June 26, 2019

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.

Canada's Military Feeling the Strain Responding to Climate Change

Canada's top military commander says he needs more soldiers and training to deal with an increasing number of climate-related events such as floods and fires. From only one climate disaster in 2016, a wildfire, the number of climate disasters resulting in military deployment jumped to six in each of the following two years. 

June 21, 2019

Seawalls to Protect U.S. Against Rising Oceans Could Cost $416 Billion by 2040

Building seawalls to protect against rising seas could cost communities in the United States $416 billion over the next 20 years, according to a new report from the Center for Climate Integrity. "I don't think anybody's thought about the magnitude of this one small portion of overall adaptation costs and it's a huge number," said Richard Wiles, executive director of the center.

Rhode Island Regulators Reject New Fossil Fuel Power Plant

Rhode Island regulators on Thursday rejected approval of a proposal to build a $1 billion fossil-fuel burning power plant that would be among New England's largest. Opponents of the project described it as "reckless" at a time of global warming and said the decision, which the board said was based on a lack of need for the plant, vindicates their arguments.

Fire Sets Off Series of Explosions at Philadelphia Refinery

Early this morning at the Philadelphia Energy Solutions Refining Complex, a fire broke out in a vat of butane, turning the sky bright orange and yellow and awakening startled residents with explosions that shook homes. The 150-year-old refinery complex is the largest on the Eastern Seaboard, producing 335,000 barrels of crude oil daily.

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