Edition for 15 February 2020

Top Stories

AllianzGI pushes for more climate data ahead of AGM season (Reuters)

  • German fund manager Allianz Global Investors is pushing every company it invests in to improve their climate-related disclosures ahead of the season for annual shareholder meetings.
  • Allianz GI, which manages 557 billion euros ($605.18 billion) as part of insurer Allianz, said it had updated its Global Corporate Governance Guidelines and would push companies to do more to manage what it said was a critical risk.
  • Specifically, it wants every company to use the Taskforce for Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) framework for assessing the impact of climate risk on their business, an initiative kick-started by the Financial Stability Board.

Delta Air Lines vows to become carbon neutral by the end of the decade (LA Times)

  • Delta Air Lines announced an ambitious plan Friday to invest at least $1 billion over the next decade to become carbon neutral, a move that comes as the air-travel industry faces pressure from the public and investors to become more environmentally friendly.
  • Chief Executive Ed Bastian said in a news release that the initiative will start March 1, and will focus on harnessing clean flight technologies and carbon-emission reduction, among other things.
  • Delta will also continue to invest in carbon-offset programs — rebuilding forestry and other natural habitats that may be damaged from jet-engine emissions — but hopefully on a more limited basis, according to the release.

Some flyers buy ‘carbon offsets’ to atone for air travel climate sins. But does that do any good? (Chicago Tribune)

  • Having grown up with parents who encouraged recycling, Jenny Beightol has always been aware of her environmental impact.
  • This has led to soul searching, because scientists say that planes account for about 2.5% of global carbon dioxide production, which contributes to climate change.
  • To ease her guilt, Beightol buys “carbon offsets," which allow her to invest in environmental projects as a way of compensating for the greenhouse gas emissions associated with her flights.

Mekong activists present case against Laos dam (Bangkok Post)

  • Environmental activists have submitted more evidence to the Supreme Administrative Court that the Xayaburi dam is cutting Mekong River levels, threatening fish ecology and reducing catch sizes downstream in Thailand.
  • Mr Channarong works for a local environmental group in Loei, one of eight Mekong-rimmed provinces where villagers earn a living from the river's fish.
  • He and fellow activists from Chiang Rai, Nong Khai, Beung Kan, Nakhon Phanom, Mukdahan, Ubon Ratchathani and Amnat Charoen want the court to impose an injunction on purchase of the dam's electricity until further study of its environmental impacts is conducted.

Climate summit calls for urgent action after Australia's fire-hit summer (Guardian)

  • Forceful declaration calls for governments to set short-term zero emissions target to avoid catastrophic warming.
  • The megafires of Australia’s summer “are a harbinger of life and death on a hotter Earth”, a climate summit has said in a forceful declaration for urgent and dramatic climate action.
  • The Climate Emergency Summit, held in Melbourne this week and of which Guardian Australia was a partner, released a declaration saying the warming world was a clear threat to Australian society and civilisation.
  • “The climate is already dangerous – in Australia and the Antarctic, in Asia and the Pacific – right around the world.

Climate change will make animal-borne diseases more challenging to predict (PRI)

  • Fair argues that by shifting animal habitats, climate change will also make the opportunities for disease spillover more frequent.
  • “Everything is sort of shifting and will shift into the future as the environment changes through climate change,” Fair said.
  • Scientists, including climatologists and epidemiologists on Fair’s team at Los Alamos, are beginning to model how changes to the climate will impact the spread of infectious diseases.

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