Edition for 04 February 2020

Top Stories

Coal advocates clash with Coalition colleagues in climate dispute (The Sydney Morning Herald)

  • Nationals MPs have clashed with their Liberal colleagues over climate change policy and the need for a new coal-fired power station in another sign of the tension within the Morrison government over calls for action in the wake of the summer bushfires.
  • Former Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce led calls to reject pressure for stronger action on climate change at a Coalition party room meeting soon after he lost a leadership spill against Nationals leader Michael McCormack.
  • Nationals MP George Christensen and former Deputy PM Barnaby Joyce both spoke up about the need to push back against stronger climate action.
  • Outspoken Queensland Nationals MP George Christensen provoked some of the Liberals at the meeting by dismissing the need for further action on climate change on the grounds the issue was only of interest to Greens voters in the inner suburbs of the major cities.

Nasdaq Acquires OneReport to Accelerate Delivery of ESG Reporting and Workflow Solution to Corporate Clients (GlobeNewswire)

  • Nasdaq, Inc. (Nasdaq: NDAQ) announced today the acquisition of OneReport, Inc. (“OneReport”), a privately-held provider of corporate responsibility and environmental, social, and governance (ESG) data management and reporting services.
  • OneReport will accelerate the delivery of Nasdaq’s recently-announced ESG reporting and workflow solution, to be named Nasdaq OneReport.
  • “Nasdaq OneReport will broaden our strategic engagement and collaboration with issuers who are seeking clarity on ESG reporting,” said Nelson Griggs, President of the Nasdaq Stock Exchange.

British aviation industry outlines plans for net-zero emissions by 2050 (Reuters)

  • Britain’s aviation industry has set out plans to reach a target of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, even with the building of a third runway at Heathrow airport which is expected to drive up flight numbers.
  • But the industry, which accounts for around 7% of Britain’s emissions, says it will also offset its own emissions by funding reductions elsewhere.
  • Carbon offset projects can include planting trees or helping to fund renewable power projects such as wind or solar in developing countries.

Can We Have Prosperity Without Growth? (The New Yorker)

  • The critique of economic growth, once a fringe position, is gaining widespread attention in the face of the climate crisis.
  • On the left, increasing alarm about climate change and other environmental threats has given birth to the “degrowth” movement, which calls on advanced countries to embrace zero or even negative G.D.P.
  • At a United Nations climate-change summit in September, the teen-age Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg declared, “We are in the beginning of a mass extinction, and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth.

The Energy 202: Big businesses face pressure to avoid investing in areas Trump wants to develop (Washington Post)

  • "The scale of your banks' assets individually, let alone together, give you the ability to drive change in protecting the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and in shifting towards a U.S. financial sector that effectively analyzes and plans for climate risks," the group of a senators, led by Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), told Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase and six other banks in a letter sent last Thursday.
  • The lawmakers' push comes amid heightened attention among investors about how climate change will impact the bottom lines of corporations in which they have a stake.
  • The world's largest asset management firm, BlackRock, said last month it would divest from coal burned in power plants and make climate change a "defining factor" of its investing strategy.

UMC Leads all Semiconductor Foundries with CDP “Leadership Level” Designation on Global Climate Change Assessment (Business Wire Technology News)

  • UMC became the only semiconductor foundry worldwide to receive this award from CDP, which is currently the most widely recognized carbon, water, forest and other natural resource management disclosure system for global companies.
  • CDP has a high degree of indexation, with close to 8,400 companies actively participating in this year's CDP-sponsored climate change project, the highest in years.
  • In addition, UMC reduced fluorine-containing greenhouse gases by 1.285 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) in 2018, which is equivalent to the carbon absorption of approximately 254 of New York’s Central Park.

Virginia has the chance to become a national leader on climate policy (Washington Post)

  • Introduced in December, the legislation came under immediate attack from left-wing activists who questioned its reliance on market-based — that is, cost-effective — mechanisms to cut carbon pollution.
  • The bill would embrace the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a program among Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states that caps their emissions by putting an effective price on releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

New petrol and diesel vehicles sales ban in UK from 2035 (BBC News)

  • The change is being made to help Britain achieve virtually zero carbon emissions by the middle of the century.
  • The policy will be unveiled at an event to launch Glasgow's hosting of a United Nations climate summit in November.
  • The former Conservative government minister said: “The cabinet sub-committee on climate that you promised to chair, and which I was to attend, has not met once.

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