September 5, 2019
Joe Balash, a former official with the U.S. Department of the Interior has taken a top position at an oil company that operates in Alaska's Arctic, The Washington Post reports. Before resigning from the Trump administration, Balash actively worked to expand drilling in the region.
A catastrophe modeling company is estimating the total insured and uninsured losses in the Bahamas from Hurricane Dorian to reach $7 billion. The estimate includes building and business interruptions but excludes infrastructure and auto losses.
Some of the first financial relief the Bahamas receives in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian could be in the form of a rapid insurance payout from a 12-year-old regional program. The program, which aims to provide immediate assistance to disaster-stricken areas, has paid almost $140 million to Caribbean-area nations since 2007.
The head of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde, is pledging to make the European Central Bank more conscious of the environment if she is confirmed as its new president. Read more from ICN on how some major financial sector players are beginning to take climate threats more seriously.
A study released Thursday found that people whose homes are damaged by disasters are 50 percent more likely to suffer from depression and anxiety. Previous research points global warming causing more frequent flooding and heavy rainfall.
September 4, 2019
The 2020 Democratic candidates' town hall on climate policy is tonight on CNN. Catch up on what the candidates have been saying about climate change and their latest climate policy proposals in our candidate profiles. Several candidates released detailed new climate plans this week.
Rescuers searched for survivors in the Bahamas on Wednesday after Hurricane Dorian, the most damaging storm on record to strike the island nation, left in its wake miles of flooded landscape dotted with pulverized homes, and dozens of people with missing loved ones.
While China's industrial heartland worries about pollution crackdowns that have been forcing factories to close, climate campaigners worry that the country's economic slowdown is creating a renewed incentive for bureaucrats to look the other way on the environment.
Asia's heavy and expanding reliance on coal power risks cancelling out global progress towards preventing catastrophic climate change, Reuters reports. A top United Nations official said Asian countries must set more ambitious goals to curb global emissions.
Big insurance losses from hurricanes, wildfires and other natural disasters over the past two years are set to push reinsurance renewal rates as much as 5 percent higher, ratings agencies said. Insurers are increasingly concerned about the impact of bad weather linked to climate change, with an increase in wildfires in California among the most costly in recent years.
The Environmental Protection Agency refused to correct a recent blog post that environmentalists say gives inaccurate information regarding pesticides considered harmful to bees, The Hill reports. The agency said it wouldn't change the post because it isn't considered public information, prompting one group to file a complaint under the Information Quality Act.
September 3, 2019
Hurricane Dorian's slow, destructive track through the Bahamas fits a pattern scientists have been seeing over recent decades, and one they expect to continue as the planet warms: hurricanes stalling over coastal areas and bringing extreme rainfall.
Hurricanes and other storms making landfall might exacerbate the nation's shortage of affordable housing. A new report by Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing Studies said finding funding to remediate the damage to homes from storms and fortify current homes is an urgent challenge.
Florida towns are starting to develop plans to respond to the threat of rising seas, and finding that the defenses necessary are incredibly expensive.
Lawyers suing some of the world's largest oil and natural gas companies over climate change are closely following a ruling that held a drugmaker culpable for fueling Oklahoma's opioid epidemic. Both are founded on the same legal theory: that the companies' products are creating a crisis for which they are financially responsible.
Bankruptcies among U.S. oil and gas companies are rising as Wall Street continues disinvesting from the industry, the Wall Street Journal reports. Twenty-six oil-and-gas producers have filed for bankruptcy so far this year. That number is expected to rise as companies face mounting debt maturities.
The politics of climate change are changing fast, partly because heat waves, fires, floods and increasingly brutal storms keep focusing attention on the consequences, and partly because the Green New Deal has thrust it into the national conversation. It's exposing tensions inside the Democratic Party.
U.S. presidential hopeful, Sen. Cory Booker unveiled a $3 trillion plan to address climate change today, vowing to reach a 100 percent clean energy economy by 2045 by sharply curbing fossil fuels while investing heavily in renewable energy sources.
Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar announced what she would do to tackle the climate crisis if elected president in 2020, promising to "take aggressive executive action to confront" the issue. It includes a path to 100 percent net zero emissions by 2050.
August 30, 2019
The governor has a draft climate and clean energy plan with big goals for reducing emissions, but he's facing a Republican-controlled legislature that's likely to be an obstacle to big changes. Here's how the administration is finding work-arounds and short-term wins.
The Trump administration released a new plan to eliminate federal requirements that oil and gas companies control leaks of the potent greenhouse gas methane from new wells, storage facilities and pipelines. This time, it also proposed a narrower interpretation of its legal authority to regulate air pollution from the industry.
Australia has downgraded the outlook for the Great Barrier Reef to "very poor" for the first time, highlighting a fierce battle between environmental campaigners and the government over the country's approach to climate change.
Not a single coal company formed in Kentucky within the past five years has posted a bond required by state law to protect miners' wages if the company suddenly shuts down, the Lexington Herald-Leader reports. That includes Blackjewel, which filed for bankruptcy and closed its mines without paying employees for three weeks of work.
In West Virginia, residents are performing pipeline inspections to counter what they call a gap in enforcement for oil and gas pipeline construction, WVPB reports. The volunteers, including local scientists, submit the evidence they collect to the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection.
Scientists worry that climate change, as well as fires and other man-made forces, could be on the verge of triggering a significant shift in the Amazon's weather system—a nightmare scenario of self-perpetuating deforestation known as dieback.
Forest fires, drought and insect infestations have left Germany's forests in critical condition, agriculture minister Julia Kloeckner said this week in preparation for the country's upcoming summit on preventing "forest die-off." Forest owners want 2.3 billion euros in aid to tackle the crisis.
The number of abandoned oil and gas wells in North Dakota has grown 10 percent over the past two years to more than 700 amid low oil prices, the Bismarck Tribune reports. State regulators are considering new rules.
China—the world's biggest producer of greenhouse gas emissions—is at risk of missing its emission reduction pledge as a result of the U.S.-China trade war, Reuters reports.
August 29, 2019
Europe's flood patterns are changing, new research has found, as global warming increases how much moisture the atmosphere can hold. The study maps out which regions have seen increases in the magnitude of destructive river flooding, and why.
Hurricane Dorian hit Florida's coast early Thursday, prompting Gov. Ron DeSantis to declare a state of emergency the day before. The storm left the Caribbean without doing any major damage, but warm Atlantic waters could help strengthen the storm to a dangerous category 3 wind levels.