[Apr 17-23’23] Net-zero banks top funders of fossil fuels #oldnews
Europe experiencing cycles of heat and drought, carbon negative concrete and climate communication strategies.
Welcome to this week’s edition of The Weekly Climate 🎉
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Just a brief note that as a total of 13 people have downloaded the podcast the past two weeks it is officially on hiatus again.
‼️News you can’t miss
Here’s one important scary/bad (🙀), good (😻), interesting (😼) and fossil (💩) news item.
🙀 Europe is experiencing and intensifying cycle of extreme heat and drought.
😻 New way to produce carbon negative concrete
😼 Emphasizing local and immediate impact of climate change is not the best communication strategy
💩 Guess who are top funders of fossil fuels? Banks with net-zero pledges
👩⚕️ Status: Climate & Science
Let’s look at how we’re doing this week!
[#NDC] — A United Nations report warns that the world will exceed the 1.5C global warming target in the next ten years, even if governments meet their current climate targets. The report states that governments will produce about 430 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide by 2030, leaving just 70 gigatonnes for after 2030, which will be burned through in just two years. The IPCC's 2018 report found that most models of a 1.5C warmer world rely on the world removing more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere than it is putting in through technologies known as carbon dioxide removal, but warn that this technology is unproven and a major risk in the ability to limit warming to 1.5C.
[#extremeheat] — Europe is experiencing an intensifying cycle of extreme heat and drought, according to the European State of the Climate Report for 2022. Last summer was Europe's warmest on record, and heat waves killed more than 15,000 people. The report also shows how the impacts can intensify each other in a spiral of worsening extremes. The lack of winter snow last year followed by record summer warmth melted Europe's glaciers faster than ever before, thinning them by 11.5 feet on average. The new Copernicus report details the near record low flows in nearly all European rivers at the end of last summer, with critical water shortages and potentially catastrophic impacts to agriculture expected in large parts of western and southern Europe, including important breadbasket areas in France and Spain.
📰 The 7 Grand Challenges
Clean electricity is the one do-or-die challenge we must solve.
[#nuclearhealth] — A new study by MIT researchers shows that shutting down nuclear power plants in the US could lead to an increase in air pollution, resulting in an additional 5,200 pollution-related deaths over a single year. The study found that without nuclear power, coal, gas, and oil sources would ramp up to compensate for its absence, leading to an increase in air pollution. Even with a heartier renewable energy scenario, there is still a slight increase in air pollution in some parts of the country, resulting in a total of 260 pollution-related deaths over one year. Black or African American communities, who live near fossil-fuel plants, would experience the greatest exposure.
[#EUnuclear] — Europe's nuclear divide is growing as Finland's Olkiluoto 3 nuclear reactor comes online, while Germany shuts down its last three nuclear power plants. France argues that nuclear power is a reliable, low-carbon alternative to fossil fuels, while Germany argues that the risks and costs are too high. With a third of the bloc's nuclear reactors nearing the end of their lifespan and a legally binding aim to cut net greenhouse gas emissions by 55% by 2030, the debate is becoming increasingly intense. The nuclear standoff could disrupt vital EU projects, and compromise will have to come through a general acceptance that renewable energy is "green" while nuclear energy is "low-carbon."
[#germanoilgas] — Germany plans to ban the installation of most oil and gas heating systems from 2024 in an attempt to meet net zero emission targets, which has triggered angry divisions in the cabinet. The bill championed by the Greens will require almost all newly installed heating systems to run on 65% renewable energy, and homeowners will be encouraged to install heat pumps, district heating, electric or solar thermal systems.
🏘 Reduce impact of urban and rural areas
Lowering the impact of urban and rural areas.
[#heatpumpwaterheater] — Looking for clear arguments for investing in a heatpump water heater? Here’s some data from the US. Heat pump water heaters (HPWHs) are a more efficient and cost-effective option than traditional water heaters, and can save households over $4,500 over their lifetime. By transitioning all water heaters in U.S. buildings to HPWHs, over 100 million tons of carbon emissions could be saved annually. Investing in a HPWH can save more than 1 ton of CO2 emissions annually pr household, equivalent to growing more than 17 trees for 10 years.
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