Planet-Warming CO2 Emissions Surged to Record High in 2023: IEA

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Original article by THOR BENSON republished from Common Dreams under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0).

A sign reading “Stop, extreme heat danger” is seen in Death Valley National Park in California. (Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images)

“The clean energy transition has undergone a series of stress tests in the last five years—and it has demonstrated its resilience,” said IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol.

Carbon emissions reached a record high in 2023, but the increased adoption of renewable energy is helping slow the pace, according to the International Energy Agency.

The IEA said in a new report that global CO2 emissions “increased by 410 million tonnes, or 1.1%, in 2023—compared with a rise of 490 million tonnes the year before—taking them to a record level of 37.4 billion tonnes.”

But the agency found that carbon emissions “rose less strongly in 2023 than the year before even as total energy demand growth accelerated… with continued expansion of solar PV, wind, nuclear power, and electric cars helping the world avoid greater use of fossil fuels.”

The report notes that “exceptional droughts” decreased the amount of hydropower that could be produced last year. Demand for coal fell to “levels not seen since the early 1900s.” It says CO2 emissions would have been three times larger had renewable energy not been utilized to generate electricity.

An IEA report from September found that rapid adoption of clean energy technologies could keep the world from surpassing the 1.5°C warming target. The Energy Information Administration forecast in December that 2024 could become the first year that wind and solar power generate more electricity than coal in the U.S.

The world will need to adopt a lot more renewable energy to address the climate crisis. Last month was most likely the warmest February on record, and records like that are being set every year. The more countries burn fossil fuels, the higher the temperatures will go.

“The clean energy transition has undergone a series of stress tests in the last five years—and it has demonstrated its resilience,” said IEA executive director Fatih Birol. “A pandemic, an energy crisis and geopolitical instability all had the potential to derail efforts to build cleaner and more secure energy systems. Instead, we’ve seen the opposite in many economies.”

Original article by THOR BENSON republished from Common Dreams under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0).

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Continue ReadingPlanet-Warming CO2 Emissions Surged to Record High in 2023: IEA

Devolved leaders reject shortlist for climate watchdog chair over Tory links

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https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2024/mar/01/devolved-leaders-reject-shortlist-for-climate-watchdog-chair-over-tory-links

Lord Deben, the Climate Change Committee’s first chair, was environment secretary under Margaret Thatcher and John Major. Photograph: Dorset Media Service/Alamy

Refusal by Welsh, Scottish and Northern Irish leaders to approve candidates means whole recruitment process may have to be rerun

Ministers in Westminster have been accused of trying to blunt the teeth of the UK’s net zero watchdog by appointing a Tory loyalist to the post of chair of the Climate Change Committee (CCC).

The leaders of the devolved governments in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland have refused to approve any of the six shortlisted candidates, saying they are all too close to the Conservatives and lack diversity.

The row has significantly delayed the UK government’s attempts to appoint a successor to John Gummer (Lord Deben), the committee’s first chair and a former Tory minister, who repeatedly challenged ministers for being insufficiently radical in their policies on combating global heating.

Since the CCC has a statutory duty to oversee climate policies for the UK government and all three devolved administrations, the shortlist requires consent from all four nations.

In a row that mirrors allegations about cronyism over appointments to chair the BBC and Ofcom, he said the UK government knew that Deben’s successor would be in post for 10 years.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2024/mar/01/devolved-leaders-reject-shortlist-for-climate-watchdog-chair-over-tory-links

Continue ReadingDevolved leaders reject shortlist for climate watchdog chair over Tory links

‘Omen of the Future’: Off-The-Charts Hot Oceans Scare Scientists

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Original article by JESSICA CORBETT republished from Common Dreams under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). 

A diver looks at one of the coral nurseries on the reefs of the Society Islands in French Polynesia, where major bleaching is occurring, on May 9, 2019. (Photo: Alexis Rosenfeld/Getty Images).

After 2023 was the hottest year in human history, experts warn that 2024 “has strong potential to be another record-breaking year.”

While global policymakers continue to drag their feet on phasing out planet-heating fossil fuels, scientists around the world “are freaking out” about high ocean temperatures, as they told The New York Times in reporting published Tuesday.

A “super El Niño” has expectedly heated up the Pacific, but Times reporter David Gelles spoke with ocean experts from Miami to Cambridge to Sydney about record heat in the North Atlantic as well as conditions around the poles.

“The sea ice around the Antarctic is just not growing,” said Matthew England, a University of New South Wales professor who studies ocean currents. “The temperature’s just going off the charts. It’s like an omen of the future.”

