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.
October 26 – October 29, 2021
Dear readers,

As the annual climate summit of the United Nations, COP 26, kicks off in Glasgow, UK, we take a look at the critical issue of the fight for carbon space. In a special climate issue of Down to Earth, we explore the remaining carbon budget, and the key themes that will be discussed at COP 26.

Leadership on climate action is critical for success at COP 26, and developed countries must show ambition by phasing out fossil fuels like coal. Enhanced climate targets and climate finance will be on the table, though reports so far suggest slow progress. The role of China, the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases, will no doubt influence the deliberations. But other historical polluters must also be held accountable.

Despite the urgency of climate change, the world is set to produce over twice the amount of fossil fuels in 2030 than would be consistent with limiting warming to 1.5°C.

This could lead to worsening extreme weather events like heat waves, and socioeconomic issues like water scarcity.

COP 26 must arrive at a climate deal that accounts for the needs of the developing world, and pushes the developed world to cut its emissions rapidly within this decade.
China and the developed world have already appropriated 70 per cent of the carbon budget available to keep global temperature rise to 1.5°C
  • EMISSIONS GAP FINDINGS : Fossil fuels set to rise again
  • AGENDA FOR COP26 : Eight items the world must discuss
  • YOUNG CLIMATE ACTIVISTS: Refuse to inherit a ruined world
Heat waves likely to last ‘25 times longer’ in India by another 2-4 decades, says climate report
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Down To Earth Wet winter, harsh summer, weird monsoon: What La Nina has in store for India in 2022, 28 October 2021
Asia Climate: India, China, Japan lose billions to extreme weather annually, says WMO report, 28 October 2021
India, China and Bangladesh recorded most of the disaster-related displacement recorded globally in 2020, according to State of the Climate in Asia 2020
CoP 26: World is on the line at Glasgow, 27 October 2021
Reclaiming leadership and voice to rebuild the trust of people — both rich and poor — should top the agenda at Glasgow
The numbers behind: Climate change, 26 October 2021
The planet can barely afford any more carbon emissions. But we need to continue to emit for our survival and development. What is the carbon budget available to us? More importantly, who should be allowed to emit and how much? An analysis by Sunita Narain and Avantika Goswami
What Big Oil knew about climate change, in its own words, 29 October 2021
Heads of oil industry had been privately informed by their leaders that their products would alter the climate of the planet long ago; they continued nonetheless
Despite cutbacks, ExxonMobil continues to fund climate science denial, 27 October 2021
ExxonMobil has spent more than $39 million to manufacture doubt about climate science
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Cities and climate change: why low-rise buildings are the future – not skyscrapers, 29 October 2021
Densely built, low-rise environments are more space and carbon efficient, while high-rise buildings have a drastically higher carbon impact
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Why smart cities need energy-efficient and sustainable buildings, 29 October 2021
The building sector is one of the most dominant sectors, accounting for 40% of primary energy requirement of a developed country
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Drying land and heating seas: why nature in Australia’s southwest is on the climate frontline, 28 October 2021
Australia must take responsibility for its emissions and show ambition beyond the weak promise of net zero by 2050 and commit to real 2030 targets consistent with the Paris climate treaty
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Lessons from Zimbabwe’s tobacco farmers for the COP26 climate change talks, 26 October 2021
Tobacco, as with much agricultural production, promotes unsustainable modes of commodification and consumption of nature
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Atmospheric river storms can drive costly flooding — and climate change is making them stronger, 26 October 2021
Even modest increases in atmospheric river intensity could lead to significantly larger economic impacts
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CoP 26: ‘Every third child is severely exposed to water scarcity’, 29 October 2021
UN bodies red code the impact of climate change on water resources crippling overall development
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Inheritance of loss: The young are restless to conserve the world, want to be heard in global forums, 29 October 2021
The young environmentalists are taking climate action into their own hands as “leaders are lost and planet damaged"
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CoP26: New financing mechanism to plug gaps in climate data, bolster response, 29 October 2021
Three United Nations bodies will unveil the fund at CoP26 in Glasgow November 3
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Agenda for CoP26: Why China matters at Glasgow, 28 October 2021
As the new global superpower and polluter, China’s emissions will have a significant impact on the world’s ability to achieve its climate goals
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G20 Summit: Oxfam urges action on COVID-19, climate, poverty and hunger, 28 October 2021
G20 leaders have a choice to either take urgent action or continue what they are doing, Oxfam says
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Agenda for CoP26: Why the phasing out of coal won’t be decided in a jiffy, 27 October 2021
Despite the progress, coal still accounts for 34 per cent of the world’s power production in 2020; and that is only going to rise
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Climate crisis: Staple crop yield in 8 African countries may decline by 80%, flags report, 27 October 2021
The crisis will exacerbate food insecurity and poverty if no changes are made to agricultural practices or global policies, erratic weather patterns, etc, the report flags
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Greenhouse gas levels hit new high in 2020: WMO, 27 October 2021
The average global warming would exceed Paris Agreement’s target of global temperature rise of 2°C above pre-industrial levels if emissions continue at the current pace
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Commitment phobia: World still not ready to do enough to cut GHG emissions, 27 October 2021
New national climate pledges combined with other mitigation measures put the world on track for a global temperature rise of 2.7°C by the end of the century, says UNEP report
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A quick guide to climate change jargon: What experts mean by mitigation, carbon neutral and 6 other key terms, 27 October 2021
Here’s a guide that may help you to follow the news about climate change ahead of CoP26 starting October 31
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5 days to CoP26: NDCs insufficient, climate finance unmet till 2023, 26 October 2021
Signals on key issues such as enhanced climate ambition and climate finance point to poor progress
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Fossil fuels: Borrowed time, 26 October 2021
The world is set to produce over twice the amount of fossil fuels in 2030 than would be consistent with limiting warming to 1.5°C
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National targets to limit global warming: Off by a mile, 26 October 2021
Even enhanced Nationally Determined Contributions are not nearly enough to limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C. Many poor countries, with low annual emissions, have pledged higher targets than rich countries. This is a mockery of the principle of Common but Differentiated Responsibilities and a human rights concern
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Then and now: Prime polluters, 26 October 2021
China, US and EU-27 (excluding the UK) currently emit over 50% of the world’s 36.44 GtCO2 Africa and India, each with 17% of the world’s population, contribute just 4% and 7% The developing world has a right to economic growth without pollution, which requires unprecedented funding
Video   Report
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CoP26 Glasgow: Why equity is key to stopping climate change — Sunita Narain explains
Watch Video>>
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The numbers behind climate change
Download Report >>
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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