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Top Sustainability News #14

Alexandre Risser
Non-technical
You don't want to miss out on the latest news related to carbon markets and sustainable development. Find out our Top Sustainability News! 

EU carbon price hits record €50 per tonne on route to climate target

The European Union Emissions Trading Schemes (EU ETS) has reached a record of 50€ per tonne of CO2. An increase in price on carbon will strengthen the investment for innovative and resilient solutions. Check out our article to find out why this is important. 
This is the highest price ever recorded since the launch of the mechanism in 2005. This price increase is mainly linked to the reinforcement of the climate policies at the EU level. “Brussels’ will this summer present a package of policies to slash emissions across all sectors to meet the 2030 target, including reforms to the EU carbon market. That is expected to lead to greater demand for CO2 permits and to make them more scarce.”

The carbon price is essential because it has a direct impact on the production cost of energy. It has already made coal less attractive and progressively, it will make renewable energies more competitive and allow the EU to meet its 2050 carbon neutrality target. “That would require a CO2 price high enough to make hydrogen fuel produced from renewable energy competitive with hydrogen produced from fossil fuels[...] On this basis, I think around €90 a tonne is a reasonable expectation by 2030.”

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Climate change: how bad could the future be if we do nothing?

Climate change is also referred to as the biggest challenge of the 21st century. It is no longer an invisible threat and it is increasingly impacting our everyday lives. If its roots lie in decades of development and carbon emissions it is still possible to act against it? "How the world chooses to respond in the coming years will have massive repercussions for generations yet to be born."

This article introduces a book called "How to save our planet." The author identifies two scenarios. The first one being the worst and described as the "The Year 2100: the nightmare scenario", compared to the second one called "The Year 2100: humanity rises to the challenge". 

Let's imagine being in the first 2100 scenario, where no significant climate actions have been made. "Global temperatures have risen by over 4°C. In many countries, summer temperatures persistently stay above 40°C. Heatwaves with temperatures as high as 50°C have become common in tropical countries." The living conditions across the globe are getting difficult to handle for most of the population. Ecosystems have been considerably destroyed, such as the coral barrier reef that died due to the dramatic temperature rise of the ocean. Extreme phenomenons are common (cyclones, typhoons, winter storms…). "The Arctic is free of sea ice every summer. Average temperatures in the far north have risen by over 8°C as a result. The Greenland and Western Antarctic ice sheets have started to melt, releasing a huge amount of fresh water into the oceans." All those changes have led to a significant flow of climate migrants, reshaping the world we know in 2021. 

Now, let's imagine being in 2100, and significant efforts have been made to effectively fight climate change. This scenario lies with this initial hypothesis: "Global temperatures rose to 1.5°C by 2050 and remained there for the rest of the century. Fossil fuels have been replaced by renewable energy. Over a trillion trees have been planted, sucking carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The air is cleaner than it has been since before the industrial revolution." Human society has evolved, but the climate conditions have returned to the pre-industrial era. Society no longer impacts negatively natural ecosystems. Humans and nature succeeded in restoring their broken link and preserving Earth for future generations. 

Through these two scenarios, we understand that fighting climate change by implementing ambitious measures is crucial. At ClimateSeed, our choice is made: Let's rise up to the challenge and commit to fight climate change for future generations!

Source: https://theconversation.com/climate-change-how-bad-could-the-future-be-if-we-do-nothing-159665

Mangroves and seagrasses absorb microplastics

"Mangroves and seagrasses grow in many places along the coasts of the world, and these 'blue forests' constitute an important environment for a large number of animals." Those environments have the capacity to capture microplastics. Microplastics, which are micro fragments of plastic, are dangerous and hard to tackle; however, absorbing microplastics might have a serious impact on the animals living there. "Animals ingest microplastics with the food they seek in the blue forests. They may suffocate, die of starvation, or the small plastic particles can get stuck in different places in the body and do damage."
"Researchers also believe that microplastics bind in these ecosystems in the same way as carbon; the particles are captured between leaves and roots, and the microplastics are buried in the seabed." They have a solid potential to store carbon, but on the other side, they absorb microplastics. 
Blue carbon is emerging, and its purpose is to promote the development and the protection of those ecosystems. It is important to keep in mind that we need to consider and analyze not only the carbon scope, but also other potential impacts.

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Article written by Alexandre Risser

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