BP and Shell Funded Group Was Sunak Government’s Most Popular Think Tank in 2023

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Original article by Andrew Kersley republished from DeSmog.

An Onward event at the 2022 Conservative Party conference featuring Cabinet minister Michael Gove. Credit: PA Images / Alamy

Ministers met with Onward, accused of being “a fossil fuel dinosaur in new clothing”, more than any other think tank last year.

An oil and gas funded group had the most registered meetings with government ministers among all think tanks last year, DeSmog can reveal.

Onward describes itself as a think tank bringing “bold and practical ideas for the centre right”. Since its launch in 2018 it has gone through a meteoric rise, quickly becoming one of Westminster’s most influential think tanks.

DeSmog analysed the meetings of every government department in 2023 and found that ministers met with the group on 17 occasions across the year, an average of well over once a month and more than any other think tank.

Onward doesn’t disclose full details of its funding but unlike many think tanks it publicly shares the list of organisations that have donated “more than £5,000 twice a year” to the group.

Its list of funders in the first half of 2023 included several oil and gas giants, including Shell, BP, and Equinor. These three companies are also listed as members of Onward’s ‘Business Network’, which is open to those who donate £12,000 a year. In exchange, Onward says that it offers its members quarterly “invitations to private roundtables with senior policymakers and opinion formers”.

Onward offers other perks to its Business Network members, including the opportunity to see its reports before they are published, though it insists that donors are precluded from influencing the contents of its publications.

In the second half of the year, Onward also received funding from Lord Michael Spencer, a Tory mega-donor and former party treasurer who holds shares in oil and gas companies.

Onward’s corporate supporters included Drax, the UK’s largest single source of CO2 emissions. Drax is the operator of a major wood pellet burning power station in Yorkshire that receives billions of pounds in government environmental subsidies despite producing millions of tonnes of carbon emissions a year while burning trees from historic woodlands.

“Onward might sound progressive, but it looks suspiciously like a fossil fuel dinosaur in new clothing,” Green Party co-leader Carla Denyer told DeSmog.

“With so much fossil fuel money oiling the wheels of Westminster it is small wonder the Tories are maxing out oil and gas licences and have granted approval for Rosebank, the largest undeveloped oilfield in the North Sea.

“It’s time to break the links between government and fossil fuel funded think tanks and engage instead in a bit of blue sky thinking.”

Onward’s meetings in 2023 included two with ministers from the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ), which is responsible for the government’s climate policies. 

One of those meetings, held in June with Net Zero Minister Andrew Bowie, was to discuss the role of hydrogen in the transition to net zero.

Though it’s widely acknowledged that hydrogen will have a role in decarbonising some industrial processes, it has become the subject of growing controversy. Experts have warned that exaggerating the potential of the technology risks delaying climate action by distracting from the transition to renewable energies. Hydrogen is favoured by gas companies, as it is often made using natural gas and deploys existing infrastructure. 

As a result, hydrogen continues to be the subject of a major lobbying effort in Westminster.

Vested interests, including oil and gas companies, have spent hundreds of thousands of pounds in recent years sponsoring political party conferences and parliamentary advocacy groups, advocating for the role of hydrogen in the clean energy transition. 

UK gas infrastructure operator National Gas hosted an Onward event at the 2023 Conservative conference on the UK’s “need” for hydrogen, entitled “Gassed up”.

An Onward spokesperson said that as a not-for-profit organisation the group relies “entirely on the generosity of our network to support our research programme”, which allows the group to “routinely meet and share our research with government and shadow ministers”.

They stressed that they “do not take commissions from companies or government for specific pieces of research” giving the group “complete editorial control over our priorities and conclusions”.

Onward and Tufton Street

Onward is currently led by former Financial Times journalist Sebastian Payne, who is attempting to become a Conservative parliamentary candidate. 

The think tank’s advisory board and board of directors are manned by Conservative MPs and peers, former Conservative Party treasurers, and business figures. Current Net Zero Secretary Claire Coutinho was a member of the Onward advisory board prior to her appointment to the Cabinet. 

When Rishi Sunak became prime minister in October 2022, it was reported that Onward alumni had taken up several advisory posts in his government – the second highest number of any think tank. Sunak’s deputy chief of staff Will Tanner, who leads on policy, is the co-founder and former director of Onward. 

