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What we learned this week

COP28 will be hosted by the United Arab Emirates, and they have chosen a president for the talks. It will be Dr Sultan al-Jaber – who is also CEO of Abu Dhabi National Oil Company. Place your bets on whether or not COP28 will be the conference that agrees to phase out fossil fuels.

January is the time to sign the flight free pledge over at the Flight Free campaign. If you fly, could this be the year that you choose to stay on the ground for the climate?

Four Insulate Britain activists were found not guilty of public nuisance by a jury this week, despite the judge instructing them to deliver a guilty verdict, and despite being forbidden to mention climate change or fuel poverty in their defence. This is an ongoing problem in trials of Insulate Britain protestors, since juries keep insisting that they were right.

The government announced new bans on single use plastics in the UK this week, finally, including polystyrene plates and plastic cutlery. Ideally these sorts of things would be part of a global plastics treaty too, and Greenpeace have a petition to encourage the government to advocate for bans globally as well as nationally.

One for the architecture nerds – did Brasilia’s modernist architecture help to blunt the energy of Bolsonaro’s mob?

“I believe that one of the greatest tricks played on humanity has been to present the economy as something boring and abstract, something beyond our control,” writes Amanda Janoo at the Post Growth Institute. “Once we see that we are the economy, we realize we can change it .”

Highlights from this week

Fossil fuels and toxic masculinity

In writing about cars yesterday, I was reminded of an incident a couple of weeks ago. A certain man I’m not going to name tweeted Greta Thunberg to ask for her email address, so he could send her details of his car collection and each car’s emissions. Thunberg’s withering reply is now legendary, and a…

Tracking the decline of the combustion engine

Since 2016, transport has been the largest contributor to Britain’s carbon emissions. Most of that is cars, making car culture a huge challenge on the way to a zero carbon future. Shifting car habits starts with active transport and public transport, but private cars will be with us for the foreseeable future, leaving a major…

The alliance of carbon negative countries

Britain is working towards the long term goal of reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Japan and the EU have set the same date, Russia and China have chosen 2060. While these dates still feel like a long way away, there are some countries that have already reached net zero. This small handful of…

1 comment

  1. Thanks Jeremy.
    I had missed the acquittal of the 4 Insulate Britain defendants by the jury in their trial, despite the judge directing that they be found guilty. Did this result get much press coverage ? It appears to be a very significant decision by the jurors, not least because the defendants were forbidden from explaining their motivation – or indeed climate change at all – in their defence!

    Jack

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