7 months ago

UK calls on financial industry to pour wealth into greener investments

GLASGOW, Scotland — Britain has called for the world’s financial industry to channel its vast funds toward greener investments to ensure that efforts to curb global warming succeed.

Treasury chief Rishi Sunak said that the U.K. government is providing new funds to help poor countries cope with climate change. But he said that “public investment alone isn’t enough.”

Sunak called for a “historic wall of capital for the net zero transition around the world.”

But poor countries are angry that after Britain and other wealthy countries failed to meet their commitment to provide $100 billion a year to finance climate-related projects in the developing world by 2020.

7 months ago

UK sets net-zero plan for its financial sector

GLASGOW, Scotland — The British government plans to make the U.K. “the world’s first net-zero aligned financial center” as companies and investors seek to profit from the drive to build a low-carbon economy.

U.K. Treasury chief Rishi Sunak will lay out the government’s plans during a speech Wednesday as top financial officials from around the world meet at the U.N. climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland.

As part of the initiative, U.K. financial institutions and publicly traded companies will be required to publish plans detailing how they will reduce their contribution to global warming as Britain seeks to cut net carbon emissions to zero by 2050. A panel composed of industry and academic leaders, regulator and community organizations will develop standards for the plans to ensure companies make progress toward meaningful goals.

According to a statement, Sunak will say the U.K. is home to one of the world’s leading financial centers, and so “has a responsibility to lead the way” in financing efforts to fight global warming.

The comments come after Britain and other wealthy countries failed to meet their commitment to provide $100 billion a year to finance climate-related projects in the developing world by 2020.

Sunak will urge wealthy nations to boost their support for climate projects in the developing world, saying that the $100 billion target will be met by 2020, according to the advance statement.

7 months ago

Biden hails climate progress, criticizes China’s Xi for not attending

GLASGOW — President Joe Biden praised fellow global leaders for their work at the UN climate summit, saying that they demonstrated “great example of the kind of ambition you need” to confront the scourge of global warming.

“I can’t think of any two days where more has been accomplished on climate than these two days,” Biden said at the start of his summit ending news conference.

The president added that China, the world’s biggest greenhouse emitter, made a big mistake with Chinese President Xi Jinping not attending in person. He added the Chinese “lost the ability to influence people around the world, and all the people here at COP” with its absence at the summit.

7 months ago

Chinese envoy argues nation is in ‘special development stage’ preventing more emissions cuts

GLASGOW, Scotland — China is at a “special development stage” that warrants its status as the world’s biggest current emitter of climate-damaging fossil fuel pollution, the nation’s senior climate negotiator said Tuesday.

Xie Zhenhua, a U.N. climate negotiator and special climate envoy for China, spoke to reporters Tuesday at the U.N. climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland. China has been much talked about as a major polluter but has been little seen at the summit. Chinese President Xi Jinping has not joined the more than 100 other world leaders at the event, addressing observers and delegates in a written message on Monday instead.

Xie, who played a pivotal role in talks leading to the 2015 Paris climate accord, underscored China’s stance that the United States and other developed nations should be the ones doing more to cut climate-damaging emissions faster, not China.

“We have already been making our biggest possible effort to address climate change,” Xie said, saying China was unable to start reining in its reliance on coal-fired power plants any quicker than it was doing.

7 months ago

Biden administration acknowledges impacts of oil and gas sales on public land, but hasn’t stopped them

FILE PHOTO: Pump jacks operate in front of a drilling rig in an oil field in Midland

FILE PHOTO: Pump jacks operate in front of a drilling rig in an oil field in Midland, Texas U.S. August 22, 2018. REUTERS/Nick Oxford/File Photo

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — The Biden administration is planning to sell oil and gas leases on huge tracts of public land in the U.S. West, despite the Interior Department’s conclusion that doing so could cost society billions of dollars in climate change impacts.

Administration officials announced last week that government regulators for the first time will analyze greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels extracted from government-owned lands across the U.S.

Burning those fuels accounts for about 20% of energy-related U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, making them a prime target for climate activists who want to shut them down, and Biden campaigned on pledges to end new drilling on public land.

