Edition for 10 February 2020

Top Stories

Satellites are helping the municipal-bond market assess climate risk (The Seattle Times)

  • The $3.8 trillion municipal-bond market has found a new tool in its effort to understand the impact of climate change: the array of satellites orbiting high above Earth.
  • Assessing climate risks is a particularly vexing problem given that U.S. state and local governments tend to give investors information that’s often too little or just too late.
  • But the use of geospatial data and information from sources like Google Earth could help municipal-bond investors evaluate and price the risks posed from a warming climate, rising sea levels and natural disasters.

Fires and floods: maps of Europe predict scale of climate catastrophe (Guardian)

  • If emissions exceed 4C, France, southern Germany, the Balkans and the Arctic Circle could experience a greatly increased fire risk.
  • While the climate data has been published before, this is the first time the EU-agency has presented it using detailed maps on one site.
  • The Copenhagen-based agency hopes the maps will reach decision-makers in governments and EU institutions, who would not usually read a lengthy EEA report on the impact of the climate emergency.

Zali Steggall to unveil climate change bill and push for a conscience vote for MPs (Guardian)

  • The woman who toppled Tony Abbott at the last election on a platform of climate change action now has the whole parliament in her sights as she seeks bipartisan support for a climate change framework bill aimed at transitioning Australia to a decarbonised economy.
  • Zali Steggall – along with her fellow crossbenchers Rebekah Sharkie, Helen Haines and Andrew Wilkie – will release the climate change national framework for adaption and mitigation bill on Monday, ahead of its introduction to the parliament in March.
  • However, the crossbench faces an uphill battle, with Scott Morrison declaring just last week he would not be “bullied’ into more action on climate change.

Putin’s Top Climate Adviser Calls for Urgent Climate Action (The Moscow Times)

  • President Vladimir Putin's senior adviser on climate change has called for Russia to take urgent action toward climate change, including taking more substantive steps to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels.
  • “On a global scale, they contribute to greenhouse gas emissions.
  • While Putin has signed decrees aimed at cutting Russia’s emissions, he has also said that switching entirely to renewable energy would send humanity back to the prehistoric period and maintained that “we're not really sure” why climate change is happening.

East Africa: Next Locust Swarms Airborne in 3 to 4 Weeks, UN Warns (AllAfrica News)

  • Climate change-driven rain has triggered "unprecedented" breeding, says UN chief Antonio Guterres.
  • UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, speaking in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, as an African Union (AU) summit kicked off, said Saturday: "There is a link between climate change and the unprecedented locust crisis plaguing Ethiopia and East Africa."
  • Climate experts point to a rain-bearing cyclone that reached Somalian waters in December.

Protesters leave British Museum after two-day action over BP sponsorship (Independent.ie)

  • Crowds of supporters could be heard cheering and clapping as the activists delivered speeches on climate change.
  • Malou den Dekker, 24, told PA news agency: “The issue of sponsorship is dear to my heart because the way that fossil fuel companies are allowed to make themselves look good in our cultural spaces is really outrageous during our time of climate crisis.

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