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Week in Review: Top Climate News for February 27- March 5

CRISIS - Atmospheric CO2 Levels CRISIS - Pollution Crises by Earth.OrgMar 3rd 20233 mins
Week in Review: Top Climate News for February 27- March 5

This weekly round-up brings you key climate news from the past seven days, including Biden’s nomination of Ajay Banga to be the next World Bank chief, India’s new wave of heatwaves, and a Republican’s vote to block a White House ESG investing rule. 

1. World Bank Chief Nominee Ajay Banga Is ‘Uniquely Equipped’ to Lead Climate Action, Biden Says

The United States nominated former Mastercard CEO Alay Banga to be the next World Bank chief, citing his critical experience in tackling global challenges including climate change.

In a statement released on Thursday, US President Joe Biden praised Banga’s achievements, describing him as being “uniquely equipped to lead the World Bank at this critical moment in history” and adding that “he has a proven track record managing people and systems, and partnering with global leaders around the world to deliver results.”

Read more here.

2. India’s Weather Office Forecasts Heatwave, Raises Alarm for Wheat Crops After Country Records Hottest February Since 1901

India’s key wheat-producing central and northwestern states are expected to experience intense heatwaves from now until May, the Indian Meteorological Department said on Tuesday. The warning comes as India recorded its hottest February since 1901.

A heatwave for the second consecutive year could compromise wheat, rapeseed, and chickpeas production irreversibly and hinder efforts to reduce food inflation in the country, experts warned. Energy supplies are also at stake as high temperatures are expected to increase power consumption.

Last year, India experienced a long-running wave of scorching and record-breaking heat and recorded its hottest and driest March in 120 years, with temperatures consistently 3-8C above average. For several consecutive weeks, residents were hit by temperatures surpassing 40C, while in some areas, surface land temperatures reached even 60C.

Read more here.

3. Biden Veto Expected As US Senate Overturns New ESG Investing Rule For Fund Managers

In a 50-46 vote, the US Senate adopted a resolution to overturn a Labor Department rule that would facilitate fund managers’ investments in environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) after Democrats Jon Tester and Joe Manchin sided with Republican lawmakers on Wednesday.

Tester, a senator from Montana who was joined by fellow Democrat Manchin in voting to roll back the new ESG rule, justified his decision by saying it “undermines retirement accounts for working Montanans.”

President Joe Biden is expected to veto the Republican bill, preventing pension fund managers from making investment decisions based on climate change and other factors. They claim the rule would politicise investing by pushing managers to invest in liberal causes, thus hurting performance.

Read more here.

4. Polluting Companies Sponsor ‘Collapsing’ Winter Sports Sector as Global Warming Impacts Snow Cover: Report

Just as an unprecedented and challenging winter season comes to an end, a new report suggests that dozens of winter sports events and athletes are being sponsored by high-carbon, polluting companies.

The study, conducted by campaign group Badvertising and think-tank New Weather Sweden, reveals how major polluters back snow sports despite being responsible for the industry’s collapse.

Read more here.

5. China Approved Record Number of Coal Plants in 2022, Highest Since 2015: Report

In 2022, China approved the construction of 106 gigawatts’ worth of coal-fired power capacity, the equivalent of all the UK’s plants combined and the highest since 2015, a new study has found.

According to the report, compiled by the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA) and the Global Energy Monitor (GEM), the surge in approvals followed last summer’s severe power shortages in the country amid a historic drought that compromised hydropower generation while boosting air conditioning usage. The heatwave drove China’s peak power demand up 230 gigawatts, more than 20% of its previous peak.

Another report published on Thursday by the International Energy Agency (IEA) found that global energy-related CO2 emissions rose by 0.9% in 2022, reaching a new all-time high despite a much slower growth rate than the previous year. Asia’s emerging markets led the rise in global emissions due to coal-fired power generation, which experienced a 4.2%-increase, the largest in the world.

Read more here.

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