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Energy demand rises, challenging climate goals

Energy demand rises, challenging climate goals

Rebound to push oil appetite above pre-pandemic levels, Moody’s says

oil pump
iStockphoto.com / baona

Despite new government commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, fossil fuel demand is set to surpass pre-pandemic levels, says Moody’s Investors Service.

In a new report, the rating agency said it expects demand for energy to continue its recovery in 2022, with strong consumer appetite for gasoline and resurgent international travel driving an increase in demand for oil that is predicted to exceed its pre-pandemic mark.

This resurgence in fossil fuel demand is running up against efforts to combat climate change by curbing emissions, the report noted.

“New COP-26 commitments provide momentum for accelerated decarbonization, but increased demand for oil and natural gas poses a stubborn impediment to progress,” it said.

In turn, this could could drive greater policy action, the report suggested, as increased emissions due to rising oil consumption “will likely lead to added investor pressure for oil companies to transition their businesses, and to inspire more policy initiatives to cut oil and gas demand.”

Moody’s said that the oil and gas industry’s efforts to combat emissions will include switching to renewable energy, along with “a new focus on developing technologies to generate low-carbon energy sources.”

“Companies are exploring technologies to generate less carbon-intensive fossil fuel, and technologies that offset [emissions],” it said. “But the commercial viability of even the most promising low-carbon technologies appears uncertain without regulatory support or subsidies.”

In the meantime, the strong demand for energy and uncertainty about the prospect of expanding supply will keep prices high, Moody’s said.

It expects oil prices to remain at the high end of its medium-term range of US$50-US$70/barrel, and that natural gas prices will stay high too, “as the global industry resolves significant ongoing dislocations.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Veterans target US military’s outsized impact on the climate crisis

Veterans target US military’s outsized impact on the climate crisis

With no mention of military emissions at COP26, a coalition is mobilizing to force the Pentagon to disclose and reduce its enormous carbon footprint.

More than 100,000 people protested the United Nations Climate Change Convention, or COP26, in Glasgow last month, where they networked, forged alliances and made clear their opposition to the status quo.

“There have been 25 COPs before this one, and every year leaders come to these climate negotiations with an array of new pledges, commitments and promises and as each COP comes and goes, emissions continue to rise,” Ugandan delegate Vanessa Nakate said. “I hope you can appreciate that we may be skeptical when the largest delegation here … does not belong to a country but instead belongs to the fossil fuel industry.”

There were in fact more than 500 delegates in attendance at the conference with ties to the fossil fuel industry, or twice the number of indigenous delegates.

Scientists from within the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC, acting out of fear that their reports would be watered down, leaked part of the IPCC report months ahead of schedule. The report provided critical information about the huge energy consumption of wealthy populations and the need for them to adopt lifestyle changes in order to avoid civilizational collapse.

Additionally, Greenpeace UK reported that more than 30,000 leaked files show corporations and nations, including petrostate Saudi Arabia and OPEC, pressured the IPCC to focus on potential technological solutions and exclude language calling for phasing out fossil fuels. In the end, COP26’s weakened language called for a “phase-down of unabated coal power and inefficient fossil fuel subsidies” rather than the “phase-out of fossil fuels.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

COP26 – Caught in a Net: Agriculture, Climate Change, and the Decarbonisation Agenda

COP26 – Caught in a Net: Agriculture, Climate Change, and the Decarbonisation Agenda

The 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP26, is the 26th of its kind. After a Covid-related postponement, it was held this year in Glasgow, Scotland between October 31 and November 12. Dr Chris Maughan has been in Glasgow for the first week of the event and reflects on the links between ‘corporate greenwash’ and the ‘net zero’ agenda, as well as what this means for social movements seeking just and agroecological transitions. 


COP is a notoriously difficult process to grasp – is it genuinely a space of negotiation, or just political theatre? And where does it happen? Is it in the negotiating arena of the ‘Blue Zone’, or is it somewhere else? Should we look to the ‘fringe’ events, the streets, or even Twitter to follow its tangled process?

While some impressive noises have been coming out of the Blue Zone this week – commitments to halt deforestation and reduce methane emissions by 2030, for example – or even the $100bn per year of ‘Climate Aid’ promised (but not yet delivered) to the Global South – similarly attention-grabbing noises could also be heard outside these spaces, from social movements articulating their own visions of climate justice, or those emphatically rejecting the mainstream process.

