution, most of it from fossil fuel burning, led to 8.8 million premature deaths world-wide and nearly 800,000 in Europe in 2015, almost double the previous estimate of 4.5 million and even more than the seven million per year caused by tobacco smoking.
Resource Extraction Drives 53% of Carbon Emissions, 80% of Biodiversity Loss, UN Reports
Resource extraction, from fossil fuels and mining to food and biofuels, is responsible for more than half of global greenhouse gas emissions and 80% of biodiversity loss, according to a Global Resource Outlook released last week at the United Nations Environment Assembly in Nairobi, Kenya.
Winter Rainfall Accelerates Melting of Greenland Ice Sheet
Rainfall is making the Greenland ice sheet melt more quickly, even during the long Arctic winter, concludes a new study in The Cryosphere, a journal of the European Geosciences Union.
Oceans ‘Spiking a Fever’ as Heatwaves Become More Frequent and Severe
A new paper in the journal Nature Climate Change says ocean heatwaves act like “wildfires that take out huge areas of forest” and are becoming much more frequent, killing off kelp, seagrass, and coral and imperiling an ecosystem humanity relies on for oxygen, food, storm protection, and atmospheric carbon removal.
411.66 PPM: Scientists Alarmed by Early Rise in Atmospheric CO2
Scientists at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography are raising the alarm that the atmosphere has just hit a new peak in average carbon dioxide levels, at 411.66 part per million—not even because it’s a record, but because it was recorded three months before the time of year when CO2 concentrations normally reach their annual high.
Ocean Warming Leads to Declining Fish Stocks, with Developing Regions Hardest Hit
Ocean warming has delivered a significant decline in sustainable fish catches over the last century, but holding average global warming to 1.5°C would help protect future catches worth billions of dollars per year, according to two new studies.
Another Century of Fossil Use Could Eliminate Cloud Cover, Trigger 8.0°C of Additional Warming
A startling new study in the journal Nature Geoscience concludes that another century of burning fossil fuels at today’s levels could trigger the total loss of the world’s stratocumulus clouds and trigger another 8.0°C/14.0°F of global warming.
Report Links Climate Change to Majority of 2018’s Under-Reported Humanitarian Disasters
Climate change caused the majority of the world’s under-reported humanitarian disasters last year, and nine of the top 10 occurred in Africa, the Caribbean, and the Pacific, according to an analysis of more than a million online news stories released last week by CARE International.
Study Projects Warming Trends, Rain and Drought for 540 North American Cities in 2080
Average winters in 2080 will be 9.5°C warmer in Montreal, 7.3°C warmer in Quebec City, 6.1°C warmer in Ottawa, and 5.6°C warmer in St. John, New Brunswick than they were in 1990 unless humanity moves quickly to get greenhouse gas emissions under control, according to a new study in the journal Nature Communications.
Insect Collapse Over Next Century Could Trigger ‘Catastrophic Ecosystem Collapse’
The world’s insect populations could disappear in the next century, triggering a “catastrophic collapse of nature’s ecosystems”, according to a first-ever global scientific review that points to climate change as one of the main threats to species that are a foundation of the Earth’s food chains and ecosystems.
Health Professionals Point to Cumulative Impacts of Wildfire Smoke
Experts who attended a wildfire workshop hosted by the British Columbia Lung Association last week in Vancouver are sounding the alarm about the health threats posed by wildfire smoke.
Lake Warming Above 1.5°C Means Less Winter Ice, More Summer Algae
The number of lakes throughout the Northern Hemisphere likely to remain ice-free in winter, and correspondingly clogged with algal blooms in summer, would more than double at 2.0°C average global warming and quadruple at 3.0°C, according to a recent study published in the journal Nature Climate Change.
‘Terrifying Assessment’ Shows Himalayas Losing One-Third of Ice by 2100 in Best-Case GHG Scenario
The Mount Everest area will lose more than half of its ice by 2100 in even the most optimistic greenhouse gas reduction scenario, and the Himalayan region as a whole will lose more than one-third, according to a 627-page regional assessment released this week by the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD).
Record Flood Hits Queensland, Australia While Tasmania Burns
Hundreds of people in northern Australia were forced to evacuate their homes and about 18,000 lost power after the coastal city of Townville, in Queensland, received nearly four feet (120 centimetres) of rain between January 26 and February 4.
Insurance Giant Aon Places Extreme Weather Costs at $653 Billion Over 2017-2018
A US$653-billion global price tag made 2017-2018 the most expensive two-year period ever for extreme weather, according to a report issued last month by UK-based Aon, the world’s biggest insurance broker based on revenue.
Thunberg Addresses World Economic Forum: ‘Our House is On Fire’
16-year-old climate strike leader Greta Thunberg of Stockholm brought her message to 3,000 CEOs attending the World Economic Forum in Davos last week, after travelling 32 hours by train to get to the Swiss mountain resort.
Climate Deaths by 2030 Could Exceed UN Agency’s Estimate of 250,000 Per Year
The World Health Organization may have been too “conservative” with its prediction that climate change will kill 250,000 people per year between 2030 and 2050, according to a new analysis published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM).
Study Shows Antarctic Ice Loss Speeding Up Six-Fold Since 1979
An influx of warm ocean water has boosted the rate of Antarctic ice loss six-fold over the last 40 years, in what the Washington Post calls a “startling new finding” that “could mean sea levels are poised to rise more quickly than predicted in coming decades.”
Oceans Warming Faster Than IPCC Estimate, China-U.S. Study Concludes
The world’s oceans are up to 50% warmer than the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimated in its most recent report, and the rate of warming is still accelerating, a team of Chinese and U.S. scientists concludes in a study published Thursday in the journal Science.
Chile Foresees More Wildfires Due to High Winds, Low Humidity, Plantation Forests
Chile’s government expects the area burned by wildfires to double this year, the country’s agriculture minister said last Tuesday morning, as flames continued to rage through the heart of the country amid a heat wave.
Climate Health Impacts Kill 2.1 Million World-Wide, 7,142 in Canada in 2017
Chronic exposure to the air pollution associated with greenhouse gas emissions kills 2.1 million people world-wide and 7,142 in Canada per year, according to the second edition of an annual countdown on climate change and health produced by The Lancet, one of the world’s most prestigious medical journals.
Regions Could Face Up to Six Climate Threats at Once by 2100
The risks and hazards associated with climate change are already coming in combination, and some parts of the world could face as many as six climate-related threats at once by the end of this century, warns a paper published last week in the journal Nature Climate Change.
California’s Camp Fire Finally Contained: 17 Days, 85 Dead, 249 Missing, 14,000 Homes Lost
After 17 days, 85 dead, another 249 still missing, 14,000 homes destroyed, and flames that took out an area the size of Chicago, California fire officials declared yesterday that the Camp Fire, the deadliest in state history, has been contained.
Climate Change Brings Severe Drought, Soaring Temperatures to War-Torn Iraq
After years of being devastated by war, Iraq faces increased climate stress in a hotter, drier future, according to a stark report released recently by the Expert Working Group on Climate-related Security Risks.
Researchers Acknowledge Errors in Study Methods, But Oceans Are Still Warming
The authors of a startling new study on ocean warming have filed a correction with the journal that originally published it and acknowledged “inadvertent errors that made their conclusions seem more certain than they actually are,” the Washington Post reports.
California’s Worst-Ever Wildfire Kills 23, Claims 7,000 Structures
California is dealing with the onslaught of three ferocious November wildfires, with satellite images showing dramatic growth in the Camp, Woolsey, and Hill Fires over the last couple of days.
‘Startling’ Warming Study Shows Oceans Absorbing 60% More Heat Than Scientists Thought
Global warming is farther advanced than scientists believed, with the world’s oceans absorbing 60% more heat per year over the last quarter-century than previously research had shown, according to a startling new study published Wednesday in the journal Nature.
Migrant Caravan to U.S. Driven Primarily by Climate-Induced Drought
With Donald Trump sending 5,000 troops to his country’s southern border—and surprising the Pentagon yesterday by threatening a force of up to 15,000—in his latest attempt to head off hordes of Democratic voters in next Tuesday’s midterm elections, the United Nations and at least one aid agency are pointing to climate change as the main driver of the migrant caravan wending its way through Mexico to the United States.
Storms, Flooding Kill Six Across Northern Italy, Flood 70% of Historic Venice
About 70% of Venice was flooded earlier this week by the highest tides in at least a decade, with a regional weather system driving waters above 1.6 metres (63 inches) that even swamped the elevated sidewalks the city installed to accommodate rising waters.
Habitat Loss, Over-Exploitation Drive Loss of 60% of World’s Wildlife in 44 Years
Habitat loss and over-exploitation, followed by climate change, are among the key factors that have led to the loss of 60% of the world’s wildlife population between 1970 and 2014, according to the latest edition of World Wildlife Fund’s Living Planet Report published Monday.
Intense Hurricane Obliterates Hawaiian Island
A 4.5-hectare Hawaiian island was literally wiped off the map forever when Hurricane Walaka swept through the region earlier this month, just a couple of weeks before Super Typhoon Yutu brought 290-kilometre-per-hour winds to the Northern Mariana Islands in the worst storm to hit United States territory since 1935.
Flash Flood in Jordan Kills 18, Mostly Children and Teachers
A flash flood near Jordan’s Dead Sea yesterday killed 18 people, mostly children and teachers on a school trip, producing what rescuers and hospital workers described as one of the country’s worst disasters in years.
Climate Change Already Making Local, International Conflicts Worse: Red Cross
Humanitarian organizations are already coping with the on-the-ground reality that climate change is making domestic and international conflicts worse, according to Peter Maurer, president of the International Committee of the Red Cross.
