“$5 trillion of nature-related economic risks will amplify climate change, says Oxford study… ““Nature is not the elephant in the room, it’s the huge green scorpion running towards us”- study author.
“Biodiversity loss and environmental degradation generates significant and long-term risks to society, the economy and finance…and risks to global supply chains.
“Potentially catastrophic impacts of climate change and the critical importance of integrating climate and nature in our response to these threats.”
“Net zero to cost global economy trillions of pounds, OECD warns. Cost of eliminating coal and cutting back on oil and gas will hit world GDP growth…
“Net zero will leave Britain’s economy £60bn smaller and cost the world as much as $3.6 trillion (£2.8 trillion), the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development has warned.”
“Growth in global oil demand is slowing “drastically” as high interest rates weigh on the economy, the International Energy Agency has said.
“Output curbs by the Opec+ alliance of major producers, led by Saudi Arabia and Russia, have done little to prop up prices in the face of record-breaking supplies from other producers…”
“This chart from Javier Blas of global crude and condensate in storage shows that despite ample oil supply in the near term, we are in a period of relative scarcity.
“Over-supply is because of weak demand despite the sound & fury from OPEC, IEA, etc. And it’s not because of energy transition—it’s a weak economy. Duh.”
“Global demand for coal will hit a record high of 8.5bn tonnes in 2023 despite the worldwide push for net zero, the International Energy Agency has warned…
“Increased coal consumption in Asia has offset declining demand in advanced economies… Coal is the dirtiest of fossil fuels… However, it is also the cheapest way to meet energy demand.”
“China brings world’s first Generation IV nuclear reactor online.
“China claims to have brought the world’s first Generation IV commercial nuclear reactor online. The Shidao Bay Nuclear Power Plant HTR-PM high-temperature gas-cooled (HTGR) pebble-bed reactor in Shidao Bay, Shandong Province, reportedly went into service this month.”
“US Approves New Kind of Nuclear Reactor for First Time in 50 Years…
“California startup Kairos Power LLC received a construction permit from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to build its Hermes demonstration reactor in Tennessee. While commercial reactors in use today are cooled by water, the Kairos technology uses molten fluoride salt as a coolant.”
“Lithium mining is about to go big on the Colorado River… The process uses an astounding amount of water, which is in short supply across Utah and the arid West…
““Water is limited on the Colorado River,” said John Weisheit, co-founder of Living Rivers, an environmental group focused on protecting the watershed. “This is so speculative I can’t stand it.””
“Alaska utility regulators said this week they will soon begin pressing utilities for their emergency plans as concerns about unexpected power interruptions grow amid an expected shortage of Cook Inlet gas…
“Hilcorp, the dominant Cook Inlet gas producer, warned Railbelt utilities from Homer to Fairbanks last year that it may not be able to renew gas supply contracts as gas production wanes in the aging basin.”
“Quinhagak’s tribe has signed a disaster declaration as the community continues to deal with a power outage that left the community without power on Friday, Dec. 8 during freezing weather…
““Everything’s closed right now,” Cleveland said. “Even post office is closed. Washeteria’s closed. All tribal offices are closed. School’s down. So this is having an effect on the whole community.””
“Half of Canadians on the brink of financial collapse. The scary stats about Canadians’ financial woes are relentless.
“62% are struggling to make ends meet. 62% are spending way too much on housing. 51% would miss a mortgage payment (or rent) within three months if they lost their job. Many are living paycheque-to-paycheque.”
“Millions borrowing to pay essential bills at Christmas, charities warn [UK]…
“The Joseph Rowntree Foundation, which campaigns on social issues, said a third of those it surveyed said they still had loans to pay off, which had originally been taken out to cover the costs of food, housing costs, energy bills or council tax.”
“‘We’re in for a fiscal crisis down the road and we don’t know how to solve it’…
“With growth data pointing to a sluggish outlook, Goodhart warned central banks face a “very difficult period” ahead. He also had some dark warnings about the mounting risk of fiscal crises in some of the world’s biggest economies.”
“Trust in politicians reaches its lowest score in 40 years [UK]…
“Just nine per cent of the British public say they trust politicians to tell the truth, down from twelve per cent in 2022. This makes them the least trusted profession in Britain… this years’ score is the lowest for politicians since the first wave of the survey in 1983…”
“Argentina’s security minister announces crackdown on protests.
“Patricia Bullrich, the security minister appointed by Argentina’s new president Javier Milei, has announced sweeping plans to crack down on protests, setting up a potential clash with social groups that have pledged to oppose “shock therapy” economic reforms.”
“Eskom Set for Seventh [annual] Loss as Power Cuts Grip South Africa.
“South Africa’s Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. is on track to post its seventh consecutive full-year loss as the utility crumbles under the weight of its debt pile and high financing costs, poor plant performance and a ballooning municipal-arrears book.”
“Bulawayo braces for dry Christmas as water-shedding increased to 120 Hours [Zimbabwe].
“Bulawayo residents face a bleak Christmas with a new 120-hour water-shedding program announced by the city council, effective immediately… Mayor Cllr. David Coltart delivered the news at a press conference on Thursday, citing deteriorating water levels due to low rainfall and climate change.”
“Mourning and worrying about the future in rural Egypt.
“Egypt’s grinding economic crisis is top of mind as the country waits for the results of its presidential election in which the incumbent President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi is expected to win… Over the last year, inflation has spiked 72 percent on food products while the Egyptian pound has devalued three times.”
“Sri Lanka risks have increased, social unrest could re-emerge: IMF report.
““Risks to program implementation and financing are high and have increased since program approval,” an IMF staff report issued after completing the first review of its program said… There could be reform fatigue ahead of elections in 2024.”
“How energy traders left a country out in the cold….
“Pakistan, one of the world’s poorest nations, thought it had secured natural gas to fuel its economy. Commodities firms had other ideas… Gunvor was supposed to supply Pakistan with five tankers’ worth of LNG… Instead, ship-tracking data show, Gunvor sent the cargoes to countries including the UK and Italy.”
“Values Shine Through In Afghanistan – In The Face Of Catastrophe.
“In an ever-changing world rife with conflict and unprecedented climate events, Afghanistan stands as a poignant example of a nation that borders the surreal…. The degree of the crisis cannot be exaggerated. While approximately 5 million Afghans experienced acute food insecurity before the 2021 insurgence, this number rose to a staggering 22.8 million within mere months.”
“Urgent action is needed to prevent record debt repayments by the world’s poorest countries developing into a full-blown crisis, the World Bank has warned.
“The Washington-based multilateral body said the escalating cost of servicing past borrowing caused by rising interest rates was siphoning money away from spending on health, education and tackling the climate crisis.”
“‘Weapons of mass migration’: how states exploit the failure of migration policies.
“Just like the war on drugs and the war on terror, efforts at stopping population movement by force often just fuel the problem. But for many claiming to confront the perceived threat, that suits all too well.”
“The Growing Risk of Global Disorder…
“The Western-led global economic order had a bad 2023. Surprisingly, the primary cause was not the emergence of an alternative order led by China, as some had anticipated. Instead, it was internal stress that led to more doubts around the world about its effectiveness and legitimacy.”
“AI presents growing risk to financial markets, US regulator warns…
“Gary Gensler, who chairs the Securities and Exchange Commission and is also on the FSOC, told the Financial Times in October that without swift intervention by regulators to tame the risks of AI, it was “nearly unavoidable” that the technology would trigger a financial crisis within a decade.”
You can read the previous “Economic” thread here. I’ll be back over the weekend with a “Climate” thread.
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