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Today's climate and energy headlines
DAILY BRIEFING Kerry: ‘Overwhelming majority’ back US climate action, Paris climate deal is too weak to meet goals, & more
Kerry: ‘Overwhelming majority’ back US climate action, Paris climate deal is too weak to meet goals, & more


Kerry: 'Overwhelming majority' back US climate action

John Kerry has said that the US should not pull out of the Paris Agreement, and that the overwhelming majority of US citizens support action on climate change. The speech, delivered at COP22 in Marrakech, did not directly mention president-elect Donald Trump, but it engaged with several of the actions he has said he will take, such as putting coal miners back to work. “This is bigger than one person, one president,” the Guardian reports him as saying. Climate Home has the full transcript of his speech.

BBC News Read Article
Paris climate deal is too weak to meet goals, report finds

The IEA has released its World Energy Outlook, which suggests that the chances of meeting the 1.5C goal in the Paris Agreement are “stark”, although the 2C goal is possible. The Financial Timessays that demand for oil will continue to grow for decades, even if the deal is fully implemented. “Peak oil demand is not in sight,” said Fatih Birol, IEA executive director. This is due to increasing fuel needs for shipping, aviation, trucks and plastics manufacturing more than offsetting the impact of electric cars and climate targets, reports the Telegraph. The Times and Carbon Brief also cover the report.

The New York Times Read Article
Tony Abbott says 'moral panic' about climate change is 'over the top'

There has been a raft of politicians lining up to criticise Donald Trump’s promise to pull out of the Paris Agreement, but former Australian prime minister Tony Abbott is not one of them. In an interview with Sky News, he said that he thought the “moral panic” about climate change was over the top, and the election of Trump means “that we should finally be able to see this issue in better perspective.” He said he agreed to cuts in Australia’s emissions because he believed he could do it without hurting the economy. Separately, an assessment of emissions and policies among developed countries by Climate Action Network and Germanwatch placed Australia in fifth worst place, the Guardian reports.

The Guardian Read Article
Climate change a Chinese hoax? Beijing gives Donald Trump a history lesson

At the COP22 climate talks in Marrakech, China’s vice foreign minister Liu Zhenmin urged Donald Trump to make a “smart decision” over his country’s commitment to fight climate change. While Trump has said that climate change is a “hoax” created by the Chinese, Liu pointed out: “If you look at the history of climate change negotiations, actually it was initiated by the IPCC [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] with the support of the Republicans during the Reagan and senior Bush administration during the late 1980s.” Bloomberg first reported the news, and it was also followed up by the Telegraph.

The Guardian Read Article
This is where Obama’s hugely ambitious climate policies were headed — before Trump

The White House has released a 111-page document outlining its plans to slash US emissions by 80% or more below 2005 levels by 2050 — although the entire ambition of the US has now been thrown into doubt by the election of Donald Trump. The report outlines various strategies to reach this goal, including ceasing “nearly all fossil fuel electricity production”, electrifying vehicles and phasing down other greenhouse gases, including methane from oil and gas and agriculture. It also includes a role for “bioenergy with carbon capture and storage,” or BECCS — Carbon Brief has explained the one example of a commercial US project here. Inside Climate News also looks at the plan.

The Washington Post Read Article
'Global warming doesn’t care about the election': Nasa scientist warns Donald Trump over interference

Gavin Schmidt, NASA’s senior climate scientist, has spoken out about Donald Trump. Most of the scientists at NASA were going to “wait and see” about their new president, but he would not necessarily resign if the government continued to take the approach that climate change was a hoax. “Government science and things generally go on regardless of the political views of the people at the top,” Dr Schmidt said. “The issue would be if you were being asked to skew your results in any way or asked not to talk about your results. Those would be much more serious issues.”

The Independent Read Article
Big businesses call on Trump to keep faith with Paris climate deal

More than 360 other businesses and investors to urge Donald Trump not to rip up the Paris Agreement when he takes office, as he said he would do during his campaign. But prominent businesses — including Starbucks, Kellogg and Nike — have warned that “failure to build a low-carbon economy puts American prosperity at risk”. In the open letter, they reaffirmed their commitment to the Paris deal, writes Climate Home. Reuters also covers the story.

The Financial Times Read Article


Donald Trump, help heal the planet’s climate change problem

Thomas L Friedman pens an open letter to Donald Trump in the New York Times, asking him to reconsider his position on climate change, and how he could do so in a way that would benefit him. He points out that his golf course in Miami could be inundated by rising sea levels, and that the majority of immigrants in Europe today come from arid zones in central Africa. “You can frame the entire shift in your position in terms of free-market economics,” he suggests.

Thomas L Friedman, The New York Times Read Article


Solar geoengineering economics: from incredible to inevitable and half-way back

Researchers have examined the prospect of artificially engineering the climate to bring global temperatures down – from an economist’s perspective. Economists have long been intrigued by the potential of solar geoengineering as an “inexpensive” way to tackle climate change, the paper explains, but the thinking has evolved alongside the scientific understanding of such technologies. After an initial flurry of excitement, economists now need to work more closely with physical scientists to put forward a more detailed and careful analysis.

Earth's Future Read Article
Genetic profiling links changing sea-ice to shifting beluga whale migration patterns

An analysis of the impact of sea ice loss on the migration behaviour of beluga whales in the Pacific Arctic has found that while most populations seemed able to accommodate variations in sea ice from year to year and from region to region, the occurrence of odd migration behaviour could be explained by anomalous ice years. In one case, changing sea ice conditions led to an increase in killer whale numbers, a key predator of Beluga whales.

Biology Letters Read Article


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