Total climate meltdown cannot be stopped

‘We have passed the point of no return’, says climate expert Bill McGuire

The publication of Bill McGuire’s latest book, Hothouse Earth, could not be more timely. Appearing in the shops this week, it will be perused by sweltering customers who have just endured record high temperatures across the UK and now face the prospect of weeks of drought to add to their discomfort.

And this is just the beginning, insists McGuire, who is emeritus professor of geophysical and climate hazards at University College London. As he makes clear in his uncompromising depiction of the coming climatic catastrophe, we have – for far too long – ignored explicit warnings that rising carbon emissions are dangerously heating the Earth. Now we are going to pay the price for our complacency in the form of storms, floods, droughts and heatwaves that will easily surpass current extremes.

The crucial point, he argues, is that there is now no chance of us avoiding a perilous, all-pervasive climate breakdown. We have passed the point of no return and can expect a future in which lethal heatwaves and temperatures in excess of 50C (120F) are common in the tropics; where summers at temperate latitudes will invariably be baking hot, and where our oceans are destined to become warm and acidic. “A child born in 2020 will face a far more hostile world that its grandparents did,” McGuire insists.

Tech Billionaires Rally Around Nuclear as Energy Crisis Looms

Elon Musk predicts solar power “will be the main long-term way that civilization is powered.”

In recent weeks, some of Silicon Valley’s most famous technologists have hailed a historically polarizing energy source — nuclear power — as a solution to both cutting carbon emissions and weaning the world off now-controversial Russian gas.

Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk wrote on Twitter that nuclear is “critical” to national security, while the risk of radiation is overplayed. And venture capitalist Marc Andreessen called for “1,000 new state-of-the-art nuclear power plants in the U.S. and Europe, right now.” The war galvanized a sentiment which has been building in recent years in the startup world, where billionaires including Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos and Peter Thiel have opened their wallets to back next-generation nuclear companies. None of the advanced reactor startups has yet produced an operating commercial product, but some believe that the combination of tech advances and a new urgency around ditching fossil fuels could be a catalyst for the sector — which has mostly languished in regulatory purgatory since the 1970s.

IEA: Renewable Capacity Growth Needs To Double For Net-Zero

For solar PV, average annual additions need to almost double in the next five years

The world is set to add record-breaking renewable capacity additions this year, but it will still need double new annual capacity over the next five years to achieve the net-zero by 2050 scenario, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Wednesday. Nearly 290 gigawatts (GW) of new renewable power will be commissioned in 2021, up by 3 percent compared to the record set in 2020, with solar PV leading the increase, the IEA said in its annual Renewables 2021 Market Report with a forecast to 2026.

But despite the record additions in 2021, and an expected 50-percent increase in renewable capacity additions in 2021-2026 compared to 2015-2020, the industry needs even faster deployment of solar, wind, and all other renewable energy sources if the world still hopes to get on track to meet net-zero by 2050, the IEA said. “Overall, the forecast for renewable generating capacity remains significantly below the level required for the Net Zero Scenario. For solar PV, average annual additions need to almost double in the next five years compared to what we see in our main case forecast,” the IEA said in the report.

Our Renewable Future Will Run On Copper

Electric vehicles, solar, and wind power are all miner-intensive

Renewable energy is considered by some to be one of the most effective tools to reduce global carbon emissions and fight climate change. However, building technologies like solar and wind power plants or electric vehicles (EVs) can be mineral-intensive.

Copper is considered an essential metal for renewables.The metal is highly conductive, can easily be shaped into pipes, wires, or sheets, and can remove heat far more rapidly than other metals. In fact, copper itself is a sustainable material. The metal is 100% recyclable and can be used repeatedly without any loss of performance.

Global copper demand in both the clean power and the clean transport sectors is expected to double in the next decades.

The U.N. leader warns that the world faces a ‘climate catastrophe’

How to Limit temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius

The United Nations secretary general, António Guterres, on Monday issued a blistering critique of the world’s failure to rein in global warming, calling on countries to return every year to review their climate targets — not every five years, as the Paris climate agreement spells out.

“Even if the recent pledges were clear and credible — and there are serious questions about some of them — we are still careening towards climate catastrophe,” he said at the opening ceremony of COP26, the U.N. climate summit in Glasgow.

“Our planet is talking to us,” Mr. Guterres said. “We must listen, and we must act.”