Onward alumni were only outnumbered by former staff members of Policy Exchange, a right-wing think tank that formerly employed Sunak. Policy Exchange has received funding from fossil fuel giant ExxonMobil, and has been credited by Sunak for helping to draft laws that have cracked down on climate protests. DeSmog has also revealed that Shell and BP were allowed “ample opportunity” to shape a Policy Exchange report on carbon taxes that was later endorsed by Sunak’s government. 

Over the last year, the prime minister has also overseen a row-back of several key climate pledges. In July, Sunak confirmed that his government planned to issue hundreds of new oil and gas licences, a move condemned by opposition MPs and charities. Oxfam’s climate policy adviser Lyndsay Walsh said the move “will send a wrecking ball through the UK’s climate commitments”.

Sunak has said his government intends to “max out” the UK’s oil and gas reserves, and has legislated to introduce annual North Sea licensing rounds. This is despite the International Energy Agency stating that new fossil fuel exploration is “incompatible” with the Paris Agreement target of limiting global heating to 1.5C. 

Regulators also approved government plans for the development of the controversial Rosebank oil field, operated by Equinor, even though the project has been dubbed a “carbon bomb” by environmental law charity ClientEarth.

In September, the government scrapped a number of net zero pledges, including pushing back a ban on the sale of combustion engine vehicles, and weakening plans to phase out gas boilers.

Sunak’s predecessor Liz Truss had close ties to a number of “free market” think tanks based in and around 55 Tufton Street, Westminster. This included the Institute for Economic Affairs (IEA), a think tank that was funded by BP for at least 50 years. Former IEA director general Mark Littlewood said that Truss had spoken at IEA events more than “any other politician over the past 12 years”, and the pair have now launched the group Popular Conservatism to lobby for more libertarian policies.

DeSmog found that the IEA met with ministers on nine occasions in 2023, almost half as many as Onward.

Original article by Andrew Kersley republished from DeSmog.

Continue ReadingBP and Shell Funded Group Was Sunak Government’s Most Popular Think Tank in 2023

Climate Scientist Leaves ExxonMobil’s Board With Little to Show for It

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Original article by Emily Sanders, ExxonKnews republished from DeSmog.

Susan Avery, the first climate scientist on ExxonMobil’s board, is stepping down. Credit: Tess Abbot/WHOItn (CC BY-SA 4.0).

Advocates had hoped Susan Avery’s nomination would be a turning-point moment for the company’s climate approach. It wasn’t.

This story was published in partnership with ExxonKnews

When Susan Avery was first nominated to ExxonMobil’s board in 2017 after pressure from shareholder advocates to bring on a climate scientist, many hoped that her expertise could help steer the oil major in a new direction. Avery — a physicist and atmospheric scientist — had spoken during her extensive career of the need to “get off fossil fuels as much as possible.” 

More than seven years later, Avery is set to exit her role as chair of Exxon’s Environment, Safety, and Public Policy Committee with those hopes seemingly dashed. Evidence continues to mount that the oil giant is still spreading climate disinformation to delay action on fossil fuels, and it recently sued shareholders who proposed that it pursue emissions cuts.

Avery’s decision not to stand for re-election to the board was “for reasons unrelated to the company,” according to a February filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Avery, 74, is just shy of Exxon’s mandatory retirement age, though that was not cited in the filing — directors can run for re-election until they’re 75

The end of her tenure has reignited debate about the role of a scientist on the board of a major oil company with a legacy of spreading science denial and ignoring internal expertise.

“People wanted to give her an opportunity to change things from within, and I think there was an expectation that she would take that responsibility seriously,” said Kathy Mulvey, accountability campaign director for the Union of Concerned Scientists, a nonprofit advocacy organization that supported Avery’s nomination at the time. But Avery’s ability or willingness to change the company “certainly has not borne out in reality,” Mulvey said.

Avery’s selection came after a shareholder proposal requested that Exxon nominate someone with a “high level of climate change expertise” for its board. The company’s unusual lawsuit against other shareholders could chill further attempts to sway its business model that way. Avery’s last day will be May 29, overlapping with the company’s annual shareholder meeting, where a growing number of outraged shareholder groups and state pension funds now plan to vote against prominent members of the board, including CEO Darren Woods. 

