News Press Review

‘Aviation’s Paris Moment’ Approaches And 13 Other Key Climate Stories

Photo: 06photo / Shutterstock.com
Photo: 06photo / Shutterstock.com

Things are moving quickly as our planet makes the transition to a new, clean economy. You want to stay in the loop – but you’re busy, that’s why we keep an eye on the headlines for you!

Welcome to the 27 September 2016 edition of the Daily Planet’s weekly State Of The Planet. Don’t hesitate to send your tips and comments to @peter_koekoek or peter.koekoek@climate-kic.org.

1. Missed the Big Apple’s climate week? Here’s what it looked like on social media.

Just weeks ahead of the US election, Climate Week NYC brought government and business leaders to the Big Apple to talk about how to accelerate the low carbon transition. The Daily Planet has selected a few social media posts to give you a taste of what it was like!

2. The EU’s climate chief has confirmed Europe will ratify the Paris climate deal next month.

“We will have a extraordinary [EU] Council meeting on 30 September which the Slovak Presidency will prepare, Parliament will discuss it in the first week of October then a council of ministers will take the decision. By the month of October it will be ready,” EU climate commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete told Climate Home at the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York.

3. India will beat the EU to it by ratifying the Paris Agreement on 2 October, the anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi’s birth.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi confirmed the news during a speech this weekend, the Washington Post reports.

4. ‘Aviation’s Paris moment’ is approaching with a new emissions deal in sight.

Global government officials are meeting in Montreal, Canada, today (27 September) for a final round of negotiations on a deal to limit greenhouse gas emissions from international jet flights, the New York Times reports. This year’s assembly is aviation’s Paris moment,” Brad Schallert of the World Wildlife Fund told the New York Times.

Final approval for the agreement could follow by 7 October, the last day of the nearly two-week assembly of the Montreal-based International Civil Aviation Organization, the UN agency that regulates international air travel, and the day the EU parliament could be set to ratify the Paris Agreement.

More than 50 countries, including the European Union, the United States and China, have already announced support for an aviation agreement, according to the New York Times.

5. President Obama and Leonardo DiCaprio will talk about climate change at the White House.

In a demonstration of how celebrity activists can help bring the climate change challenge to a broader audience, gossip magazine People is now reporting about global warming. The magazine highlighted an upcoming DiCaprio visit to Washington D.C. to promote his new climate change documentary.

6. “We will get it done” is what EU climate chief Miguel Arias Cañete said to the UN general assembly about Europe’s Paris Agreement ratification.

In a video message shown during last week’s meeting (21 September), EU climate commissioner Cañete stressed Europe must ratify while it’s still 2016: “Yes it will be complex, yes it will involve no fewer than 29 parliaments, but yes we will get it done,” he said, referring to the EU’s national assemblies and the European Parliament, the Daily Planet reports.

https://twitter.com/ClimateKIC/status/778840508659486720

7. Goldman Sachs’ CEO says financing the low-carbon transition is “feasible” and calls on global policy makers to construct a “green finance system.”

In an op-ed for the New York Times, Henry Paulson writes: “We also need to eliminate subsidies that encourage the use and extraction of carbon-based energy like coal and oil.”

“Financing the world’s transition to a low-carbon economy will be costly, but we can’t afford not to do it and, it is important to note, it is feasible,” he says. “We have the ideas, the models and the capital to make it happen. What’s needed now is leadership from global policy makers to prioritize the development of a global green finance system.”

8. Germany has ratified the Paris climate agreement.

The Bundesrat, or second chamber of the German Parliament, has given its blessing after the unanimous approval of the German Parliament (Bundestag) last week (22 September), Deutsche Welle reports. Next step will be Chancellor Angela Merkel’s sign-off on the agreement during an EU summit on 30 September, which may see all EU heads of state and government officially endorse the accord.

9. Meanwhile, Earth’s unprecedented warm streak continues.

Despite all the good news about the speed of the Paris Agreement ratifications around the world, the recent warm streak is still breaking records. Mashable reports how Earth has just experienced its hottest August on record.

10. A look behind the scenes at Arnold Schwarzenegger’s star-studded climate solution series premiere in New York.

The Emmy-winning Years of Living Dangerously documentary series returns for a second season to focus on climate change solutions. The Daily Planet provides a look at what things were like behind the scenes at the New York premiere where environmental experts, activists and celebrities mixed and mingled!

11. A new report puts the spotlight on national security risks from climate change.

The AP reported how a new US government report says climate change will likely pose a significant national security challenge over the next twenty years “by heightening social and political tensions, threatening the stability of some countries and increasing risks to human health.”

President Barack Obama commented on the report in a tweet, saying “We can’t sit idly by. Climate change is likely to threaten our national security—we must act now.”

12. The key to tackling climate change is… electrifying everything.

So writes David Roberts for Vox: “Replace technologies that still run on combustion, like gasoline vehicles and natural gas heating and cooling, with alternatives that run on electricity, like electric vehicles and heat pumps. Get as much of our energy consumption as possible hooked up to the power grid.”

13. Vancouver causes a stir by saying it will phase out natural gas by 2050.

“The need for electrification is well understood by climate and energy experts, but I’m not sure it has filtered down to the public yet,” Roberts writes in the Vox piece highlighted above. Roberts may be on to something, because Vancouver’s announcement that – in the future – boilers, stoves and similar household appliances will no longer run on natural gas caused a bit of a stir.

CBC News reports how earlier this year, the Canadian city passed a motion to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions, including the use of fossil-fuel-based natural gas, from all new homes and other buildings by 2030. The plan is part of the city’s strategy to power Vancouver with only renewable energy sources by 2050.

Jordan Bateman of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation wasn’t quite electrified by the news but still said he was “shocked” to hear of the city’s move, the CBC reports.

14. Many cities around the world are celebrating car-free days this month, here’s how you could take part.

Every year on and around 22 September, people around the world ditch their cars in the name of climate action and healthier living. The Daily Planet has listed 12 examples of how people enjoy car-free days.

https://twitter.com/ClimateKIC/status/778493486316257280

Looking for something to fix?

One of these stories may just inspire your next business venture:

  • Climate change is threatening the world’s coffee supply. A new report highlights how the global area suitable for coffee will be reduced by about 50 per cent across emission scenarios, the New York Times reports.
  • Some scientists are actually “too frightened” to reveal the true impact of climate change. Climate Home reports how some researchers are failing in their duty because of timidity.

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