This week is crucial for climate, with the UN Climate Summit. In today’s edition, an assessment of the situation (dire) and stories about negotiations about to begin (guarded optimism). Salvation might come from businesses, as companies chose this moment to announce more actions to fight against climate change – or quietly do it.
Quote of the day
“Don’t tell us you can’t cut emissions, you can’t give money, while you bask in the rich way of life you enjoy now. You know your emissions are damaging us. Help us out here.”
Ronald Jean Jumeau, the ambassador to the United Nations for the Indian Ocean island nation of Seychelles, off the coast of Africa, in the New York Times’ story Push for New Pact on Climate Change Is Plagued by Old Divide of Wealth
Companies Pledging Action as Leaders Set to Talk Climate
Mark Drajem, Bloomberg News
While U.S. President Barack Obama and more than 100 other world leaders will meet in a summit devoted to climate change, the most tangible action on global warming this week may come from companies.
***LB: Also in this story “Mars Inc. and others will announce plans to phase out fossil-fuel use, companies including Unilever NV will endorse a tax on carbon and Statoil ASA and five other oil and gas producers will pledge to plug methane leaks.”
These 5 companies strive to convert CO2 to cash
Heather Clancy, GreenBiz.com
A growing list of innovative companies is dedicated to reducing carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions by turning them into something else entirely.
Ingersoll-Rand to stop use of chemicals linked to climate change
Ed Crooks, Financial Times
Ingersoll-Rand, the Dublin-based manufacturing group, is announcing a plan to phase out hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), which can have a much more powerful global warming effect than carbon dioxide, by 2030.
Ban-Ki Moon Joins 310,000-Strong March for Climate Action
Allyson Versprille and Mark Drajem, Bloomberg News
Hundreds of thousands marched through Manhattan and in cities around the world today demanding government action on climate change in what organizers called the largest climate demonstration ever.
Taking a Call for Climate Change to the Streets
Lisa W. Foderaro, The New York Times
Legions of demonstrators frustrated by international inaction on global warming descended on New York City on Sunday, marching through the heart of Manhattan with a message of alarm for world leaders set to gather this week at the United Nations for a summit meeting on climate change.
China Beats U.S. in Per-Capita Pollution for First Time
Stefan Nicola, Bloomberg News
China surpassed the European Union in pollution levels per capita for the first time last year, propelling the greenhouse gases that cause global warming to a record.
***LB: Also in this story “Each person in China produced 7.2 tons of carbon dioxide on average compared with 6.8 tons in Europe and 1.9 tons in India in 2013, according a study by the Global Carbon Project. Those countries along with the U.S. accounted for almost two-thirds of emissions and 80 percent of the growth in pollution.”
Record CO2 emissions ‘committing world to dangerous climate change’
Fiona Harvey, theguardian.com
Children born today will see the world committed to dangerous and irreversible levels of climate change by their young adulthood at current rates, as the world poured a record amount of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere this year.
***LB: Also in this story “Annual carbon dioxide emissions showed a strong rise of 2.5% on 2013 levels, putting the total emitted this year on track for 40bn tonnes. That means the global ‘carbon budget’, calculated as the total governments can afford to emit without pushing temperatures higher than 2C above pre-industrial levels, is likely to be used up within just one generation, or in thirty years from now.”
Push for New Pact on Climate Change Is Plagued by Old Divide of Wealth
Justin Gillis and Coral Davenport, The New York Times
At 1 p.m. on Sunday, tens of thousands of demonstrators in Manhattan are expected to make as much noise as they can — with whistles, trumpets, even the tolling of church bells — to raise an alarm about the risks of climate change.
US will not commit to climate change aid for poor nations at UN summit
Suzanne Goldenberg, the Guardian
Barack Obama will not be pledging any cash to a near-empty fund for poor countries at a United Nations summit on climate change next week, the UN special climate change envoy said on Friday.
Obama grasps for climate accord
Laura Barron-Lopez, The Hill
President Obama is headed to a United Nations climate change summit on Tuesday seeking to lay the groundwork for a global accord on greenhouse gas emissions that could burnish his legacy.
To Save the Planet, Don’t Plant Trees
Nadine Ungersept, The New York Times
As international leaders gather in New York next week for a United Nations climate summit, they will be preoccupied with how to tackle the rising rate of carbon emissions. To mitigate the crisis, one measure they are likely to promote is reducing deforestation and planting trees.
