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After the German Constitutional Court ruled that the country’s climate plans weren’t sufficient, the government has announced its new plans:
Cutting carbon emissions 65% by 2030 and 88% by 2040 (based on a 1990 baseline)
Aiming for net-zero emissions by 2045, five years earlier than the initial target
The court ruling specifically called out Germany for only making plans through the end of this decade and leaving the remaining 20 years of effort to hit net zero unmapped.
“That is a fair offer for the younger generations in that we are not leaving the biggest burden for the future,” Environment Minister Svenja Schulze told Reuters. “Each decade, each generation takes responsibility.”
Why This Matters: Setting a clear path for reaching net-zero with intermediate goals along the way makes it more likely that Germany will actually hit that goal. For Sophie Backsen, one of the court case plaintiffs, it matters personally: her 300-year-old family farm on the North Sea island of Pellworm could be swallowed by rising seas. Ramping down emissions and slowing the temperature rise that’s melting glaciers and causing sea level rise is the path to keeping Pellworm above water.
As always, the work of hitting these targets still lies ahead.
A Rising Green Party: Germany’s current government is led by Angela Merkel, and the center-right Christian Democrat Union party she belongs to has been in power for 16 years. That could change this fall. The Green party currently leads polls going into elections this September. Annalena Baerbock, the party’s frontrunner for chancellor, was born the year the Greens were founded and has campaigned on a faster phase out of coal and $500 billion in just transition spending. And with the current U.S. administration, she’s eager to “get moving and point the way towards a European and transatlantic Green Deal,” as she told Deutsche Welle.
by Ashira Morris, ODP Staff Writer World leaders from the Group of 7 countries wrapped up their first post-pandemic in-person summit on Sunday, and the climate crisis was one of the primary agenda items. The heads of state from the U.S., U.K., France, Germany, Canada, Italy, and Japan (as well as the European Union) Agreed […]
The nation’s largest reservoir, Lake Mead, created by the Hoover Dam on the Colorado River, has reached record lows (at only 36% full) in the face of a severe drought sweeping the western U.S. The reservoir supplies drinking water for 25 million people in Los Angeles, San Diego, Phoenix, Tucson, Las Vegas, and more.
For generations, Native Alaskans have stored their food year-round in icy cellars that have been dug deep underground, but recently many of these cellars are either becoming too warm so that the food spoils or failing completely due to flooding or collapse Civil Eats’ Kayla Frost reported from Alaska. The cellars, known as siġluaqs, are usually about 10 to 20 feet below the surface and consist of a small room that used to be consistently about 10 degrees Fahrenheit year-round.
Why This Matters: The loss of these natural freezers could be devastating to Native Alaskans.
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