Edition for 17 February 2020

Top Stories

Climate change could make premiums unaffordable: QBE Insurance (Channel News Asia)

  • Australia's QBE Insurance Group said on Monday climate change could make some premiums unaffordable, especially for customers exposed to extreme weather events, and was a "material risk" for its operations across the globe.
  • The insurer said it has started to adjust its catastrophe models to factor in the expected impacts of climate change until 2100, and would assess the impact on its weather-related exposures from emissions and temperatures.

Oilsands firms see trend of benefits from emission cutting targets, observers say (Global News)

  • In one of his last interactions with reporters before retiring as CEO of Calgary-based Imperial Oil Ltd., veteran oilman Rich Kruger was typically plain-spoken when asked about the carbon footprint of the oilsands.
  • “We reduced the carbon intensity of every barrel we produce in the oilsands by about 20 per cent over the last five years.
  • Asked about rival Suncor Energy Inc.’s just-announced plan to build a $300-million wind power project in southern Alberta, and Spanish energy giant Repsol’s intention to invest in low-carbon electricity generation to get to net zero emissions by 2050, Kruger said his company isn’t interested in spending just to appear to be more environmentally sensitive.

NY Times Delivers Page One Climate Lecture, Demanding Radical Change in Australia (NewsBusters)

  • The front of Sunday’s New York Times featured yet another wildfire-spread climate lecture from Australia bureau chief Damien Cave.
  • This alarmism was labeled a “Reporter’s Notebook,” but Cave wasn't reporting but pleading with his unfortunate subjects to radically reorganize their lives in the name of “climate change.” The online headline deck: “The End of Australia as We Know It -- What many of us have witnessed this fire season feels alive and monstrous.
  • Fueled by climate change and the world’s refusal to address it, the fires that have burned across Australia are not just destroying lives, or turning forests as large as nations into ashen moonscapes.

Shipping pollution regulations 'could harm food chain' (Guardian)

  • Use of ‘scrubbers’ to cut air pollution increases pollutants pumped into sea, UN report says.
  • New shipping pollution regulations introduced earlier this year could harm humans by contaminating fish and crustaceans with toxins, according to an internal report compiled by the International Maritime Organization and obtained by the Guardian.
  • In its report, the IMO says “carrying out a preliminary risk assessment [on the PAH emissions from scrubbers] was not possible considering the available information” and warns that “secondary poisoning (via consumption of seafood) had been mentioned as a likely exposure route for humans”.
  • “We don’t know if this will be a health crisis in 20 or 30 years, because proper research just hasn’t been done.” A spokeswoman for CLIA said: “Cruise lines are committed to environmental stewardship and have invested more than £16bn in ships with new technologies and cleaner fuels to reduce air emissions and achieve greater energy efficiencies.

Like a 'second wife': Wind energy gives American farmers a new crop to sell in tough times (USA Today)

  • It's that way across the Midwest, said Kerri Johannsen, energy program director with the Iowa Environmental Council.
  • Kansas is expected to have 40 wind farms by the end of this year, said Dorothy Barnett, executive director of the Climate + Energy Project, a non-profit clean energy organization in Hutchinson, Kansas.

Erdoğan’s ‘crazy project': new Istanbul canal to link Black and Marmara Seas (Guardian)

  • Critics – who include the mayor of Istanbul – warn of a great environmental cost, including the potential ecological destruction of the Marmara Sea.
  • The Turkish government finalised the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for Kanal Istanbul, declaring it did not foresee any issues with the project.
  • Erdoğan has said there is no alternative to the Kanal İstanbul project for limiting traffic through the Bosphorus, and claimed all appropriate environmental and technical surveys have been undertaken.

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