Rockefellers, Heirs to an Oil Fortune, Will Divest Charity From Fossil Fuels
John Schwartz, The New York Times
John D. Rockefeller built a vast fortune on oil. Now his heirs are abandoning fossil fuels.
***LB: Also in this story “The family whose legendary wealth flowed from Standard Oil is planning to announce on Monday that its $860 million philanthropic organization, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, is joining the divestment movement that began a couple years ago on college campuses. “
EMA’s 18th Annual Meeting
Join the Environmental Markets Association and environmental industry professional for two days of dynamic sessions, two nights of networking receptions, and countless opportunities to increase your business contacts.
October 22 – 24, 2014
Santa Monica, CA
FT European Gas Summit
The FT European Gas Summit brings together leading and aspiring gas suppliers from around the globe, as well as energy industry experts, commentators and government decision makers to review the potential barriers to new gas supplies for Europe, and the impact on the region’s economic competitiveness. The summit will be chaired by Guy Chazan, Energy Editor, Financial Times.
23 October 2014
De Blasio Promises to Reduce NYC Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 80%
Stephen Merelman, Bloomberg News
New York City aims to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050 from 2005 levels, beginning with a plan to retrofit public and private buildings.
***LB: Also in this story “Every municipal building that uses significant amounts of energy, about 3,000 structures, will be improved by 2025, Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement today.”
Carbon Shock: More leaders are following the money
Mark Schapiro, GreenBiz.com
Chaos and unpredictability. Those are the characteristics of the natural world under the pressures being wrought by climate change.
Big Factories Go to Work on Biofuel
Diane Carwell, The New York Times
Charlie Kollasch, a farmer supplying raw material to a huge new ethanol factory here, stood inside a big red shed on his property, showing off the V-shaped metal frame studded with prongs that he and his son had installed on top of a flatbed truck.
Natural gas / coal
US shale gas exports to hit Gazprom revenue
Ed Crooks, Financial Times
Russia’s Gazprom could lose 18 per cent of its revenues as a result of competition from US liquefied natural gas exports, according to a New York-based think-tank.
Merkel’s Taste for Coal to Upset $130 Billion Green Drive
Julia Mengewein, Bloomberg News
When Germany kicked off its journey toward a system harnessing energy from wind and sun back in 2000, the goal was to protect the environment and build out climate-friendly power generation.
Reports: India to raise solar power goal to 15GW by 2019
India looks set to raise its solar power target to 16GW by 2019, a fivefold increase on current capacity, as part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s plans to step-up green energy deployment.
Jerry Brown Seeks More Electric Cars in California
Jennifer Medina, The New York Times
Gov. Jerry Brown of California has signed several bills to help build the market for electric cars in his state, two days ahead of speaking alongside world leaders at the United Nations this week for a summit meeting on climate change.
***LB: Also in this story “Earlier this month, the Plug-in Electric Vehicle Collaborative, a coalition of advocacy groups and car manufacturers, announced that more than 100,000 plug-in cars had been sold in the state during the last four years.”
Toyota’s fuel-cell sedan offers alternative to big batteries
David R. Baker, SFGate
We’re driving north along the San Francisco waterfront in Toyota’s new fuel-cell sedan when the smooth, rounded rear of a Tesla Motors Model S pulls into the lane in front of us.
Volvo set to roll out hybrid electric buses in Europe
Jessica Shankleman, BusinessGreen
Volvo will this week officially launch its low emissions plug-in hybrid bus that offers to help cities slash carbon emissions and fuel use from their public transport fleets.
America’s Spies Warn of Water and Climate Risks
Circle of Blue
The potential for violence, conflict, and government upheaval arising from natural resource scarcity and a warming planet continues to catch the eye of America’s top spooks.
UK weather: Britain must be prepared for ‘worst droughts in modern times’
The UK must prepare for “the worst droughts in modern times” experts will warn this week at a major international conference to discuss the growing global water crisis.
Thirsty wells: Fracking consumes billions of gallons of water
Shane Hoover, CantonRep.com
Drillers in Ohio have used more than 4 billion gallons of water to frack horizontal shale wells since 2011.
NASA probe to focus on Mars’ lost water
Irene Klotz, Reuters
A NASA spacecraft designed to investigate how Mars lost its water is expected to put itself into orbit around the Red Planet today after a 10-month journey.
Barclays pledges £1bn Green Bond investment
Barclays is to invest a minimum of £1bn in green bonds over the next year, more than doubling its current £430m portfolio.