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THE BRIEF [Mar 20-26’23]
New IPCC report is out, energy crisis boosting heat pumps, new climate action book and coal is still clinging on.
Welcome to this week’s edition of The Weekly Climate 🎉
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Still getting a lot of inbound e-mails about content to add to the newsletter — thanks to everyone 🙏. And sorry for not getting back to everyone very fast. I will in the coming week try to review everything. Unfortunately, last week got side-railed a bit for me as I caught a severe case of man-flu just before the weekend. Pretty much the only e-mail from my dear subscribers I managed to read this week was from band Sea & the Mint who made a rock’n’roll song about how the previous generations are robbing the present one. They’re a trio of — as they write — total combined age 212 years. As a musician myself (guitar, piano and write a bit might share some stuff later) it caught my interest. It’s also pretty catchy, in particular I like the line “while a thousands talking heads they shout their denial” — which is quite spot on given the new IPCC report. In general I think we need more art about climate change (and I’m not the only one to think that). Also it highlights one of the important points of climate action I think, which is do what you can.
As a kind of light but still heavy (in multiple ways) way to start this week — the week of the new IPCC report — I thought it was the perfect start to this newsletter.
So here’s Sea & the Mint with “We Were Thieves”. So COME ON!
‼️News you can’t miss
😼 Through all of this, remember that even if it’s not your fault we are where we are you have a tremendous power to act.
This week’s highlights
[#ipcc] — The biggest piece of news this week, in fact the entire climate & science section, will obviously be about the new IPCC report released last week. However, one of the downsides of having a newsletter that are published every Monday is when a major new report such as the new IPCC report is released on a Monday. So likely you might have already heard a lot about this report but that’s not going to stop me from writing about it too.
First of all, if you want the most detailed walkthrough of the report I can recommend the Carbon Brief definitive guide to the report. And they also have a Q&A article as well - both goes into details just short of reading the reports.
And the IPCC report makes it very clear #oldnews that fossil fuels must go. I don’t know how many times I’ve written that since the inception of this newsletter but probably quite a lot. It’s #oldnews and for a reason, because there’s actually no new research in the IPCC report as far as I understand it’s mostly a so called “synthesis” report of previous IPCC reports. It is basically a deep dive into the perils that await us if we fail to act. It also highlights that the 1.5C limit is still “technically” reachable but would require a quantum leap in terms of effort.
As per usual the meat industry worked hard on making sure that the report didn’t put to much emphasis on the switch to plant-based diets. In fact, a draft report revealed that Argentina and Brazil in particular lobbied hard against including the real numbers of carbon footprint of a meat-based diet which according to a study from 2018 is 10-50x but in the draft IPCC report was already only listed as a potential 50% carbon reduction gain by switching to plat-based diets (why the discrepancy between these two numbers I must admit I don’t understand fully).
In addition, the UN invites the fossil fuel industry to be part of the solution whether that will just lead to more greenwashing remains to be seen (or wait no it doesn’t because we haven’t really seen anything else so far).
It also highlights very bluntly that the developed world is providing insufficient funds to cover the detrimental effects to the developing world of climate change, which most parts of the developing world had close to no part in.
That’s it for this week folks!
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See you all next week 👋