Hey climate heroes! Welcome to The Climate Roundup, where we round up the change, er the news about climate and the environment. As part of the Gen E community, we thank you for making climate action part of everyday life. (Reading this newsletter counts!)
In Pop Culture:
Succession’s Jeremy Strong has joined the board of the Climate Emergency Fund, “which supports many of the more controversial and disruptive climate protests across the U.S. and in Europe.”
GETTING DOWN TO CLIMATE BUSINESS:
💰 COP28 is heading into its second week, and it’s time for the parties to talk adaptation. While dramatically reducing our dependence on fossil fuels is essential to both climate mitigation and adaptation, the latter also requires significant monetary investment for initiatives that will protect people, particularly in the Global South, from extreme weather events and heat. Adaptation funds are distinct from the Loss & Damage fund we’ve discussed frequently in this newsletter in that the latter applies to damages already caused by climate change, rather than protecting against future impacts. Apparently, “a goal for adaptation is likely to be decided at [COP28], but as things stand, it’s set to be only a fraction of what some nations are calling for.” Ah, the old “You want enough money to live, I don’t want to give you any, let’s meet in the middle.”
💌 The head of OPEC is at COP28 and he’s telling his little oily buddies to put a stop to all this climate action at the climate conference. Haithem Al-Ghais, Secretary General of Opec, sent a letter to the 13 other Opec countries in an attempt to sabotage the intense negotiations this week, which must be unanimously agreed-upon by all nations. Al-Ghais even co-opted a little bit of climate terminology, writing that “the undue and disproportionate pressure against fossil fuels may reach a tipping point with irreversible consequences.” Boy if he doesn’t like tipping points with irreversible consequences, he’s REALLY gonna hate climate change.
↗️ A new study from the International Monetary Fund found that climate-related shocks, such as hurricanes and floods, contribute to increased migration as people seek more stable living conditions, and as you might expect, this has powerful repercussions in local economies. Climate events cause expensive damage to infrastructure, lower crop yields, and hamper worker health and productivity. “However, human displacement is a critical transmission channel.” It turns out, much like Soylent Green, the economy is made of people.
⚖️ This year has been chock-full of climate-based legal cases (over 2500 to be exact) and I am here for it. Experts say that these lawsuits are a really effective way of making climate progress, and that “globally, 55% of cases have had a climate-positive ruling.” Outcomes include forcing governments to lower their emissions targets or put a climate plan in place at all, blocking polluting projects, and protecting climate policy from future changes in government that might have less favorable climate outcomes. Lawyers are doing so much good for the planet, I almost feel bad about making so many jokes about them over the years.
🌳 Speaking of good news, NASA has found that forests can sequester a whole bunch of carbon. They used lasers to analyze biomass area, which is huge, because traditional satellite techniques are flat and don’t reveal the height and width of trees. That made it very difficult to assess sequestration potential. Protected forest areas around the world have already prevented about a year’s worth of CO2 from being released into the atmosphere over the past couple of decades, which underscores the importance of protecting more land and aggressively reforesting where we can. The NASA program is on hold for now, but will resume in 2026. When it comes back, let’s surprise it with a whole bunch of new trees to analyze!
🐻 Climate change is increasing bear attacks in Japan. Changing weather patterns and temperatures affect pollination, which makes fruit less available to feed the bears. So instead, they venture into populated areas and come into contact with people. Man, when I said climate change is a bear of a problem, this is not what I meant.
70M: THIS MANY PEOPLE AROUND THE WORLD ARE FACING INCREASED THREATS FROM SEA LEVEL RISE (CBS)
73%: PERCENTAGE OF AMERICAN ADULTS WHO AGREE THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SHOULD HALVE OUR EMISSIONS BY 2030 (CNN)
Something To Help You COPe
Between Saudi antics and infiltration by fossil fuel reps, this year’s COP28 might feel like a bit of a bummer. But here’s 5 things you can feel good about as the conference heads into its final days.