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Much likelier now: IMO's declaration to cut shipping's emissions makes all-electric fleets a tantalizing prospect

CLIMATE CHANGE: Historic deal to curb Shipping emissions, India faces water emergency, US lawyer kills self in climate protest

Landmark deal reached to cut shipping emissions

The IMO’s meet in London last week achieved a major breakthrough, with over 170 member nations agreeing to slash carbon emissions from global shipping by “at least 50%” over 2008 levels by 2050. Member nations have also agreed to a 100% emissions reduction by mid-century. The resolution is expected to pave the way for carbon free and renewable energy sources to power global maritime trade, including (perhaps) fully electric container vessels.

The formal adoption of the text was only opposed by two countries Saudi Arabia and the U.S. India’s continued insistence on common but differentiated responsibilities in shipping industry was opposed by the EU on grounds that it was irrelevant since the owner of a ship may not be from the country of the flag the ship hoist. According to a 2016 UN report, China owns 4960 ships from which 1915 ships operate under a foreign flag.

‘Water Taps May Run Dry’

New early warning satellite images have revealed dangerously shrinking reservoirs in India. Based on the images of 500,000 dams across the world, the study predicts next “day zero” water crisis in India, Morocco, Iraq and Spain, which may lead to dried up water taps. Study mentioned conflict over water sharing of Narmada reservoirs of Indira Sagar and Sardar Sarovar reservoir. Cape Town recently launched a “day zero” deadline when taps would be cut off following a three-year drought.

Can limit global warming to 1.5C ‘without BECCS’

Latest research says it’s possible to meet 1.5C climate goal without using the controversial method of “negative emissions” from bio energy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS). The Nature Climate Change study shows how BECCS is completely useless against other mitigation methods such as lifestyle changes, lab-grown meat, greater adoption to renewables and energy efficiency. The controversial BECCS is mostly “untested negative emissions technology” that has come to dominate solutions to 1.5C.

100+ corporate giants align with UN climate goals

Over 100 multinationals including Sony, McDonald’s, L’Oreal, Electrolux have committed to cut emissions as per 2C target of Paris accord on climate change. The Science based Targets initiative (SBTi) says 103 companies have signed up to decarbonize. The 100+ companies’ combined emissions are equal to the “annual CO2 emissions from 100 coal-fired power plants, representing US$3.4 trillion.”

Anand Mahindra initiated the challenge to adopt science-based targets at the WEF in Davos last year, and he is the co-chair of the California Global Climate Action Summit 2018.

US lawyer kills self to protest against climate change

US lawyer David Buckel committed suicide by setting himself on fire in New York in a protest against climate change. In a suicide note Buckel wrote that he killed himself using fossil fuel to symbolise the harm human beings were causing to the planet. “Pollution ravages our planet, oozing inhabitability via air, soil, water and weather,” he wrote in his suicide note, which was emailed to several media organisations before he was found dead. “My early death by fossil fuel reflects what we are doing to ourselves,” he said.

Top Court raps Centre for misusing climate fund

The Supreme Court rapped Centre for not using around Rs 90,000 crore assigned for environment restoration. “It is very clear that the amount was used for purposes, other than what it was entrusted with.” The money was being used for construction of roads, renovation of bus stands and science laboratory in colleges. “This money is meant for the benefit of the people. Construction of roads and installing streetlights is your job as a state. People’s funds cannot be used for it,” the court said.

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