Sunday 24 January 2021

Coalition quietly adds fossil fuel industry leaders to emissions reduction panel (excerpts): The Guardian

"The Morrison government has quietly appointed fossil fuel industry leaders and a controversial economist to a committee responsible for ensuring the integrity of projects that get climate funding.

Critics have raised concerns about whether some appointees to the Emissions Reduction Assurance Committee may have a potential conflict of interest that could leave its decisions open to legal challenge.

The overhaul of the committee follows the government indicating it plans to expand the industries that can access its $2.5bn emissions reduction fund, including opening it to carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects by oil and gas companies."


 "Bill Hare, the chief executive and senior scientist with Climate Analytics, said it appeared the government had appointed “mostly people concerned with the status quo” rather than aiming for a rapid shift towards zero emissions.

He said he was concerned the government planned to allow fossil fuel companies to receive climate funding for merely reducing emissions below inflated estimates of what their CO2 output otherwise might be."


"The emissions reduction fund has so far operated with limited success in reducing national emissions. The government has paid $740m for emissions cuts and signed contracts for another $1.66bn. Despite this, national emissions had dipped only slightly since the Coalition was elected in 2013 prior to the Covid-19 shutdown.

Government data shows the small reduction was overwhelmingly due to the rise of solar and wind energy, which are not supported through the fund." 

 To go to the original The Guardian article

Saturday 9 January 2021

Climate and Covid-19: converging crisis (excerpt): The Lancet

"That health and climate change are interwoven is widely accepted, with extensive evidence of their interactions. For the past 5 years, the Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change has monitored and reported more than 40 global indicators that measure the impact of our changing climate on health. The newly published 2020 report includes novel indicators on heat-related mortality, migration and population displacement, urban green spaces, low-carbon diets, and the economic costs of labour capacity loss due to extreme heat. The breadth of the indicators has deepened scientific understanding of how climate affects health and puts stress on health systems. This is manifested in, for example, the health effects of air pollution leading to asthma, challenges to global food security and reduced crop yield potentially leading to poor diets, limited access to green space increasing risk factors for mental health conditions, and vulnerability to heat in people older than 65 years. Treating these resultant health conditions effectively depends on health systems' capacity, which is in turn dependent on the resilience of health services that are increasingly stretched in response to the two crises."

To go to The Lancet article 



Friday 8 January 2021

Looking Ahead to 2021: COP26, Clean Air, and Biden's Next Steps (excerpt): DeSmog

"Biden’s next steps

If winning the U.S. election wasn’t exactly straightforward, Joe Biden now has a mountain to climb. He takes over the White House from the most climate-sceptic President in history; President Donald Trump scaled back over 70 environmental regulations during his time in office and weakened Obama-era regulations on everything from oil and gas companies to air pollution.

Biden, and his Vice President Kamala Harris, have vowed to put the climate at the heart of his presidency. But all the rhetoric in the world won’t be enough to reduce the footprint of the world’s second largest emitting nation, so they’ll have their work cut out for them  especially if the Democrats fail to win the Senate.

On the global stage, Biden’s first major act after his January 20 inauguration will be to rejoin the Paris Agreement after Trump officially withdrew in November. This will commit the U.S. to contribute its fair share to keeping global warming to 1.5C or 2C above pre-industrial temperatures. But actually delivering adequate reductions in emissions will be an uphill battle.

We’ll be looking to see how this plays out on a global stage – and scrutinising how Biden plans to cut U.S. emissions while keeping environmental justice firmly in focus. It remains to be seen whether Biden and Boris Johnson manage to bond over climate change, as has been suggested, despite the president-elect’s serious concerns over Britain’s Brexit policy."

To go to Complete DeSmog article _  By Phoebe Cooke


Related:  Is Climate-Related Financial Regulation Coming Under Biden? Wall Street Is Betting on It (excerpt): Inside Climate News

Tuesday 5 January 2021

Impacts of Climate Change as Drivers of Migration (excerpt): Migration Policy Institute

A family in Pakistan walks through

 flooded streets. 

(Photo: Asian Development Bank)
"Future Projections and Prospects

This article has provided an overview of the major strands of research on climate change-induced migration. Returning to the question posed at the beginning, how likely is it that we will witness mass migration as result of climate change in coming decades?

Researchers have used a variety of techniques to try and predict numbers of future migrants and, to some degree, source and destination areas. At the simplest level, exposure models identify the number of people who will likely be exposed to a given hazard—most often sea-level rise, but also recurrent flooding or drought—and estimate the proportion of people likely to move. For example, researchers Scott Kulp and Benjamin Strauss estimate that 1 billion people now occupy land less than 10 meters above current high-tide lines, including 230 million below one meter who will presumably need to relocate as sea levels rise. At a more sophisticated level, statistical models of populations’ past tendencies to migrate in response to climate anomalies project possible numbers of migrants under various future scenarios. "

 Original article 

 Related:  Sea-level rise from climate change could exceed the high-end projections, scientists warn (excerpt): CBS News