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Daily Briefing

16.06.2015
Today's climate and energy headlines
Carbon Brief Staff

Carbon Brief Staff

16.06.2015 | 9:00am
DAILY BRIEFING Pope Francis warns of destruction of world’s ecosystem in leaked encyclical
Pope Francis warns of destruction of world’s ecosystem in leaked encyclical

News.

In-depth: Is the 1.5C global warming goal politically possible?

Is the 2C warming limit adequate? Probably not, according to
a report conducted by the UN and launched at the climate change
negotiations in Bonn. But while the message of the report is clear,
it does not close the current chasm between climate science and
policy. Sophie Yeo discusses why it seems unlikely that diplomats
will agree to push down the 2C target at the Paris climate
conference in December.

Carbon Brief Read Article

Climate and energy news.

Pope Francis warns of destruction of world's ecosystem in leaked encyclical

Pope Francis will this week call for changes in lifestyles
and energy consumption to avert the “unprecedented destruction of
the ecosystem” before the end of this century, according to a
leaked draft of a papal encyclical. The encyclical – which counts
as the highest form of papal teaching in the Catholic Church – was
due on Thursday, but a draft was obtained and published by Italian
magazine L’Espresso on Monday. The unauthorised release of the
192-page draft angered officials at the Vatican, who described it
as a “heinous act”and warned that the
document did not represent the final version of Francis’
encyclical
The New York Timesreports. But the
draft nonetheless offers a clear picture of the 78-year-old
Argentine pontiff’s message on the environment, “which could emerge
as the most enduring legacy of his tenure”,
the Financial Times said. It could also
“have a significant influence on conservative politics around the
world”, noted
the Conversation. In it, Pope Francis
puts much of the blame for global warming on human activity and
calls on all humans, not just Roman Catholics, to prevent the
destruction of the ecosystem before the end of the century,
the
BBCreports. The draft says
population growth isn’t to blame for ecological problems, but
rather the wasteful behaviour of the rich. Francis backs up his
comments with science showing the impact on the planet of the
continual loss of biodiversity in Amazonian rainforests, the
melting of Arctic glaciers, the overfishing of the seas and the
pollution of the world’s water supply,
Associated
Pressreports.
Reuters,the Daily Mailand Scientific Americanalso carried
the story.

The Guardian Read Article
Weak climate plans set to overshoot world temperature goal

Countries’ current pledges for greenhouse gas cuts will fail
to achieve a peak in energy-related emissions by 2030 and likely
result in a temperature rise of 2.6C by the end of the century, the
International Energy Agency said yesterday. The proposed emissions
cuts from 2020 offered by governments for a global climate deal so
far are unlikely to meet the 2C goal, a threshold scientists say is
the limit beyond which the world will suffer ever worsening floods,
droughts, storms and rising seas. While the pledges are a “good
start”, if governments do not strengthen policies, the world would
be on a path to an average temperature increase of 2.6C by 2100 and
3.5C after 2200, the Paris-based IEA said. “Then we can say goodbye
to the planet we have seen for centuries,” IEA chief economist
Fatih Birol told reporters at a briefing in London. Birol also
recommended that countries’ pledges on curbing carbon emissions
should be revised every five years the Guardianreports.

Scientific American via Reuters Read Article
Fracking site gets the green light

Fracking for gas is likely to take place in Britain for the
first time since the technique caused minor earthquakes in 2011,
after officials gave it the green light in Lancashire, the Times
reports. Local authority planning officers recommended that
Lancashire county council accept an application to drill up to four
exploratory wells. If Cuadrilla’s application is approved at a
meeting next week, it would start drilling in the autumn and begin
fracking in July next year. The Financial Timesalso has the
story.

The Times Read Article
Coal crash: how pension funds face huge risk from climate change

The plummeting coal sector and a growing green divestment
movement is leaving firms who still invest in fossil fuels and
connected pension holders heavily exposed, says the Guardian, in a
special report. The pension funds of millions of people across the
world, including teachers, public sector workers, health staff and
academics in the UK and US, are heavily exposed, Guardian analysis
finds.

The Guardian Read Article
Shell Arctic drilling rig departs Seattle surrounded by protesters

A Royal Dutch Shell PLC drilling rig that will search for
oil in the Arctic left its temporary base in Seattle on Monday for
the trip north to Alaska as dozens of activists in kayaks tried to
stop it. Twenty-five people were detained by the Coast Guard.
Environmental groups say looking for oil in the remote Arctic could
lead to a disaster in an area that helps regulate the global
climate because of its vast layers of sea ice.
Elsewhere, Jane Fondajoined the protest
against Shell’s plan, in an interview with the Guardian.

Reuters Read Article
Study: The greener a state's legislator, the cleaner the air

US states where the congressional delegation votes greener
tend to have air that’s cleaner, spewing less heat-trapping gas, a
new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of
Sciences finds. Researchers at Michigan State University studied
decades of voting trends and greenhouse gas emissions state by
state. The Guardiansaid this was evidence
that the environmental movement is making a “real impact” in the
US. However, the correlation was nowhere near as big as population
or a state’s economic health.

The latest global temperature data are breaking records

NASA yesterday released its global temperature data for the
month of May 2015 – and it was a was a scorching 0.71°C (1.3°F)
above the long-term average, the Guardian reports. It is also the
hottest first five months of any year ever recorded. It is
therefore “likely that this year will set a new all-time record”,
Abrahams says.

The Guardian Read Article
NASA maps reveal how the world will need to adapt to climate change

Nasa has released 11 terabytes of data predicting
temperature and rainfall, the MailOnline reports. The new data is
revealing how temperature and rainfall patterns around the world
may change by the year 2100, including what may happen to the
climate in individual towns and cities. Much of the data is still
in raw form for now to allow scientists to run models on a daily
timescale, but a map released by NASA, provides some clues for what
the world may look like in 2100.

Mail Online Read Article

Climate and energy comment.

Kicking the coal habit

China’s moves to boost gas supplies should be welcomed, says
the Financial Times. Tackling the threat of climate change cannot
rely on wind and solar power alone but requires multiple changes,
including a shift within fossil fuels away from coal towards gas.
China, the world’s largest energy user with 23% of global use last
year, will be “critical” in deciding whether those changes are
made, the FT argues.

Editorial, Financial Times Read Article

New climate science.

Political influences on greenhouse gas emissions from US states

US states whose congressmen and women have a stronger
environmental voting record are likely to have lower greenhouse gas
emissions, a new study finds. Researchers examined whether
political factors could counteract the effects of rising population
and affluence on state-level emissions. The results suggest
political environmentalism can help limit the effects of growth on
emissions, the researchers say.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Read Article
Ocean Acidification in the Surface Waters of the Pacific-Arctic Boundary Regions

Acidification in the Arctic Ocean could threaten shelled
marine creatures as early as 2030, new research suggests. The study
predicts surface waters in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas could
reach levels of acidity that inhibit the ability of animals to
build and maintain their shells by 2030, with the Bering Sea
hitting this level by 2044. The region’s diverse ecosystems support
some of the largest commercial and subsistence fisheries in the
world, the researchers say.

Oceanography Read Article
Domestic uptake of green energy promoted by opt-out tariffs

Consumers may be more likely to purchase more expensive
household energy from renewable sources if a ‘green’ tariff is
presented as the default option, suggests a new study. Researchers
surveyed 42,000 German households and found that 6% would choose a
green energy option if it were opt-out, compared to 1% for opt-in.
This ‘nudging’ technique could be used by policymakers to influence
individual decisions without using coercion, the researchers say.

Nature Climate Change Read Article

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