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Week in Review: Top Climate News for October 23-27

Week in Review: Top Climate News for October 23-27

This weekly round-up brings you key climate news from the past seven days, including California Gov. Newsom’s climate-focused trip to China, another Big Oil mega-deal, and the devastation brought about by Hurricane Otis in Mexico’s Acapulco.

1. World Is Entering ‘Uncharted Territory’ as it Moves Closer to Brink of Multiple Tipping Points, New Climate Reports Warn

Time is up. The world has officially entered uncharted territory as highly anticipated events of unprecedented magnitude directly linked to the rapidly intensifying climate crisis are finally manifesting around the world, new climate reports have warned.

Published in the journal Bioscience on Tuesday and endorsed by more than 15,000 scientists from around the world, the first study looked at recent extreme weather events and the climate records broken so far in 2023, which represent “deeply concerning patterns of climate-related disasters.” It also monitored governments’ progress in terms of mitigation and adaptation, concluding that there has been “minimal progress by humanity in combating climate change.”

The study preceded the release of the UN 2023 Interconnected Disaster Risks report, which only reinforced the point made by Ripple and colleagues. The UN’s research arm, the University’s Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS), analysed six interconnected risk tipping points: accelerating extinctions, groundwater depletion, mountain glacier melting, space debris, unbearable heat, and uninsurable future. 

Read more here.

2. Chevron to Buy Rival Hess for $53b in Second Big Oil Mega-Deal in Weeks as IEA Says Demand Will Peak By 2030

American oil giant Chevron is buying independent oil and natural gas company Hess Corporation for US$53 billion, the second Big Oil consolidation deal in weeks.

The acquisition adds a major oil field off the coast of Guyana, a South American country highly contented among oil giants Exxon Mobil, Chinese CNOOC, and Hess since its discovery in 2015, as it is poised to become the world’s fourth-largest offshore oil producer. In a statement published Monday, Chevron, one of the largest companies in the world and the second-largest US-based oil company by revenue, said that Hess’s assets in US shale and Guyana will “grow production and free cash flow faster.” 

Oil companies have scored record profits after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine created a favourable market for Big Oil as it pinched oil supplies and sent prices higher, sparking backlash among environmental groups who accuse oil companies of profiting from the situation rather than trying to ease the pain for consumers and invest in the energy transition.

Read more here.

3. Deadly Hurricane Otis’ Rapid Intensification Is Symptom of Climate Change, Scientists Say

Hurricane Otis’ explosive intensification from a tropical storm to a Category 5 in just 24 hours is a symptom of anthropogenic climate change, scientists say, and one that is becoming more frequent as the crisis intensifies. 

Otis made landfall near Acapulco, a beach resort town of almost 900,000 on Mexico’s Pacific coast, in the early hours of Wednesday, packing destructive winds up to 165 mph (266 kph). The country’s first Category 5 storm left devastation in its wake and approximately US$15 billion in damage, according to early government estimates.   

Winds increased by 80 mph (129 kph) in just 24 hours, shifting from a tropical storm to a Category 5 hurricane much faster than forecasters expected. 

Read more here.

4. California Gov. Gavin Newsom Kicks Off Weeklong China Trip to Talk Climate Change

California Governor Gavin Newsom kicked off his weeklong trip to China with a visit to the University of Hong Kong (HKU) on Monday, where he praised his state’s efforts in combating climate change and highlighted the importance of collaboration and partnerships with other countries.

In a fireside chat with HKU vice-president Gong Peng, Newsom repeatedly commended China’s efforts in green technology development, particularly in the electric vehicles sector and renewable energy, as well as Hong Kong’s carbon footprint disclosure, saying the purpose of his trip is not to preach but “to steal good ideas.”

Over the next six days, Newsom and his delegation will travel to Beijing, Shanghai, and the provinces of Jiangsu and Guangdong, where he is expected to meet with regional leaders and businesses to advance climate collaboration and visit manufacturing facilities such as an offshore wind plants in Jiangsu in the hope to to advance climate collaboration and speed up the state’s adoption of renewable energy.

Read more here.

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