THE BRIEF [Apr 17-23’23]
Europe experiencing cycles of heat and drought, carbon negative concrete, climate communication strategies and net-zero banks top funders of fossil fuels
Welcome to this week’s edition of The Weekly Climate 🎉
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‼️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
This week’s highlights
[#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.
[#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."
[#shell] — Shell has admitted that achieving its 1.5C climate goal would mean an immediate end to fossil fuel growth. In its new Sky 2050 scenario, Shell sees oil-and-gas use dropping around two-thirds lower than in the previous Sky 1.5C pathway. The new scenario also involves a faster near-term acceleration of wind and solar power, but still sees a significant role for both fossil fuels even in 2100 (surprise!). The company also emphasises the role of voluntary carbon markets in promoting nature-based solutions (🙄see my many previous posts about this).
[#g7coal] — The G7 failed to agree on a date to stop making electricity with coal at their recent environment ministers meeting in Japan, with Japan, the US, and the EU opposing a 2030 deadline. While the communique prioritized steps towards accelerating the phase-out of domestic coal power generation, no specific deadline was set. Analysts criticized the hold-outs, saying they give other countries excuses to not follow suit. Japan, which relies on coal for almost a third of its electricity generation, had previously signaled its intention to only phase-out inefficient coal-fired power plants towards 2030, but has not set a specific timeline.
That’s it for this week folks!
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