The Signals Brief

GAO finds US must address climate change to curb mounting costs

October 25, 2017

From the Independent:

An independent US government agency has said natural disasters have cost the country $350 billion in the last decade and that it is time for Donald Trump’s administration to address climate change before it starts costing the country more. The nonpartisan auditing agency Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued the report that said the US has spent that amount just in responding to extreme weather events.


US Coal market now 40% smaller than in 2008

October 17, 2017

According a new Union of Concerned Scientists report: “The share of US electricity coming from coal fell from 51 percent in 2008 to 31 percent in 2016–an unprecedented change. New UCS analysis finds that, of the coal units that remain, roughly one in four plans to retire or convert to natural gas; another 17 percent are uneconomic and could face retirement soon.”


8-fold Increase in Businesses Pricing Carbon

October 12, 2017

There has been a rapid increase in the number of businesses pricing carbon internally. CDP reports that 1,389 companies are now pricing carbon. They are doing this to measure and to minimize future risk, and to be better positioned to maximize future return on investment. By counting the hidden costs of carbon-emitting fuels, these companies are positioning themselves to be front runners in the low-carbon future economy.


Active Climate-Aligned Bonds now total $895 billion

September 23, 2017

The Bonds and Climate Change State of the Market Report from HSBC and the Climate Bonds Initiative finds that “The climate-aligned bond universe now stands at $895bn outstanding – A jump of $201bn from the 2016 figure. This total is comprised of unlabelled climate-aligned bonds at $674bn and labelled green bonds at $221bn.”


80% drop in battery costs set to revolutionize energy markets

September 18, 2017

The cost of producing batteries has fallen by 80% as rapid expansion of production, and the resulting technology experience curve (efficiency gains from added production and innovation) means battery storage capabilities will continue to expand rapidly. As that happens, costs will fall. According to Bloomberg: “As we build more electric cars and electricity storage, the cost of batteries plummets. Prices have dropped by half just since 2014. If this learning curve continues, a widespread transformation of power grids could begin within this decade.”


Record Number of Companies Commit to 100% Clean Energy

September 17, 2017

From The Climate Group: Days before Climate Week NYC 2017 gets underway in New York City, The Climate Group, organizer of Climate Week NYC, is announcing that The Estée Lauder Companies, Kellogg Company, DBS Bank Ltd and Clif Bar & Company have today joined its RE100 campaign, run in partnership with CDP, and committed to sourcing 100% renewable electricity across their global operations.

The 106 members of the campaign are now taking the total demand for renewable electricity to around 150 TWh annually – more than enough to power New York State.


Global Talks on climate-resilient infrastructure finance

September 15, 2017

The 2017 Forum of the UNFCCC Standing Committee on Finance convened 120 participants from around the world, including government officials, representatives of multilateral development banks and the operating entities of the Financial Mechanisms that finance climate-resilient infrastructure projects, infrastructure developers, engineers, representatives of the private sector as well as the UNFCCC NGO Constituencies.

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Some of the concrete measures discussed included providing targeted support to turn the climate action plans for reducing emissions and for adapting to the consequences of climate change into fundable projects that investors can readily invest in. Participants also focused on the development of new metrics and standards for evaluating and mobilizing wider pools of climate-smart finance.


Green Bonds Issuance for 2017 near $75 billion

September 14, 2017

The Climate Bonds Initiative tracks a number of different categories of bonds that qualify as climate-smart or green. Among bonds that are labeled “green bonds” Climate Bonds finds those in three categories add up to $74.6 billion issued in 2017.

The total of green bonds issued in these three categories between 2016 and 2017 now adds up to $155.6 billion, with statistical projection of another $75 billion by the end of 2017. The acceleration of green bonds issuances is integral to scaling up low-carbon investment opportunities and to building fiscal resilience, by reducing risk and ensuring longer-term investment priorities.


Hurricanes Harvey, Irma projected to cost $290 billion

September 13, 2017

AccuWeather predicts an economic impact of $290 billion from Harvey and Irma combined amid a destructive and costly hurricane season.

“We believe the damage estimate from Irma to be about $100 billion, among the costliest hurricanes of all time. This amounts to 0.5 of a percentage point of the GDP of $19 trillion,” AccuWeather Founder, President and Chairman Dr. Joel N. Myers said.


Carbon Pricing Progress & Coverage

September 12, 2017

  • 46 Carbon Pricing initiatives implemented or scheduled for implementation
  • 42 National Jurisdictions are covered by the initiatives selected
  • 25 Subnational Jurisdictions are covered by the initiatives selected
  • In 2017, these initiatives cover 8 GtCO2e, representing 14.6% of global GHG emissions
  • Total value (US$ Bn) of carbon pricing initiatives in 2017: $52.22 billion

Data from the Carbon Pricing Dashboard, managed by the World Bank Group and Ecofys, as part of the State and Trends of Carbon Pricing annual reports.

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The Signals Brief is a joint program initiative of the Citizens’ Climate Education and the Geoversiv Foundation, in support of the Citizens’ Climate Engagement Network and Resilience Intel.

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