Good morning readers. This morning our news covers the latest ongoings in the global climate change crisis from the top stories at NewsNow.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has put pressure on Europe’s energy grid, as it imposes sanctions on its largest oil and gas supplier. “Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will definitely accelerate the EU’s progress towards net zero emissions and highlights the strategic importance of alternative energy sources such as wind and solar to meet both short-term and long-term needs of the European grid,” GlobalData practice head Pavan Vyakaranam told City A.M. “The Ukraine crisis once again proved the vulnerability and dependence of the EU on Russian gas to meet its energy needs. The current crisis not only underlines the need for energy diversification but also energy security of the EU.”. It follows Schroders, one of the largest asset managers in the UK – which hit £730bn in assets under management last year – making its own pivot towards renewable energy. With oil prices topping $100 a barrel amid the uncertainty over fuel supplies, the situation “emphasises an immediate need to look for energy alternatives” to cut Europe’s reliance on Russia, Vyakaranam added. “The EU will be immediately looking to increase gas supplies for its grid from other countries and regions such as the US, and Middle East Africa; may switch to coal for the short term; promote energy efficiency; and will accelerate investments in clean sources such as renewables, nuclear, and hydrogen.” – Ukraine invasion ‘will definitely accelerate the EU’s progress towards net zero,’ says analyst (City A.M.)
An agreement to negotiate a new legally-binding treaty to end plastic pollution has been hailed as “the most significant environmental multilateral deal” since the Paris climate accord, by the UN Environment Programme. Representatives of 175 countries backed a resolution at the UN Environment Assembly in Nairobi to draw up an international legally binding agreement by 2024 to help end plastic pollution. Plastic production has soared from two million tonnes in 1950 to 348 million tonnes in 2017, and is expected to double by 2040. Sky’s Ocean Rescue campaign launched in 2017 to raise awareness of plastic pollution in our seas and other threats to ocean health. Graham Forbes, plastics campaigner at Greenpeace USA, called the resolution “a clear acknowledgment that the entire lifecycle of plastic, from fossil fuel extraction to disposal, creates pollution that is harmful to people and the planet” – UN countries agree to create ‘historic’ treaty to fight plastic pollution (Sky News ~ Climate)
For the first time, a new climate report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has assessed how climate change is having widespread and cumulative effects on mental health globally. Over the past decade, research and public interest on the effects of climate change on mental health have been increasing, as the number of individuals and communities exposed and vulnerable to climate change hazards grows. As scientists who contributed to the latest IPCC report Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability, we are pleased that this Sixth Assessment Report assesses climate change impacts on mental health for the first time in detail, representing a major advancement and new contribution. Finally, health systems and health authorities must take measures to assess and enhance health system readiness to deal with growing mental health needs and increase disaster planning and training, to further support individual and community resilience to climate change. It is critical that we understand the serious risks that climate change poses to mental well-being and take urgent action to support health systems and enhance individual and community mental health and resilience within a changing climate – Rapidly increasing climate change poses a rising threat to mental health, says IPCC (The Conversation ~ Health)
We are seeing the far-reaching impacts of climate change, as documented and projected by this week’s report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, playing out in real time in our communities. The social aspect of climate change impacts gives us more options for reducing them. The mega risk climate change poses is that impacts outpace our adaptation, undermining our mitigation in the process. Mitigating greenhouse gases and systematically reducing the risk of climate change impacts requires people to be well, housed, resourced and functioning. Professor Lauren Rickards is director of the Urban Futures Enabling Capability Platform at RMIT University and a lead author on the IPCC’s latest report, Climate Change 2022: Impacts, adaptation and vulnerability – Make no mistake: these floods are climate change playing out in real time (The Age ~ Environment – Climate change – Floods – OPINION)
According to the study, sedan, SUV, and pickup truck battery-electric vehicles have approximately 64 percent lower cradle-to-grave life cycle greenhouse gas emissions than the same vehicles with combustion engine powertrains. Ford says light-duty vehicles, including sedans, SUVs, and pickup trucks, are currently responsible for 58 percent of the United States transportation sector’s emissions. “This is an important study to inform and encourage climate action. Our research clearly shows substantial greenhouse gas emission reductions that can be achieved from transitioning to electrified powertrains across all vehicle classes,” Greg Keoleian, a professor at the University of Michigan School for Environment and Sustainability, said. “Though the percentage savings is approximately the same across vehicle classes, on average replacing an internal-combustion-engine sedan with a battery-electric sedan saves 45 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent, replacing an internal-combustion-engine SUV with a battery-electric SUV saves 56 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent, and replacing an internal-combustion-engine pickup with a battery-electric pickup saves 74 metric tons carbon dioxide equivalent over the lifetime of the vehicles,” Max Woody, Center for Sustainable Systems Research Specialist, said – Ford study shows pickup truck electrification has substantial greenhouse gas reduction rate (Teslarati ~ News)