27th September 2018

New on Carbon Brief


Mapped: How every part of the world has warmed – and could continue to warm
Carbon Brief has produced a new map showing both how the climate has changed up to present day and how it might change in the future for every different part of the world. The map combines observed temperature changes with future climate model projections. It breaks up the world into “grid cells” representing every degree latitude and every degree longitude. Rosamund Pearce & Zeke Hausfather, Carbon Brief


Climate & Energy News


BoE finds banks unprepared for climate change risks
Only 10% of banks take a long-term view of how they should manage climate change risk, according to a new survey from the Bank of England’s Prudential Regulation Authority, the Financial Times reports. “Many banks have some way to go to identify and measure the financial risks from climate change comprehensively,” Mark Carney , the central bank governor, wrote in the survey’s report. The Bank of England said it would consult with banks to show what it expected them to be doing, reports Reuters. It also urged bank directors to engage on climate change and the shift to a low-carbon economy. Separately, Reuters also reports on a new survey from the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) which showed that most climate-related disclosure is becoming mainstream. In its first status report, a TCFD survey of the disclosures of 1,700 companies found most were revealing information aligned with at least one of the task force’s recommendations. And Climate Home News reports that the UN has named billionaire businessman Michael Bloomberg to lead a private-finance green investment drive in an effort towards raising the promised $100bn a year in climate finance to developing countries by 2020. Leslie Hook, Financial Times

Labour is ready to govern, Jeremy Corbyn tells party conference
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn yesterday vowed at his party conference to end the "greed-is-good" culture that has dominated politics and "kickstart a green jobs revolution", BBC News reports. "We represent the new common sense of our time," he said. Corbyn also used his speech to announce plans to create 400,000 skilled jobs with new investment in wind farms and home insulation, and pointed to Labour's commitment to reduce the UK's net carbon emissions by 60% by 2030 and to zero by 2050, the BBC adds. Corbyn also said that Labour's energy plans would "make Britain the only developed country outside Scandinavia to be on track to meet our climate change obligations". BusinessGreen also reports on the speech. The Telegraph reports that Corbyn also pledged at the conference to revive plans to build a £1.3bn tidal power project in Swansea Bay. Corbyn said the government's refusal to back the scheme was "the wrong decision for jobs and the wrong decision for the future of our planet". BBC News

World 'nowhere near on track' to avoid warming beyond 1.5C target
The world’s governments are "nowhere near on track" to meet their commitment to avoid global warming of more than 1.5C above the pre-industrial period, according to an author of the key upcoming UN report that will outline the dangers of breaching this limit, the Guardian reports. Drew Shindell, a Duke University climate scientist and a co-author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, told the Guardian that: "While it’s technically possible, it’s extremely improbable, absent a real sea change in the way we evaluate risk. We are nowhere near that." Separately, BusinessGreen reports on a new UK academic paper which finds that limiting warming to 1.5C by the end of the century could soon become too economically expensive to justify. Oliver Milman, The Guardian

German environment ministry won't block EU Commission's CO2 plan
A German environment ministry spokesman has said the ministry will not resist a European Commission proposal on carbon dioxide emissions limits for cars and vans, Reuters reports. The comments follow those made by German chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday that European carmakers could be made uncompetitive if EU CO2 emission reduction targets for cars and vans were set above 30% by 2030. "Blocking (the proposal) would carry great risks." the spokesman said. "It would in our opinion likely lead to there being no limits on emissions at all in the coming years. That would be the worst scenario for the environment." Michelle Martin Riham Alkousaa & Maria Sheahan, Reuters


Climate & Energy Comment


Corbyn's green plans: The very good, the bad, and the ugly
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has "delivered one of the boldest, most ambitious, and most surprising green speeches by a mainstream political leaders in years," writes BusinessGreen editor James Murray. Corbyn "made climate action central to his speech and his economic offer," writes Murray, and the audience applauded as Corbyn declared unequivocally that 'there is no bigger threat facing humanity than climate change'". Better yet, adds Murray, Corbyn's climate vision is "backed by a plan that appears to recognise the scale of the challenge and the level of ambition that is required". But four big issues remain unresolved, says, Murray, and if Labour is serious about making climate action central to its offer, then "they need addressing sharpish". One of these: "fears that a Labour government with such statist instincts will quickly undermine any benefits that may flow from its various climate goals". James Murray, BusinessGreen

Social cost of carbon: why climate change is a global injustice
"All efforts to fight climate change face the money test: Are the benefits of stopping global warming – and avoiding sea level rise, heat waves, and wildfires – greater than the costs?," writes Irfan in a piece for Vox looking at the economic cost of global warming. He goes on to look at a study published in Nature Climate Change earlier this week which looked at social cost of carbon at the individual country level. "The results... highlighted the fundamental injustice of climate change: Many of those who contributed the least to the problem stand to suffer the most." Carbon Brief last year wrote a detailed Q&A on the social cost of carbon. Umair Irfan, Vox


New Climate Science


The impact of future climate change and potential adaptation methods on Maize yields in West Africa
Climate change could cause maize yields to fall by up to 37% in West Africa, a new study finds, if little is done to tackle rising emissions. However, if warming is limited to 2C above pre-industrial levels, maize yields are expected to fall by just 6%, according to the study. The research, which uses modelling, also finds that using maize varieties that have a high heat tolerance could boost crop yields in a warmer world. However, using heat-tolerant varieties would not lower the chances of severe crop failure. Climatic Change


Other Stories


Post-Brexit carbon tax would set Scotland against UK
Sara Stefanini, Climate Home News

Abandoning nuclear power plans 'would push up carbon emissions'
Adam Vaughan, The Guardian

Obama jabs at Trump's lack of 'commitment' on climate change
Artis Folley, The Hill

Bill Gates-led $1 billion energy fund makes first investments
Akshat Rathi, Quartz

Taller plants moving into warmer Arctic
Jonathan Amos, BBC News

Businesses offered share of £3.5m to bring rail sector on low carbon track
Priyanka Shrestha, Energy Live News

European leaders urged to act on soil sustainability
Claire Stam, EurActiv

US: Just one midterm debate has mentioned climate change so far and you probably missed it
Kyla Mandel, Think Progress

US nuclear fusion startup loses its spark
Jonny Bairstow, Energy Live News

UK anti-fracking protestors jailed over blockade
Three anti-fracking campaigners were yesterday sentenced to prison for blocking shale gas drilling operations in northwest England, Climate Home News reports. Two protesters were sentenced to 16 months in prison for causing a public nuisance, while a third was sentenced to 15 months. A fourth protester who pleaded guilty received an 18-month suspended sentence. The four men spent days on top of a convey of lorries going to the Preston New Road fracking site in Lancashire, reports DeSmogUK, which was reporting from the site on the day of the action. Kirsty Brimelow QC, who was acting for one of the men, claimed they will be the first environmental protesters to be imprisoned in the UK in 86 years. The Independent also has the story. The Guardian runs a comment piece by Caroline Lucas, was arrested in Balcombe, West Sussex, in 2013 for peacefully blockading a fracking site, argues the jailing of the fracking protesters shows the fight against fracking is being won. "It reeks of desperation from the industry and a clampdown on the right to protest," she writes. Sara Stefanini, Climate Home News

Private Company Plans to Launch More Greenhouse Gas-Detecting Satellites
John Fialka, E&E News via Scientific American

Oil Drillers' Attempts to Avoid Earthquakes May Make Them Worse
Robin George Andrews, Scientific American


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