In this issue:
A drop in the ocean
We’ve deliberately been avoiding coverage of COP28 because that is covered extensively elsewhere but couldn’t pass by the announcement of up to US$225m (NZ$362m) support for marine protection areas in the Pacific from The Bezos Earth Fund (up to US$100m, NZ$161m) and the Global Environment Facility (US$125m, NZ$201m). The amount may be a drop in the ocean but does at least provide recognition and support for some excellent work.
Australia out of coal by 2038
The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) has just released a draft of its 2024 Integrated System Plan revealing Australia is expected to exit coal as a generation fuel five years earlier than previously expected with the last coal powered station now looking like closing in 2038. The Plan is updated every two years and the 2024 draft also covers likely requirements of transmission networks and storage capacity to cover increasing demand in a renewable system. The plan does anticipate retaining 16GW of flexible gas to at least 2050.
Green jobs more resilient
The latest evidence from PwC’s Green Jobs Barometer indicates green jobs are more resilient than others, albeit not by much. The Barometer monitors the UK market which has seen the number of advertised rolls fall by 29% in 2023. However, the decline in adverts for green jobs sat at 26%. The percentage of jobs in the UK market categorised as green now stands at 2.3%, up from 1.9% in 2021. The relative increase comes with higher pay levels and greater reported satisfaction among those holding green jobs.
Boost for regenerative agriculture
The Sustainable Markets Initiative has launched a new framework to help unleash the trillions of dollars needed to drive sustainability in agriculture. The intent is to make regenerative agriculture more financially attractive and drive conversion. The framework sets out new funding and sourcing models as well as recommendations for governments and is supported by the likes of McCain, Mars, McDonalds, PepsiCo and Waitrose.
Our own methane emissions
We hear plenty about farm stock but just how much do humans contribute to methane emissions and is it a problem? Time wealthy scientists in the UK have turned their attention to this question and uncovered that it seems only 31% of people breathe out methane at all. People over 30 are more likely to be methane exhalers and women are more likely to exhale methane than men. A plant based diet does not increase the likelihood of exhaling methane. On average, we exhale around 15 grammes of methane a year. Their conclusion, that time is better spent addressing other sources of methane emissions rather than our own. Funny that!
The cow jumped over the moon
Still on methane, Interstellar Technologies in Japan has just static tested its liquid methane rocket fuel. The fuel is derived from cow manure collected from local farms. The engine has only one tenth the componentry of a standard rocket engine, substantially lowering manufacturing costs. The test was declared a success.