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Top Sustainability News #5

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

Carbon bulls will not wait on the EU

We recently wrote an article about the carbon pricing on the different carbon markets, and once again we see that the price is changing, especially on the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS). "Already, an overhaul of the power sector is well under way, with the rise in the price of carbon allowances — known as the EU Emissions Trading System — rising from less than €8 a tonne of CO2 in early 2018 to close to €40 a tonne today" (as seen in the graph below). As a result, industrial activities have been directly impacted because they promote the use of fuels that are less polluting, natural gas versus coal, while pushing up renewable energies and nuclear power. Most of the analysts agree that the price of carbon on the EU ETS will grow significantly over the years. The price increase is mainly due to the European Union's growing commitment to cut down emissions by 55% by 2030, instead of the 40% initially planned. The political power rules the EU ETS, and it will bring debates about how high the price should be, to match the speed of adaptation from the sectors concerned, to make the transition towards a more sustainable model possible. Some estimations have been made, and the carbon price could reach more than €80 by 2030. 
Check out our latest article (in French) about the importance of pricing over the carbon markets to learn more.

Discover the post source here.

Atlantic Ocean circulation at weakest in a millennium, say scientists

We already know that global warming is directly impacting the temperature around the globe; however, it is also having indirect impacts. A recent concern by scientists has been the Gulf Stream, the most renown warm and swift Atlantic ocean current that regulates the temperature in Europe. Due to the recent phenomenon, natural disasters are expected to increase, especially in the United Kingdom. "Scientists predict that the Gulf Stream will weaken further if global heating continues and could reduce by about 34% to 45% by the end of this century, which could bring us close to a "tipping point" at which the system could become irrevocably unstable." It is important to keep in mind that our impact on climate change affects worldwide ecosystems and leads to other consequences. This will bring many uncertainties for the future climate in Europe, it will cause freezing winters in western Europe, and unprecedented changes across the Atlantic with sea rise and increased water temperature. The ecosystem as we know it will be widely affected. 

Discover the post source here.

Living Planet: Sustainability & the city

How can urban life be more sustainable and environmentally friendly? This podcast by DW (a German NGO)addresses various topics that will affect cities, such as urban planning, waste management, water management, and biodiversity preservation. 
Here are three environmental stories that Living Planet talks about during this episode: 
  • -The first one focuses on a specific kind of bat called flying foxes, which has an essential role in Australian forests, mainly through its pollination, but suffers from threat of extinction. Moreover, it is progressively threatened by cities, global arming, and deforestation. In order to protect them, forests must be protected.
  • -The second topic talks about ‘mining in a city’. Experts say that we will produce more than 50 million tonnes of electronic waste by 2021, which more than 50% of that will be found in landfills, andthe precious metals it contains will not be recycled correctly. An initiative in Cape Town, South Africa, is targeting this kind of waste and has found a local solution to treat it through chemical extraction and extract the precious metals for its value.
  • -The third topic targets the town with the highest concentration of vehicles in Europe, Barcelona. Since air pollution is relatively high, Barcelona’s city council wishes to address this by promoting more sustainable transport and creating new parks to improve its citizens' well-being. 

Discover the podcast here.

Review of Dasgupta report on the Economics of Biodiversity!

Have you heard of the Dasgupta report on the Economics of Biodiversity? “Unfortunately, the macroeconomic growth and development theories that have shaped our beliefs about economic possibilities and our understanding of the progress and regress of nations do not recognise humanity’s dependence on Nature. One purpose of this Review is to correct that mistake.” The report explains how biodiversity could be protected through a wide range of different measures: 
  • -By changing our vision of GDP that is false, because it measures the flow of money and not the national stocks
  • -By including humanity as part of the natural world
  • -By defining nature as an asset called natural capital
  • -By reinforcing the importance of nature in educational programs
  • -By revising financial and economic models to make nature a priority on governments agenda

Find out more about this report here.
Article written by Alexandre Risser