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Week in Review: Top Climate News for April 24-28

by Earth.Org Africa Americas Europe Apr 28th 20234 mins
Week in Review: Top Climate News for April 24-28

This weekly round-up brings you key climate news from the past seven days, including a new report investigating the causes of the ongoing drought in the Horn of Africa, Biden’s $1.5bn pledge for a climate and deforestation fund, and the European Union’s ambitious climate policy reforms.

1. Climate Change Made Horn of Africa Drought 100 Times More Likely: Study

The almost 3-year-long and ongoing drought in the Horn of Africa, which has resulted in a catastrophic humanitarian crisis in Eastern nations including Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia, was made at least 100 times more likely by climate change, a new study has found.

In a report published Thursday, the World Weather Attribution said the deadly combination of heatwaves and low rainfall was caused by human-induced global warming, primarily due to the strong increase in evaporation caused by higher temperatures.

Scientists found that the devastating combination of low precipitation and evaporation of water in soil and plants would not have resulted in a drought in a scenario where global temperature increase had remained below 1.2C. They also suggested that La Niña, a weather phenomenon associated with less rainfall that has persisted in the region for the past three years, was also partly responsible for the below-average rainfall in 2021 and 2022.

Read more here.

2. Biden Pledges $1.5bn for Climate and Deforestation Fund, Plans New GHG Limits For Fossil Fuel Plants

In a virtual meeting with big economies last Thursday, US President Joe Biden announced plans to increase funding to support climate resilience and clean energy projects in developing countries and curb deforestation in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest.

Speaking at the virtual meeting of the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate, attended by countries that together account for about 80% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions and global gross domestic product, Biden urged his counterparts to set more ambitious emission reduction goals to meet the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global warming to 1.5C.

“Together … we can keep the goal of limiting warming to just no more than 1.5 degrees.  It’s within our reach if we make progress on the four key things that we have to discuss today: decarbonization, decarbonizing energy; ending deforestation; reducing non-carbon greenhouse gas emissions; and improving carbon management,” Biden said in his speech, during which he announced $1 billion in funds to the UN Green Climate Fund (GCF).

Read more here.

3. ‘Fit for 55’: EU Gives Final Approval to Carbon Market Reforms, the Bloc’s Main CO2-Cutting Tool

Read more here.

4. Spain Braces for First Heatwave of 2023 as Drought Pushes Olive Oil Prices to Record Levels

Exceptionally hot air moving northward from Africa will bring exceptionally high temperatures to the Iberian Peninsula from Tuesday to Friday, increasing the risk of wildfires, the Spanish meteorological agency Aemet said. It comes after the country recorded its second-warmest and second-driest March this century.

The heatwave is expected to bring summer-like temperatures, with the mercury set to surpass 40C in the Andalusia region for the first time this year. It arrived almost a month earlier than in 2022, which at the time was also a historically early date. It follows an unusually hot and dry winter that hit most parts of Western Europe, forcing popular ski resorts to close early.

Read more here.

5. EV Sales Expected to Grow By 35% This Year After Record-Breaking 2022, Says IEA

Electric vehicle (EV) sales this year are expected to reach 14 million units after a record-breaking 2022 that saw the electric cars’ share rise from around 4% in 2020 to 14% in 2022, the International Energy Agency (IEA) has forecast.

The “explosive” surge in demand for battery-powered vehicles has huge implications for the energy sector and especially for global oil demand and by 2030, electric cars will help avoid the need for “at least 5 million barrels” of oil a day.

According to the IEA’s annual report on the EV market, EV sales in 2022 are set to increase further to 18% to about 35%, meaning that almost one in five cars sold worldwide this year will be electric.

Read more here.

Tagged: week in review
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