Boris Johnson, your climate change scorecard is ready. The UK is hosting the crucial COP26 global climate summit this year. The government says it’s leading the world on climate change – but how are they really doing? This scorecard rates the domestic and international action promised or taken by the government, in four areas: Fossil fuels and green energy: tackling climate change means breaking our reliance on fossil fuels. How’s the UK’s transition to green energy going? Forests and oceans: healthy habitats absorb huge amounts of carbon. We must protect them and not allow polluters to use them as greenwash. Fairness: a greener world should work for everyone. And we need to be supporting those on the frontline of the climate crisis. Is the UK doing enough to make that happen? Finance: is the government putting its money where its mouth is, or are UK banks and financial institutions pouring cash into high-polluting industries? In each of the four areas, we’ve looked at what kinds of promises the government made; what they’ve actually done and if there’s been any delays; and what they need to do this year before the UK can call itself a climate leader. Each of these things is key to tackling the climate crisis, so by looking at them we can cut through the rhetoric and rate the UK’s real progress. Sadly, the verdict isn’t good.
Greenpeace 3rd June 2021 read more »
It was hailed as a “stunning victory” for climate change activists. A Dutch court last month ruled that Shell would have to cut its CO2 emissions by 45pc by 2030 compared to 2019 levels. It was the first time a large company had been legally obliged to comply with the Paris Climate Agreement, marking what some said was a historic moment in the fight against global warming. But this was just one victory in a wider political war. Behind the scenes a far more brutal battle has been playing out between politicians and corporations – one that threatens to derail climate targets all together. Energy giants are increasingly using an obscure legal system to bypass domestic courts and sue governments for billions in earnings they deem to have been unfairly lost as a result of government action on climate change. German energy giant RWE, for instance, is suing the Netherlands for €1.4bn (£1.2bn) for its plans to phase out coal. Uniper has filed a similar claim, while UK company Rockhopper is suing Italy over a ban on new oil and gas drilling near the country’s coast.
Telegraph 6th June 2021 read more »
The economies of rich countries will shrink by twice as much as they did in the Covid-19 crisis if they fail to tackle rising greenhouse gas emissions, according to research. The G7 countries – the world’s biggest industrialised economies – will lose 8.5% of GDP a year, or nearly $5tn wiped off their economies, within 30 years if temperatures rise by 2.6C, as they are likely to on the basis of government pledges and policies around the world, according to research from Oxfam and the Swiss Re Institute. The economies of G7 nations contracted by about 4.2% on average in the coronavirus pandemic, and the economic losses from the climate crisis by 2050 would be roughly on the scale of suffering a similar crisis twice every year, according to the research. The UK’s economy would lose 6.5% a year by 2050 on current policies and projections, compared with 2.4% if the goals of the Paris climate agreement are met.
Guardian 7th June 2021 read more »