Edition for 20 April 2020

Top Stories

Sumitomo Mitsui and Mizuho to end lending for new coal-fired plants (Japan Times)

  • Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. said Thursday it would no longer lend to new coal-fired power plants from May 1, a day after peer Mizuho Financial Group Inc. said it would stop financing new power projects involving the fossil fuel.
  • The policy change comes as the sector faces pressure from activist investors and environmental groups to help mitigate climate change.
  • Mizuho said Wednesday it would halve its ¥300 billion ($2.8 billion) in loans to coal power projects by 2030 and then to zero by 2050.

Coronavirus accelerates decline of slumping coal industry (CityNews Toronto)

  • Coal demand has tanked over the past decade amid competition from cheap natural gas and expanded renewable energy sources.
  • Coal companies have faced a reckoning as the world looks to combat climate change and move away from fossil fuels despite President Donald Trump’s effort to revive the industry.
  • The U.S. is expected to see a 7.5% drop in climate-warming greenhouse gas emissions tied to reduced production — that is until carbon dioxide emissions surge next year as the economy rebounds, according to projections by the Energy Information Administration.

The Fastest-Warming Cities and States in the U.S. (Climate Central)

  • Climate Central surveys and conducts scientific research on climate change and informs the public of key findings.
  • Americans across the country are experiencing warming — but it’s not happening at the same rate in each place. To understand how America has warmed since 1970, Climate Central looked at temperature trends in 242 cities and 49 states.
  • For a comprehensive breakdown of the effects of climate change in your area, see the “Regions” section of the Fourth National Climate Assessment.

‘They’re killing us,’ Texas residents say of Trump rollbacks (660 News - Calgary)

  • Danielle Nelson’s best monitor for the emissions billowing out of the oil refineries and chemical plants surrounding her home: The heaving chest of her 9-year-old asthmatic son.
  • Under President Donald Trump, federal regulatory changes are slashing requirements on industry to monitor, report and reduce toxic pollutants, heavy metals and climate-damaging fossil fuel emissions, and to work transparently with communities to prevent plant disasters — such as the half-dozen major chemical fires and explosions that have killed workers, frightened residents and disrupted life along the Texas Gulf Coast over the past year alone.
  • Stopping at the site of a razed public housing project where he was born in a bedroom looking out on the refineries, Kelley recalls, “always hearing about someone dying of cancer, always smelling smells, watching little babies using nebulizers.” During the Obama administration, Kelley and other activists travelled to Washington for signing ceremonies for rules tightening regulations on pollutants and other health threats, and requiring industries to do more to report hazardous emissions.

'Kick them into action': Fire group takes EPA to court over climate (The Sydney Morning Herald)

  • The Land and Environment Court has made significant climate-related decisions before, including in February last year when it found the final, so-called scope 3 greenhouse gas emissions produced by burning coal should be taken into account when considering the environmental impacts of new mines.
  • The agency "needs to have adequate policies around climate change", including setting limits on greenhouse emissions and enforcing them, she said.

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