‘Clarion Call’ Study Points to ‘Hyper-Alarming’ Decline in Insect Populations
A “hyper-alarming” population decline in insects and the animals that feed on them extends across the Americas and is more serious than scientists previously believed, and climate change is the cause, according to a new study last week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Search and Rescue Continues, Poorest Among the Hardest-Hit as Hurricane Michael Recedes
Poor communities in Florida, Alabama, and Georgia have been hit first and worst by Hurricane Michael, with some shellshocked evacuees returning home and realizing the storm has sent them “back to frontier days”.
Super-Heated Ocean Boosts Hurricane Michael into 250-Kilometre-Per-Hour ‘Monster’
Hurricane Michael slammed into the Florida Panhandle Wednesday as the most powerful storm to hit the continental United States in nearly 50 years, packing winds of up to 155 miles (250 kilometres) per hour, killing six people so far, and triggering immediate analysis that connected the new strength of recent hurricanes to ocean warming caused by climate change.
Intense, Repeat Wildfires Pollute Rivers, Threaten Water Supplies
Wildfires are increasingly polluting rivers and threatening water supplies, according to a new study by the Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.
Economic Costs of Climate Change Will Hit Hardest in India, U.S.
The future economic costs of climate change will hit hardest in India and the United States, according to a new study published last week in the journal Nature Climate Change.
Species Diversity Determines Forests’ Resilience Against Drought
Species diversity is one of the key factors that determine a forest’s resilience against drought, according to new research on 40 temperate and boreal forests published last month in the journal Nature.
Rising Carbon Levels Reduce Ocean Oxygen Levels, Subjecting North Atlantic Species to ‘Slow Suffocation’
Atlantic wolffish and cod and Greenland halibut are at risk of slow suffocation as climate change drives oxygen depletion in the cold waters off eastern Canada, one of the world’s richest fishing grounds, a team of oceanographers reports in the journal Nature Climate Change.
Permafrost Melt Closes In on Critical Climate Tipping Point
Melting permafrost is closing in on a critical tipping point where it will release large volumes of methane and carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, driving atmospheric warming above the maximum 2.0°C target in the Paris Agreement much sooner than scientists hoped, according to a new study in the journal Nature Geoscience.
Major Mental Health Crisis Hits Puerto Rico as Year-Long Hurricane Recovery Lags
A year after Hurricane Maria killed nearly 3,000 people and destroyed much of the infrastructure on the island of Puerto Rico, the country is facing a major mental health crisis, as the grinding, day-to-day reality of living with the aftermath of a US$139-billion catastrophe steadily overwhelms the survivors.
Poor and Rural North Carolinians Are Hardest Hit as Aerial Photos Show ‘Overwhelming’ Devastation
Aerial photos showed “overwhelming” devastation, an 1,870-megawatt nuclear plant had to be shut down, and poor and rural residents of the Carolinas were hit hardest as tropical depression Florence continued to drop rain on a waterlogged region.
‘It’s All About the Water’ as ‘Slow-Moving Natural Disaster’ Turns Carolinas Into an Archipelago
Meteorologists may have downgraded it from a hurricane to a mere tropical storm, but the “storm known as Florence is creating a slow-motion natural disaster for the Carolinas,” as rivers and streams overflow their banks and the waters continue to rise, the Washington Post reports.
Typhoon Mangkhut Kills 64 in Philippines Before Hitting Southern China, Hong Kong
At least 64 people are dead after 550-mile-wide Typhoon Mangkhut tore through the northern end of the Philippine island of Luzon, uprooting trees and setting off landslides and floods. But officials were at least tentatively relieved that the impact wasn’t even worse after the region sustained the world’s most powerful storm so far this year.
UN Agencies Urge Greater Resilience as Droughts, Floods Drive Global Hunger to 10-Year High
Climate shocks like droughts and flood have helped drive global hunger up to levels last seen a decade ago, leaving one out of nine people around the world undernourished, concludes the State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World report issued earlier this week by five United Nations agencies.
Climate Action in Cities Could Create 13.7 Million Jobs, Prevent 1.3 Million Premature Deaths
Cities around the world could create 13.7 million jobs and prevent 1.3 million premature deaths per year by 2030 by pursuing “ambitious urban climate policies” that “vastly reduce carbon emissions globally,” according to a report released over the weekend by C40 Cities, the Global Covenant of Mayors, and the NewClimate Institute.
Extreme River Flows More Likely at 2.0 Than at 1.5°C
Extreme river flows considered once-in-century events can be expected more frequently if average global warming is kept to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, but even more so in many regions at 2.0°C, according to an international study of major river systems around the world.
Sweltering Summer Leaves 72% of Britons Concerned About Climate
A recent poll conducted by British pollster Opinium as the sweltering summer of 2018 drew to a close found concern about climate change amongst Britons “at the highest level in almost a decade,” The Independent reports.
Poorest, Most Vulnerable Countries Face Worst Impacts if Warming Pushes Past 1.5° to 2.0°C
The world’s poorest nations will see the biggest local climatic shifts at the margin between 1.5° and 2.0°C average global warming, even though they often have the least capacity to adapt to those impacts, according to a study published late last month in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.
Tens of Thousands of Species at Risk in Shift from 1.5 to 2.0°C Average Warming
Tens of thousands more species will be at risk of extinction if countries set their sights on the Paris Agreement target of 2.0°C average global warming, rather than the more ambitious goal of 1.5°C, according to a new paper in the journal Science.
2.0°C ‘Guardrail’ Won’t Hold Off Severe Climate Impacts
A target of 2.0°C average global warming is no longer the “guardrail” that will hold off many the worst effects of climate change, according to a series of papers published this week in Philosophical Transactions A, a scientific journal of the British Royal Society.
1.5°C Target Holds Far Better Future Than 2.0° for Arctic Ice
The difference between the Paris agreement’s 2.0°C top-line target for average global warming and its more ambitious 1.5°C goal could have a massive impact on the frequency of ice-free Arctic summers by the end of the century, according to two new studies in the journal Nature Climate Change.
1.5°C Target Could Prevent 153 Million Premature Deaths by 2100
The air quality improvements associated with a global effort to keep average global warming at 1.5°C would prevent up to 153 million premature deaths per year by 2100, with improvements on every inhabited continent and the greatest gains in Asia and Africa, according to a Duke University study published this week in the journal Nature Climate Change.
Paris Implementation Would Slash Health Care Costs
The Best Climate Models Predict 15% Higher Future Temperatures
A comparison of the reliability of climate models—based on their ability to replicate present-day conditions on Earth—finds that the most accurate also imply the bleakest forecast for humanity and most other living creatures, an article in the journal Nature reports.
Early Fossil Plant Shutdowns Will be Needed to Hit 1.5°C Average Warming Target
The world already has enough fossil fuel plants and high-emitting industrial facilities, buildings, and cars to drive average global warming above a 1.5°C threshold, according to an article earlier this month in the journal Nature.
Webinar: 1.5°C Still Doable Without ‘Unproven, Dangerous’ Geoengineering
It isn’t too late to limit average global warming to 1.5°C without resorting to geoengineering, and deploying geoengineering technologies such as carbon capture storage (CCS) and solar radiation management (SRM) would be counterproductive and dangerously irresponsible, according to panelists at an April 25 webinar.
IEA Could (Finally) Include 1.5°C Scenario in 2019 Annual Outlook Report
The International Energy Agency (IEA) is developing a scenario for holding global warming below 1.5°C that could be included in its influential annual outlook this year.
Ban Non-Electric Cars to Improve Air Quality, Extend Lives, Bloomberg Editors Urge
One of the surest ways to improve air quality and extend lives shortened by pollution is for cities to ban non-electric cars, two opinion editors with Bloomberg News conclude in a recent post.
Grid Flexibility Would Enable 80% Renewable Power Generation by 2050
Grid flexibility places #77 on Drawdown’s list of climate solutions as an essential tool for making 80% renewable generation “a global reality” by 2050. Its costs and savings are impossible to calculate, as they will be embedded in local renewable energy projects around the globe.
Quebec’s Legault Promises 40% Cut in Oil Consumption by 2030
Quebec will invest massively to cut its oil consumption 40% by 2030 and shift transportation, buildings, and businesses to electricity, Premier François Legault announced Sunday, during his party’s general council meeting in Montreal.
Global Solar Set to Surge, But Still Falls Short of Paris Targets
The solar industry is expecting a continuing surge in the years ahead, according to two reports released earlier this month, though the rapid growth still falls short of what will be needed to keep average global warming below the minimum international target of 2.0°C.
Stop New Coal Plants by 2020, Cut Fossil Subsidies, UN Secretary General Urges
United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres is calling on countries to stop new coal plant construction by 2020, accelerate the shutdown of existing facilities, and “tax carbon, not people” in order to avert the “total disaster” that will occur if climate change is not brought under control.
Low-Carbon Investment Must Grow 250% by 2030 to Hit Paris Targets: IEA
Low-carbon energy investment must increase 250% by 2030 if countries are to meet their targets under the 2015 Paris Agreement, the International Energy Agency warned this week.
Pressure Mounts for Emission Cuts, Speed Reductions in International Shipping
With a key International Maritime Organization (IMO) committee meeting in London this week to address pollution and greenhouse gas emissions on the high seas, environmental groups are warning that the UN agency is off-course in the effort to align the industry with a 1.5°C world.
Food Waste Composting Would Save 2.28 Gigatons of Carbon by 2050
Normalizing and intensifying the composting of food waste ranks #60 on Drawdown’s list of climate solutions, with the potential to reduce atmospheric carbon by 2.28 gigatons by 2050.
Carbon Farming Could Sequester Billions of Tonnes of CO2, with U.S. Pilot Project as One First Step
A concerted, well-supported effort by the world’s farmers to restore and protect soil health could reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide by as much as 65 parts per million (ppm) from the current, alarming level of more than 413 ppm, participants heard during an April 10 carbon farming webinar hosted by Washington, DC-based Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2).
