Please see below recent climate-related change, including key developments regarding the UN Sustainable Development Goal 13 - Climate Action.
Imagine a ship that is sinking and needs all the available power to run the pumps to drain out the rising waters. The first class passengers refuse to cooperate because they feel hot and want to use the air-conditioner and other electrical appliances. The second-class passengers spend all their time trying to be upgraded to first-class status. The boat sinks and the passengers all drown. That is where the present approach to climate change is leading - Buddhist monk Matthieu Ricard
- What's New? - Climate
- What's Changing? - Sustainability (including headlines on SDG 13 Climate Action)
- Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
- UN Framework Convention on Climate Change
- The winner of The Economist's Open Future Essay Competition 2019, argued that we should make a healthy climate a legal right that extends to future generations. The slow-onset nature of climate change, and the difficulties of establishing accountability from one generation to the next, make it necessary to develop and adopt new legal principles that articulate the rights and obligations underpinning intergenerational equity. Formal recognition of the rights of future generations would expand the scope of climate litigation and allow present-day litigants to sue on their behalf.
- The world’s readiness for the inevitable effects of the climate crisis is “gravely insufficient”, according to a report produced by the Global Commission on Adaptation, convened by 18 nations . This lack of preparedness will result in poverty, water shortages and levels of migration soaring, with an irrefutable toll on human life”. Trillion-dollar investment is needed to avert “climate apartheid”, where the rich escape the effects and the poor do not, but this investment is far smaller than the eventual cost of doing nothing. The study says the greatest obstacle is not money but a lack of “political leadership that shakes people out of their collective slumber”. A “revolution” is needed in how the dangers of global heating are understood and planned for, and solutions are funded.
- Richer nations tend to politicise the climate change while poorer nations more often present it as a problem of international concern, according to a study published in the journal Global Environmental Change. Researchers analysed more than 37,000 news articles from 45 countries and territories using computer algorithms and found that the strongest predictor of how a given country’s press will cover climate change is Gross Domestic Product per capita. In short: the way a country’s media reports on global warming is based on the resources available to combat it.
- Scientists tracked in 2019 an unprecedented number of fires burning north of the Arctic Circle in Greenland, Russia, Canada, and Alaska after a record summer heatwave. By one estimate, the fires released more carbon dioxide than Sweden's entire annual emissions in one month alone. This problem increases the risk that politically disruptive effects of climate change – like mass migrations or geopolitical competition for ice-free Arctic sea lanes and undersea resources – will arrive (much) more quickly than expected, noted GZEROMedia.
- Chatham House examined the increasingly urgent narrative surrounding climate change and the role of the corporate sector in helping avert the climate crisis. How, if at all, are strikes, protests and the new state of emergency reshaping consumer expectations, corporate strategy and public policy on environmental issues? What new business models and frameworks can private enterprises develop to help contribute to climate governance? And to what extent can businesses provide genuine leadership on climate change?
- Compost may be a key part of the solution to addressing climate change, but large-scale collection of food scraps, yard trimmings, and even human bodies poses a huge logistical challenge. Cities like Seoul, South Korea, which recycles 95% of its food waste, are proving it’s possible, while sites in Sweden, California, and New York are turning egg shells and carrot tops into biogas and saving money in the process.
- A recent map showed the 100 companies responsible for the biggest share of the world's greenhouse gas emissions, and their CEOs. Countries are inflated to represent their share of CO2 emissions since the beginning of industrialisation. If we want to make a serious dent in the amount of CO2 and other greenhouse gases we're emitting, this map suggests, it's these companies — and more specifically, these CEOs — we need to hold to account. Naming and shaming them is a first step. The basis for this map is the Carbon Majors report from 2017 by CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project), listing the top 100 fossil fuel producers in the world, responsible for 71% of all greenhouse gas emissions since 1988.
- Businesses building climate forecasts into their planning think largely of their own material assets - asking introspective questions such as whether their factories can cope with the physical changes happening around them. However, in terms of the people that work there, in many parts of the world, the impacts of climate change are undermining communities’ life support systems. In some instances this is leading to violent conflict, economic instability and societal unrest, prompting people to flee in huge numbers. The UN’s International Organisation for Migration states that by 2050 there could be as many as one billion climate refugees globally.