As COP26 draws to a close, this blog offers some reflections on the fraught relationship between the mainstream process and the social movements, and what this means for the fight for a just and agroecological transition.

COP26: A ‘Greenwash festival’?

Even before the event kicked off, activists were already preparing to highlight the inevitable wave of greenwash that would envelop COP26, warning of undue influence of the corporate sector. Upon stepping into the centre of Glasgow, the extent of the greenwash was hard to ignore. Almost every billboard implored me to believe that the corporates ‘had it covered’ – or at least would do if we chose to buy their product.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Blah, blah, blah, yay: Another epic fail for the COP, but seeds of growth for our movements

Introduction

As COP 26 began, Greta Thunberg summed up the whole thing quite succinctly using just one word, three times:  Blah blah blah.

And as it ended two weeks later, she tweeted:

The #COP26 is over. Here’s a brief summary: Blah, blah, blah. But the real work continues outside these halls. And we will never give up, ever [emphasis added].

And indeed, COP 26 was an epic fail, even by the dismal standards of the 25 COPs that preceded it, but at the same time, the global climate justice movement made some much needed forward progress.

COP26

Source:  Flickr

Why this COP was an epic fail

The process leading up to the COP was a blatant act of climate injustice

Starting with the process leading up till COP 26, we might well ask why was it held at all, under the conditions of COVID?

Large numbers of delegates and civil society, in its attempts to presence the world’s people, could not get to this summit, and this is beyond the usual exclusiveness of all COPs due to ordinary people and activists not having the means to travel, to be lodged, to miss work and income, and so on.  This was built in by the ineptitude and lack of sincerity of the UK hosts, who had promised to make vaccines and entry requirements doable for those who wished to attend.  So this can be called the COVID COP, to connect two of the many global crises that beset us.

Or we might call it the apartheid COP, to connect the climate crisis to the existing cultures of violence the world suffers, from local policing to national-level militarism (both led by the U.S., of course, the undisputed world number one in military spending and murderous police forces).

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

To keep fossil carbon out of the air, just stop pulling it out of the Earth

To keep fossil carbon out of the air, just stop pulling it out of the Earth

Nakate chided her audience for sleepwalking toward catastrophe: “We see business leaders and investors flying into COP on private jets. We see them making fancy speeches. We hear about new pledges and promises. … I have come here to tell you that we don’t believe you.” She added, “I am here to say, prove us wrong.”

Throughout the summit, people of all ages and backgrounds had rallied in the streets outside to demand effective climate action, climate justice, an end to exploitation and other policies through which the world’s governments might prove Nakate wrong.

On Nov. 5, more than 8,000 children, teenagers, parents and teachers marched through the city, calling on the generation now in power not to ruin the future for generations who follow. The next day, a surge of more than 100,000 climate marchers demanded an end to fossil fuel investments, a global conversion to renewable energy financed by wealthy countries and reparations for Indigenous communities.

Tuntiak Katan, a member of the Shuar nation in Ecuador, reminded reporters that “Indigenous peoples already protect 950 million hectares of land worldwide.” Affluent nations, he said, must “abandon extractivism and get the oil, mining and agribusiness companies out of our territories, and apply a holistic vision, combined with the vision of the Indigenous peoples.”

The Glasgow marchers’ goals were both necessary and achievable, but they knew all too well that fossilized COP summits have failed the world 25 times since 1995, and COP26 would be no different.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

To keep fossil carbon out of the air, just stop pulling it out of the Earth

To keep fossil carbon out of the air, just stop pulling it out of the Earth

Expectations for the COP26 climate summit were always low. They had dimmed even further by the time the prominent climate activist Vanessa Nakate of Uganda spoke from the main stage on the Glasgow conference’s next-to-last day.

Nakate chided her audience for sleepwalking toward catastrophe: “We see business leaders and investors flying into COP on private jets. We see them making fancy speeches. We hear about new pledges and promises. … I have come here to tell you that we don’t believe you.” She added, “I am here to say, prove us wrong.”

Throughout the summit, people of all ages and backgrounds had rallied in the streets outside to demand effective climate action, climate justice, an end to exploitation and other policies through which the world’s governments might prove Nakate wrong.

