Edition for 13 June 2020

Top Stories

Guest post: Cost of extreme weather due to climate change is severely underestimated (Carbon Brief)

  • If we can quantify the contribution from climate change to an extreme weather event and we can also know the cost of the associated disaster, then we can put a financial figure on the climate change component of those costs.
  • These calculations then provide us with the price tag of climate change, through its impact on extreme weather events.
  • Using previously published methods, which used climate models to estimate changes in the types of weather patterns typical of severe New Zealand drought, we estimate that around NZ$800m (US$568m) of this cost is due to climate change.

Technology’s Potential to Make Your Brand Sustainable (Jing Daily)

  • An article from McKinsey 2019 stated that 9 out of 10 Gen-Z customers believe that companies have a responsibility to address environmental and social issues.
  • Industry leader, Shawey Yah, the group style editorial director at Modern Media, told Jing Daily that “Chinese millennials will pay more for sustainable goods.”
  • In a report by the World Economic Forum this year, 73 percent of China’s population was worried about the climate crisis compared to 39 percent in America.
  • Furthermore, the report stated that 80 percent of China’s population felt that climate change is reversible — a note of hope for a population that’s heavily invested in sustainable measures.

Methane, cattle and 7% - The crunch climate issues in the government formation talks (Irish Times)

  • Among the most problematic issues in talks on forming a new government were inevitably going to be around climate action; measures to decarbonise the economy – and how exactly do you achieve an agreed cut in carbon emissions?
  • The term may have urban TDs, senators and members in the big parties scratching their heads, but biogenic methane is the single biggest source of emissions in agriculture, which accounts for a third of Ireland’s emissions.
  • Farming interests and some scientists say measuring its impact in agriculture has led to overestimation of its carbon footprint.

Building back better: Why Europe must lead a global green recovery (Brookings)

  • As governments spend massively to revive economies, a huge battle has emerged around whether the economic recovery should also achieve other goals, particularly cutting the emissions that cause climate change.
  • Those advocating green spending say the $10 trillion that governments have already committed to stimulus should be just the beginning, and an even bigger pile of cash is now needed for expansive “green new deals.” David G. Victor Co-Chair - Cross-Brookings Initiative on Energy and Climate In most countries, the political forces are blowing against green recovery.
  • While there are many policies that could deliver economic growth and lower emissions, most of them don’t work quickly — and thus don’t deliver what most citizens expect from government today.

Leading the battle against climate change: Actions for China (McKinsey)

  • Preventing further buildup of physical risk and stabilizing the climate will require rapidly reducing GHG emissions and ultimately taking emissions to net zero.
  • China still accounts for around 20 percent of global emissions, with net emissions of 16 gigatons of CO2 equivalents.
  • By making a rapid and orderly transition to a low-emissions pathway, China could greatly limit its exposure to both physical climate risk and transition risk, and it could tap new sources of economic growth.

Climate crisis to blame for $67bn of Hurricane Harvey damage – study (Guardian)

  • At least $67bn of the damage caused by Hurricane Harvey in 2017 can be attributed directly to climate breakdown, according to research that could lead to a radical reassessment of the costs of damage from extreme weather.
  • In a study published in the journal Climatic Change, researchers used the emerging science of climate change attribution to calculate the odds of such a hurricane happening naturally or under increased carbon dioxide levels, and applied the results to the damage caused.
  • “We’re pretty sure the climate change-related damages associated with extreme events have been underestimated in most assessments of the social cost of carbon,” said David Frame, a professor of climate change at the Victoria University of Wellington and the lead author of the studies.

Alberta officially ends agency created to handle green rebates and programs (The Globe and Mail)

  • Alberta is closing the door on an agency that championed eco-initiatives but was ridiculed by Premier Jason Kenney as a costly conduit for “shower heads and light bulbs.”
  • Grant Hunter, associate minister in charge of red tape reduction, says the remaining duties and responsibilities of Energy Efficiency Alberta – and its $8-million budget – will be folded into other departments or the current Emissions Reduction Alberta.
  • “(But) we don’t need to have two agencies doing the same thing.” Emissions Reduction Alberta, established in 2007, is an arm’s-length agency that uses greenhouse gas levies paid by large emitters to invest in projects to reduce greenhouse gases.
  • The agency used money from a carbon tax brought in by the NDP on gasoline and heating fuels to fund initiatives and rebates on everything from solar panels to energy-efficient appliances, windows, insulation, LED light bulbs and low-flow shower heads.

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