Rob Larter, a marine geophysicist with the British Antarctic Survey who watches polar ice levels, told the paper that “we’re used to having a fairly good handle on things. But the impression at the moment is that things have gone further and faster than we expected. That’s an uncomfortable place as a scientist to be.”

Last week, Jeff Berardelli, WFLA‘s chief meteorologist and climate specialist, also highlighted the warm North Atlantic and that “all signs are pointing to a busy hurricane season” later this year.

Noting that in the middle of this month, sea surface temperatures in the North Atlantic were around 2°F higher than the 1990-2020 normal and nearly 3°F above the 1980s, Berardelli explained:

That may not sound like a lot, but consider this is averaged over the majority of the basin shown in the red outline in the image above. A deviation like that is unheard of… until now.

To put it into more relatable terms, considering what’s been normal for the most recent 30 years, the statistical chance that any February day would be as warm as it is right now is 1-in-280,000. That’s not a typo. This is according to University of Miami researcher Brian McNoldy…

And that 1-in-280,000 is compared against a recent climate, which had already been warmed substantially by climate change. If you tried to compare it against a climate considered normal around the year 1900, the math would become nonsensical. Meaning an occurrence like this simply would not be possible.

McNoldy also stressed the shocking nature of current conditions to the Times, telling Gelles that “the North Atlantic has been record-breakingly warm for almost a year now… It’s just astonishing. Like, it doesn’t seem real.”

The new comments from McNoldy and other scientists come on the heels of various institutions and experts worldwide recently confirming that 2023 was the hottest year in human history. Research also showed that it was the warmest year on record for the oceans, which capture about 91% of excess heat from greenhouse gases.

As Common Dreams reported last month, Adam Scaife, a principal fellow at the United Kingdom’s Met Office, said that “it is striking that the temperature record for 2023 has broken the previous record set in 2016 by so much because the main effect of the current El Niño will come in 2024.”

That’s the warm phase of the El Niño Southern Oscillation, a climate phenomenon that also has a cool phase called La Niña expected later this year. Still, Scaife warned that “the Met Office’s 2024 temperature forecast shows this year has strong potential to be another record-breaking year.”

Throughout the record-shattering 2023, experts also expressed alarm. After an April study showed that the ocean is heating up faster than previously thought, the BBC revealed that some scientists declined to speak about it on the record, reporting that “one spoke of being ‘extremely worried and completely stressed.'”

In July, when a buoy roughly 40 miles south of Miami recorded a sea surface temperature of 101.1°F just after a “100% coral mortality” event at a restoration site, Florida State University associate professor Mariana Fuentes told NPR that “if you have several species that are being impacted at the same time by an increase in temperature, there’s going to be a general collapse of the whole ecosystem.”

The following month, the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service announced that the average daily global ocean surface temperature hit 69.7°F, and deputy director Samantha Burgess said, “The fact that we’ve seen the record now makes me nervous about how much warmer the ocean may get between now and next March.”

“The more we burn fossil fuels, the more excess heat will be taken out by the oceans, which means the longer it will take to stabilize them and get them back to where they were,” Burgess emphasized at the time.

Last year ended with a United Nations climate summit that scientists called “a tragedy for the planet,” because the final deal out of the conference—led by an Emirati oil CEO—did not demand a global phaseout of fossil fuels.

Azerbaijan, which is set to host this year’s U.N. conference in November, has similarly selected a former fossil fuel executive to lead the event. The country also plans to increase its gas production by a third during the next decade.

Original article by JESSICA CORBETT republished from Common Dreams under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). 

Continue Reading‘Omen of the Future’: Off-The-Charts Hot Oceans Scare Scientists

Santander arranged billion-dollar oil bond after making green pledge

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Original article by Nimra Shahid Rob Soutar republished from The Bureau of Investigative Journalism under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

HSBC also helped on refinery deal that will boost Amazon oil production

The Pastaza River complex, the largest wetland in the Peruvian Amazon, is a hub of biodiversity. It is home to nearly 300 species of fish and rare birds, and a source of food for the numerous Indigenous communities that live there. Its freshwater tributaries, lakes and palm swamps offer a vital buffer against climate change and its international importance is recognised by Ramsar, the UN convention on wetlands conservation.

Slicing through this land is the Norperuano pipeline, a huge 1,100km structure owned by the national oil company PetroPerú. The pipeline has been the source of more than 53 oil leaks since 2013. PetroPerú spent more than $80m on cleaning up spills related to it between 2017 and 2020.

