Weekly Headlines 11/5/21
Extreme ‘Bomb Cyclone’ Dumps Over 5 Inches of Rain Overnight on San Francisco (Associated Press, NBC, Axios, San Francisco Chronicle, Boston Globe)
Torrential rains in California surpassed 5 inches in a 24 hour period last weekend, which is the most in that amount of time since record keeping began in 1877.
The storm comes on the back of an extremely intensive fire season, triggering flash floods and mudslides throughout the region due to the precipitous state of vegetation.
A ‘bomb cyclone’ is a non tropical storm in which the pressure drops by 24 mb in 24 hours; in this case it more than doubled that rate.
Less than a week later and on the other side of the country, much of New England was hit with a ‘bomb cyclone’ of its own which triggered floods, felled trees and caused hundreds of thousands to lose power.
Carbon Dioxide Levels Rise Following Pandemic Dip, Pushing Emissions Back to 2019 Levels (New York Times, InsideClimate News)
Following the shutdown of the global economy due to Covid-19, CO2 emissions from fossil fuels decreased about 5.4% relative to 2019 emissions. Data from the Global Carbon Project, shows that CO2 emissions are set to rebound to their 2019 levels in 2021, with a 4.9% increase in global emissions relative to 2020.
A key factor is the increase in CO2 emissions from India and China. Both countries have increased their emissions by 4.4% and 5.4% relative to 2019 levels. This is largely attributed to increased use of coal to produce electricity in both countries.
Hertz Inks Deal with Tesla to Purchase 100,000 Teslas (Axios, NPR, CNBC, ABC)
Hertz will be adding 100,000 Tesla Model 3s by the end of 2022 to its fleet. No price has been given but at $40,000 a piece, the deal would be worth roughly $4 billion.
The company plans to partner with the GOAT (aka Tom Brady) to help promote its new EV push.
Following the deal, Tesla stock soared to over $1 Trillion for the first time following excitement over both the guaranteed revenue and the potential marketing opportunity for the car manufacturer.
House Oversight Committee Declares Subpoenas for Big Oil (Heated, Reuters, CNN, Gizmodo)
After a six hour hearing between the house oversight committee and in which many big players from the oil and gas industry did their best to reveal very little (including the Exxon, Chevron, Shell and BP CEOs), Rep. Carolyn Maloney announced that she was issuing a subpoena to the oil and gas giants.
The hearing, and subsequent subpoena, aims to investigate big oil’s past and present efforts to halt climate action through targeted funding and the spread of climate misinformation.
During the hearing, many republicans actually apologized to the CEO’s despite the well known fact that new fossil fuel exploration needs to stop next year and emissions must drop greatly in the next decade.
COP26 In Glasgow is Underway this Week, but not Going as Planned (AP, Washington Post)
COP26, a meeting where many of the world’s nations and leaders come together to specifically discuss climate change, is occurring this week with negotiators hammering out the details of the discussions.
However, the meeting has been mired by poor planning and a lack of access for those from less wealthy nations, who are more likely to suffer the extreme impacts of climate change. The irony is that a hot ticket at COP26 is how to allocate the UN’s Green Climate Fund for developing nations.
Talks have also been hindered by a conference venue that is far too small to accommodate all the meetings, delegators and COVID protocols.
Clean Energy Jobs Continued to Grow in 2020 Despite the COVID-19 Pandemic (Reuters)
Jobs in the Renewable Energy sector grew to 12 million worldwide in 2020, with one third of these jobs coming from the solar power industry.
This is further proof that the global energy transition is picking up pace, but there will be much work to do in order to ensure that this shift is an equitable one.
Biden’s Build Back Better Plan Still Includes Close to Original $600 Billion in Climate Spending (Axios, Politico, E&E)
Even as talks went back and forth and the President’s climate efforts in the bill seemed to stall, it has been reported that climate spending is still in the range of $600 billion.
Included in this plan is allocated spending for decarbonization, clean energy initiatives, environmental justice and water infrastructure.
If this holds, the bill will be one of the most sweeping climate legislations to date.