Edition for 14 February 2020

Top Stories

A Group of Big Businesses is Backing a Carbon Tax. Could It Be a Solution to Climate Change? (TIME)

  • The long list of big companies backing a carbon tax as a solution to climate change grew this week with financial giant J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. endorsing a legislative plan billed as a centrist approach to reducing emissions.
  • The announcement comes as the Climate Leadership Council (CLC), the organization behind the proposal, which was first released in 2017, redoubles efforts to promote the plan before an expected introduction in Congress as the conversation around various climate solutions heats up in Washington.
  • The CLC announced new backers—including former Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz and former UN climate chief Christiana Figueres—and released internal poll numbers showing bipartisan voter support for the plan.

The fastest way to cut carbon emissions? A ‘fee’ and a dividend, top leaders say. (Washington Post)

  • A group of prominent politicians, economists and corporate executives is renewing its push in Congress for a plan that would tax carbon and refund all the money to Americans in payments of approximately $2,000 a year for a family of four.
  • As congressional Republicans work to come up with a response to climate change, and Democratic primary voters are flagging climate as a top issue, the Climate Leadership Council believes it has an opportunity to win supporters from both sides of the aisle by seeking deep emissions cuts, relying on markets and eschewing regulations.
  • Are Republicans ‘coming out of the closet’ on climate change?

UN launches world’s biggest survey of public opinion on climate change (The Daily Star)

  • Celebrities and youth activists on Thursday met with UN officials, governments and civil society to launch Mission 1.5, a campaign that aims to bridge the gap between people and governments on ambitious climate action.
  • Mission 1.5 aims to give 20 million people around the world the opportunity to have their say on ways to limit climate change that they want to see adopted by government leaders.
  • The campaign is built around an internet and mobile-based video game, developed by UNDP alongside experts in game development, climate science and public polling, in which players take on the role of climate policymakers and make decisions to try to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius, according to a media release received from UNDP.

Deadly fires turn Australians into climate change converts, similar to California (LA Times)

  • The fires in Northern California’s wine country — followed by an even more deadly inferno in Paradise the following year — led many Californians to recognize that climate change was not some distant threat but an immediate catalyst of the state’s ever-more destructive blazes.
  • A January Ipsos poll of more than 1,000 Australians revealed the environment was their top concern, with most drawing a connection between climate change, drought and bushfires.
  • In November, before some of the country’s biggest fires had erupted, a survey of 1,400 residents by the Australian Institute, a progressive think tank, found two-thirds of participants considered climate change a national emergency.

Space mirrors, fake volcanoes: the radical plans to fix the climate (The Sydney Morning Herald)

  • But as the world teeters closer to climate catastrophe, it’s increasingly scientists, not super-villains, who are giving serious thought to these radical methods of cooling the planet.
  • Major scientific authorities, including the Royal Society of London and the UN's own Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), say we should at least canvass our options for hacking the planet - as an insurance policy if nothing else.
  • Others say it's time to be brave in the face of a ticking climate clock.

Kleinschmidt Associates Receives 2019 CCBJ Business Achievement Award for McBreach Software (Newswire.com)

  • Each year Climate Change Business Journal recognizes outstanding business performance in the climate change industry with the CCBJ Business Achievement Awards.
  • Faced with aging infrastructure, limited resources, dynamic weather events, and the uncertainty of climate change, today’s dam owners must manage risk to protect the public and the built environment.
  • Recognizing the importance of quantifying the risk but also the shortcomings of traditional deterministic methods for ascertaining the effects of a dam breach event, we introduced McBreach, a software application that runs HEC-RAS dam breach models in a Monte Carlo approach to quantify the high degree of uncertainty inherent in dam breach modeling and to provide a risk-based approach to understanding consequences.

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