News: COP25, solar desalination plants and UNEP set-backs|
From the Director: COP25 – cutting emissions is not enough
The latest round of UN climate negotiations – COP 25 – began in Madrid this week. The Conference will attempt to make progress on ramping up measures to meet domestic reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. But one thing that COP 25 is unlikely to make progress on is the constraint on the supply of fossil fuels.
The Paris agreement was focused on getting states to limit their domestic greenhouse gas emissions. But what has continued unabated since then is support for the production and supply of fossil fuels which are then exported.
The UNEP Production Gap Report notes that Governments are planning to produce 50% more fossil fuels than is consistent with meeting a 2°C target, and 120% more than a 1.5°C target by 2030. The main contributor to this supply overshoot is coal.
As the world’s largest exporter of coal, Australia plays a huge role in contributing to this excess supply. Australia is the sixth largest exporter of fossil fuels but only the 55th largest country by population.
- The UNEP’s Emissions Gap report has revealed that due to nations’ present emissions trajectories, we now require a decrease in emissions of 7.6% annually from 2020 to 2030 if we are to remain in the 1.5 degree warming limit.
- Despite being notorious climate action laggards, experts from various fields have affirmed that Australia does in fact have the science and technology at hand to effectively decarbonise our energy sources, transportation systems, industry and city planning. You can learn more about economic solutions here.
- Energy analysis from Carbon Brief has found that “Global electricity production from coal is on track to fall by around 3% in 2019, the largest drop on record”.
- Renewable energy organisation, Give Power, have developed a solar-powered desalination plant, supplying clean drinking water to 35,000 people a day.
- International banking group, BNP Paribas, has announced it will cease all financing related to the thermal coal sector in 2030 in the EU, and worldwide by 2040.
- KPMG analysis has found that Indian coal plants may have to slow down between 9-16% due to the rapid expansion of renewables in India.
Ethics and Exports
Just Transitions Conference: CFP
In March 2020, Scientia PhD Candidate Ushana Jayasuriya is hosting an exciting interdisciplinary post-graduate conference on just transitions. The conference aims to cover a broad range of topics including but not limited to:
- Justice issues relating to the transition
- Community involvement in transitions
- Current transition proposals/frameworks
- Barriers for transitions
- Policy on transition
- Support and opposition to transitions
If you are a post-graduate student studying in a related field or know someone who might be interested in submitting an abstract, please email Ushana: firstname.lastname@example.org