A global group of around 11,000 scientists have endorsed research that says the world is facing a climate emergency. The study, based on 40 years of data on a range of measures, says governments are failing to address the crisis. Without deep and lasting changes, the world is facing “untold human suffering” the study says. The researchers say they have a moral obligation to warn of the scale of the threat. Released on the day that satellite data shows that last month was the warmest October on record, the new study says that simply measuring global surface temperatures is an inadequate way of capturing the real dangers of an overheating world. So the authors include a range of data which they believe represents a “suite of graphical vital signs of climate change over the past 40 years”. These indicators include the growth of human and animal populations, per capita meat production, global tree cover loss, as well as fossil fuel consumption. Some progress has been seen in some areas. For example, renewable energy has grown significantly, with consumption of wind and solar increasing 373% per decade – but it was still 28 times smaller than fossil fuel use in 2018.
BBC 6th Nov 2019 read more »
More than 11,000 scientists warned yesterday that “untold human suffering” will unfold unless urgent action is taken to curb the accelerating pace of global warming. “To secure a sustainable future, we must change how we live,” the researchers said in a letter published in the journal BioScience. This would entail “major transformations in the ways our global society functions” that would include new population control measures, more vegetarianism and a reconfiguration of the worldwide economy to end “the pursuit of affluence”. The letter was published on the 40th anniversary of the first world climate conference, which was held in Geneva in 1979 and included 50 nations. Since then, alarms have been raised at the 1992 Rio summit, in the 1997 Kyoto protocol, and in the 2015 Paris agreement, where more than 190 states submitted to measures to limit global temperatures.
Times 6th Nov 2019 read more »
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Independent 6th Nov 2019 read more »
The world is on a path to climate disaster, with three-quarters of the commitments made by countries under the Paris agreement “totally inadequate”, according to a comprehensive expert analysis. Four nations produce half of all carbon emissions but the US has gone into reverse in tackling the climate emergency under Donald Trump while Russia has failed to make any commitment at all. Other major oil-producing nations, including Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Kuwait have set no targets to reduce emissions. China and India are cleaning up their energy systems but their surging economies mean emissions will continue to grow for a decade. Under the 2015 Paris deal, countries agreed to limit global heating to 2C, or 1.5C if possible. Each country makes a voluntary pledge of climate action, but to date these would result in global temperatures rising by a disastrous 3-4C. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concluded in 2018 that emissions, which are still rising, must fall by 50% by 2030 to be on track for 1.5C. Only the 28 countries of the European Union and a few others including Norway, Switzerland and Ukraine are on track. Of the 184 national Paris pledges made, 136 are judged insufficient in the report, published by the Universal Ecological Fund. Another problem is many pledges are unlikely to be met, due to the US withdrawing from the Paris agreement, Brazil’s president, Jair Bolsonaro, reversing environmental policies, or because poorer nations do not get the funding they need – the US and Australia have stopped making such contributions.
Guardian 5th Nov 2019 read more »
In the wake of two years of devastating wildfires in California, Wall Street is incorporating a new risk metric when evaluating companies: climate resiliency.
Reuters 5th Nov 2019 read more »
Investment banks have begun quietly sounding alarm bells about climate change. Their worries are showing up in the documents that accompany municipal bonds they underwrite. When state and local governments issue debt, federal securities laws hold their bankers accountable for making sure that states and cities adequately disclose the risks bond buyers will be taking on. These might include any lawsuits a town is facing, or how the sales taxes used to pay back bondholders could fluctuate in a recession. Now many of these documents include language about climate change, hurricane risks, and rising seas.
Bloomberg 5th Nov 2019 read more »