The world’s largest fund manager is divesting from coal, Spain phased out coal a decade ahead of schedule and Microsoft committed to become carbon negative. All this and more in the latest good news in climate solutions.

BlackRock, the world’s largest fund manager announced it is divesting from thermal coal

The move signals a significant shift for investors, and the financial benefits for companies and governments to follow suit, writes Professor John Quiggin in the Conversation.

Blackrock chief executive Laurence Fink noted that climate change has become the top issue raised by clients. He said it would soon affect all all investments – everything from municipal bonds to mortgages for homes.

The Conversation

Spanish oil giant pledges net zero by 2050

Repsol has embarked on the most ambitious attempt yet by an oil major to align itself with the Paris climate goals, saying it will eliminate all greenhouse gas emissions from its own operations and its customers by 2050 and spending will be redirected into the transition to clean energy. Read more at Bloomberg, by James Herron.

We are convinced that we must set more ambitious objectives to fight climate change.

Respol Chief Executive Officer, Josu Jon Imaz

Australian rooftop solar installs totalled 2.13GW in 2019, helped by a big December rush

Installs jumped 35 from the previous year and the boom won’t be stopping any time soon, writes Giles Parkinson for Renew Economy.

The surge in December took the cumulative total in Australia to 10.2 gigawatts – installed on 2.3 million different buildings (mostly homes). And the boom won’t stop anytime soon, with the Australian Energy Market Operator, the Clean Energy Regulator (and now the federal government) expecting the total to reach more than 25GW by the end of the new decade in 2030.

Renew Economy

Microsoft committed to become carbon negative by 2030

The tech giant has set out a pathway to not only be carbon negative by 2030, but to also remove all the carbon the company has emitted directly or by electrical consumption since it was founded by 2020.

While the world will need to reach net zero, those of us who can afford to move faster and go further should do so. That’s why today we are announcing an ambitious goal and a new plan to reduce and ultimately remove Microsoft’s carbon footprint.

Microsoft president, Brad Smith

Wind and solar investment drives electricity price drop

Australian electricity prices may fall by 20% for households in south-east Queensland, reports Michael Mazengarb at Renew Economy.

Due to the different dynamics in different states, the price reductions driven by renewables investment varied from state to state, but most households should experience some price relief over the next couple of years, according to the AEMC’s forecast.

Renew Economy

Remote Victorian village becomes prototype for off-grid communities

Licola Wilderness Village CEO and operations manager Tony Davis said the move to solar power had reduced energy-production costs and carbon emissions by 90 per cent, write rachael Lucas at ABC Gippsland.

Licola is very much a world’s best practice now for what is called a micro grid. We’re a small, totally self-sufficient, totally off-grid system.

Licola Wilderness Village CEO and operations manager Tony Davis

Spain beat its target to phase out coal use in power plants by 2030 – by an entire decade

The country took just one year to reach the goal it expected to reach in a decade, aided in part by the European emissions trading system, the world’s first major carbon market. Read more in El País, the Spanish daily newspaper.

Last year coal-powered thermal plants contributed less than 5% of all electricity generated in Spain – 85.6% less than in 2002, when coal power was at its peak. What’s more, there were five days when Spain did not need any coal-powered electricity at all.

El País

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