The latest Climate Change News Digest for April 2022, prepared for followers of the PLM Green Global Alliance, summarizes in one place the most important monthly news from around the world about the changing climate and progress in decarbonizing the global economy. Our good news question of the month: what petroleum organization agreed that a price or tax on carbon was a good idea? Read on to find out and learn what you might have missed during a month with a lot of news, much of it good.
The latest Climate Change News Digest for March 2022, prepared for followers of the PLM Green Global Alliance, summarizes recent news about the changing climate and efforts to decarbonize the global economy. While GHG emissions and climate trends remain alarming, as evidenced in the latest IPCC assessment, there is encouraging progress being made in green technologies, public awareness, and most importantly the political will to act. Our good news question of the month: what political body agreed to impose cross-border carbon tariffs on trade? Read on to find out.
“Human-induced climate change, including more frequent and intense extreme events, has caused widespread adverse impacts and related losses and damages to nature and people, beyond natural climate variability. Some development and adaptation efforts have reduced vulnerability. Across sectors and regions the most vulnerable people and systems are observed to be disproportionately affected. The rise in weather and climate extremes has led to some irreversible impacts as natural and human systems are pushed beyond their ability to adapt (high confidence).
Vulnerability of ecosystems and people to climate change differs substantially among and within regions (very high confidence), driven by patterns of intersecting socio-economic development, unsustainable ocean and land use, inequity, marginalization, historical and ongoing patterns of inequity such as colonialism, and governance (high confidence). Approximately 3.3 to 3.6 billion people live in contexts that are highly vulnerable to climate change (high confidence). A high proportion of species is vulnerable to climate change (high confidence). Human and ecosystem vulnerability are interdependent (high confidence). Current unsustainable development patterns are increasing exposure of ecosystems and people to climate hazards (high confidence).
Global warming, reaching 1.5°C in the near-term, would cause unavoidable increases in multiple climate hazards and present multiple risks to ecosystems and humans (very high confidence). The level of risk will depend on concurrent near-term trends in vulnerability, exposure, level of socioeconomic development and adaptation (high confidence). Near-term actions that limit global warming to close to 1.5°C would substantially reduce projected losses and damages related to climate change in human systems and ecosystems, compared to higher warming levels, but cannot eliminate them all (very high confidence).
Beyond 2040 and depending on the level of global warming, climate change will lead to numerous risks to natural and human systems (high confidence). For 127 identified key risks, assessed mid- and long- term impacts are up to multiple times higher than currently observed (high confidence). The magnitude and rate of climate change and associated risks depend strongly on near-term mitigation and adaptation actions, and projected adverse impacts and related losses and damages escalate with every increment of global warming (very high confidence).
Climate change impacts and risks are becoming increasingly complex and more difficult to manage. Multiple climate hazards will occur simultaneously, and multiple climatic and non-climatic risks will interact, resulting in compounding overall risk and risks cascading across sectors and regions. Some responses to climate change result in new impacts and risks (high confidence).
If global warming transiently exceeds 1.5°C in the coming decades or later (overshoot), then many human and natural systems will face additional severe risks, compared to remaining below 1.5°C (high confidence). Depending on the magnitude and duration of overshoot, some impacts will cause release of additional greenhouse gases (medium confidence) and some will be irreversible, even if global warming is reduced (high confidence).”
The full report may be downloaded from the IPCC website HERE.
A discussion on “Digital Technologies and the Environment: A Synergy for the Future” was held on February 17, 2022 that was promoted by the NGO event organizer Diplo, as:
“Digital technologies can amplify efforts to mitigate climate change and, as such, are becoming part of environmental and digital policies on the national and international levels. Most global policies from international bodies, the EU, the USA, and Germany substantially reflect on the issues related to the nexus of environmental and digital developments. In this discussion, we will look into current developments in the relevant fora, such as the US-EU Trade and Technology Council, and consider the possibilities to deepen cooperation and understanding between the USA, the EU, and Germany on issues related to environment and digital developments.”
A written report was also available that explores the application of digital technologies to address issues of greenhouse gas emissions, rare earths, and e-waste.
