Urgent: Extinction Rebellion’s protests in London are another call for governments to address the emergency that is climate change | Image credit: AA.com.tr

Climate change activists block London roads, 113 arrested

Thousands of climate activists led by British climate group Extinction Rebellion brought parts of London to a standstill as they blocked major locations in a non-violent protest. They are demanding that governments declare climate and ecological emergency. Extinction Rebellion recently also staged a semi-nude protest in the British Parliament, and the protests could expand to 33 countries in the coming days.

Climate change could wipe out $20 trillion of assets?

Sarah Breeden, the Bank of England’s head of international banks supervision, has warned that if institutions and companies fail to prepare now, climate change can potentially wipe out $20tn of assets leaving the global economic system devastated, reported the Daily Telegraph. “The shock could be so severe that it could trigger a “climate Minsky moment”, where asset prices suddenly become worthless, derailing global growth, Breeden told the newspaper.

WB-IMF meet: 23 finance ministers pledge climate action boost

At the latest meeting of the World Bank (WB) Group and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), finance ministers from 23 developed and developing nations officially formed the ‘Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action’ and pledged to align fiscal policy with Paris Agreement targets, BusinessGreen reported. The ministers endorsed the Helsinki principles, which promise to align members’ tax and spend policies with the Paris Agreement. The ministers vowed to help countries organise the cash needed to fulfil climate pledges, as well as forge a blueprint for climate budgeting, green investment, and public procurement.

COP 25: Chile appoints ‘climate champion’ for Dec summit to be held in Santiago

The Chilean Presidency, which will host the 2019 UN climate conference (COP 25), has named recycling entrepreneur Gonzalo Muñoz Abogair “climate champion” for the December summit. He will be responsible for coordinating action by business, city and civil society leaders, alongside the formal talks, Climate Home News reported. Chilean president Sebastián Piñera revealed Cerrillos Bicentennial Park, Santiago, as the COP 25 venue.

Will new WB chief, Trump’s man, continue bank’s support to clean energy over fossil fuels?

President Donald Trump has appointed David Malpass as the new World Bank (WB) chief. But experts are worried if the bank will stay its course. Recently, the WB Group steadily cut lending to fossil fuel projects, yet it is still lagging behind in its transition to clean energy. Climate Home News warned that although Malpass has been making reassurances at spring meetings in Washington DC, the US’ political priority is economic growth. According to a recent analysis by German NGO Urgewals, in the past five years, the bank’s investments in oil and gas projects have actually increased.

45,000 Amazon staff push CEO Bezos to cut company’s emissions, ties with big oil

Over 45,000 employees of online shopping giant Amazon have written an open letter to their CEO Jeff Bezos saying they are not happy with the company’s trade with oil industry. The online shopping giant has investments in BP and Shell and it is now trying to sell technology to locate oil faster to other oil companies. Experts said the company has a massive carbon footprint as it depends on fossil fuels to power planes, trucks and vans to ship parcels around the globe, AP reported. Earlier this year, Greenpeace reported that Amazon has allegedly abandoned its much-hyped goal of running its data centres on 100% renewable energy.

US sanctions blocking flood-hit Iran from getting foreign aid

This week highlighted yet another example of geopolitics affecting victims of extreme weather events. Flash floods have engulfed major parts of Iran, killing at least 70 people, but the country hasn’t been able to get foreign aid relief to assist victims because of US sanctions, Reuters reported. The US has imposed sanctions on Iran’s energy and banking sectors, which have halved the country’s oil exports and also restricted access to foreign revenues.

“No foreign cash help has been given to the Iranian Red Crescent society. With attention to the inhuman American sanctions, there is no way to send this cash assistance,” the Red Crescent said in a statement. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, however, countered by saying Washington is willing to help through the Red Cross and the Red Crescent, while also accusing Iran’s clerical establishment of “mismanagement in urban planning and in emergency preparedness”. The floods, which arose after heavy rainfall on March 19, has left thousands homeless with aid agencies struggling to cope with more than 86,000 people moving to emergency shelters.

EU, China reach climate deal to back clean energy

After anxious discussions on trade and tariffs, the EU and China reached a last-minute deal to tackle climate change and promoting clean energy at a summit in Brussels. The joint statement, less detailed than a 2018 statement on climate change, stressed “the importance of showing resolve on the clean energy transition”. The leaders vowed to “reinforce cooperation” on green finance and mobilise successful outcome at a climate summit to be hosted by the UN secretary general in September.

Normalising climate change? Stop pushing business-as-usual scenario: Bizmen to IEA

Sixty business leaders and scientists have written to “the most influential” International Energy Agency (IEA) to stop “normalising” dangerous climate future.

The leaders asked the IEA to clearly report that “[its] business-as-usual scenario… charts a dangerous course to a world with between 2.7C and 3C of warming”. The IEA’s energy outlook, released last November, focused on the “New Policy Scenario” (NPS), or business-as-usual case, over the “Sustainable Development Scenario” (SDS) intended to meet the targets of the Paris Agreement. The authors said the IEA should bring its SDS in line with 1.5C of warming.

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