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Headlines December 2022

Updated: Dec 1, 2022

Qatar World Cup Nowhere Close to Zero Emissions Claims (Associated Press, TIME)

  • Qatar has claimed that the 2026 Fifa World Cup currently underway is carbon neutral, thanks to the mass purchase of carbon offsets.

  • The claims are dubious at best, with seven stadiums, highways and metro systems being built in the preparation for the massive sporting event.

  • In addition, the amount of pollution from water and energy expended for use by tournament fans including air conditioning and flights has been drastically undercounted.

  • While some offsets have been purchased, they are low quality and give the impression that events like this can have a net zero climate impact, which is very misleading.

Biden Administration to pay $75 million in relocation fees for three Native tribes (New York Times, BBC, NPR)

  • In one of the largest relocation efforts, the Biden admin will give the Newtok Village and the Native Village of Napakiak in Alaska, and the Quinault Indian Nation, in Washington $25 million each to relocate from their homes.

  • The largest threat facing these communities is coastal erosion and flooding, which has created serious damage to community infrastructure, prompting a move to higher, safer ground.

  • The Department of Interior will also be providing $5 million to an additional 8 tribes to facilitate climate change based relocation.

Climate Commitments Remain far off Track (The Hill, Axios, Associated Press)

  • With significant help from renewable growth and electric vehicle adoption, global pollution growth is expected to slow this year

  • However, current Nationally Defined Contributions (NDC’s) proposed as part of the Paris Climate Accord talks, are extremely inadequate to match global emissions goals

  • If every country were to meet its current NDC, emissions would fall by 7% by 2030; this is a mere fraction of the 43% target set during the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement

Global Automakers Expected to invest $1.2 Trillion USD in EVs by 2030 (Reuters, Inside Climate)

  • New estimates show that by the year 2030, nearly half of all global vehicle production will be electric vehicles, as Automakers out-spend previous estimates

  • In the same time period, US-produced batteries for EVs are expected to increase seven-fold, thanks primarily to heavy investing in startups along the “Battery Belt”

  • This boom in domestic spending comes on the heels of the recently passed Inflation Reduction Act, which includes incentives for clean energy manufacturing

Drought in the US Expected to Continue Worsening this Winter (Gizmodo, Boston Globe, Associated Press)

  • A third year of La Nina in a row means much of the US is in for more drought conditions

  • Cold temperatures in the equatorial Pacific Ocean will push the polar jet stream further north, bringing moisture to the Pacific Northwest and Canada, while leaving the southern US drier than normal.

  • Warmer temperatures combined with atypically dry conditions means wildfires remain a risk, potentially becoming more dangerous for southern central states

European Union to Ban Internal Combustion Engine Cars by 2035 (Reuters, Wall Street Journal, Market Watch)

  • EU countries, Parliament, and the European Commission agreed carmakers must cut 100% of emissions by the year 2035, effectively banning the sale of traditional combustion vehicles

  • The deal also increased the previous cut of 37.5% of 2021 levels to 55% by the year 2030

  • This agreement comes after the UN released new climate reports, some going as far as saying rich nations have made “highly inadequate” steps toward reducing greenhouse gases

Supreme Court to Rule over what Constitutes ‘Water’ (Washington Post, E&E, Reuters)

  • The Supreme Court heard arguments earlier this month regarding what exactly counts as the waters of the United States

  • The results of the case could severely limit the EPA’s ability to enforce the provisions afforded under the Clean Water Act

  • The case is attempting to frame ‘waters’ as a complex legal term with ‘wetlands’ at the forefront, with the end goal of removing wetlands permitting power from the EPA.

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