On Nov. 5, more than 8,000 children, teenagers, parents and teachers marched through the city, calling on the generation now in power not to ruin the future for generations who follow. The next day, a surge of more than 100,000 climate marchers demanded an end to fossil fuel investments, a global conversion to renewable energy financed by wealthy countries and reparations for Indigenous communities.

Tuntiak Katan, a member of the Shuar nation in Ecuador, reminded reporters that “Indigenous peoples already protect 950 million hectares of land worldwide.” Affluent nations, he said, must “abandon extractivism and get the oil, mining and agribusiness companies out of our territories, and apply a holistic vision, combined with the vision of the Indigenous peoples.”

The Glasgow marchers’ goals were both necessary and achievable, but they knew all too well that fossilized COP summits have failed the world 25 times since 1995, and COP26 would be no different.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Cop-26–Caught in a Net: Agriculture, Climate Change, and the Decarbonisation Agenda

COP26 – Caught in a Net: Agriculture, Climate Change, and the Decarbonisation Agenda

 

CopOut26, B Grade Cabaret Not Science

CopOut26, B Grade Cabaret Not Science

Mercifully, the charade known as Cop 26 has drawn to it’s ignominious end.

Almost all commentators are describing this latest Cop as a near total failure. As I have mentioned previously in this space it’s a near total success. The USA created the IPCC to prevent activists scientists from holding Capitalism’s feet to the abrupt climate change fire. It’s Time to Acknowledge the Spectacular Success of the IPCC.

In our video critique of the charade below I quoted the hyperlinked article from Democracy Now;
“Critiques of COP26 from activists both inside and outside its walls range from business as usual to abject failure. The United Kingdom’s shambolic management of the event, its strict visa requirements and its failure to deliver on its promised, pre-COP vaccination plan for attendees from nations with low vaccine availability have made this summit the whitest, most privileged COP in its 30-year history.” “While widespread access challenges have prevented thousands from participating, over 500 oil, gas and coal lobbyists have been given the red carpet treatment. If they were a nation, according to a new Global Witness report, they would be the largest delegation at COP26.”
Like Locusts, Lobbyists Swarm COP26 in Glasgow

“And here is the most impressive bluff: Just like in Kyoto and Paris, in Glasgow too, emissions of hothouse gases by all the world’s militaries are outside the game. Even though armies are some of the worst polluters on the face of the earth, no one is discussing them, no one is counting then, no one is proposing that their swelling ranks be cut. And not one single government is reporting honestly about the amount of garbage its army spews into the air.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 

To Keep Fossil Carbon Out of the Air, Just Stop Pulling It Out of the Earth

To Keep Fossil Carbon Out of the Air, Just Stop Pulling It Out of the Earth

Expectations for the 2021 COP26 climate summit were always low. They had dimmed even further by the time the prominent climate activist Vanessa Nakate of Uganda spoke from the main stage on the Glasgow conference’s next-to-last day.

Nakate chided her audience for sleepwalking toward catastrophe: “We see business leaders and investors flying into COP on private jets. We see them making fancy speeches. We hear about new pledges and promises. … I have come here to tell you that we don’t believe you.” She added, “I am here to say, prove us wrong.”

Throughout the summit, people of all ages and backgrounds had rallied in the streets outside to demand effective climate action, climate justice, an end to exploitation, and other policies through which the world’s governments might prove Nakate wrong.

On November 5, more than 8,000 children, teenagers, parents, and teachers marched through the city, calling on the generation now in power not to ruin the future for generations who follow. The next day, a surge of more than 100,000 climate marchers demanded an end to fossil fuel investments, a global conversion to renewable energy financed by wealthy countries, and reparations for Indigenous communities.

Tuntiak Katan, a member of the Shuar nation in Ecuador, reminded reporters that “Indigenous peoples already protect 950 million hectares of land worldwide.” Affluent nations, he said, must “abandon extractivism and get the oil, mining and agribusiness companies out of our territories, and apply a holistic vision, combined with the vision of the indigenous peoples.”

The Glasgow marchers’ goals were both necessary and achievable, but they knew all too well that fossilized COP summits have failed the world twenty-five times since 1995, and COP26 would be no different.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

COP26: Uberizing Farms to Save the Climate

COP26: Uberizing Farms to Save the Climate

At COP26, there was a notable silence around the distorted food system that pollutes the Earth and our bodies, writes Vijay Prashad.

