Edition for 16 April 2020

Top Stories

As coronavirus consumes world, Microsoft unveils biodiversity initiative to address challenges that will outlast COVID-19 (Geekwire)

  • Today’s move highlights Microsoft’s continued role as something of an environmental conscious for the corporate world.
  • In January, the Redmond, Wash.-based software and cloud behemoth committed to ambitious climate change goals that won experts’ praise and assured the company’s standing on the eco-leaderboard.
  • “The world needs greater access to data, to environmental data at a planetary scale if we’re going to be able to quickly assess, diagnose and then treat the natural systems that our human society depends so greatly upon,” said Microsoft Chief Environmental Officer Lucas Joppa on a live stream today.

Gas fields seven times more polluting than estimate, think tank says (The Sydney Morning Herald)

  • The true climate impact of new onshore gas exploration and extraction has been underestimated by as much as seven times because the Victorian government excluded emissions produced when the gas is burnt.
  • Last month's lifting of the long-standing moratorium on onshore exploration was welcomed by gas producers, unions and manufacturers, which had called for it to be abolished, but environment groups remain fiercely opposed, arguing onshore drilling will drive up greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Under Australia's carbon accounting methodology, emissions are counted where the fossil fuels are burnt, which, since much of our coal and gas is exported, is usually overseas.

U.S. conservatives who detest climate models add a new target: coronavirus models (Science)

  • Senator John Cornyn (R–TX), who has criticized the utility of climate models, is one of a number of high-profile conservative leaders now raising questions about models that attempt to forecast the coronavirus pandemic.
  • The group, which includes federal lawmakers, climate science deniers and conservative pundits with close White House connections, has even called for congressional hearings into the coronavirus modeling.
  • "After #COVID-19 crisis passes, could we have a good faith discussion about the uses and abuses of 'modeling' to predict the future?" Senator John Cornyn (R–TX) tweeted. "Everything from public health, to economic to climate predictions. It isn't the scientific method, folks."

Jay Inslee's Climate Team Dropped a Roadmap for a Post-Coronavirus Green Recovery (Gizmodo)

  • He’s got his hands full now with effectively managing the coronavirus outbreak, but the people behind his climate plan are back at it.
  • The 85-page plan shared with Earther borrows from Inslee as well as Elizabeth Warren’s expansive climate plans and has actions Congress and the president could take separately or in tandem.
  • The timing comes as presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden looks to make inroads with young, climate-first voters who are a little, uh, unenthused about his climate plan and Congress considers another stimulus to help Americans cope with the coronavirus.

Does it pay to green oil? (Corporate Knights)

  • Teck Resources’ decision to shelve its proposed Frontier oil sands mine prior to a federal permitting decision in February is seen by many as a clear signal to the country that a strategy is needed to ensure the oil and gas sector contributes to Canada’s climate change goals.
  • Canada needs “a framework in place that reconciles resource development and climate change, in order to produce the cleanest possible products,” wrote Teck’s CEO, Don Lindsay.
  • Essentially, the federal government will have to decide whether to provide financial support for the industry’s effort to cut its carbon footprint or rely only tougher regulations and a rising carbon price to achieve the same end.

Kairos Aerospace Secures $9 Million in Series C Funding to Expand Operations & Geographic Coverage (Business Wire Manufacturing News)

  • Kairos Aerospace, Inc. a leading provider of large-scale aerial monitoring of methane emissions, today announced the closing of a $9 million Series C funding round, led by OGCI Climate Investments (“CI”), new investor John Crane, a Smiths Group company, and Energy Innovation Capital (“EIC”).
  • The company will use the funds to expand operations and grow the geographic footprint of methane emissions monitoring.
  • We’ve seen significant growth in the past year as we made substantial impacts for our customers, enabling them to enhance their operational excellence and sustainability.

Keppel signs $10 million partnership with the Energy Market Authority to find new energy solutions (Straits Times)

  • Keppel Offshore and Marine (O&M) has signed a $10 million partnership with the Energy Market Authority (EMA) to develop new innovations in the areas of distributed energy resources, digitalisation and emerging low carbon alternatives.
  • "These solutions should seek to reduce overall energy usage and carbon footprint while enhancing overall operational efficiency," they added.
  • We are seeking solutions that incorporate the use of cleaner energy, optimise energy consumption and reduce carbon emissions.

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