The most significant international agreement to combat climate change took effect Thursday evening -- midnight in Europe -- just days before international climate negotiators were set to meet in Morocco to chart a path forward on the issue.
The Paris Agreement’s entry into force comes a month after countries representing 55% of the world’s emissions committed to joining the deal -- the level required to put the agreement into action -- and less than a year after negotiators from nearly 200 countries agreed to the specifics of the text at the 2015 U.N. climate summit. Next week’s meeting in Marrakech will provide the first opportunity since that summit in Paris for all parties to the agreement to iron out implementation details.Bloomberg: Peak Renewable Energy Investment Seen Holding Back Climate Fight
Renewable energy investment probably has reached a peak of $349 billion that won’t be surpassed for at least five years, signaling a lull in the global fight against climate change.
That’s the outlook from Michael Liebreich, founder of Bloomberg New Energy Finance, who predicted funding for wind, solar and other clean-energy projects will probably fall at least 15 percent this year. At a conference in Shanghai on Tuesday, he outlined how the industry’s capacity to generate power will keep growing even with lower investment.BusinessGreen: Will President Trump Cancel the Paris Agreement Celebrations?
Like a Las Vegas wedding, the celebrations could prove short-lived. The coming into force of the Paris Agreement, years earlier than expected, continues a remarkable run of form for environmental diplomacy over the past two years. The U.S. and China climate bilateral agreement, record levels of cleantech investment and renewables deployment, the EU's climate package, the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris Agreement, the Montreal Protocol amendment on HFCs, ICAO's aviation emissions mechanism, and now the early ratification of the Paris deal have all served to provide an essential reminder that international cooperation, mutually assured sustainable growth, and a recognition of shared risks and opportunities, of shared humanity, can still prosper, even against a backdrop where these precious values are derided and denigrated by the worst amongst us.
And yet while the formal triggering of the Paris Agreement will be rightly celebrated, everyone knows the deal is nothing more than an important staging post on the path to a genuinely net-zero-emission economy. And they also know that the journey on from this staging post could take a dangerous and potentially catastrophic detour next week when the US goes to the polls.Gizmodo: The Battle to Bring Offshore Wind Power to America
The steel towers loom in the distance, like shiny toy soldiers arranged in formation. As our boat approaches, the dizzying size of the machines becomes clear. A few minutes later, I’m standing right next to one, holding the guardrails and craning my head to take it all in. The boat bucks like a rollercoaster as giant waves crash against the bow. Salty spray lashes my eyeballs. I try not to vomit.
Up close, the machines are not toy-like at all. They are aliens, fifty-story monoliths, each crowned with three enormous, outstretched blades that dazzle in the morning light of this crisp October day. This is America’s first offshore wind farm -- a pilot project compared with the vast offshore energy plants in European waters -- but still, a hard-won victory.Pacific Standard: Inside the Battle Over the Dakota Access Pipeline
Over the last seven months, thousands of people, including members of over 280 tribes and First Nations, have joined the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline, which passes half a mile from its reservation. They’ve established two makeshift camps, “Oceti Sakowin” and “Sacred Stone,” near -- but not in the path of -- the pipeline route. They cite the pipeline’s threat to areas of cultural, spiritual, and environmental significance, including the Missouri River, the Tribe’s primary drinking water source. They’ve used spiritual, legal, political, social, and physical tools to try to stop the pipeline.
Their concerns over its construction were reinforced in August when a former crew member testified that a pipeline to which the Dakota Access will connect and which runs under Lake Sakakawea, the drinking water source for North Dakota’s Fort Berthold Indian Reservation, was not properly constructed or inspected and is “an accident waiting to happen.” Multiple oil and gasoline pipeline ruptured across North America during the same period, and as recently as October 21 involving Sunoco -- a Dakota Access Pipeline company.