News briefs: Do electric Ferraris growl?

Plus: New director for U.S. climate assessment, and 10 new U.S. wind farms power up

Can electric Ferraris growl? 

Italian sports-car maker Ferrari this week said it’s working to develop a seductive sound from future battery-electric models as its research shows the throaty roar of its engines is a feature that customers are reluctant to forgo in the shift to cleaner vehicles, Peter Murphy writes for S&P Global Market Intelligence. He writes: While its low sales volumes enables it to avoid tighter emissions targets that have been a strain for mass-market manufacturers in the EU, Ferrari is researching the concept of battery-powered, zero-emission luxury vehicles. Rivals such as Volkswagen AG’s Porsche brand have achieved rapid sales success in this area. According to the report, CEO Louis Camilleri, on a call with analysts, dismissed concerns that a move to simpler battery-and-motor sports cars would mean sacrificing much of the conventional models’ technological distinction.

Weatherhead to direct National Climate Assessment

Betsy Weatherhead, a senior scientist at Jupiter Intelligence, will direct the next National Climate Assessment, a report that The Washington Post describes as the federal government’s most definitive and comprehensive report on climate change and its consequences for the U.S. The Post also notes the appointment of Weatherhead, “who has decades of experience as a climate scientist in the academic and private sectors, accepts human-induced climate change is happening and is a serious physical, ecological and economic threat,” is in contrast to other recent appointments at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The next assessment is due out in 2022.

10 new wind farms online in Q3

The U.S. wind industry set a record in the third quarter, installing nearly 2,000 megawatts (MW) of new wind power capacity, according to the American Wind Energy Association’s Wind Powers America Third Quarter 2020 Market Report. A report from Daily Energy Insider says the strong third-quarter numbers bring the total American wind capacity to nearly 112,000 MW. The report says U.S. wind is on pace for a record year as installations through the third quarter are up 72% over the first nine months of 2019. Market fundamentals and consumer demand continue to drive U.S. wind development.

WHO publishes profiles on climate change and health in island states

Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are among the most vulnerable nations to climate change in the world, the World Health Organization says. Yet, many island states are also leading in the global response to climate change, through ambitious emissions reduction targets, adaptation actions, and developing climate resilient health systems. This week, WHO, together with the Americas (PAHO) and Western Pacific (WPRO) regions, published a series of SIDS Health and Climate Change Country Profiles. Country profiles were published for: Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Saint Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago, and Tuvalu (in Tuvaluan). This is in addition to recently published profiles on the Solomon Islands and Tuvalu.

Battery recycling is a global health hazard

Yale Environment 360 reports that from African shanty towns to the backstreets of China’s cities, small-scale businesses that recycle the lead from auto batteries are proliferating. Experts say the pollution from these unregulated operations is a lethal threat — with children being the most vulnerable to poisoning, Fred Pearce writes in this special report.

Fitch Ratings: Green finance expands to support China's transition

Fitch Ratings says in a new report that it expects China’s green finance market to be an important tool for policymakers to achieve the country’s pledge to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2060. New policies and incentives have continued to emerge despite the coronavirus pandemic, with financial regulators setting policy goals to address climate change through investment and financing in China's next Five-Year Plan, Fitch says, adding that more initiatives are on the horizon as policymakers take the lessons learned from regional green-finance pilot schemes to construct a national framework.