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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.”
By Ashira Morris, ODP Staff Writer There’s been a three-fold increase in climate targets by Fortune Global 500 companies over the past three years, but more than 60% still don’t have any commitments on the books. That’s according to numbers from Natural Capital Partners, who led a discussion with leaders from some of the companies […]
By Amy Lupica, ODP Daily Editor Just a month and a half after the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reported a “code red” for the world to combat climate, the UN announced on Friday that recent climate action plans submitted by 191 countries won’t come close to limiting temperature rise to 1.5 degrees […]
This week is Climate Week NYC, an annual event hosted by The Climate Group and the United Nations, in partnership with the COP26 and the City of New York. For one week, from September 20-26, experts will be hosting panels and conversations about all things climate, and you can follow along at home via Facebook […]
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