2017's extreme weather events threatened millions of lives and caused economic damage worth billions

2017 Climate review: Extreme weather events, fossil fuel phase out, race to Renewables and more

Coal in trouble

2017 witnessed solar and wind energy tariffs falling lower than fossil fuel tariffs, both in India and in other countries. Over 20 countries pledged to phase out coal. Oil major BP for the first time said 2030 would be the year when global coal use peaks. Air pollution caused by coal plants, brick kilns, use of petcoke, furnace oil and diesel went off the charts in Delhi.

EVs all the way

India, UK, Norway, the Netherlands, France, and other countries and cities, declared they want to phase out petrol and diesel vehicles. The year also triggered a scramble for Lithium-ion batteries and cobalt – a critical component in each lithium-ion battery.

Record temperatures, deforestation, fires and floods

The year was the third warmest year on record without an El Nino event – which has usually been a factor for years that have registered unusually high temperatures.

A new study found that deforestation and land degradation have turned tropical forests into big emitters of carbon, rather than being a carbon sink. Methane emissions from livestock were found to be 11% higher than previous estimates suggested. The year witnessed a growing number of extreme weather events – the floods in Asia, hurricanes in the US and the Caribbean and the forest fires of Amazon and California.

Climate action and Talanoa dialogue

The Emissions Gap Report was released, that said that current commitments make a global temperature increase of at least 3°C above pre-industrial levels by 2100 very likely. Climate talks at COP 23 in Bonn resulted in the formulation of the final “approach” of the 2018 Talanoa dialogue, which aims to help raise ambition on national climate pledges, and raise recognition that more focus is needed on “pre-2020 action”.

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