- Instead of introducing a premium credit card with benefits that typically encourages further consumption. DO black only has one essential feature - a carbon limit. The core purpose is the ability, not only to measure the impact of individual consumption, but also to bring it to a direct halt. DO Black claims to be a tangible and radical tool to tackle the climate crisis, fostering both awareness and responsibility.
- A recent study projected sea/ocean waters rising between 52cm and 98cm by 2100. This could be enough to wipe out a significant amount of the world's most important food growing areas.
- Youth around the world planned to strike, again, for climate action. The Fridays for Future movement, inspired by Swedish teen activist Greta Thunberg, planned over 2,000 demonstrations in more than 200 countries on every continent.
- Carbon removal is gaining traction as an important way to fight climate change: while the UK parliament declared a state of environment and climate emergency, plans for the world's largest facility for carbon capture and storage (CCS) were announced and the IPCC updated its guidelines to improve the transparency and accuracy of carbon reporting and removal.
- Quartz noted that climate anxiety is growing. And it’s not just the increasingly well-understood effects of living through related catastrophes like fire and drought - the American Psychological Association has recognised that being inundated by the bad news of a slow-moving disaster, delivered 24/7 by news and social media, could be wearing us down.
- It may be human nature to rejoice in sunshine and balmy breezes, but when the cause is climate change, days much hotter than the seasonal average can spark anxiety, too. Quartz asked scientists and philosophers about how to deal with this cognitive dissonance, and how to channel our emotions toward action.
- The Little Ice Age is term that often refers to a moderately cold period in the 17th and 18th centuries that hit Europe especially hard. But it may have gone as late as the 19th century and began - or was at least triggered - in the 13th century. Either way, the Little Ice Age caused famines, sparked witch hunts, altered wars, toppled dynasties, and may show us what lies ahead with climate change, according to Quartz.
- Students around the world have gone on climate strikes. Inspired by Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old Swedish climate activist nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, students in more than 100 countries have held massive school walkouts to protest climate inaction.
- Quantifying climate-related migration is a challenge, but figures are in the region of 18 million people a year due to natural disasters, not accounting for the impact of food and water scarcity on conflict, noted Forum of the Future.
- PwC's 2019 global survey of CEOs found that trade conflicts, political upset, and a projected slowdown in global economic growth have increased uncertainty and decreased confidence in revenue prospects. However, climate change is no longer among their top 10 threats.
- At the COP24 meeting in Poland, nearly 200 countries agreed to rules for how they’ll adhere to the Paris climate agreement. The rules define how nations will record their emissions and their progress toward climate goals.
- Chatham House argued that civil society has proved to be particularly effective at harnessing complex narratives such as climate science, and at leveraging an emerging multi-level governance architecture to create political space for climate leadership. Given today’s challenging geopolitical conditions and the evolving nature of the international climate regime, the thinktank argued further that civil society must now once again recalibrate its strategies to ensure continued and increasing relevance.
- GZEROMedia noted that the problem of climate change can’t be addressed without shared sacrifice among nations, a hard political sell even in the most harmonious times. But President Trump’s assault on the 2015 Paris Agreement inspired others, like Brazil’s 2018-elected president, to throw cold water on efforts to jointly combat global warming.
- Worldwide carbon dioxide emissions rose nearly 3% in 2018, the second annual increase in a row after three relatively flat years, according to the Global Carbon Project. Those conclusions are in line with a separate analysis from the International Energy Agency, which found that rich nations in North America, Europe, and the Asia Pacific region saw an overall emissions uptick of 0.5% in 2018, following five years of declines.
- Like its 1930s counterpart, noted The Intercept, a proposed “Green New Deal” isn’t a specific set of programs so much as an umbrella under which various policies might fit, ranging from technocratic to transformative. The sheer scale of change needed to deal effectively with climate change is massive, requiring economy-wide mobilisation of the sort that countries like the United States haven’t really undertaken since World War II.
