Investment in low-carbon energy sources, such as wind, solar and nuclear, must more than double by 2030 if the world is to meet its Paris Agreement climate goals, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). This is one of the many insights to emerge from the agency’s latest World Energy Investment report, which is published today. Besides the trend in low-carbon spending, the analysis shows that overall energy investment is also not keeping up with consumption trends.
Carbon Brief 14th May 2019 read more »
John Vidal: Has the politics of climate change finally reached a tipping point? People increasingly see the environmental crisis as a national priority. This is an opportunity for bold action from government. Last week a small campaign group in the staunchly conservative town of Shrewsbury called a public meeting about climate change. The organisers were delighted when 150 people turned up. Even they were surprised, though, when people unanimously said they were prepared to give up flying, change their boilers and cars, eat less meat and even overthrow capitalism to get a grip on climate change. Shrewsbury joins more than 100 other councils across the country in declaring a climate emergency, and has pledged that it will be carbon-neutral within 11 years, with more following every week. Could this be the moment when politicians recognise they have both strong intellectual reason to act urgently on the environment as well as, finally, the public backing to do so? When, instead of trying to score marginal partisan points, they believe they have the legitimacy to be non-partisan, politically bold, and to together back transformative economic and social change in pursuit of the public good? Could politics indeed be changing with the climate?
Guardian 15th May 2019 read more »
Letter Colin Hines: Your editorial (13 May) correctly states that Britain needs a Green New Deal now, and indeed in your letters page last autumn (10 September) our report detailing what form such a “jobs in every constituency” Green New Deal could take, and how to pay for it, was supported by a cross-party group of MPs, NGO leaders and academics. Since then the idea has gained international traction thanks to the likes of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the support of grassroots movements. The US approach also includes the need to improve economic security for the majority, which has widened its support base. Finally, the scientific data underscoring the need to act in the next 10 years to tackle climate change and biodiversity loss has resulted in unprecedented activist pressure on politicians to respond. As a result, all opposition parties are calling for the declaration of a climate emergency, but the government’s actual policies – from fracking to the rollback of support for renewables and energy efficiency – are making things worse. Yet all is not lost. At the end of last year more than 60 Tory MPs signed an all-party letter calling on the prime minister to back a net zero-emissions target ahead of 2050. Clearly the disconnect here is the lack of necessary political will. MPs should take inspiration from President Kennedy’s call in 1961 to put a man on the moon within a decade, but this time the priority must be to save the planet, rather than leave it.
Guardian 14th May 2019 read more »
THERE is one thing certain in our age of uncertainty: capitalism in its current form cannot continue. It’s eating the planet. Climate change cannot be solved without tackling the inherent problems in this late-stage malignant form of capitalism that has marked the last 40 years of history. This is not a manifesto for Marxism – human beings need to trade, sell their labour, and accumulate wealth and property. To deny that is as foolish as to deny the need for food and sex. It’s part of who we are as a species. But the current form of capitalism which holds sway over human affairs has nothing to do with trade or entrepreneurialism, and everything to do with rampant greed and institutionalised inequality. Unbridled mass consumption and the almost suicidal glee with which industries from fashion to farming trash the planet will be our undoing.
Herald 15th May 2019 read more »