With climate lawsuits against the company moving closer to trial, a growing number of states exploring legislation to make companies like Exxon pay for climate damages, and tensions with investors so high, “serving on ExxonMobil’s board is a high-stakes poker game,” Mulvey said. As Avery closes out her tenure with more than $3.8 million in compensation and stock value from the company, Mulvey said, “it’s not surprising” if Avery “decided to cash in her chips and go home.”

Neither Avery nor Exxon responded to requests for an interview.

Business as Usual During Avery’s Tenure

Avery, the former president of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts and  professor emeritus at the University of Colorado Boulder, was brought onto the board during Woods’ first month as CEO. “Avery’s leadership experience in multiple academic and scientific organizations, coupled with her breadth of scientific and research expertise, reinforce the corporation’s long-standing technical and scientific foundation,” the company said as it announced her appointment.

At the time, Exxon was battling subpoenas from attorneys general in New York and Massachusetts, both investigating the company for concealing its knowledge about the dangers of burning fossil fuels. The oil giant was just beginning to experience the fallout of early revelations about its historic climate deception; the tip of that iceberg was unearthed by Inside Climate News, the Los Angeles Times, and Columbia Journalism School in 2015. 

Behind the scenes, Exxon was taking a far less amenable tone in response to criticism of its climate approach.

Kill the story,” Exxon media relations manager Alan Jeffers told Reuters’ Houston bureau chief in a 2016 email, responding to a request for comment on a Center for Media and Democracy press release accusing the American Legislative Exchange Council of abusing its nonprofit status by lobbying against climate action on behalf of Exxon.

In the years to follow, Exxon would become the target of lawsuits from state and local governments alleging the company defrauded consumers, lawmakers, and the public in order to delay climate action and protect its oil and gas profits. Evidence shows the oil giant continued to spread anti-science disinformation and internally strategize to manipulate the public’s understanding of its role in the climate crisis well into Avery’s time on the board.

A congressional report released last month following a years-long investigation found that Exxon and other oil majors’ campaigns of deception “evolved from denying climate science to spreading disinformation and perpetuating doublespeak.” Avery is mentioned in more than a dozen of the documents that members of Congress obtained from Exxon — but they’re almost entirely redacted. 

The investigation found that while Exxon publicly touted its support for the Paris Agreement “since its adoption in 2015,” executives privately admitted that the company did not actually intend to meet the agreement’s goals. The oil giant’s plans are far afield from allowing it to hit those targets, according to a March analysis by think tank Carbon Tracker, which placed Exxon among the five lowest-ranking companies on its scorecard. Exxon’s climate pledges don’t align with its actions, according to one peer-reviewed study, and are “misleading at best, dishonest at worst,” according to Carly Phillips, a research scientist at the Union of Concerned Scientists.

During Avery’s tenure, the company also used advertising firms and funded partnerships with academic institutions to lend credibility to its climate pledges and promotion of “low-carbon solutions” like algae biofuels, which the company abandoned after spending millions advertising that as a climate fix. And Exxon worked to shift blame for its role in the climate crisis to consumers, according to a study of the company’s public communications by climate disinformation experts Naomi Oreskes and Geoffrey Supran. 

“The people who are generating those emissions need to be aware of and pay the price for generating those emissions,” Exxon’s Woods said in a recent Fortune interview.

A November report from the International Energy Agency found that oil and gas companies account for less than 1% of clean energy investment globally. “‘When the energy world changes, so will we’ is not an adequate response to the immense challenges at hand,” the report concludes.

But Exxon has vastly expanded its investments in fossil fuels, more than doubling its oil production in the Permian Basin after sealing a $60 billion deal to acquire Pioneer Natural Resources last year. Exxon and two other oil companies told Guyana that they plan to spend more than $12.9 billion on an offshore oil project there, the country said last summer. The company’s 2023 Global Outlook predicts an increase in methane gas use of more than 20% by midcentury. 

In a 2021 hearing as part of a House Oversight Committee investigation, Woods refused to pledge that the company would stop funding disinformation and lobbying against climate action. 

Exxon is expanding its investments in fossil fuels. Credit: Mike Mozart (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Like a Cancer Doctor on the Board of a Tobacco Company’

The same committee asked Avery to testify at a later hearing, but she never did. Instead, Avery appeared to use her expertise and position to lend credibility to Exxon’s claims of climate leadership.

