Edition for 14 June 2020

Top Stories

The Covid-19 Economic Slump Is Closing Down Coal Plants (Wired)

  • Others are investing in techniques to burn natural gas without creating carbon emissions, or technologies to store energy from wind and solar power for use later.
  • “It could totally fail, but it’s one example of a utility making a proactive bet.” Meanwhile, Exelon, which operates six Mid-Atlantic and Midwest electric power utilities, is putting its green energy chips onto a new technology that recycles carbon dioxide to make natural gas plants burn cleaner.
  • Southern Company, which owns seven utilities in six southeastern states, joined North Carolina-based Duke Energy and Virginia-based Dominion Energy last month in announcing plans to become carbon-free by 2050.

Climate worst-case scenarios may not go far enough, cloud data shows (Guardian)

  • Worst-case global heating scenarios may need to be revised upwards in light of a better understanding of the role of clouds, scientists have said.
  • Recent modelling data suggests the climate is considerably more sensitive to carbon emissions than previously believed, and experts said the projections had the potential to be “incredibly alarming”, though they stressed further research would be needed to validate the new numbers.
  • Modelling results from more than 20 institutions are being compiled for the sixth assessment by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which is due to be released next year.

Post-virus shift can boost renewables (Bangkok Post)

  • Economic recovery could see the levels of CO2 emissions bouncing back very quickly.
  • Asean's energy mix greatly relies on fossil fuels which are a significant source of emissions.
  • To ensure the region's energy sustainability, development and healthy environment, this rapid increase in demand will need coordinated management and appropriate energy supply infrastructure and investment.

A Dirty Coronavirus Recovery Could Haunt Us for Decades to Come (Gizmodo)

  • They can invest in a green economy to address climate change, or they can prioritize the entrenched dirty industries.
  • In a paper published in Nature on Tuesday, climate researchers argue this is exactly why a green recovery is necessary worldwide.
  • Even if governments do the bare minimum and limit emissions to pre-pandemic levels next year, they could prevent 128 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere by 2050.

2019 fossil fuel subsidies nearly $500b: OECD/IEA (The Daily Star)

  • "The fiscal burden of subsidies means that fewer resources can be potentially devoted to other public funding, be it for clean-energy research, innovation or to strengthen social safety nets," Nathalie Girouard, head of the OECD's environmental performance and information division, told AFP.
  • As early as 2009, G20 nations responsible for 80 percent of CO2 emissions pledged to gradually eliminate fossil fuel subsidies.
  • "Subsidising fossil fuels is an inefficient use of public money and serves to worsen greenhouse emissions and air pollution."

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