Our planet is warming, presenting innumerable challenges for life around the world, from potentially catastrophic sea level rises as ice caps melt, to desertification and the mass extinction of species. But in the UK the prospect of a warmer climate appeals to some. Wine and fruit producers are hoping for larger harvests, while the government has noted that declining sea ice in the Arctic could see lower shipping costs and new trade routes. The latest research to predict a benefit from global temperature rises says the UK could see energy output from onshore wind turbines increase over the coming decades, as higher temperatures whip up stronger winds. According to researchers from the British Antarctic Sur vey, the University of Oxford and the University of Bristol, data suggests the UK and large parts of northern Europe could become windier if global temperatures reach 1.5C above pre-industrial levels. The findings mean wind could become an increasingly important source of energy generation, in Britain as well as in parts of Germany, Poland and Lithuania.
Independent 17th May 2018 read more »
Herald 17th May 2018 read more »
Wind energy in the UK could increase by 10% if the world warms to 1.5C above pre-industrial temperatures, a new study finds. The research is the first to look at this question using new climate models specifically designed to assess the small changes between current global temperatures and 1.5C of warming. The largest changes are found for summer months in the UK, the lead author tells Carbon Brief. At these times, wind energy typically contributes less to the UK energy mix. Any increase could help to offset increased air conditioning use as temperatures rise, he adds. However, the results appear to contradict a previous study, which found wind potential would fall with rising temperatures.
Carbon Brief 17th May 2018 read more »
Environmental law firm ClientEarth is to launch a new climate change initiative, which will work to convince governments and the finance sector to work towards a ‘net zero’ emissions target. The new team is to be led by Alice Garton, who has worked for ClientEarth since April 2015 and will now take up the new post of head of climate role. She will direct ClientEarth lawyers with expertise across environmental, public, finance and company law to encourage governments to legislate for net zero emissions, as mandated by the Paris Agreement goals, and engage companies to align their activities and investments with a zero carbon trajectory. Last month UK climate minister Claire Perry announced she will instruct the Committee on Climate Change to scope a scope a ‘net zero’ goal for the UK, with a potential target date of 2050. However, the commitment is unlikely to head off on-going legal action against the government, which is calling for Ministers to move more swiftly to comply with the Paris Agreement and introduce a net zero target for the UK. The move comes after BusinessGreen last week announced plans for its inaugural editorial campaign, Net Zero Now, which will aim to encourage and support companies and governments as they work to adopt a net zero emissions goal. It also comes as Simon Clarke MP became the latest Conservative to call for a ‘net zero’ target. Writing in a new collection of essays from the Centre for Policy Studies think tank Clarke argues the government should have a more ambitious emissions target and develop a strategy for meeting it that centres on the rapid roll out of clean technologies.
Business Green 16th May 2018 read more »