Australia's first Business Renewables Centre to help Australian businesses to switch to renewables | ARENA

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has today announced it will help build Australia’s first Business Renewables Centre to encourage Australian businesses to make the switch to renewable energy.

“The Business Renewables Centre will help in that transition by using its expertise in running programs, entrepreneurship, innovation, education and other sustainability objectives to make it easier for companies and councils to enter the renewables market.”

Business to go it alone on climate policy | AFR

In a salutary indicator of how our politicians have created a vacuum in climate change policy, the Business Council of Australia feels it must provide leadership.

"The nation's energy companies and biggest electricity users have given up on politics and begun backroom talks about a self-regulated package of measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, restore energy reliability and improve investor stability.”

Sudden tightening of financial conditions poses a risk for financial stability | De Nederlandsche Bank

The budding economic crises in a number of emerging countries, like Turkey and Argentina, illustrate that a sudden tightening of financial conditions constitutes one of the major risks to financial stability.

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Financial conditions in the developed countries have remained accommodative to date, but a turnaround is possible in these countries, too. The trigger for such a turnaround may be a quicker than anticipated tightening of monetary policy in the United States, but it may also be further escalating trade tensions, or a hard Brexit. These developments are discussed in our Autumn 2018 Financial Stability Report (FSR), published today.

Accommodative financial conditions are fuelling vulnerabilities

Ten years after the crisis, financial conditions in most developed countries are accommodative. Prolonged accommodative financial conditions fuel financial stability risks, however, as they lessen the incentive to pay off debts and stimulate risk-seeking behaviour on the financial markets. If financial conditions were to tighten suddenly, debtors will be severely hit by rising financing costs and financial markets may experience sharp corrections, which may in turn translate into heavy losses in the investment portfolios of financial institutions.

Risks are already surfacing in a number of emerging countries

Particularly in emerging countries with large financial and macroeconomic imbalances, financial conditions have been tightening over the past few months. This has painfully revealed the vulnerabilities that have been building up over time, such as high corporate debts denominated in foreign currencies. All emerging countries may be faced with ongoing capital outflows if investor confidence deteriorates and investors at the same time do not differentiate between vulnerable and less vulnerable countries. In due course, a budding economic crisis in emerging countries may also hit the Dutch financial sector through direct exposures and negative confidence effects.

Rising real estate prices demand attention

Real estate markets in the Netherlands are running at full steam, especially in prime locations. House price rises are driven by the insufficient supply of homes, low interest rates and vigorous economic growth. Easing of the borrowing capacity relative to the borrower’s income is undesirable as this would only serve to fuel overheating in the market. In order to ease the pressure on house prices, the housing supply must be increased, particularly in the middle segment of the rental market. The price increases on the commercial real estate market are being driven mainly by the search for yield among investors. As a result, this market is more sensitive to a turnaround in sentiment. As vulnerabilities often build up in times of economic boom, financial institutions must pay extra attention to monitoring and managing the risks associated with commercial real estate in the period ahead.

Further efforts by insurers remain necessary

This issue of DNB's FSR also discusses the vulnerabilities in the Dutch insurance sector. Although insurers are making progress in developing a future-proof insurance sector, further efforts of insurers, supervisors, and policymakers remain necessary, including successful implementation of the recovery and resolution framework.

Disruptive energy transition stress test

DNB developed a targeted stress test in order to quantify the possible effects of a disruptive energy transition on the Dutch financial sector. The stress test revealed that a disruptive energy transition may induce severe losses for Dutch financial institutions. Governments can prevent unnecessary costs by implementing timely and effective climate policies, while financial institutions should include energy transition risks in their risk management process.

Addressing Climate Change within Disaster Risk Management | Inter-American Development bank

Extreme weather events and climate variability, whether occurring under present or future climate conditions, can have severe consequences for development and pose risks to human health and safety and the environment......Climate change is expected to exacerbate flooding, hurricanes, prolonged drought periods, shifts in precipitation patterns, and extreme heat conditions. Social, ecological, and economic vulnerabilities to such weather events currently exist across LAC. 

ASX Social Licence to Operate | PRObono Australia

“Greater proposed guidance on the disclosure of climate change risk (also referred to as “carbon risk”), includes explaining the different types of climate change risk, and that listed entities with material exposure to climate change risk implement the recommendations of the Financial Stability Board’s Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures.”

Special Report of Global Warming to 1.5°C | IPCC

One can only hope that governments will start acting with urgency to avoid this fast moving train crash and the scientists writing the reports are not suffering from “conservative bias”.

In order to achieve the 1.5°C target, we have the enormous challenge of reducing net emissions to ZERO by 2050!

Below are the links to the report published by the IPCC. It assesses the impact of not achieving the 1.5°C target of global warming. We have also included the reporting from some of the major newspapers.

 b) Stylized net global CO2 emission pathways.  Billion tonnes CO2 per year (GtCO2/yr)

b) Stylized net global CO2 emission pathways.

