Edition for 25 May 2020

Top Stories

BOA expresses high interest in low carbon (Westfair Communications)

  • Financial institutions, especially those that are in touch with concerns of the public in communities they serve, have been known to take an interest in environmental issues.
  • Bank of America, for example, announced in 2016 that it had established new environmental operations goals to be met by 2020, including plans to go carbon neutral.
  • This announcement was made as part of the bank’s intent to reduce the environmental impacts of its operations.

How to decarbonize global power systems (McKinsey)

  • Over the past decade, the costs of renewables have dropped substantially—solar power by as much as 80 percent and wind power by about 40 percent—making them economically competitive with conventional fuels, such as coal and natural gas, in the vast majority of global markets.
  • In this article, we describe, in general terms, how integrated power systems—across bulk-generation, transmission-and-distribution, and direct-customer offerings—can achieve up to 100 percent decarbonization by 2040 and the approximate costs. Then we consider possible pathways in four types of markets.
  • We selected these markets because they capture most of the globally relevant salient features, including transmission potential, quality of clean resources (both intermittent solar and wind energy and dispatchable hydro and nuclear energy), the starting point of a market’s carbon intensity, and the potential for the distributed network to provide flexibility.

London retains first place in Europe for investment crown while Manchester moves into global top 30 (This is Money UK)

  • The index assesses a city's attractiveness for real asset investing by three measures; its Economic Impact Score (EcIS), University Impact Score (UIS), and Environmental Impact Score (EIS).
  • Manchester is the only other UK city in the top 30, with one of the strongest environmental scores of any world city.
  • Schroders says that despite the City of Angels holding the number one spot, its overall score declined slightly due to its 'mediocre' Environmental Impact Score.
  • North America has the highest number of cities in the rankings, with eighteen cities in the top 30, and seven in the top 10, including Boston, Seattle and San Francisco, which moved up ten places compared to last year.
  • 'With an economy that continues to attract multi-national companies and highly skilled talent, a high quantity of green spaces, clean and reliable water, energy and public transport, London has retained its popularity with investors.'

Mass shift to remote work could redefine Maine’s climate goals (Lewiston Sun Journal)

  • If even a fraction of Mainers currently working from home continue to do so, it would greatly reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the state.
  • Because transportation accounts for half of Maine’s greenhouse gas emissions, how about permanently shifting a high percentage of office work to the home?
  • The potential impact on climate-warming pollution could be immediate and substantial.

First State Super 'less focused on gas' than renewables (The Age)

  • "Renewables are something we're focused on and supporting the transition to a reduced carbon intensity economy is front and centre for us.”
  • First State Super is currently merging with local government funds WA Super and VicSuper after which it is set to become a $130 billion behemoth by the end of the year, making it one of the largest long-term investors in Australia.
  • "There is an opportunity for super funds and investors to support the transition to a lower-carbon future."
  • The superannuation sector has a huge role to play in the transition of Australia's energy grid to renewables, Ms Steggall said, but there was need for greater clarity around government energy policy, be that emissions reductions targets or a carbon pricing mechanism.

Carbon cuts to remain voluntary as minister rules out permit scheme (The Sydney Morning Herald)

  • Companies will be encouraged to slash their greenhouse gas emissions below a crucial benchmark in the Morrison government’s $2 billion climate fund without any pressure for mandatory cuts that could put a price on carbon.
  • Energy Minister Angus Taylor has insisted the carbon cuts must remain voluntary to avoid any shift in the “safety net” to turn it into a carbon tax, just as 15 industry and community groups call for more ambition on tackling climate change.
  • Energy Minister Angus Taylor: “We’re not going to use the safeguard to create a carbon tax.”

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