Edition for 02 May 2020

Top Stories

WorldGBC and GRESB join forces to drive net zero carbon buildings (Private Equity Wire)

  • World Green Building Council, a global network of around 70 Green Building Councils, has announced a collaboration with GRESB, the leading global sustainability benchmark for real estate portfolios, to recognise companies that make a Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment.
  • The Commitment, which recognises businesses committed to ensuring their portfolio of buildings operate at net zero carbon by 2030, and advocate for all buildings to be net zero carbon by 2050, is supported by Green Building Councils’ asset level net zero standards in 15 countries and counting, which all adhere to WorldGBC’s global principles for net zero carbon buildings and provide third party assurance of performance.
  • Globally, almost 40 per cent of energy-related greenhouse emissions occur from buildings, with 28 per cent coming from the operations of buildings themselves.

Investors' push for climate action not binding, just 'guidance': Woodside (The Sydney Morning Herald)

  • Woodside Petroleum says a record-breaking investor push to slash company emissions on Thursday is not “binding” but only represents “guidance” for the board.
  • Chief executive Peter Coleman said on Friday environmental approval processes on the proposed Burrup Hub oil and gas projects off Western Australia’s north-west coast would continue despite major delays, and the company was readying for its investment decision both from an environmental and economic point of view.
  • The support was the highest ever in corporate Australia for a shareholder resolution calling for emissions targets, and the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility said on Thursday Woodside would now be in "open conflict" with the majority of its shareholders until it set meaningful targets.

We Should Bail Out Fossil Fuel Workers, Not the Industry (Gizmodo)

  • A recent report from the International Renewable Energy Agency also found that the transition could provide a return on investment of between 300 and 800 percent globally, showing the path forward isn’t just good for the climate.
  • “Climate policy is good for the economy and good for job creation,” J. Mijin Cha, an environmental policy scientist at Occidental College and fellow at Cornell University’s Worker Institute, told Earther in an email.

How the coronavirus is hampering enforcement of California's air pollution rules (LA Times)

  • But smog has already returned to Southern California, with a string of recent bad air days in spite of dramatic reductions in vehicle traffic emissions under stay-at-home orders.
  • “For example, trucks that violate emissions standards expose nearby communities to excessive levels of toxic diesel exhaust, and roadside inspections are the best way to enforce the safeguards.” In 2019, the state Air Resources Board averaged more than 2,800 inspections a month on trucks, ships, small off-road engines, consumer products and an array of other emissions sources, air board records show.
  • At the same time, the district said it has ramped up surveillance operations, in which inspectors monitor facilities such as oil refineries, power plants and factories from a distance, using remote sensors and other methods to search for excess emissions without coming into close contact with people inside.

Do we need to blow up the economy to stop climate change? (The Week)

  • The International Energy Agency estimates that this year world carbon dioxide output will fall by a whopping 8 percent.
  • By this view, green austerity policies would slow the economy, reduce carbon emissions, and cut the global burden of humanity on the biosphere.
  • An alternative climate strategy might be called "green Keynesianism," which would use a transition away from carbon energy sources to maintain full employment and high production.

The Business of Burps: Scientists Smell Profit in Cow Emissions (NY Times)

  • As awareness of cattle’s environmental impact has reached the mainstream, thanks to compelling media campaigns by environmentalists and Netflix documentaries, the meat and dairy industries have felt the effects.
  • That year, researchers in Denmark and Germany published findings saying the company had reduced cows’ methane emissions more than 50 percent in lab simulations.
  • In Mootral’s first tests in dairy cows on a fully functioning farm, Brades, methane emissions fell 38 percent.

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