Edition for 30 January 2020

Top Stories

Fed has a role in combating climate change risk, Powell says (Reuters)

  • While the overall U.S. response to climate change is up to elected officials, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said on Wednesday, the Fed can play a part in keeping global warming from destabilizing U.S. banks and financial markets.
  • “The public has every right to expect and will expect that we will ensure that the financial system is resilient and robust against the risks of climate change,” Powell said at a news conference following the Fed’s January meeting.
  • Scientists say human-generated carbon dioxide is a key cause of global warming that has exacerbated wildfire seasons, helped spawn increasingly destructive hurricanes, and initiated a rise in sea level that threatens coastlines around the world.

The Guardian continues to lead the way on climate change policy, and will no longer run oil or gas ads (Nieman Journalism Lab)

  • The Guardian has been steps ahead of any other major news organization in terms of the way it thinks about its coverage of climate change — which it actually now refers to as “climate emergency, crisis, or breakdown” — as an organization.
  • Five years ago, it divested oil, coal, and gas companies from its investment fund, it’s vowed to achieve net zero emissions by 2030 and got certified as a B corporation, and on Wednesday it continued the trend: It announced it will no longer accept advertising from oil or gas companies in any of its properties, digital or print.
  • “Our decision is based on the decades-long efforts by many in [the fossil fuels industry] to prevent meaningful climate action by governments around the world,” the Guardian’s acting CEO Anna Bateson and chief revenue officer Hamish Nicklin said in a joint statement.

By law, Queensland government may have duty to fight climate change (The Sydney Morning Herald)

  • Legal, academic and environmental experts are discussing scenarios that put Queensland - which now boasts a Human Rights Act - at the centre of new rights-based climate litigation.
  • With the potential for Queensland’s coal deposits to contribute to global climate change, a climate change case could have national and international consequences.
  • The case, which had been tried in lower courts on its way up to the Dutch Supreme Court, was the first in the world in which citizens established that their government had a legal duty to prevent serious climate change.

Even the 'optimistic' climate change forecast is catastrophic (Mashable)

  • This 3C train we're riding is the most plausible "business as usual" warming scenario — meaning how much warming will likely occur with still insufficient plans to cut our prodigious carbon emissions — say climate researchers in a new commentary published Wednesday in the journal Nature.
  • "A 3C world will have catastrophic impacts for some, the loss of islands, corals, Arctic sea ice, some land glaciers, and not to mention changes in extreme weather," said Glen Peters, the research director at the Center for International Climate and Environmental Research (CICERO) in Oslo, Norway, and an author of the commentary.

Publishers are broadening their climate change coverage with new products (Digiday)

  • Publishers are bolstering their efforts to cover climate change, launching sub-brands, newsletters, dedicated print editions and hosting events.
  • Over the past 12 months or so several publishers have made big bets on engaging in climate coverage.
  • During September’s United Nations Climate Summit in New York many media companies embraced reporting on the environmental topic.

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