FtF News #163 – 7th September 2022
The world faces heat, floods and droughts as the planet pushes back
What a couple of weeks it’s been. It seems everywhere we look there are climate disasters aplenty, with temperature, drought and rainfall records being broken that were set just a few short years ago.
Meanwhile, here in the UK, the cost-of-living crisis continues to deepen, with half of UK households facing fuel poverty this winter, and huge numbers of businesses expected to fold. Sadly, despite the world seemingly sending an unequivocal message that now is not the time for ‘business as usual’, our leaders seem determined to continue burying their heads in the sand. Interesting times lie ahead for us all…
Once again, this week’s issue was ably assisted by Syuan Ruei Chang, who contributed a number of the articles and stories featured this week.
Mother nature’s reactions to the ever-warming world
Pakistan has been hit by devastating floods that have left ⅓ of the country under water and killed over 1,100 people, with at least 33m affected. The rains come just after a heatwave that saw temperatures over 53°C, with the country’s climate change minister calling for reparations from rich polluters.
Europe’s drought is now the worst the region has seen in 500 years, with crop yields increasingly under threat.
One impact of La Niña is drier weather in East Africa – an area currently suffering the worst drought in decades, with millions of children hovering on the brink of catastrophe.
The latest from in climate research and analysis
Forest fires are burning twice the trees they did just 20 years ago, and were responsible for a quarter of all tree loss over that period.
Even if emissions are brought to zero immediately, the meltwater from Greenland could raise sea levels by as much as 27cm – over twice previous predictions.
Germany’s three month experiment with cheap train tickets saved 1.8m tonnes of CO2, with 1 in 10 users dropping at least one daily car journey.
Party Political Broadcast
Climate politics are a special creature indeed
China’s CO2 emissions fell by 8% in Q2 2022 – the largest quarterly decrease in at least a decade, and the fourth consecutive decline.
California has finalised its roadmap to a full ban on fossil fuel car sales by 2035, with a phased rollout plan that is expected to be echoed by a number of other US states.
Japan is looking to finally restart some of its mothballed nuclear power plants as it grapples with ever more severe power shortages and high international fuel prices.
Germany is to use revenue from a windfall tax on electricity companies to shield customers and businesses from soaring prices, to the tune of as much as €65bn.
The Nigerian VP has suggested that international debt should be forgiven in exchange for commitments on climate change mitigation.
Climate happenings in the corporate world
Big energy companies are investing just 5% of their profits in renewables, meaning that all of those massive profits are going straight back into fossil fuels.
The Anglo-French oil company Perenco is trying to scrap a Peruvian reserve to protect an isolated Indigenous tribe that might affect its drilling efforts.
The Future is Electric
Renewables, EVs and all things electrification
Global renewables investments reached $226bn in the first half of the year – an 11% rise on last year and a new record.
Delhi is to spend $600m on electrification through to 2025 to try and clean up public transport and improve air quality.
Germany and Denmark are planning a €9bn offshore wind hub with a 3GW capacity to help reduce dependence on Russian fossil fuels.
Vestas has completed the nacelle for a new 15MW prototype offshore wind turbine, which will become the world’s largest when installed later this year.
New inventions to inspire hope
With shipping companies short of options to decarbonise their fleets, more and more are looking to wind power as a solution.
A new type of fuel cell uses solar power to make syngas, and is so light it can float on water.
Knowledge is Power
Fuelling awareness of the climate crisis
The Dutch city of Haarlem is to become the first in the world to ban meat adverts from public places, for climate reasons.
France has become the first European country to ban fossil fuel adverts, although activists feel that the rules do not go nearly far enough.
Survey data suggests that (in the US at least) support for climate action is nearly twice as popular as people think.
Interesting deep-dives into climate-related topics
Methane levels are rising ever more rapidly, leading to an intense hunt as scientists try to figure out where it’s all coming from, and how to tackle the issue.
The term ‘climate refugee’ is bandied around more and more often, but might actually be doing more harm than good.
Cigarette butts are the most littered object in the world, and of course, they contain plastic.