Solar, Wind Displace 35 Times as Much CO2 Per Year as CCS Has Ever Sequestered
Solar and wind energy displace roughly 35 times as much carbon dioxide each year as carbon capture and storage (CCS) has sequestered in its entire history, DeSmog Blog reports, citing a new analysis by CleanTechnica.
Soil Health Emerges as Critical Climate Mitigation Tool as ‘Carbon Farming’ Takes Hold
The urgent need to restore the health of the world’s agricultural soils—for the sake of the food supply, and as a critical tool in climate mitigation—is one of the major themes of the global biodiversity report due for release today by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES).
Ottawa, Toronto, Burlington, and Victoria Step Up with New Action on Climate
Four Canadian cities have stepped up their action on climate change in the last week, with Ottawa and Burlington, Ontario declaring a climate emergency, Toronto considering climate liability action against major fossil polluters, and Victoria endorsing free transit across B.C.’s Capital Regional District.
‘Climate Storytellers’ Needed to ‘Galvanize’ Public Support for Action
With entrepreneurs, engineers, scientists, and policy-makers working feverishly on the massive changes demanded by the climate crisis, every community needs a storyteller to help “galvanize” the population to support that activity, according to Climate Narrative Project founder Jeff Biggers.
Solar Water Heating Would Save 6.08 Gigatons of Carbon by 2050
Solar water heating ranks #41 on Drawdown’s list of climate solutions. It could eliminate 6.08 gigatons of carbon dioxide by 2050 at a net cost of US$3 billion, resulting in net savings of $773.7 million.
Shipping Efficiency Would Save 7.9 Gigatons of Carbon by 2050
Increasing transport ship efficiency places #32 on Drawdown’s list of climate solutions. Efficiency gains of 50% across the sector, at a net cost of US$915.9 billion, could prevent 7.9 gigatons of CO2 emissions by 2050, while saving the international marine industry US$1 trillion in fuel costs over the life of the vessels.
Northern Holland Installing World’s Biggest Floating Solar System
A company in The Netherlands has begun work on the world’s largest floating solar installation, a network of 73,500 panels on 15 islands on the Andijk reservoir in northern Holland that will have the ability to track the sun as it crosses the sky.
Central Bank Execs Stress Financial Sector’s Role in Addressing Climate Change
It’s time for central banks and the wider financial community to set clear, measurable goals for building a smooth transition to a low-carbon economy, 34 of the world’s biggest central banks declared last week, in the first comprehensive report by the Network for Greening the Financial System (NGFS).
Booming Community Solar Sector Promises Access for Low-Income Households
Determined to make good on the promise of equity contained in the phrase “community solar,” more than a dozen U.S. states and non-profit developers are working hard to ensure that low-income Americans have fair access to the power of the sun.
Bike Infrastructure Would Save 2.31 Gigatons of Carbon by 2050
Bike infrastructure ranks #59 on Drawdown’s list of climate solutions. Better and more widespread bike infrastructure would eliminate 2.31 gigatons of carbon dioxide and produce net savings of US$400.5 billion, with further lifetime savings of $2.1 trillion.
Micro Wind Would Save 200 Megatons of Carbon by 2050
Micro wind places #76 on Drawdown’s list of climate solutions. If its share of global electricity generation increases to 1%, it could eliminate 0.2 gigatons of carbon dioxide at a cost of $US36.1 billion, against savings of $19.9 billion.
Climate-Vulnerable Countries Plan New Tools to Fund Green Development
With at least a billion people in developing countries facing serious risk as the climate warms, the 48 members of the Vulnerable Twenty Group of Ministers of Finance (V20) is introducing a new set of tools to free up more funds at less cost for green development.
Renewables Make Decarbonization $15 Trillion Cheaper, Promise $160 Trillion in Savings by 2050
The plummeting cost of solar and wind farms, coupled with government policies driving faster electrification, has cut the cost of reaching global climate goals by US$15 trillion in the last year, concludes a report issued this week by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).
Alternative Cement Would Save 6.69 Gigatons of Carbon by 2050
Alternative cement places #36 on Drawdown’s list of climate solutions, with the potential to avoid 6.69 gigatons of atmospheric carbon dioxide by 2050. The shift would save US$174 billion, because such alternatives ultimately last longer.
Global Coal Plant Construction ‘Collapses’, But China Considers Massive New Buildout
The introduction of new coal-fired power plants around the world has entered a “collapse” over the last three years, although the China Electricity Council is considering a proposal for a massive new buildout.
Sustainable Investments Grow 34% Over Two Years, with Climate as Prime Motivator
Sustainable investments around the world grew 34% over the last two years to US$30.7 trillion, with financial professionals pointing to climate change as a leading motivator for investors, according to the latest in a series of biennial analyses by the Global Sustainable Investment Alliance.
Florida Utility to Replace Two Natural Gas Plants with World’s Biggest Battery
Florida Power & Light has announced plans to build the world’s biggest battery and charge it from an existing solar power plant to replace two of its existing natural gas generating stations, a deal it says will save its ratepayers US$100 million.
Idaho Signs Solar Contract at Record-Low 2.175¢/kWh, Sets 2045 Target for 100% Clean Power
A new, 120-megawatt solar farm in southern Idaho is on track to deliver electricity at prices started at 2.175 cents per kilowatt-hour, believed to be the lowest ever for a U.S. project.
Lookback from 2050: NPR Essay Shows How We Got Climate Change Under Control
It’s 2050. We’ve got climate change under control. And we got the job done through mass electrification, reimagining cities, protecting forests, and changing the way cows are fed.
Living Buildings Would Revitalize the Environment, Build Community
Living buildings is one of the 20 carbon reduction options that Drawdown lists as Coming Attractions—strategies that weren’t ready for prime time when the book was published, but looked like promising approaches through mid-century.
UBS Bans Project-Level Finance for New Coal Plants
Swiss banking giant UBS has adopted new lending guidelines that ban project-level finance for new coal-fired generating stations around the world.
Electric Bikes Would Save 960 Megatonnes of Carbon by 2050
Electric bikes place #69 on Drawdown’s list of climate solutions. They can eliminate 0.96 gigatons of carbon dioxide emissions by 2050 at a cost of $US106.8 billion, with net savings of $226.1 billion.
Carbon Engineering Raises $68 Million for Commercial Direct Air Capture Plant
Squamish, B.C.-based Carbon Engineering has received billionaire backing from Silicon Valley investors, netting US$68 million to build its first commercial-scale Direct Air Capture (DAC) facility to pull carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.
Home Water Efficiency Would Save 4.61 Gigatons of Carbon by 2050
Water saving in the home places #46 on Drawdown’s list of climate solutions. It can eliminate 4.61 gigatons of carbon dioxide emissions by 2050 at a net cost of $US72.44 billion, producing net savings of $1.8 trillion, based solely on energy savings from more efficient use of hot water.
Doig: International Equity is the Key to Faster, Deeper Carbon Cuts
Hitting the Paris Agreement goal of keeping average global warming well below 1.5°C will depend on a “frank and open discussion on equity” that drives negotiators toward faster, deeper emission cuts and away from “conventional development paths,” argues Dr. Alison Doig, Head of Policy at Christian Aid, in a blog post published late last week.
Connect Infrastructure Planning with Climate Crisis, Analysts Urge U.S. Legislators
Linking infrastructure policy with the climate crisis, introducing more low-carbon transit, and incorporating more nature in infrastructure design are all key steps in addressing the urban sprawl that is one of the underlying causes of the United States’ greenhouse gas emissions.
Forest Protection Would Save 6.2 Gigatons of Carbon by 2050
Forest protection places #38 on Drawdown’s list of climate solutions, with the potential to avoid 6.2 gigatons of carbon dioxide emissions by 2050 and sequester an astonishing 896.29 gigatons.
Quebec Cap-and-Trade Revenues Exceed $3 Billion as Carbon Market Withstands Ontario Withdrawal
A new infusion of C$215 million has pushed Quebec’s cumulative carbon cap-and-trade revenues above the $3 billion mark, at just the moment when Ontario has cancelled its carbon pricing program and Alberta’s Jason Kenney is vowing to do the same if he wins the provincial election later this year.
Marine Permaculture Could ‘Reforest’ the Oceans, Draw 102 Gigatons of CO2 by 2050
Marine permaculture technology that seeds the world’s oceans with kelp forests while pumping up colder, nutrient-rich waters from the ocean depths is one of the 20 carbon reduction options that Drawdown lists as Coming Attractions—strategies that weren’t ready for prime time when the book was published, but looked like promising approaches through mid-century.
Reforestation Could Offset 10 Years of Emissions, But Countries Are Behind on Forest, Land Use Promises
After years of severely underestimating the number of trees on Earth, scientists are now calculating that a massive, global reforestation effort could offset at least 10 years of greenhouse gas emissions produced by human activity.
Mass Transit Would Save 6.57 Gigatons of Carbon by 2050
Expanding use of mass transit ranks #37 on Drawdown’s list of climate solutions, with the potential to eliminate 6.57 gigatons of carbon dioxide and produce US$2.38 trillion in savings. The cost, according to Drawdown, is too variable to be determined.
From Vegan to Paleo, Farm Practices Matter More Than End Product
A solution to the raging food wars between vegans, paleos, and everyone in between is to recognize that good, bad, or terrible farming practices are far more important than the end product that lands on dinner plates, according to a recent post on Resilience.org.
Building Automation Would Save 4.62 Gigatons of Carbon by 2050
Building automation ranks #45 on Drawdown’s list of climate solutions. It could eliminate up to 4.62 gigatons of carbon dioxide by 2050 at a cost of US$68.1 billion, eventually saving building owners around $880.6 billion.