Mining Cryptocurrency, 2021. (Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research)

As the last private plane took off from the Glasgow airport and the dust settled, the detritus of the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP26, remains.

The final communiqués are slowly being digested, their limited scope inevitable. António Guterres, secretary-general of the United Nations, closed the proceedings by painting two dire images: “Our fragile planet is hanging by a thread. We are still knocking on the door of climate catastrophe. It is time to go into emergency mode — or our chance of reaching net zero will itself be zero.”

The loudest cheer in the main hall did not erupt when this final verdict was announced, but when it was proclaimed that the next COP would be held in Cairo in 2022. It seems enough to know that another COP will take place.

An army of corporate executives and lobbyists crowded the official COP26 platforms; in the evening, their cocktail parties entertained government officials.

While the cameras focused on official speeches, the real business was being done in these evening parties and in private rooms. The very people who are most responsible for the climate catastrophe shaped many of the proposals that were brought to the table at COP26.

Meanwhile, climate activists had to resort to making as loud a noise as possible far from the Scottish Exchange Campus (SEC Centre), where the summit was hosted.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Some Thoughts About COP-26

Some Thoughts About COP-26

Whether you love, hate, or don’t care about Greta, one must admit that she really gets it right in this video. Like most people, she has grown in her knowledge and now no longer sees technological devices as a way out of the predicament of ecological overshoot. Of course, the COP meetings were never really about reducing ecological overshoot; they were truly pretty much about politics and BAU (Business As Usual) just like she says. It is Greta’s passion that is so awesome.Perhaps it is because she likes to point out illogical thinking and fairy tale stories, the greenwashing of industry to cash in on the public’s general ignorance, and the politicians who have been bought by the corporate overlords that attracts me to her style. Her truth to power is inspiration to those of us who have been watching these meetings unfold throughout the years, initially hoping some real progress might be made while witnessing the lack of any real action, even when agreements ARE actually made. Alas, it reminds me all too well of my younger self who thought that surely once James Hansen reported his findings to the US Congress that America would lead the charge in dealing effectively with climate change. I was in my early 20s at the time, a time of idealism and optimism – you know the story of how we are all going to “change the world” at that point. Even today I can occasionally get naïve about human behavior. So, one can see clearly now the same disappointment I experienced back then with this latest fiasco, what many are now calling COPout26…

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

COP26 – Caught in a Net: Agriculture, Climate Change, and the Decarbonisation Agenda

COP26 – Caught in a Net: Agriculture, Climate Change, and the Decarbonisation Agenda

The 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP26, is the 26th of its kind. After a Covid-related postponement, it was held this year in Glasgow, Scotland between October 31 and November 12. Dr Chris Maughan has been in Glasgow for the first week of the event and reflects on the links between ‘corporate greenwash’ and the ‘net zero’ agenda, as well as what this means for social movements seeking just and agroecological transitions. 


COP is a notoriously difficult process to grasp – is it genuinely a space of negotiation, or just political theatre? And where does it happen? Is it in the negotiating arena of the ‘Blue Zone’, or is it somewhere else? Should we look to the ‘fringe’ events, the streets, or even Twitter to follow its tangled process?

While some impressive noises have been coming out of the Blue Zone this week – commitments to halt deforestation and reduce methane emissions by 2030, for example – or even the $100bn per year of ‘Climate Aid’ promised (but not yet delivered) to the Global South – similarly attention-grabbing noises could also be heard outside these spaces, from social movements articulating their own visions of climate justice, or those emphatically rejecting the mainstream process.

As COP26 draws to a close, this blog offers some reflections on the fraught relationship between the mainstream process and the social movements, and what this means for the fight for a just and agroecological transition.

COP26: A ‘Greenwash festival’?

Even before the event kicked off, activists were already preparing to highlight the inevitable wave of greenwash that would envelop COP26, warning of undue influence of the corporate sector…

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Satirical video slices and dices deceit of governments’ “Net-Zero by 2050” COP-26 pledges

Satirical video slices and dices deceit of governments’ “Net-Zero by 2050” COP-26 pledges

Fact is, say scientists, that “Net-Zero by 2050” really means we’re “net-fucked by 2050.” —

CAUTION: Readers may find the word “fucked” in this piece offensive. Personally, I find the reference to “government deceit” far more disturbing.

