By Jessica Corbett
As a United Nations agency released new climate projections showing that the world is on track in the next five years to hit or surpass a key limit of the Paris agreement, authors of a new study warned Thursday that increasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is nearing a level not seen in 15 million years.
<div id="1a097" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="3be1f37aee62477983e577219c84d7a9"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1281182404116385792" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">https://t.co/3sNdmN8mCz New study covered by @guardiannews, we look at CO2 levels in the Late Pliocene (~3 million… https://t.co/xRhhLcpdJ5</div> — Tom Chalk (@Tom Chalk)<a href="https://twitter.com/ChalkyOceans/statuses/1281182404116385792">1594292663.0</a></blockquote></div>
<div id="23d44" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="a800573625ce69a53bedfe537b572116"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1281123005695959040" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">Annual mean global temperature likely to be at least 1° C above pre-industrial levels in each of coming 5 years (20… https://t.co/WOBeEOhbCe</div> — World Meteorological Organization (@World Meteorological Organization)<a href="https://twitter.com/WMO/statuses/1281123005695959040">1594278501.0</a></blockquote></div>
- Global Carbon Emissions Reached Record High in 2018 - EcoWatch ›
- 21 Countries That Reduced Carbon Emissions While Growing Their ... ›
- Carbon Emissions Rise to Highest Level in at Least Three Million ... ›
The chance that UK summer days could hit the 40 degree Celsius mark on the thermometer is on the rise, a new study from the country's Met Office Hadley Centre has found.
- As Extreme Weather Turns Deadly in the UK, Climate Activists Are ... ›
- UK Parliament First in World to Declare Climate Emergency ... ›
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
- Environmental Racism in Action: The Trump Administration's Plans ... ›
- Latino Voters Worried About Climate Change Could Swing 2020 ... ›
When you want a seat on the UN Security Council, the last thing you need is a teenage activist, practiced at the art of shaming government officials, working against you. However, that's just what Norway and Canada have.
- Climate Change Tops World Economic Forum Agenda, Both Greta ... ›
- Greta Thunberg Punches Back After Treasury Secretary Mnuchin ... ›
- Greta Thunberg—Swedish Teen who Inspired School Climate ... ›
- Greta Thunberg: Covid-19 Should Be Climate Crisis Wake-Up Call ›
President Trump's claim that the U.S. has the cleanest air and water in the world has been widely refuted by statistics showing harmful levels of pollution. Now, a new biannual ranking released by researchers at Yale and Columbia finds that the U.S. is nowhere near the top in environmental performance, according to The Guardian.
- Trump's 2020 Budget Would Cut EPA Funding by 31% - EcoWatch ›
- Trump's Budget Plan: A Push for Even Greater Environmental ... ›
- 4 Former EPA Chiefs Speak Out Against Trump Administration ... ›
- The World's Happiest and Greenest Countries - EcoWatch ›
Kevin Frayer / Stringer / Getty Images
By Jessica Corbett
Even after the world's largest economies adopted the landmark Paris agreement to tackle the climate crisis in late 2015, governments continued to pour $77 billion a year in public finance into propping up the fossil fuel industry, according to a report released Wednesday.
<div id="3a4c3" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="3a8dab253abb0ab96502809508dffa35"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1265623289118015492" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">New research from @PriceofOil & @foe_us shows Canada has the 2nd highest public finance for fossil fuels in the G20… https://t.co/CC21WVmLhZ</div> — EnvironmentalDefence (@EnvironmentalDefence)<a href="https://twitter.com/envirodefence/statuses/1265623289118015492">1590583080.0</a></blockquote></div>
<div id="acfed" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="4c26ee7a9cd92203449579ca4aa553e7"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1265668484349992961" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">📖New Report📖: As #G20 governments spend historic levels of public finance on #COVID19 stimulus, our new report w/… https://t.co/bw8awZru86</div> — Oil Change International (@Oil Change International)<a href="https://twitter.com/PriceofOil/statuses/1265668484349992961">1590593856.0</a></blockquote></div>
- Fossil Fuel Firms With Ties to Trump Administration Get Small ... ›
- Taxpayers Charged $7 Billion a Year to Subsidize Fossil Fuels on ... ›
- Government Subsidizes Fossil Fuel Industry With $20+ Billion in ... ›
The U.K. government has proposed delaying the annual international climate negotiations for a full year after its original date to November 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic.
- Greenhouse Gas Emissions Set for Record Decline Due to ... ›
- India's Air Pollution Plummets in COVID-19 Lockdown - EcoWatch ›
- Coronavirus Is Pushing More Work Online. Is That Good for the ›
- Bluer Skies, Less Greenhouse Gas. What Happens After the ... ›
By Johnny Wood
What does COVID-19 mean for the energy transition? While lockdowns have caused a temporary fall in CO2 emissions, the pandemic risks derailing recent progress in addressing the world's energy challenges.
