Edition for 01 February 2020

Top Stories

A new roadmap shows how the U.S. could be carbon-neutral by 2050 (Science News)

  • Tree restoration, such as adding a managed forest canopy to shelter crops (shown), is part of a new report’s roadmap for the United States to become carbon-neutral by 2050.
  • USFS staff at the USDA National Agroforestry Center; creative commons.org The United States can reduce its carbon footprint to zero by 2050 — but only if the country invests swiftly and deeply in emerging technologies that draw carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.
  • Federal funding of a range of carbon removal technologies, amounting to as much as $6 billion per year over the next 10 years, could put the U.S. on a path toward carbon neutrality by mid-century, according to a report released January 31 by the World Resources Institute, based in Washington, D.C.

Expert Reactions to IPCC Oceans & Cryosphere Report (Climate Nexus)

  • Taken together, these changes show that the world’s ocean and cryosphere have been taking the heat for climate change for decades.
  • The IPCC report paints a gloomy picture of the impacts of climate change on the ocean — an ocean that is warmer, more acidic and less productive — and the dire consequences for our own well being.

Sustainability charge for meat debated in European Parliament as new report urges price hikes by 2022 (FoodIngredients First)

  • “We ought to encourage and incentivize the production and consumption of plant-based foods if we are serious about addressing the environmental crisis we are in,” Sebastian Joy, CEO, ProVeg International tells FoodIngredientsFirst.
  • “Animal agriculture is a leading cause of climate change, deforestation, species extinction, habitat loss, water consumption and pollution.
  • We want the revenues to help farmers to invest in more sustainable agricultural practices and to help lower the prices of more sustainable plant-based foods.” The report was written by the TAPP Coalition, which comprises leading farming, health, and environmental organizations and will be debated by MEPs on Wednesday, February 5.

Climate change: UK sacks its UN conference president (BBC News)

  • These are external links and will open in a new window In a surprise move, the woman appointed to run the crucial UN climate summit in Glasgow in November has been sacked.
  • Claire Perry O'Neill, a former climate minister, had been assigned the post of "president" of the event, known as COP 26.
  • And in a sharp dig at No 10's green credentials, she also added: "A shame we haven't had one climate cabinet meeting since we formed."

What Are the Democratic Candidates’ Climate Proposals for Black America? (Slate)

  • In 2018, when Hurricane Florence caused flooding in Cheraw, contaminated soil containing elevated levels of cancer-causing PCBs from an Environmental Protection Agency Superfund site flushed into people’s homes.
  • It’s a straightforward statement of fact that climate change is among the biggest imminent threats to humankind—and Black communities such as those in South Carolina are going to take a disproportionate hit.
  • Contamination, sweltering days, and rising sea levels that drown out the low country are among the issues that have made South Carolina “somewhat of a hot spot in terms of environmental issues,” said Brenda Murphy, the president of the state’s chapter of the NAACP.

EIB: Standard-bearer of sustainable finance (GlobalCapital)

  • For well over a decade, the cornerstone of the European Investment Bank’s sustainability funding policy has been the conviction that the financial services industry has a pivotal role to play in spearheading the battle against climate change.
  • As the EU’s climate bank, it has also consistently recognised its responsibility for developing best practice, which in turn helps promote enhanced environmental and social standards across the global financial community.
  • In the international capital market, this leadership dates back to 2007, with the inaugural Climate Awareness Bond, the world’s first green bond.

RCP 8.5: Business-as-usual or a worst-case scenario? (Climate Nexus)

  • In the characterization of climate change projections, there is debate over whether the climate change scenario RCP 8.5 represents a “business as usual” scenario, a “high emissions” scenario, or a “worst-case” scenario.
  • Further, there are questions about whether RCP 8.5 is consistent with the current trajectory of emissions and whether RCP 8.5 represents the alternate pathway offered by those world leaders championing the use of fossil fuels.
  • Parsing of the various views may conclude that the temperatures encountered on the current business-as-usual path would likely fall short but come very close to the temperatures projected by RCP 8.5, particularly if the carbon warming feedbacks expected on the business-as-usual path come to pass.

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