January 21, 2020
The Trump administration is about to distribute billions of dollars to coastal states, mainly in the South, to help steel them against natural disasters worsened by climate change. But to qualify, states must first explain why they need the money, triggering linguistic acrobats among lawmakers, as some conservative states work to avoid terms like "climate change" and "global warming," The New York Times reports.
In a blow to states' efforts to reduce rising tailpipe emissions, the Washington Supreme Court on Friday ruled that the state's Clean Air Act can't be applied to companies that sell or distribute petroleum or natural gas, because they don't directly emit greenhouse gases.
Scientists have been documenting ice loss in cold states like Minnesota for years. Now a new study looks at how that melting could affect how people live there. "As we experience less reliable ice conditions, we're probably going to see a loss to the cultural, social and economic benefits of ice-related winter activities," an author of the study said.
January 17, 2020
Four coastal Louisiana tribes that claim the federal government has violated their human rights by failing to take action on climate change submitted a formal complaint Wednesday to the United Nations. The complaint says sea level rise and erosion threatens burial sites and food supplies.
Microsoft announced today that it's investing $1 billion in nascent carbon capture technology with the goal of becoming carbon negative by 2030 and, ultimately, removing its entire historical carbon footprint by 2050. Currently, it would take an estimated $9.6 billion just to capture the tech giant's emissions from last year alone.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, announced on Wednesday that the state intends to buy 20,000 acres of the Everglades to prevent oil drilling in the area. If the sale goes through, it'll be the largest state land acquisition in a decade.
Presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg called for the creation of new government "Fire Protection Corps" and to double the amount of money the government spends on preventing and combating wildfires to $10 billion a year as part of a plan unveiled Thursday to address climate change.
California hit its 2020 emissions targets a few years early, but it's falling short of where it needs to be to hit its more ambitious 2030 targets, a new report says. Whether or not the state succeeds has big impacts across the rest of the nation and other countries, which often copy California's environmental laws.
Germany struck a deal on Thursday to compensate the country's coal industry as it aims to phase the fossil fuel out of its energy mix by 2038. But a cocktail of rising renewables, halted investments and soaring carbon emission costs will probably hasten the exit, Bloomberg reports.
The tropical Maldives may lose entire islands unless it can quickly access cheap financing to fight the impact of climate change, its foreign minister said. The island nation located in South Asia, known for its white sands and luxury tourism, has struggled to find money to build critical infrastructure like sea-walls.
January 16, 2020
A new study unravels the mystery of what caused an estimated 1 million normally resilient seabirds to starve amid an ocean heat wave fueled in part by global warming.
With the Iowa Caucuses days away and Sunrise Movement endorsing Sen. Sanders, the presidential candidates scrambled at Tuesday's Democratic debate to talk about climate change, eager to show their commitment to taking action. But the climate offensive is also raising questions.
Germany is set to become the first country to drop both nuclear and coal power under a $45 billion agreement struck on Thursday with the coal industry as the country switches off brown coal-fired plants by 2038.
As many as 45 million people in southern Africa are "gravely food insecure" as a result of repeated drought and floods brought on by climate change, according to the United Nations.
Some of the biggest companies in the world—including Samsung, L'Oreal and Decathlon—are unwittingly funding climate misinformation by advertising on YouTube, according to the activist group Avaaz.
New investments in renewable energy, led by wind and solar, surged to a record $55.5 billion last year, according to research by BloombergNEF. That information comes despite a lack of support from federal lawmakers to continue clean energy tax credits.
January 15, 2020
Over the past year, a growing number of companies and investors have been focusing on the physical risks of climate change, which include not just wildfires but also changing weather patterns, storms and increased flood risks.
Ahead of an annual meeting of the world's business elite in Switzerland, political and financial leaders are sounding the alarm on climate change. For the first time, climate-related issues dominated the top-five most urgent risks facing the globe, the World Economic Forum's annual risk report found.
Severe storms are expected to bring some relief in the coming days from huge bushfires scorching Australia but the heavy downpours could also carry the risk of landslides and water pollution, officials said on Wednesday.
Environmental groups sued the Trump administration Tuesday over its fracking plans in California, arguing that a federal analysis it adopted didn't adequately review "serious environmental and health impacts," and accusing the BLM of opening public lands to oil and gas development in violation of NEPA.
Environmentalists as well as Oregon's two Democratic senators voiced concern Tuesday over the Trump administration's plans to ease restrictions on transporting natural gas by rail, including increasing the amount of the highly flammable substance that can be moved by rail.
Experts say the cost-benefit analysis used by the Interior Department to justify its plan to relocate the Bureau of Land Management outside of Washington is incomplete and does little to back the agency's reasoning that the move will save taxpayers millions.
The Trump administration on Wednesday will announce the authorization of a roughly 3,000-acre solar farm near Palm Springs, California, after developers scaled back its size to help avoid threatened desert tortoises and cultural artifacts. The plant is set to begin operation in 2022.
Billionaire presidential candidate Tom Steyer boasted that he divested from fossil fuels during his time as a hedge fund manager when faced with questions during Tuesday's debate on his environmental record. But Steyer's investments would fund coal mining and other fossil fuel ventures even after he decided to divest, The Hill reports.
Researchers are trying to better predict and mitigate the danger of a lesser-known threat lurking in alpine areas as the planet warms: glacial lake outburst floods. These events happen rapidly, releasing huge amounts of water with little or no warning. Unsuspecting communities lying in the flood path can suffer serious losses.
January 14, 2020
A new United Nations proposal calls for national parks, marine sanctuaries and other protected areas to cover nearly one-third or more of the planet by 2030 as part of an effort to stop a sixth mass extinction and slow global warming. Some ecologists say that plan doesn't go far enough.
The oceans have taken in 228 sextillion joules of heat in the past 25 years, according to a new study. That's roughly equivalent to 3.6 billion Hiroshima-sized atom bombs exploding, the study's lead author said. That heat is having devastating effects on marine life and intensifying extreme weather.
In a move that could reshape American business as we know it, Laurence D. Fink, the founder and CEO of the world's largest asset manager BlackRock, announced Tuesday that his firm would take an unprecedented step in making investment decisions with environmental sustainability as a core goal.
Tonight marks the seventh and final Democratic debate before the Iowa Caucuses, with only six candidates taking the stage. Brush up on where the remaining candidates stand on climate change with ICN's candidate profiles.
Climate change could harm people in previously unforeseen ways, a new study found. Injuries like drownings, falls, and assaults could kill up to an additional 2,135 people each year in the U.S. as climate change continues to cause unusual temperature swings, a new study published today says.