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The climate costs of war and militaries can no longer be ignored

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Welcome to the first edition of SnippETS for 2024.


Thank you to all of the readers who supported SnippETS in 2023. We are excited to bring you more thought-provoking, exciting, and at times, confronting articles in the new year.


As the war and military conflicts continue in Ukraine and Gaza, we can no longer ignore the associated climate costs. The climate impact of the first 60 days of Israel’s military response alone was equivalent to burning at least 150,000 tonnes of coal. What’s worse, is this is likely to be a significant underestimation.


If you’re looking for good news, renewable energy generation grew by a massive 50 percent last year – the 22nd record-breaking year in a row. With the acceleration of renewables and EVs worldwide, climate scientists are starting to hail 2023 as the year emissions from energy use peaked.


But how can we ensure a successful energy transition? Put people first and provide the necessary training and financial support to vulnerable communities. Uruguay are leading the way with their energy transition, providing upwards of 90 percent renewable electricity generation while creating jobs and enabling the uptake of EVs.


Meanwhile, a tourist-funded carbon offset programme in Juneau, Alaska, is helping their community switch from emissions intensive heating to heat pumps.


Farmers in India are also putting the community first, drawing young people to agriculture by shunning synthetic fertilisers and pesticides in favour of natural farming practices. What’s more, is that India’s farmers are racking up carbon credits by adopting these sustainable practices.


We wrap things up with a fun read that got us talking – the carbon footprint of football. You may be surprised by the amount of emissions that come from fan-travel and if you’re looking for a sustainable football club to support, the Forest Green Rovers are leading the way.


Looking for a software tool to measure and reduce your emissions? We've got tips to help you choose.



Here is the full list of articles...


We open this week with the climate change equivalent of the elephant in the room.  How do you conduct a low emission war or military conflict?  The answer is you don’t, if the present conflicts in Ukraine and Gaza are anything to go by.  Two decades of international analysis and debate over the relationship between climate change and security has largely ignored how national security choices, such as military spending or warfighting, can have an impact on the climate, and so undermine our collective security.  It is time this changed. Read more…


As a case in point, the planet-warming emissions generated during the first two months of the war in Gaza were greater than the annual carbon footprint of more than 20 of the world’s most climate-vulnerable nations.  The climate cost of the first 60 days of Israel’s military response was equivalent to burning at least 150,000 tonnes of coal and includes CO2 from aircraft missions, tanks and fuel from other vehicles, as well as emissions generated by making and exploding the bombs, artillery and rockets. Read more…


If you’re looking for good news, renewable energy grew by 50% last year. It’s the 22nd year in a row that renewable capacity additions have set a record, with the goal being to triple renewable energy capacity by 2030, significantly reducing the consumption of fossil fuels. Solar power accounted for three-quarters of the new renewable energy capacity installed worldwide last year, with China installing more solar power last year than the entire world commissioned the year before. Read more…


This has lead climate analysts to believe that 2023 may be the year in which annual emissions reached a pinnacle, a key inflexion point toward net zero. There has been a 16% rise in the share of solar power and a 10% rise in wind power, well ahead of previous estimates. These forecasts are though predated upon the rapid adoption of electric vehicle motoring, which has faced financing and supply chain issues recently. However, deeper cuts are required to reach our net zero goals. Read more…


So how can we undergo a successful energy transition? After the COP28 climate summit agreed to move away from fossil fuel, the focus is now on how to avoid social disruption. We certainly can’t talk about transitioning away from fossil fuels, without talking about what this means for labour markets and vulnerable communities. A ‘just transition’ is crucial to ensure no one is left behind, whether that’s training programmes or government support. It’s particularly important to provide support in poorer nations, where there are many informal employment agreements. Read more…


To a certain extent, a just transition has been taking place in Uruguay as the country has been transitioning away from fossil fuels, providing upwards of 90 percent of its electricity requirements via renewal energy generation. An initial concern was that jobs would be lost in the energy sector. Instead, roughly 50,000 new jobs were created.  For others it has meant new business opportunities, and the country has seen an increase in the standard of living as reliable and plentiful renewable projects have been completed. Read more…


Meanwhile, a localised carbon offset project in Juneau, Alaska, has seen real benefits in the community. The project is providing heat pump installations via funds collected by tourism operators. Over summer, the town of 31,000 people sees some 1.5 million visitors arrive by cruise liner. Funds are used to install heat pumps, benefitting the user by removing the need to purchase heating oil or wood. In some cases, savings of up to $500 dollars with only a small increase in electricity costs, and of course, reducing CO2 local emissions. Read more…


In southern India's N.T.R District, the "community-managed natural farming" scheme, launched in 2015, has attracted around 800,000 farmers to embrace natural farming, shunning synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. Led by advocates like K. Rajendra, who left a computer training job to promote natural farming through YouTube and WhatsApp, the movement aims to make agriculture more appealing to the youth. Despite scepticism and challenges, the project in Andhra Pradesh seeks to protect livelihoods, improve health, reduce chemical inputs, and address climate change impacts, reflecting a broader shift towards sustainable and climate-resilient farming practices. Read more…


Indian farmers, facing climate change challenges, are adopting sustainable practices to generate carbon credits. Private firms collaborate with farmers to enrol them in carbon offset programs, focusing on resource-intensive crops like rice and cotton. The shift includes methods like direct-seeded rice, reducing water use and emissions. Carbon credits are earned for emission reductions and sold on the voluntary market. The market is nascent, but projections estimate it could reach $5-7 billion in India within a decade. At the end of the day, Indian farmers are hoping for fair compensation.   Read more…


What is the carbon footprint of football? Emissions reporting is currently inconsistent and often non-existent, but in one transparent example, German Bundesliga club VfL Wolfsburg reported greenhouse gas emissions for the 2019-2020 season of 9,460,915 tonnes of CO2e. A huge figure equivalent to 12% of New Zealand's emissions as an entire country. 59% of VFL Wolfsburg's emissions were related to fans travelling to watch the team (scope 3 emissions). But there are examples of positive change in football too, with English club Forest Green Rovers leading the way.  Read more…





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






Hydrology Report - 18 January 2024



Electricity Price Index - 18 January 2024



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Did you know: You can display your organisation’s sustainability data on your website or intranet using our carbon management software, e-Bench? Read more…



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