In December, PetroPerú hailed the completion of a $5bn, 10-year project revamping its Talara refinery on the country’s Pacific coast. This new-look facility will be the destination for huge amounts of oil being carried by the Norperuano pipeline across the country from the rainforest, where PetroPerú is set to drill at two controversial new sites. And working behind the scenes to aid the financing of this project have been major international banks that claim to hold strict green policies.

In 2021, Santander helped coordinate a bond that raised $1bn for PetroPerú, which sought funds to upgrade its Talara refinery and expand its capacity to process oil from the Amazon. Two years previously, it had ruled out providing finance or services for “projects or activities in recognised Ramsar sites”. HSBC, which has a similar policy restricting finance that affects wetlands, also worked on the deal.

The money raised by the bond was to be spent on the Talara upgrade, which PetroPerú says helped the facility “produce cleaner fuels” and expanded its processing capacity by nearly 50%, to 95,000 barrels of oil per day.

Much of that oil is likely to be transported through the Norperuano pipeline from the Peruvian Amazon, where PetroPerú has extraction contracts for two drilling sites, one of which also overlaps with the Pastaza wetlands.

“There can be no financing for a company that needs to expand oil production in areas as sensitive as Ramsar sites,” said Leila Salazar-López, executive director of Amazon Watch. She added that it was “difficult to understand” how a company that has demonstrated an inability to stop spills and repair its damage “can gain the confidence of ‘climate-responsible’ investors”.

Santander told TBIJ it did not comment on clients or transactions but said it “operates strict policies that govern our financing. This includes our social, environmental and climate change risk management policy, which governs our criteria to lend to sectors such as energy, mining, metals, and soft commodities.”

HSBC said: “We are committed to supporting a just transition in developing markets and are, therefore, engaging with clients on their transition plans and operating models. Our work with clients is in line with our policies which include specific standards for environmental and human rights considerations.”

Original article by Nimra Shahid Rob Soutar republished from The Bureau of Investigative Journalism under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Continue ReadingSantander arranged billion-dollar oil bond after making green pledge

Green protesters to be charged with criminal damage over demonstration at Rishi Sunak’s home

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https://www.independent.co.uk/climate-change/news/climate-activists-rishi-sunak-damage-home-b2499247.html

Three people are set to be charged over a protest at Rishi Sunak’s home (Danny Lawson/PA Wire)

Three people will be charged with criminal damage following a Greenpeace protest at Rishi Sunak’s home in North Yorkshire, prosecutors have said.

Mathieu Soete, 38, Amy Rugg-Easey, 33, and Alexandra Wilson, 32, will each be charged with one count of criminal damage over the protest last August in the prime minister’s Richmond constituency, the Crown Prosecution Service said.

Mr Soete, of Hackney, and Ms Rugg-Easey and Ms Wilson, both from Shiremoor in North Tyneside, are due to appear at York Magistrates’ Court on 21 March, according to the CPS.

A fourth suspect is due to answer bail at a later date.

Activists were pictured last year atop the roof of Mr Sunak’s grade II-listed manor house in Kirby Sigston, near Northallerton, which they draped with oil-black fabric in protest over what they called a new fossil fuel drilling “frenzy”.

The prime minister was on holiday in California at the time of the demonstration.

https://www.independent.co.uk/climate-change/news/climate-activists-rishi-sunak-damage-home-b2499247.html

Continue ReadingGreen protesters to be charged with criminal damage over demonstration at Rishi Sunak’s home

Chicago Joins ‘Historic Wave of Lawsuits’ Against Big Oil

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Original article by BRETT WILKINS republiahed from Common Dreams under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0).

Environmental activists march during the Global Climate Strike in downtown Chicago, Illinois, on September 15, 2023.  (Photo: Kamil Krzaczynski/AFP via Getty Images)

The city alleges the industry “funded, conceived, planned, and carried out a sustained and widespread campaign of denial and disinformation about the existence of climate change and their products’ contribution to it.”

Chicago on Tuesday joined the growing list of U.S. cities and states suing Big Oil for lying to the public about how burning fossil fuels causes and exacerbates the climate emergency.

The administration of Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson, a progressive Democrat, filed a lawsuit in Cook County Circuit Court against ExxonMobil, Chevron, BP, Shell, ConocoPhillips, Phillips 66, and the industry lobby American Petroleum Institute, which “funded, conceived, planned, and carried out a sustained and widespread campaign of denial and disinformation about the existence of climate change and their products’ contribution to it.”

