Welcome to our two weekly review of energy and environmental events and developments from both here in New Zealand and around the world. As always, we hope you find our collection of articles to be of interest in what continues to be a rapidly evolving area.

This week’s theme examines how keeping dangerous climate change temperature rises from exceeding 2C is indeed possible. We look at how some cities and countries are leading the way. Also examined is the role of business in this and how every employee is able to participate and contribute to this sustainability journey. Technology such as negative emissions plant also provides us with additional hope. The recurring theme however, is that we need to take action and now.

For those despairing that restricting climate change temperature increases to just 2C might be too much, then think again. As Jules Kortenhorst CEO Rocky Mountain Institute writes – with wide-reaching initiatives addressing agriculture, afforestation, renewable energy, electric vehicles and energy efficiency, we can still keep temperature increases to 2C. But we must be proactive and we must act now.[1]

Many large cities are already taking aggressive action on addressing climate change. From the likes of New York City, Vancouver, Oslo, Sydney, London and Auckland, cities have come together to be part of the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group. With high population densities and generally being distant from food and energy production, cities have a lot to lose by not tackling climate change. It seems they are aware of that.[2]

Singapore is known for its adoption of many ambitious and visionary initiatives that has resulted in its population now having the world’s third highest per capita income. It is now rolling out its vision for reducing emissions through the use of solar energy. The government aims to utilize every building façade and rooftop, as well as reservoirs and coastal waters to generate renewable energy.[3]

If as expected global temperatures increase by 2 degrees, how will business react? Is a 2C rise an opportunity or a threat? It's these types of questions that investors are now asking, as after all why invest in something that climate change is going to adversely impact. Understanding / planning for risks is a great business opportunity. Furthermore, stock exchanges are endorsing Financial Disclosure recommendations from the G20 Task Force on Climate.[4]

Sustainability. Is it a job for C level executives or hands-on facilities managers to manage? This article suggests it is all managers representing a variety of roles - supply chain, procurement, plant managers, finance, IT, sales, marketing, communications, legal, R&D, corporate affairs and government relations. This is the very essence of our e-Calc™ tool as positive changes, bring positive rewards.[5]

With the introduction of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG's) by the UN, many organizations are unsure of what they actually are, or how they should work towards them. This article discusses exactly that, with 6 things to keep in mind when applying the SDG's. Being specifically written about what is happening in New Zealand, you're sure to pick up a few things that you can take with you to your next sustainability meeting.[6]

Jobs, taxes & politics, three ways electric vehicles will change the world! They will certainly make an impact, for example in Germany alone, 600,000 jobs could be lost, as less components in an EV, means less workers. Governments collect a lot of taxes from oil, how to make up for the shortfall? It also means less income for oil exporters and therefore less spending for social infrastructure like education or healthcare.[7]

Mexico’s recent earthquake destroyed a lot of housing, but what’s a plentiful material that could aid the durable construction of shelters and housing - plastic bottles. The flexibility of plastic bottles filled with sand, means they are four times more resistant to earthquakes than concrete – an elegant recycling option that provides good long term outcomes.[8]

Negative carbon emissions plants are real and have begun operation, albeit on a small scale. Through direct air capture, sucking CO2 out of the air and turning it into stone deep underground, that will lock the carbon up for millions of year is underway. Over three-years and for less than $30/tonne, CarbFix has injected 18,000 metric tonnes of CO2 into the ground.[9]

Thanks for taking the time to read this issue and we look forward to catching up with you again. If you have any items of interest you would like to submit, then please feel free to forward them.


Copyright remains with the original authors