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Due to the coronavirus-induced economic slowdown, Climate Home News and then Axios reported that China is likely to delay until after the U.S. Presidential election the release of its plans for how it will revise its Paris Agreement targets. Two weeks ago, Japan announced its updated plans and they fell way short of what is needed to keep global temperature increases at no more than 2 degrees celsius, with activists accusing the Japanese Prime Minister of being content to settle for a low goal while continuing to fund coal power projects, according to The Guardian.
Why This Matters: The coronavirus cannot be an excuse to lower climate ambitions, instead it must be seen as an opportunity to elevate them. Since entire economies need to be rebuilt, why not do so more sustainably? Critics of the Japanese plan said it was shameful of the government to “sneak it out” in the midst of the pandemic. But the pandemic has forced the U.N. to push back the U.N. Climate next meeting, which will be pivotal because all nations must pledge to do more not less if they hope to stay under the 2 degrees target. Given all this, China’s delay is better than a retreat.
Reading Between The Lines
To state the obvious, much hinges on the result of the U.S. election when it comes to climate change and the other large emitters. It is not surprising then that China might want to take a wait and see approach — if Biden were to win, China could calibrate its plan accordingly. As one former senior Obama Administration told ODP, “If it’s Biden, they’ll be more motivated to do better and will know that climate is going to matter again — hopefully a lot — in our relationship…The big issue is that they’re very liable to be way too incremental when they do come forward.” A delay and a Biden win could also give Japan an opening to improve its NDCs as well.
by Julia Fine, ODP Contributing Writer Climate change is transforming the taste of Burgundy wine grapes, National Geographic reported. According to a study published last year out of Climate of the Past, which examined almost 700 years of wine records from Beaune, France, from 1354 until 1987, grapes were “on average picked from 28 September […]
As Axios reported yesterday based on insight received from the Biden campaign: foreign policy will look drastically different if Joe Biden defeats President Trump in November— starting with a Day One announcement that the U.S. is re-entering the Paris Climate Agreement and new global coordination of the coronavirus response. Why This Matters: Even though most […]
A new study shows that climate change in the 150 years since the industrial revolution has canceled out the prior 6500 years of cooling. The study, conducted by researchers at Northern Arizona University’s School of Earth and Sustainability (SES), examined a new compilation of paleoclimate data along with new statistical analyses and found that millennial-scale […]
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