If one wanted a basic rule of thumb for dealing with the climate crisis, it would be: stop burning things. Human beings have made use of combustion for a very long time, ever since the first campfires cooked the first animals for dinner, allowing our brains to get larger. Now those large brains have come to understand that burning stuff is destroying the stable climate on which civilization depends.
Frozen for thousands of years in Arctic permafrost, billions of tons of carbon and methane are slowly being released into the atmosphere due to rising temperatures. A new study shows that while the release is slow, continued thawing of this permafrost will significantly impact Earth’s climate.
In the closing months of the Trump administration, energy companies stockpiled enough drilling permits for western public lands to keep pumping oil for years and undercut President-elect Joe Biden’s plans to curb new drilling because of climate change, according to public records and industry analysts.
It’s not just your storage unit that’s packed to the gills. According to a new study, the mass of all our stuff—buildings, roads, cars, and everything else we manufacture—now exceeds the weight of all living things on the planet. And the amount of new material added every week equals the total weight of Earth’s nearly 8 billion people.
There is growing hope that the financial sector can contribute to decarbonizing the economy and help prevent dangerous levels of anthropogenic climate change. But aligning financial portfolios with the Paris Agreement, or lowering a portfolio’s carbon footprint alone, won’t be enough to actually contribute to real world emissions reductions. After all, where do emissions go when they are no longer in your portfolio?
Financial services firm Legal & General Retirement has today pledged to cut the carbon intensity of its £81bn annuity book in half by 2030. An interim goal will see the firm, which is targeting a net zero portfolio by 2050, aim for an 18.5 per cent reduction by 2025.
Environment and Climate Change Minister Jonathan Wilkinson tabled new legislation today that would force current and future federal governments to set binding climate targets to get Canada to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. “Just like with COVID-19, ignoring the risks of climate change isn’t an option,” said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. “That approach would only make the costs higher and the long-term consequences worse. Canadians have been clear — they want climate action now.”
On November 5, Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change issued a press release announcing that the federal government has finalized equivalency agreements for methane regulations from the oil and gas industry with Alberta, British Columbia and Saskatchewan, for the next five years. “These equivalency agreements represent a flexible approach that enables provinces and territories to design methane regulations that best suit their respective jurisdictions while meeting equivalent emissions-reduction outcomes to the federal regulations.” These equivalency agreements have been in the works for months, during which time Environmental Defense Canada, the David Suzuki Foundation, and other groups have lobbied for regulations to be tightened and for the reporting procedures to be improved.
Although more Governments and businesses are committing to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, the world is still falling far short of that goal, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said on Monday in his latest push for a cleaner, greener future.
Mr. Guterres reported that so far, the European Union, Japan and the Republic of Korea, along with more than 110 other countries, have made the pledge, while China is set to join them by 2060.