The Guardian is among the outlets covering a new report by Oxfam which shows, says the newspaper, that “the wealthiest 1% of the world’s population were responsible for the emission of more than twice as much CO2 as the poorer half of the world from 1990 to 2015”. It adds: “CO2 emissions rose by 60% over the 25-year period, but the increase in emissions from the richest 1% was three times greater than the increase in emissions from the poorest half. The report…warned that rampant overconsumption and the rich world’s addiction to high-carbon transportare exhausting the world’s ‘carbon budget’.” BusinessGreen quotes Danny Sriskandarajah, chief executive of Oxfam in the UK: “Extreme carbon inequality is a direct consequence of the decades-long pursuit by governments and businesses of grossly unequal and carbon intensive economic growth whatever the cost.” Reuters says the report shows that the 1% are “prone to frequent flying” and have “a passion for SUVs and big spending”, adding that the “richest 10% of people would have to slash their emissions to about 10 times lower than now to keep the world on track for the [1.5C] goal – and do it by 2030”.
Meanwhile, BBC News covers a new poll, carried out by Globescan and released to coincide with Climate Week, which provides “fresh evidence that people the world over remain very concerned about climate change, despite the pandemic and subsequent economic impact”. It adds: “Big majorities in poorer countries strongly agreed with tackling climate change with the same vigour as Covid-19. However in richer nations, the support for rapid action was far more muted…Across the 27 countries surveyed, around 90% of people saw climate change as a very serious or somewhat serious problem. This finding has strengthened over the past few years. There have been big increases in this sense of urgency among people polled in Canada, France, India, Kenya, Nigeria and the US.” Separately, the Guardian reports that schoolchildren around the world are being urged to go on strike this Friday to protest against a lack of action on the climate crisis. It adds: “The protests will focus on Mapa, a new term for ‘most affected people and areas’, which the organisers prefer to older phrases such as ‘the global south’. Protesters are asked to make the Mapa signal, which is two closed fists pressed together with thumbs up, symbolising strength, solidarity and hope.”
UK plans to bring forward ban on fossil fuel vehicles to 2030 in line with…Ireland and the Netherlands…The plan, which is backed by the government’s official advisers at the Committee on Climate Change, is likely to emerge alongside the national plans to become a carbon-neutral economy by the middle of the century.
Elsewhere, the Daily Telegraph covers the news that “Shell is making deep cuts in its fracking business as it tries to free up cash to cope with the pandemic and invest in renewable energy”. It adds: “The international oil giant will cut about 40% of overheads including staff in the US-focused shale oil and gas division by early 2021.” Reuters says “reducing costs is vital for Shell’s plans to move into the power sector and renewables where margins are relatively low.
How the oil industry made us doubt climate change BBC News has published a long feature about how, “as climate change becomes a focus of the US election, energy companies stand accused of trying to downplay their contribution to global warming”. It examines the evidence that some companies “deliberately tried to undermine the science supporting global warming” over the past 40 years and used the same playbook at the tobacco industry when it sought to dismiss the harms of smoking. The article quotes David Michaels, author of The Triumph of Doubt: “By cynically manipulating and distorting scientific evidence, the manufacturers of doubt have seeded in much of the public a cynicism about science, making it far more difficult to convince people that science provides useful – in some cases, vitally important – information. There is no question that this distrust of science and scientists is making it more difficult to stem the coronavirus pandemic.” Meanwhile, the Observer carries a lengthy feature about climate “tipping points” (a topic that Carbon Brief covered in depth earlier this year with a week-long special series of articles). It says: “Everyone who studies tipping point cascades agrees on two key points. The first is that it is crucial not to become disheartened by the magnitude of the risks; it is still possible to avoid knocking over the dominoes. Second, we should not wait for precise knowledge of exactly where the tipping points lie – which has proved difficult to determine, and might not come until it’s too late.”
And Associated Press’s veteran science reporter Seth Borenstein writes: “America’s worsening climate change problem is as polarised as its politics. Some parts of the country have been burning this month while others were underwater in devastating extreme weather disasters.”