Today's climate and energy headlines:
- Friends of the Earth forced to withdraw anti-fracking leaflets
- Greens launch six-figure campaign against EPA nominee
- Exxon Mobil, Tillerson agree to cut all ties
- France delivers 2050 climate plan to UN
- A witness to Iran’s intensifying struggle with climate change
- Politics of climate change belief
- Climate Change: The Trump Card
- Delay‐induced rebounds in CO2 emissions and critical time‐scales to meet global warming targets
Friends of the Earth has been forced to withdraw a fundraising leaflet about fracking, after the Advertising Standards Authority said that its claims could not be backed up with evidence. The leaflet said that fracking increased the risk of cancer and asthma for local residents and would cause water contamination, plummeting house prices and higher insurance bills. The leaflet contained a photo of the Lake District, despite there being no plans to frack there, says the Guardian. The Times also covers the news, pointing out that Friends of the Earth spent a year trying to defend their claims.
Green group Clean Air Moms Action is spending at least $100,000 on a campaign against the confirmation of Scott Pruitt, president-elect Donald Trump’s choice to lead the Environmental Protection Agency. 51 senators are needed to approve his confirmation for it to pass, and Republicans hold 52 seats in the Senate. The ad focuses on Pruitt’s leading role in fighting Obama’s 2011 rule limiting mercury and other air pollutants from coal-fired power plants.
ExxonMobil has said it has reached an agreement with its former chief executive Rex Tillerson to cut all ties to the company in order to end any conflicts-of-interests over his forthcoming role as US Secretary of State. If his appointment is confirmed, the value of more than two million shares he would have received will instead be transferred to an independently managed trust fun, the company said.
France has become the fifth country to submit its long-term climate plan to the UN — a part of the Paris climate deal agreed in 2015 — setting out its plan to cut emissions by 75% below 1990 levels by 2050. The plan will require “major changes” to the country’s economy, it says. Most of the plan was published domestically in late 2015.
A short feature in the New Yorker looks at efforts by the photographer Ako Salemi to document the impacts of climate change in his home country of Iran. Featuring a gallery of some of his black-and-white images, the article says he visited areas affected by drought and photographed the impact on water. “There are now a lot of climate refugees in Iran,” Salemi says. “People are leaving their homes beside the lake because they have to find new jobs.”
Whether someone believes in climate change and whether they take mitigation actions are not necessarily aligned, says an editorial in Nature Climate Change. While Florida voted for Trump, for instance, it also voted to expand solar power, while top wind-energy producing congressional districts are led by Republicans. “Interventions based on the assumption that informing the public about environmental consequences will inspire pro-environmental behaviour are not effective, particularly if people do not already value environmental protection,” it says. It adds that it may be more important to convince people to engage in pro-climate behaviours, which can be motivated by economic factors, than change their views anthropogenic climate change.
In a 40 minute BBC 4 radio documentary, Roger Harrabin looks at the possible impacts of President Donald Trump on global efforts to tackle climate change. It covers questions including whether the US can undo the work of the rest of the world, whether the EU is backsliding on its ambitions in the face of political unease, and what the UK government is doing about climate change.
Green technologies must be developed 10 times faster than in the past in order to limit global temperature rise to no more than 2C, a new study suggests. The researchers find that per capita CO2 emissions have doubled every 60 years since the end of the 19th century – typically in big jumps. This pattern of growth is down to time lags in the spread of emission-curbing advances in technology – added to rapid population growth – the researchers say. They calculate that meeting the 2C limit requires reducing this time lag by an order of magnitude – or about six years.
Expert analysis directly to your inbox.