2020-01-14 In his letter to CEOs, BlackRock chairman and CEO Larry Fink writes that climate change has become a defining factor in companies’ long-term prospects. Climate risk is investment risk. In a matching letter to clients, BlackRock states that it considers ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) risk with the same rigor that it analyzes traditional measures such as credit and liquidity risks. For example, BlackRock will make no future direct investments in companies that generate more than 25% of their revenues from thermal coal production. They will also stress-test portfolios for different carbon pricing scenarios. BlackRock manages 7 trillion $ (7 million millions $) worth of financial assets.
I focused my review of this book on the theme of climate change science denial in the U.S.A., particularly within the Republican Party. This book, published in 2016, contains important lessons for democracy in 2020 and beyond.
Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC), in collaboration with several partners, launched the climate data portal ClimateData.ca in June 2019. In this blog post, I used a subset of graphics from ClimateData.ca in order to paint a picture of how the city of Toronto's climate may evolve during the 21st century under three greenhouse gas emissions pathways (RCPs 2.6, 4.5, 8.5). The ClimateData.ca portal contains similar data and graphics for thousands of Canadian towns/cities from coast to coast to coast.
After comparing the climate action plans of the political parties involved in Canada's 2019 federal elections, I felt compelled to recommend to my followers on Twitter and my friends on Facebook to vote ABC (Anybody But Conservative) in 2019. Even though the Liberal Party's record on climate change was not perfect, key measures they had put in place, such as the carbon tax & rebate program and the clean fuels standard, were under threat of being eliminated shortly after Andrew Scheer's Conservatives would have gained power. I simply could not accept to see Canada move backward on the defining issue of our times: climate change.
On April 2, 2019, the federal Government of Canada published the 2019 version of Canada's Changing Climate Report. I co-authored Chapter 7 of this report about the Changes in Oceans surrounding Canada. In this Chapter, we discuss changes observed in the past and projected changes in the future for the ocean's salinity, temperature, currents, sea level, acidity and dissolved oxygen.
The IPCC (Intergovernmental panel on climate change) was created in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). IPCC provides governments at all levels (federal, state, province, cities) with scientific information they can use to develop climate policies.
The sixth assessment report (AR6) will be released in 2021. Information on the outline of the report and the proposed timeline are available on the IPCC website.
In April 2016 at Nairobi, Kenya, the IPCC agreed to produce a special report on the ocean and cryosphere in a changing climate. The summary for policy makers, together with the supporting technical summary and chapters of the full report were approved at the 51st session of the IPCC in Monaco, September 20-24, 2019. I was a member of the Canadian Government delegation at this meeting, providing scientific support on matters pertaining to the oceans.
In the fifth assessment report (AR5), world experts from Working Group 1 summarized our collective state of knowledge and uncertainties in relation to climate change science.