Snippets for 29 September 2022



Thank you for reading our latest issue of Snippets.


We kick off our newsletter by unpacking Vanuatu’s contribution to the fight against climate change. The Pacific Island nation has called on other countries to sign up for a fossil fuel non-proliferation treaty. It also has very ambitious climate policies where the country plans to phase out fossil fuels completely by 2030. We then move on to the UN Secretary general’s strong stance against fossil fuel companies by calling for extra tax on fossil fuel profits in developed countries.


What happens when we fully decarbonise the global energy system within a few decades? A new study has revealed that it will be profitable and will save the world at least $US12 trillion on reaching the target by 2050. Speaking of transitions, a new multi-stakeholder alliance between the government of Denmark and two other agencies has been formed to increase the offshore wind capacity from 57 GW to a staggering 380 GW. The next article talks about how we humans are living through the end of the era of "abundance" as French President Emmanuel Macron believes.


In our last edition of Snippets, we covered an article where France was seeking to limit private jet use. Turns out, this was one of the few proposals made by 150 randomly selected citizens by the French government as part of a Citizens Assembly group to make climate policy, as explained in the article. We then move on to a sold-out climate and business conference in Auckland where business, political and climate policy leaders spoke about how sustainability and businesses can work together. Our next articles help us understand how a new multi-year study has led researchers to pin a dollar value on the cost paid by society for emitting an additional tonne of CO2 into the atmosphere. We later find out what happens when 4 different cities stick with the boldest and fastest pedestrian-friendly changes during the pandemic in a post-Covid world.


Our final article showcases Patagonia’s purpose-driven business model to make capitalism more compatible with sustainability.

At the UN General Assembly, Vanuatu, a small country of 310,000 people wants all countries to sign up for an international fossil fuel non-proliferation treaty. It focuses on ending all new fossil fuel projects and phasing out all current ones, in a way that was exampled with the Montreal Protocol for removing CFCs. As countries worked together for ozone, they can work together for climate change. Many countries, cities and subnational governments are backing the call, along with thousands of scientists, academics, and Nobel Laureates. Read more....

The UN secretary general says, “polluters must pay,” calling for extra tax on fossil fuel profits in developed countries, with the money raised going to countries affected by climate change and households struggling with the cost-of-living crisis. Fossil fuel firms and their enablers need to be held to account. It is understood it won’t happen overnight, and most people would subscribe to a ‘just transition’ - two important words, where ‘just’ means fair but implementable, and ‘transition’ means transition, but it means it takes some time. Read more....

A new Oxford University study has found it is not only possible to fully decarbonise the global energy system within a few decades, but it will also be profitable and save the world at least $US12 trillion if it reached the target by 2050. The cost of key storage technologies, such as batteries and hydrogen electrolysers, is likely to fall dramatically in the same way as the costs of wind and solar have fallen over the last two decades. Read more....



As if to confirm the findings of the Oxford University study, a new Danish-based initiative called the Global Offshore Wind Alliance is seeking to drive a seven-fold increase in installed global offshore wind capacity to 380GW – from 57GW – by 2030. The Alliance aims to spur annual development of 35GW on average across the remainder of the decade and on to a minimum of 70GW annually from 2030, culminating at the forecast 2,000GW by 2050. This is simply huge. Read more....

In our next article, French President Emmanuel Macron acknowledged the interrelated declines in population, pollution, natural resource use, food supply, industrial output, and the economy. Macron is also the first major political leader to openly comment about a great upheaval related to resource scarcity. Are the days of constant growth (at all costs) coming to an end? Read more....



Politicians may have trouble getting consensus between different political parties or might even be worried about making ‘big’ changes that impact their citizens' lives. Could ordinary people come together and have an impact? France asked 150 randomly selected citizens to help the government with climate policies. This certainly shows the value of having ‘ordinary’ people involved in major policy changes. Read more....


Businesses also are embracing the climate action challenge. At a meeting of over 500 people at Auckland’s Aotea Centre, a swathe of business and political leaders discussed how climate change can be fought, while creating opportunities for businesses at the same time. This took the often-dragged-out narrative that business interests and climate action are at odds and flipped it on its head. If businesses adopt early, they will reap the benefits of an increasingly climate-conscious world. Read more....


If we don’t take firm climate action now, the costs down the road will be much greater than they are now. A team of researchers has released an updated estimate for the social cost of carbon, and it’s over three times as much as the current federal estimate. This has massive implications, not only for government climate policies but also for organisations which are part of the ever-growing voluntary carbon market. Read more....

It doesn’t just need to be national governments and businesses taking action either. This article looks at four cities whose local governments have taken it on themselves to make their cities, and the people that live there, greener. Paris, Bogota, Milan, and San Francisco are all investing in making their cities more bike and pedestrian-friendly, less traffic intensive, and easier to get around. All of this while making their cities more vibrant and enjoyable to live in. Read more....


We finish this week with a look at the clothing company Patagonia. The owner Yvon Chouinard has made some significant changes to the business structure. Under a new ownership structure, any profit not reinvested in running the business would go to fighting climate change. The Californian firm was already donating 1% of its annual profits to grassroots activists and committed to sustainable practices. "Despite its immensity, the Earth's resources are not infinite, and it's clear we've exceeded its limits," the entrepreneur said. Read more....








This week we have multiple innovation articles we hope you find interesting:






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