Yet officials with the administration’s Bureau of Land Management said there’s little they can do to prevent the cumulative climate change impacts from burning the fuels, because they can’t discern the significance of emissions from government-owned fuel reserves versus other sources. The determination applies to lease sales planned early next year in Wyoming, Colorado, Montana, Utah, Nevada, New Mexico and other states.

7 months ago

PHOTO: Recycled Formula 1 car on display in Glasgow

BRITAIN-UN-CLIMATE-COP26

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson at the 'Accelerating Clean Technology Innovation and Deployment' event, as part of the World Leaders' Summit of the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland, on Nov. 2, 2021. Photo by EVAN VUCCI/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

World leaders looked at a Formula 1 car made from recycled plastic and a microwave-sized device that can generate hydrogen fuel Tuesday as they looked to promote innovation to slow climate change at the U.N. summit in Glasgow.

Speaking at the summit, President Joe Biden said that “our current technology alone won’t get us where we need to be.” He added, “we need to invest in breakthroughs.”

7 months ago

African Union seeks $12.5B from world to tackle climate adaptation

Felix Tshisekedi, leader of the Congolese main opposition party, the Union for Democracy and Social Progress who was annou...

File photo of Felix Tshisekedi in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, in 2019. Photo by REUTERS/Olivia Acland

KAMPALA, Uganda — The head of the African Union says the international community must support the continent’s efforts to adapt to climate change, including a program that requires $25 billion over five years.

Speaking Tuesday at the U.N. climate conference in Glasgow, President Felix Tshisekedi of the Democratic Republic of Congo said the continent needs the world to raise $12.5 billion, with the balance coming from the African Development Bank.

In his remarks before a meeting of world leaders, Tshisekedi noted that the global effort on climate change “can’t be won unless it is won in Africa.” He said he hopes the money will be raised before the next climate conference.

“It is a starting point rather than a ceiling, and it will contribute to building trust and confidence,” he said.

7 months ago

WATCH: Biden, Boris Johnson give remarks on Build Back Better World agenda

President Joe Biden and other world leaders made a pitch for his Build Back Better World, the U.S. president’s effort to offer an alternative to China’s infrastructure financing, at the COP26 climate talks on Tuesday.

The White House says the program is meant to offer a “clear contrast” to China’s massive infrastructure financing program known as the Belt and Road initiative.

In an apparent reference to China, with whom the U.S. is competing, Biden said it’s important to respond to the needs of developing countries and that projects not be dictated “from afar.”

7 months ago

Wealthy nations partner to help South Africa ditch coal

FILE PHOTO: Electricity pylons are seen in front of cooling towers at an Eskom coal-burning power station near Sasolburg i...

Electricity pylons are seen in front of the cooling towers at the Lethabo Thermal Power Station, an Eskom coal-burning power station in 2016. File photo by REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

GLASGOW, Scotland — The United States and several European countries plan to provide funds and expertise to help South Africa ditch coal and roll out more renewable energy.

German officials said South Africa will receive about $8.5 billion in loans and grants over five years to manage the country’s transition away from coal-fired power plants, which are a major source of greenhouse gas emissions.

South Africa gets about 90% of its electricity from coal-fired plants.

German Environment Minister Svenja Schulze said the partnership announced Tuesday, which is also backed by Britain, France and the European Union, “has the potential to become a blueprint for other regions.”

One focus of the initiative will be helping to create new jobs for tens of thousands of people in South Africa’s coal mining industry.

7 months ago

U.S., EU countries sign on to cut methane

GLASGOW, Scotland — Countries responsible for almost half the world’s methane emissions are signing a pledge Tuesday to cut by at least 30% the amount of the potent greenhouse gas they release into the atmosphere over the next decade.

Clamping down on methane flaring and leaks from oil wells and gas pipelines is considered one of the easiest ways to cut emissions. Cutting methane produced from agriculture — in particular by belching cows — is a trickier matter.

Dozens of countries, including the United States, European Union members and Britain are signing on. Read more about the Biden administration’s plan to cut methane emissions.