Edition for 15 March 2020

Top Stories

Risk and reward in decarbonising NSW economy, says chief scientist (The Sydney Morning Herald)

  • Shifting NSW's $600 billion economy towards net zero carbon emissions will generate many opportunities as new industries emerge, but also require careful policy co-ordination and communication.
  • As part of a Decarbonisation Innovation Study, NSW Chief Scientist and Engineer Hugh Durrant-Whyte said climate change was "one of the most significant global challenges of the 21st century - posing risks to existing industries, communities and ecosystem", according to a scoping paper obtained by the Herald.
  • Hugh Durrant-Whyte, NSW Chief Scientist and Engineer, has been leading a panel examining the opportunities and challenges of shifting the state's economy towards net zero carbon emissions.

South Africa: Flat Batteries - Eskom Risks Another Default On World Bank Loan (AllAfrica News)

  • Technical, social and environmental assessments for the selected sites have been made and Eskom has "substantially advanced" discussions with the market.
  • But it said that it was committed to reducing its emissions and had a "comprehensive" climate change strategy.
  • Eskom's Investment Support Project, co-financed by the World Bank , was extended to assist Eskom to finalise critical infrastructure, that will improve the operational performance of Medupi, install battery storage facilities to improve network stability and finalise the Majuba Railway, to enhance power supply in a sustainable manner and support South Africa's long-term carbon mitigation.

Commentary: Half of the world’s sandy beaches could disappear in 80 years (Channel News Asia)

  • Up to half of the world’s sandy beaches are at risk of disappearing by the end of this century if no action is taken to limit greenhouse gas emissions.
  • That’s according to a new study, published in Nature Climate Change.
  • Even assuming a better outcome for action on climate change, where global emissions peak around 2040, well over one-third of the world’s beaches would be lost by 2100.

Mark Carney: What legacy will he leave the Bank of England? (BBC News)

  • The governor has consistently highlighted the threat to the financial system from climate change.
  • Mr Carney and other global leaders have been trying to get companies to calculate their exposure to climate risks.
  • It's a drive he will continue in his new role as UN special envoy for climate action and finance.

Warmest winter on record gives way to extra-early signs of spring (CBSNews)

  • In parts of the Southeast, this year's spring bloom is the earliest in the 39-year record, according to the National Phenology Network, an organization that studies the impact of climate on nature's cycles.
  • "Climate change is certainly at play — there is a clear trend toward an earlier start to spring," Crimmins said.
  • A 2015 study led by Cornell University's Dr. Toby Ault found a regional trend in earlier "leaf out,"  indicated by the orange colors in the map below, by up to 1.6 days per decade due to a warming climate on top of natural fluctuations.

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