“I’m proud to work on key issues related to climate risk at ExxonMobil,” she said in Exxon’s 2023 “Advancing Climate Solutions” report. “With my experience as an atmospheric scientist and a leader at a global research organization, I am committed to helping to advise the Board on public issues of significance. … The members of the [Environment, Safety and Public Policy] Committee are united in our commitment to position ExxonMobil as an industry leader in pursuing sustainable solutions that improve quality of life and meet society’s evolving needs.”

Sarah Myhre, another climate scientist and program director for climate advocacy and democracy reform at the Glaser Progress Foundation, contends that Avery compromised her scientific integrity to “performatively greenwash one of the most horrifically damaging, nefarious, and fraudulent corporations that has ever existed.”

“It’s like a cancer doctor on the board of a tobacco company [promoting] tobacco as a health product, something that is helping people live healthier, more vibrant lives. They’re taking all of their scientific bona fides and accreditation, and they’re using it for this outcome, which ultimately protects the tobacco company [as it] continues to kill people or damage their lives irrevocably,” Myhre said.

Michael Mann, a climate scientist who was subject to years of attacks from climate denialists funded by Exxon, described Avery’s service to the company as a “betrayal.” 

Avery’s decision “comes across as entirely transactional: climate scientist lends their imprimatur to the world’s largest publicly-traded fossil fuel company, under fire for their history of promoting disinformation and delay tactics, for seven years, and gets 4 million dollars in return,” Mann said in an email. “What is there that doesn’t look bad here?” 

Silencing Dissent at Exxon

What’s not known is whether Avery ever advised Exxon to change course. The company has a history of concealing the warnings of its own scientists and retaliating against whistleblowers — even recently. 

“The ability of a board member to move a company forward partially depends on the multiple stakeholder voices that the company is hearing and whether they’re willing to listen to them,” said Timothy Smith, senior policy advisor at Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, an organization that coordinates the work of shareholder groups. 

Exxon’s lawsuit against two shareholder groups, filed in January, came in response to the shareholders’ proposal asking the company to limit its Scope 3 emissions, which arise from the use of its products and make up about 85% of its total greenhouse gas emissions. (Exxon’s “net zero” ambitions and emissions reduction plans don’t account for Scope 3 emissions at all.) 

Shareholder resolutions such as these are intended for a vote by a company’s stockholders. When firms want to keep proposals off the ballot, the established process is to appeal to the Securities and Exchange Commission. Exxon, which sued instead, claimed the groups were driven by an “extreme agenda” that is “calculated to diminish the company’s existing business.”

That claim was “really duplicitous because they know full well that this same agenda has been raised with them by other investors over the decade,” said Smith, arguing that the company has “become more confrontational and defensive rather than be a leader in this space.” 

The shareholders, Arjuna Capital and Follow This, withdrew their proposal. But Exxon continued with its lawsuit, defending the decision in its 2024 proxy statement and arguing that the “proposal process is being abused by those who treat shareholder democracy as a venue for activism.” A judge ruled Wednesday that the case can proceed against one of the shareholders, U.S.-based Arjuna Capital, but not the Netherlands-based Follow This.

Mulvey, of the Union of Concerned Scientists, said Exxon would rather battle its own investors than consider transparency about or a change to its fossil fuel business.

“Not only do they continue to fight back against mandatory climate disclosure and public policies that would hold them accountable, but it is also trying to undermine the notion that those who own the company should have a say over its direction,” she said.

Tensions could come to a head at Exxon’s annual shareholder meeting as Avery steps aside. Shareholder advocacy groups like Majority Action have urged other investors to vote against the company’s entire board of directors, which CalPERS, America’s largest pension fund, has announced it will do. The Illinois State Treasurer and California State Treasurer have made similar recommendations to their state pension funds, and the New York state pension fund plans to vote against all but two of the board members.

“The [International Energy Agency] has laid out a plan to transform our energy system in line with the 1.5°C pathway. We’re at a critical juncture of how this is going to occur — and Exxon  appears to be hellbent on foreclosing on that urgent and necessary discussion,” said Majority Action’s senior research analyst, Bryant Sewell. “These directors have to be held accountable.”

Original article by Emily Sanders, ExxonKnews republished from DeSmog.

Continue ReadingClimate Scientist Leaves ExxonMobil’s Board With Little to Show for It

Intense downpours in the UK will increase due to climate change – new study

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A flash flood in London in October 2019.
D MacDonald/Shutterstock

Elizabeth Kendon, University of Bristol

In July 2021, Kew in London experienced a month’s rain in just three hours. Across the city, tube lines were suspended and stations closed as London experienced its wettest day in decades and flash floods broke out. Just under two weeks later, it happened again: intense downpours led to widespread disruption, including the flooding of two London hospitals.

