Monday, December 10, 2018

#COP24 :: Tackle climate or face financial crash, say world's biggest investors


UN summit urged to end all coal burning and introduce substantial taxes on emissions

Global investors managing $32tn issued a stark warning to governments at the UN climate summit on Monday, demanding urgent cuts in carbon emissions and the phasing out of all coal burning. Without these, the world faces a financial crash several times worse than the 2008 crisis, they said.
The investors include some of the world’s biggest pension funds, insurers and asset managers and marks the largest such intervention to date. They say fossil fuel subsidies must end and substantial taxes on carbon be introduced.


Ministers arrive at the UN climate summit in Katowice, Poland, on Monday for its crucial second week, when the negotiations on turning the vision of the Paris agreement into reality reach a critical point, with finance for fighting global warming a key area of dispute.
“The long-term nature of the challenge has, in our view, met a zombie-like response by many,” said Chris Newton, of IFM Investors which manages $80bn and is one of the 415 groups that has signed the Global Investor Statement. “This is a recipe for disaster as the impacts of climate change can be sudden, severe and catastrophic…”

more: Tackle climate or face financial crash, say world's biggest investors | Environment | The Guardian

#COP24 :: Largest ever group of global investors call for more action to meet Paris targets


The group of 414 institutional investors with $31 trillion under management say governments must take serious steps to cut emissions

The 414 global investors - which represent US$31 trillion of assets-under-management - say they are deeply concerned about the “ambition gap” that exists between governments’ commitments and what is needed to limit the global temperature increase to well below 2C above pre-industrial levels.
They say that gap is increasing the physical risks from climate change and hampering investors’ ability to properly allocate trillions of dollars needed to support the much-needed transition to a low carbon economy.
They have signed a “Global Investor Statement” to be handed to world leaders this week at the COP24 - the 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Poland…


more: Largest ever group of global investors call for more action to meet Paris targets | Environment | The Guardian


Monday, December 3, 2018

Native Knowledge: What Ecologists Are Learning from Indigenous People - Yale E360




From Alaska to Australia, scientists are turning to the knowledge of traditional people for a deeper understanding of the natural world. What they are learning is helping them discover more about everything from melting Arctic ice, to protecting fish stocks, to controlling wildfires.

While he was interviewing Inuit elders in Alaska to find out more about their knowledge of beluga whales and how the mammals might respond to the changing Arctic, researcher Henry Huntington lost track of the conversation as the hunters suddenly switched from the subject of belugas to beavers. 
It turned out though, that the hunters were still really talking about whales. There had been an increase in beaver populations, they explained, which had reduced spawning habitat for salmon and other fish, which meant less prey for the belugas and so fewer whales.
“It was a more holistic view of the ecosystem,” said Huntington. And an important tip for whale researchers. “It would be pretty rare for someone studying belugas to be thinking about freshwater ecology.”
Around the globe, researchers are turning to what is known as Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) to fill out an understanding of the natural world. TEK is deep knowledge of a place that has been painstakingly discovered by those who have adapted to it over thousands of years. “People have relied on this detailed knowledge for their survival,” Huntington and a colleague wrote in an article on the subject. “They have literally staked their lives on its accuracy and repeatability…”

more: Native Knowledge: What Ecologists Are Learning from Indigenous People - Yale E360