March 24, 2020
The world must focus on battling the coronavirus pandemic and put climate change on the back burner, said UN Secretary-General António Guterres via an unprecedented online press conference he organized last week. Still, Guterres urged countries not to lose sight of the climate crisis.
The stimulus package to battle the economic effects of the coronavirus proposed by House Democrats includes provisions to crack down on pollution from the airline industry, such as requiring airlines to go carbon neutral for domestic flights by 2025.
March 23, 2020
Giant swarms of locusts are spreading across East Africa, the Arabian Peninsula and the Middle East, devouring crops that feed millions of people and threatening the regions with famine. Some scientists say global warming is contributing to proliferation of the destructive insects.
As the U.S. rushes into disaster season, dealing with coast-to-coast storms, wildfires and flooding, federal officials now have an added crisis to worry about: How to stop tightly packed disaster-response shelters from becoming hot spots of coronavirus transmission.
With the Federal Emergency Management Agency now leading the coordination of the federal response to the COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S., and spring flood season just around the corner, some public health experts worry the agency—already short staffed by about 1,400 personnel—is stretched too thin.
A proposed $5.7 billion ethane plant in Ohio could play a major role in the plastic industry's vision of transforming Appalachia into a major petrochemical hub. But the coronavirus pandemic, a crashing economy and cratering oil prices are all casting doubt on the plant's future and the industry's vision.
Daniel Hill helped save his grandparents' home from the deadly 2018 Camp Fire. But the fire burned his parents' home to the ground. Climate change is making the state warmer and drier, leading to larger and more frequent fires and extending the fall fire season.
Coal, the dirtiest and usually the cheapest option for energy, is now the world's most expensive fossil fuel, Bloomberg reports. Oil's epic collapse over the past month means the global crude benchmark is now priced below the most widely traded coal contract on an energy-equivalent basis.
Satellite data shows that, in cities across the U.S., traffic on roads and highways—and subsequently pollution—has fallen dramatically over the past week as the coronavirus outbreak forces people to stay at home and everyday life grinds to a halt.
As warming oceans threaten fish populations, a major global seafood producer that owns the Chicken of the Sea and John West brands is confronting the canned tuna industry over its responsibility to rein in climate change.
March 20, 2020
The federal government announced Thursday that it would buy 30 million barrels of oil from producers dealing with the recent downturn for the industry, as markets continue to reel from the twin threat of coronavirus and a price war led by Saudi Arabia. The move has been met by harsh rebuke from environmentalists and Democrats.
With the coronavirus outbreak limiting social gatherings and consuming the public eye, climate activists worry their movement is losing ground just as it was reaching unprecedented momentum. Many activists are rescheduling rallies and strikes or moving their campaigns online.
U.S. forecasters from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are predicting another flooded spring, but not as bad as last year, when record rainfall inundated much of the Midwest. The most severe flooding this year is expected in parts of North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Thursday approved a controversial natural gas pipeline and marine export terminal project in Oregon, setting the stage for a possible legal battle with the state. Oregon's Democratic governor threatened to take the Jordan Cove project to court if it doesn't obtain all its required state and local permits.
A Pennsylvania pipeline worker is expected to plead guilty to a felony for forging documents that falsely claimed a weld on the Mariner East pipeline was properly X-rayed. The discovery triggered an FBI investigation, casting doubt on other areas of the 20-mile segment the worker was assigned to inspect.
Mass-transit ridership across the country has plummeted in the wake of coronavirus. Now, as the U.S. government considers bailing out the airline and oil industries, the public transit sector is arguing it deserves federal help too—and is resting its case, in part, on its role in fighting climate change.
The 2020 race, in many ways, signaled a major shift in the public perception of global warming, with many top Democratic candidates boasting aggressive climate platforms. But as the nomination looks ever more likely to be the more moderate Joe Biden, some climate-conscious voters say they're struggling to get on board.
Wind and solar energy companies on Thursday called on Congress to pass tax incentives that would help the sector avoid project delays and keep financing flowing amid a pandemic that has choked off supply chains and slowed construction.
March 19, 2020
Greenland lost 600 billion tons of ice last summer due to an exceptionally warm season, according to a new study by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the University of California, Irvine. "We knew this past summer had been particularly warm in Greenland," said the study's lead author. "But the numbers really are enormous."
The Interior Department has received over 230 nominations for oil and gas leases covering more than 150,000 acres across southern Utah, The Washington Post reports. That push would bring drilling as close as a half-mile from some of the nation's most famous protected sites, including Arches and Canyonlands National Parks.
The coronavirus outbreak will likely slow solar projects this year, according to a new forecast. Ohio may be a clean energy laggard, but it's planning to build the state's largest solar array. And this Pennsylvania nuclear power plant is getting a lifeline. It's all in the latest Inside Clean Energy by Dan Gearino.
In low-lying Miami, fear over rising sea levels is prompting landowners to jack up rents, including at a trailer park that serves as Miami's last patch of affordable housing. The new property owner is raising rent for the 800 people living there by almost 50 percent. Now they're fighting in court.
A pair of recent reports say that California must move twice as quickly to attain its ambitious goal of cutting climate pollution by 40 percent from 1990 levels. Yet the state's public utilities commission is considering cutting power-sector emissions by just 25 percent this decade, a much slower pace than the previous decade.
Governments must not let the coronavirus pandemic derail action on climate change, an architect of the landmark Paris Agreement warned on Wednesday, saying the vulnerabilities laid bare by the virus could serve to spur a more concerted response.
To offset the financial devastation brought about by the coronavirus outbreak, China is said to be debating whether to ease restrictions on the amount of harmful particles that vehicles emit from their tailpipes, Bloomberg reports. But the measure will likely come at a cost to efforts to protect the environment.
An employee who works at the Environmental Protection Agency regional office in Helena, Montana, tested "presumed positive" for COVID-19, according to the agency and an internal email obtained by The Hill.
March 18, 2020
A new analysis from a coalition of environmental groups, including BankTrack and the Sierra Club, has found that four U.S. banks are the world's largest fossil fuel financers. Altogether, J.P.Morgan Chase, Citi, Bank of America and Wells Fargo provided more than $200 billion in fossil fuel financing last year, the analysis estimates.
In a setback to the fossil fuel industry, a federal judge on Tuesday ruled that a lawsuit filed by Massachusetts accusing Exxon of misleading public investors on the financial threats of global warming should go back to state court, where it's presumed the suit has a better chance of succeeding.
World governments long ago phased out a class of chemical refrigerants—known as CFCs—that harmed the ozone layer and fueled global warming. But the chemicals remain in use today in appliances and insulation manufactured before the phase-out, and their climate impact is far greater than previously thought, a new study says.
It's increasingly likely that international climate talks scheduled for Glasgow in November will be postponed in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, government officials involved with organizing the UN gathering have told the Financial Times.