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The European Union announced an $825 billion recovery package for the coronavirus pandemic and it includes big plans to address climate change as intrinsic to its economic recovery. The European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen lived up to her promises to deliver a package that would help Europe toward making its 2050 carbon neutrality goal. The Chinese are taking a different tack but it leads to a similar result — the Chinese government last week did not set post-pandemic economic growth targets for this year, which reduces the risk of short-term increases in greenhouse gas emissions resulting from a rapid ramping up of industry there.
Why This Matters: Only when we shut down the economies of the developed world due to the life or death threat of the pandemic did we see global greenhouse gas emissions reductions necessary for the foreseeable future. The EU is taking a responsible approach. The U.S. so far is not. And despite its dampened economic ambitions, China is not stepping up to its climate commitments either. What the EU is doing is great, but not enough to lead the world. The next global climate meeting has been delayed a year. New U.S. leadership there is more important than ever.
According to The New York Times, China’s recovery plans are not particularly green — though it remains unclear exactly how the $800B stimulus package will be spent. However, it is clear that China is going ahead with building new coal power plants and relaxing environmental reviews of government projects. One climate activist in China explained to The Times that “horse trading” is occurring “among Chinese officials.” There is concern that when it comes to China, the way ahead on climate will be very challenging and that the “Covid-19 should be interpreted as a very negative factor for international climate cooperation.”
There’s been ample research to show that the Arctic is warming much faster than any other region on the planet. However, there’s been little media focus on what’s happening on the opposite side of the planet, until now. A new study published in the journal Nature Climate Change on Monday has revealed that the South […]
An alarming new analysis from the First Street Foundation revealed that millions of American homes are at a growing risk of extreme flooding. As CNN wrote, today, around 8.7 million properties are located in Special Flood Hazard Areas as determined by FEMA’s flood maps, the legal standard used in the US to manage floodplains, determine […]
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