News briefs: New net-zero investing plan
Plus, toxic Superfund sites risk flooding, and encouraging signs for Antarctic penguins
|Aug 6, 2020|
Above, scientists have spotted, via satellite, previously unseen poop stains showing new emperor penguin breeding areas in Antarctica. Photo: Christopher Michel/flickr.
Investors set to create plans for net-zero investing
The Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC) has announced a “Net Zero Investment Framework” developed with more than 70 major investors that seeks to maximize investor contribution to decarbonization of the global economy. IIGCC said in a statement that the APG, Brunel and Church of England Pensions Board are among big investors putting framework to the test across $1.3 trillion portfolios. The framework was published Wednesday for consultation. With input and testing, the group plans for analysis of the framework expected by the end of the year.
Toxic flooding: Superfund sites and sea-level rise
About 2,000 official and potential Superfund sites — sites contaminated by extremely hazardous chemicals — are located within 25 miles of the East or Gulf Coast. As sea levels rise, many of these toxic sites are at risk of flooding. Millions of people live near these sites, and flooding could bring them into contact with these chemicals, according to a new fact sheet from the Center for Science and Democracy. Without the right regulation, “ ... it is unlikely that Superfund sites’ responsible parties will improve their sites’ resilience such that they can withstand more extreme flooding and other impacts that will occur as climate change progresses,” the group says.
European Sentinel satellites to map global CO2 emissions
German manufacturer OHB-System has signed a €445m ($527 million) contract to begin construction of a satellite network to monitor carbon dioxide, Jonathan Amos reports on BBC.com. The CO2M constellation will consist of two spacecraft, with the option for a third. The platforms will track the greenhouse gas across the globe, and provide supporting data to help countries meet the requirements of the Paris accord. Amos wrote that the goal is to launch the OHB satellites in 2025.
New emperor penguin breeding grounds in Antarctica
Satellite observations have found evidence — guano stains on the ice — of new emperor penguin breeding sites in the Antarctic, according to published reports. The discovery raises the estimate of the global emperor population by as much as 10%, or 275,000 breeding pairs. The BBC notes the observations are welcome, considering the threats that the birds, which are the tallest and heaviest of all living penguin species and are endemic to Antarctica, face as global warming changes accelerate.
Offshore wind capacity could reach 234GW by 2030
Global offshore wind capacity will reach more than 234GW by 2030, up from just over 29GW at the end of 2019, according to a recent report from the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC). The increase will be led by exponential growth in the Asia-Pacific region and continued strong growth in Europe, the GWEC Global Offshore Wind Report said. ReNew.Biz reports the GWEC found that 2019 was a record year for offshore wind, with 6.1GW of new capacity added globally, bringing total global cumulative installations to 29.1GW. China remains in the number one spot for the second year in a row for new installations, installing 2.4GW, followed by the UK at 1.8GW and Germany at 1.1GW. Europe continues to be the leading region for offshore wind, but countries in the Asia-Pacific region, such as Taiwan, Vietnam, Japan and South Korea, as well as the U.S. market are quickly picking up the pace and will be regions of significant growth in the next decade, GWEC said.