Sweden passed a new Climate Act on Thursday, legally binding the country to reach net-zero emissions by the year 2045. The act, which passed in parliament by a vote of 254 to 41, is even more ambitious than what the Scandinavian country pledged under the Paris Agreement: Under the new act, Sweden will reach carbon neutrality five years earlier.

According to a recent analysis, Sweden is one of just three European countries with climate policies in line with the goals of the 2015 Paris Agreement. The country has had a carbon tax in place since the 1990s and has invested heavily in wind and solar since the early aughts. Sweden derives only 25 percent of its energy from fossil fuel.

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Source: Pacific Standard

Climate Change Solutions

There is unprecedented, international support to address climate change. The Paris Agreement – a global and legally binding agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to limit global warming to well below 2oC – has gathered sufficient momentum to enter into force in less than a year. The Sustainable Development Goals provide clear 2030 goals on a range of environmental and social issues – including goal 13 which is an explicit requirement to combat climate change. And recently, the international community reached two more milestone agreements, one on limiting international carbon emissions from aviation, and one on reducing HFCs – one of the more potent greenhouse gases. The challenge is now twofold: to ensure business, governments and civil society work together to deliver on the existing commitments, and to start working towards ratcheting up ambition ahead of the first review period in 2018.

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Source: World Economic Forum


Monitoring is key to cutting emissions

Pledges to reduce emissions and tackle climate change are important, but a new study says making sure they are actually carried through is vital.

The big achievement of the Paris Agreement on climate change last December was getting more than 190 countries around the world to agree to a significant programme of lowering carbon emissions. But the reality is that promises are no good if not followed up by action.

Nations also pledged to pursue various other policies aimed at meeting the goal of limiting the rise in average global temperature to 2°C above pre-industrial levels.

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Source: Climate News Network

Seven charts showing how countries’ carbon footprints compare

The UN’s climate body, which was responsible for the Paris Agreement adopted in December 2015, has long been collecting detailed data on greenhouse gas emissions.

When countries met in 2014 for their annual climate conference, they decided that it would be easier to track progress if some of the data from developed countries — annex one countries in UN jargon — was collected together in one document.

The UN produced such a document for the first time in 2015, which compiled emissions data from 2013. At this time, only 31 countries had submitted their data.

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Source: Carbon Brief

BP: Global coal use fell by largest recorded margin in 2015

Global coal use fell by more than 70 million tonnes of oil equivalent (Mtoe) – a 1.8% decline – in 2015, the largest annual reduction in records going back half a century, according to BP.

The data, from BP’s statistical review of world energy 2016, shows a declining role for coal as oil, gas and renewables all gain ground. Coal is one of the most polluting sources of energy and limiting its use will be key to achieving the aims of the Paris Agreement on climate change.

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Source: Carbon Brief

MPs urge parliament to approve 2030 carbon target

Committee says UK ‘cannot afford further delays’ in setting fifth carbon budget in the wake of the signing of the Paris agreement on climate change

The government should approve the UK’s 2030s carbon target in the wake of the signing of the Paris agreement on climate change, an influential committee of MPs has urged.

The so-called fifth carbon budget sets a limit on the quantity of greenhouse gases that can be produced across the country between 2028 and 2032, as a way of meeting national and international commitments on combating global warming.

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Source: The Guardian

Climate change deal: ‘Zero carbon’ laws promised by government

Climate laws will be tightened to cut carbon emissions effectively to zero, the government has said.

Under current law, emissions must be cut by 80% by 2050 – but ministers have said this does not go far enough.

Following the climate deal in Paris, it is clear the UK must not increase CO2 at all because the warming threat is so severe, they added.

No details of the law change have been given – and critics said the UK was failing to meet even current targets.

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Source: BBC News

The Paris Agreement: a new compass for business

The world has reached many important milestones related to climate change in 2015. The hottest ever recorded in human history, it was the year we crossed the symbolic threshold of over 400 parts per million of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere. Today we have a new milestone: national leaders have come to an historic and ambitious agreement in Paris that will enable us to realize the transition towards a clean economy and stop dangerous climate change.

During the past two weeks at COP21 – and for many months preceding that – CDP and its partners in the We Mean Business coalition have urged governments to push for the highest level of ambition, and to send a clear and truly catalytic signal to the real economy.

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Source: CDP