Climate news #5

The world in brief – our weekly update on sustainability worldwide. This week covering: Elon Musk is the FT´s Person of the Year, Russia blocks UN resolution to declare climate change a threat to security, How can cities prepare for flooding? And how inconsistent carbon pricing affects cross-border lending.

Publisert: 22 desember 2021

Elon Musk is the FT´s Person of the Year

´Yet behind the noise, the speculative frenzy and the apparent flouting of rules, there is an achievement of great substance. The FT is naming Elon Musk its Person of the Year because he has triggered a historic shift in the world’s auto industry towards electric vehicles. Even if Tesla were to somehow collapse next year — something that, unlike two years ago, no one is now predicting — Musk would have transformed one of the world’s most important industries in ways that could have profound implications for governments, investors — and for the climate.´

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Russia blocks UN resolution to declare climate change a threat to security

Russia on Monday blocked a United Nations Security Council draft resolution, under negotiation for many months, that for the first time would have defined climate change as a threat to peace. The resolution, which had enjoyed wide-ranging support, would have significantly expanded the criteria used by the most powerful U.N. agency to justify intervening in armed conflicts around the world.

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How can cities prepare for flooding?

Cities need to become more porous: ways to do this include permeable pavements, green roofs, and planting trees along streets to reduce water run-off. Play areas can double up as water-storage ponds. Drainage and sewers are also inadequate in many cities, so municipalities should invest in new infrastructure like London`s new super-sewer, which will be open for (everyone´s) business in 2025. 

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How inconsistent carbon pricing affects cross-border lending

The World Bank reckons that 45 countries and 34 subnational jurisdictions have adopted some form of carbon pricing, ranging from taxes to emissions-trading systems. But these schemes cover only about a fifth of global greenhouse-gas emissions. 

Steven Ongena of the University of Zurich, one of its authors, argues that banks “use cross-border lending as a regulatory-arbitrage tool” by shifting dirty loans to countries with laxer climate policies.

Cracking down on carbon is a bit like squeezing a balloon. Press too hard all at once and it may pop, but squeeze only in one corner and the air will simply flow to where there is less pressure. Such effects also mirror concerns about leakages in industrial markets.

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Les også: Climate news #3

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Guy Kiddey

Seniorrådgiver internasjonal strategi, politikk og kommunikasjon