Unprecedented Change<p>The past decade has seen rapid transformations as countries move towards clean energy generation, supply and consumption. Coal-fired power plants have been retired, as reliance on natural gas and emissions-free renewable energy sources increases. Incremental gains have been made from carbon pricing initiatives.</p><p>Since 2015, 94 of 115 countries have improved their combined score on the Energy Translation Index (ETI), which analyzes each country's readiness to adopt clean energy using three criteria: energy access and security; environmental sustainability; and economic development and growth.<br><br>But the degree of change and the timetable for reaching net-zero emissions differ greatly between countries, and taken as a whole, today's advances are insufficient to meet the climate targets set by the Paris Agreement.</p>
The 10 Countries Most Prepared for the Energy Transition<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzI3OTU4My9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzMDQ0NjQ4MX0.SumXaqZnlWq6pBIoqAggmvg9LDqI_Vqn984i3YL1yhU/img.png?width=980" id="53351" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="0d6767a8b912d7699fb087ecff33ce3f" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
Sweden is the nation most ready to transition to sustainable energy. WEF Fostering Effective Energy Transition 2020 edition
Powerful Shocks<p>Outside the top 10, progress has been modest in Germany. Ranked 20th, the country has committed to phasing out coal-fired power plants and moving industrial output to cleaner fuels such as hydrogen, but making energy services affordable remains a struggle.</p><p>China, ranked 78th, has made strong advances in controlling CO2 emissions by switching to electric vehicles and investing heavily in solar and wind energy - it currently has the world's largest solar PV and onshore wind capacity. Alongside China, countries including Argentina, India and Italy have shown consistent strong improvements every year. Gains over time have also been recorded by Bangladesh, Bulgaria, Kenya and Oman, among others.</p><p>But high energy-consuming countries including the US, Canada and Brazil show little, if any, progress towards an energy transition.</p><p>In the US (ranked 32nd), moves to establish a more sustainable energy sector have been hampered by policy decisions. Neighboring Canada grapples with the conflicting demands of a growing economy and the need to decarbonize the energy sector.</p><p>The COVID-19 pandemic serves as a reminder of the impact of external shocks on the global economy. As climate change increases the likelihood of weather extremes such as floods, droughts and violent storms, the need for more sustainable energy practices is intensified.</p>
- Corporate Leaders to Trump: Withdrawing From the Paris ... ›
- This Country Is Already Carbon Neutral and Now Plans to Go 100 ... ›
- Morocco Leading the World Toward a Green Energy Future ... ›
This April 22, Earth Day turns 50.
The world's largest secular holiday approaches its golden anniversary in the shadow of two global crises. This year's day is dedicated to climate action, and the celebration has moved online in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
But Earth Day has a history of uniting people around the world to solve the major problems facing our planet. Here's a look back on some of the most important Earth Days in the celebration's 50-year history and what they helped accomplish.
- What Is Earth Day Live? The Largest Online Mass Mobilization in ... ›
- 3 Ways to Celebrate Earth Day All Through April (on Lockdown, of ... ›
- Earth Day Will Fight for Climate Action on Its 50th Anniversary ... ›
New research shows that the choice between climate action and economic growth is in fact a false dichotomy. chuyu / iStock / Getty Images Plus
Every country around the world would see economic gains from combating the climate crisis and trying to keep global heating within the bounds of the Paris agreement, according to a new study published in Nature Communications.
The straw man argument against taking action on the climate crisis is that the cost of limiting emissions and investing in green infrastructure is too steep and would cripple economies. It turns out, according to the research, that the opposite is true.
In fact, the study found that if nations around the world fail to curtail greenhouse gas emissions within the bounds of the Paris agreement, the global economy will lose anywhere from $150 trillion to nearly $800 trillion by the year 2100, as CBS News reported. The upper end of the range is if countries fail to meet their current commitments, which are inadequate to meet the Paris agreement as they are expected to lead to 3 degrees Celsius in warming.
The study's authors, from the Beijing Institute of Technology and other Chinese institutions, billed their findings as a self-preservation strategy for government, according to The Guardian.
The researchers calculated the potential benefits of emissions reductions by looking at the social welfare aspects of cutting greenhouse gases and its affect on economic growth. They found that the benefits from cutting emissions would provide the largest boost to developing countries with large populations of poor and vulnerable people, who are most likely to be negatively affected by droughts, floods, fires, storms and food shortages, as The Guardian reported.
While all countries would benefit in the long term, the most immediate benefits would go to developing countries with high emissions, such as India, Indonesia, Nigeria and China, according to The Guardian.
The Paris agreement is composed of voluntary commitments known as Nationally Determined Contributions, or NDCs, made by each country in the accord. The main aspect of the commitments is to reduce greenhouse emissions by cutting the burning of fossil fuels, thus reducing global warming and the adverse impacts of warming. However, many countries are witnessing economic damage from the coronavirus lockdowns and are rethinking their commitment to their NDCs. Already, government bailouts for the fossil fuel industry and the airline industry are in the works, as well as a rollback of their carbon emission reductions, as CBS News reported.
"A number of studies have proved that current [NDCs] are not enough to achieve the global warming targets," said Biying Yu, from the Beijing Institute of Technology and a co-author of the study, as CBS News reported.
The research shows that the choice between climate action and economic growth is in fact a false dichotomy. The authors' work concludes that countries could reach their climate goals and at the same time see an increase in their net income.
According to CBS News, Yu and her team calculated ideal strategies for countries to improve their NDCs, minimize economic losses and maximize gains. They found that if nations are able to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, then the net global economic benefit would range between $127 trillion and $616 trillion by the end of the century.
"Early and quick action will provide a better chance to close the widening emissions gap, even though a large amount of abatement cost would occur in the short term," said the study.
"The literature overwhelmingly shows the economic benefits of serious mitigation efforts exceed the costs in the long run," said Noah Kaufman, a climate and energy economist from Columbia University, to CBS News.
However, Yu is concerned that governments will be short-sighted and balk at the upfront cost of investing in infrastructure to combat the climate crisis. She also sees that the climate emergency takes commitments from every country.
"Combating climate change is not a matter for one country. It requires collective action and cooperation from all countries around the world," Yu explained, as CBS News reported. "Let's work together and save ourselves."
- Climate Crisis Could Trim 10.5 Percent of GDP in 80 Years, Says ... ›
- Inslee's 'Evergreen Economy Plan' Calls for $9 Trillion Investment in ... ›
- Beijing on Lockdown Again After New Coronavirus Outbreak - EcoWatch ›