Concentrated Solar Power Would Save 10.9 Gigatons of Carbon by 2050
Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) places #25 on Drawdown’s list of climate solutions. Scaling up CSP to 4.3% of global electricity production by 2050 would avoid 10.9 gigatons of carbon dioxide. While implementation costs of CSP are high, at US$1.3 trillion, net savings by 2050 could total $414 billion, with lifetime savings of $1.2 trillion.
Exotic Carbon Capture Techniques Prop Up Fossil Interests, Aren’t Needed to Hit 1.5°C, New Study Asserts
The urgency and scope of the climate crisis are being needlessly exploited to drive fringe ideas like carbon dioxide removal (CDR) and solar radiation management (SRM) from the margins to the mainstream, according to a hard-hitting report issued last week by the Washington-based Center for International Environmental Law and Berlin’s Heinrich Böell Foundation.
California Sets Sights on Up to 100,000 New Net-Zero Homes Per Year
Net-zero buildings that produce as much energy as they consume may be about to hit the mainstream in California, where most new homes and multi-residential structures up to three stories high will be equipped with rooftop solar panels beginning next year.
Efficient Water Distribution Would Save 870 Megatons of Carbon by 2050
More efficient water distribution places #71 on the Drawdown list of climate solutions. It could cut atmospheric carbon dioxide by 870 megatons by 2050 at a cost of US$137.4 billion, producing net savings of $903.1 billion.
Analysts See Oil Industry’s Twilight, But Not Soon Enough to Hit Climate Targets
Two different analyst reports this week show the oil industry moving into its twilight, but the projected rate of decline is still far too slow to hit a 1.5°C threshold for average global warming and hold off the worst effects of climate change.
Utilities Seek New Identity, Different Revenue Sources in Post-Carbon Economy
From rebranding themselves as “partners” in energy delivery, to renovating legacy infrastructure to accommodate electric vehicle charging, to redirecting into the business of “smart” homes, microgrids, and energy storage, utilities are working overtime to reinvent themselves for a post-carbon world.
World’s Biggest Offshore Wind Farm Delivers First Power to UK Grid
The world’s biggest offshore wind farm was expected to begin delivering power to the United Kingdom grid this week.
Fossils’ Poor Stock Performance Makes Case for Divestment: IEEFA
Pouring more dollars into the fossil sector no longer makes sense for investors paying attention to a decade of poor stock performance, the gradual departure of institutional investors, depressed profits, a shaky future outlook, and the fact that fossils placed dead last in the 2018 Standard & Poors 500 stock market index, the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis argues in a new briefing note.
Equipment Manufacturer Urges Bold Energy Efficiency Action to Meet Paris Climate Goals
Energy efficiency is poised to meet the carbon reduction targets in the Paris Agreement, depends on readily-available technology, and constitutes a trillion-dollar opportunity, writes Kim Fausing, President and CEO of Danish energy systems manufacturer Danfoss, in a recent post for the World Economic Forum. All that’s needed is a change of mindset on the part of energy consumers—especially the big industrial ones—and smart governance.
Origami-Style Window Blinds Would Produce Solar Electricity, Deliver Better Daylighting
An Australian architectural design firm is working on a new origami-style window blind that produces electricity and even brings more natural daylighting into the space.
Fuel-Efficient Trucks Would Save 6.2 Gigatons of Carbon by 2050
Increasing fuel efficiency in the global freight trucking industry places #40 on Drawdown’s list of climate solutions. It could reduce atmospheric emissions of carbon dioxide by 6.2 gigatons by 2050, at a net cost of US$543.5 billion, but $2.78 trillion in net savings.
Solar, Wind, Storage Set for Breakout Year Thanks to ‘Remorseless’ Cost Reductions
World-wide renewable generation capacity could grow by more than 200 gigawatts this year, thanks to “remorseless reductions in the costs of solar and wind electricity and of lithium-ion batteries,” according to a commentary published earlier this month by Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
Deloitte Sees 21 Million EVs in 10 Years, Cost Parity in 2021/2022
Another major consultancy is predicting electric cars’ dominance over conventional vehicles, with Deloitte projecting EVs’ total cost of ownership matching internal combustion as early as 2021 in the UK and 2022 globally, and no later than 2024.
100% Renewables, Land Restoration Can Meet 1.5°C Target Without ‘Unproven’ Geoengineering Techniques
A rapid shift to 100% renewable energy by 2050, combined with land restoration efforts to boost the resilience of natural ecosystems on every continent, would be enough to hold average global warming below 1.5°C without resorting to unproven and potentially dangerous “negative emissions” techniques, according to a two-year modelling effort conducted by 17 leading scientists and funded by the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation.
‘Planetary Health Diet’ Would Cut Emissions, Protect Biodiversity by Halving Red Meat Consumption
The world’s first-ever science-based “planetary health diet” is calling for a “new global agricultural revolution” in which red meat and sugar consumption is cut by half, and vegetable, fruit, pulse, and nut consumption double, in order to avert 11 million deaths per year, curtail the devastating climate impacts of industrial agriculture, and protect biodiversity.
Perennial Food Crops Could Boost Soil Carbon and Food Security, Reduce Deforestation
Replacing soil-depleting annual food species with perennial crops is one of the 20 carbon reduction options that Drawdown lists as Coming Attractions—strategies that weren’t ready for prime time when the book was published, but looked like promising approaches through mid-century.
City Housing, Transportation Policies Can Cut Carbon…Without Intending To
Cities across the United States are beginning to adopt housing and transportation policies that also end up reducing the greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change—even if carbon reductions are the farthest thing from their decision-makers’ minds.
64% Chance that Full Fossil Phaseout Would Keep Average Warming Below 1.5°C
Humanity would have a 64% chance of keeping average global warming under the crucial 1.5°C threshold if all fossil infrastructure were replaced with zero-carbon alternatives at the end of its operating life, according to a new study in the journal Nature Communications.
Policy Moves, Front-Line Action Could Make 2019 a ‘Breakthrough Year’ for Climate Solutions
After a bruising year of climate change news, including alarming reports of far worse in the future and an incomplete result at the United Nations climate conference in Katowice, Poland, 2019 is dawning as something improbable: A year of hope for effective climate action.
Jaccard: Carbon Taxes are ‘Good Policy, Bad Politics’ When Regulations Do Most of the Work
One of Canada’s leading climate economists and modelers is out with a Globe and Mail opinion piece that questions the decades-old narrative that positions carbon pricing as the cornerstone for effective climate policy.
International Climate Action Must Include Limits on Fossil Fuel Supply
Constraints on fossil fuel supplies are needed alongside effort to reduce demand if the countries that participated in COP 24 earlier this month hope to gain control of the climate crisis, geographers Philippe Le Billon of the University of British Columbia and Berit Kristoffersen of Arctic University of Norway write for Policy Options.
Global Wind Industry on Track to Grow 680 Gigawatts Over 10 Years
The global wind industry is on track to deliver more than 680 gigawatts (680 billion watts) of new capacity over the next decade, according to two recent reports by Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables.
Carbon Capture Moves ‘Front and Centre’ as Climate Crisis Deepens
One of the countless side discussions at this year’s United Nations climate change conference in Katowice, Poland focused on the growing acceptance that some method of capturing carbon dioxide—from the atmosphere, or at the point where it’s first emitted—will be necessary to keep average global warming within 1.5°C.
Gender Equality Puts Climate Objectives Alongside Development Goals
Tuesday, December 11 was Gender Day at COP 24, a chance to underscore what gender equality means for effective climate action, and to identify what more can be done to unleash the power of half the world’s population.
Falling Cost of Renewables, Batteries Allows Countries to Boost Their Paris Commitments
The falling cost of renewable electricity and lithium-ion batteries will make it “substantially cheaper” for countries to fulfill their carbon reduction commitments under the Paris Agreement, according to a discussion paper released last month by Umwelt Bundesamt, the German environment agency.
World Bank Doubles Climate Fund to $200 Billion for 2021-25
The World Bank has committed US$200 billion to fund climate change mitigation and adaptation between 2021 and 2025, a doubling of its previous budget, and is funding the two aspects of the crisis equally for the first time.
Expert Panel Points to Breakout Potential in Direct Air Capture for Carbon
Direct air capture (DAC) techniques to pull carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere may be on the cusp of the same drastic cost reductions that have brought solar, wind, and battery storage into the mainstream over the last decade, according to the chair of a recent U.S. expert panel on negative emission technologies.
Unsubsidized Wind, Solar, and Batteries Beat Fossils on Price, BNEF Concludes
Unsubsidized wind and solar are new the cheapest source of new grid-scale power in all the world’s major economies except Japan, according to the latest electricity cost competitiveness report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
‘Natural Climate Solutions’ Could Offset 21% of U.S. Emissions
A collection of “low-tech, time-tested forest, farm, and land management techniques” could offset 21% of the United States’ greenhouse gas emissions, InsideClimate News reports, although it would take a carbon price of at least US$100 per ton for those strategies to meet U.S. targets under the 2015 Paris Agreement.
Energy Efficiency Could Boost the Benefit of HFC Phasedown from 0.5 to 1.0°C
The governments behind the landmark Kigali Amendment on climate-busting hydro-fluorocarbon refrigerants are taking aim at energy efficiency improvements that could double the benefit of the HFC phasedown from 0.5 to 1.0°C.
‘Inflection Point’ Shows U.S. Solar, Wind Less Costly to Own and Operate Than Existing Coal Plants
Finance and investment consultants at Lazard are the latest to conclude that renewable energy has reached an “inflection point”, where building new solar and wind capacity is often less expensive to build and operate than existing fossil-fired power plants.
Energy Efficiency Delivers Half of U.S. Power Sector’s Carbon Reductions Since 2005
The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) is taking a short victory lap for efforts to boost efficiency in the country’s electricity system, after a U.S. government agency reported demand reductions accounting for half of the sector’s greenhouse gas cuts since 2005.
