A collection of links to stories from around the world that reflect the progress that is being made in concrete actions to address the climate crisis.
- UK government invests in sustainable aviation with creation of ‘Jet Zero Council’
The Department for Transport (DfT) has announced plans to enhance the UK’s nascent low carbon aviation sector, confirming the exciting project to form the ‘Jet Zero Council’.
In a daily UK government coronavirus briefing, Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, has confirmed government support for green fuel specialist company Velocys, who are building a plant for aviation biofuels in Lincolnshire.
- A 90% Clean Grid Can Be Achieved Quickly. What’s Holding It Back?
Most decarbonization proposals play out over 30 years, aiming toward 2050. But a new roadmap from researchers at UC Berkeley and the policy firm Energy Innovation shows the grid can get to a level of 90% clean in just 15 years' time. No new fossil fuel plants. Lower rates for consumers. 85,000 lives saved. 500,000 additional jobs. Region by region, the researchers lay out exactly how it can be done.
- Goldman Sachs is placing its bets on the future of green energy
The shift to renewables is coming and it’s coming fast. Big industry and financial institutions are finally getting on board with a greener future. This week, Goldman Sachs analysts released a report stating that the transition to renewable power from traditional fuels will create a $16 trillion investment opportunity through 2030.
They project that green energy spending will surpass oil and gas for the first time this coming year and account for roughly 25 percent of all energy spending over the next 12 months. As of 2015, the share of spending was 15 percent, but the dive in fossil fuel investment over the past decade has created a significant shift in these statistics.
- Green recovery fever spreads around the globe
Around the world, national and sub-national governments are grappling with the need to stabilize their economies with emergency financing to support individuals and businesses that are being devastated by shuttered economies. As they plan longer-term stimulus packages, a growing group of them – from the European Union to New York State – are insisting that stimulus spending and tax measures must be consistent with net-zero goals.
- Ethiopia sets out to plant 5 billion trees in 2020
Ethiopia has set out to plant 5 billion trees this year as part of its ambitious plan to plant 20 billion seedlings by 2025 in order to help combat environmental degradation, build resilience, and transition into a green society.
Called the Green Legacy, the broader reforestation plan made headlines last year, when the nation planted nearly 354 million trees in just 12 hours and a total of 4 billion in 2019.
The African country has lost nearly 97 percent of its native forests due to a growing population and an increased need for land for food production. Through the Green Legacy, Ethiopia has committed to restoring 15 million hectares of deforested land by 2025.
- U.S. renewable energy consumption surpasses coal for the first time in over 130 years
In 2019, U.S. annual energy consumption from renewable sources exceeded coal consumption for the first time since before 1885, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) Monthly Energy Review. This outcome mainly reflects the continued decline in the amount of coal used for electricity generation over the past decade as well as growth in renewable energy, mostly from wind and solar. Compared with 2018, coal consumption in the United States decreased nearly 15%, and total renewable energy consumption grew by 1%.
- Spain: New climate law to ban all new coal, oil and gas projects
Teresa Ribera, the vice president and Minister of Ecology in Spain, has announced the country’s new proposed net-zero carbon plan.
The plan includes cutting the country’s carbon emissions to net-zero by 2050. Once the law is approved, it would ban all new coal, oil and gas extraction projects with immediate effect.
The draft bill has been approved by the cabinet and is now sent to parliament. Final approval by the parliament is expected to be delivered by the end of the year, according to Business Green.(/p>
- Pandemic or not, Canada still faces a climate crisis — and the clock is ticking
Had things worked out differently, the Liberal government's post-election agenda might have started to take shape this spring with a budget focused on addressing climate change.
That might seem like a missed opportunity now. But responding to an economic crisis brought on by a global pandemic is presenting the government with new opportunities to combat climate change — and the Liberals might be judged by how well they seize this moment.
