10 Critical Water Scarcity Facts We Must Not Ignore

Image result for resilience: 10 Critical Water Scarcity Facts We Must Not Ignore

Why is water scarcity a legitimate concern?

It is true that the hydrologic cycle, the process in which the earth circulates water throughout its ecosystems, is a closed-loop cycle that neither adds nor takes away water. In theory, the amount of water on earth will always remain the same.

The problem therein is when the hydrologic cycle is disrupted and water which normally gets distributed to a certain area no longer does so. This is precisely why some regions are becoming arider while others are experiencing flooding and other natural disasters.

In this article, we’ll discuss the role that humans play in the global water crisis and we’ll cover the 10 most alarming water scarcity facts that we shouldn’t ignore.

The Alarming Human Factor in Water Management

Humans play a large role in the disruption of the hydrologic cycle.

  • The excessive building of dams prevents rivers from distributing mineral-rich water to areas that are dependent on the nutrients for plant growth.
  • Pollution caused by large factories can render freshwater sources such as lakes and rivers unusable.
  • The constant paving of roads seals the surface of the ground, preventing it from soaking up rainfall and replenishing the underground aquifers, a very vital part of the hydrologic cycle.
  • Excessive drilling into the ground can disrupt the structure of the bedrock, potentially allowing fresh groundwater to be contaminated with seawater.
  • Bottled water privatization creates a monopoly on a resource that should otherwise be available to the people who live in the region where the water is located.

As the world’s population increases the demand for the required amount of water necessary to sustain large communities does as well. While water is involved in the sustenance of virtually every aspect of a human’s life, the production of food makes up the majority of it. Agriculture accounts for over 70% of the world’s water consumption. And to produce enough food required for each person’s daily caloric intake, 2000–3000 Liters of water is required (FAO).

While there are organizations such as the World Health Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organization that are addressing the water crisis on a global scale, there are still regional problems that vary from region to region. Much of the world’s water supply is largely disproportionate. The average American family uses about 500 gallons of water per day, while the average African family uses 5 gallons per day. If the entire volume of freshwater were to be distributed evenly among all the earth’s inhabitants, each person would receive 1,320,860 gallons of water, each year (FAO).

Let us look at the 10 most alarming water scarcity facts that the world is currently facing.

1) By 2025, Half of the World’s Population will be Living in Water-Stressed Areas

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With the increasing demand for clean water and the steady growth of the world’s population, areas which are already water stressed will get worse, and the amount of water-stressed areas around the world will increase. Though these terms are often used interchangeably, some experts in the field have made a distinction between water scarcity and water stress for the sake of accuracy.

According to the CEO Water Mandatewater scarcity can be defined as the shortage in the physical volume of water in a given region, whereas water stress can is defined as the ability, or lack thereof, to access and meet the necessary human demand for water. For example, an arid region such as Sudan which gets little to no rainfall and has no aquifers or surface water would be experiencing water scarcity due to the sheer lack of volume. However, an area which has a limited supply of freshwater from an aquifer or lake, but is challenged due to the increasing demand of the population or the lack of means to access it efficiently, can be considered a water stressed region.

UNESCO predicts that 1.8 billion people will be experiencing water scarcity and half of the world will be living in water stressed conditions by 2025. Climate change, population growth, agricultural demands, and mismanagement of water resources all contribute to the growing global water crisis. Due to water scarcity, some 24 to 700 million people will be displaced from arid and semi-arid regions of the world.

2) The World’s Population will Raise to 9.7 Billion by 2050, Leaving Much in Water-Stressed Conditions

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With the steady increase of the global population, the demand for water increases. In places where water is already scarce, this can lead to geopolitical conflict. 60% of all surface water on earth comes from river basins shared by separate nations and almost 600 aquifers cross national boundaries.

In addition to an increase in population, excessive water use increases the demand for water. More people living in urban areas require more water to maintain a certain standard of living. The global population increased by three-fold in the 20th century but water use increased by six-fold. As incomes increase and urbanization develops, food choices shift toward richer, more water-dependent means of production (FAO).

There will be a 40% gap between the demand for water and the availability of water by the year 2030.

The global population is expected to raise to 9.7 billion by the year 2050 and the number of people who live in urban areas is expected to double. By 2050, 3.9 billion people, or 40% of world’s population, will live in severely water-stressed areas (INWEH).