Billion tonnes CO2 per year (GtCO2/yr)

IPCC

Summary for Policymakers of IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C approved by governments.

The report highlights a number of climate change impacts that could be avoided by limiting global warming to 1.5°C compared to 2°C, or more. For instance, by 2100, global sea level rise would be 10 cm lower with global warming of 1.5°C compared with 2°C. The likelihood of an Arctic Ocean free of sea ice in summer would be once per century with global warming of 1.5°C, compared with at least once per decade with 2°C. Coral reefs would decline by 70-90 percent with global warming of 1.5°C, whereas virtually all (> 99 percent) would be lost with 2°C.

Associated Press

UN report on global warming carries life-or-death warning.

“Preventing an extra single degree of heat could make a life-or-death difference in the next few decades for multitudes of people and ecosystems on this fast-warming planet, an international panel of scientists reported Sunday. But they provide little hope the world will rise to the challenge.”

The Guardian

Huge risk if global warming exceeds 1.5C, warns landmark UN report.

“The world’s leading climate scientists have warned there is only a dozen years for global warming to be kept to a maximum of 1.5°C, beyond which even half a degree will significantly worsen the risks of drought, floods, extreme heat and poverty for hundreds of millions of people.”

The Washington Post.

The world has just over a decade to get climate change under control, U.N. scientists say.

“There is no documented historic precedent” for the sweeping changes required to hold the planet’s warming to just 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit), the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change found.”

NY Times

Major Climate Report Describes a Strong Risk of Crisis as Early as 2040.

“A landmark report from the United Nations’ scientific panel on climate change paints a far more dire picture of the immediate consequences of climate change than previously thought and says that avoiding the damage requires transforming the world economy at a speed and scale that has “no documented historic precedent.”


Shell pension fund challenged to disclose response to climate risk | Financial Times

“As the financial impacts and risks of climate change on pension fund portfolios become ever clearer and their investment regulations are updated, trustees have no excuse for failing to examine this topic and disclose their risk management of it.”

Super fund alleged to have breached duties over climate change risk | SMH

“A new amended concise statement, lodged in the federal court late last month, alleges REST failed to discharge its duties as a trustee to act with "care, skill and diligence" in relation to the impact of climate change, which it argues posed "material or major risks" to "many" of the super fund's investments.”

UNEP Financial Initiative Publications

UNEP FI’s work includes a strong focus on policy – by fomenting country-level dialogues between finance practitioners, supervisors, regulators and policy-makers, and, at the international level, by promoting financial sector involvement in processes such as the global climate negotiations. Useful publications from the Finance Initiative can be found here.

'We're moving to higher ground': America's era of climate mass migration is here | The Guardian

The era of climate migration is, virtually unheralded, already upon America.

The population shift gathering pace is so sprawling that it may rival anything in US history. “Including all climate impacts it isn’t too far-fetched to imagine something twice as large as the Dustbowl,”

Press release: First Status Report | TCFD

"The more companies know about the risks they face, the faster and more effectively they can address them — and the more they report that information, the better equipped investors will be to make smart decisions. It is encouraging to see the Task Force's group of supporters continue to grow. It will make the global economy more resilient and drive more capital to projects that are helping to reduce emissions and protect people from harm," said Michael R. Bloomberg.

Quarterly Update of Australia’s National Greenhouse Gas Inventory: March 2018

This update was published the day before the AFL Grand Final and consequently received little attention. It is likely our appalling track record documented in this report will receive considerably more attention in the future - particularly from the EU!

Tracking Progress To Net Zero Emissions | ClimateWorks

Behind the 8 Ball

The latest Tracking Progress report from ClimateWorks (September 2018) shows Australia is not yet on track to meet its emissions reduction targets as stipulated under the Paris Agreement - but there are still many opportunities to get there.

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At this rate, Earth risks sea level rise of 20 to 30 feet, historical analysis shows | Washington Post

Temperatures not much warmer than the planet is experiencing now were sufficient to melt a major part of the East Antarctic ice sheet in Earth’s past, scientists reported Wednesday, including during one era about 125,000 years ago when sea levels were as much as 20 to 30 feet higher than they are now.

“It doesn’t need to be a very big warming, as long as it stays 2 degrees warmer for a sufficient time, this is the end game,” said David Wilson, a geologist at Imperial College London

ASIC reports on climate risk disclosure by Australia’s listed companies - Media Release

ASIC commissioner John Price said:

Climate change is a foreseeable risk facing many listed companies in the Australian market in a range of different industries. Directors and officers of listed companies need to understand and continually reassess existing and emerging risks (including climate risk) that may affect the company’s business – for better or for worse.

The Media Release can be found here and the full report can be downloaded here.