“The climate change impacts that Chicago has faced and will continue to face—including more frequent and intense storms, flooding, droughts, extreme heat events, and shoreline erosion—are felt throughout every part of the city and disproportionately in low-income communities,” the suit contends.

In a statement, Johnson said that “there is no justice without accountability.”

“From the unprecedented poor air quality that we experienced last summer to the basement floodings that our residents on the West Side experienced, the consequences of this crisis are severe, as are the costs of surviving them,” he added. “That is why we are seeking to hold these defendants accountable.”

Climate campaigners welcomed the lawsuit.

“Big Oil has lied to the American people for decades about the catastrophic climate risks of their products, and now Chicago and communities across the country are rightfully insisting they pay for the damage they’ve caused,” Center for Climate Integrity president Richard Wiles said in a statement.

“With Chicago, the nation’s third largest city, joining the fray, there is no doubt that we are witnessing a historic wave of lawsuits that could finally hold Big Oil accountable for the climate crisis they knowingly caused,” he added.

Chicago joins eight U.S. states plus the District of Columbia and numerous municipalities across the country that have sued to hold Big Oil accountable for deceiving the public about its role in the climate emergency.

“To date, eight federal appeals courts and dozens of federal district courts have unanimously ruled against the fossil fuel industry’s arguments to prevent these lawsuits from moving forward in state courts,” noted the Center for Climate Integrity. “In 2023, the U.S. Justice Department added its support for the communities. The U.S. Supreme Court has denied Big Oil petitions to consider the industry’s appeals of those lower court rulings three separate times, most recently in January.”

Angela Tovar, Chicago’s chief sustainability officer, told the Chicago Sun-Times that “the fossil fuel industry should be able to pay for the damage they’ve caused.”

“We have to see accountability for the climate crisis,” she added.

Original article by BRETT WILKINS republiahed from Common Dreams under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0).

Continue ReadingChicago Joins ‘Historic Wave of Lawsuits’ Against Big Oil

With $280 Billion in Profits, Oil Giants Are ‘Main Winners of the War in Ukraine’

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Original article by OLIVIA ROSANE republished from Common Dreams under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0).

A protester pretends to celebrate outside Shell’s London headquarters. (Photo: Greenpeace U.K./X)

“They have amassed untold wealth off the back of death, destruction, and spiraling energy prices,” a Global Witness investigator said of a new analysis.

As Russia’s invasion of Ukraine approaches its second anniversary, one group has clearly benefited: the five biggest U.S. and European oil and gas companies.

BP, Chevron, ExxonMobil, Shell, and TotalEnergies have made more than a quarter of a trillion dollars in profits since the war began, according to an analysis published by Global Witness on Monday.

“This analysis shows that regardless of what happens on the front lines, the fossil fuel majors are the main winners of the war in Ukraine,” Global Witness senior fossil fuels investigator Patrick Galey said in a statement. “They have amassed untold wealth off the back of death, destruction, and spiraling energy prices.”

Big Oil’s profits were fueled in part by high wholesale gas prices, which were already elevated before Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022 and skyrocketed afterward. All five companies covered by the analysis reported record profits for 2022.

This bonanza came as the conflict killed more than 10,000 Ukrainian civilians.

“Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has been devastating for millions of people, from ordinary Ukrainians living under the shadow of war, to the households across Europe struggling to heat their homes,” Galey said.

During 2022, U.S. President Joe Biden accused Big Oil of “war profiteering.”

Global Witness calculated that BP and Shell have raked in enough since the war began—at £75 billion—to pay all British household electricity bills through July 2025. Chevron and ExxonMobil have made a combined $136 billion while Total has netted $50.4 billion.

These massive profits also come as the climate crisis, driven primarily by the burning of fossil fuels, continues to escalate. 2023 was the hottest year on record, and likely the hottest in 125,000 years. Yet instead of using their record profits to invest in renewable energy technology, the five major oil companies have cut back on their climate initiatives and handed massive payouts to shareholders.

“This is yet another way in which the fossil fuel industry is failing customers and the planet.”

Of the more than $280 billion the five companies have brought in since the war began, they returned what Global Witness said was an “unprecedented” $200 billion to shareholders. At the same time, Shell rescinded a promise to curb oil production by 2030 and said it would fire around 200 people employed by its green jobs division. BP, meanwhile, slashed its emissions reduction target from 35-40% of 2019 levels by 2030 to 20-30%.

