In this issue:
Peak electricity emissions with us
Droughts which caused some countries to increase fossil fuel generation to offset poor hydro performance are the main reason we haven’t already seen a peak in fossil fuel electricity generation, according to the latest report from Ember. In the first half of the year global power sector emissions increased by only 0.2%. Wind and solar increased by 12% and if it wasn’t for an 8.5% fall in hydropower, fossil fuel emissions would have seen a downturn. The report covers the power sectors of 78 countries that account for 92% of global electricity demand.
IMF calls for innovative approaches
The IMF has just published a report concluding governments need to work much more closely with the private sector to enact the global energy transition. With already high debt and interest rates and weaker growth prospects, many countries will be unable to fund the major infrastructure spends needed. Its conclusions is that governments should focus more on legislation, incentives and carbon pricing schemes to encourage firms to make climate positive decisions.
CBAM goes live
The past week has seen Europe’s Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism go live. Importers across the initial tranche of six heavy emitting industries, iron and steel, cement, aluminium, fertilisers, electricity and hydrogen have to start collecting emissions data from 1st October and will have to declare the embedded emissions in their products from 1st January 2026. If the mechanism is deemed successful in delivering a level playing field for European producers, expect more industries to be brought into the scheme.
Aussies hunting for skills
The Clean Energy Generation: workforce needs for a net zero economy report from Jobs and Skills Australia outlines what a clean energy workforce will look like across the Tasman. It looks at the existing and future needs of the workforce and contains 50 recommendations to address the opportunities and challenges Australia will face in making the transition to a strong clean energy sector. Migration pathways are included in the mix, so expect yet more retention strains this side of the ditch.
Swiss Alps shrinking fast
It’s not just the Poles that are suffering horrendous ice loss. The last two years has seen the same amount of ice lost in the Swiss Alps as was seen in the 30 year period 1960-1990. Glacier Monitoring in Switzerland (GLAMOS) monitors 176 of 1,400 glaciers and is seeing alarming falls in ice levels. The chart below of the Griesgletscher glacier illustrates the dramatic drop off in volumes. Of course, our Alps are showing a worryingly similar trend.
Griesgletscher glacier, Mass Balance (Cumulative)
GLAMOS 1881-2023, The Swiss Glaciers 1880-2022/23, Glaciological Reports No 1-142, Yearbooks of the Cryospheric Commission of the Swiss Academy of Sciences (SCNAT), published since 1964 by VAW / ETH Zurich, doi:10.18752/glrep_series.
Minecraft goes sustainable – sort of
For those who enjoy virtual worlds or have children who might, Minecraft is about to launch its Green Energy City. Aimed at growing the understanding of things like battery and solar technologies among children (of all ages), the world walks users through the basic concepts of how batteries work and are built and how solar panels work. The new world joins the existing Sustainability City in the Minecraft Education portfolio.