Colleagues and I have created a new set of 100-year climate projections to more accurately assess the likelihood of heavy rain downpours like these over the coming years and decades. The short answer is climate change means these extreme downpours will happen more often in the UK – and be even more intense.

To generate these projections, we used the Met Office operational weather forecast model, but run on long climate timescales. This provided very detailed climate projections – for every 2.2km grid box over the UK, for every hour, for 100 years from 1981 to 2080. These are much more detailed than traditional climate projections and needed to be run as a series of 20-year simulations that were then stitched together. Even on the Met Office supercomputer, these still took about six months to run.

We ran 12 such 100-year projections. We are not interested in the weather on a given day but rather how the occurrence of local weather extremes varies year by year. By starting the model runs in the past, it is also possible to verify the output against observations to assess the model’s performance.

At this level of detail – the “k-scale” – it is possible to more accurately assess how the most extreme downpours will change. This is because k-scale simulations better represent the small-scale atmospheric processes, such as convection, that can lead to destructive flash flooding.

The fire service attending to a vehicle stuck in floodwater.
Flash flooding can be destructive.
Ceri Breeze/Shutterstock

More emissions, more rain

Our results are now published in Nature Communications. We found that under a high emissions scenario downpours in the UK exceeding 20mm per hour could be four times as frequent by the year 2080 compared with the 1980s. This level of rainfall can potentially produce serious damage through flash flooding, with thresholds like 20mm/hr used by planners to estimate the risk of flooding when water overwhelms the usual drainage channels. Previous less detailed climate models project a much lower increase of around two and a half times over the same period.

We note that these changes are assuming that greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise at current rates. This is therefore a plausible but upper estimate. If global carbon emissions follow a lower emissions scenario, extreme rain will still increase in the UK – though at a slower rate. However, the changes are not inevitable, and if we emit less carbon in the coming decades, extreme downpours will be less frequent.

The increases are significantly greater in certain regions. For example, extreme rainfall in north-west Scotland could be almost ten times more common, while it’s closer to three times more frequent in the south of the UK. The greater future increases in the number of extreme rainfall events in the higher resolution model compared with more traditional lower resolution climate models shows the importance of having k-scale projections to enable society to adapt to climate change.

As the atmosphere warms, it can hold more moisture, at a rate of 7% more moisture for every degree of warming. On a simple level, this explains why in many regions of the world projections show an increase in precipitation as a consequence of human-induced climate change. This new study has shown that, in the UK, the intensity of downpours could increase by about 5% in the south and up to about 15% in the north for every degree of regional warming.

Group of girls with an umbrella walking through a city.
The projected increase in the intensity of rainfall is significantly greater in certain regions.
NotarYES/Shutterstock

However, it is far from a simple picture of more extreme events, decade by decade, as a steadily increasing trend. Instead, we expect periods of rapid change – with records being broken, some by a considerable margin – and periods when there is a pause, with no new records set.

This is simply a reflection of the complex interplay between natural variability and the underlying climate change signal. An analogy for this is waves coming up a beach on an incoming tide. The tide is the long-term rising trend, but there are periods when there are larger waves, followed by lulls.

Despite the underlying trend, the time between record-breaking events at the local scale can be surprisingly long – even several decades.

Our research marks the first time that such a high-resolution data set has spanned over a century. As well as being a valuable asset for planners and policymakers to prepare for the future, it can also be used by climate attribution scientists to examine current extreme rainfall events to see how much more likely they will have been because of human greenhouse gas emissions. The research highlights the importance of meeting carbon emissions targets and also planning for increasingly prevalent extreme rainfall events, which to varying degrees of intensity, look highly likely in all greenhouse gas emissions scenarios.

The tendency for extreme years to cluster poses challenges for communities trying to adapt to intense downpours and risks infrastructure being unprepared, since climate information based on several decades of past observations may not be representative of the following decades.


