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.
Saudi Arabia Now Owns 5% Of Nintendo
It goes on the shelf next to similar stakes in Capcom, EA, Take-Two and Activision

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.

Front cover of Activision Blizzard 2021 ESG report with characters from their games

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.
Decarbonizing the grid with 24/7 clean power purchase agreements
In the global struggle to curb greenhouse-gas emissions, renewable power is taking an ever-increasing share of generation capacity. Yet the rise of wind and solar power is creating new challenges in managing the system.

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!

This election marked a turning point on climate – but what will it mean for Australia?
Labor’s climate plan is designed to limit the political risk of a scare campaign – but there are already calls for it to go beyond its headline commitments

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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