- The need to act on climate change has become so urgent that mainstream voices are calling for civil disobedience to address it, warned Forum for the Future. The IPCC's latest report warned that we only have 12 years to keep global warming within 1.5°C. In the UK, the non-violent group Extinction Rebellion called for 'low level and higher risk acts of civil disobedience', and is backed by 94 prominent public figures, including MPs, MEPs, academics and religious leaders.
- BCG argued that there are clear paths for most countries to achieve substantial reductions in greenhouse gas emissions that can generate near-term macroeconomic payback. Just about all leading emitters could eliminate 75% to 90% of the gap between emissions under current policies and their individual 2050 2°C Paris targets using proven and generally accepted technologies. If they prioritise the most efficient emissions reduction measures, taking the necessary steps will actually accelerate, rather than slow, GDP growth for many countries. All countries can generate economic gain by moving at least part of the way - even if they move unilaterallym believes BCG.
- Crop yields are projected to come under pressure as global warming accelerates. Understanding when, where and how is critical to feeding the world in the decades to come, warned the Financial Times. US field crop agriculture is the most productive on earth. Tens of millions of tonnes of exports make it important to the rest of the world. Climate change is set to alter growing conditions for these crops. Effects will vary by region and crop variety, but net productivity will fall.
- Maersk, the world's largest shipping liner company, will target zero carbon emissions for 2050. Laudable, but not fast enough, for Exponential VIew, as we need to get to net zero by 2035-2040 to avoid 2° warming.
- Governments may need to redesign tax systems to support the fight against climate change. The tangible effects of climate change are an ever-growing challenge that society has to face, so in a fast-changing world, tax systems need to adapt too.
- Further reading:
- Climate change is firing up middle-class activism - FT
- Climate Change Summaries - getabstract
- Climate change food calculator: What's your diet's carbon footprint? - BBC
- Climate pact opens way for push to implement Paris accord - FT
- Impacts of climate change - Forum for the Future
- The answer to climate change lies in technology and engineering - FT
- Warning for climate negotiators as carbon emissions hit new high - FT
- The RSA argued that the circular economy is seen as one route to sustainable development and the improvement of livelihoods in the Global South: an economy where every element of every product is reused is an especially appealing concept as we respond to the IPCC's recent urgent warning on climate change.
- Humankind, according to Rolling Stone journalist Jeff Goodell, must face the scientific fact of sea-level rise due to global warming: rising seas will drown coastal cities, displacing hundreds of millions of people and causing trillions of dollars in damage. Storm surges - sometimes driven by hurricane winds –- are already flooding homes and businesses, bringing misery, pestilence and disease. Modern people - unlike their seawise ancestors - cling to coastal land, barricade it and build vulnerable fixed infrastructures like nuclear power plants. Inevitably, Goodell says, as soot-darkened glaciers melt at an unprecedented rate, “the water will come.” The author travelled widely to understand this unfolding catastrophe-in-the-making, speaking with its victims and with those who have the agency to limit its effects.
- Further reading:
- The world’s leading climate scientists warned there is only a dozen years for global warming to be kept to a maximum of 1.5C, beyond which even half a degree will significantly worsen the risks of drought, floods, extreme heat and poverty for hundreds of millions of people. The authors of the landmark report by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said urgent and unprecedented changes are needed to reach the target, which they say is affordable and feasible although it lies at the most ambitious end of the Paris agreement pledge to keep temperatures between 1.5C and 2C.
- GZEROMedia warned that the world is on track to overshoot its commitment to limit global warming “well below” 2 degrees Celsius. The difference between 1.5 degrees and 2 degrees of warming alone would expose an additional 420 million people to heatwaves and put an extra 10 million at risk from rising sea levels, according to the new UN report.
- The Future Today Institute (FTI) warned that political leadership is shifting to the far right in many countries around the world - countries which happen to produce a lot of pollution. In Brazil, presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro denies the impact of climate change and promised to increase the burning of coal and wants to pull Brazil out of the Paris Climate Agreement.