He was referring to analyses that have found that even if all countries meet their national targets to slow down emissions, the global average temperature is projected to rise 2.7 degrees Celsius by the end of this century compared with preindustrial times. That would put the world on a path to more intense heat, fires and flooding.

Scientists have concluded that the best way to avert the worst consequences of climate change is to limit temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

U.N. climate change report sounds ‘code red for humanity’

Humans are “unequivocally” to blame

Global warming is dangerously close to spiralling out of control, a U.N. climate panel said in a landmark report Monday, warning the world is already certain to face further climate disruptions for decades, if not centuries, to come.

Humans are “unequivocally” to blame, the report from the scientists of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said. Rapid action to cut greenhouse gas emissions could limit some impacts, but others are now locked in.

The deadly heat waves, gargantuan hurricanes and other weather extremes that are already happening will only become more severe.

Crushing climate impacts to hit sooner than feared

Dangerous thresholds are closer

Climate change will fundamentally reshape life on Earth in the coming decades, even if humans can tame planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions, according to a landmark draft report from the UN’s climate science advisors.

Species extinction, more widespread disease, unliveable heat, ecosystem collapse, cities menaced by rising seas — these and other devastating climate impacts are accelerating and bound to become painfully obvious before a child born today turns 30. The choices societies make now will determine whether our species thrives or simply survives as the 21st century unfolds, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says in a draft.

But dangerous thresholds are closer than once thought, and dire consequences stemming from decades of unbridled carbon pollution are unavoidable in the short term. “The worst is yet to come, affecting our children’s and grandchildren’s lives much more than our own,” the report says.

Shell weighs blockbuster sale of Texas shale assets

 Shifting away from fossil fuels

Royal Dutch Shell is reviewing its holdings in the largest U.S. oil field for a potential sale, people familiar with the matter told Reuters, marking a key moment in its shift away from fossil fuels as it faces growing pressure to slash carbon emissions.

The sale could be for part or all of Shell’s position in the U.S. Permian Basin, located mostly in Texas, which accounted for around 6% of the Anglo-Dutch company’s total oil and gas output last year. The holdings could be worth more than $10 billion, the people said.

Shell, the second largest western energy company, and its peers have come under investor pressure to increase profits and slash planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions, including by shedding assets. Any retreat from the Permian would mark a major shift from an area previously identified as one of nine core basins in its energy transition strategy to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Climate change: Virtual summit of 40 world leaders

Joe Biden to reveal US emissions pledge

Joe Biden faces a key test of his commitment to climate action this week, when he sets out his core plans for tackling the climate crisis and calls on all of the world’s major economies to join him in bold action to slash greenhouse gas emissions in the next ten years. The US president has made the climate emergency one of his administration’s top priorities, and stated that clean growth must be the route for the US to rebound from the coronavirus crisis.

Biden and his climate envoy, John Kerry, will host a virtual summit of 40 world leaders to discuss the climate crisis and seek new commitments from the world’s biggest carbon emitters to fulfil the 2015 Paris agreement. At the meeting, or shortly before, the US is expected to unveil its national plan for cutting greenhouse gas emissions over the next 10 years. If the plan – which the Paris accord refers to as a nationally determined contribution or NDC – is bold enough, and other countries follow suit, the world has a chance of meeting the Paris goals and avoiding dangerous levels of heating. If not, it will face a deepening climate crisis as carbon emissions rebound from their lull during the pandemic.

Solar Energy Is Likely to Get a Boost This Year

Not All Stocks Will Benefit

Solar energy should get a boost this year with a new administration focused on encouraging renewable energy. But not all solar firm stocks will benefit. Goldman Sachs cut First Solar (FSLR) to Sell with an $81 price target, seeing a 16% drop from Monday’s closing price after rising 61% over one year.

At the same time, Goldman raised Enphase Energy (ENPH) to Buy with a $232 price target, a 32% gain from Monday’s close after rising 513% over one year. It’s a tale of two growth stories, the bank said.

First Solar’s earnings and revenue have already peaked for this cycle, Goldman analyst Brian Lee said in a note on Monday night. Margins are expected to peak in the first half of this year. First Solar is expected to report year-end 2020 profit of $3.62 a share, but the estimate for year-end 2021 is $3.44, according to FactSet. Year-end revenue is estimated to be $2.8 billion, which is running slightly below the $3 billion forecast for year-end 2021.

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