I’m going to do all this reading and research anyway… might as well share what I learn!
NEWS
+
VIEWS
December 15 2023

major agreement on methane emissions, COP Chair doubts need for fossil-fuel phaseout, Acapulco still reeling from Hurricane Otis, another famous physicist fails Climate Change 101, Portugal runs for days on renewable electricity

The Washington Post reports on a global agreement, the Oil and Gas Decarbonization Charter (OGDC), announced at COP28 in Dubai to limit methane emissions. Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas that does not remain in the atmosphere as long as carbon dioxide, so cutting methane emissions can reduce warming in the next few decades. “Halving human methane emissions by 2030 could slow the rate of global warming by more than 25 percent and start a path to prevent 0.5 degrees Celsius of warming by 2100, according to 2021 research by a team of scientists from the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and several U.S. universities.” This first-time agreement includes commitments from some of the world’s largest oil companies (such as Saudi Aramco and ExxonMobil) to virtually eliminate methane emissions from their drilling and production work, and new regulations from the U.S. government along with international monitoring efforts.

Inside Climate News notes that the agreement was buttressed by a $40 million commitment from Bloomberg Philanthropies to provide independent monitoring and verification of OGDC members’ emissions reductions. In addition, the number of countries that have signed the global methane pledge — a voluntary agreement to curb methane emissions by at least 30% by 2030 — continues to grow and now includes more than 150 nations. “If those promises are met, it’s got the potential to cut temperatures we would otherwise see within the next decade… more than anything agreed to at prior COPs, more than anything I’ve seen in my entire career over 30 years,” said Fred Krupp, president of the EDF.

Others are a bit more skeptical of the agreement. Distilled notes: “These companies also have a terrible track record when it comes to making good on their climate pledges. Over the last 5 years, fossil fuel companies like BP, Shell, and ExxonMobil all announced voluntary pledges to go net-zero and invest in low-carbon technologies. Then one by one they all walked back these pledges. Even if fossil fuel companies could be trusted to make good on their promises, the methane agreement would still have its problems.” In addition, as 40% of methane emissions come from animal agriculture, the agreement leaves a major part of the problem unaddressed…

read more
November 30 2023

latest National Climate Assessment reiterates the dangers of climate change, 2023 will be a record year for U.S. fossil-fuel extraction, global warming may be accelerating in this decade, electric school buses can stabilize the U.S. grid, California is drought free (for now)

The newest National Climate Assessment (NCA), a congressionally-mandated analysis of climate change produced every five years by the U.S. government, was released in mid-November. To nobody’s surprise, the Guardian reports that the NCA highlights “increasingly harmful impacts” striking the U.S. from Florida to Alaska. The Director of the NCA notes that “escalating dangers from wildfires, severe heat, flooding and other impacts mean that the US suffers a disaster costing at least $1bn in damages every three weeks now, on average, compared to once every four months in the 1980s.” The report documents impacts to human health, the economy and natural and agricultural ecosystems, noting that the costs of major emission reductions are dwarfed by the benefits.

The New York Times reports that the NCA, for the first time ever, contains a chapter on the economic impacts of climate change. This section notes that economic growth will be reduced because of climate change, but this is only part of the economic damage. Impacts on “non-market” goods — including human health, ecosystems, historic trades such as fishing and air quality (from wildfire smoke) — are real but hard to quantify. The lead author of this chapter noted that these “non-market effects of climate change in many cases are some of the largest.” Axios quotes the NCA: “Estimates of nationwide impacts indicate a net loss in the economic well-being of American society.”

Meanwhile, according to Grist, a new U.N. report concludes that 20 major fossil-fuel producing countries “plan to extract more than twice the amount of coal, oil, and gas by 2030 than what is needed to limit warming to less than 1.5 degrees Celsius, and around 70 percent more than would limit warming to 2 degrees C.” The report notes that, despite the current and growing danger of climate change caused by carbon pollution, humans continue to burn fossil fuels at an alarming rate. The New York Times points out that, “If current projections hold, the United States will drill for more oil and gas in 2030 than at any point in its history.” The Guardian reports that, in 2023, the U.S. is already on track to extract a record amount of oil and gas…

read more

IN BRIEF: PAST
CLIMATE NEWS

MORE MY TAKES
 

NEWS
+
VIEWS
I’m going to do all this reading and research anyway… might as well share what I learn!
December 15 2023

major agreement on methane emissions, COP Chair doubts need for fossil-fuel phaseout, Acapulco still reeling from Hurricane Otis, another famous physicist fails Climate Change 101, Portugal runs for days on renewable electricity

