China’s “Airpocalypse” Grounds Flights and People

China’s “Airpocalypse” Grounds Flights and People

This week, Beijing was hit by China’s strongest sand storm in a decade and conservationists are blaming an ongoing “ecological crisis” in the north and west of one of the world’s most populous cities. Air quality readings, which averaged 80 throughout most of 2020, reached 999 on Monday, triggering a “yellow alert” from China’s weather bureau. 

Why This Matters: China is the world’s largest polluter, accounting for about 28% of the globe’s carbon emissions. China’s recently raised its 2030 national climate targets to achieve carbon neutrality before 2060.

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Volvo Announces Move to 100% EVs by 2030 As White House Talks Charging Infrastructure

Volvo Announces Move to 100% EVs by 2030 As White House Talks Charging Infrastructure

Volvo announced on Tuesday that it will move to make its entire car line-up fully electric by 2030, joining other big automakers, including Ford and Jaguar, in taking a green leap of faith. Until this month, Volvo only offered one fully electric vehicle, but unveiled its second, the C40, on Tuesday. 

Why This Matters: As more companies commit to 100% electric fleets, they’re solidifying a harsh reality for the fossil fuel industry: its number is almost up.

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Young Woman Leads Her Community In Baltimore To “Starve” Polluting Incinerator With Zero Waste

Young Woman Leads Her Community In Baltimore To “Starve” Polluting Incinerator With Zero Waste

The Wheelabrator waste-to-energy incinerator is Baltimore’s biggest standing source of air pollution. Its smokestacks send toxic mercury, lead, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen oxides into the air off of I-95 in South Baltimore, whose residents are primarily Black and low-income. 

Why This Matters:  High polluting incinerators like the Wheelabrator facility are both harmful and expensive.

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More States Adopt Stricter Vehicle Emission Standards

More States Adopt Stricter Vehicle Emission Standards

As the Biden administration is readying a reversal of the Trump policies loosening rules on auto emissions, many states have started tightening their laws to align with the California clean car standards.  Case in point: the Virginia legislature last week passed a law that toughened its emissions standards

Why this Matters: Last year, Governor Gavin Newsom issued an executive order that would phase out the sale of gas-powered passenger vehicles by 2035 — and New Jersey and Massachusetts have indicated that they want to follow suit.

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Refineries Belch Tons of Pollution During Texas Blackout click button

Refineries Belch Tons of Pollution During Texas Blackout

Despite over four million Texans losing power during the recent deep freeze, oil refineries released an increased amount of pollution into the air. In a state that leads the nation in both power production and carbon emissions, experts say that failure to winterize power infrastructure resulted in harmful releases of toxic air pollution. 

Why This Matters: Texas is the nation’s leading power producer, and to achieve this, the state has heavily deregulated not only its power grid but the fossil fuel industry as well.

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Dirty Air Goes Underground

Dirty Air Goes Underground

People riding American subway lines are exposed to air pollution that’s worse than a bad day in Beijing, according to new research that studied subway networks in Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, and D.C.  

Why this Matters: We hope Secretary Pete takes note because this is an environmental justice issue.

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