Net Zero: 2021 the world’s fifth-hottest year on record: EU study

Welcome to Net Zero, your daily industry brief on clean energy and Canadian-resource politics.

The Lead

A new report from the EU’s Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) found that 2021 was the world’s fifth hottest year on record and that the last seven years were the world’s warmest “by a clear margin” in records dating back to 1850. The report also determined that levels of planet-warming carbon dioxide and methane in the atmosphere hit new highs in 2021, resulting in an average global temperature 1.1 to 1.2 C above 1850-1900 levels.

The effects of climate change were also seen through many of the extreme weather events sweeping the world in 2021 from floods in Europe, China and South Sudan, to wildfires in Siberia and the United States.

“These events are a stark reminder of the need to change our ways, take decisive and effective steps toward a sustainable society and work toward reducing net carbon emissions,” C3S director Carlo Buontempo said.

The hottest years on record were 2020 and 2016. NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will release their climate findings on Wednesday. Reuters has the full story.


Recent analysis from the National Centers for Environmental Information, which was released hours after the EU report, found that 2021 ranked as the fourth-warmest year on record in the U.S., with December 2021 being the warmest December ever recorded in the country.

Still in the U.S., the country’s Department of Agriculture launched a new conservation program that aims to double the country’s cover crop plantings to 30 million acres by 2030. Reuters has the details.

Meanwhile, gas prices in Russia have surged after the Yamal-Europe pipeline, which usually sends gas from Russia to Europe, has been stuck in reverse for over three weeks.

Experts say it is not clear when the pipeline will change the flows back towards Germany, although a source close to Gazprom has said the company is expected to switch flows back at some point this month. Reuters also has that story.

On Tuesday morning at 8:04 a.m., West Texas Intermediate was trading at US$79.45 and Brent Crude was going for US$82.02.

In Canada

Nova Scotia Power, the province’s electricity utility, released figures indicating $205.5 million was spent on replacement fuels over the past four years because of delays to Newfoundland and Labrador’s Muskrat Falls hydro project.

Bill Mahody, the lawyer who represents residential ratepayers during Utility and Review Board hearings, said the replacement energy costs have been paid for by Nova Scotians. The Canadian Press has more.

A new study published in the peer-reviewed journal Scientific Reports suggests that rising temperatures from climate change will lead to more kidney stone cases. The Kidney Foundation of Canada said that kidney stones currently affect one in 10 Canadians, but that case numbers have risen over the past two decades. CTV News has more on that story.

In B.C., a team of scientists believes the climate crisis can be fought by sucking carbon out of the atmosphere and storing it deep below the ocean floor. The Solid Carbon project aims to scrub vast amounts of carbon dioxide from the air and inject it nearly three kilometres beneath the ocean’s surface into basalt aquifers where it will eventually transform into rock. The National Observer has more details on the project.

Finally, CBC Radio has put together a list of notable podcasts that people should listen to in 2022. Among them is the National Observer’s Race Against Climate Change podcast. The latest episode questions the role nuclear power should play in the war against climate change. You can find the full list here.

Canadian Crude Index was trading at US$64.52 and Western Canadian Select was going for US$65.73 this morning at 8:04 a.m.


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