SnippETS for 26 September 2019
Welcome to our latest SnippETS newsletter.
This issue of Snippets highlights the continuing growth in awareness and a desire for participation for taking an aggressive stance on tackling climate change. We also review how the global media has adopted a proactive approach to getting the climate change message out there and calls for action.
And why not take action? A recent report from the Global Commission on Adaptation, has determined that investing $1.8 trillion globally in five areas from 2020 to 2030 could generate $7.1 trillion in total net benefits. But only if we act now.
We also review changes in farming practices and how in many ways we are getting back to nature in the way we relate to our soil and the importance in maintaining their good health, both from a yield perspective, and also in their ability to sequester carbon.
Earlier this year the Columbia Journalism Review and The Nation launched an initiative to raise the level of climate change reporting from media outlets around the world. Covering Climate Now is a challenge to world media outlets to raise their game and commit to climate reporting- and it seems to be working. So far, there are 250 media organizations that have signed on with a combined global audience of over 1 billion, and the list is growing.
One media company that is not part of Covering Climate Now, but perhaps should be, is Juice Media. Juice Media is famous for trolling the Australian Government for all sorts of misdeeds, and in this instance, they are giving Canberra a satirical serve about their absolute lack of action on climate change. Certainly worth a watch but be mindful in advance that there is some strong language in the clip!
Snippets is full of positive articles about companies that are taking actions to be sustainable and then telling their story about how and what has been achieved. It however came as quite a surprise to learn that there are companies that do the hard yards, but just do not want to discuss it. Reasons cited range from not wanting to share trade secrets, lose a competitive advantage, or concerns they might face allegations of greenwashing.
Perhaps it is a sign of the times, but there seems to be a growth in employee activism that has the blessing of employers. This article lays out three ways that employers can support employee activism around climate change. N.B. the Energy TS team will be participating in the Wellington climate strike this Friday, 27th September, and we welcome you to join us either in Wellington or at your local event. Further details can be found here.
Even if we limit warming to 1.5C or 2C with drastic climate action, there will still be a need for us to adapt to a warming global climate. However, the good news is that smart investments in climate change adaptation will more than pay for themselves. A report from the Global Commission on Adaptation, has determined that investing $1.8 trillion globally in five areas from 2020 to 2030 could generate $7.1 trillion in total net benefits. But only if we invest now!
One nation who is investing heavily in transitioning to a low emissions economy is China. Currently the world’s largest emitter of GHG emissions, China appears to be honouring its Paris Agreement climate targets with their energy and climate policies. This article highlights the work that China is doing and makes the prediction that their emissions will peak well before Paris Agreement target date of 2030.
For us to reduce emissions will require extensive investments in renewable generation, including the construction of wind turbines that will still depend on the extractive sector for their material. For many years Environmental Social and Governance (ESG) has been ignored by the mining industry, mainly because there were no hard and fast rules on how to implement ESG policies, nor any penalties for failing to comply. But it doesn’t have to be this way, and now institutions are demanding extractive companies prove projects are sustainable, and customers are asking for evidence of ethical practices. Read more....
Moving from mining to farming, we examine how an Otago farmer who ditched the use of chemicals in 2009, over concerns of the state of his soil hasn’t looked back. Using trial plots, it was worked out he could regenerate his soils using natural fertilisers and other practices like diversifying forage and strict grazing management. This practice is now known as regenerative agriculture and has the promise of not only improving on-farm yields, but also in sequestering carbon. Read more.....
A quirky, but nevertheless good news article, we examine how a weather station has brought big changes to Kothapally, India. All the children at the local school take turns to record rainfall, humidity, wind speed and air temperature from the weather station and then publicly display this for farmers to review. Aided with this knowledge, farmers have been able to manage their crops better, leading to additional productivity and more schooling for their children. Read more.....
The way we farm our land is also changing quickly. For example, using small electric robots to replace some of the functions a diesel tractor would do (less emissions), by feeding and weeding as well as monitoring soil health. Drones are also being used to map fields to determine exact patterns of moisture, weeds and pests and optimise chemical use. More trees are being planted to sequester carbon and prevent soil erosion, and to generally be better custodians of the land. Read more.....
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