- The Conversation argued that women’s suffrage and abolitionist movements, for example, were built on countless individual “choices” but not “behaviour and lifestyles changes” of the kind we associate with current climate checklists. These movements depended on people starting (awkward) conversations in everyday settings. Collective action in response to climate change does depend on changes in individual choices and actions, then, but not those we tend to find on “how to make a difference” checklists.
- A study by researchers at Columbia, published in the journal Science, showed that climate change could lead to 1 million climate refugees migrating into the European Union every year by 2100.
- Part of the solution to climate change, argued Quartz, is to levy a universal carbon tax. This would punish carbon emitters and incentivize the development of greener technologies. While work is needed to integrate climate change into economic models, many leading economists agree a global price on carbon is the way forward.
- Furthermore, a recent study by the Environmental Justice Foundation said that tens of thousands of Bangladeshi families could soon face becoming climate refugees within their own countries. It’s a problem that could soon get worse - a one-metre sea level rise could result in a 20% loss of Bangladesh’s current landmass. And it’s not just Bangladesh at risk.
- Optimism is needed to help fight climate change, argued Quartz. People think that protecting the environment is so costly or difficult that they simply ignore or deny the problem.
- However, Harvard Business Review noted that although people are motivated to avoid threats to their existence, it is very hard to get people to act on climate change. Unfortunately, climate change involves a combination of factors that make it hard for people to get motivated and represents a trade-off between short-term and long-term benefits, which is the hardest trade-off for people to make.
- On the other hand, the director of the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication believes that, in fact, most of us are willing and even interested to discuss the topic, but their perception is other people don’t want to.
- The psychological toll of climate change is only beginning to be investigated, claimed Quartz. Papers have been published on farmer suicides in India going up in tandem with crop-scorching heat, and on the mental-health issues accumulating throughout the US as average temperatures climb higher and storms intensify. Last year, the American Psychological Association validated ‘ecoanxiety’ as a clinically legitimate diagnosis - read more.
- We have AI as a new tool to help us better manage the impacts of climate change and protect the planet, according to a World Economic Forum report, Harnessing Artificial Intelligence for the Earth. In India, AI has helped farmers get 30% higher groundnut yields per hectare by providing information on preparing the land, applying fertiliser and choosing sowing dates. In Norway, AI helped create a flexible and autonomous electric grid, integrating more renewable energy.
- Further reading:
- Climate change and the 75% problem - Bill Gates
- Inaction over climate change is shameful - FT
- SDG 13. Fresh warnings over lack of climate action across finance sector
- SDG 13. Hitting 1.5°C: The Stark Climate Choices for Governments - Chatham House
- SDG 13. Hitting 1.5°C: The Stark Climate Choices for Governments - Chatham House
- SDG 13. How A Regenerative Revolution Could Reverse Climate Change - Forbes
- SDG 13. New U.N. Report Warns of Looming Climate Change Crisis - Time
- SDG 13. Review finds that 70% of banks recognise that climate change poses financial risks | Bank of England
- SDG 13. The best way to reduce your personal carbon emissions: don't be rich - Vox
- SDG 13. The Economic Case for Combating Climate Change
- SDG 13. UN Says Climate Genocide Coming. But It’s Worse Than That.
- Thousands of executives, local politicians, and activists gathered in San Francisco to fuel momentum for the fight against global warming, a counterpoint to Donald Trump’s plans to pull the US out of the Paris climate accord.
- The Bank of England warned that not enough banks are planning for long-term climate change risks that could have a destabilising impact on the financial system. Further questions have also been raised about the importance of incorporating climate considerations into the regulation, supervision and oversight of financial markets and institutions.