The Washington Post reports on a global agreement, the Oil and Gas Decarbonization Charter (OGDC), announced at COP28 in Dubai to limit methane emissions. Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas that does not remain in the atmosphere as long as carbon dioxide, so cutting methane emissions can reduce warming in the next few decades. “Halving human methane emissions by 2030 could slow the rate of global warming by more than 25 percent and start a path to prevent 0.5 degrees Celsius of warming by 2100, according to 2021 research by a team of scientists from the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and several U.S. universities.” This first-time agreement includes commitments from some of the world’s largest oil companies (such as Saudi Aramco and ExxonMobil) to virtually eliminate methane emissions from their drilling and production work, and new regulations from the U.S. government along with international monitoring efforts.

Inside Climate News notes that the agreement was buttressed by a $40 million commitment from Bloomberg Philanthropies to provide independent monitoring and verification of OGDC members’ emissions reductions. In addition, the number of countries that have signed the global methane pledge — a voluntary agreement to curb methane emissions by at least 30% by 2030 — continues to grow and now includes more than 150 nations. “If those promises are met, it’s got the potential to cut temperatures we would otherwise see within the next decade… more than anything agreed to at prior COPs, more than anything I’ve seen in my entire career over 30 years,” said Fred Krupp, president of the EDF.

Others are a bit more skeptical of the agreement. Distilled notes: “These companies also have a terrible track record when it comes to making good on their climate pledges. Over the last 5 years, fossil fuel companies like BP, Shell, and ExxonMobil all announced voluntary pledges to go net-zero and invest in low-carbon technologies. Then one by one they all walked back these pledges. Even if fossil fuel companies could be trusted to make good on their promises, the methane agreement would still have its problems.” In addition, as 40% of methane emissions come from animal agriculture, the agreement leaves a major part of the problem unaddressed…

read more
November 30 2023

latest National Climate Assessment reiterates the dangers of climate change, 2023 will be a record year for U.S. fossil-fuel extraction, global warming may be accelerating in this decade, electric school buses can stabilize the U.S. grid, California is drought free (for now)

The newest National Climate Assessment (NCA), a congressionally-mandated analysis of climate change produced every five years by the U.S. government, was released in mid-November. To nobody’s surprise, the Guardian reports that the NCA highlights “increasingly harmful impacts” striking the U.S. from Florida to Alaska. The Director of the NCA notes that “escalating dangers from wildfires, severe heat, flooding and other impacts mean that the US suffers a disaster costing at least $1bn in damages every three weeks now, on average, compared to once every four months in the 1980s.” The report documents impacts to human health, the economy and natural and agricultural ecosystems, noting that the costs of major emission reductions are dwarfed by the benefits.

The New York Times reports that the NCA, for the first time ever, contains a chapter on the economic impacts of climate change. This section notes that economic growth will be reduced because of climate change, but this is only part of the economic damage. Impacts on “non-market” goods — including human health, ecosystems, historic trades such as fishing and air quality (from wildfire smoke) — are real but hard to quantify. The lead author of this chapter noted that these “non-market effects of climate change in many cases are some of the largest.” Axios quotes the NCA: “Estimates of nationwide impacts indicate a net loss in the economic well-being of American society.”

Meanwhile, according to Grist, a new U.N. report concludes that 20 major fossil-fuel producing countries “plan to extract more than twice the amount of coal, oil, and gas by 2030 than what is needed to limit warming to less than 1.5 degrees Celsius, and around 70 percent more than would limit warming to 2 degrees C.” The report notes that, despite the current and growing danger of climate change caused by carbon pollution, humans continue to burn fossil fuels at an alarming rate. The New York Times points out that, “If current projections hold, the United States will drill for more oil and gas in 2030 than at any point in its history.” The Guardian reports that, in 2023, the U.S. is already on track to extract a record amount of oil and gas…

read more

IN BRIEF: PAST
CLIMATE NEWS

MORE MY TAKES