3) Three in Ten People on Earth Currently do not Have Access to Safe and Clean Water

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The World Health Organization, a leader in global water data and planning, has categorized water accessibility into 5 groups: safely managed water sources, basic water sources, limited water sources, unimproved water sources, and surface water.

  • Safely Managed water sources can be defined as a managed drinking water service that is located on the premises of a home or residence, is accessible whenever needed, and is free from contamination. Examples of safely managed water sources are kitchen faucets and taps drawn from a local reservoir where water is treated under municipal guidelines.
  • Basic water sources are defined as improved water sources which are no further than 30 minutes for round trip access, but are not necessarily always free from contamination or accessible when needed. An example of a basic water source would be a community water station supplying a small village which may not always produce water when accessed.
  • Limited water sources fit the description of a basic water source but are further than a 30 minute round trip
  • Unimproved water sources include unprotected wells or springs
  • Surface Water includes water collected directly from a river, dam, lake, or stream

According to the WHO, 2.1 billion people, which is 3 in 10 worldwide, do not have access to a safely managed water source. 844 million people do not even have access to a basic water source. 263 million people have to travel over 30 minutes just to access water that isn’t even clean, and 159 million still drink from untreated surface water sources.

4) One in Three People Worldwide do not Have Access to a Toilet

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The WHO also categorizes sanitation services in to safely managed, basic, limited, unimproved, and open defecation.

  • Safely Managed sanitation systems can be defined as the use of improved facilities that aren’t shared with another household, and where waste is safely disposed of or transported off site.
  • Basic sanitation systems are the use of improved facilities that aren’t shared with another household.
  • Limited sanitation systems are the use of improved facilities shared with two or more households
  • Unimproved sanitation is the use of pit latrines without platform or bucket latrines
  • Open Defecation involves the disposal of human waste in fields, bushes, open bodies of water, or other open spaces.

According to the WHO, 2.3 billion people, that’s 1 in 3 worldwide, lack access to even basic sanitation services. The majority of these people either practice open defecation or use unimproved sanitation such as pit latrines and buckets.

Safely managed sanitation systems are designed to remove human waste away from human contact. Those without safe systems run the risk of having their water supply become contaminated with human waste. The WHO reports that at least 2 billion people worldwide consume water form a source that is contaminated with feces. Fecal contamination in the water supply is a major cause of deadly waterborne diseases such as Hepatitis A, Norovirus, and E Coli.

5) 1.6 Million People Die Every Year From Waterborne Diseases

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One of the most devastating effects of the global water crisis are the numerous waterborne diseases that come as a result of poor sanitation and water quality. In developing countries, almost half of the population can link health problems to waterborne diseases (Global Water Institute). Annually, about 5 million people contract diseases related to waterborne pathogens around the world, most of them children. Of the 5 million reported cases, 1.6 are fatal.

Diseases such as Typhoid Fever, Shigellosis, Hepatitis A, and Legionnaire’s Disease can be fatal if left untreated, but are preventable with proper water purification practices, improved sanitation systems, and proper education. Reducing exposure to contaminated water can greatly reduce the risk of disease.

6) Water Privatization Causes More Harm than Good to the Region which the Water is Taken From

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Bottled water has certainly brought convenience and security to those who might not have easy access to clean water. However, the privatization of some clean water sources has major downsides for the residents who live near them.

When a municipal utility source such as public water or electricity struggles to maintain itself due to budgeting issues and poor infrastructure, they’ll often sell their rights to a private corporation to take over. While this may seem to be beneficial in the short term, local residents who rely on the water source ultimately suffer.

Because the utility is now owned by a private company rather than a governmental body, the company is now accountable to stockholders, not to the residents. Residents now no longer have representation in corporate affairs. Rather, a natural monopoly is created where water, the commodity, is sold at a much higher price. Because water is a regional resource, competition for lower prices is unlikely.

Privately owned water sources typically charge households 59% more than publically owned sources (Food and Water). Private sewer services are typically 63% more costly.

Nestle, one of the largest corporations in the world, owns 50 springs throughout the United States (Food Empowerment Project). Betchel, the fifth largest corporation in the US, took over the water supply of a region in Bolivia in 1999 and raised rates by 300%, making it impossible for the people of the region to access their water. Coca-Cola pumps 1.5 million liters of water a day from a small town in Plachimada, India, leaving farmers without enough water to make a living.

