Fossil-Fuel Use Could Peak in Just a Few Years. Still, Major Challenges Loom
Clean energy technologies such as wind turbines, solar panels and electric vehicles are advancing so rapidly that the global use of fossil fuels is now expected to peak by the mid-2020s and then start declining, the International Energy Agency said in its latest annual report. But the transition away from fossil fuels isn’t happening fast enough to avoid dangerous levels of global warming, the report warned.
(The New York Times)
More Countries Join Global Pledge to Cut Methane Emissions
A global pledge to reduce methane emissions saw serious progress yesterday when 24 countries said they would join the effort and donors committed $200 million to the cause, according to an E&E News report in Scientific American. If the pledge is successful, it could reduce warming by at least 0.2 degrees Celsius by 2050, according to the White House, which initiated the pledge with the EU last month.
Pollution from N.C.’s Commercial Poultry Farms Disproportionately Harms Communities of Color
North Carolina’s $40 billion poultry industry produces more waste laden with nitrogen and phosphorus than the state’s massive commercial hog farms but operates with virtually no regulation. That’s bad news for North Carolina’s communities of color, activists said, because they are disproportionately affected by the air and water pollution coming from those farms.
(Inside Climate News)
Private Equity Funds, Sensing Profit in Tumult, Are Propping Up Oil
Private equity firms, a class of investors that are hyper focused on maximizing profits, are buying up risky fossil fuel assets and therefore propping up the industry, as well as the greenhouse gas emissions they produce, new research shows. Since 2010, the private equity industry has invested at least $1.1 trillion into the energy sector, with the vast majority put into fossil fuel assets, the study found.
(The New York Times)
When It Comes to Climate Change, England Must ‘Adapt or Die,’ Agency Warns
England will be hit hard by floods like those that devastated Germany this summer, as well as worsening heat waves and higher demand on water supplies, if the country does not improve its defenses against more extreme weather driven by climate change, the U.K.’s Environment Agency said in a new report. “Significant climate impacts are inevitable,” so it’s “adapt or die,” the agency’s top official said.
See How Climate Change Could Drown Landmarks Around the World
A rise of 3 degrees Celsius in average global temperatures could mean many famous landmarks around the world will end up partially or fully underwater, according to a new map by the nonprofit science communication group Climate Central. The map, along with accompanying images, simulates how the sites will look under different warming scenarios as sea levels rise, The Verge reports.