Are we building back better?

The pandemic-era mantra of climate progressive countries sees the health-turned-economic crisis as an opportunity to “build back better” via Covid recovery packages. The shutdowns drove down global GHG emissions in 2020 as unemployed and virtual workers flew and drove less, and manufacturing and service demand slowed. In the US, for example, emissions in the secondContinue reading “Are we building back better?”

China takes notice of Biden’s climate change agenda

President Biden campaigned on a promise to have the United States rejoin the Paris Agreement. On inauguration day, he signed an executive order doing just that, which should become effective on February 20, 2021. United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres welcomed the U.S. back, saying “We look forward to the leadership of United States inContinue reading “China takes notice of Biden’s climate change agenda”

Just transition opportunity in West Virginia

West Virginia coal miners have been the object of political debates about the renewable energy transition needed to address climate change in the US. Candidate Hillary Clinton offered a retraining plan in 2016 that got lost in Donald Trump’s promises to grow these jobs by doing away with the Clean Power Plan. While West VirginiaContinue reading “Just transition opportunity in West Virginia”

Assessing global risks on Earth Day 2020

As the world takes its next steps in the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Economic Forum’s 2020 Global Risks Report provides context. For the first time in the history of the Global Risks Perception Survey, environmental concerns dominate the top long-term risks by likelihood among members of the World Economic Forum’s multistakeholder community; three of theContinue reading “Assessing global risks on Earth Day 2020”

The need for speed on climate change

This new article in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists underscores the need – and potential – for action on short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs). While the 2050 net zero pledges made in NDCs (discussed in this recent post) are important, the three authors argue that … the climate battle could be lost long before 2050;Continue reading “The need for speed on climate change”

Building new business models for the coming renewable energy transition

Can cooperatives become a major player in the renewable energy transition? Non-Profit Energy Cooperatives as the Catalyst of the Movement of People to Renewable Electricity, a webinar hosted by the Environment, Energy and Natural Resources Center at the University of Houston Law School, sets out this ambitious mission: The renewable energy revolution poses a onceContinue reading “Building new business models for the coming renewable energy transition”

SLCPs: A potent link between air pollution and climate change

What are short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs) and how do they affect climate change? Panelists on this webinar from WRI, Enhancing NDCs: Short-lived Climate Pollutants, make the case for why reducing SLCPs can give an immediate boost to lowering the global temperature while also decreasing local air pollution and improving human health. The main SLCPs areContinue reading “SLCPs: A potent link between air pollution and climate change”

NEWSFLASH: COP26 postponed due to COVID-19

While thinking and writing more broadly about the pandemic and its implications for climate change, I pause to share this news just announced by the COP26 presidency. The UK says that COP26 will be delayed until sometime in 2021, still taking place in Glasgow, Scotland and with the pre-COP still being held in Milan, Italy.Continue reading “NEWSFLASH: COP26 postponed due to COVID-19”

The power in, and of, NDCs

The Paris Agreement is built on Nationally Determined Contributions or NDCs. In them, country parties pledge what they will do within their borders to help keep global temperature rise “well below” 2C. Most developed country NDCs are based on economy-wide mitigation targets, like the EU’s 40% reduction in GHG emissions by 2030 from a 1990Continue reading “The power in, and of, NDCs”

Tort law in US climate litigation

Webinars can provide a high impact/low carbon footprint way of learning. The current pandemic makes them all the more useful. I will regularly feature a few that I attend, highlighting organizers who pack the most learning per hour for me. This week the Center for Progressive Reform spotlighted US state tort law’s role in holdingContinue reading “Tort law in US climate litigation”

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