- Further reading:
- SDG 13. 8 simple rules for grappling with climate risk - Forum for the Future
- SDG 13. China’s climate change battle - Inkstone
- SDG 13. Climate change will force sports to rethink how they're played — Quartz
- SDG 13. Finance firms 'slowest' signatories to report climate impacts - Edie.net
- SDG 13. Global Climate Action Summit 2018 | The Global Climate Action Summit 2018 information place
- SDG 13. Hurricane Florence: why scientists expect climate change to give us rainier storms - Vox
- SDG 13. Is the ‘Heat Day’ the New Snow Day? - The New York Times
- SDG 13. Ominous 'hunger stones' reveal dire warnings in Europe | Big Think
- SDG 13. Pension funds warned of legal action over climate risk - Energy Live News
- SDG 13. The Masses Are Mobilizing for Climate Leadership - Project Syndicate
- SDG 13. Women are driving climate solutions today and tomorrow - LinkedIn
- SDG 13. World will miss Paris climate targets by wide margin, says report - FT
- A new report suggested that climate change might well render many parts of the planet uninhabitable. Analysis suggests that even limiting emissions won’t be able to stop the planet from warming considerably more than the 2-degree cutoff. Researchers at the Stockholm Resilience Centre note that Earth’s own feedback mechanisms could mean we’ve already crossed the point of no return.
- Advising people to publish their climate change studies during a hot summer, Quartz claimed that when the context is right, more people will be open to accepting that global warming is at least a possibility.
- An international team of climate researchers warned that the domino effects of climate events could move Earth into a ‘hothouse’ state, even if countries succeed in meeting their carbon emissions reduction targets agreed in Paris. In this context, keeping global warming to within 1.5-2°C may be more difficult than previously assessed and now is a critical time to rethink current and future climate policy, argued Chatham House.
- The heatwave searing northern Europe was made more than twice as likely by climate change, according to a rapid assessment by scientists. The result is preliminary but they say the signal of climate change is “unambiguous”. Scientists have long predicted that global warming is ramping up the number and intensity of heatwaves, with events even worse than current one set to strike every other year by the 2040s.
- Further reading:
- SDG 13. “Climate change isn’t gender-neutral”: Mary Robinson and Maeve Higgins on their positive, feminist vision for climate justice | Prospect Magazine
- SDG 13. 288 investors with more than $26 trillion in assets call on world governments to scale up climate action to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement - IGCC
- SDG 13. Extreme global weather is 'the face of climate change' says leading scientist | Environment | The Guardian
- SDG 13. Halfway to boiling: the city at 50C | Cities | The Guardian
- SDG 13. Reducing food waste: 'One of the most important things we can do to reverse global warming' | TreeHugger
- SDG 13. The global heatwave, as seen from above | World Economic Forum
- SDG 13. Uncovering the mental health crisis of climate change — Quartz
- SDG 13. Will Climate Change Remake Human Biology? – Future Human – Medium
- Quartz noted that heatwaves have killed 50 in Canada and 80 in Japan, caused drought in Germany and Scandinavia, set record temperatures in Algeria, Morocco, and Oman, and left the UK looking brown from space. The heat has spurred wildfires that have claimed at least 80 lives in Greece, melted electrical wires in California, and forced Sweden to call for international help.
- The world’s five hottest years on record, in ranked order, were 2016, 2015, 2017, 2014, and 2010. “The sort of temperatures that are occurring now would’ve been a one-in-a-thousand occurrence in the 1950s,” Joanna Haigh, of the Grantham Institute for Climate Change, told the BBC. “Now, they are about a one-in-10 occurrence.”
- For Quartz, then, it is important we connect the dots on climate change. We aren’t going to find the solution to humanity’s greatest challenge without acknowledging the problem and its sheer scale.
- The temperature at a weather station in Ouargla, Algeria hit 51.3 degrees Celsius – or 124.3 degrees Fahrenheit. If confirmed, that would be the hottest temperature ever recorded on the African continent.
- Reshaping cities to be greener and more sustainable is one of the more urgent responses needed to combat climate change, argued Friends of Europe.
- Further reading:
- SDG 13. At Wimbledon, Roger Federer wears Uniqlo's climate-controlling clothes — Quartzy
- SDG 13. Global warming varies greatly depending where you live | World Economic Forum
- SDG 13. Guys, Our Planet Is on Fire. Here Are The All-Time Heat Records Set Worldwide This Week - Science Alert
- SDG 13. How to talk about climate change: 5 tips from the front lines - World Economic Forum
- SDG 13. Major investors urge G7 to step up climate action - BusinessGreen
- SDG 13. Rising sea levels will soon destroy underground US internet cables, scientists warn | The Independent
- SDG 13. Top pension funds and insurers failing to engage with climate risks
- Climate change scientists forecast that extreme temperatures of 46°C (115°F) will be five times more likely in the Middle East and North Africa by 2050 than they were in 2000, when temps reached these levels an average of 16 days per year.
