Calling OPEC a useless organization is a bit of an exaggeration, but OPEC’s role in a changing oil market is uncertain.
After the oil price plunge of 2014, OPEC joined forces with Russia in 2016 to cut production and get the oil price back into an acceptable range for producers. The verdict is still out over whether this development was a sign of OPEC’s weakness or strength.
On the one hand, the oversupply and inventory overhang were so great that output cuts from Russia were needed in addition to those in OPEC to balance markets.
On the other hand, OPEC had the strength to bring Russia into the fold and achieve its goals. Only time will tell how OPEC’s role will evolve in the changing oil market, as production in the United States and other non-OPEC countries grows.
Source: Qatar breaks up with OPEC: It’s not you, it’s me
The past several years in science have unleashed the CRISPR revolution. CRISPR/Cas9 — or CRISPR, as it’s known — is a tool that allows researchers to attempt to control which genes get expressed in plants, animals, and even humans; to delete undesirable traits and, potentially, add desirable traits; and to do all this more quickly, and with more precision, than ever before. (You can read about how CRISPR works here.)
He, a Stanford-trained associate professor at the Southern University of Science and Technology in Shenzhen, China, was not well known in the field of CRISPR editing.
But he’s claiming a major first: to have used the gene editing technology CRISPR to tweak the DNA of human embryos during in vitro fertilization.
Source: CRISPR babies: is this the start of a terrifying new chapter in gene editing? – Vox
.. flying well below the radar in all of this is Indonesia, currently the world’s fifth biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, which come mainly from land use, land use change, and forestry.
Today Indonesia stands out for how little it has done to implement policies that would enable it to meet its commitment under the Paris agreement: cutting emissions from deforestation by 29 percent below business-as-usual projections by 2030.
Source: COP24: Indonesia is falling behind on meeting its climate targets – Vox
The Trump administration is implementing an unethical strategy to undermine the case for climate action, putting the public at risk to advance the short-term prospects of powerful industries, and it’s an incredible disservice to the country.
White House efforts to dismiss and sideline the science of the recent National Climate Assessment aren’t just frustrating to us as scientists — they’re deeply disturbing to us as engaged citizens. The Trump administration tried to bury the report, which they were legally mandated to issue, over a holiday weekend and discredit the scientific findings.
Source: It’s unethical to pretend Americans won’t feel the impact of climate change | TheHill
Denmark and Britain are the top countries when it comes to implementing measures to fight climate change, although Britain has lagged in phasing out fossil fuel subsidies, a report published by academics said on Wednesday.
The report was launched as delegates from more than 190 nations meet in Poland to flesh out how to reach commitments made under the 2015 Paris Agreement to keep the rise in global temperature below 2 degrees Celsius this century.
Source: Denmark, Britain top global league for climate measures – report | Reuters
According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5ºC (SR15), an additional 1.5% in global investment is needed to limit the global average temperature rise to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.
Yet, if already under way, the shift from a brown to a green economy still falls short of what is required to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement.
Source: Finance for climate action is rising, but still a long way to go – EURACTIV.com
In 2018, heat records were set in almost all regions, from Asia to North America, Africa and Northern Europe. Wildfires, droughts, intense rainfalls, typhoons and mudslides brought with them human tragedies and disruptions to economic activity.
In a world already impacted by climate change, the global community still falls short of meeting the Paris Agreement’s goal on curbing climate change under the “well-below 2°C” target.
At this stage, it requires rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society, according to the the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5ºC (SR15).
Source: Decoupling economic growth from greenhouse gas emissions – EURACTIV.com
Larry Kudlow, director of the White House National Economic Council, told reporters that electric car subsidies “will all end in the near future,” adding 2020 or 2021 when asked for a timeline.
He also said no plans are in place to cut off General Motors Co. from federal spending after President Donald Trump last week directed agencies to explore how to do so after lashing out on Twitter at the automaker’s plans to close plants and cut thousands of jobs.
Source: Trump Aide Kudlow Calls for End of Electric Vehicle Subsidies – Bloomberg
Reducing waste—and food waste in particular—is something that Americans can tackle at the state, city, and even individual level.
Every year, Americans throw out 400 pounds of food per person, according to the United States Department of Agriculture.
By weight, food waste is the No. 1 contributor to landfills, where it decomposes and starts emitting potent greenhouse gases like methane. Some 14 percent of U.S. methane emissions come from landfills, and, accounting for emissions all along the supply chain, wasted food accounts for 2.6 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.
Source: COP24: The Simplest Climate Action You Can Take Is in the Kitchen – Pacific Standard
The French government has suspended plans to introduce an eco-fuel tax after three weeks of increasingly violent protests across the country.
Bowing to pressure from the street, the prime minister, Édouard Philippe, also announced an immediate freeze on gas and electricity prices, but he warned further violence would not be tolerated.
Philippe’s announcement came after he met cabinet ministers on Tuesday morning to agree a response to a weekend of rioting, looting and destruction in Paris by an extreme fringe of the gilets jaunes (yellow vests) movement.
Source: France suspends fuel tax rise after wave of violent protests | World news | The Guardian