Edition for 18 January 2020

Top Stories

Larry Fink’s letter to CEOs: Climate change finance goes mainstream, finally

  • BlackRock is now placing climate change at the center of its strategy.
  • This could as well be the climate change news of the decade.
  • For the past 10-15 years, all of us in the UN and sustainability field were trying to move climate change finance mainstream.

The kids' climate lawsuit just got thrown out

  • The case, had it not been thrown out, would have essentially put climate science on trial.
  • The three-judge panel, in a two-to-one majority decision, decided that the legal system isn't equipped to deal with such an unprecedented and far-reaching problem like climate change.
  • Judge Andrew D. Hurwitz conceded that the young plaintiffs "presented compelling evidence" that "the federal government has long promoted fossil fuel use despite knowing that it can cause catastrophic climate change..." Yet, Hurwitz concluded, "reluctantly," that need for ambitious governmental action must be taken by up by "the political branches of government" — meaning Congress and the president.

IRENA and UAE Ministry of Energy and Industry Sign MoU to Cooperate on Renewable Energy

  • We know it is possible,” he concluded, “but we must all move faster.” Additional investments bring significant external cost savings, including minimising significant losses caused by climate change as a result of inaction.
  • UNEP and its partners promote the development of renewable sources of energy and energy efficiency as part of the Sustainable Energy for All initiative and climate mitigation effort.
  • With the financial support from the International Climate Initiative, UNEP just concluded the Building capacity for enhancing bioenergy sustainability through the use of Global Bioenergy Partnership indicators project in Ethiopia and Kenya.

Microsoft’s ambitious ‘carbon negative’ climate goal sets it apart from Amazon and other tech giants

  • A wide-ranging environmental initiative unveiled by Microsoft this week represents some of the most aggressive goals that climate experts say they’ve seen.
  • Microsoft on Thursday pledged to become “carbon negative” by 2030, removing more carbon than it emits.
  • This “raises the bar for corporate climate commitments,” said Sue Reid, vice president of climate and energy for Boston-based Ceres, a nonprofit that promotes corporate environmental sustainability.

Who turned up the temperature? Climate change, heatwaves and wildfires

  • This trend is expected to continue because of record levels of heat-trapping greenhouse gases in the atmosphere that has caused our climate to change.
  • “The reality is that this is the world we live in with 1.1°C of warming,” says Niklas Hagelberg, a United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) climate change expert.
  • “These record temperatures, record heatwaves and record droughts are not anomalies but the wider trend of a changing climate.

Poll: Americans are more concerned now about climate change

  • The survey was conducted by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication and George Mason University’s Center for Climate Change Communication, which together have tracked Americans’ views on climate change since 2008.
  • The findings show that as the global climate changes rapidly, a growing proportion of Americans view the climate crisis as an actual crisis.
  • This new urgency felt by many Americans stands in sharp contrast to the policies of the Trump administration, which has rolled back dozens of environmental regulations, many of which were aimed at curbing climate change.

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