7) In the US, 2.1 Trillion Gallons of Clean Water is Lost Each Year Due to Poor Infrastructure

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Poor infrastructure is a major contributor to the loss of clean water and the potential contamination that wastewater can cause. According to the Institute for Water, Environment, and Health, due to poor wastewater management, 80% of all wastewater is returned to the environment without being properly treated. 30% of all clean water is lost through leakage and deteriorating pipes (INWEH).

In the United States alone, 2.1 trillion gallons of clean, treated water is lost each year due to old, leaky pipes and broken water mains. David Le France, CEO of the American Water Works Association, estimates that repairing America’s water infrastructure will be a trillion-dollar program (NPR).

Water infrastructure is largely a governance issue. Due to divided efforts in governmental decision making, adequate policies and budgeting are often difficult to come by.

8) Women Walk an Average Distance of 4 Miles Every Day Just to Fetch Water that is Likely Contaminated

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Gender roles as they relate to water scarcity in developing countries differ from those in the West. Women and young girls are expected to take the responsibility of gathering the needed amount of water to sustain their family on a daily basis.

In Africa, 90% of work involved in gathering water and preparing food are done by women. In both Africa and Asia, women walk an average distance of 4 miles every day, which takes about 6 hours, to carry a 44-pound container of water for their household, from a water source which has the potential to make them sick (Global Water Institute). It is estimated that women and children spend around 40 billion hours a year gathering water in sub-Saharan African countries.

9) One-Third of the World’s Largest Aquifers are Water-Stressed

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While surface water has been the primary means of collection for human use, groundwater continues to be an important clean water source for regions where surface water isn’t as available. Groundwater can be accessed via wells or through groundwater pumping. As part of the hydrologic cycle, groundwater is naturally replenished through rainfall and surface water. But when the amount of groundwater being extracted exceeds the rate at which it replenishes, it remains in a deficit known as groundwater depletion. It is very difficult to determine the exact amount of groundwater contained in the aquifers underneath the earth’s surface, but with satellite technology, scientists can make rough estimates as to the volume of water that remains.

Water Resources Research categorizes the stress levels of groundwater into 4 categories: unstressed, human-dominated variable stress, variable stress, and overstressed.

  • An unstressed groundwater source has a water table that hasn’t dropped below its normal height and is replenishing naturally.
  • human-dominated variable stressed groundwater source is being extracted of water at a low rate, but is still at an adequate water level and is replenishing naturally as expected.
  • variable stressed groundwater source is still being recharged either naturally or artificially, but has a water table that has lowered beyond its normal height due excessive extraction of water.
  • An overstressed groundwater source is not being recharged and has a water table that continues to drop due to excessive extraction.

According to the WRR, 37 of the world’s largest aquifers are variably stressed to overstressed. 8 of them, including the aquifers in Saudi Arabia, North Western India and Pakistan, are not being recharged at all.

10) Meeting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals for the Water Crisis will Cost $114 Billion per year

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While implementing reasonable plans for providing clean water and rebuilding infrastructure are necessary for addressing the world’s concerns, it certainly won’t be cheap. The UN has proposed a series of sustainable development goals for a brighter, more self-sustaining future for the earth, with #6 addressing the global water crisis. While these goals are comprehensive and well-informed, attaining these goals will be time-consuming, expensive, and may face political division. It is estimated that in order to reach these goals, it will cost $114 Billion dollars every year until 2030.

The truth is that maintaining clean water sources are very expensive. Even large corporations, whilst motives are mostly internally focused, spend millions of dollars a year maintaining clean water sources for their production. The British Oil and Gas company spent $938 Million to irrigate water from a gasfield to farming fields in Australia (AKVO). Rio Tinto spent $3 Billion for a desalination plant in Chile.

As costly as maintaining the proper sources for clean water may be, the cost of not doing so is also high. $260 Billion are spent globally on addressing healthcare needs due to water related diseases and poor sanitation (INWEH).

To Summarize

Water scarcity is real. To ignore it, or to assume that it is only a problem of the developing world is to be blind to the errors our egos have cause. We in the Western world waste more water in a day than some families around the world would see in months. Much of what we use water for is to sustain a lifestyle that we largely take for granted. Our inward focus has blinded us to a reality that the rest of the world is experiencing. Whether we recognize it or not is irrelevant. Sooner or later, even we in the West will feel the effects of water scarcity in one way or another.

