As the northern winter draws closer, surging fossil-fuel prices have left many consumers worried. But there may be a silver lining in the form of more aggressive US efforts to tackle climate change – provided the political will for such measures exists.
An average of 2,400 trees is cut down every minute, leading to an area the size of Belgium being deforested each year, according to the Latin America regional director for the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), who was speaking ahead of the COP26 climate summit.
In a little over a week, the most consequential climate meeting in human history begins in Glasgow, Scotland. The Earth has warmed by up to 1.3°C since 1880. Devastating fires, cyclones and weather are wreaking havoc around the world. And current emissions trends put the world on a path toward 3°C of catastrophic heating by 2100, which would trigger tipping points such as the melting of the poles, the loss of the Amazon rainforest, and a drastic slowdown in the Atlantic ocean circulation.
- Decarbonization will be mineral-intensive because clean-energy tech requires more metal.
- Increased interest in ESG investing means metals extraction must take into account its social risks.
- Mining companies may in future have to report on the impact of individual operations as part of more stringent ESG data reporting.
- The chemical building blocks derived from petrochemicals continue to play a crucial role in society.
- Syngas production contributes significantly to petrochemical CO2 emissions.
- The technology exists to significantly reduce syngas CO2 emissions at scale and help the industry on its road to net zero.
- This weekly round-up brings you some of the key environment stories from the past seven days.
- Top stories: Window for action closing – warning to G20 ahead of COP26; Fossil fuel production set to far exceed climate targets – UN; John Kerry on COP26.
As climate change intensifies in many parts of the world, more and more policymakers are concerned with its effects on human security and violence. From Lake Chad to the Philippines, including Afghanistan and Syria, some violent extremist (VE) groups such as Boko Haram and the Islamic State exploit crises and conflicts resulting from environmental stress to recruit more followers, expand their influence and even gain territorial control. In such cases, climate change may be described as a “risk multiplier” that exacerbates a number of conflict drivers.
Against this backdrop, this case study looks at the relationship between climate change and violent extremism in North Africa, and more specifically the Maghreb countries Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia, which are all affected by climate change and violent extremism. There are three justifications for this thematic and geographical focus. Firstly, these countries are affected by climate change in multiple ways: water scarcity, temperature variations and desertification are only a few examples of the numerous cross border impacts of climate change in this region. Secondly, these three countries have been and remain affected by the activity of violent extremist groups such as Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), the Islamic State organisation (IS) and their respective affiliated groups. Algeria endured a civil war from 1991 to 2002 in which Islamist groups opposed the government, while Morocco and Tunisia have been the targets of multiple terrorist attacks by jihadist individuals and organisations. Thirdly, the connection between climate change and violent extremism has received much less attention in the literature than other climate-related security risks.
This research paper – drawing on insights from 200 experts – highlights that, within the current decade, climate hazards are expected to have increasingly serious disruptive impacts. While many hazards may now be inevitable, action on adaptation has the potential to limit the worst expected climate impacts, at regional and global levels.
The 10 hazard-impact pathways of greatest near-term concern all relate to regions of Africa and Asia. The impacts of greatest concern – food security and migration and displacement of people – may arise from hazards such as drought, changing rainfall patterns or heatwaves. Impacts will be greatest where communities are already most vulnerable, but will also set off interacting, compounding cascades of secondary impacts that cross borders and continents.
That ‘no one is safe until everyone is safe’, often repeated during the COVID-19 pandemic, is just as critical in relation to climate hazards. Between now and 2030, support for adaptation measures to address socio-economic vulnerabilities in the most at-risk regions will be vital. Without such support, it will be impossible to avert systemic climate impact cascades that translate local hazards into impacts felt across the globe.
Southeast Asia is one of the world’s most biodiverse regions, and it is also highly vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Policymakers in the region must ensure that plans to preserve nature while promoting sustainable economic growth are part of the post-pandemic recovery.