Edition for 17 April 2020

Top Stories

Shell sets emission ambition of net zero by 2050, with customer help (Reuters)

  • Royal Dutch Shell on Thursday laid out the oil and gas sector’s most extensive strategy yet to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050, stating its plans depended on its customers also mitigating emissions.
  • Chief Executive Ben van Beurden told investors the crisis would not distract it from the company’s shift to low-carbon energy as it braces for “a complete overhaul” over the next 30 years.
  • “We aim to be a net-zero emissions energy business by 2050 or sooner,” van Beurden said.

Shell unveils plans to become net-zero carbon company by 2050 (Guardian)

  • Firm to cut carbon intensity by selling more green energy but critics say first step must be to stop new drilling.
  • Royal Dutch Shell plans to become a net zero-carbon company by 2050 or sooner by selling more green energy to help reduce the carbon intensity of its business.
  • "Society’s expectations have shifted quickly in the debate around climate change."
  • Shell now needs to go further with our own ambitions, which is why we aim to be a net-zero emissions energy business by 2050 or sooner.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' 2020 letter to shareholders puts coronavirus concerns front and center — read the full letter here (Business Insider)

  • While Amazon's COVID-19 relief efforts were the main highlight in Bezos' 2020 letter to shareholders, he also discussed other initiatives, like the retail giant's efforts to combat climate change and create jobs in the United States.
  • Last year, we co-founded The Climate Pledge with Christiana Figueres, the UN's former climate change chief and founder of Global Optimism, and became the first signatory to the pledge.
  • The pledge commits Amazon to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement 10 years early—and be net zero carbon by 2040.

Increasing resilience to climate change is good development policy (World Bank)

  • Here’s insight #11 – on how investments to improve resilience to climate change can have big payoffs in development outcomes.
  • See all previous insights here: Thirteen insights for successful development policies Scientific and economic research over the past decade has provided increased understanding of the threats that climate change poses for inclusive economic progress and poverty reduction.
  • Without strong counter-measures, climate change impacts will exacerbate poverty and inequality in developing countries and make escape from poverty considerably more difficult.

ABS Unveils Latest Trends and Projections for Future Fuels and Decarbonization (Business Wire Transport News)

  • Low Carbon Shipping Outlook Suggests Industry Will Need to Do More to Meet GHG Targets
  • ABS has published the latest trends and projections on carbon-reduction strategies for shipping as the industry looks to meet decarbonization ambitions.
  • Setting the Course to Low Carbon Shipping examines new fuels, technologies and operational measures and matches that with forecasts for the world’s key trade lanes to envision what shipping may look like in 2030 and 2050.

How We Can Build a Hardier World After the Coronavirus (The New Yorker)

  • Mary Annaïse Heglar is one of the freshest and most important voices in the climate movement.
  • Her personal essays—most of which revolve around themes of climate justice—are some of the most engaging writing I know on a subject that often inspires earnestness; a recent favorite was in Wired magazine.
  • The science on climate change has been crystal clear for literally decades.

Climate-Driven Megadrought Is Emerging in Western U.S., Says Study (Earth Institute)

  • With the western United States and northern Mexico suffering an ever-lengthening string of dry years starting in 2000, scientists have been warning for some time that climate change may be pushing the region toward an extreme long-term drought worse than any in recorded history.
  • "We now have enough observations of current drought and tree-ring records of past drought to say that we’re on the same trajectory as the worst prehistoric droughts."
  • Reliable modern observations date only to about 1900, but tree rings have allowed scientists to infer yearly soil moisture for centuries before humans began influencing climate.
  • Since temperatures are projected to keep rising, it is likely the drought will continue for the foreseeable future; or fade briefly only to return, say the researchers.

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