What we can start to do is to limit our water intake. Excessive water consumption and poor water management are factors that we can control immediately. Supporting clean water initiatives will certainly help the movement against the global water crisis. Finally, educating ourselves and raising awareness is a task we all should all take on. Please share this article if you’ve found it helpful.

‘What will you tell your children?’: Greta Thunberg blasts climate inaction at Davos


Greta Thunberg told a World Economic Forum panel on climate that activists were demanding an end to all investment in fossil fuel exploration and extraction, calling for a drastic reduction of emissions to zero. She dismissed some of the measures mooted by governments and companies, such as planting billions of trees to capture carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Her comments came after Donald Trump announced the US joined the global 1 trillion tree initiative Davos 2020: Greta Thunberg says ‘world is on fire’ and blasts leaders’ climate inaction. SOURCE

 

 

Unifor president Jerry Dias arrested at Regina’s Co-op Refinery

Union head among 7 taken into custody on picket line, police confirm

 

Unifor president Jerry Dias, left, and the union’s lead negotiator Scott Doherty. Dias was taken into custody by police on Monday amid a labour dispute at the Co-op Refinery in Regina. (Heidi Atter/CBC)

Unifor national president Jerry Dias was arrested along with six other members of the union on Monday afternoon amid rising tensions in a dispute with the Co-op Refinery in Regina.

The arrests came after union members set up blockades outside the refinery, contrary to a recent court order.

“Unifor members had completely blocked the entrances/exits to the Co-op Refinery Complex, not allowing vehicles to enter or exit the property,” the Regina Police Service said in a statement.

Dias had said at a media conference that morning that the blockades were set up by members of other Unifor locals. He argued that they therefore did not violate the injunction, which bars members of Local 594 — which represents workers at the refinery — from blocking access to the facility.

“We’ll deal with that in court because our argument today is that we are not violating any injunction at all,” Dias said.

Jerry Dias@JerryPDias

We need thousands more members to come to Regina because @reginapolice have decided to side with @CoopFCL https://twitter.com/UniforTheUnion/status/1219393969974579200 

Unifor@UniforTheUnion

Once again the Regina Police are siding with greedy @CoopFCL #skpoli #canlab #cdnpoli #BoycottCoop #SupportUnifor594

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Police did not confirm who else was arrested or if any charges were laid.

Monday marked 46 days since Unifor members were locked out.

The blockades were taken down Monday evening.

The dispute mainly comes down to pensions. A previous deal included a defined benefit pension for workers. Now the refinery is moving toward a defined contribution plan.

The union says this amounts to taking away workers’ pensions. The refinery says it is trying to remain competitive.

“We are going to guarantee you that not one fuel truck is going to leave this facility. From now on we’re not going anywhere,” Scott Doherty, Unifor’s lead negotiator and executive assistant to the president, said.

The refinery said in a statement that the blockades were illegal and that it is exploring legal options.

“Unifor continues to use illegal blockades as a bullying tactic and has brought in extra people to help them to it,” the statement said. “Today’s actions by Unifor represent yet another violation of the court injunction.”

Regina police said they were monitoring the situation. In a statement, police said they were communicating with both sides to keep the peace and advising motorists to avoid the area of Ninth Avenue N., MacDonald Street and Fleet Street.

Police took Unifor members into custody after the union constructed blockades at the refinery. (Unifor/Twitter)

Before his arrest, Dias estimated that about 500 people were brought in from across Canada to Regina and said more are expected. Dias said the union also plans to increase the boycott of Co-ops across Western Canada if a deal isn’t made.

“Clearly the only place that this dispute will be resolved will be at the bargaining table,” Dias said.

The refinery previously said Unifor hasn’t returned to the bargaining table since September 2019.  MORE

Big Oil has a do-or-die decade ahead because of climate change

The 2020s are poised to be to energy firms what the 2010s were to utilities—disruptive

As revolutionary slogans go, it hardly had the resonance of ¡No pasarán! But when Repsol, a Spanish oil company, said in December it would reduce the net carbon footprint of everything it produces to zero within 30 years, it marked the most powerful pledge so far by a big oil firm to cast off some of the vestiges of a fossil past in favour of a windy and sunny future.

