Down to Earth
Climate Weekly
A weekly digest on impacts, politics and science of the climate emergency; from the Global South perspective. Access our extensive coverage on climate. You can find this newsletter in the web here.
September 04 – September 11, 2020
Dear readers,

Seemingly reduced pollution levels due to the coronavirus crisis have led many to proclaim that nature is ‘healing’, but a new report from the World Meteorological Organization has emphasized just how flawed that notion is: the trajectory of global greenhouse gas emissions is nowhere near what it needs to be to limit warming to 1.5°C or even 2°C. Extreme weather events are intensifying, ranging from simultaneous droughts and floods in India to wildfires in California. The latest research in climate science emphasizes that such occurrences are not mere isolated anomalies but “connected extreme events”; this insight demands a radical overhaul of adaptation strategies.

Progress, however inadequate, is being made on the mitigation front. Four agreements were signed at the first World Solar Technology Summit organized by the International Solar Alliance. Japan plans to commercialize hydrogen-fueled transport by 2025.

But much course correction is still in order. Many Asian energy sector actors for example are continuing to push the oxymoron that is “clean coal”, led by the Japanese. And the EU’s soy imports are fuelling deforestation in South America.

As for India, it needs to regain momentum in developing mini-grids, as they can still do much to ensure energy access, despite the increasing reach of the national grid. The country needs to work on residential energy conservation as our report from Jammu and Kashmir highlights. It also needs to evolve a clear policy and a strategic vision in order to develop a domestic solar manufacturing industry.
Record number of low pressure systems a cause of August floods| 09 September 2020
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Down To Earth Deluge here, drought there: India’s rainfall conundrum continues| 07 September 2020
NASA images show the gravity of California wildfires| 07 September 2020
Nearly 14,000 lightning strikes in the United States’ California caused nearly 900 fires to burn through 1.5 million acres of land as of September
Climate crisis continues unabated: United in science, but are we united in action? | 11 September 2020
While emissions fell during the peak of the pandemic confinement measures, they have already mostly recovered to within 5% of the same period in 2019, said UN Secretary-General
We need to treat extreme events as connected, not as anomalies | 11 September 2020
Clear trends of interconnected extreme weather events intensifying and becoming more frequent can be seen across the world as the climate crisis unfolds
Fight fire with trade: How Europe can help save the Amazon| 10 September 2020
The EU is already responsible for hefty imports from the Mercosur bloc; it imports 10 million tonnes of soy (for livestock feed) and over 200,000 tonnes of beef every year
Making sense of energy conservation in Jammu and Kashmir| 10 September 2020
Homes in the Union territory are not designed to conserve energy and ensure proper heating, resulting in little conservation of energy, say several experts
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Leaked UN report on biodiversity calls for 8 changes to save planet| 10 September 2020
These include positive actions for forests, agriculture, food systems, climate, health, fisheries, oceans and cities
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Japan to commercialise hydrogen energy transport by 2025| 10 September 2020
Pilot tests carried out successfully; the country finished construction of 2,500 cubic meter liquefied hydrogen gas terminal at Kobe this April
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Climate change, invasive species wiped away N America’s bee species| 09 September 2020
Almost 94% wild bee, native plant species gone in last 30 years, flags study
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Japan symposium demands another chance for coal| 08 September 2020
Participants bat for clean coal in energy mix as Asia’s energy needs are set to double
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Four agreements signed at meet organised by International Solar Alliance| 08 September 2020
Prime Minister Modi called on all UN members to join ISA to save the Earth
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Fuel efficiency should be on carmakers to help economy, environment: Study| 04 September 2020
US saved $5 trillion in fuel costs, prevented 14 billion tonnes of carbon from releasing into the atmosphere, as onus was on manufacturers to improve fuel economy, the study points out
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Mini-grids might have lost out momentarily to grid electrification, but their significance cannot be discounted
Download Factsheet >>
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Solar manufacturing
The domestic industry remains way behind China’s, whose products rule the roost in India. What is needed is a comprehensive policy and strategic vision, with vigorous investment in R & D
Download Factsheet >>
This Weekly Newsletter is published by Down to Earth and the Centre for Science and Environment, a Delhi-based global think tank advocating on global south developmment issues.
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