The money paid to shareholders is also money that could have been paid to help communities adapt to the climate crisis or recover from the damage it has already caused. The $111 billion that the five companies paid to shareholders in 2023 alone is 158 times more than the money pledged to climate-vulnerable nations at COP28, and the €15 billion that TotalEnergies rewarded shareholders with was more than the €10 billion that France needed to recover from droughts and storms in 2022.

Galey said the companies were now “spending their gains on investor handouts and ever more oil and gas production, which Europe doesn’t need and the climate cannot take.”

“This is yet another way in which the fossil fuel industry is failing customers and the planet,” Galey said.

Original article by OLIVIA ROSANE republished from Common Dreams under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0).

Rishi Sunak offers huge fossil fuel subsidies to develop fossil fuel extraction in UK.
Rishi Sunak offers huge fossil fuel subsidies to develop fossil fuel extraction in UK.

Investigating the so-called ‘windfall tax’

Continue ReadingWith $280 Billion in Profits, Oil Giants Are ‘Main Winners of the War in Ukraine’

Swiss Climate Activists Set Sights on Wealthy with Inheritance Tax Proposal

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https://bnnbreaking.com/politics/swiss-climate-activists-set-sights-on-wealthy-with-inheritance-tax-proposal/

Switzerland’s Young Socialists propose a 50% tax on inheritances exceeding 50 million francs, aiming to generate funds for climate.

Switzerland, a nation known for its political stability and economic prosperity, is witnessing a significant political movement steered by the Young Socialists, the youth wing of the Social Democrats, the country’s second-largest party. They have successfully collected enough signatures to trigger a national referendum. Their target? The wealthy population of the country. Their proposal seeks to impose a hefty 50% tax on inheritances exceeding 50 million francs (approximately $59 million).

A Green Cause at Heart

The Young Socialists’ initiative is driven by a compelling intent: to generate funds for combating climate change. They believe that the affluent can and should contribute more to the climate cause. Their proposition, if successful, could generate an estimated 6 billion francs annually. These funds would be allocated exclusively for climate protection measures, contributing significantly to Switzerland’s efforts to combat global warming and transition to more sustainable practices.

Reflecting a Global Trend

This move doesn’t stand in isolation. It reflects a broader global trend of increased activism and policy initiatives aimed at addressing environmental concerns, particularly the financial aspects of combating climate change. From protests on the streets to policy proposals in the halls of power, the climate change struggle is increasingly becoming a central issue in contemporary politics. The Young Socialists’ proposition underscores this shift, signifying a push towards leveraging the wealth of the richest individuals in society to finance the transition to more sustainable practices and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

https://bnnbreaking.com/politics/swiss-climate-activists-set-sights-on-wealthy-with-inheritance-tax-proposal/

Continue ReadingSwiss Climate Activists Set Sights on Wealthy with Inheritance Tax Proposal

Big Oil, Plastics Industry Led ‘Campaign of Deception’ to Push Recycling Fraud

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Original article by Olivia Rosane republished from Common Dreams under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0).

More than 90% of plastics disposed of between 1950 and 2015 were not recycled. (Photo: Laura Lezza/Getty Images)

“The oil industry’s lies are at the heart of the two most catastrophic pollution crises in human history,” one advocate said.

The petrochemical industry—including major oil companies like ExxonMobil—knew for decades that recycling was not a sustainable solution to the problem of plastic waste, yet continued to promote it in order to avoid regulation and deceive consumers into continuing to buy and use their products, a report released Thursday by the Center for Climate Integrity reveals.

The report, titled The Fraud of Plastic Recycling: How Big Oil and the Plastics Industry Deceived the Public for Decades and Caused the Plastic Waste Crisis, includes newly disclosed industry documents proving that companies and trade groups knew that plastics could not be recycled indefinitely in the 1980s and 90s even as they launched a massive public relations campaign to sell voters and policymakers on the process.

“This evidence shows that many of the same fossil fuel companies that knew and lied for decades about how their products cause climate change have also known and lied to the public about plastic recycling,” Center for Climate Integrity (CCI) president Richard Wiles said in a statement. “The oil industry’s lies are at the heart of the two most catastrophic pollution crises in human history.”

Plastic pollution is a major environmental and public health crisis. If current trends continue, plastics are expected to outweigh fish in the ocean by 2050, and the toxic fumes from plastic production facilities and incineration are a major environmental justice hazard for frontline communities. Humans in general also ingest an estimated credit-card’s worth of plastic each week, with unknown but potentially serious health impacts.

