Climate racism, airline bailout breaks, and the tale of the Belgian minister's short hop

By David Callaway, Callaway Climate Insights

One of the many welcome ripples from this summer’s Black Lives Matter protests has been a renewed focus on environmental racism. It’s no secret that black vulnerability to Covid-19 is caused in part by the polluted communities many blacks live in. Studies have shown for years that a disproportionate amount of toxic waste and other pollutants are dumped in poorer neighborhoods nationwide.

This week, the National Black Environmental Justice Network (NBEJN), first organized in 1999, re-launched to spotlight blacks’ right to breathe healthy air in their communities, along with other obvious rights they have been systematically denied.

Read the NBEJN’s news release.

As climate change forces migrations in the U.S. and worldwide, fair treatment of the climate refugees and anyone in communities affected will become a much bigger issue. Our own Michael Molinski recently profiled attempts to transform Miami’s Little Haiti neighborhood, as rising sea levels threaten the wealthy coastal areas. This one, as they say, has legs.

Enjoy our second edition this week, with our take on carbon taxes, how the European airlines used Covid-19 to dodge stricter emissions regulations, and a lesson in water capture and re-storage from a pair of unlikely suspects. Stories below.

European notebook: Airlines get a climate pass

. . . . Europe’s airlines breathed a sigh of relief this week when they were let off the hook of using this year’s Covid-ravaged traffic numbers as a baseline from which to measure future progress, writes Stephen Rae from Dublin. The ability for airlines to use 2019 traffic numbers — a record year — will save them some $15 billion in carbon offset costs in the next few years, analysts estimate.

Plus, while bailout plans for airlines in Austria and France call for some action on short-haul flights, one Belgian minister made headlines for hopping a flight for 40 kilometers at the request of an entrepreneur.

Also, Europe’s Green Recovery will next month move forward with plans for an integrated and resilient energy system shifting between gas and electricity that will help wean industries and households away from fossil fuels more quickly. . . .

Read the full notebook

Coca-Cola and PepsiCo, criticized for plastics, show climate chops with water conservation

. . . . When you’re using almost 50 billion gallons of water a year in your businesses, water conservation becomes more than an ideal; it’s a strategic imperative. Coca-Cola Co. and PepsiCo often take environmental criticism for their reliance on plastics. But the beverage giants each are spending millions on water capture, storage, and re-usage in their supply chains, in ways that other businesses can learn from.

Carl Winfield takes a measure of how each is investing to preserve the water it uses in a world where that water will continue to get more valuable. . . .

The pair consumed a combined total of 49 billion gallons of water in their workflow, according to their responses to the CDP’s Water Security Questionnaire for 2019. With almost 70% of the global carbonated beverage market between them, both companies have reexamined their entire supply chains — including agriculture, beverages, food, and sanitation —  to locate, capture and restore billions of gallons of water. . . .

Read the full story

10 U.S. oil companies likely to still be thriving in 2030

. . . . Our partners at 24/7 Wall St. report that while many investors have begun avoiding oil and gas stocks due to their direct exposure to and role in fossil fuels, another group of investors is still looking for the companies that can survive as things are for the next decade or longer. Take a look at the special report, 10 U.S. oil companies still likely to thrive in 2030. . . .

Free Callaway Climate Insights Newsletter