“Digital technologies in general collect, process, and analyze large quantities of data to identify issues and possible solutions, provide modelling of future developments, streamline processes, making them less resource dependent – whether on natural resources, human efforts, or finances. Some of the digital technologies are already widely implemented in environmental protection. This is the case in big data analysis and use of artificial intelligence to find sustainable solutions for environmental issues, use of augmented and virtual reality for modelling and education, IoT for smart cities, smart grids, and in traffic regulation. Additionally, decades of experience in space technology are now used in the renewable energy sector. Others, like blockchain, nanotechnology or quantum computing are just starting to be studied on their possible implementation in environmental protection.”
“If we are going to avoid, or even mitigate, the devastating effects of anthropological climate change, then, in the next twenty to thirty years, we’re going to have to almost completely wean ourselves off our reliance on fossil fuels. That means reducing 51 billion tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions to almost zero while providing an acceptable standard of living for 10 billion people. This is the greatest engineering challenge that our species has ever faced and essentially means re-solving every difficult engineering problem that we have overcome in the 250 years since the Industrial Revolution.”
“In the title of this article, I blamed engineers for the climate emergency. After all, Savery, Newcomen and Watt’s inventions unintentionally prised the lid off of the Pandora’s Box of greenhouse gas emissions. This is a deliberately provocative (and rather trite) argument. The Industrial Revolution (like the Neolithic Revolution before it) was an inevitable consequence of human population growth and would have happened eventually, irrespective of the individuals involved. Like most modern engineers, like you and I, they were just trying to improve the world that they lived in.”
In this Digital Engineering commentary, PLM Green Global Alliance contributor and climate change theme moderator Klaus Brettschneider examines the role of PLM in tracking the carbon footprint of products and processes.
The latest Climate Change News Digest for January 2022, prepared for followers of the PLM Green Global Alliance, summarizes recent news about the changing climate, including preliminary data from calendar year 2021. While many of the atmospheric climate trends are still negative, it does not diminish the recent progress in business, social, and political trends where the imperative to address sustainability, climate change, and decarbonization continue to gain momentum. I find much hope in this, as well as recently reading Jane Goodall’s new book “The Book of Hope: A Survival Guide for Trying Times” written with Douglas Abrams.
The PLM Green Global Alliance invites current and future followers to participate in a review and discussion of the new book from esteemed venture capitalist John Doerr, “Speed & Scale: An Action Plan for Solving Our Climate Crisis Now.” Learn more about this very timely book and what others have to say about it at https://speedandscale.com/.
In the book’s opening pages the author warns that the world is not doing nearly enough to reach net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050. He is not hesitant to say it is indeed time to panic if that’s what it takes to speed up investments in innovative technologies that can scale to help decarbonize the global economy of over 50 gigatons of emissions each year.
The latest Climate Change News Digest, prepared for followers of the PLM Green Global Alliance, summarizes considerable good news from the UN COP26 conference on the growing urgency of world leaders and business leader to move faster to decarbonize the global economy. The good news question of the month: how many countries have now joined the global pledge to reduce methane emissions? Read on to find out.
The latest Climate Change News Digest prepared for followers of the PLM Green Global Alliance summarizes a significant number of news items from October 2021 on the climate crisis and the growing movement to decarbonize the global economy. The good news question of the month: which country announced its intent that all electricity generation will be fossil fuel free by 2035? Read on to find out.
The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) drives ambitious climate action in the private sector by enabling companies to set science-based emissions reduction. Science-based targets provide companies with a clearly-defined path to reduce emissions in line with the Paris Agreement goals.
The PLM Green Global Alliance recommends the SBTi website at https://sciencebasedtargets.org/ as an excellent resource for companies that wish to demonstrate leadership in their industry by moving toward a net-zero carbon emissions economy. We celebrate the more than 1,000 businesses around the world that have already done so.
In Part 1 of this series of posts from the PLM Green Global Alliance on the Role of PLM in Slowing Climate Change we identified four primary opportunities to employ Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) in reducing, mitigating, or adapting to climate change from human-generated Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions, most importantly CO2. These four areas for using PLM strategies and solutions are in: developing Green Products, generating Green Energy, reducing Carbon Footprints, and adapting to Climate Change.
In this new Part 2 we will begin to examine one of those in more detail; the use of PLM-enabling technologies to collect, calculate, track, report, and most importantly reduce the carbon footprint of products and processes. This capability then enables a full and accurate accounting for the carbon footprint of individual companies, entire industries, and national economies that supply, produce or consume these products or services. It may very well prove to be the most important contribution of PLM by helping to lower emissions and slow climate change for the benefit of future generations to come.