Recycling is often touted as a solution for keeping plastic out of the environment, but this has proven to be ineffective and insufficient: More than 90% of the plastics disposed of between 1950 and 2015 were either burnt, sent to landfills, or dumped into the environment. There are several technical and economic reasons why plastic recycling doesn’t work at scale. Plastics lose quality as they are recycled and can only really be reused once or potentially twice. The decline in quality also means that recycled plastics are more likely to leach toxins added during production or picked up from other waste items. Economically, it is cheaper to produce new plastics than recycle older ones, and only two types of plastic—PET and HDPE—actually attract markets that will recycle them.

The industry has long been aware of these limitations. In 1969, the American Chemical Society declared, “It is always possible that scientists and engineers will learn to recycle or dispose of wastes at a profit, but that does not seem likely to happen soon on a broad basis.”

“We are committed to the activities, but not committed to the results.”

Despite this, petrochemical companies and their trade groups began to push plastic recycling in the 1980s and 90s as a response to growing public concern over plastic waste, and the threat that this would lead to bans on plastic products.

“No doubt about it, legislation is the single most important reason why we are looking at recycling,” Wayne Pearson, the executive director of industry front group the Plastics Recycling Foundation and a DuPont marketing director, said in 1988.

The plastics industry used various strategies to sell the public on recycling, according to the report. These included:

  1. Funding front groups to promote recycling;
  2. Running ad and PR campaigns;
  3. Investing in recycling research to convince the public that it was taking action;
  4. Setting unrealistic internal recycling goals;
  5. Writing educational material promoting recycling to school children;
  6. Advocating for “advanced recycling,” a term for breaking plastics down to chemical components that can theoretically be reused but are not in practice; and
  7. Claiming, against evidence, that recycling can be part of a “circular economy.”

CCI provides new evidence that, while the industry was employing these strategies, it was simultaneously aware of recycling’s limitations.

For example, a report from the Vinyl Institute trade group concluded in 1986 that “recycling cannot be considered a permanent solid waste solution, as it merely prolongs the time until an item is disposed of.”

In 1994, Exxon Chemical Vice President Irwin Levowitz told employees of the American Plastics Council that “we are committed to the activities, but not committed to the results.”

CCI argued that the petrochemical industry should face legal consequences for its “campaign of deception” similar to suits brought against tobacco and opioid companies.

“When corporations and trade groups know that their products pose grave risks to society, and then lie to the public and policymakers about it, they must be held accountable,” Wiles said. “Accountability means stopping the lying, telling the truth, and paying for the damage they’ve caused.”

CCI vice president of legal and general counsel Alyssa Johl added: “Big Oil and the plastics industry’s decades-long campaign to deceive the public about plastic recycling has likely violated laws designed to protect consumers and the public from corporate misconduct and pollution.”

“Attorneys general and other officials should carefully consider the evidence that these companies defrauded the public and take appropriate action to hold them accountable,” Johl said.

Original article by Olivia Rosane republished from Common Dreams under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0).

Continue ReadingBig Oil, Plastics Industry Led ‘Campaign of Deception’ to Push Recycling Fraud

February on course to break unprecedented number of heat records

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https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2024/feb/17/february-on-course-to-break-unprecedented-number-of-heat-records

Experts struggle to explain how rises in sea-surface temperatures have accelerated so quickly. Photograph: PPAMPicture/Getty Images

Rapid ocean warming and unusually hot winter days recorded as human-made global heating combines with El Niño

February is on course to break a record number of heat records, meteorologists say, as human-made global heating and the natural El Niño climate pattern drive up temperatures on land and oceans around the world.

A little over halfway into the shortest month of the year, the heating spike has become so pronounced that climate charts are entering new territory, particularly for sea-surface temperatures that have persisted and accelerated to the point where expert observers are struggling to explain how the change is happening.

“The planet is warming at an accelerating rate. We are seeing rapid temperature increases in the ocean, the climate’s largest reservoir of heat,” said Dr Joel Hirschi, the associate head of marine systems modelling at the UK National Oceanography Centre. “The amplitude by which previous sea surface temperatures records were beaten in 2023 and now 2024 exceed expectations, though understanding why this is, is the subject of ongoing research.”

Humanity is on a trajectory to experience the hottest February in recorded history, after a record January, December, November, October, September, August, July, June and May, according to the Berkeley Earth scientist Zeke Hausfather.

Continue ReadingFebruary on course to break unprecedented number of heat records