Climate pledges far behind entering COP27

Leaders will head to the COP27 summit in Egypt in less than two weeks with marginally more ambitious emissions commitments compared to COP26, Andrew writes.

Driving the news: new UN report, out this morning, examines countries’ voluntary emissions reduction and climate adaptation pledges, known as nationally determined contributions, or NDCs.

The big picture: The analysis finds the world is still falling far short of committing to the emissions cuts needed to meet the Paris Agreement targets.

  • Only 24 countries stepped up so far with new NDCs post-COP26, through the Sept. 23 report cutoff.
  • The pledges would result in a global average temperature increase of about 2.5°C (4.5°F), the report finds.
  • Studies show some of the most devastating consequences of climate change, such as steeper sea level rise and the loss of tropical coral reefs, are more likelyif warming exceeds 1.5°C.

Context: Given carbon dioxide’s long atmospheric lifetime, the world has a finite emissions budget before it is virtually certain that warming will exceed the 1.5°C and 2°C targets.

  • For at least a 50% chance of keeping global warming to 1.5°C above preindustrial levels by 2100, projected cumulative CO2 emissions during the 2020-2030 period would likely use up 86% of the remaining emissions budget, according to the latest NDCs.
  • That means just two years of additional emissions after 2030 would propel global temperatures to 1.5-degrees or higher.

 Read the whole story

The expanding push to curb industrial emissions

A new advocacy group staffed with climate movement vets just launched with a laser focus on big U.S. industrial sources — think metals, cement, chemicals, paper mills and more, Ben writes.

Driving the news: Industrious Labs intends to work with “labor, impacted communities, elected officials and industry to find solutions.”

Why it matters: Heavy industry’s impact doesn’t get the attention of power plants and tailpipes, but it’s a huge chunk of U.S. and global emissions.

The big picture: Its work will span campaigns, research and analysis, supporting other groups working on industrial decarbonization, and communications.

  • Industrious Labs has a $3 million 2022 budget raised from climate foundations and other groups, organizers say, and 12 staff members.
  • The goal is revitalizing these sectors with cleaner tech to create jobs. The launch follows monthsof quiet organizing, such as creating a network with other green groups focused on aluminum.

Zoom in: Three co-founders and partners — Victoria Chu, Nachy Kanfer and Evan Gillespie — once worked for the Sierra Club’s “Beyond Coal” initiative.

The group is also out with an interactive map of U.S. plants and emissions. Chu said data “accessibility and actionability” is vital.

  • “That data — most critically the emissions and who is harmed — is often proprietary or hidden behind paywalls and technical jargon,” she said in a statement.

Tallying the cost of net zero

New analysis provides eye-popping estimates of costs to achieve net-zero global emissions by 2050 while concluding it’s quite feasible, Ben writes.

The big picture: The topline from BNY Mellon Investment Management and Fathom Consulting’s report: a cool $100 trillion of capital investment is needed.

  • But that’s less than one-fifth of total anticipated global investment over the next 30 years, or 3% of cumulative GDP, it finds, adding:
  • “[M]ost of it will either grow the world’s capital stock, supporting future economic growth, or replace existing ‘dirty’ capital with clean infrastructure when that capital reaches the end of its useful economic life.”

Yes, but: It sees around $20 trillion in “stranded” capital, a term that generally refers to sunk investments in infrastructure that’s incompatible with climate goals. These assets may need to be “abandoned early or retrofitted.”

Read the analysis

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