Many will scoff. Oil companies are, after all, widely regarded as the villains of the climate crisis. Repsol is a relatively puny producer; its vow may simply be a gambit to woo investors keen on “sustainability”. Yet it deserves a pat on the back. Without the oil industry’s balance-sheets and project-management skills, it is hard to imagine the world building anything like enough wind farms, solar parks and other forms of clean energy to stop catastrophic global warming. The question is no longer “whether” Big Oil has a big role to play in averting the climate crisis. It is “when”.

Ask oil executives about timing, though, and most hum and haw. They face a dilemma. Though the world needs them to throw their weight behind clean energy, their oil-and-gas businesses have traditionally generated higher returns. Yet forecasting returns is complex—and becoming more so. As well as project risk, it involves assessing the attitude of investors, governments and consumers towards climate uncertainties. To cynics, all the climate-friendly noises amount to little in practice, since few people are ready to make carbon-cutting sacrifices that would force oil firms’ hand. But noises are sometimes followed by action. Should they be this time, the 2020s may be do-or-die for the oil industry.

In energy, a lot can happen in ten years. The 2010s saw oil markets transformed by American shale. In Europe renewable energy prompted something almost as wrenching for a different sort of energy firm—utilities. Faced with an existential threat from wind and solar, fossil-fuel power producers such as Germany’s e.on and rwe tore themselves apart, redesigned their businesses, and emerged cleaner and stronger. Southern European firms like Spain’s Iberdrola and Italy’s Enel took renewables worldwide. Last year total shareholder returns from the reinvigorated European utilities left the oil-and-gas industry in the dust.

Big Oil looks like the European utilities of a decade ago: potentially in for a seismic shock, and in denial. Some giants, like ExxonMobil and Chevron in America, continue to bet most heavily on oil, believing demand for petrol will remain strong for the foreseeable future. Others, among them Europe’s supermajors, Royal Dutch Shell, Total and bp, increasingly favour natural gas, and see low-carbon (though not necessarily zero-carbon) power generation as a way to prop up their business model as more cars and other things begin to run on electricity.

A few dabble in renewable energy, especially in Europe. But of a whopping $80bn or so of capital expenditure by Europe’s seven biggest listed energy firms last year, only 7.4%—less than $1bn each on average—went to clean energy. In order to meet the goals of the Paris agreement to keep global warming below 2°C, the ratio of dirty energy to the clean sort will need to be turned upside down. On January 14th ubs, a bank, calculated that capital spending on renewable energy, power grids and batteries will need to rise globally to $1.2trn a year on average from now until 2050, more than double the $500bn spent each year on oil and gas. To help fund that, it reckons that oil-and-gas companies will need to divert $10trn of investments away from fossil fuels over the same period.

That sounds unthinkable. For now, oil executives show no appetite for such a radical change of direction. If anything, they are working their oil-and-gas assets harder, to skim the profits and hand them to shareholders while they still can. Oil, they say, generates double-digit returns on capital employed. Clean energy, mere single digits.

They may be overstating the case. First, as the Boston Consulting Group points out, no big industry performed worse for shareholders in the second half of the 2010s than oil and gas. Second, the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies (oies), a think-tank, says climate-concerned investors are already pushing up oil companies’ cost of capital for long-term projects, crimping returns. Third, with their vast balance-sheets, and skill in building and managing complex endeavours over decades, they could dramatically scale up offshore wind and similar businesses, bolstering profitability.

Furthermore, Big Oil has ways to make other high-risk, high-reward bets on clean energy. One is through venture capital. The oies calculates that of 200 recent investments by the oil majors, 70 have been in clean-energy ventures, such as electric-vehicle charging networks. They have generally been small for now. But bp reportedly plans to build five $1bn-plus “unicorns” over the next five years with an aim of providing more energy with lower emissions. Another way is to back research and development in potentially groundbreaking technologies such as high-altitude wind energy, whose generating efficiency promises equally lofty profits.

BlackRock and the black stuff

Even as the majors diversify, supplying oil and gas will be the bedrock of their business for decades. Larry Fink, boss of BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, acknowledged this in a letter to global chief executives on January 14th, even as he predicted that climate change would cause a significant shift in capital toward sustainable investing (see article).

