JP Morgan To Stop Funding Arctic Projects, Warns Its Investors About Climate “Catastrophe”

JP Morgan To Stop Funding Arctic Projects, Warns Its Investors About Climate “Catastrophe”

JP Morgan Chase, the largest funder of oil and gas projects in the Arctic, announced on Monday that it will no longer fund those projects and it will reduce its investment in coal-fired power projects, but it will continue to invest in oil and gas projects in the rest of the U.S.

Why This Matters:  The commitment by JP Morgan to stay out of the Arctic shows that pressure from the public is working — forcing the bank to reconsider its fossil fuel loans and investments in a part of the planet which is changing more rapidly than most areas.

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Russia Announces Comprehensive Climate Adaptation Plan

Russia Announces Comprehensive Climate Adaptation Plan

The Russian government last week made public its plan to adapt its economy to both mitigate against the damages caused by climate change, but also “use the advantages” of warming, according to The Guardian.

Why This Matters: Russia is not ignoring the impacts of climate change — it is one of the most impacted nations — Russia is warming 2.5 times faster than the planet as a whole, on average

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Alaska’s Temps Are Rising At Much Higher Rates Than The Rest of the Planet

Alaska’s Temps Are Rising At Much Higher Rates Than The Rest of the Planet

Each year, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration issues an Arctic Report Card, and this year’s warns that Arctic ecosystems and communities are increasingly at risk and draws particular attention to the Bering Sea region, where declining winter sea ice exemplifies the potential for sudden and extreme change.

Why This Matters:  The Arctic is changing more rapidly than the rest of the planet.  And what happens in the Arctic does not just stay in the Arctic.

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Alaska’s Bowhead Whales Are MIA, Leaving Eskimos Short of Key Source of Food

Alaska’s Bowhead Whales Are MIA, Leaving Eskimos Short of Key Source of Food

Alaskan Native Tribes began their annual bowhead whale hunt over a month ago, but so far in Utqiagvik the whalers have seen no whales — this is unprecedented — last year at this point in the hunt these Alaskans had already landed 20.  This was the warmest summer ever and there is less ice offshore according to the Alaska Center for Climate Assessment and Policy, which many believe is causing the whales to migrate much farther away from shore.

Why This Matters:  Because of warmer temperatures in the Arctic, fish that used to remain farther south are moving into the region, with big implications for food security in Alaska and beyond.

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Corporations Pledge No Arctic Shipping, As New Islands Emerge in Melting Russian Arctic

Corporations Pledge No Arctic Shipping, As New Islands Emerge in Melting Russian Arctic

The Russian navy confirmed on Wednesday the discovery of new islands in their Arctic waters that have emerged as the glaciers around them melted.  And yesterday, a group of corporations led by Nike and the conservation group Ocean Conservancy announced the launch of the Arctic Shipping Corporate Pledge under which they agree not to intentionally ship goods through the Arctic shipping routes that are opening up as a result of the same melting.

Why This Matters:  This is why the Arctic Shipping Pledge could not come at a better time — when the pressure to increase shipping there, with associated ice risks and pollution, is increasing.  Adopting the “precautionary principle” with shipping in the Arctic is the best thing to do, and is consistent with an international agreement banning commercial fishing in the high Arctic that is already in place.

 

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Trump Administration Claims In Arctic Drilling Assessment That There Is No Climate Crisis

Trump Administration Claims In Arctic Drilling Assessment That There Is No Climate Crisis

E&E News reported on Monday that the Trump administration states it its Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) in favor of oil and gas leasing in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) – the agency responsible for EIS – “does not agree that the proposed development is inconsistent with maintaining a livable planet (i.e., there is not a climate crisis).”

Why This Matters:  This is yet another sign that the Trump Administration is ignoring the overwhelming opinion of expert scientists — the U.N. IPCC Oceans and Cryosphere report from last week is full of examples of how the Arctic region is being severely impacted by climate change caused by fossil fuel use.

  • It is also highly likely that the BLM silenced its own scientists in the process of drafting the ANWR EIS.
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