- To keep global warming in check, the world as a whole must reach zero emissions before the end of the century, warned Quartz.
- Following the publication of the latest IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5 °C, Chatham House discussed the implications of its findings and the path ahead for mitigation efforts, adaptation and the international negotiations. It asked: How have the report’s findings helped build a greater understanding of climate impacts? What might it take now to limit temperature rises? As countries update and review their national climate plans for 2020, what practical challenges need to be overcome to reach the goals of the Paris Agreement?
- SDG 13. Climate Bailout: A financial tool to save the climate - Impakter
- SDG 13. Motor industry should be ‘ashamed’ over emissions - FT
- Up to 75 percent of the land in northern Nigeria, where the economy is heavily dependent on agriculture, has become desert over the past few decades, according to the International Crisis Group.
- The United Nations has warned that a drought in Afghanistan could lead to a shortage of 2.5 million tons of wheat this year, with two-thirds of the heavily bread-dependent country gripped by drought.
- SDG 13. AXA ranked top insurer for climate change leadership | The Actuary, the official magazine of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries
- SDG 13. Corporate social responsibility reports show oil companies becoming passive about climate change, say linguists — Quartz
- SDG 13. Animation: How temperature has changed in each country since 1900 - YouTube
- SDG 13. Fiji PM: Climate change threatens our survival - BBC News
- SDG 13. Here’s how fast a glacier can slip into the sea once it’s destabilized — Quartz
- SDG 13. Is your company resilient enough to climate change? | LinkedIn
- SDG 13. £555bn pension funds questioned over climate risk 'misunderstandings'
- SDG 13. 15,000 Scientists Issue a “Warning to Humanity” | Big Think
- SDG 13. Climate policies place $1.6trn fossil fuel costs at risk, report warns
- SDG 13. Could this be the best way to tackle climate change? | World Economic Forum
- SDG 13. Fewer and fewer people die from climate-related natural disasters- Bjorn Lomborg
- SDG 13. New research shows clear gap between companies' awareness of climate risks and actions for tackling them | Climate Disclosure Standards Board
- SDG 13. Shell outlines scenario for what it would take to halt climate change - Chicago Tribune
- SDG 13. The Arctic is sending us a powerful message about climate change. It’s time for us to listen | World Economic Forum
- SDG 13. The swiftness of glaciers: language in a time of climate change | Aeon Ideas
- SDG 13. Climate change will force some mammalian species to evolve away from their white winter coats — Quartz
- SDG 13. Europe: all 571 cities are destined for worse heat waves, droughts, or floods — Quartz
- SDG 13. The scientific reason Europe is incredibly cold and snowy this week | World Economic Forum
- SDG 13. Vanguard, Blackrock, and ExxonMobil worry about climate change - Business Insider
- SDG 13. Welcome to the Age of Climate Migration - Rolling Stone
- SDG 13. Why the Two-Degree Climate Change Target Is a Delusion | Foreign Affairs
- SDG 13. Black snow troubles pollution-weary Kazakhs in Temirtau - BBC News
- SDG 13. Climate Change: NASA ranks 2017 the second-hottest year on Earth despite no El Niño — Quartz
- SDG 13. It’s official: 2017 was one of the hottest years on record - The Verge
- SDG 13. Let it go: The Arctic will never be frozen again | Grist
- SDG 13. Taking firm steps on climate change to shape a more resilient tomorrow | Articles | Zurich Insurance
- SDG 13. The growing adoption of LEDs is having a tangible effect on carbon emissions — Quartz
- Glacier shrinkage, combined with melting of the polar ice caps, pose three main threats: raising sea levels; disrupting ocean current circulation and losing freshwater stores. The threat of the Greenland ice sheet slipping ever faster into the sea because of warmer summers was challenged in a scientific study.