UK Renewables Capacity Exceeds Fossils for First Time Ever
Renewable electricity capacity in Britain has overtaken natural gas and coal for the first time ever, according to a report issued earlier this week.
Asleep at the Switch: Canada’s Pathway to 1.5°C Means Phasing Out Natural Gas
There’s a massive gap in Canadian climate strategy that is big enough and serious enough to undercut every other effort to turn the country from a climate laggard to a climate leader: Without a fast, determined effort to phase out natural gas, Canada will not meet its obligations under the Paris Agreement, much less deliver on the increased ambition at the heart of the global accord.
Morneau Attends Efficiency Canada Launch, Calls Efficiency the ‘Ultimate Win-Win’
The Canadian government is amending federal regulations to make it easier for households and businesses to adopt energy-efficient products and strategies, Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced, during the launch event for Efficiency Canada in Ottawa November 1.
Solar and Wind Shift ‘from Mainstream to Preferred’ in New Deloitte Analysis
Solar and wind have shifted “from mainstream to preferred” energy sources, according to a new analysis by Deloitte Insights that points to renewables as the technologies “best able to meet new demand for reliable, affordable, and environmentally responsible energy.”
Mayors Urge Faster Phaseout of Gasoline, Diesel Cars
The mayors of Paris, Copenhagen, Seoul, and Medellín are urging automakers to stop building gasoline and diesel cars as soon as possible, following a World Health Organization report that found 630 million children around the world are exposed to unsafe air.
‘Rewilding’ Ecosystems Could Cut Methane Emissions, Boost Forest Carbon Storage
Conservation scientists are taking a serious look at “rewilding” key ecosystems by reintroducing large species like lions and elephants, giant tortoises and donkeys, in areas where they once thrived. One of the 16 papers in a recent special series suggests the process could help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Off-Fossil Transition to Reach ‘Point of No Return’ in 2035, But Not Soon Enough for IPCC Target
The global shift to non-fossil energy will reach the point of no return by 2035, fossil analysts at Wood Mackenzie conclude in a recent report, creating an “unstoppable” shift off fossil fuels. But a faster transition will still be needed to hit the decarbonization targets set out two weeks ago in the IPCC’s landmark report on 1.5°C pathways.
Energy Efficiency is Waning, But Could Quickly Drive Down Emissions, IEA Analysis Shows
Countries are falling behind on energy efficiency policies that would be enough to peak greenhouse gas emissions quickly and then drive them down, even if the global economy doubles through 2040, according to a new analysis released last week by the International Energy Agency.
Coal Industry Collapse Could Move Far Enough, Fast Enough to Hit IPCC’s 2030 Target: Analyst
The IPCC’s urgent call for the world’s power utilities to reduce coal consumption 60% by 2030 might look unrealistic through a business-as-usual lens. But it isn’t far off a mounting trend that has only begun to reflect the falling cost and heightened viability of renewable energy, writes Bloomberg News analyst David Fickling.
Zero-Energy Homes Now Affordable Enough for Mainstream Markets
After years of being perceived as a luxury product, the price of zero-energy homes has come down to the point that they’re now ready for “mainstream markets”, the Rocky Mountain Institute reports in a recent analysis.
Rapid Emission Cuts Would Reduce the Need for Carbon Removal Technologies: IPCC
While “carbon dioxide removal is necessary to meet the 1.5°C target,” the technique can’t substitute for deep emission cuts, and fast action on climate change will be needed to avoid the most harmful negative emissions technologies, The Sink and Mirror reports, in its summary of this week’s IPCC report on options for limiting average global warming to 1.5°C.
Carbon Capture Companies Announce Milestones in Canada, Italy
Just as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued a landmark 1.5°C pathways report that placed heavy emphasis on the need for viable carbon capture and storage methods, companies based in Switzerland and Canada are reporting progress on technologies designed to meet the challenge.
IPCC Delegates Consider Drastic Coal Cuts to Protect 1.5°C Target
Climate scientists gathered in Incheon, South Korea to review scenarios for 1.5°C average global warming may be poised to recommend a much faster phaseout of greenhouse gas emissions from coal, even as the United States tries to undercut the science behind the scenario report.
U.S. Utilities, Global Fossils Fight Public Opinion to Slow 100% Renewables Transition
As public demand veers increasingly in the direction of 100% renewable energy, the utility and fossil industries are doing their best to dampen the enthusiasm, injecting what they see as a dose of reality into the drive to get runaway climate change under control.
Wind to Become Europe’s Biggest Source of Electricity by 2027
Wind power will be the single biggest source of electricity generation in Europe, at 23% of total demand, by 2027, International Energy Agency Executive Director Fatih Birol told participants at WindEurope’s Global Wind Summit last week.
Massive Job Counts Show Renewables, Efficiency Taking Hold in ‘Every U.S. Zip Code’
The Los Angeles, New York City, Chicago, and Boston regions lead the list of metropolitan areas that emerge as “America’s top 50 clean energy job engines,” producing 1.8 million jobs in energy efficiency and renewable energy—more than half of the country’s 3,176,8329 clean energy employment, Environmental Entrepreneurs reports in a survey released this week.
Falling Renewables, Storage Costs Poised to Take the Bite Out of the Natural Gas Boom
A flurry of recent news reports all lead toward the mounting realization that new renewable energy systems are less expensive for power utilities to undertake than historically cheap natural gas plants. The finding could have stunning implications for an industry that has been preparing for a boom, with fossil publications and analysts excitedly touting a new wave of liquefied natural gas (LNG) transport.
Sabia Urges Big Investors to Seize Multi-Trillion-Dollar Climate Opportunity
Major institutional investors must begin looking at the new climate economy as “what you start doing,” rather than a constraint on their activities or the financial returns they bring their clients, said Michael Sabia, president of the C$300-billion Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, in opening remarks to a group of foreign government representatives and private sector leaders during G7 meetings in Halifax last week.
ING Directs €500-Billion Lending Portfolio Toward Paris Targets with ‘Science-Based Approach’
Amsterdam-based financial institution ING Groep N.V. has unveiled plans to direct its €500-billion lending portfolio toward meeting the Paris Agreement target of holding average global warming to 2.0°C or less.
New Renewables Undercut Existing Fossil Prices in U.S. Grid Transition
U.S. utilities can now buy new renewably-generated electricity at less than it costs them to operate existing fossil plants, a senior executive at Denver-based Xcel Energy told Greentech Media this week.
Subsidy-Free Solar Sweeps Europe as Countries Reap Reward for Earlier Supports
From Germany to Italy, and from the United Kingdom to Spain, Europe is reaping the reward for its early support for renewable energy technologies that are now cost-competitive with fossil fuels—without any subsidies for the renewables. (We won’t vouch for any fossil project ever being subsidy-free.)
Ørsted Opens World’s Biggest Offshore Wind Project Off Northwest England
The 659-megawatt Walney Extension offshore wind project became the world’s biggest of its kind when it opened off the northwest English coast last week, boasting individual eight-megawatt turbines up to 195 metres in height and supplying enough electricity to power nearly 600,000 homes.
Fossil Demand Set to Peak in 2023 Due to Renewables Growth, Climate Action
Global fossil fuel demand is set to peak in 2023, putting trillions of dollars in oil, gas, and coal investments at risk due to a surging renewable energy sector, according to a new Carbon Tracker analysis released on the eve of the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco.
Climate Solutions Promise $26 Trillion in Benefits as Global Economy Hits ‘Use It or Lose It Moment’
The “bold action” needed to address the climate crisis could deliver at least US$26 trillion in economic benefits through 2030, while producing more than 65 million low-carbon jobs, preventing 700,000 premature deaths, and generating $2.8 trillion in government revenues in that year, according to a blockbuster report issued this morning by the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate.
Espinosa and Hidalgo: Climate Action is Ramping Up, But ‘More is What We Need’
UN Climate Secretary Patricia Espinosa and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, Chair of C40 Cities, issued this post just days before delegates gathered for several days of climate negotiations in Bangkok.
Diverse Forests Store Twice the Carbon, Improve Biodiversity, Compared to Monoculture Plantations
Multi-species forests can sequester twice as much carbon as monoculture plantations, according to a new study in the Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B.
Average U.S. Wind Cost Hits 2¢ Per Kilowatt-Hour
Average prices for wind power in the United States fell to 2¢ per kilowatt-hour last year, a stunning drop from a threshold of 7¢ in 2009, with inexpensive projects in the central part of the country leading the way, according to a new report from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.
Power Prices Below Zero Point to the ‘End of the Energy Mainframe’
The rise of cheap, available renewable energy is creating a management nightmare for traditional utilities from California to Germany to Australia, as the availability of surplus electricity drags down the price the power companies can charge for their product at certain times of day.
19 Cities, Combined Population 130 Million, Pledge Net-Zero Carbon Buildings by 2030
Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver are three of 19 cities around the world whose mayors have promised to ensure that all new buildings in their communities are net-zero carbon by 2030—and that all their cities’ buildings, old and new, meet a net-zero standard by 2050.
Legal Rights for Nature Could Help Protect Biodiversity
With environmental destruction escalating around the world, environmentalists are accelerating conservation efforts through such endeavors as the Nature Needs Half (NNH) movement, and fighting pitched battles to have nature formally recognized as a legal entity with inalienable rights that must be protected.
Renewables Hit 64% of Global Electricity Supply by 2050 in New Bloomberg Analysis
New investment worth US$11.5 trillion will drive renewable energy to 64% of global electricity supply through 2050, while coal will largely be squeezed out of the grid, according to the annual New Energy Outlook report issued last week by Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
G20’s $1.6T for New Gas Projects Undercuts Paris Climate Promises: Oil Change
With US$1.6 trillion in upcoming investments in new fossil gas projects, G20 countries are contradicting their own commitments under the Paris Agreement and perpetuating the myth that gas is a “bridge fuel” to a post-carbon future, states a report released yesterday by Oil Change International and endorsed by more than 20 organizations around the world.
