News Press Review

Mandela’s ‘The Elders’ Want Faster Climate Action And 11 Other Key Stories

The late Nelson Mandela and the Elders in Johannesburg in 2010.  Photo: The Elders/Jeff Moore
The late Nelson Mandela and the Elders in Johannesburg in 2010. Photo: The Elders/Jeff Moore

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 19 July 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. The festival season is well and truly underway. So what can you do to keep your experience green?

The Daily Planet lists a few tricks, including cardboard tents!

2. The EU is working on new carbon markets with China and South Korea.

Carbon markets are popping up around the world, and now the European Union is promoting the carbon emissions-busting concept across Asia, the Daily Planet reports.

Despite some growing pains, the number of emissions trading systems around the world is increasing. Aside from the European Union’s carbon market, systems are now already operating or under development in Canada, China, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, Switzerland and the United States. The EU runs the world’s first major carbon market and the biggest one to date.

3. California, meanwhile, plans to extend its carbon trading programme until 2050.

California governor Jerry Brown has released a plan to extend the state’s landmark cap-and-trade programme in a bid to slash greenhouse gas emissions through mid-century, Scientific American reports.

4. UN Secretary General candidate Christiana Figueres took part in a presidential-style TV debate, and called for more multilateralism.

Christiana Figueres, the UN’s popular former climate chief, has said that should she become the next UN Secretary General, she would deliver more breakthroughs like the Paris Agreement on climate change, the Daily Planet reports.

5. Nelson Mandela’s Elders have called for swifter action following last year’s global climate agreement.

On Mandela Day (yesterday, 18 July), the Elders – the independent group of global leaders founded by the late Nelson Mandela – called on world leaders to live up to their climate commitments, noting that to date none of the top 10 emitters of greenhouse gases have ratified the Paris Agreement and that leaders continue to make counter-productive investment decisions on fossil fuel subsidies.

6. UN climate-change envoy Mary Robinson criticises UK, Germany.

While Germany has taken some positive steps, it is sending mixed messages on climate change, UN envoy Robinson – and prominent The Elders member – said according to Deutsche Welle. She accused Berlin and the UK, among others, of backtracking on the spirit of the Paris climate agreement by financing the fossil-fuel industry through subsidies.

7. Following Brexit, the UK has abolished its climate change department.

You read that right, the UK’s Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has been closed as part of a series of sweeping changes unveiled by the island nation’s new prime minister, Theresa May. Ex-ministers and environmental groups have condemned the decision to axe the ministry as downgrading action to tackle climate change, the Guardian reports.

UN climate-change envoy Mary Robinson, meanwhile said about UK climate change policy in general: “It’s regrettable. That’s not in the spirit [of Paris]. In many ways, the UK was a real leader [on climate change] and hopefully the UK will become again a real leader. But it’s not at the moment,” Deutsche Welle reports.

The former climate change department’s functions, which include representing the UK at international climate talks, responsibility for meeting carbon targets and levying subsidies for green energy, have been transferred to a beefed-up business department named the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy according to the Guardian.

8. But the Bank of England governor says climate change initiatives are a $7 trillion funding opportunity for capital markets.

Amidst all the Brexit chaos, Mark Carney still found time to travel to Toronto to talk about the business opportunities of climate change. According to the Financial Post, the Canadian said the trillions needed to fund global carbon reduction commitments in the coming years are a big opportunity for investors.

He said that given the enormous funding needs for clean infrastructure — he estimated at somewhere between $5 trillion and $7 trillion a year — investment opportunities will be plentiful, the Financial Post reports. Carney spoke at the Toronto Region Board of Trade with Catherine McKenna, Canada’s climate change minister.

9. Climate change is set to be a big part of the upcoming G20 summit in China.

So said Carney at the event in Toronto, emphasising China’s commitment to climate change issues. “If anyone is in any doubt these issues are of paramount interest to China and will form a substantial proportion of the Chinese G20 summit,” Carney said according to Reuters.

10. Meet the 11 Moroccans in charge of 2016’s UN climate summit.

So who is making sure the UN’s biggest climate change event of the year will run smoothly? The Daily Planet introduces you to the Moroccan executives who are preparing the 2016 summit as we speak.

11. Here are 5 valuable tips for students with revolutionary business ideas.

If you are working in your lab or library all day, you are bound to come up with some great climate action ideas. But what can you do with them? Eleanor Saunders, an UK-based pitch specialist and business coach, explains how you get started in this piece for the Daily Planet.

12. According to a new report, Donald Trump would be the only leader to deny climate change.

If elected US president, Donald Trump would be the only head of state in the world to contend that climate change is a hoax, the Associated Press reports. The Sierra Club concluded this based on public statements from the leaders of 195 nations.

Bonus: Here are 27 low-carbon business stories from 2016’s first half.

We’re already halfway through 2016, and the historic Paris climate summit was over six months ago. Time to take a look at what has happened! We’ve put together a small selection of the business-related climate change stories that made headlines in the first half of 2016.

Looking for something to fix?

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

  • Flood damages in Germany could multiply under climate change. So concludes a new study by Climate-KIC partner the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK).
  • Hundreds of west Europeans were killed in the 2003 heat wave caused by climate change. The heatwave raised the risk of heat-related death by 20 per cent in London, and in Paris by 70 per cent, scientists say in a ground-breaking study, Climate Home reports.
  • UK government advisers warn climate change could have a domino effect on key infrastructure in the country. In a 2,000-page report, the Climate Change Committee says flooding will destroy bridges – wrecking electricity, gas and IT connections carried on them according to the BBC.

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