This past week was filled with interesting sustainability and climate news, we’ve summarised the top stories below.
MSCI report shows “mixed bag” in TCFD reporting
- Over 2600 organisations worldwide have signed statements in support of the Taskforce for Climate-related Financial Disclosures’ (TCFD) recommendations.
- However, a new MSCI report has highlighted the variation in approaches regulators are taking to implementing TCFD recommendations and reporting requirements.
- The report shows differences between jurisdictions and countries regarding the scope of firms required to disclose; requirements for transition plans, scenario analysis, and forward-looking metrics; and focuses on materiality.
- MSCI has said that these issues are “a better problem to have” however, compared with the lack of climate data available a few years ago.
UN report highlights unsustainable land damage and degradation
- A new UN report has shown the damaging consequences agriculture has had on Earth’s land, reporting that up to 40% of land is already degraded.
- The report estimates that if agricultural practices continue as they currently are, an additional land area the size of South America will be degraded within the next 30 years.
- The authors emphasise an urgent need for land restoration, rewilding, and changes to agricultural practices as well as the need for consumers to shift their diets away from carbon-intensive livestock.
- With the right efforts, the report suggests that up to 5 billion hectares of land could be restored by 2050.
Frequency of major hurricanes and typhoons could double by 2050 due to climate change
- A study has demonstrated that, as climate change increases air and water temperatures, the number of hurricanes and typhoons rated as Category 3 storms or higher may double by the year 2050.
- Category 3 storms have sustained winds over 111 mph, while Category 4 and 5 storms contain winds over 130 mph and 157 mph respectively.
- The authors predict that in some parts of the world, the frequency of Category 4 and 5 storms may increase by over 200%. These increases are not confined only to areas which currently see tropical storm activity, but may affect regions that currently have a very low tropical storm risk.
21% of reptile species are threatened by extinction
- Research has found that over 1800 different reptile species are at risk of extinction, with over 50% of crocodile species and almost 75% of turtles under threat.
- The authors argue that reptiles are frequently overlooked in conservation efforts as they are considered less charismatic than other endangered animals. However, they serve an important purpose in their ecosystems and help humans by controlling pest populations.
- Habitat destruction is the main cause of this species depletion, stemming from farmland expansion, urban development, and logging. Hunting is also a major threat, for crocodiles and turtles especially.
- Climate change was found to be a threat to around 10% of reptile species; however, the researchers expect the true number to be higher, as it does not account for longer-term climate impacts.