Edition for 31 March 2020

Top Stories

Barclays sets 2050 'net zero' carbon goal after investor pressure (Reuters)

  • Barclays, one of the biggest lenders in Europe to the fossil fuel industry, on Monday set itself a target to reach “net zero” for its own carbon emissions and the activities it finances by 2050.
  • While Barclays stopped short of committing to that aim, calling its net zero target an “ambition”, it said it was nevertheless committed to aligning financing activities with the goals and timelines of the Paris Agreement on climate.
  • Investors, politicians and activists have turned their focus towards the role the banking system plays in financing fossil fuels as a way to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy.

Finnish government pushes Fortum to strive for carbon neutrality (Channel News Asia)

  • Finland's center-left government on Monday gave its blessing to majority state-owned Fortum's strategy to cut emissions, but promised to push the company further towards carbon neutrality, the minister in charge wrote.
  • The minister in charge of the Finnish government's ownership steering group, Tytti Tuppurainen, rejected WWF Finland's proposal to include the Paris climate deal's goal of maximum 1.5 degree Celsius temperature rise in Fortum's articles of association.

In Tackling the Carbon Footprint of Oil Majors, Digital Technologies Could be Key (BloombergNEF)

  • As oil companies set more aggressive targets for reducing emissions, digital technologies might prove invaluable for Scope 1 and 2 emissions.
  • Oil majors appear to want to trap fugitive methane emissions first to show that they are taking their carbon footprint seriously.
  • Members of the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI) set a target of bringing 2025 methane emissions to a 0.25% intensity (the percentage of leaked gas to total gas sales), one-fifth lower than the 2017 levels.

Campaigners attack Japan's 'shameful' climate plans release (Guardian)

  • Japan has laid out its plans to tackle greenhouse gas emissions under the Paris agreement in the run-up to UN climate talks this year, becoming the first large economy to do so.
  • But its proposals were criticised by campaigners as grossly inadequate, amid fears the Covid-19 crisis could prompt countries to try to water down their climate commitments.
  • The UK, which will host the talks, hopes every country will produce renewed targets on curbing emissions and achieving net zero carbon by 2050.

Farmers frustrated with federal decision to move forward with carbon tax increase amid pandemic (Global News)

  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the government will move forward with its plan to increase the carbon tax to $30 per tonne from $20 on April 1.
  • “We know that we need to do things to make sure that we’re both supporting families through ordinary times and through difficult times and moving forward on continuing the fight against climate change, which remains even at a time of immediate crisis and pandemic,” Trudeau said.
  • Farmers in Western Canada have been fighting the carbon tax since it was implemented.

‘Hydrogen Economy’ Offers Promising Path to Decarbonization (BloombergNEF)

  • Use of clean hydrogen can help address the toughest third of global greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, but only if net-zero emission goals and policies are set Sydney and London, March 30, 2020 – The falling cost of making hydrogen from wind and solar power offers a promising route to cutting emissions in some of the most fossil fuel dependent sectors of the economy, such as steel, heavy-duty vehicles, shipping and cement.
  • Hydrogen Economy Outlook, a new and independent global study from research firm BloombergNEF (BNEF), finds that clean hydrogen could be deployed in the decades to come to cut up to 34% of global greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels and industry – at a manageable cost.
  • But for its use to have net environmental benefits, it must be produced from clean sources, rather than from unabated fossil fuel processes – the usual method at present.

Singapore, Japanese companies tie up to explore hydrogen as energy source (Straits Times)

  • Five Singapore and two Japanese companies on Monday (March 30) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to develop ways to use hydrogen as a low-carbon energy source in the city-state.
  • PSA International South-east Asia chief executive officer (CEO) Ong Kim Pong said lowering carbon emissions to reduce the impact of climate change is a vital pillar of the company's business.
  • City Gas CEO Kenny Tan added that the company is studying the viability of using green hydrogen in its town gas manufacturing process to further lower carbon emissions.

Mitsubishi Electric Begins Developing the GOSAT-GW Satellite for Greenhouse Gases and Water Cycle Observation (Business Wire Manufacturing News)

  • Mitsubishi Electric Corporation announced today that it has been designated by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) as the contractor of the Global Observing SATellite for Greenhouse gases and Water cycle (GOSAT-GW), the third in the GOSAT series, and has already initiated development activities.
  • GOSAT-GW will have two missions: greenhouse gases observation for Japan’s Ministry of the Environment and the National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES), and water-cycle observation for JAXA.
  • By developing the GOSAT-GW satellite, Mitsubishi Electric will contribute to measures for preventing disasters attributed to global warming and climate change, and to advance scientific and technological methods that enable more accurate prediction of climate change.

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