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US Banks ‘Sabotaging’ Climate Targets By Financing Meat And Dairy

A new study has found that 58 banks in the United States are “sabotaging” their own net-zero commitments by providing financing to meat, dairy and animal feed corporations. Research for the report, Bull in the Climate Shop: Industrial livestock financing sabotages major U.S. banks’ climate commitments, was conducted by U.S. environmental nonprofit Friends of the Earth and Profundo, a research group based in the Netherlands. From 2016 to 2023, $134 billion in loans and underwriting was provided to meat, dairy, food processing, animal feed and agri-commodity corporations by 58 U.S. banks, according to the report.

Utilities That Pledge ‘Net Zero By 2050’ Are Doing Little To Achieve That Goal

Like many utilities, Southern Company, the second-largest gas and electric company in the United States, has a “net zero” climate pledge. A page on its website features gleaming solar panels pointing toward a blue sky, where the utility acknowledges the importance of the Paris Agreement. “Key to Southern Company’s environmental initiatives,” the company offers, “is a net-zero transition focusing on greenhouse gas emissions reductions, decarbonization, and a Just Transition.” Apparently, Southern Company’s green energy keywords haven’t translated into actual policy. All the company’s subsidiaries—Alabama Power, Georgia Power, and Mississippi Power, which together serve 9 million customers— get an F on a national report card.

Revealed: How Big Dairy Is Milking Net Zero

Dairy is a serious, but under-discussed source of planet-warming gases. Cows produce methane, a greenhouse gas that absorbs more atmospheric heat than carbon and is currently responsible for 25 percent of all global warming today. But its problems go well beyond the farm.  The dairy industry’s emissions are also growing fast. From 2005 to 2015, dairy’s gaseous output increased by 18 percent. And while the highest levels of milk consumption per person are still concentrated in the Global North, most of the recent increase has occurred in low and middle-income countries where rising affluence has led to greater demand for dairy. 

Society Of Authors Begins Campaign To Get Publishing Industry To Net Zero

Ah books… the solid feel of holding one in your hands — a portal into the thoughts and feelings of others. Taking it to the park or drifting off while reading before bed — a friend, a confidante, a teacher. An ancient practice that takes us back to a simpler time before screens. Books even have a unique smell — the smell of wonder. But books, like everything else made by humans, have a carbon footprint. A new campaign has been launched by The Society of Authors (SoA) to give authors support and ideas about how to talk with their publishers about the sustainability of their books. Called Tree to Me, the aim of the project is to help make sure authors are included in the drive to get to net zero in the publishing industry.

The Natural Gas Industry Sees Cow Manure Gas As The Key To Net Zero

Chevron has been talking a lot about cows lately. Alongside POLITICO articles about clean energy, in D.C. newsletters, on Facebook and LinkedIn, are Chevron’s recent ads featuring taglines like “We’re looking to turn the methane from cow 💩 into the fuels of the future.” Each ad links to a page on Chevron’s website which explains how methane captured from manure is actually “renewable natural gas.” But Chevron isn’t the only one talking cow manure. As world leaders convened in Egypt last November to negotiate climate action at the United Nations COP27 summit, a dairy industry trade association also ran a social media campaign highlighting efforts to “upcycle methane” from cattle.

UK’s Jet Zero Strategy: Path To ‘Guilt-Free Travel’ Or ‘Pure Greenwash’?

As the UK recorded its first temperature higher than 40 degrees Celsius on Tuesday, Britain’s Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps unveiled a new plan for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from aviation at the Farnborough Air Show.  The Jet Zero Strategy aims to achieve net-zero emissions from domestic flights and English airports by 2040, “so passengers can look forward to guilt-free travel,” as Shapps, Minister for Aviation Robert Courts and Minister for Transport Decarbonization Trudy Harrison put it in the foreword. However, climate activists argue that the plan promises something it can’t deliver.  “The Jet Zero strategy lands on the same day as the nation melts under record climate-change induced heat. But rather than a pragmatic plan to fully wean the aviation industry off fossil fuels, it allows the sector to carry on polluting with impunity for the next 30 years,” Transport & Environment (T&E) UK Director Matt Finch said in a statement.

Model-Based Net-Zero Scenarios Aren’t Worth The Paper They’re Written On

In a new paper, Sir Nicholas Stern, Nobel Laureate Joseph E. Stiglitz and Charlotte Taylor conclude that climate-energy-economy Integrated Assessment Models (IAMs), which are the key tool in producing emission-reduction scenarios, “have very limited value in answering the two critical questions” of the speed and nature of emissions reductions and “fail to provide much in the way of useful guidance, either for the intensity of action, or for the policies that deliver the desired outcomes”.  The research paper is The economics of immense risk, urgent action and radical change: towards new approaches to the economics of climate change. Now this is a big thing, because IAMs are at the center of the IPCC Working Group III report on mitigation, and “have played a major role in IPCC reports on policy, which, in turn, have played a prominent role in public discussion.

Why Our Climate Isn’t Jumping For Joy After COP26

Two major gains took place at the 26th Conference of the Parties (COP) in Glasgow, Scotland, which concluded on November 13: the first was that there would be another COP in 2022 in Egypt, and the second was that the world leaders expressed their aspiration to keep global temperature below 1.5 degrees Celsius alive. These were, however, the only gains made at the end of COP26 to address the pressing issue of climate change. After more than two weeks of intense discussions – and many evenings of corporate-funded cocktail parties – the most powerful countries in the world left the convention center pleased not to have altered the status quo. The focus of the discussions and negotiations by world leaders during COP26 seemed to be on the change of a word in the Glasgow Climate Pact, the final document that will be adopted by nearly 200 countries.

Why Developing Countries Say Net-Zero Is ‘Against Climate Justice’

In less than a week, world leaders will convene in Glasgow for the most important climate conference of the year, the United Nations’ COP26. One of the biggest questions of the conference is whether developed countries like the U.S. will finally cough up the rest of the money they promised to poorer nations a decade ago to help them cut emissions and adapt to climate change. But as the conference draws near, the paucity of funding isn’t the only thing drawing the ire of developing countries and breeding distrust. Last week, a coalition of 24 developing nations that work together on international negotiations issued a statement criticizing rich countries for proselytizing a universal goal of net-zero by 2050. “This new ‘goal’ which is being advanced runs counter to the Paris Agreement and is anti-equity and against climate justice,” the statement from the ministers of the Like-Minded Developing Countries (LMDC) Ministerial said.

Report Details Fossil Fuel Industry’s Deceptive ‘Net Zero’ Strategy

A new report published Wednesday by a trio of progressive advocacy groups lifts the veil on so-called "net zero" climate pledges, which are often touted by corporations and governments as solutions to the climate emergency, but which the paper's authors argue are merely a dangerous form of greenwashing that should be eschewed in favor of Real Zero policies based on meaningful, near-term commitments to reducing global greenhouse gas emissions. The report—titled "The Big Con: How Big Polluters Are Advancing a "Net Zero" Climate Agenda to Delay, Deceive, and Deny" (pdf)—was published by Corporate Accountability, the Global Forest Coalition, and Friends of the Earth International, and is endorsed by over 60 environmental organizations.
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