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Elizabeth Kendon, Professor of Climate Science, University of Bristol

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Continue ReadingIntense downpours in the UK will increase due to climate change – new study

Amid Record Heat, Florida Meteorologist Rips GOP ‘Don’t Say Climate Change’ Law

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

WTVJ meteorologist Steve McLaughlin stands before a graphic showing record average global temperatures during a May 19, 2024 broadcast.
 (Photo: WTVJ screen grab)

“We implore you to please do your research and know that there are candidates that believe in climate change and that there are solutions, and there are candidates that don’t.”

Amid what’s shaping up to be the hottest May on record in Miami, one local South Florida TV meteorologist recently slammed new Republican legislation prohibiting the mention of climate change in state law and implored Floridians to vote for candidates who “believe in climate change” and solutions to the planetary emergency.

The new law, signed last week by Republican Gov. DeSantis, also deprioritizes climate considerations in policy decisions, promotes fossil fuel infrastructure development, and bans the installation of wind turbines in state waters. While signing the bill, the failed 2024 GOP presidential contender said Florida was “restoring sanity in our approach to energy and rejecting the agenda of the radical green zealots.”

As South Floridians suffered record-breaking temperatures and a heat index that made it feel as hot as 110°F on Saturday, WTVJ meteorologist Steve MacLaughlin stood before a graphic showing that April was the 11th straight hottest month on record globally and said that Florida’s government is “starting to roll back really important climate change legislation and really important climate change language.”

This, despite the “record heat, record flooding, record rain, record insurance rates, and the corals are dying all around the state” in recent years, MacLaughlin continued. “The entire world is looking to Florida to lead in climate change and our government is saying that climate change is no longer the priority it once was.”

While not mentioning DeSantis by name, MacLaughlin said: “Please keep in mind the most powerful climate change solution is the one you already have in the palm of your hand: the right to vote… We implore you to please do your research and know that there are candidates that believe in climate change and that there are solutions, and there are candidates that don’t.”

The so-called “Don’t Say Climate Change” law signed by DeSantis is but the latest salvo in the right-wing governor’s “war on woke” that includes rolling back LGBTQ+studentmigrantreproductiveprotestFirst Amendment, and other rights and protections.

As the planetary emergency fuels hotter, more dangerous weather in Florida, DeSantis has also attacked the state’s workers by signing a law prohibiting local governments from requiring employers to provide water breaks and other cooling measures.

“Workers in Florida will die in the Florida heat as a result of Gov. DeSantis’ signing this bill,” Public Citizen worker health and safety advocate Juley Fulcher said after the governor signed the law last month. “Denying any worker access to water or shade in the heat of summer is inhumane and cruel, yet Florida just allowed employers to do exactly that.”

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

Continue ReadingAmid Record Heat, Florida Meteorologist Rips GOP ‘Don’t Say Climate Change’ Law

Could the global cost of climate change really be six times worse than thought?

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https://www.energymonitor.ai/features/could-the-global-cost-of-climate-change-really-be-six-times-worse-than-thought/?cf-view

Landscape of the North Pole where climate change has caused melting ice caps. Photo: Mongkolchon Akesin/Shutterstock.

A paper by the National Bureau of Economic Research suggests that each degree of global heating could reduce global GDP by 12%.

A new paper written for the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) suggests that the global economic cost of climate change could be around six times higher than previous estimations.

The paper, written by Northwestern economics professor Diego Känzig and Harvard economics professor Adrien Bilal, suggests that every one degree of atmospheric warming reduces global GDP by 12%.

It uses global heating data cross-referenced against aggregated national GDPs to come to a higher figure. The authors believe that this model provides a more complete picture, as many of the shocks, including extreme wind and precipitation, are affected by global conditions rather than localised heating.

It also places the social cost of carbon (SCC) at over $1,000/tCO2. This global measure estimates the economic damage caused by every tonne of carbon emitted and has historically been set far lower. According to the authors, their own calculations would only place the SCC at $151/tCO2 if evaluating local rather than global temperature shocks.

What does this mean for global economies?

The findings of this paper are clearly worrying as they suggest the threat to markets posed by climate change is significantly higher than previously quantifiable. The authors of the paper describe the impacts of a 1°C as “of the same magnitude as the growth impacts that typically occur after severe banking or financial crises,” and the long-term impacts of climate change as “comparable to the economic damage caused by fighting a war domestically and permanently [italics theirs].”

Article continues at https://www.energymonitor.ai/features/could-the-global-cost-of-climate-change-really-be-six-times-worse-than-thought/?cf-view

Continue ReadingCould the global cost of climate change really be six times worse than thought?