Green Building Pioneers Urge LEED to Embrace Low-Carbon Tech, Climate Change Challenge
As the U.S. Green Building Council celebrates the 20th anniversary of its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system for environmentally sound buildings, it’s coming under pressure to toughen up a set of construction and retrofit rules that brought green design to the mainstream, but still fall short of the performance that will be needed to decarbonize the global economy.
Wealthiest Cities Hold Key to Fast, Effective Climate Action
Researchers from Norway, Sweden, Japan, and the United States are pointing to the world’s big, affluent cities—with both huge carbon footprints, and the institutional capacity and infrastructure to shrink them rapidly—as the key to avoiding catastrophic global warming.
Renewable Power Posts Record Growth, But Wider, Faster Shift Needed to Hit Paris Goals
Renewable electricity accounted for 70% of new power generation around the world last year, but greenhouse gas emissions are still on the rise and the global economy as a whole needs to pick up the pace to drive the post-carbon transition, concludes the Renewables 2018 Global Status Report released earlier this week.
IEA Sees Global EV Fleet Tripling by 2020, Then Doubling Every Three Years Through 2030
The global electric vehicle fleet is on track to triple between 2017 and 2020, from 3.7 to 13 million, then grow by an average 24% per year through 2030, the International Energy Agency reported this week.
Studies Show 100% RE Grids are Already Happening
Lingering doubts about the feasibility or reliability of a 100% renewable grid can be laid to rest by a flurry of recent studies and reports showing several jurisdictions around the world “already at or close to 100%,” veteran climate and energy analyst Joe Romm reports in a recent analysis on Resilience.org.
Ramped-Up Corporate Renewables Procurement Still Falls Short of Paris Goals
Although more and more companies around the world “are voluntarily and actively procuring or investing in self-generation of renewable energy,” commercial and industrial users can still go a lot farther to help drive a transition off fossil fuels, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) reports.
60 Mega-Investors Demand Sharper Climate Focus at Fossils’ Annual Meetings
A group of 60 global investment managers representing more than US$10.4 trillion in assets is calling on fossil companies to take climate action more seriously at their upcoming annual meetings.
Bonn Climate Negotiations Bog Down, Leading to Extra Fall Session in Bangkok
After nine days of negotiations, the mid-year United Nations climate meeting remains bogged down in technical details, forcing countries to agree to an extra week of talks in Bangkok in September before they meet in Katowice, Poland in December to finalize the rulebook for implementing the Paris agreement.
Renewables Must Scale Up Six-Fold to Hit Paris Targets, But Cost Savings Are Massive: IRENA
Renewable energy deployment must scale up six-fold to hit the targets in the Paris agreement—but that outcome is still possible, and would lead to dramatic growth in the global economy and human welfare, according to a report released last week by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).
Project Drawdown: 100 Steps to Reduce Atmospheric Carbon, Reverse Global Warming
The Energy Mix is introducing a regular feature to help balance our coverage between the depth of the climate crisis, the intensity of the fight against fossil fuel projects like the Kinder Morgan pipeline, and the shining promise of a decarbonized economy. Project Drawdown styles itself “the most comprehensive plan ever proposed to reverse global warming”. Beginning today, we’ll be summarizing one climate solution from the Drawdown site in each edition of The Mix.
Time to Embrace Supply-Side Campaigns, Keep Fossils in the Ground, New Study Argues
It’s time to get past a consistent bias shared by analysts, politicians, and pundits across the political spectrum, veteran climate hawk David Roberts writes in a recent column for Vox: the curiously widespread aversion to restricting the supply of fossil fuels and leaving more climate-busting carbon in the ground.
Green Investment, Fossil Divestment Go Hand in Hand
Two of the most popular household strategies for promoting the post-carbon transition—divesting from fossil fuels and investing in clean solutions—will work best when they go hand in hand, and when the federal government joins individual Canadians who are already making the effort, writes Patrick DeRochie, climate and energy program manager at Environmental Defence.
101 Cities Source at Least 70% of Electricity from Renewables
Just over 100 cities around the world sourced at least 70% of their electricity from renewable sources in 2017, a dramatic increase from the 42 that had hit that milestone in 2015, according to a new report by UK-based disclosure and environmental impact researchers CDP.
A Credible Carbon Price Tomorrow Can Influence Decisions Today
Over-the-horizon carbon prices can do a lot of good, but only if the promises are believable, the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research concludes in a new report.
Loss and Damage Financing Must Push Beyond Market-Based Measures
A technical debate flowing out of last year’s UN climate conference in Bonn could help determine the global response to the unavoidable loss and damage developing countries will experience as a result of climate change.
Women’s Rights Are Key to Slower Population Growth, Faster Decarbonization
The need to get rampant global population growth under control is one of the factors that place women’s rights at the centre of the fight against climate change, former White House counsellor John Podesta and former Member of Congress Tim Wirth argue in a recent Washington Post opinion piece.
Norway Bans Lofoten Oil Drilling for At Least Four Years
Norway will ban oil drilling until at least 2021 in the ecologically sensitive Arctic waters off Lofoten, Vesterålen, and Senja, Prime Minister Erna Solberg announced January 14.
Insurers From A to Z Turn Their Backs On Coal
Climate hawks are hailing a growing movement among international insurance companies to refuse to provide coverage to coal mining and coal-burning companies, and to divest their financial investments from the sector.
NATIONAL PLANS & RESPONSES
China Tips Plans for Faster Carbon Cuts as Severe Weather Impacts Mount
China announced plans last weekend to finalize new, tougher carbon reduction targets that reflect the “highest possible ambition” to combat the climate crisis, just days before government forecasters linked a series of extreme weather events sweeping the country to a changing climate.
G-20 Adopts Modest Climate Statement as Trump Stumbles, Japan Grapples with Coal
Leaders of the G-20 industrial economies held their ground against Trump administration climate denial at the end of their annual meeting in Osaka, Japan Saturday, adopting a watered down statement on the climate crisis that fell short of what was needed but still committed to continuing action to implement that 2015 Paris Agreement.
New Government in Denmark Aims for 70% Carbon Reduction by 2030
A 70% greenhouse gas reduction by 2030 is on the agenda for Denmark, after the country’s centre-left Social Democrats reached a deal with three other parties that will enable them to form a minority government.
Norway Plans 3.5 GW of New Offshore Wind, 50% Cut in Marine Diesel by 2030
A proposal to build up to 3.5 gigawatts of offshore wind capacity, coupled with a pledge to cut marine diesel use 50% by 2030, have Norway pushing for a lead in subsidy-free renewable energy while driving down its demand for the energy source that has long driven its economy.
Time for Countries to ‘Step Up Their Game’ on Paris Commitments, 1.5°C Targets
With the urgency of the climate crisis demanding bold and immediate action, this year’s edition of the annual Climate Action Tracker (CAT) report calls out the large majority of governments that are falling short of their carbon reduction commitments under the 2015 Paris Agreement, putting them that much farther from policies consistent with a relatively stable climate at 1.5°C average global warming.
Tories Propose Carbon Tax Repeal After House Passes Climate Emergency Motion
With the votes barely counted on the climate emergency motion adopted by Canada’s House of Commons Monday evening, Conservative MP Ed Fast was scheduled to put forward a measure calling on the Trudeau government to repeal its carbon tax and “replace it with a real environmental plan.”
South Pacific Islands Lead Fight for Faster Carbon Cuts as UN Prepares for September Summit
South Pacific islands whose very existence is imperiled by climate change continue to use the “moral force” of their endangerment to build consensus on the imperative for swift climate action. With two weeks of mid-year climate negotiations under way in Bonn, Germany, and a United Nations special summit on climate coming up in September, Time Magazine is out with a timely recap of their progress since the 2015 conference that adopted the Paris Agreement.
Austria Speeds Up Coal Phaseout to 2020
Austria’s electricity system will be free of coal next year, after power utility EVN announced late last month that it will shut down its 405-megawatt Dürnrohr plant in the Zwentendorf district five years ahead of schedule.
Critics Scorch UK’s Net-Zero Announcement for Slow Transition, Misuse of International Carbon Credits
Soon-to-depart Prime Minister Theresa May has unveiled legislation to make the UK the first G7 country to enshrine a 2050 net-zero carbon deadline in law, with a plan that has taken fire from analysts and activists for its reliance on international carbon credits and yet-to-be-proven “negative emissions” technologies.
BREAKING: Ottawa to Ban Single-Use Plastics as Soon as 2021
The Trudeau government is planning to ban single-use plastics as early as 2021, as part of a wider plastic pollution strategy set to be released today in coordinated announcements by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna, CBC revealed in an exclusive report late Sunday afternoon.
Chile Shuts Eight Coal Plants, Sets 2040 Deadline for 100% RE
Chile is planning to close eight coal plants with combined capacity of 23,000 megawatts, or 20% of its electricity, as part of a new commitment to hit a 100% renewable energy target by 2040.
Finland Sets Ambitious 2035 Target for Carbon Neutrality
Finland will go carbon neutral by 2035, under a coalition deal published on Monday, setting one of the world’s earliest timelines for reaching that mark.
After more than a month of negotiations, five parties agreed on the goal championed by incoming Social Democrat Prime Minister Antti Rinne.
Canada Can Hit Paris Targets, ‘Zero Out Carbon’ by Mid-Century, Study Shows
Canada can get its energy system on track to meet its targets under the Paris Agreement and “zero out carbon pollution” by mid-century by adopting a menu of 10 technically feasible options to cut carbon emissions, the David Suzuki Foundation concludes in a report issued last week.
