Climate Joy Week #23: CNN Hosts Democrat Climate Town Hall, $20 Billion Denmark Fund to Divest from Major Oil Companies and more…

Climate Joy Week #23: CNN Hosts Democrat Climate Town Hall, $20 Billion Denmark Fund to Divest from Major Oil Companies and more…

Hi there folks! Welcome to yet another edition of our Climate Joy series. 

In this edition, as always, we will look briefly but closely in appreciation of the efforts of various people around the world; from media houses, scientists and public officials to end this climate crisis that plagues us all.

So let’s get into it:

1. CNN Hosts Democrat Climate Crisis Town Hall

The Cable News Network (CNN) recently hosted its Climate Crisis Town Hall meeting with the democratic Presidential candidates. This event was held shortly after the Democratic National Convention (DNC) voted against holding a climate debate, and by taking this initiative, CNN once again demonstrated that issues concerning climate change deserve to be continually addressed as publicly as possible.

The town hall hosted by the popular news network lasted seven hours and featured ten of the leading United States democratic Presidential candidates including Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg and Andrew Yang.

The candidates presented their plans for fighting climate change which centered on transition to a renewable energy economy and climate and environmental justice. The biggest takeaway here is that climate action is expected to be one of the main points of the 2020 elections and we will the follow race closely and report on it.

2. $20 Billion Fund in Denmark Divest from 10 Major Oil Companies

A US$20 billion dollar fund in Denmark, the MP Pension, has announced that it will be divesting its holdings in ten major oil companies, citing their failure to live up to climate goals set out in the Paris accord. This divestment is to the tune of US$95 million (644 million kroner) meaning that it will no longer hold this value of shares in the listed companies. MP Pension relayed a few days ago that it reached its conclusion on the stakes because “the companies are still working against more demanding climate regulation despite the divested companies’ public support for the Paris Agreement.”

Some of the companies MP Pension will be divesting from: ExxonMobil, BP, Chevron, PetroChina, Rosneft, Royal Dutch Shell, Sinopec, Total, Petrobras and Equinor. According to the fund, it will assess over 1,000 oil companies before the end of 2020 as part of its goal of revamping its portfolio to be more focused on the climate.

3. Scientists Develop Technology to Turn Carbon Dioxide to Liquid Fuel

Scientists at Rice University announced a few days ago that they have developed a reactor that can capture CO2 from the atmosphere and turn it into liquid fuel. This reactor is an electrolyzer that uses carbon dioxide and electricity from renewable sources to produce purified, high concentrations of formic acid, a feedstock in the petrochemical industry for various products such as plastics.

Formic acid produced by traditional carbon dioxide devices needs costly and energy-intensive purification steps. The catalytic reactor developed by bio-molecular engineer Haotian Wang and his team will help to promote commercial carbon dioxide conversion technologies. 

This new technology solves part of the puzzle in transitioning our world to a carbon-neutral future. This science has the amazing potential of being part of the cycle of reusing carbon instead of allowing it to escape into our atmosphere, which is the reason for global warming. At this point in our fight against carbon emission, this announcement couldn’t be more welcome.

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4. Indonesian Court Cancels Dam Project in Last Stronghold of Tigers, Rhinos

A court in Indonesia’s Aceh province has ordered an end to a planned hydroelectric project in Sumatra’s unique Leuser Ecosystem. The area is the last place on Earth that is home to wild tigers, rhinos, orangutans and elephants – all critically endangered species whose habitat will be flooded and fragmented by the dam and its roads and power lines.

Environmental groups filed a lawsuit against the Aceh government and the dam’s developer earlier this year over potential environmental destruction and violation of zoning laws. The dam project had also faced opposition from villagers in the region as the project will have dammed up the river on which they depend and forced them to relocate to make way for the reservoir.

So all in all, this ruling by the Indonesian court is a much needed respite for the world’s wildlife.

And that’s all for today. I truly hope this positive climate news inspires you this week in all that you do for our planet. See you next week for another Climate Joy edition and don’t forget to share this post far and wide.

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Feature image via CNN’s YouTube channel.

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