Daily Media Briefing

Daily Media Briefing


Posted in: Daily Media Briefing, Energy, Environment, Technology & Innovation

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September 28, 2016

Technology & Innovation

White House, Google, Amazon launch big data tool to help with climate resilience planning

The White House has launched a new public-private collaboration to improve the availability and usability of data and information for climate resilience. Companies including Amazon, Google, Microsoft and IBM are working alongside NGOs and four U.S. Federal agencies to execute the project. Called the Partnership for Resilience and Preparedness (PREP), the collaboration aims to “empower a data-driven approach to building climate resilience”. In the coming year, the PREP platform will enter a pilot phase to identify the climate-relevant data and information needs of a wide range of users. PREP will be coordinated by the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) and the World Resources Institute (WRI). WRI will coordinate the non-governmental actions for the partnership, while USGCRP will coordinate the efforts of the Department of the Interior, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. (Sustainable Brands)


Paris climate targets to cost Asia $300 billion a year, but will help save lives

Developing economies in Asia will have to spend $300 billion a year until 2050 to meet the Paris climate deal targets, but can expect to save thousands of lives and avoid worsening poverty if they shift to low-carbon growth, research from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) shows. “ADB estimates that the region can generate more than $2 in gains for each $1 of cost it bears to reach the Paris goal – if the right steps are taken,” ADB’s deputy chief economist Juzhong Zhuang said. Spending on renewable power, carbon capture and storage, and smart grids could also help communities who rely on climate-sensitive agriculture and land for their livelihoods from plunging deeper into poverty. ADB urged the region to slash its heavy dependence on fossil fuels, which currently contribute to over two-thirds of Asia’s total emissions, and boost investment in renewable energy. (Asian Development Bank)


Europe’s wind sector set to swell by 140GW by 2025

Plans to redesign subsidy programmes for wind power is “driving a rush to market” for developers keen to deliver projects ahead of any regime change, according to new analysis released by MAKE. They predicted the surge in planned development will deliver 140GW of new wind capacity by 2025. Germany will lead the capacity expansion, followed by the UK and Turkey. In total, Northern Europe is expected to account for 60 percent of all new installations, with the offshore wind sector expected to become a key driver of growth. However, the report warns that as governments phase out renewables subsidies in favour of support mechanisms more sensitive to power price fluctuations, investor returns are likely to fall and the number of large commissioned projects slump. Looking ahead to 2030, the lack of country-specific obligations under the European Union’s 2030 climate targets are a “barrier to long-term policy certainty”, the report suggests. (Business Green)



BP’s plans to drill for oil in Great Australian Bight delayed again

The safety and environmental regulator has asked for more information about BP’s controversial application to drill for oil in a marine reserve in the Great Australian Bight, which has already been rejected twice.  The Australian regulator has told BP it must submit more information for the regulator to decide whether the company’s environmental plan is acceptable. BP has already had two environmental plans for drilling in the Great Australian Bight rejected after the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (Nopsema) found they did not meet regulatory requirements. Environmental groups have jumped on the news and called for the regulator to terminate plans for drilling. The Wilderness Society’s South Australian director, Peter Owen, said the risks posed by the project were too great and Nathaniel Pelle, Greenpeace Oceans campaigner, said the request showed the plan was “full of holes” and was too dangerous to proceed. (Guardian)

New York City accelerates emissions efforts in face of daunting sea level rise

New York City has set out a plan to quicken its pace of decarbonization in order to meet its emissions reduction target, as the metropolis prepares for a daunting sea level rise due to climate change. The proposals state that New York “must accelerate efforts” to expand renewable energy generation, improve the energy efficiency of buildings, transition to electric vehicles and improve waste management in order to meet its goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050. The city has already lowered its emissions by 12 percent and is set to almost treble this reduction by 2030, but the road map warns that these efforts are not enough. The report lays out a strategy of increasing direct and indirect investments in large-scale renewables, building upgrades, incentives for electric vehicles, policies to encouraging walking and cycling and a goal of reducing waste going into landfill sites. (Guardian)


Image source: Empire State – New York City by Sam Valadi / CC BY 2.0