- Federal Cabinet Ministers Assigned To Chart Post-Covid Green Recovery
Federal cabinet ministers ... have been handed responsibility for crafting “an economic recovery plan that aims to accelerate the green shift” as the immediate COVID-19 crisis subsides, La Presse revealed last week
- Trudeau announces $1.7B to clean up orphan wells
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced $1.7 billion to clean up orphan wells in Alberta, Saskatchewan and British Columbia, as well as aid for rural businesses and people working in the arts and culture sectors. The money for cleaning up orphan and inactive wells is expected to help maintain 5,200 jobs in Alberta, which will receive about $1 billion of the funding.
- With financial squeeze tightening, coal is collapsing faster than some predicted
Any day now, New York State will be coal-free. Its last coal-fired power station, at Somerset on the southern shore of Lake Ontario, will shut for good as the winter ends. Remember when Donald Trump promised to bring back coal? Well, three years on, coal’s decline is accelerating—in the United States and worldwide.
- BC Campaign to convert school buses to Electric
Just days after Prince Edward Island pledged to make the province’s entire school bus fleet all-electric, a network of parents has launched to convince other provincial governments to follow suit. The new organization, For Our Kids, is starting in British Columbia where the provincial government is actively looking to accelerate climate action to meet its targets.
- Windsor Aims for Deep Energy Retrofit in 80% of Homes by 2041
Windsor’s supervisor for environmental sustainability and climate change, Karina Richters, said the average home in the city was built in 1955, a time when building codes included no requirements for insulation. “So we know we have an inefficient building stock, especially in those homes that haven’t had any sort of retrofit.”
Committee member Kieran McKenzie stressed council’s moral duty to help citizens take action. “I truly believe that we can’t afford to not make the investments that are being proposed here, and what we see in front of us is a roadmap to help us get to where we, as a community, need to be,” he said.
- Peterborough School Board agrees to consider the environment more seriously
A group of students stood together on Tuesday night to call on their school board to become more environmentally conscious.
Peterborough Victoria Northumberland and Clarington Catholic District School Board trustees answered the call, agreeing to commit to ecological sustainability in the board's education, strategic and corporate practices.
- Heathrow third runway ruled illegal over climate change
Plans for a third runway at Heathrow airport have been ruled illegal by the court of appeal because ministers did not adequately take into account the government’s commitments to tackle the climate crisis.
The ruling is a major blow to the project at a time when public concern about the climate emergency is rising fast and the government has set a target in law of net zero emissions by 2050. The prime minister, Boris Johnson, could use the ruling to abandon the project, or the government could draw up a new policy document to approve the runway.
- GHG emissions flat for 2019
Global energy-related CO2 emissions "flattened" in 2019 following two years of increases owing to greater use of renewables and an accelerating shift from coal to gas, the International Energy Agency said Tuesday. Electricity generation produced around 33 billion tonnes of CO2 last year, defying forecasts that emissions from power would continue their upward trend.
- Good news from the Financial World
More and more corporations are becoming leaders on climate policy. It doesn’t really matter that they are doing so because of concerns about the impacts of climate change on their bottom line or because consumers and employees are demanding action. What matters is keeping carbon out of the atmosphere.
- UPS orders 10,000 electric delivery trucks
The UPS deal implies that the base price of an Arrival van will be about £34,000, compared to a £27,900 sticker price for a new Ford Transit with an internal combustion engine – although with lower maintenance and fuel costs the total cost of ownership for electric vans could be lower.
- Parliamentary Budget Officer Sees Most Households Coming Out Ahead From Federal Carbon Price
Most households in provinces subject to the federal government’s backstop price on carbon will get more money back in rebates than they pay out in taxes, though less than Ottawa projected last year, the non-partisan Parliamentary Budget Officer concluded in a new analysis released this week.
- UK Petrol and diesel car sales ban brought forward to 2035
A ban on selling new petrol, diesel, or hybrid cars in the UK will be brought forward from 2040 to 2035 at the latest, under government plans.
- Danish electricity company to be carbon neutral by 2025
By 2025, Ørsted plans to be the first carbon neutral utility, as it rapidly scales up its wind power business and converts its coal plants to biomass.
- School kids brilliant rap video
Pupils at one small national school outside Bantry in west Cork have made a very impressive rap song and video talking about their concerns over climate change.