On February 14th, during a Birmingham Fossil Fuel Divestment Day in Victoria Square, Birmingham City Council was asked to move investment from fossil fuel companies.

bfoe divestment day2

Birmingham Friends of the Earth produced a giant Valentine’s Card, signed by members of the public and organisations, asking Birmingham City Council to be their “valentine” by divesting from fossil fuels. Read on here.

On the same day, in the Priory Rooms (Bull St), the Central England Quaker Low Carbon Commitment Forum heard about steps taken by Quakers in Britain to disinvest from companies engaged in extracting fossil fuels. The decision was taken by their Investment Committee, following their 2011 commitment to become a sustainable low-carbon community.

A sign that efforts to tackle climate change have been more effective than expected

iea logoA month later the Financial Times reported the International Energy Agency findings that global emissions of carbon dioxide, the most long-lasting greenhouse gas, did not rise in 2014 – for the first time in 40 years. Though the global economy grew 3%, the amount of CO2 pumped out remained at the 2013 level of 32.3bn tonnes.

Two factors were mentioned:

  • China has cut its use of coal, one of the biggest sources of carbon emissions, and installed more hydroelectricity, wind and solar power, imposed energy efficiency standards for industry, shut older factories and shifted away from the heavy manufacturing that has powered its economic growth.
  • Wealthy OECD countries have started to “decouple” economic expansion from emissions increases as they install more renewable energy plants and set a range of stricter standards on car fuel economy and home appliance energy use.

The IEA is to publish a June 15 report advising governments what energy measures should be agreed at a December meeting of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Paris where world leaders are due to finalise a global climate change pact.