Thanks to the European Union Emission Trading Scheme, a lot of data on carbon emissions in Europe is readily available. This tool allows you to learn everything about carbon emissions in Europe, from national emissions to emissions of firms in your neighbourhood.
Sandbag: EU ETS dashboard
Carbon+Alt+Delete’s carbon calculator is a good way to get a high-level idea of your carbon emissions. If you want to know more about the carbon emissions of your diet, we highly recommend this great tool of the BBC. They show that how and where your food is produced, is as important as what you eat.
BBC: What’s your diet’s carbon footprint?
Climate change impacts everything, including the roads we drive on. While Northern Europe might “win” (less winter maintenance), Southern Europe (more heat damage) and Central Europe (more landslides) will “lose”.
Climate Change Post: “What are the climate change impacts European Road Authorities have to adapt to?
The 197 countries that signed the Paris Agreement gathered the last 2 weeks at the 24th UN Climate Change Conference in Katowice (Poland). The good news: progress has been made on the technical implementation of the Paris Agreement (e.g. how do we measure and report greenhouse gas emissions?). The bad news: no concrete (political) promises were made to reduce emissions in order to achieve the 1.5°C target (current targets will lead to 3°C increase).
Euractiv: “Nations agree on Paris Agreement rulebook, fail on climate ambition”
The Guardian: “What was agreed at COP24 in Poland and why did it take so long?
According to The Boston Consulting Group, a management consultant, countries can create economic growth by taking more action against climate change, if they prioritize the most economic efficient measures to do so.
BCG: “The economic case for combating climate change”
KU Leuven introduces a voluntary “carbon tax” on flights of its employees. The tax is voluntary and employees can choose the destination of the tax: (1) a donation to Carbon+Alt+Delete, (2) reforestation in Africa, (3) video-conferencing infrastructure or (4) or research projects on CO2 mitigation.
Veto: “KU Leuven voert vrijwillige klimaatbijdrage voor vluchten in”
Our main goal at Carbon+Alt+Delete is to help you act on climate change. In addition to keeping you informed, that means sharing specific ways in which you can make a difference. And for that, we want to call on you! Let us know about the things you have come across that have inspired you and helped you make a difference: everyday changes, platforms, initiatives, and whatever else you can think of. At the end of every month, we will share them with the C+A+D community.
We kick this series off with the Claim the Climate march, a fantastic way to make a difference. In a piece on his blog, C+A+D’s Arne van Stiphout explains how the Paris Agreement is actually structured in a way that relies on citizens to push their governments to do more through public initiatives, like this march, but also, for example, the Belgian Klimaatzaak. So if you can, go express your support for an ambitious climate change policy this weekend!
Arne van Stiphout: “Succes in Katowice?”
Trying to make progress in the fight against climate change is not limited to the political arena. An increasingly important avenue to pursue that fight is through the courts. Last month, the victory of the civilian-led climate case Urgenda against the government of the Netherlands in the appeal court of The Hague set a historical precedent in that regard. The judge upheld the 2015 court decision that forces the Dutch government to reduce The Netherlands’ greenhouse gas emissions by a minimum of 25% on 1990 levels by the year 2020. This victory will provide a great boost to the many organizations around the world that were inspired by the original case to bring a case of their own to the courts, like the Belgian non-profit Klimaatzaak. This week’s article discusses the implications of the Urgenda appeal verdict for those cases. “Never before has the role of the courts been so significant in influencing the path of global policy. In the face of inadequately ambitious action by policy-makers, civil society movements and the courts are the agents of change securing climate action.”
The Conversation: “Courts can play a pivotal role in combatting climate change”
How do we talk about the consequences of our actions for the environment? A recent interview with David Attenborough sparked considerable controversy around this long-standing debate. Talking about his new BBC wildlife series, Attenborough told the Observer that repeated warnings about human destruction of the natural world are “alarmist”, and can be a “turn-off” for viewers. But what if the truth is simply alarming? When it comes to biodiversity loss – a topic relevant to Attenborough’s new series – this recent WWF report would seem to suggest so. Do we soften the message of such reports? Or do we communicate their findings as they are, even if that might scare some viewers away? Read the original interview with David Attenborough in The Observer and a response by George Monbiot in The Guardian to get two very different points-of-view on what is the best communication strategy to drive change.
David Attenborough in The Observer: “too much alarmism on environment a turn-off”
George Monbiot in The Guardian: “downplaying our environmental crisis generates complacency, confusion, and ignorance”
When we think about mitigating climate change, we tend to mostly think about energy and transport. It is important, however, to remember that climate change touches upon many more sectors. After the burning of fossil fuels and the consequences of land-use change, global cement production is the third largest source of anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions (note the difference between carbon dioxide and greenhouse gasses). Being such a heavy emitter, the sector’s carbon footprint has to be reduced strongly if the goals of the Paris agreement are to be met. A new Swiss report shows that “by considering all the stages in the value chain, reductions of up to 80% CO2 emissions compared to the 1990 values is achievable by 2050.” But achieving such deep reductions will require efforts along the complete value chain.
Climate Home News: Swiss researchers set out how to decarbonise cement