November 25, 2015

World Bank Commits $16 Billion for Climate Action in Africa

The World Bank announced this week plans to spend $16 billion on helping Africans combat climate change.

"Any African leader will tell you that they've had very little role putting the carbon in the air," Jim Yong Kim, president of the World Bank, said Tuesday. "But they've suffered most from the impact of climate change."

November 24, 2015

White House: U.S. Govn't Agencies to Dramatically Slash Emissions by 2025

U.S. federal agencies from the Department of Homeland Security to NASA will collectively slash their greenhouse gas emissions to 41.8 percent below 2008 levels by 2025, according to the Obama administration.

"Federal agencies have developed targeted strategies to cut their GHG emissions by reducing energy use in their buildings, making their vehicles more efficient, using clean energy sources like wind and solar, and employing energy savings performance contracts," the White House said on Monday.

Here's Why So Many Americans Are Skeptical About Global Warming

Why do so many Americans not believe in climate change? According to a new study out of Yale University, corporations are likely to blame. After an analysis of corporate funding and messaging, researchers suggest that corporations have used their money to amplify contrarian climate views and helped create an impression of greater scientific uncertainty than actually exists.

November 23, 2015

Alberta's Climate Plan: Ditch Coal by 2030, Grow Renewables, and Introduce Carbon Tax

Alberta premier Rachel Notley unveiled the Canadian province's ambitious climate plan on Sunday, which includes phasing out all coal emissions by 2030, replacing two-thirds of that electricity with renewable energy sources, primarily wind, and introducing an economy-wide carbon tax.

"This is the day we step up, at long last, to one of the world's biggest problems—the pollution that is causing climate change," said Notley "This is the day we stop denying there is an issue."

Over 120 Leaders Expected to Attend U.N. Climate Talks in Paris

More than 120 world leaders have confirmed they will attend the upcoming United Nations climate treaty talks in Paris, a senior U.N. official said Friday.

"They think this is an important event," Janos Pasztor, the U.N. assistant secretary-general for climate change, said at a recent press conference. "So they are putting their travel plans where their mouth is and they will be there to support the climate negotiations."

Will the U.N. Climate Talks Start a Day Early?

The U.N. climate treaty talks could start on Sunday, Nov. 29, a day earlier than planned.

To ensure enough time for negotiation and group coordination, a notice was recently published on the U.N. climate body website encouraging the participating members "to use the remaining time prior to the openign of the session to reach out to your negotiating partners to develop concrete textual proposals for outcomes that address the full range of expectations and needs and create the foundation of an outcome acceptable to all."

More Than 2,000 Academics Voice Their Support for Strict Climate Action

More than 2,000 academics from over 80 countries are calling on world leaders to limit global warming to rise of 1.5 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels at the upcoming climate talks in Paris.

November 20, 2015

House Science Committee Chair Threatens New Subpoena Over Climate Study

The House Science Committee expanded its attacks on federal climate researchers this week when Chairman Lamar Smith, a Texas Republican, questioned the scientific integrity of a groundbreaking study released this summer denouncing the global warming pause phenomenon.

Smith had previously issued a subpoena to NOAA researchers for internal communications relating to this study. More recently, he asked Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker to further pressure NOAA to comply with the subpoena.

"Real Split" in Congress Over Climate Action

The U.N. global climate treaty talks are less two weeks away and the U.S. Congress is still divided about whether to support climate action, with Democrats largely in support of action and Republicans mostly opposed.

"We are real split in the Congress,” said Rep. Anna Eshoo, a Democrat from California. "Well, let's put it this way, they're [Republicans] looking in the rearview mirror and think they see the future."

The U.N.'s Forgotten Climate Change Goal

Small island states, among other nations critically threatened by climate change, will be pushing for the bold climate goal of limiting warming to less than 1.5 degrees Celsius at the upcoming climate talks in Paris. This stands in contrast to the broader goal to be supported by most other nation delegates: 2 degrees Celsius.

"We definitely think that staying below 2 degrees is still very possible,' said Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change. "Getting down to the range of 1.5 should not be taken off the table either."

Officials Predict Especially Bad Wild Fire Season in Australia

Australia could experience an intense fire season this year, officials say, a result of soaring temperatures and dry conditions.

"Climate change is loading the dice when it comes to fire risk in Australia," Lesley Hughes, a professor and researcher at the Climate Council, said to the New York Times. "El Niño adds another level of complexity."

November 19, 2015

Kiribati President to Australia: Ban New Coal Mines

The Australian government should put in place a moratorium on new coal mines ahead of the global climate treaty talks in Paris, Anote Tong, president of the Pacific Island nation of Kiribati, said on Thursday.

"It's a sensible step that makes not just environmental sense, but complete economic sense," Tong said.

November 18, 2015

NOAA: October 2015 Was Hottest on Record

This past October was the hottest on record across the globe, according to recently available data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, making it the sixth month in a row this year to set global monthly temperature records.

Britain to Shutdown All Coal Plants by 2025

All British coal-fired power plants will be closed by 2025, according to a new British government mandate announced on Wednesday.

"It cannot be satisfactory for an advanced economy like the U.K. to be relying on polluting, carbon-intensive 50-year-old coal-fired power stations," Amber Rudd, the U.K. minister for energy and climate change, said in a statement.

Britain's Energy Swap: Coal Is Out, Nat Gas and Nuclear Are In

Less than two weeks before the global climate treaty talks in Paris, the United Kingdom has announced it will phase out all coal-fired power plants by 2025 in a move to bring down greenhouse emissions. But government officials have said the replacement energy will largely come from new gas and nuclear plants rather than greener alternatives, including wind and solar.

November 17, 2015

EPA Head McCarthy: Americans Won't "Tolerate" Republican, Industry Attacks on Climate Action

The American public would not tolerate Republican and industry efforts to block climate action, said the Environmental Protection Agency head Gina McCarthy to the Guardian in a recent interview.

"The world is just changing," McCarthy said. "People frankly I don't think will tolerate a return to business as usual and climate denial and thinking that power plants that are 60 to 80 years old are actually the future we want to build for our country."

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