Edition for 01 May 2020

Top Stories

Covid-19 crisis will wipe out demand for fossil fuels, says IEA (Guardian)

  • The steady rise of renewable energy combined with the collapse in demand for fossil fuels means clean electricity will play its largest ever role in the global energy system this year, and help erase a decade’s growth of global carbon emissions.
  • The growth of renewables despite a global crisis could spur fossil fuel companies towards their goals to generate more clean energy, according to Birol, but governments should also include clean energy at the heart of economic stimulus packages to ensure a green recovery.
  • The US also has high emissions per capita, compared to other developed countries.

The true carbon cost of feeding the data centre monster (Irish Times)

  • Depending on which group of experts you refer to for your calculations, 30 minutes of Netflix amounts to driving between .5 and 4 miles in terms of CO2 emissions.
  • A recent analysis by the International Energy Agency claims errors in The Shift Report’s figures mean carbon emissions as a result of viewing Netflix were overestimated by 30 to 60 times.

'Breakthrough moment': Woodside investors revolt on climate change (The Sydney Morning Herald)

  • Woodside Petroleum has been hit with a record-breaking investor push to slash emissions and link executive pay to achieving bold new targets, as Australia's oil and gas industry emerges as the next front for shareholder pressure on climate change.
  • More than 50 per cent of investors backed motions on Thursday for Woodside to commit to hard targets to reduce its own greenhouse gas emissions and its vastly greater "indirect" emissions – known as Scope 3 emissions – from customers of its products such as power plants around the world.
  • The climate motions, prepared by ethical investment group the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ACCR), called for Woodside to set emissions targets in line with the goals of the Paris climate agreement to limit global warming well below 2 degrees.

With fresh support from its billionaire backers Pivot Bio is ushering in a farming revolution (TechCrunch)

  • In the hundred years since companies began manufacturing fertilizer at an industrial scale, the chemical has become one of the main sources of the pollution that’s choking the planet and putting millions of the lives its use has helped to feed at risk from severe droughts, fires, floods, and storms caused by climate change.
  • That’s why investors including Breakthrough Energy Ventures (the investment fund backed by Mukesh Ambani, Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates and Masayoshi Son) and the Singapore-owned investment fund Temasek along with DCVC; Prelude Ventures; Spruce Capital Partners; Codon Capital; Bunge Ventures; Continental Grain Company; Tekfen Ventures; Pavilion Capital; and individual investors Alan Cohen and Roger Underwood have backed Pivot Bio with a new $100 million investment.
  • Using the company’s products, Pivot Bio estimates that farmers can improve yields and remove one gigaton of carbon dioxide-equivalent emissions from the atmosphere.

What Germany’s energy revolution can teach the US (PRI.org)

  • Hundreds of wind and solar co-ops have taken on big utilities and shown they can reliably power the grid — and hugely reduce emissions.
  • Last summer, I went to Germany to figure out where the energy transition, or “Energiewende,” stands today, with climate change blaring like a siren across a nation already alarmed.
  • One of the big problems was that emissions from vehicles were essentially flat.

Plant-based diets will mitigate future zoonotic pandemics, says ProVeg (FoodIngredients First)

  • Animal farming is one of the top three causes of environmental problems and is responsible for about 14.5 percent of global greenhouse-gas emissions, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
  • Both the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change special report from October 2018 and the Eat Lancet Commission’s Planetary Health Diet report recommend plant-based diets as a major opportunity for mitigating and adapting to the climate crisis.
  • Meanwhile, Ronja Berthold, Head of Public Affairs of the European Vegetarian Union, states that it is “crucial that the EU quickly moves forward with its sustainability initiatives such as the ‘Farm to Fork’ strategy,” as it needs to contribute to shaping a safer, more resilient and climate-friendly food system and help prevent future crises.

The Energy 202: Biden tweaks his environmental campaign message amid coronavirus pandemic (Washington Post)

  • “And it's a wake-up call, a wake-up call to action to climate change overall and to climate justice.” More broadly, Biden said, meeting the challenges of both climate change and covid-19, which has already killed more than 60,000 in the United States, requires following the sort of expert advice Trump often ignores.
  • Though Biden racked up endorsements from former vice president Al Gore and the League of Conservation Voters during Earth Day week, other green groups, such as the youth-led Sunrise Movement, still want to see Biden promise to take stronger steps to reduce climate-warming emissions.
  • The Biden campaign said it is working on building out its environmental agenda, including ideas for addressing “environmental justice,” which posits that poor and minority communities are disproportionately exposed to environmental hazards.

AVANGRID Expanded Wind Generation Fleet by 831 MW in 2019, Other Accomplishments Detailed in 2019 Sustainability Report (Business Wire Natural Resources News)

  • Amid pandemic, AVANGRID reaffirms commitment to investing in clean energy and supporting communities.
  • AVANGRID, Inc. today released its 2019 Sustainability Report as it pledged to intensify its investments in a smarter, cleaner energy future throughout the pandemic crisis and beyond.
  • The 2019 Sustainability Report, titled “Working Together for a Clean Energy Future,” tracks AVANGRID’s sustainability performance across economic, environmental, social and governance perspectives.
  • AVANGRID has been named among the World’s Most Ethical companies by Ethisphere in 2019 and 2020, and is among the cleanest U.S. energy companies, operating one of the nation’s largest renewable fleets with 90% of emissions-free generation capacity.

The Climate Sentinel is an AI-powered news assistant for ESG investors and those concerned about climate change, corporate social responsibility, and related topics. Learn more.

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