World’s Dirtiest Air, Cheapest Solar Produce Challenge and Opportunity for Modi’s Second Term
The world’s dirtiest air and its lowest prices for installed solar will be two of the influences shaping Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s second term of office in India, according to news reports circulating around the time of his swearing-in last week.
80 Countries to Announce Tougher Climate Targets at UN Summit in September
About 80 countries are on track to announce tougher greenhouse gas reduction targets during United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres’ climate summit this September, a UN official said Tuesday, the same day that Guterres warned that fossil fuel subsidies are helping “to destroy the world”.
Canada Becomes First Country to Sign ‘Zero Pledge’ for Medium, Heavy Transport Vehicles
Canada became the first country to sign on to the Drive to Zero Pledge, an international effort to boost the number of zero- and low-emission vehicles in medium- and heavy-duty transportation, from box trucks to school buses to 18-wheelers, during the Clean Energy Ministerial in Vancouver earlier this week.
Australia Reports Rising Emissions, Sees Strong Renewables Potential, as Adani Mine Fight Intensifies
The intensity surrounding recent national elections in Australia is rolling over into the post-campaign period, with the country’s greenhouse gas emissions still rising, its potential for renewable energy development still catching attention, the fight over the massive Carmichael coal mine reaching a fever pitch, and its most heavily-populated state feeling the full force of climate-driven drought.
Coal-Powered South Africa Adopts Minimal Carbon Tax
South African industry will be subject to a carbon tax from June 1, after President Cyril Ramaphosa signed the policy into law on Sunday.
Climate Crisis Emerges as Key Ballot Box Issue as European Greens Post Record Gains
Climate action emerged as a key ballot box issue in European Union parliamentary elections that saw gains by far right parties undercut by a surge of green support, particularly from young and first-time voters.
China Boosts Unsubsidized Renewables But Storms Ahead with Coal Production, Air Pollution
While China is surging ahead with more than 20 billion watts of unsubsidized renewable energy, the country is also seeing alarming increases in coal consumption, coal-driven air pollution, and emissions of an ozone-destroying chemical that was banned in 2012.
India Set to Exceed Paris Target, Install 80 GW of New Renewables in Five Years
India is on track to boost non-fossil energy to 45% of its electricity generation by 2022, well beyond its Paris Agreement commitment of 40%, according to a new assessment by the Moody’s credit rating agency.
Vietnam Aims to Boost Non-Hydro Renewables, Avert Climate Impacts That Would ‘Destroy 30 Million Livelihoods’
With hydroelectric resources maxed out and coal reserves in decline, Vietnam is seeking to mobilize its significant wind and solar potential—and the requisite investment of roughly US$8 billion.
EU Posts 2.5% Emissions Cut in 2018
While global greenhouse gas emissions increased by 1.7% in 2018, driven largely by China, India, and the United States, the European Union fared better, with early estimates from Eurostat indicating a 2.5% drop in 2018 CO2 emissions compared to 2017.
China, Japan, South Korea Fund Coal Plants Elsewhere, But Not in Their Own Back Yards
China, Japan, and South Korea are financing dozens of new coal plants in the developing countries of southeast Asia and Africa, while more than 100 of the region’s financial institutions back away from supporting similar projects on their home turf.
Bolsonaro Axes Head of Brazil Forum for Climate Change
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has fired the self-described “militant environmentalist” at the helm of his country’s Forum for Climate Change, after the group began organizing a dozen state governments to set up their own climate policy council, independent of the federal government.
Ireland Declares Climate Emergency
Ireland has become the second country, after the United Kingdom, to declare a climate emergency, with Climate Action Minister Richard Bruton warning that “things will deteriorate very rapidly unless we move very swiftly, and the window of opportunity to do that is fast closing.”
‘Rewilding’ Natural Habitats Restores Biodiversity, Boosts Carbon Storage to Address Climate Change
Restoration of natural habitats through “rewilding” is a key component of a rapid ecological transition, as both a “vital defence” against climate breakdown and a way to restore badly damaged biodiversity, the Rapid Transition Alliance argues in a post for Resilience.org.
New Zealand Promises Net Zero by 2050 for All Greenhouse Gases Except Methane
New Zealand will cut net emissions to zero for all greenhouse gases except methane by 2050, under a draft law sent to parliament on Wednesday.
Extinction Threat Calls for ‘Paris Moment for Nature’: McKenna
Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna is calling for a “Paris Agreement moment for nature” after an alarming UN commission report found nature declining “at rates unprecedented in human history”, with up to a million species at risk of extinction within decades.
Climate Hawks Demand Real Action After UK Adopts Climate Emergency Resolution
The British House of Commons has endorsed a motion by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn declaring a formal climate and environmental emergency, after Conservative Members of Parliament were instructed not to oppose the measure.
UK Parliament Could Become First National Legislature to Declare Climate Emergency
The United Kingdom will become the first country in the world to declare a climate emergency this week if the House of Commons supports a motion to be put forward by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.
Canada On Track to Hit Paris Target 200 Years Late as NEB Endorses Carbon Tax
Carbon taxes are an efficient way to reduce energy use and related carbon pollution in homes and businesses, fostering greater innovation and adoption of clean energy technologies, Canada’s non-partisan National Energy Board (NEB) concludes in a report issued last week.
Canada Reports Greenhouse Gas Emissions Increase for 2017
Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions increased marginally in 2017, from 708 to 716 million tonnes, driven mostly by increased oil and gas production, according to the national inventory the country filed this week with the United Nations climate secretariat.
Fossils ‘Surprised and Disappointed’ as Norway Turns Against Lofoten Islands Oil Drilling
Norwegian fossils declared themselves “surprised and disappointed” last week after the opposition Labour Party, the biggest voting bloc in the national parliament, withdrew its support for offshore oil and gas exploration in the environmentally sensitive Lofoten Islands.
15 Groups Receive Federal Dollars to Form Pan-Canadian Expert Collaboration
A new Pan-Canadian Expert Collaboration on climate change will receive up to C$20 million over five years to “generate, communicate, and mobilize trusted information, policy advice, and best practices for Canadians, governments, and stakeholders,” Environment and Climate Change Canada announced this week.
Indonesia Sees Path to Prosperity in ‘Mainstreaming’ Low-Carbon Development
Indonesia’s planning minister has said the country will choose a low-carbon development pathway after a government report found it could significantly boost the economy.
By 2045, the centenary of Indonesia’s independence, citizens could be as wealthy as those of the Netherlands or Germany today, the report found. But it will need to make careful choices across all sectors of the economy.
Canada Falls Short on Efforts to Cut Emissions, Phase Out Fossil Subsidies, Environment Commissioner Reports
Canada still isn’t on track to meet its greenhouse gas reduction targets or phase out fossil fuel subsidies, federal Environment Commissioner Julie Gelfand warned last week, in the last report she will issue before her five-year term expires.
Business, Investment Leaders Demand IEA Scenarios that Drive Toward 1.5°C
It’s high time for the International Energy Agency to develop future scenarios that show a reasonable prospect of keeping average global warming to 1.5°C, while taking a precautionary approach to so-called negative emission technologies, a group of more than 40 business leaders, investors, and energy specialists asserts in a letter released this week by Oil Change International.
Australia Yanks Support from UN’s Green Climate Fund as National Elections Loom
Australia will stop contributions to the United Nations’ major fund for battling climate change this year, according to government budget papers released on Tuesday.
With a federal election looming, the government followed up on Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s threat not to “tip money into that big climate fund”.
‘Incremental’ Gains in Budget 2019 Fall Short of a Path to Climate Stabilization
Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s pre-election budget March 19 would have been “an historic milestone of massive proportions” had a government of any political stripe introduced it five, 10, or 20 years ago, but falls short of the climate challenges that every government today must confront, The Energy Mix publisher Mitchell Beer writes in a guest post for the Canadian Science Policy Centre.
EXCLUSIVE: Ottawa Leans Toward California on Fuel Economy Rules, Will Seek Feedback on Fossil Subsidies
The federal government is leaning toward supporting tougher fuel economy standards against Trump administration rollbacks, and is about to announce incremental progress on curbing fossil fuel subsidies, The Energy Mix learned Thursday evening, during a town hall hosted by Environment and Climate Minister Catherine McKenna.
Russian Climate Legislation Has ’80-90% Chance’ of Passing Despite Pushback from Fossils, Oligarchs
Russia is considering climate legislation that could give the world’s fifth-largest emitter a framework for regulating carbon emissions for the first time.
Morneau’s Pre-Election Budget Boosts ZEVs and Energy Retrofits, Extends New Fossil Subsidy
Canadian Finance Minister Bill Morneau tabled a pre-election budget yesterday that included a 2040 deadline to phase out new internal combustion vehicle sales, major new funds for building energy retrofits, and a budget boost for municipal infrastructure, but introduced a new fossil fuel subsidy while doggedly claiming a fossil subsidy phaseout is still on the government’s agenda.
1.4 Million Students in 128 Countries Make March 15 #schoolstrike a Global Phenomenon
More than 1.4 million students in more than 300 cities across 128 countries and all seven continents skipped classes to demand climate action at an estimated 2,229 events in more than 40 languages on Friday, March 15, as The Guardian reported that 16-year-old Youth Strike for Climate founder Greta Thunberg had been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Trump Climate Deregulation Could Boost U.S. Emissions by 200 Mt Per Year by 2025
Climate deregulation by the Trump administration could increase U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by more than 200 megatonnes per year by 2025, enough to “hobble global efforts to avoid the worst impacts of climate change,” Reuters reports.
Construction Boom Drives Up China’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions
China’s greenhouse gas emissions grew about 3% last year, despite rapid gains in clean energy production that couldn’t keep pace with surging demand for electricity.
