THE BRIEF [July 10-16’23]
July week 1 likely hottest ever, renewables so cheap fossil peak might have been reached, droughts increase fossil fuel emissions and even tiny fossil gas leaks makes it worse than coal.
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.
😼 New study finds that droughts increases fossil fuel emissions (due to lack of hydro)
This week’s highlights
[#fossilfuelpeak] — Renewable energy's exponential growth is driving down global electricity prices and making fossil fuels uneconomical, leading to a decline in gas, oil, and coal linked to electricity generation, according to a report by the Rocky Mountain Institute. The report predicts that solar panels and wind turbines will supply more than a third of global electricity by 2030, compared to about 12% today, with renewables producing as much as 14,000 terawatt-hours, overtaking fossil fuels. The increasing adaptation of clean-tech is set to halve its prices by 2030, falling to as low as $20 a megawatt-hour for solar from $40-plus now, the report said.
[#tribalism] — Here’s a gentle reminder that climate tribalism, or the tendency for climate activists to feud and tear each other's ideas apart, slows progress and helps deniers, oil companies, and anti-climate lobbyists. The answer to reducing carbon emissions is not to be choosy about solutions, but to use a combination of them. We need to be less fixated on the ideal pathway, more generous when dealing with rivals, and honest about what is and isn't true about solutions we don't like. We are all on the same team and need to start acting like it.
[#EUheatwave] — Europe is experiencing another heat wave, with temperatures reaching nearly 37 degrees Celsius in some parts of Italy. Experts say that Europe has failed to prepare for these heat waves, despite warnings nearly 20 years ago after a heat wave in 2003 left 70,000 people dead. Governments have missed carbon emission targets and failed to invest in tangible solutions. The modifications required for European cities to mitigate heat are daunting, and the burden has fallen on municipalities, which have limited resources and limited avenues for heat mitigation in ancient urban spaces. The cost of reducing the amount of carbon sent into the atmosphere from Europe is close to 260 billion dollars a year, and the annual cost of overheating will increase from 400 billion dollars to as much as 1.3 trillion by 2050.
[#USheatwave] — A massive heat wave in the US Southwest is expected to intensify, with over 113 million people suffering under extreme heat and California's Death Valley nearing its all-time-record temperature of over 54 degrees Celsius. The real danger of the heat wave will be its duration, lasting at least another week and causing disastrous impacts on human health, especially for outdoor workers and vulnerable populations. The urban heat island effect in big cities like Phoenix exacerbates the situation, making it difficult for people to avoid exposure to life-threatening heat stroke.
That’s it for this week folks!
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