January 14, 2020
Under the Trump administration, the people appointed to oversee the few federal agencies with vast power over the protection of American air and water have overwhelmingly come from the fossil fuel, chemical and agriculture industries, The New York Times reports, raising questions over whether those officials are looking out for the public's best interests.
Most Chinese, Europeans and U.S. citizens plan to fly less for the holidays this year to limit aircraft carbon dioxide emissions and help prevent catastrophic climate change, a survey by the European Investment Bank showed on Tuesday.
Germany launched a $95-billion plan to modernize and expand its creaky railway system as part of a broader plan to reduce the country's carbon emissions and slow global warming. The 10-year plan's cost will be shared between the federal government and the state-owned railway.
The European Commission on Tuesday unveiled a plan to invest about $1.1 trillion dollars over 10 years to help shift the economic bloc to zero carbon emissions by 2050 and move toward the ultimate goal of averting climate disaster.
January 13, 2020
In 178 pages of emails obtained by NRDC, U.S. Justice Department attorneys describe working with oil industry lawyers as a "team" in efforts by both to oppose San Francisco and Oakland's lawsuits over climate change. It's raising questions about whether government was representing the people.
Public support for Prime Minister Scott Morrison has slumped to its lowest levels—standing at 37 percent—amid widespread anger over his government's handling of Australia's bushfire crisis, according to a survey released by Newspoll on Monday.
Experts are warning that President Trump's proposed overhaul of the National Environmental Policy Act is likely to hit minority communities and those with high poverty rates the hardest, neighborhoods that already tend to bear the brunt of pollution from industries.
A group of U.S. environmental activists engaged in non-violent civil disobedience targeting the oil industry have been listed in internal Department of Homeland Security documents as "extremists." Some of its members are listed alongside white nationalists and mass killers, The Guardian reports.
U.S. coal-fired power plants shut down at the second-fastest pace on record in 2019, despite President Donald Trump's efforts to prop up the industry, according to data from the federal government and Thomson Reuters.
As Kinder Morgan gears up for more pipeline construction in Texas Hill Country, communities across Texas—expressing concerns over safety, environmental destruction and landowners' rights—are staging battles to oppose the route.
After the devastation of Hurricane Maria, the federal government set aside nearly $2 billion to fix the electrical transmission lines in Puerto Rico, hoping to avert another epic blackout. But when the next disaster arrived this week—the strongest earthquake in a century—the island was once again plunged into darkness.
January 10, 2020
The bushfire crisis gripping Australia is piling political pressure on its government to take bolder action on climate change, as thousands of protesters across nine cities urged lawmakers to make a hastier retreat from fossil fuels to help slow the effects of climate change.
President Donald Trump on Thursday proposed sharply limiting environmental reviews of pipelines and other major federally permitted infrastructure projects, a move that would sweep away a hurdle slowing his agenda for unfettered fossil fuel development. The new guidance would curb federal agencies from considering climate impacts.
BlackRock, Inc., the world's largest fund manager, joined a group of more than 370 investors that are pressing the world's biggest emitters of greenhouse gases to invest in ways that help mitigate global warming. Together, they manage more than $41 trillion in assets.
Tri-State Generation & Transmission said Thursday it will shutter its coal generation and mining operations in New Mexico and Colorado by 2030, and believes it can maintain stable rates by replacing the power with cheaper renewable assets. But some members of the regional utility who want lower rates and the ability to develop local renewable power might not be satisfied.
In a letter to the House on Thursday, Reps. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) and Francis Rooney (R-Fla.) voiced their "strong opposition" to President Trump's proposed changes to the National Environmental Policy Act, a bedrock environmental law that charges the federal government with protecting the environment.
The number of passengers that flew through Swedish airports dropped 4 percent in 2019, with the drop led by a decline in domestic traffic. The Swedish-born movement of "flight shaming", which calls for curbs to air travel due to its environmental impact, has gained prominence over the past year.
Late last year, the normally murky brown Mekong River turned a brilliant blue. Last week, unusually large patches of green algae appeared, clogging nets and hindering fishing. Both events have heightened worries about the health of the river that more than 60 million people in Southeast Asia depend on.
In the Marshall Islands capital Majuro, everyone has heard of Arkansas, and virtually everyone knows someone who lives there. As climate change has intensified over the past decade, the number of people moving to the state has increased. Adoption is part of the story.
January 9, 2020
When President Donald Trump entered the White House in 2017, his intention was clear that he planned to open up public lands to oil and gas drilling, particularly along three fronts in the Alaskan Arctic. Once land is leased, it's a complicated process to undo. That's why environmental groups want to stop lease sales in sensitive areas before it's too late.
House Democrats outlined their vision for sweeping climate legislation Wednesday, offering a first look at a bill that would push the U.S. to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, including a requirement that utilities work toward 100 percent carbon-free electricity and the transportation sector reaches zero-emissions by that date.
The United States experienced another year of extreme weather in 2019. With the Midwest flooding and extreme rainfall in Texas from Tropical Storm Imelda, it was an above-average year for weather- and climate-related damage, according to NOAA's annual U.S. climate assessment.
The number of fires in the Amazon rainforest—considered a key carbon sink in the fight against climate change—grew 30.5 percent in 2019 from the previous year, according to data released by space research agency INPE on Wednesday.
Scientists have now found a historical link between sea ice in the Arctic and the presence or absence of permafrost. They say the expected disappearance of Arctic summer ice will speed up the loss of this permanently frozen ground, releasing both carbon and planet-warming methane emissions.
The Sunrise Movement, the collection of young climate activists who have roiled Capitol Hill and the Democratic presidential primary, announced on Thursday that it is endorsing Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont.
Democratic Republic of Congo is one of several central African countries to be hit by severe flooding in recent months, which researchers have attributed to increasingly intense and unpredictable weather linked to global warming.
January 8, 2020
As extreme wildfires burn across large swaths of Australia, scientists say we're witnessing how global warming can push forest ecosystems past a point of no return. Some of those forests won't recover in today's warmer climate.
Bot and troll accounts are involved in a "disinformation campaign" exaggerating the role of arson in Australia's bushfire disaster, The Guardian reports. The false claims are, in some cases, attempts to undermine the link between longer, more intense fire seasons and climate change.
European scientists on Wednesday confirmed that 2019 was the second hottest year on record, behind 2016. Read more in ICN on how 2019 punctuated a decade of extreme weather and natural disasters fueled by climate change.
A record-breaking drop in coal use pushed down U.S. greenhouse gas emissions last year, new data released Tuesday show. But it's not all good news, and the drop still falls far short of the Paris climate agreement goals.