FtF News #165 – 5th October 2022
COP27 looms, oil majors avoid counting flaring, and storm season arrives with a bang
What a couple of weeks it’s been, bouncing from one massive event to the next with barely room to breathe. International politics is becoming ever more tense, rather overshadowing COP27, which somehow is barely a month away. There’s protests in Iran, major elections in Italy and Brazil (go Lula!), potential sabotage of the Nord Stream pipelines. Oh, and the new UK PM has managed to tank the UK economy in just her first couple of weeks! And yet, somehow, we must pull ourselves free of this maelstrom of the present to focus on the looming climate future. If ever there was a week for the ‘This is fine’ dog, this would be it!
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. If you spot any stories you’d like to share, you can submit them here.
Mother nature’s reactions to the ever-warming world
However, it was swiftly overshadowed by Hurricane Ian, which has become one of the most powerful storms ever to have struck mainland USA and made a huge mess of Florida. A rapid attribution study said that the storm’s rainfall was made at least 10% more intense by climate change.
The latest from in climate research and analysis
Just 1% of the global population was responsible for almost a quarter of GHG emissions between 1990-2019, according to a new study that includes the impact of investments for the first time.
Moody’s has estimated the risks of biodiversity loss intensifying nature-related risks as $1.9tn, but despite this there are still no solid metrics for measuring such hazards.
Nearly half the world’s bird species are now in decline, with one in eight under threat of extinction.
A study has shown that air pollution increases the risk of hospital admission for autistic children, even if the exposure is fairly brief.
Birkbeck has become the first university to ban fossil fuel firms from recruiting at their job fairs, as studies increasingly highlight the impact of the climate crisis on the young.
New research using satellite data helps highlight the impact of urban greening and de-paving on the urban heat island effect.
US bitcoin mining produces an impact equivalent to 6m cars, a number that is only growing as mining shifts to the US from other parts of the world.
Party Political Broadcast
Climate politics are a special creature indeed
Analysis suggests that if Jair Bolsonaro loses the Brazilian presidential election to Lula, deforestation in the Amazon could fall by as much as 89% by 2030.
Just 23 countries managed to submit strengthened NDCs by the planned deadline, of the nearly 200 that pledged to do so at COP26 last year.
The UN secretary-general has called for a windfall tax on fossil fuel companies, with the money diverted to vulnerable nations suffering ever-worsening climate impacts.
The head of the World Bank is facing calls to resign after failing to publicly acknowledge the role of humans in causing the climate crisis.
The UK continues to execute one of the fastest unravelings seen in recent history, sparking outrage as it unveiled plans to scrap environmental subsidies for farmers and ditch over 500 green rules in the name of growth.
Analysis suggests adopting energy-saving policies such as home insulation and heat pump installations would boost the economy by £7bn a year (the government has no plans to do this).
The opposition, meanwhile, has unveiled a massive plan to turn the UK into a green ‘superpower’ by 2030 by massively ramping up the rollout of renewables.
Climate happenings in the corporate world
Drax, the UK biomass power company, has been accused of ‘environmental racism’ after several air pollution claims were lodged against its wood pellet mills in the US deep south.
The company has also been found cutting down primary forest in Canada, despite claiming it only uses sawdust and waste wood.
A major investigation has found that oil majors are not disclosing massive amounts of routine flaring from sites they operate in countries like Iraq, despite the enormous environmental and health implications.
Low budget airline EasyJet is to stop offsetting its emissions following an investigation that showed the offsets it bought were unreliable and delivered minimal benefits.
New analysis shows that nearly half of the UK’s offshore wind capacity is owned by foreign state-owned entities.
New inventions to inspire hope
A new initiative called Whale Safe combines AI whale detection with ship tracking to attempt to prevent vessels from speeding when whales are near.
Efforts in activism and awareness
Global climate protests took place in 450 locations across the world as activists pushed for fair compensation for climate damages as COP27 looms.
Over 1,700 environmental activists have been murdered over the past decade, with the vast majority from lower-income countries and Indigenous communities.
Interesting deep-dives into climate-related topics
A long look at a Dutch rewilding project that is reverting the Meuse river back to a state not seen for 500 years, in an attempt to restore the ecosystem as well as create a natural flood management system.
The lead crisis impacting many US cities’ water actually dates back nearly a century to a shocking case of regulatory capture by the lead industry.