Climate Coffee Newsletter #15 – 22nd April 2022

Here's your regular Friday edition the Sust Global Climate Coffee 🌱☕️ newsletter!

Here’s a special Earth Day edition of the Sust Global Climate Coffee 🌱☕️ newsletter! This week we cover the impact of even faster fashion on the planet, the unfairness of USA FEMA policies upon homeowners facing flood risk, and new hopes to limit global warming to 2°C.

Let’s dive in! 🌍


👗 Rise of Shein Tests an Industry’s Go-Green Commitments

High street fashion companies, such as H&M and Zara, have been pressured in recent years to become more sustainable, however the rise of Shein, a Chinese fast fashion e-commerce startup which was recently valued at $100 billion, tests these green commitments. Shein’s strengths lie in the fact that they can design, produce and sell clothing within a matter of days, and this fact has not been lost on the so-called ‘TikTok generation’. Massive Shein clothing hauls are a huge trend on social media, and it’s not hard to see why – Shein often copies designer releases at a mere fraction of the price point.

The problem is the waste:

“It’s hard to define Shein’s environmental footprint at this point. But scientists have calculated that, over its lifetime, a single polyester dress releases about 17kg of CO2 into the atmosphere. Shein is selling hundreds of thousands — if not millions — of polyester dresses at a disposable price point every year. That’s going to blindside any efforts to clean up the fashion industry.”


This is a great opinion piece on how flood risk affects US homeowners and residents: it covers the tragedies that people face and the ways that FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) policies have failed them. This includes the fact that development upon flood-prone areas is permissible with special permits, and when a damage does occur, flooded homes can be rebuilt in the exact same place as long as they are raised/protected in some way. This response does not work in a world where climate change is accelerating at unprecedented speeds, and storms and floods are getting worse than many predictions state. Additionally, FEMA requires that new structures in flood-prone areas must be built just above the anticipated water line (of what was once known as a 100-year flood) – the problem is that home built on floodplains today have, at the bare minimum, a 1/4 chance of being exposed to a ‘100-year flood’ over a 30-year mortgage. What was once considered an extreme, once in a century flood event, is far more common now.

Groundwater level threatens to fall in Germany due to climate change
In Germany, climate change affects groundwater resources which are expected to fall over the next few decades. The study, made by experts from Karlsruhe Institute of technology and the Federal Institue for Geosciences and Natural Resources, uses AI-based forecast models to to see how German groundwater resources would be affected during the 21st century. They also used deep learning from different groundwater datasets, and the IPCC climate scenarios. According to the experts, projections under all 3 scenarios lead to more or less strong developments with drought, falling groundwater levels and changes with water availability. The most affected parts are North and East Germany, indicating a real need for further research and analysis.


Climate Promises Put Paris Goal Within Reach If Policies Quickly Follow
According to new analysis, if the world sticks to the Paris Agreement now and makes real change, we could stick to global warming of around 2 degrees or lower. Climate stability is still riding on an if rather than a when, and this uncertainty is an extremely dangerous situation. The new studies track the impacts of 154 new and updated national commitments made in mid-November 2021, the end of COP26. The findings hinge on immediate and substantial pollution reductions to implement each country’s ambitions, including 76 long-term national goals that cover 75% of global greenhouse gas emissions. New estimates also show that if everything goes right and policies are executed, we could halt warming at around 1.9°C. 

At Sust Global, we can help you manage your physical climate risk exposure, so please get in contact with us if you have any questions.

Happy Earth Day everyone! 🌍

✌️, Josh

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April 22, 2022

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