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気候変動関係 今日の内外注目記事 19年12月22-28日

<木を植えるだけでは温暖化は止められない―フィナンシャル・タイムズ>

Planting trees alone will not stop global warming,FT.com,19.12.28

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The science underpinning the idea is well understood: as trees grow they work as carbon sinks, absorbing the greenhouse gas from the atmosphere and storing it within their bodies. One study estimated that planting a trillion trees across the world would be enough to remove two-thirds of carbon emissions in the atmosphere thanks to human action. This could be done, the scientists argue, without infringing on the land used for agriculture and animal husbandry.

Unfortunately, the reality is more complex. Like all models, the efficacy of forests as a carbon sink depends on the assumptions made: agricultural land stores carbon too, albeit less than woodland. All estimates come with uncertainty. Planting trees changes the colour of the earth’s surface. Darker objects absorb more heat and tree cover in the northern hemisphere — particularly on tundra — can actually warm the ground closest to the earth, offsetting the beneficial effects.

Some “volatile organic compounds” produced by trees as pesticides or to attract pollinators can be greenhouse gases themselves, others react with compounds in the atmosphere to produce even worse emissions. Interaction with car fumes can produce ozone, which, at ground level, keeps heat trapped on earth. These chemicals are a particular problem in North America: clouds of VOCs produced by the forests in the Great Smoky Mountains, in Tennessee, give the national park its name.

Other problems come from maintenance: roughly half the trees planted to line the route of Britain’s planned High Speed 2 rail route died during a hot summer when they were not watered. Nor do trees always command public support. In Ireland, where the government is relying on new forests to offset agriculture, locals have objected to the choice of tree: fast growing non-native Sitka spruce that, they say, creates ugly monocultures.

Trees undoubtedly play a role in fighting climate change, but they have to be deployed smartly. That means shifting the debate away from numbers and towards getting the policies right. In truth, the only possible way of stopping the planet warming is to burn fewer fossil fuels. If measures to offset emissions from airlines and oil companies encourage us to keep using their services then the surge of tree planting will have failed completely.

 

<日本>

石炭火力、消えた輸出制限 小泉氏案に縦割り行政の壁 日本経済新聞 19.12.27

15日閉幕した第25回国連気候変動枠組み条約締約国会議(COP25)に出席した小泉進次郎環境相は、国内外で石炭火力発電の新増設を進める日本への批判の矢面に立った。石炭火力輸出の公的支援の制限を表明できないかと考えたが、省庁の縦割り行政や国内のエネルギー事情から話をまとめられなかった。政府を代表した小泉氏は環境問題で思い通りに動けずにいる。・・・

小泉氏の思いがかなわないのは、そもそも輸出制限の方針変更は環境省の権限ではできないからだ。石炭火力の許認可権限は経産省が持つ。インフラ輸出戦略も外務省などが中心だ。小泉氏は気候変動対策を対外的に代表する立場だが、国内では縦割り行政で身動きがとれないのが現状だ。

環境省と経産省のこうした関係はいつものことだ。環境省は11年の東京電力福島第1原発事故以降、排出削減の観点から石炭火力の新増設が増え続けることに異議を唱えてきた。石炭火力への環境アセスでも懸念を伝え続けたが、電力会社などを所管する経産省の牙城を崩せず、エネルギー政策で存在感を示せない。

政府は30年時点の電源構成で、石炭火力を原子力、再生可能エネルギーと同程度の2割としている。だが原発事故後、国内のほとんどの原発が停止。地元同意が得にくく再稼働は進まない。

国内の需給を石炭に頼らなければならない事情もある。原発の安全対策費の高騰にも苦しむ電力各社は、その代替として安価な石炭火力発電の新増設をしてきた。小泉氏も「石炭ゼロは現時点では難しい」と認める。

 

<オーストラリア—タスマニア>

On land, Australia’s rising heat is ‘apocalyptic.’ In the ocean, it’s worse.,The Washington Post,19.12.27

Tasmanian Aboriginals faced genocide, and now extreme climate change is threatening whats left of their culture.

Strands of bull kelp at Shelly Point in Tasmania. The Tasman Sea is warming, and once plentiful giant kelp forests have rapidly declined. Indigenous artists rely on a kelp habitat for traditional jewelry and basket making.

Oystermen work in Clifton Beach, Tasmania. Scientists are working with oyster farmers to reduce the impact of disease linked to warming waters.------

石炭産業の縮小求める声を「無謀」と一蹴 オーストラリア首相 AFPBB 19.12.23

オーストラリア東部で気候変動による森林火災が猛威を振るう中、同国のスコット・モリソン首相は23日、石炭産業の縮小を求める環境活動家らの声に対し、「無謀」で「雇用が失われる」と述べ要求を拒否した。

NSW fires LIVE updates: PM rejects calls for more climate action,Sydney Morning Hereld,19.12.22

 

<企業>

Fire and flood focus minds of bosses and investors,FT.com,19.12.23

For Southern California Edison, a US power company with 15m customers, the risks of climate change are already in its backyard.Edison’s electrical wires sparked two deadly wildfires in 2017 and 2018, and the company recently set aside a $4.7bn reserve fund for possible liabilities related to the fires.

Now it has embarked on a costly programme to upgrade its electrical lines and make its grid less likely to spark fires. “We are seeing the early manifestations of climate change in our state,” said chief executive Pedro Pizarro. “Beginning in 2017 and with the fires in northern California, those were at a scale that no one had ever imagined.”

He outlines what Edison is doing in response. The company is replacing 6,000 miles of bare electrical wire to reduce fire risk, installing thousands of micro weather stations that monitor wind speeds, and swapping out the oil in its transformers with a less flammable alternative.

For Edison International, the listed company that owns Southern California Edison, the financial impact of the fires has been serious. The company reached a $360m settlement agreement with the public entities that were damaged by the Thomas and Woolsey fires, and multiple other legal cases will determine damages to other parties.

For another California utility, PG&E, the impact has been even worse. PG&E started bankruptcy proceedings in January 2019 after a series of catastrophic wildfires left it on the hook for as much as $30bn in possible liabilities. Owing to the severe risk, PG&E had to shut off power to nearly 3m customers this autumn, to prevent its electrical wires from sparking another fire. Edison also used blackouts in areas of high risk, leaving about 200,000 customers without power.

The California wildfires and their impact on power companies are one of the most visible examples of how climate-related risks are starting to affect businesses, sometimes at a speed and scale that is unexpected. Over the past year, a growing number of companies and investors have been focusing on the physical risks of climate change, which include not just wildfires but also changing weather patterns, storms, and increased flood risks. Paul Polman, the former chief executive of Unilever said there had been a big shift in the way companies viewed climate-related risks.------

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Author:寿
農業情報研究所(WAPIC)=http://www.juno.dti.ne.jp/~tkitaba/の所長・所員・小使いを兼務。原発事故で「明るい農業・農村」の夢を失った老い先短い老人です。かつての行動派も病魔のために身体不如意、情報提供と批評に徹します。

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