Yet excuses for prevarication are growing thinner. As Peter Parry of Bain, a consultancy, puts it, it has become “something of a myth” that oil is a high-return industry. As national climate commitments grow more stringent, governments may go on the warpath. ubs argues that it may be necessary for governments to “ban” the $10trn of oil-and-gas investments to reach net zero emissions by 2050. It is not only Repsol that feels which way the breeze is blowing. It need not be an ill wind.

 

Mega-Fires Almost Doubled Chile’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions

  • Fires in 2017 were worst on record, burning 570,000 hectares
  •  Chile’s wildfires have worsened because of decade-long drought

Firefighters work to put out a wildfire at a forest in the town of San Ramon in Constitucion, Chile on Jan. 26, 2017.

Firefighters work to put out a wildfire at a forest in the town of San Ramon in Constitucion, Chile on Jan. 26, 2017. Photographer: Cristobal Olivares/Bloomberg

The mega-fires that ravaged Chile in 2017 emitted the equivalent of 90% of the country’s annual greenhouse-gas emissions, Chilean researchers estimated.The South American nation’s worst wildfires on record burnt more than 570,000 hectares and cost $350 million to combat, according to a report by Universidad de Chile’s Center for Climate and Resilience released last week. The previous record was 130,000 hectares in 2015.

The 2017 fires put about 100 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent into the atmosphere, close to the 111.6 million tonnes emitted by all of Chile the year before. It would take cars in Santiago, home to about 7 million people, to run for 23 years to equal the emissions from the worst mega-fires.

There are no magic solutions to these fires,” said researcher Mauro Gonzalez at the report’s presentation in Santiago last week. “We have a great challenge ahead because we can’t manage climate change or meteorological conditions, so we need to focus on prevention.“

Hidden Emissions

Chile emissions from forest fires in 2017 almost equaled 2016 emissions

Last year saw the least rainfall on record in much of Chile, marking the completion of country’s driest ever decade, a phenomenon linked to climate change that scientists have named a mega-drought. As global temperatures rise, extreme heat and lack of rain have worsened forest-fire episodes in other parts of the world such as California, Australia and the Amazon.

Australia has lost 10 million hectares to the flames this session.

MORE

For the first time, our failing environment is seen as the biggest business risk at Davos

No bridge over troubled waters.

It wasn’t long ago that captains of industry fretted most about oil prices, asset bubbles, and unemployment. But since 2007, those participating in the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Switzerland have seen these worries replaced by an even more urgent threat: environmental change.

More than a thousand WEF participants were surveyed this year (pdf) about the biggest global risks facing the world. For the first time, climate change or climate-related issues occupied the top five spots as the most likely global risks. Weapons of mass destruction were the only non-environment related risk to be on the list of threats likely to have the biggest impact. It’s the first time since the poll began that environmental risk has ranked so highly, up from zero in 2010. 1

“Climate change is striking harder and more rapidly than many expected,” states the WEF (pdf). The world is now on track to warm by more than 3°C, blowing past what scientists say is a level required to avoid potentially catastrophic consequences. There’s no sign GHG emissions are peaking, states the United Nations (pdf), and every year of delay makes future reductions more difficult and drastic with potential damages measured in the trillions of dollars. The top factors ranked by 1,047 participants from business (38%), academia (21%), and government (15%) surveyed this year are below: MORE

USA: Three-Quarters of New US Generating Capacity in 2020 Will Be Renewable, EIA Says

2020 will be a record year for U.S. renewables construction as 6 gigawatts of coal capacity goes offline, according to new government figures.

The U.S. wind market is teed up for more than 15GW of installations this year, analysts forecast.

The U.S. wind market is teed up for more than 15GW of installations this year, analysts forecast.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration has confirmed what it and industry watchers predicted a year ago — that wind and solar power will expand on their already-large share of new U.S. generation capacity in 2020.

According to EIA data released Tuesday, wind and solar will make up 32 of the 42 gigawatts of new capacity additions expected to start commercial operation in 2020, respectively, dwarfing the 9.3 gigawatts of natural-gas-fired plants to come online this year.

EIA’s numbers also break records for both wind and solar in terms of annual capacity additions. The 18.5 gigawatts of wind power capacity set to come online in 2020 surpasses 2012’s record of 13.2 gigawatts and pushes total U.S. production well past the 100-gigawatt milestone set in the third quarter of 2019.

Wood Mackenzie is expecting 15.2 gigawatts of new wind this year, with some projects delayed into 2021 amid a historic wind construction boom.

MORE