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Study highlights gaps between current policies, national targets, and Paris Agreement goals



Welcome to another fortnightly edition of SnippETS.


We’d like to firstly acknowledge the success of the CEP conference this year. Events like these provide a great opportunity for our team to catch up with the NZ sustainability community and to inform ourselves with the latest movements in the climate space.


A highlight of the event for us was hearing the Chairperson of the Climate Change Commission, Rod Carr, update everyone on where New Zealand is at with our climate goals. I think any attendee would agree that Rod Carr provided a sobering overview of how our great climate successes are still falling short of our targets and how we are looking likely to overshoot 1.5°C of global warming.


We’d like to kick off our SnippETS articles on a similar note. Current global emissions targets, if fully implemented, could stabilise global warming to the Paris Agreement’s ‘well below 2°C’ target, even with 1.5°C remaining out of reach. Advocating for strong long-term targets has achieved this. Now, we must shift our focus towards accelerating solutions and ensuring these promises aren’t empty.


Short-term action is needed, and McKinsey experts have said that CO2 removal (CDR) will be a crucial part of the effort to achieve net-zero emission targets. We will also need to accelerate the growth of green businesses, despite a current shortage in green skills. Businesses have a large role to play in reducing global emissions and we must ensure that CDR claims are credible and high in quality, and that green businesses are able to grow to meet demand.


Individual action will also be needed. Green skills are becoming increasingly sought after in industries that aren’t specifically in the sustainability sector and we will need more workers to train in this area. We can start by encouraging others in our workplaces to advocate for climate action and to implement policies that will reduce climate impacts of the business sector.


We will also need to create an economy which is both zero-waste and circular. Outside of the climate effects of plastic production, reducing plastic consumption is crucial to reducing our impact on the environment and our health. A circular economy can achieve this by encouraging the use of materials over multiple product lifetimes. There are many industries where we can reduce our impact, including global shipping emissions which can be halved without damaging trade.


We finish things off with two fun articles. The first being a motorcycle enthusiast’s amusing envy toward the new age of electric motorcycle riders. The second being a thrilling article on beaver-bombing – the rogue rewilding activity which illegally reintroducing beavers into damaged waterways.



A new analysis suggests that if countries fully implement their net-zero commitments, global warming could stabilise to the Paris Agreement’s ‘well below 2°C’ target, even with 1.5°C remaining out of reach. However, achieving net-zero emissions goals requires urgent and unprecedented action. The study highlights the gaps between current policies, national targets, and the Paris Agreement's goals. While progress has been made in making climate pledges, the focus should now shift to implementing existing pledges rather than demanding more ambitious ones. Read more...




And it’s becoming clear that keeping the rise in global temperatures below 1.5°C, or even 2.0°C, will need an increased focus on CO2 removal (CDR)—taking CO2 out of the atmosphere through nature-based and technological solutions. CDR methods include natural climate solutions, such as reforestation and restoration of mangroves and peatlands; bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS); and direct air capture and storage (DACS). In this McKinsey article, CDR solutions are examined, being crucial in achieving net-zero emissions. Read more....



The transition to net zero is well underway, but it is not happening fast enough. Growth in key climate technologies, including wind and solar power and electric vehicles (EVs), has helped accelerate decarbonization efforts worldwide. Solutions such as green hydrogen and long-duration energy storage (LDES) are becoming available and, if scaled, could reduce global emissions even further. But the pace of scaling these technologies has not kept up with projections for a warming planet, with a significant acceleration being required to meet net-zero targets. Read more....



The demand for green skills is rapidly increasing worldwide, but the availability of professionals with these skills is not keeping pace. The study analysed job postings found that renewable energy, sustainability, and environmental expertise are highly sought after, particularly in emerging economies. However, there is a significant shortage of qualified candidates, with rising demand for green-skills in across all industries. This highlights the need for upskilling and training programs to meet this growing demand for green skills. Read more....



We can help foster green-skills and climate activism by establishing climate communities within workplaces. There are many benefits of doing this, including fostering a sense of purpose, building resilience, and creating a supportive network. Climate communities in the workplace can empower individuals to make sustainable choices, advocate for climate-friendly policies, and drive meaningful change. Employees must seek out or create climate communities at their workplaces to contribute to the larger global effort in combating climate change. Read more....





Zero waste: it’s the concept of transitioning to a circular economy by embracing reuse and refill systems. The environmental impact of single-use packaging is huge as it generates mountains of waste and creates CO2 throughout the packaging’s life cycle. To address these issues, we can use refillable and reusable containers, which will reduce waste and promote resource conservation. And it’s happening already in many places around the world. To succeed globally, there needs to be collaboration between businesses, governments, and consumers - but it can be done. Read more....




Amsterdam is one city looking to embrace zero-waste and the circular economy. It has ambitions to become a fully circular city by 2050, where resources are used efficiently, and waste is minimised. There are various initiatives and strategies implemented in Amsterdam to achieve this goal, such as recycling, repurposing materials, and encouraging sustainable practices in industries like fashion and construction. But there are challenges and Amsterdam still has some way to go. Nonetheless, the city may be a glimpse at how we will all need to be living very soon. Read more....



New research suggests that emissions from shipping could be reduced by half without causing harm to global trade. The study highlights that by implementing energy efficient measures and adopting cleaner fuels could significantly lower greenhouse gas emissions from the shipping industry. The reduction in emissions can be achieved through various strategies such as slow steaming, improved ship design and the use of alternative fuels such as hydrogen and ammonia. These findings indicate that it is possible to address the environmental impact of shipping while maintaining efficient global trade operations. Read more....



We next take a look at electric motorcycles, and how they have several advantages over ‘conventional’ motorcycles. They are easier to ride, twist and go as no gearbox and clutch. No heat coming off the engine while stuck in traffic. Less maintenance, so less costs to run. They are quiet. But like any conventional motorbike, they take up less space, so help lessen congestion as a much smaller footprint than a car. Hopefully we see this riding option expand on our roads. Read more....




Lastly, a secret movement is bringing back Europe’s wildlife. An underground network of enthusiasts is restoring rare species like boar, beaver, butterflies, and pine marten without asking permission. “Beaver bombing” or “beaver black ops” as it’s become known, is the practice of illegally releasing the humble beaver into a waterway and leaving it to do what it does best: fell trees, build dams, and construct lodges. Are these people heroes, or people simply breaking the law. Outwardly, it seems like they are trying to do the right thing. Read more....





This week we have the following innovation articles we hope you find interesting:










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