Edition for 05 March 2020

Top Stories

E.U. Proposes a Climate Law. Greta Thunberg Hears ‘Empty Words.’ (NY Times)

  • The bill would set a target of net zero carbon emissions across the bloc by 2050.
  • The European Union laid out plans on Wednesday for a climate law that would set a target of net zero carbon emissions across the bloc by 2050.
  • But the bill, part of a wider policy package called the Green Deal, was immediately criticized by climate activists, including Greta Thunberg, who denounced it as “empty words.” Many activists had called on the bloc to set a 2030 target, and to specify now how it would be achieved.

How central banks should think about climate change (FT)

  • The first approach is to build the basic economics of climate change — the many “negative externalities” of carbon emissions — into standard central bank analysis.
  • As finance is “greened” and investors differentiate between investments that help or hurt the decarbonisation effort, they can also measure the difference in financing costs between “green” and “brown” activities. Call it the “green spread”.
  • So long as it achieves price stability, the euro’s central bank is treaty-bound to support the economic policies of the EU, which includes sustainable development, the European “green deal” and, soon, a legal commitment to carbon-neutrality by 2050.

What Does Climate Adaptation Look Like? (NRDC)

  • Climate adaptation encompasses a wide array of actions that help people and nature cope with the present-day harms of climate disruption and minimize future harms.
  • Ideally, adaptation allows us to move beyond just surviving the climate crisis to thriving in a fundamentally new world.
  • To thrive in a climate-changed world, humans must do something that doesn’t come naturally: Plan for an uncertain and potentially unrecognizable future.

Analysis shows climate finance not reaching most vulnerable (Guardian)

  • Funding is intended to help countries protect their people from the climate breakdown.
  • People in some of the world’s poorest countries are receiving as little as $1 each a year to help them cope with the impacts of the climate crisis, despite rich countries’ promises to provide assistance.
  • Climate finance is intended to help developing countries cut greenhouse gases and protect their people from the consequences of climate breakdown, and forms a core part of the Paris agreement.
  • Last week the UK unveiled its strategy for providing climate finance as part of its presidency of Cop26, this year’s vital UN climate summit being held in November in Glasgow.

Tropical forests losing their ability to absorb carbon, study finds (Guardian)

  • Tropical forests are taking up less carbon dioxide from the air, reducing their ability to act as “carbon sinks” and bringing closer the prospect of accelerating climate breakdown.
  • The Amazon could turn into a source of carbon in the atmosphere, instead of one of the biggest absorbers of the gas, as soon as the next decade, owing to the damage caused by loggers and farming interests and the impacts of the climate crisis, new research has found.
  • If that happens, climate breakdown is likely to become much more severe in its impacts, and the world will have to cut down much faster on carbon-producing activities to counteract the loss of the carbon sinks.

Nestle vows to plant 3 million trees in Mexico, Brazil to help set off emissions (Reuters)

  • Nestle SA is launching a reforestation project to plant at least 3 million trees in Mexico and Brazil in the next year and a half as the Swiss food group strives for carbon neutrality by 2050, executives told Reuters.
  • Nestle is one of a number of major corporations including Microsoft (MSFT.O) and Amazon (AMZN.O) that have taken on ambitious targets to reduce carbon emissions, often in response to growing demands from customers and investors to step up efforts to combat climate change.
  • In September, Nestle signed a United Nations-backed pledge aimed at limiting global temperature rise and said it would adjust its business to prioritize renewable energy, alternative packaging materials and carbon absorption.

Hannon Armstrong Releases 2019 Annual Report and CEO Letter (Business Wire Energy News)

  • There are so many positive developments in the burgeoning climate solutions market.
  • We see the transportation sector shifting to electric vehicles, which, when combined with lower carbon electricity sources, demonstrates a compelling decarbonization trend.
  • In agriculture, the successful IPO of Beyond Meat affirms the potential to provide the world the protein it needs, at a fraction of the carbon cost of traditional agriculture.

The Climate Sentinel is an AI-powered news assistant for ESG investors and those concerned about climate change, corporate social responsibility, and related topics. Learn more.

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