This month’s Climate Change News Digest prepared for followers of the PLM Green Global Alliance summarizes the latest news not just about the changing climate but the growing momentum to decarbonize the global economy. Our good news question of the month: how many international companies have now joined The Carbon Pledge to reduce their GHG emissions to net-zero by 2040? Read on to find out.
A new generation of orbiting satellites is producing remote sensing data to help visualize and identify sources of Greenhouse Emissions emissions, like those from methane. This example image from a recent BBC article is produced byGHGSat’s Pulse interactive mapping solution
Methane is a more powerful GHG, compared to carbon dioxide, whose composition in the atmosphere is also growing at an alarming rate.
The month’s Climate Change News Digest prepared for busy followers of the PLM Green Global Alliance summarizes the latest news from the end of summer while many of us were out on vacation. It was not a good month for the planet due to the record heat, droughts, and wildfires along with other new research findings. Yet, there was hopeful progress as more nations, communities, NGOs, and industries around the world agree that climate change is happening now and must be dealt with a greater sense of urgency. Our good news question of the month: what country reported that in 2020 it produced more energy from all types of renewable sources than from coal? Bonus question: what is the difference between green hydrogen and blue hydrogen? Read on to find out.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) prepares comprehensive Assessment Reports about the state of scientific, technical and socio-economic knowledge on climate change, its impacts and future risks, and options for reducing the rate at which climate change is taking place.
In the IPCC 6th Assessment on Climate Change, “the thirteen chapters of the Working Group I report on “Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis” have just been published and provide an assessment of the current evidence on the physical science of climate change, knowledge evaluation gained from observations, reanalyses, paleoclimate archives and climate model simulations, as well as physical, chemical and biological climate processes.”
“The Summary for Policymakers (SPM) provides a high-level summary of the understanding of the current state of the climate, including how it is changing and the role of human influence, and the state of knowledge about possible climate futures, climate information relevant to regions and sectors, and limiting human-induced climate change.”
The full AR6 WG Report on “Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis” may be downloaded from the IPCC website HERE.
Climate Change Digest good news question of the month: Along what country’s coast is the world’s largest tidal energy turbine being installed? Read on to find the answer in the latest Climate Change News Digest prepared for followers of the PLM Green Global Alliance.
The previous month of June 2021 had now been deemed to be the hottest June on record for the United States. Numerous all-time records for any month and date were set at several locations. Temperatures were an astonishing 4.2 degrees F above their 20th century average.
Climeworks https://climeworks.com/ and Accenture http://www.accenture.com/ are collaborating to use new digital technologies to develop a carbon direct air capture and storage plant in Iceland. The carbon removed from the atmosphere will be sequestered underground where in two years it will turn to stone.
This can certainly help as one component of a larger decarbonization strategy, but how big can carbon capture and storage facilities scale when we are putting 50 billion tons of CO2 into the atmosphere each year? As example, it would take 10 million of this size plant that captures 4,000 tons of CO2 per year, to do the job. Read more HERE to understand the role of this technology in decarbonizing the economy to meet the 2050 net-zero GHG emissions.
This new series of posts by Klaus Brettschneider and Richard McFall, contributing members of the PLM Green Global Alliance (PGGA), will explore how Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) can be used to slow climate change by reducing human-generated greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions into the atmosphere.
Carbon dioxide and methane are the two most damaging GHG which are commonly reported on as CO2 equivalents, or CO2e, and are measured in billions of tons or gigatons. Carbon continues to build in the atmosphere due to human activities on the ground where it has now surpassed 410 ppm, nearly double that prior to the start of the industrial age. Since CO2 stays in the atmosphere for hundreds of years, a consensus is urgently building among climate scientists, elected officials, and NGOs like the International Energy Agency that the global economy must attain net-zero GHG emissions by 2050. This starts with a very challenging reduction of 50% by 2030, less than ten years away.
We begin our series by outlining the different roles and use cases that PLM can have in minimizing the carbon footprint – or “decarbonizing” – products, businesses, industries, and even entire economies. But first a brief level set on what PLM is and is not.