#China
EU COVID Recovery Plans Make Investments In Climate Change; China Remains in Neutral

EU COVID Recovery Plans Make Investments In Climate Change; China Remains in Neutral

The European Union announced its $825 billion recovery package for the coronavirus pandemic late last week and it includes big plans to address climate change as intrinsic to its economic recovery.

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.

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First Japan Underwhelmed, Now China May Be Late Announcing Their National Climate Plans

First Japan Underwhelmed, Now China May Be Late Announcing Their National Climate Plans

Due to the coronavirus-induced economic slowdown, Climate Home News and then Axios reported that China is delaying the release of its revised plans for how it will update its Paris Agreement targets until at least after the U.S. Presidential election.

Why This Matters:  The coronavirus cannot be an excuse to lower climate ambitions, instead it must be seen as an opportunity to elevate them.

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Coronavirus: NYT’s Weekend Bombshell

Coronavirus: NYT’s Weekend Bombshell

Over the weekend, the New York Times published a devastating in-depth look into how President Trump repeatedly ignored warnings from his own administration officials and wasted precious time responding to the spread of COVID-19. While other media outlets have published similar stories about the delayed response, the Times revealed the level of dysfunction that exists […]

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Vietnam Joins China in Taking Steps To End Wildlife Trade to Help Prevent Future Pandemics

Vietnam Joins China in Taking Steps To End Wildlife Trade to Help Prevent Future Pandemics

China has taken “concrete steps” to close its “wet” or wildlife markets and now Vietnam is following suit, according to Sierra, the magazine of the environmental group The Sierra Club. 

Why This Matters:  The world has faced many major pandemics, such as SARS and now COVID-19, that are believed to have been spread from human contact with wild animals.

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Coronavirus: US Takes the Lead in COVID-19 Cases

Coronavirus: US Takes the Lead in COVID-19 Cases

After scientists warned that the United States would become the hardest-hit country by the coronavirus crisis, we now lead the world in confirmed cases of COVID-19 with over 86,000 people infected. While New York City is still the hardest hit area, cases are exploding in New Orleans–where the virus is thought to have been brought […]

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One Less Thing: China’s Air Pollution Thanks to Coronavirus Shutdowns

One Less Thing: China’s Air Pollution Thanks to Coronavirus Shutdowns

NASA released satellite images yesterday that make apparent the impact of the coronavirus on air pollution in China — and the good news is that the factory shutdowns made the air across the entire country of China — particularly over Wuhan — much cleaner.  NASA released a statement explaining that the maps above show concentrations […]

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China Bans Wildlife Trade, Loopholes Remain

The rapidly-spreading coronavirus is thought to have originated in China’s Wuhan Huanan live animal market. As Grace Ge Gabriel, the Regional Director of Asia at the International Fund for Animal Welfare recently wrote in her Bright Ideas op-ed of the market, “The sign from the store with “wild tastes” in its name reads like a […]

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Recycling Is Becoming More Difficult, But Some Retailers Are Stepping Up To Help

Recycling Is Becoming More Difficult, But Some Retailers Are Stepping Up To Help

Forbes reported this week on retail giant Walmart’s efforts to work with consumers and suppliers on improving sustainable packaging to reduce the amount of “wish-cycling” — people tossing things into recycling bins on the hope that they can be recycled – and to improve packaging design with its end of life in mind. 

Why This Matters:  Consumers produced over 80 million tons of container and packaging waste in 2017, and only 50.1% was recycled, with the rest ending up in landfills or incinerated for energy.

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China Building To Dominate 21st Century’s Renewable Energy Sector And Fight Climate Change

China Building To Dominate 21st Century’s Renewable Energy Sector And Fight Climate Change

The U.S., Russia and Saudi Arabia may have dominated the 20th-century energy market, but according to an in-depth article in yesterday’s Houston Chronicle, China is now determined to dominate the 21st-century market in which energy efficiency and reducing carbon emissions have become paramount for nations contending with climate change.

Why This Matters:  The United States, thanks to President Trump and his desire to prop up the dying coal, gas, and oil industries, is falling behind in this competition for the future energy market.

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Coronavirus Tied to a “Wet” Market in Wuhan, China

Coronavirus Tied to a “Wet” Market in Wuhan, China

The investigation into the origin of the scary, new virus that just made it to the U.S. is now centered on a “wet” market in China where Bloomberg News reports that the government is focusing on the sale of freshly slaughtered, unpackaged meat.  They have closed the market for now.

Why This Matters:  Ironically, it is the crackdown on the illegal trade in endangered species that helped to make wet markets less “exotic” and thus avoid a repeat of the SARS virus of twenty years ago.

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DOE Predicts CO2 Emissions AND Renewables Increase by 2050

DOE Predicts CO2 Emissions AND Renewables Increase by 2050

The Energy Department put out its 2019 International Energy Outlook and two big headlines emerged — first that CO2 emissions worldwide will increase by 20% overall through 2050 because of emissions from developing countries, and second that renewable sources will provide half of all electricity globally by midcentury.

Why This Matters:  CO2 emissions from developed nations decrease by -.2% annually for the next 30 years, while in developing countries CO2 emissions are expected to grow 1% a year.  Countries outside the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) are growing in key respects — they collectively have more population, a larger gross domestic product, more energy consumption, and higher energy-related CO2 emissions. 

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Singapore Makes Huge Wildlife Bust

On Tuesday, the government of Singapore announced it had seized nearly $50 million in ivory tusks and pangolin scales (a record for the nation) found in shipping containers from the Democratic Republic of Congo that supposedly contained timber but instead were filled with 12 tons of pangolin scales and nearly 9 tons of ivory.  The illegal wildlife parts were bound for Vietnam, but will now be destroyed so that they will not re-enter the market, the Singapore government announced.  

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