Weekly Media Roundup – August 13

Welcome to this week’s Media Roundup: a curated digest of top stories and major developments in the climate finance space.

Read on below.

Stand.earth Press Release – New York State pension fund divests from more coal…

New York’s State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli announced further divestment of coal assets today from one of the nation’s largest pension funds – shedding remaining investments in New Hope, PT Indo Tambangraya Megah Tbk, Semirara Mining and Power, Shanxi Coking Coal Energy Group. and Whitehaven Coal. This announcement comes just three days after the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released their latest report detailing the need for “immediate, rapid and large-scale reductions in greenhouse gas emissions” in order to limit burgeoning climate change.

Reuters – New York’s pension fund to review oil holdings, axes more coal investments

The third-largest U.S. public pension fund on Thursday said it is launching reviews over climate concerns on $640 million invested in 42 shale oil and gas firms, including ConocoPhillips (COP.N), Hess (HES.N) and Pioneer Natural Resources (PXD.N). The move by the New York state pension fund comes days after the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reported global warming was nearly out of control, and calling its findings “a death knell for coal and fossil fuels.”

Augusta Free Press – A turning point on fossil fuel production?

May 26, 2021 was a trifecta for climate activists working for disinvestment from fossil fuels and reinvestment in renewable energy. Dissident Exxon Mobil shareholders won a stunning victory at the annual meeting, opposing four of management’s proposed candidates and winning three seats on the company’s Board for candidates supporting transition to renewable energy.

EarthBeat Weekly – Fires, floods, foot-dragging make climate action more urgent

There has been a mix of good and bad news on the climate front in recent days. Some good news came out of the U.S. Energy Information Administration, which reported that in 2020, the combined amount of energy generated from renewable sources — including wind, solar, hydroelectricity, geothermal and biomass — exceeded the amount from any other source except natural gas. The 834 billion kilowatt hours of electricity from renewables amounted to about 21% of total generated energy, up 9% from the previous year, the agency reported. Coal showed the sharpest decline, down 20% from 2019. That means renewables edged out coal and nuclear energy for the first time on record.

The Guardian – Let’s say it without flinching: the fossil fuel industry is destroying our future

The sixth assessment report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is no ordinary publication. Its 4,000 pages were written by hundreds of independent scientists from 66 countries. It was commissioned by 195 governments and all of them signed off on the conclusions after reviewing them line by line and word by word. These governments, whether supportive, ambivalent or hostile to climate action, now own the messages in the report. So what does it say?

Inside Climate News – Can California Reduce Dairy Methane Emissions Equitably?

Driving along a rural road in the San Joaquin Valley on a blistering afternoon in mid-July, dairy farms and the fields of corn that feed their cows stretch as far as the eye can see. As heat shimmers up from the desolate roads on the outskirts of Pixley, about 150 miles northwest of Los Angeles in Tulare County, the stench of cow manure fills the car, even with the windows closed tight to trap the air conditioning.

Insider NJ – New Jersey Officials and Transportation Advocates Say It’s Time for Bold Federal Investment in Clean Investment

Today, New Jersey Assemblyperson Dr. Herb Conaway and clean energy and transportation advocates urged the state’s elected leaders in Washington to support federal investments in clean transportation infrastructure. The in-person press conference took place at the Rutgers EcoComplex “Clean Energy Innovation Center” as part of a series of grassroots events coordinated by the Climate Action Campaign.

Kamloops This Week – UN report ‘must sound death knell’ for fossil fuels as Canada faces climate urgency

The secretary-general of the United Nations says a new report “must sound the death knell for coal and fossil fuels,” raising renewed questions about Canada’s climate plan and the long-term viability of its traditional energy sector. The UN scientific paper says Earth is heating up so quickly due to human activity that temperatures in about a decade will blow past a level of warming that world leaders have sought to prevent.

Kiplinger – 9 “Dirty” Stocks That Pensions Are Shunning

Nobody likes to be excluded. However, sustainable and responsible investing, and environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) criteria, are becoming more commonplace with institutional investors. As a result, the future suggests some companies will get left out in the cold by pension funds and other large pools of money should they not heed the warning that exclusion lists provide.

Wall Street Journal – U.K. Led the World in Slashing Carbon Emissions. Now Comes the Hard Part.

The U.K. has set one of the most ambitious carbon emission-reduction targets among major economies, making the country a case study in how climate goals call for big shifts in policy, the economy and technology. Britain is one of several heavy polluters including the U.S., China and the European Union to have unveiled emission plans in the run-up to the United Nations climate conference in Scotland this fall. Fires in North America and in Russia’s northeast, flooding in Europe and China and a severe drought in Brazil have injected additional urgency into diplomatic efforts to limit the rise in global temperatures.

Western Standard – Climate change alert – UN calls for immediate end to fossil fuel industry

The world is in big trouble and needs to act now to combat climate change, says a UN report released Monday. The report said man is “unequivocally” to blame for climate change, with UN Secretary-General António Guterres describing it as a “code red for humanity.” “The alarm bells are deafening,” he said in a statement. “This report must sound a death knell for coal and fossil fuels, before they destroy our planet.”

Yahoo! Finance (via Reuters) – Exxon suspended from climate advocacy group it helped form

Exxon Mobil Corp was suspended from advocacy group Climate Leadership Council (CLC) that looks to make policies to address climate change, the CLC said on Friday. The move comes a little over a month after an Exxon lobbyist said the company supports a carbon tax publicly because the plan to curb climate change would never gain enough political support to be adopted.