background image

Weekly Highlights | From debates on Nuclear power to carbon capturing sunglasses

author image

By illuminem

· 5 min read

1. The $100 Billion Hurdle to a Global Climate Breakthrough

By Bloomberg Green

  • In 2009 during the COP-9 in Copenhagen, developed countries pledged to finance the climate action of developing economies by 100 billion per year; however, after more than a decade, this number has never been reached
  • The USA has currently the biggest gap, as it provides only about 4% of what it should; out of the 23 countries required to contribute, only 3 actually give their share. Furthermore, most comes as loans, further increasing debts of receiver countries
  • Delivering more climate aid will be key to a successful COP-26 and increasing climate ambitions, as several developing countries have already announced their climate plans will depend on this discussion

2. The Climate Disaster Is Here

By The Guardian

  • We are on a catastrophic path” as António Guterres said recently; the earth’s temperature has never been warmer than now in the last 125,000 years, and the temperature increase is on track to reach 1.5°C sooner than later
  • This will cause more frequent and extreme heat waves, hitting almost every part of the world, killing people and destroying ecosystems. Floods will also increase in frequency and intensity, both from melting glaciers and increased rainfall
  • Devastating wildfires are also set to become more frequent in many parts of the world, including the USA, Europe and even Siberia. Unpredictable and increased weather events are likely to cause crop failures at a larger scale than ever

3. Electric Vehicles Footprints May Not Currently Be As Clean As Some Assume

By Forbes

  • EVs generate more emissions during their manufacture than similar fossil fueled-powered vehicles, largely due to the production of batteries
  • For most of EVs batteries, after 8 years, the storage capacity drops to about 80% of the original and the charging rate deteriorates, which makes for an ultimately unattractive used car market and creates a need to build new cars
  • Another issue is that the sources of electricity for EVs to charge most frequently are from fossil fuels

4. The Versatility Of Natural Gas — Resources, Prices, And Future Valuations

By Forbes

  • Russia supplies 43% of Europe’s natural gas and a new pipeline is being built under the Baltic Sea to supply Europe with even more gas
  • The US laid sanctions on Russian companies because it feared that more Russian gas would imply too much Russian influence, and also lower sales of LNG from US to Europe
  • Natural Gas will play a significant role in the future energy mix only if technology will allow to find and plug methane leaks

5. Is Nuclear Power ‘Green’?

By The Business Standard

  • The EU is working to create a taxonomy for the energy sector, intended to bestow the green badge on companies and activities — or to withhold it — to "help shift investments where they are most needed."
  • Since France is significantly relying on Nuclear power in its energy mix, it is asking to the European Union to classify this technology as “Green”
  • Germany takes the exact opposite stance. Following the nuclear disaster in Fukushima, it rashly decided to exit nuclear energy completely and will turn off its last fission-powered plant next year

6. Nuclear Fusion Edges Toward the Mainstream

By the New York Times

  • At Tokamak Energy, a goal is to eventually heat isotopes of hydrogen hot enough so that their atoms combine in a reaction that releases enormous amounts of energy
  • Tokamak’s prototype machine, which cost £50 million (about $68 million) to build, reached 11 million degrees Celsius. The scientists expect to reach 100 million degrees Celsius by year’s end
  • Andrew Holland, CEO of the Fusion Industry Association says there are at least 35 fusion start-ups in several countries, that have raised a combined $1.9 billion, largely from private sources

7. A Successful Energy Transition Will Need Oil Demand Destruction


  • The global energy transition away from fossil fuels and towards low-emission energy sources appears to be a primary target for a majority of nations
  • Unfortunately, these nations are reluctant to acknowledge that a successful energy transition will require a significant reduction in demand
  • Reducing energy demand without sparking major riots or reducing the standard of living of their citizens continues to be a problem for governments

8. Powering the World: How Much Energy Will the World Need?

By Zenon Research

  • Global energy consumption has increased 28x between 1800 and 2019. This energy abundance has led to a strong improvement in the quality of life in the industrialised countries. However, there are huge disparities: per capita consumption in the USA is 8x higher than in Africa
  • Given past trends, the question remains as to how far energy demand will increase
  • The answer is that the energy demand of humanity might not grow indefinitely. This provides a much more realistic framework than the assumption of a continuous exponential increase

9. Why the UAE’s 2050 Net-Zero Pledge Matters

By The National News

  • Last Thursday, the UEA announced it would reach net-zero emissions by 2050, joining the EU, UK, Norway, the US and several other countries in setting a mid-century date
  • Balancing the UAE’s electricity grid with solar power is much easier than for Europe’s renewables, given the abundancy and predictability of sun
  • The production of low-carbon hydrogen and derivatives has attracted rapidly-growing interest in the UAE, wirth Dewa’s green hydrogen demonstration at the Dubai Expo

10. Carbon-Capturing Sunglasses Offer a View of Fashion's Future


  • AirCarbon, a carbon-negative material that is made using methane-munching marine organisms, hit the market a year ago in the form of sunglasses, wallets, and laptop and phone sleeves
  • The startup which developed this material is Newlight Technologies and its CEO name is Mark Herrema, former Princeton student
  • In August, Newlight announced a partnership with Nike to explore uses for AirCarbon. Nike, which says 70% of its emissions are wrapped up in its materials, is one of many large fashion brands that have committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by at least 30% by 2030
Did you enjoy this illuminem voice? Support us by sharing this article!
author photo

About the author

illuminem's editorial team - delivering the most effective, updated, and comprehensive access to sustainability & energy information.

Follow us on Linkedin, Instagram & Twitter

Other illuminem Voices

Related Posts

You cannot miss it!

Weekly. Free. Your Top 10 Sustainability & Energy Posts.

You can unsubscribe at any time (read our privacy policy)