Fridays for Future is a youth-led global climate strike movement. Its goal is to put moral pressure on politicians to take the forceful action to limit global warming that the world’s scientists tell us is needed. They have called a Global Climate Strike on September 24th. The map on the strike web page shows where local actions are planned. Nearby Oxford has a vigil in Bonn Square from 13:00 to 15:00, and High Wycombe will have a one-minute strike at 11:00, in school classrooms across the town.
A new report by Climate Action Tracker highlights the failure of every one of the developed nations, and almost every one of the developing nations, to meet the pledges they have made to reduce their carbon emissions in order to meet the goals of the Paris climate accord of 2015. Pledges which themselves insufficient to avoid a temperature rise of more than 1.5 degree Centigrade. The Guardianreports on this too — their daily climate and envionmental coverage is well worth following. But even being told every day that more needs to be done does not seem to be making us, or our governments, take the required action. What can be done to remedy this?
That seems to be what a survey of mentions on UK television has found. “Cake” was mentioned ten times as often as “climate change”, and “banana bread” more often than “wind power” and “solar power” combined. See this Guardian article for details of the survey. We seem to be too busy consuming to notice the apocalypse at the door.
Pensions investments into fossil fuels are currently prolonging their extraction and use, at a time when all reputable scientific opinion holds that these must cease within a very few years if we are to avoid catastrophe. Fossil fuel investments only represent the “best option” for guaranteed pension income in the short term if their continued use will in the long term guarantee a climate catastrophe. Mark Campanale will give an authoritative insight into the associated dilemmas of short and long term benefits and losses facing pensions investment committees, and into the alternatives to fossil fuel investments.
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In this article from the online magazine Social Europe, two of the lawyers who fought the court case commented on in our previous post, describe the legal consequences of the ruling. The term “historic” may be well-deserved. Lawyers, sharpen your pencils!
A court case brought by a group of young environmental activists has succeeded in forcing the German government to step up its efforts to combat climate change. Judges in the country’s highest court ordered the government to strengthen legislation before the end of the year, to protect future generations — and the government has agreed. This comes two years after another major victory in the Netherlands. In the UK, success in the courts has been more limited. A case won initially by Plan B in February 2020 to prevent the constuction of a third runway at Heathrow, was overturned in January this year by the Supreme Court, for what seem like legal technicalities — see the report by Plan B and the detailed legal analysis by the international law firm White and Case.
Our online Climate Hustings took place on April 19th. Continue reading to access a recording...
Nearly 200 people registered on Eventbrite. For reasons unknown, the upgrade to our Zoom license to accommodate everyone did not take effect, and so only 100 were able to attend. We apologise to those who were unable to join the Zoom call for that reason. The event was recorded, however, and the chat was particularly lively! We hope to stage more online events in the near future, so watch this space, or write to firstname.lastname@example.org to be put on the mailing list to receive alerts for forthcoming events.
Representatives from the Greens, Liberal Democrats, Labour and the Conservatives will answer questions from the public, with Alan Heap, from Purple Monster, in the chair. To ask a question, please send it by the evening of Thursday April 8th, to email@example.com
The study estimates 10.2 million deaths in 2012 were due to fine particulates, dropping to 8.5 million in 2018. Of the 2012 total, 62% were in China (3.9 million) and India (2.5 million). The figures are more than twice as high as previously believed. See the Guardian report from Feb 9th and the published study, in the journal Environmental Research (behind a paywall, unfortunately, but available through university libraries).
Following up on yesterday’s post about the French “case of the century”, here is a link to a report from the United Nations Environment Programme, UNEP, released last month, on global climate litigation. By July 2020, the number of climate change cases had grown to more than 1,550, filed in 38 countries. Hopefully, this growing wave of climate cases will drive much-needed change. Unfortunately the law can also be used to defend the status quo. Thirteen US states have now brought in legislation to penalise protest against the fossil fuel industry. This article from Huffington Post, in June 2020, reports on Mississipi’s legislation, under which individuals and organisations which cause damage or losses that total more than $1,000 ― for example, by halting production at a refinery or stopping the flow of fuel through a pipeline ― could face felony charges punishable by up to seven years in prison and fines of up to $100,000.