Jupiter July Climate News Wrap-Up
The top climate related news headlines for July
#1 Record-Breaking Extreme Heat Across the Globe
The world is experiencing unprecedented heatwaves, with temperatures soaring to new highs and breaking records across the globe. According to an article from the BBC, over 113 million Americans, almost a third of the population, are under heat advisories, and the UK recently witnessed its hottest June ever, surpassing a record set in 1940. North Africa, the Middle East, and Asia are also facing similar scorching conditions. Alarmingly, June was declared the hottest month on record globally. The increasing temperatures are in line with climate models' predictions, signaling the urgent need to address the underlying issue of greenhouse gas emissions.
Ocean temperatures are telling us a story as well
While air temperatures are what we usually feel, the majority of heat is stored in the oceans. Record ocean temperatures have been recorded this spring and summer, with the North Atlantic experiencing the highest surface water temperatures ever documented. This marine heatwave, along with the development of El Niño in the tropical Pacific, is contributing to the rising global sea surface temperatures, ultimately impacting air temperatures.
The developing El Niño is anticipated to make 2023 the world's hottest year, possibly pushing the planet beyond the critical 1.5°C warming milestone.
The current heatwave serves as a stark reminder of the ongoing climate crisis. The world faces the daunting challenge of preventing further temperature rise and mitigating the severe consequences of global warming. Swift action and widespread adoption of sustainable practices are our best hope in combating climate change and preserving the planet for future generations. It is time for global cooperation and individual responsibility to ensure a more sustainable and climate-resilient future.
With all of the extreme heat we are experiencing, some people are asking what the difference is between weather and climate. Jupiter's Chief Science Officer, Josh Hacker has the answer in this week's Jupiter Climate Insights video. Have a listen and let us help your organization understand its physical climate risk and how it will impact your bottom line.
#2 Is Anywhere Safe from the Impact of Climate Change?
Vermont has long been considered a climate haven due to its cooler climate and supposed protection from extreme weather. However, that changed recently as the state experienced a string of devastating events. Its picturesque landscapes and progressive climate policies attracted many newcomers seeking refuge from climate change's impacts. Is Vermont's recent experience with severe flooding a sign of broader implications for climate havens across the country?
According to an article in The Atlantic, severe weather events, including floods, wildfires, and extreme precipitation, are becoming more frequent, challenging the notion of safe havens.The heavy rains that hit Vermont led to flooding in Lamoille County, causing destruction to infrastructure, displacing residents, and devastating crops. This flood was just one of many extreme weather events experienced in the state this year, including historic frost and smoke from wildfires. Longtime Vermonters, as well as newcomers, were shocked and unprepared for the intensity of the floods, leading to a realization that no place is entirely safe from climate change.
The recent experiences in Vermont serve as a sobering reminder that climate change can impact any region, regardless of its perceived resilience. The illusion of climate havens is fading as extreme weather events become more frequent and intense. Across the country, people are grappling with the reality that no place is entirely immune to climate change's effects.
#3 The European Commission’s New Climate and Sustainability Disclosure Rules
The new rule could affect approximately 50,000 companies starting in 2024. These rules, known as the European Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS), are part of the EU's Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) and aim to ensure that investors have a clear understanding of the social and environmental impacts of the companies they invest in.
Earlier, the Commission had published a draft version of the standards, which had relaxed some of the initial disclosure requirements proposed by the European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG), an independent body providing guidance on financial and sustainability disclosures. The final ESRS confirmed the reduction of these requirements.
The key change is that companies will only be required to disclose climate and sustainability indicators if they pass a materiality assessment, meaning the indicators must be relevant to their business model and activities. The Commission emphasizes that these requirements are mandatory and subject to external assurance to ensure credibility and robustness. If a company concludes that climate change is not material to its business, it must provide a detailed explanation for this assertion.
The European Parliament and Council will now review the ESRS for two months, with a possible extension of an additional two months. While they can reject the standards, they cannot modify them. After adoption, large companies will need to produce sustainability disclosures in line with the ESRS from 2025 based on the 2024 financial year, while smaller companies will have to report in subsequent years.
#4 How Are We Doing with TCFD?
The Financial Stability Board (FSB) asked the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) Foundation to take over monitoring companies' progress on the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) mandates.
The move comes after the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB), formed by the IFRS Foundation in 2021, incorporated the TCFD's recommendations into its inaugural climate- and sustainability-related reporting rules released in June. The ISSB will assume the monitoring responsibilities from 2024, building on the TCFD's legacy, which has been instrumental in improving climate-related disclosures and providing valuable information to investors about climate risks and opportunities. Over 4,000 organizations in 101 jurisdictions have publicly supported the TCFD's recommendations as of July.
The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) have expressed their support for the climate and sustainability rules published by the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) and are planning to consult on implementing them in Canada. The CSA members, which include provincial and territorial securities regulators, are waiting for the Canadian Sustainability Standards Board (CSSB) to decide on adapting the ISSB standards for the Canadian market before they begin drafting reporting mandates.
According to a Straits Times article, Singapore's Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) and Singapore Exchange Regulation (SGX RegCo) have announced a consultation on rules to mandate ISSB-aligned climate disclosures for publicly traded and privately held companies. They aim to implement the disclosures for listed companies starting in 2025 and for large non-listed entities starting in 2027, with the intention of driving accountability and action toward Singapore's net-zero emissions commitments and transitioning to a green economy.
Check out Jupiter’s resident expert on regulatory disclosures, Megan Arnold who gives us a quick overview of the current global regulatory landscape in this Climate Insights video. And don’t forget to sign up for our monthly climate newsletter by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and email address.