“The latest satirical video from The Juice Media takes aim at humanity’s inadequate response to the climate emergency. Humanity is on a catastrophic global heating trajectory that will pass what scientists call the ‘net fucked by 2050’ point and is risking ‘irreversible chain reactions beyond our control’ just so billionaires can grow even richer. ‘Being honest isn’t an option for us. Which is why we’ve come up with the next best alternative: net-zero by 2050.’ No, that’s not today’s report out of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland. It’s the latest Honest Government Ads satire video from the Juice Media. The Australian company has been producing boat-rocking political and social satire videos since 2008, and now they’ve got humanity’s woefully inadequate response to a potentially existential planetary emergency in their sardonic crosshairs; specifically, insidious ‘net-zero’ pledges that dangerously delay the immediate carbon emission reductions needed to avert a worst-case climate scenario.” —Common Dreams / The Juice Media

The Juice Media is an Australian company that produces contemporary political and social satire. The video series Honest Government Ads is a satirical take on Australian Government advertising. Each video targets a current social or political issue and highlights potential consequences of the Government’s position and policy on that issue.

My repost is presented in three segments:

  • First: Common Dreams’ abridged introduction to the video with my added subheadings and text highlighting. Excluded from my repost are copies of three tweets.
  • Second: my embedded 3:45-minute You Tube video of Australia’s Juice Media’s blistering satirical attack on governments’ “Net Zero by 2050” pledges pedalled at COP-26.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

U.S. and China issue joint pledge to slow climate change

‘We both see that the challenge of climate change is an existential and severe one,’ Chinese envoy says in announcing agreement

U.S. climate envoy John F. Kerry at the summit on Nov. 10. (Alberto Pezzali/AP)

GLASGOW, Scotland — The United States and China jolted the United Nations climate summit here with a surprise announcement Wednesday, pledging the two countries would work together to slow global warming during this decade and ensure that the Glasgow talks result in meaningful progress.

The world’s two biggest greenhouse gas emitters said they would take “enhanced climate actions” to meet the central goals of the 2015 Paris climate accord — limiting warming to “well below” 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) beyond preindustrial levels, and if possible, not to exceed 1.5 degrees Celsius. Still, the declaration was short on firm deadlines or specific commitments, and parts of it restated policies both nations had outlined in a statement in April.

To try to keep those temperature limits “within reach,” Chinese and American leaders agreed to jointly “raise ambition in the 2020s” and said they would boost clean energy, combat deforestation and curb emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas.

“The United States and China have no shortage of differences,” U.S. special climate envoy John F. Kerry said in announcing the agreement Wednesday evening. “But on climate, cooperation is the only way to get this job done.”

The United States and China, plus other major emitters such as the European Union, have come under fire in recent days for not yet delivering on some of the lofty rhetoric their leaders showcased last week.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

How Wealth Inequality Fuels the Climate Emergency: George Monbiot & Scientist Kevin Anderson on COP26

How Wealth Inequality Fuels the Climate Emergency: George Monbiot & Scientist Kevin Anderson on COP26

The United States and China made a surprise announcement on Wednesday at the U.N. climate summit in Glasgow on a joint pledge to reduce methane emissions and slow deforestation. The United States is the largest historical emitter of carbon emissions, while China has been the largest emitter in recent years. As negotiations continue, we speak with British journalist George Monbiot and British climate scientist Kevin Anderson about how world leaders and even some climate scientists are downplaying the climate emergency. “Everything we’ve been hearing here and at the previous 25 summits is basically distraction,” says Monbiot, adding that global leaders could “fix” the worst impacts of the climate crisis “in no time at all if they wanted to.” Both guests highlight the role of extreme wealth in fueling the climate crisis, with Anderson noting it’s unfair to penalize nations like China, whose rising emissions correlate to the production of goods transported to wealthier countries. “Equity has to be a key part of our responses,” says Anderson.

Transcript
This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. This is Climate Countdown. I’m Amy Goodman, in New York, also joined by Democracy Now! co-host Nermeen Shaikh. Hi, Nermeen.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: Hi, Amy. And welcome to our listeners and viewers around the country and around the world.

AMY GOODMAN: Well, we’re going to go right now to the U.N. climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland, where the United States and China made a surprise announcement yesterday about plans to work together to cut greenhouse gas emissions, including measures to reduce methane emissions and slow deforestation…

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

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