The first day of President Joe Biden’s global climate summit resulted in tangibly stronger emissions cut commitments from countries like Canada and Japan, while several others, including Russia and Brazil, were more vague about their intentions; while Chinese President Xi Jinping did not make a stronger emissions commitment (his current pledge involves reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2060), he did say the country would “strictly limit coal consumption” in the next five years and phase it down in the following five years (The New York Times). Biden made his own commitment to halve U.S. emissions by 2030, as well as to double climate aid to developing nations, who were evidently expecting money from the Global North in exchange for accelerating their own emissions cuts. (Bloomberg)
The Transportation Department has retracted part of a Trump administration rule that had prevented states from setting their own vehicle pollution policies, effectively restoring California’s ability to set fuel efficiency and car emissions standards, as well as set certain electric vehicle sales requirements. The Biden administration also reportedly intends to return an Obama-era legal waiver under the 1970 Clean Air Act to the state that would allow it to set these stricter rules. (Los Angeles Times)
The United States, Norway and the United Kingdom have tapped private investors in a collective plan to cut greenhouse gases by giving monetary rewards to countries that stop the destruction of tropical forests. A group of nine major companies would work with the three countries to invest at least $1 billion in the forest protection plan, with one environmental advocate saying that preserving existing forests could eliminate more than 25 percent of greenhouse gas emissions globally. (The Washington Post)
Biden has announced several picks to lead various environmental departments, including scientist Rick Spinrad to lead the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, an agency where Spinrad worked during the Obama administration. And, as anticipated, National Wildlife Federation senior adviser Tracy Stone-Manning has been tapped to lead the Bureau of Land Management. (The Hill)
Andrew Duehren and Siobhan Hughes, The Wall Street Journal
A group of Senate Republicans released the outline for a $568 billion infrastructure plan, putting out a GOP alternative to President Biden’s $2.3 trillion plan as lawmakers seek a bipartisan compromise on the issue.
The White House climate summit made history as the first digital gathering of 40 world leaders, according to Douglas Brinkley, a presidential historian, but demonstrated that even the world’s most powerful people are not immune from the Zoom-induced glitches that have plagued remote workers throughout the pandemic.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pledged that Canada will reduce its emissions by 40% to 45% below 2005 levels by 2030, an acceleration of his climate policy meant to improve the country’s worst-performer status among leading economies and match newly aggressive targets set by the U.S. and other allies.
Hitting the targets could require a rapid shift to electric vehicles, the expansion of forests nationwide, development of complex new carbon-capture technology and many other changes, researchers said.
The Green New Deal was reintroduced this week, two years after its debut. And now it’s more than simply a framework: Like President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal, the sprawling package of measures aims to get the country back on track.
New York City sued three major oil companies for allegedly running deceptive ads claiming their products are “cleaner” and “emissions-reducing” while failing to disclose their harmful effects on the climate.
NextEra Energy sees hydrogen as a key component for deep decarbonization of the U.S. power sector, and is taking on a number of small projects in that space, the utility’s Chief Financial Officer, Rebecca Kujawa, said Wednesday during the company’s Q1 earnings call.
Robert D. Atkinson (President, Information Technology and Innovation Foundation), Morning Consult
The Biden administration recently announced a $2 trillion infrastructure plan with climate solutions at the center. Yet some argue that solving climate change requires more than a big budget, and conventional Washington wisdom holds that America cannot solve climate without the help of China. This is not only wrong; it’s dangerous.
Last month, emboldened by a new climate-conscious U.S. president, North Atlantic Treaty Organization Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced his intention to make climate change a centerpiece of the military alliance’s strategic planning.
In 2017, I was the only Black person in my graduating class to receive an environmental science degree. At times, I felt the pressure to silence parts of my racial identity. Because of the lack of representation in my studies and even in my textbooks (despite the many voices of color who shaped the environmental movement), I felt afraid to disrupt the status quo and advocate for issues of race within my environmental journey.
Against the backdrop of an unprecedented shift toward online workforce participation across the globe, NETSCOUT’s ATLAS Security Engineering & Response Team (ASERT) observed a huge upsurge in distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, brute-forcing of access credentials, and malware targeting of internet-connected devices.