GTG Links No.3 – 27th May
Saudi Oil money buying into Nintendo
Will be interesting to see if this has any effect (good or bad) on the company's environmental strategy – Nintendo being the only one of the main 3 platformholders who still doesn't have a stated net zero goal (unless I have missed it – please let me know if you have any more details!). The closest I could find is the following:
Nintendo Co., Ltd. (Japan) has established an Environment Committee and implemented an Environmental Management System based on the ISO 14001 certification.
Activision Blizzard releases its first proper ESG report
Lots to dig into for the energy nerds. A little bit light on some of the important details though, like the crucial figure of actual emissions. They claim to have completed their first ever audit but don't seem to share the numbers. Is it embarassment or inexperience that they only disclose the total electricity consumed and the (frankly, abysmal) 0.04% peroportion of renewables in the mix? I'm almost impressed, as I'm not sure how you get a figure that low.
New McKinsey report on the latest in Power Purchase Agreements vs 24/7 power purchase agreements
This is an important distinction, one which I haven't seen before – because of the way power systems operate, if you're not buying your power in real time, then there's a pretty solid chance that you're not guaranteeing absolute net-zero emissions or 100% renewables. An interesting and important development:
the inherent variability of wind and solar power creates a need to balance supply and demand, for example, by using fossil fuel power to fill gaps. The search is on for a solution that will further reduce the need for fossil fuels, increase the impact of emission reduction efforts, and improve risk management for electricity purchasers. One answer that is gaining currency is “24/7 clean” power purchase agreements (PPAs), which seek to match supply and demand for renewable power more precisely than the PPAs that have dominated the market up to now.
World Meteorological Organization's latest State of the Climate report is worrying:
2021 was “only” one of the seven warmest because of a La Niña event at the start and end of the year. This had a temporary cooling effect but did not reverse the overall trend of rising temperatures. The average global temperature in 2021 was about 1.11 (± 0.13) °C above the pre-industrial level.
China coal demand down
Lead analyst from the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air tweeted a thread the other week about the “Huge drop in coal-fired power generation in China in April”.
Plant Powered Processing
Maybe the future of mobile devices is plant power?
…researchers in the UK, Italy and Norway introduced cyanobacteria Synechocystis sp. PCC6803 into an aluminium–air battery to create a biophotovoltaic device. The device is a similar size to an AA battery, is made from durable and mainly recyclable materials and does not require a dedicated light source to function.
Australian Election results implication for climate policy
“The shift I’ve seen in the last three years in seats like Hunter and Flynn is from ‘we’re not going to change’ to ‘we know this change is happening, we want a change we can trust’.”
I suspect there are lessons to take from the recent Australian election for the games industry, particularly around issues of social license. While games are definitely not the most polluting industry around, the evidence is all around us that a large and growing majority is expecting action on climate, and from all quarters. There may well be reputational and other risks for slow-moving parts of the industry. Time to get cracking!
Understanding how the Greens took seats in Brisbane
For fellow Australian election watchers – if you find yourself scratching your head about how the Greens won two (possibly three!) seats in inner-city Brisbane, then this Jacobin article from 2020 outlines their strategy. More recently, the following discussion from the Flood Media podcast goes into more detail about how they utilised the resources of the existing Greens representatives office to coordinate and organise in response to on-the-ground needs after the recent Brisbane floods. Hugely inspiring stuff that points to the future of political campaigning for climate candidates in Australia. Congratulations to all the volunteers and the three new reps.
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