Surging Canadian, U.S. Fossil Production Puts Paris Targets at Risk
Growing production in Canada and the United States has added the equivalent of another Russia or Saudi Arabia to global oil and gas markets in the last decade, pointing to a “growing disconnect” between fossil production and the urgency of the climate crisis, International Energy Agency Executive Director Fatih Birol told an audience in Ottawa late last month.
EU Chair Commits Billions to Climate Mitigation, Endorses Thunberg’s #SchoolStrike
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker promised an EU budget with billions of euros per year for climate change mitigation, in a speech he delivered in Brussels last week alongside Swedish school strike leader Greta Thunberg.
Renewables Could Head Off EU Natural Gas Boom as Germany Phases Out Coal
Renewable energy may be poised to head off a boom in natural gas demand that European producers expected to see in the wake of Germany’s coal phaseout plan.
Green New Deal Envisions Net-Zero Emissions in 10 Years Through WWII-Scale Effort
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) released an outline of the Democrats’ Green New Deal yesterday, in the form of a 14-page Congressional resolution that would bring U.S. greenhouse gas emissions to net zero in 10 years by “dramatically expanding and upgrading renewable power sources”.
UK Carbon Dioxide Emissions Fall 38% from 1990 to 2017
Cleaner electricity and reduced energy demand were the two major factors driving a 38% drop in the United Kingdom’s carbon dioxide emissions between 1990 and 2017, from 600 to 367 megatonnes, the biggest reduction in any industrialized country.
Green New Deal Draft Commits to Net-Zero GHG, Leaves Out Fossil Phaseout Deadline
With Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Ed Markey set to outline Democrats’ Green New Deal legislation within days, a recent draft includes a commitment to “net-zero greenhouse gas emissions” but appears to leave out an explicit deadline for phasing out oil, natural gas, and coal development in the United States.
Canada Falls Farther Behind Its Paris Emissions Target, with Fossils the Primary Driver
Carbon pollution from Canada’s fossil industry and some questionable assumptions about carbon credits are driving projected greenhouse gas emissions more than 100 million tonnes beyond the country’s 2030 target under the Paris Agreement, according to an analysis of the federal government’s latest emission calculations.
Germany to Phase Out Coal by 2038, Pay €40 Billion for Regional Transition
Germany will shut down all its coal plants by 2038 and pay out at least €40 billion (US$45.7 billion) to support a just transition in affected regions if the country accepts recommendations finalized Saturday by a government-appointed coal commission.
France Plans 300 MW of New Solar Capacity to Replace 40-Year-Old Nuclear Plant
France has received European Commission approval for a €250-million plan to replace the 40-year-old Fessenheim nuclear generating station by contracting for 300 megawatts of new photovoltaic solar capacity.
China Moves to Phase Out Subsidies as Solar, Wind Prices Become Competitive with Coal
With the end of 2020 as a target date to phase out renewable energy subsidies, China’s National Energy Administration (NEA) has unveiled a package of eight “enticements” for developers that are prepared to consider subsidy-free solar and wind projects over the next two years, Greentech Media reports.
Green New Deal Risks Splitting U.S. Climate Community Over Timelines, Targets
The prospect of a comprehensive Green New Deal to drive rapid decarbonization and create jobs in the United States has been receiving considerable air time in the U.S. congress and media. But with the specifics of the plan still taking shape, a tough political battle is already emerging between Democrats demanding 100% renewable energy by 2035, and a second contingent urging a 100% decarbonization target—a policy which would leave options like carbon sequestration and nuclear generation on the table.
Trump, Other Disasters Drive U.S. Climate Concern to Record Levels
Recent polling shows a sharp jump in Americans’ awareness of the climate crisis, with nearly three-quarters accepting the reality of climate change and worrying about how it affects their lives. And there’s some indication that Donald Trump is one of the disasters driving the uptick in awareness.
12,500 Students in Belgium Skip Classes, Demand National Climate Action
About 12,500 students in Belgium skipped classes last Thursday, in what they hope will be a weekly protest inspired by 15-year-old Greta Thunberg’s school strike in Sweden.
Veteran Negotiator Declares UN Climate Process a ‘Co-opted Charade’, Paralysed by ‘Groupthink’
United Nations climate negotiations are paralysed by “groupthink” and won’t deliver the speed and depth of carbon reductions that will hold off the worst effects of climate change, writes veteran COP participant Kit Vaughan, in a recent post on the Lush Cosmetics website that calls for stepped-up citizen action in lieu of an incremental, fossil-dominated UN process.
Pelosi Promises New Climate Bill in U.S. House
United States House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is vowing to table new legislation on climate change modelled on the cap-and-trade bill her caucus introduced and passed in 2009, only to have it die on the floor of the U.S. Senate.
U.S. CO2 Emissions Rise 3.4% in 2018
Carbon dioxide emissions in the United States grew 3.4% in 2018, their second-biggest jump in two decades, delivering what the Washington Post calls “a jarring increase” at a time when scientists are stressing the need to drastically reduce emissions.
India Plans Another 500 Gigawatts of Renewable Capacity by 2028
India has unveiled bold plans to procure an additional 500 gigawatts of renewable energy capacity by 2028, including 350 GW from solar and 140 from wind, with the objective of producing 40% of its electricity from non-fossil fuels by 2030.
Renewables Exceed 40% of German Power Supply, Outpace Coal for the First Time
Renewable energy supplied 40.4% of Germany’s electricity last year, exceeding the output from coal for the first time, according to a report released last week by applied science researchers at the Munich-based Fraunhofer Society.
French Climate Petition Approaches Two Million Signatures in One Week as Groups Plot Legal Action
A petition protesting France’s failure to honour its commitments under the 2015 Paris Agreement has collected nearly two million signatures in one week, making it the country’s most popular sign-on ever—far exceeding the tally for the country’s well-publicized gilets jaunes (Yellow Vests) movement, at just over a million.
UK Labour Party Promises ‘Economic Revolution’ to Tackle Climate, Create Green Jobs
An “economic revolution to tackle the climate crisis, using the full power of the state to decarbonize the economy and create hundreds of thousands of green jobs in struggling towns and cities” would be in the offing for the United Kingdom if the opposition Labour party formed a government, The Guardian reports, citing an interview with the party’s shadow business secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey.
India’s Oil and Gas Subsidies Down 70%, But Coal Bailouts Continue
India cut its oil and gas subsidies 70% between 2014 and 2017 and increased renewables subsidies six-fold over the same period, according to an analysis issued late last year by the International Institute of Sustainable Development (IISD) and the Delhi-based Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW).
Pelosi Unveils Climate Crisis Panel, But Details Leave Progressives Fuming
With the new United States Congress due to be sworn in today, the new Democratic majority in the House of Representatives is already at odds over the composition and mandate of the reconstituted House Select Committee on Climate Crisis, which had been seen as a possible pathway for the Green New Deal advocated by the progressive wing of the caucus.
Recognition of Loss and Damage Emerges as COP 24 Success Story
Recognition of the loss and damage vulnerable countries face due to the inevitable impacts of climate change is emerging as a major success story in the aftermath of this year’s United Nations climate change conference in Katowice, Poland.
Saudi Negotiator Lays Out Objections to IPCC’s 1.5°C Report
In the first week of this year’s United Nations climate change conference, Saudi Arabia was one of four petro-states that blocked delegates’ full acceptance of the IPCC report on 1.5°C pathways, chewing up scarce and valuable negotiating time along the way. In a subsequent interview with Carbon Brief Editor Leo Hickman, senior Saudi negotiator Ayman Shasly claimed that “we adore and we really like the Paris Agreement” and laid out his country’s reasoning for standing firm against full adoption of the report.
India Plans New Solar, Wind Tenders to Hit 175-Gigawatt Target by 2022
India is planning to issue tenders for 60 gigawatts of new solar and 20 GW of new wind capacity over the next two years, in a bid to hit its target of installing 175 GW of new renewable energy generation by 2022.
China Dumps ‘Clean’ Coal from Green Bond Criteria, Still Exports Outdated Coal Technology
China is dumping so-called “clean coal” from the guidelines for its green bond programs, a decision that will match up the country’s green finance definitions more closely with the standard set by the global Climate Bonds Initiative.
High Ambition Coalition Drives Up Paris Commitments While Poland Earns Public Rebuke
The High Ambition Coalition that drove the Paris Agreement to a better conclusion put in a repeat performance, and the Polish Presidency responsible for driving the success of this year’s negotiations earned a strong public rebuke, as this year’s United Nations climate conference moved into its final hours in Katowice.
Canada Sets Coal Phaseout Rules with Relaxed Emissions Target for Coal-to-Gas Conversions
Canada has published a set of regulations that largely eliminate coal-fired power generation by 2030 and have received praise from the Pembina Institute as “a historic step in protecting public health and sending a signal for clean energy investments”.
BREAKING: Canada Commits to Faster, Deeper Carbon Cuts in 2020
Canada will adopt tougher greenhouse gas reduction targets when the Paris Agreement takes effect in 2020, Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna said yesterday, just days before her departure for this year’s United Nations climate change conference in Katowice.
EU Sets 2050 Carbon Neutral Target, 10 Years Too Late for CAN-Europe
The European Union has set a 2050 deadline for carbon neutrality, 10 years later than the target adopted in early October by Climate Action Network-Europe in line with a 1.5°C limit on average global warming.
Developing Nations ‘Lead the Charge’, Outpace Wealthier Countries in New Clean Energy Capacity
Developing countries are “charging ahead of wealthier nations in the global green energy push,” adding more clean electricity than fossil fuel capacity in 2017 for the first time ever, according to a Bloomberg News report citing the annual Climatescope survey by Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
G20 Communiqué Ignores IPCC Report, Tones Down Support for Paris Implementation
A draft communiqué from the leaders of the G20 shows that resolve to stand up for the Paris climate agreement against critical voices, such as the United States, may be weakening.