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Why This Matters: Over the past four years, the U.S. has suffered major setbacks due to the Trump administration’s blatant attacks on climate action and environmental protection. The nation’s coral reefs are in dire straits, 50% of the U.S. is facing a “mega-drought,” and the country is staring down the barrel of what may be the worst hurricane and wildfire seasons in history. Experts say that especially because the U.S. lost time to act under Trump, it must make ambitious investments now to recover from the pandemic and ensure a clean energy future.
Dear Mr. President…
“A bold 2030 target is needed to catalyze a zero-emissions future, spur a robust economic recovery, create millions of well-paying jobs and allow the U.S. to ‘build back better’ from the pandemic,″ the coalition of businesses said in a letter to President Biden. “New investment in clean energy, energy efficiency, and clean transportation can build a strong, more equitable, and more inclusive American economy.″
Axios’s Andrew Freedman points out that a strong, united, public stance from the nation’s largest businesses is unique. It’s not just consumer organizations joining the fray; companies with major energy holdings like General Electric, Exelon, PG&E, and Edison International also signed the letter.
Experts point out that this mass corporate appeal to President Biden is a symptom of the fracturing relationship between the private sector and the Republican party. Following the climate denialism that dominated the Texas freeze dialogue, outright rejection of the election results, and finally Georgia’s controversial voter suppression law, companies have seemingly had enough. “The human and economic losses of the past 12 months alone are profound,″ they wrote. “Tragically, these devastating climate impacts also disproportionately hit marginalized and low-income communities who are least able to withstand them. We must act now to slow and turn the tide.″
…Put Your Foot Down
Several environmental organizations and companies have fielded their own plans and studies to help the administration meet these ambitious goals.
The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) is also urging the administration to pursue a 40% cut in methane emissions by 2030.
Energy Innovation found that a 50% cut was feasible with rapid scaling of green energy infrastructure and electric vehicle adoption.
The administration has numerous options to achieve its net-zero goals, but the best way to move forward, environmentalists and businesses say, is to get ahead. All eyes are on the administration heading into the Earth Day summit, which is expected to garner momentum for the Glasgow summit in November.
After a four-year hiatus under the Trump administration, the Environmental Protection Agency’s Climate Change Indicators website is back in action. The public portal includes data on 54 indicators including sea-level rise, Great Lakes ice cover, heat waves, river flooding, and residential energy use.
Why This Matters: People are experiencing the impacts of climate change in their everyday lives, from hotter temperatures to more intense wildfire seasons.
When reading about climate change, you’ll often come across the unit of measurement called a “metric ton of CO2.” That sounds like a lot, but the unit is a bit abstract for most of us when our reference point for a ton is a VW Beetle, the Liberty Bell, or even a baby humpback whale […]
According to a new report from Christian Aid, Kenya, which produces half of all black tea consumed by the UK, may lose a quarter of its growing capacity by 2050, and the tea that makes it into drinkers’ cups may taste a lot different than before. The decline of tea farming has implications for economies worldwide, including Kenya, India, China, and Sri Lanka.
Why This Matters: Tea is the most popular drink other than water globally and the tea industry employs more than 3 million people in Africa alone.
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