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THE BRIEF [Apr 24-30'23]
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.
😻 EU approved the world’s first carbon tax on imports (not 100% sure this is a good thing but for now it looks more good than bad I think)
This week’s highlights
[#elnino] — According to Carbon Brief, 2023 is on track to be one of the top four warmest years on record, with a modest chance of being the warmest. The warming is driven by the end of a triple-dip La Niña (meaning that it occured on 3 consecutive years) and a rapid transition into warmer El Niño conditions. The first three months of the year were tied as the fourth warmest on record, with March being the second warmest. Carbon Brief estimates that 2023 is very likely to end up between the warmest year on record and the sixth warmest, with a best estimate of fourth warmest. Antarctic sea ice set new all-time low records in the first two months of 2023, with an all-time low summer minimum for the Southern Hemisphere in February.
[#australiarenewables] — Australia's record levels of renewable energy, including rooftop solar output, helped lower wholesale power prices and carbon emissions in the first quarter of 2023, according to a report by the Australian Energy Market Operator. Wholesale spot prices in the national electricity market averaged $83/MWh, down more than 10% from the previous quarter and two-thirds lower than the record average of $264/MWh in Q2 2022. Rooftop solar output alone averaged almost 3 GW for the quarter, up 23% YoY, contributing to a drop in "operational demand" in the NEM to the lowest since 2005. Gas, typically the most costly fuel for electricity generation, provided its smallest Q1 share of supplies since 2005, while coal and gas-fired generation dropped 710 MW YoY.
[#ev] — The IEA predicts that more than one in three new vehicles sold in 2030 will be electric, thanks to explosive growth in the market. Electric cars are already on track to make up 18% of sales in 2023, and with new policies driving growth in the US and the EU, the share of electric models in 2030 is set to be more than double what it expected just two years ago. The expansion means that the demand for oil-based fuels such as petrol and diesel in the road transport sector will start to decline within just two years, and around 5% of current oil demand will have been wiped out by 2030. 1/3 by 2030 may sound like a victory to some but to me it’s just scary. To imagine that the vast majority of people will still be buying ICE cars in 2030 is to me heartbreaking.
[#globalheat] — But it’s not just in India. New research warns that developing countries that have avoided record-breaking heat for many decades are the least prepared for future “exceptional” heatwaves. Climate change is driving a rise in heatwaves that break existing temperature records by unprecedented margins. The study finds that 41 regions around the world have experienced “statistically implausible” heat since 1959 – accounting for 31% of the planet’s surface. The authors explain that regions which have not seen exceptional heat events recently “have had no need to adapt to such events, and so may be more susceptible to the[ir] impacts”. Afghanistan and Papua New Guinea are particularly at risk thanks to their growing populations and limited healthcare and energy resources, the paper says.
That’s it for this week folks!
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