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Week in Review: Top Climate News for July 3-7

by Earth.Org Asia Europe Global Commons Jul 7th 20234 mins
Week in Review: Top Climate News for July 3-7

This weekly round-up brings you key climate news from the past seven days, including a record-breaking June,  new food waste reduction targets for EU member states, and China’s unprecedented progress in clean energy deployment.

1. World Records Hottest June in History Amid Historic Heatwaves and Extreme Ocean Temperatures

Last month was the warmest June ever globally, shattering the previous record set in 2019 by a “substantial” margin, a new analysis has revealed.

According to the Copernicus Climate Change Service’s (C3S) monthly bulletin published Thursday, June saw record temperatures both on land and at sea, just over 0.5C higher compared to the same month in the 1991-2020 period.

It came amid a historic heatwave in northwest Europe and above-average temperatures in countries including India, Iran, Canada, Mexico, and China as well as several extreme marine heatwaves in the North Atlantic Ocean. Category 4 (‘Extreme’) marine heatwave conditions occurred around much of the UK, while a marine heatwave hitting the West of Ireland was classified as Category 5 (‘Beyond Extreme’).

Read more here.

2. Earth Records Hottest Day Ever Amid Rising Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Monday was the hottest day ever recorded globally since measurements began, according to the US National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP), with the average global temperature reaching 17.01C (62.62F), breaking the previous record of 16.92C (62.46F) recorded in August 2016.

The milestone came as regions across the world – from China and India to the UK and southern US – battle with intense heatwaves that are putting millions of lives at risk.

Monday’s record temperatures fuelled ongoing concerns about human-induced global warming and the reemergence of the El Niño weather phenomenon, which returned this year and is expected to bring unprecedented heatwaves that will push global temperatures “off the charts”.

Read more here.

3. EU Proposes Food Waste Reduction Targets As Part of ‘Unambitious’ Soil Health Initiative

The European Union has tabled draft measures aimed at reducing food waste along the food supply chain and in households.

Under the proposal, the EU would require all 27 bloc members to cut food waste by 10% in processing and manufacturing by 2030. Restaurants, food services, and households – which together waste an estimated 10% of the food they are supplied with –  must cut waste by 30% in the same timeframe. Households are the biggest source of food waste in the EU, accounting for about 53% of the total, according to Eurostat.

The plan comes as part of a wider initiative aimed at strengthening the resilience of EU food systems and farming, including a legislative proposal to protect and restore EU soil health adopted by the European Commission on Wednesday.

Read more here.

4. The Shipping Sector Needs Stronger Environmental Regulations, Report Warns As World Leaders Gather in London to Discuss Tougher Rules

The environmental burden placed upon the world’s oceans by global shipping and trade has grown exponentially in recent years and governments have so far failed to enforce stricter rules to halt the sector’s environmental damage, a new report has warned.

Commissioned by Seas At Risk, an association of European environmental organisations, ‘The State of Shipping & Oceans’ annual report investigates what has – and has not – been achieved in terms of maritime environmental regulations since the adoption of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) in 1973 in the wake of the devastating Torrey Canyon oil tanker spill.

Dubbed the single most important piece of international law to tackle the environmental impact of international shipping, the treaty has sparked major progress in reducing the number of oil tanker disasters in recent decades. Nevertheless, the report suggests that governments and international bodies have so far failed to limit the true impacts of shipping, including its detrimental effect on the world’s climate and oceans.

Read more here.

5. China On Track to Meet Clean Energy Target Five Years Ahead of Schedule: Study

China, already the global leader in renewable energy, is on track to double its wind and solar capacity by 2025 and reach its clean energy target five years ahead of schedule, a new study has found.

According to the non-profit Global Energy Monitor’s (GEM) annual report on utility-scale solar and wind power facilities, the rapid renewable energy deployment across China over the past 15 years has brought the country to the top of the global wind and solar leaderboard. Each of the two energy sources currently accounts for more than one-third of the world’s cumulative installed capacity, the report said.

Despite being the world’s largest energy consumer and greenhouse gas producer, China has emerged as a global leader in renewable energy in recent years. According to GEM, solar capacity in the country – which is mostly concentrated in the northern and northwest provinces of Shanxi, Xinjiang, and Hebei – currently stands at 228 GW, more than the rest of the world combined. Wind expansion has also accelerated recently, doubling from 2017 to 310 GW. Offshore wind alone exceeds Europe’s operating capacity and accounts for about 10% of the country’s total wind capacity.

Read more here.

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