In this issue:
Circular economy benefits underestimated
A new report from Circle Economy suggests the southern hemisphere continues to underestimate the economic benefits of the circular economy. 84% of research into the socio-economic benefits of the circular economy is focused on northern hemisphere countries and where studies do cover the south, often they focus on job numbers rather than quality metrics such as wages and working conditions. EU countries are set to be the biggest gainers from the transition to circularity because of its stronger policy conditions and earlier start on the journey.
Australia stepping up
Australia took some major steps forward in its transition to a lower emissions economy with some significant announcements in its Federal Budget this week. Alongside measures to help out with household bills and kickstart its hydrogen economy, there were interesting announcements of the establishment of a Net Zero Authority, AU$10bn (NZ$10.6bn) to help build capacity through investment in the grid and a fund to help regions adapt to climate change.
Coal divestment accelerating
It took six years for the first 100 coal exclusion policies from global financial institutions to emerge. The following 100 has taken around three years. Again, it is Europe that is leading the way with stricter policies and scrutiny around climate performance. It is the mid-sized players that are moving quickest according to the analysis from the IEEFA.
A clean technology arms race
The World Energy Council has just released its annual World Energy Pulse report which reveals the global energy transition is being hampered by concerns over energy security and what it describes as a “green technology arms race”. The survey captures the views of 700 energy executives around the world and while security is the most cited concern, there is a fear the solutions are being developed with a nationalistic bias rather than addressing the transition as a global issue.
Mobile EV charging
Ever been frozen out of an EV charger by parked vehicles – sometimes not even EVs charging up? US start-up Autev has addressed that with the launch of its autonomous, mobile EV charger. Autev claims up front costs are reduced 90% relative to fixed units and revenues could be up 75% because of the improved flexibility.
Call for papers
The Royal Society is to publish a special issue of its journal dedicated to renewable energy and how it can contribute to a just transition in New Zealand. The special issue will cluster papers into the themes of technology, systems modelling and analysis and social and economic implications.
Climate change AI
We’ve all heard of ChatGPT by now but now there is a dedicated AI platform for climate change. While its partners, including the University of Zurich and the Oxford Sustainable Finance Group are credible, its disclaimer is telling: “Warning! Please note that ChatClimate is not endorsed by IPCC and there is a high chance that chatClimate is hallucinating, may occasionally produce harmful instructions or biased content and may occasionally generate incorrect information.” Nice!