July 1, 2019

WTO's New Headache for the Green New Deal

The World Trade Organization has ruled against seven U.S. states' renewable energy policies, as states attempt to take action in the absence of federal regulation. Biodiesel incentives in Montana, clean energy in Michigan and other plans from California to Delaware were targeted in a complaint by India.

June 27, 2019

Wehrum Resigns from EPA, Leaving Climate Rule Rollbacks in His Wake

William Wehrum, the fossil fuel industry attorney who came to the Trump administration and developed a highly tactical retreat from federal action on climate change, announced his resignation on Wednesday as an assistant administrator of the EPA. His abrupt departure comes as a congressional committee investigates his contacts with former clients.

California, Canada Sign Memorandum to Advance Cleaner Vehicles and Fuels

Canada and California announced an agreement to advance cleaner vehicle standards, saying they will work together "to accelerate the adoption of zero-emission vehicles like electric cars." The move comes as the Trump administration has proposed barring California from regulating vehicle emissions or requiring an increasing number of zero-emission vehicles.

New York City Declares a Climate Emergency

New York City just became the largest U.S. city to declare a climate emergency. The City Council voted Wednesday to approve the resolution, adding to a growing list of legislation aimed at cutting emissions there. The declaration is largely symbolic and doesn't require the mayor's signature. 

June 26, 2019

Algae Blooms Fed by Farm Flooding Add to Midwest's Climate Woes

The historic rains that flooded millions of acres of Midwestern cropland this spring delivered bad news for the climate, flushing fertilizer and manure into waterways, triggering a potentially unprecedented season of algae blooms. A "dead zone" in the Gulf of Mexico—a massive overgrowth of algae—could become the size of Massachusetts this summer.

Ahead of G20, Investors with $34 Trillion Call for Urgent Climate Action

In an open letter to the "governments of the world," a group of investors managing more than $34 trillion in assets — a large chunk of the world's invested capital — stressed "the urgency of decisive action" on climate change to achieve the Paris Agreement target. The move adds pressure as the G-20 leaders meet this week in Japan. 

EPA’s Top Air Policy Official Resigns

Bill Wehrum, the EPA's head of air policy, is stepping down amid conversy over potential ethics violations. He faced an investigation into the Utility Air Regulatory Group, an organization of power companies with coal fired plants in their fleets who sought to loosen emissions rules that Wehrum had previously represented.

Oregon Republicans Remain in ‘Undisclosed Locations’ As Senate Leader Suggests Climate Bill Won’t Pass

Oregon Republican lawmakers who fled the state to avoid voting on a cap-and-trade climate bill remain in "undisclosed locations," and attended a press conference by telephone on Tuesday, still refusing to return to the state before the state legislature's session ends on Sunday. The bill in question would have put Oregon in league with California as a state aggressively addressing climate change. 

'Climate Apartheid' to Push 120 Million Into Poverty by 2030, UN Says

More than 120 million people could be pushed into poverty within the next decade because of climate change, according to a new United Nations report. It warns that, as extreme weather events such as droughts, floods and hurricanes become more frequent, the world's poorest people will be forced to "choose between starvation and migration."

European Heat Wave? It’s the New Normal.

Temperatures in Europe are rising and could climb above 104 degrees Fahrenheit across large stretches of the continent, meteorologists say, prompting some countries to issue warnings and postpone exams in schools. As the climate changes because of greenhouse gas emissions, heat waves around the world are occurring more often, are hotter and longer-lasting. 

June 25, 2019

Climate Change Is a 'Health Emergency,' U.S. Medical Groups Warn Candidates

The nation's leading medical organizations are urging political candidates "to recognize climate change as a health emergency." As the campaign season enters full swing—and with an intense heat wave settling in across Europe—the groups cited health concerns arising from storm emergencies to the spread of diseases carried by insects, and especially heat-related illnesses. 

At G20, Playing Down Commitment to Climate Change Action

Japan has watered down commitments to addressing climate change in its draft G20 missive, omitting the phrases "global warming" and "decarbonization" and downplaying the Paris climate agreement from the past. Analysts say it's a sign of efforts to placate the U.S., as the two countries are negotiating a potential trade deal, in which agriculture and auto parts have been sticking points. 

June 24, 2019

Agriculture Dept. Buries Studies Showing Dangers of Climate Change

The Trump administration has refused to publicize dozens of government-funded studies that warn about the effects of climate change. The studies include a discovery that rice loses vitamins in a carbon-rich environment, findings that climate change can exacerbate allergies and warnings for farmers about the reduction in quality of grasses that feed livestock.

General Electric to Scrap Gas Power Plant 20 Years Early

General Electric says it plans to demolish a large natural-gas-fired power plant it owns in California after only one-third of its useful life because the plant is no longer economically viable in a state where wind and solar supply a growing share of inexpensive electricity.

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