US Lags in List of Most Sustainable Countries

US Lags in List of Most Sustainable Countries

Yale just published its annual 2020 Environmental Performance Index, ranking 180 countries from most to least sustainable, on metrics based on ecosystem health and environmental factors like water and air quality and waste management.

Why this Matters: This relatively bad ranking demonstrates the US’ growing environmental issues.

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China’s Surprise Commitment to Be Carbon Neutral by 2060

China’s Surprise Commitment to Be Carbon Neutral by 2060

Yesterday at the annual meeting of the United Nations General Assembly, Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged to achieve “carbon neutrality before 2060” with the aim of hitting peak emissions before 2030. China had choice words for the Trump administration and its complete lack of international leadership on climate change action. Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang […]

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Heavy Flooding Continues to Inundate China This Summer

Heavy Flooding Continues to Inundate China This Summer

by Julia Fine, ODP Contributing Writer This week, China is facing its fifth major flood this summer, Tanner Brown reported for MarketWatch. This extreme flooding has officially reached the Three Gorges Dam, and is said to be “pummelling” the structure. As The Guardian reported yesterday, inflows to the “world’s largest hydro-electric dam reached 75m litres […]

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India Providing Big Incentives to Domestic Solar Businesses To Increase Energy Self-Reliance

India Providing Big Incentives to Domestic Solar Businesses To Increase Energy Self-Reliance

The Indian government is planning to give land near ports to companies that will construct solar equipment factories, Utpal Bhaskar reported in Livemint. According to two people close to the development, New Delhi is attempting this in order to both “attain self-reliance and challenge the dominance of China in one of the world’s largest green energy market.”

Why This Matters: As Dr. Varun Sivaram, an energy policy expert, told ODP, this recent announcement of tariffs is “a mixed bag.” Tariffs raise the cost of solar production, and, in Dr. Sivaram’s words, “ultimately slow down India’s badly needed clean energy transition.”

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Maine Lobster Businesses Trapped By Virus and Trump Tariffs

Maine Lobster Businesses Trapped By Virus and Trump Tariffs

The Hill and Time Magazine report that, despite all his pandering, President Trump is not winning over Maine’s lobster fishers nor is he helping Maine’s embattled Republican Senator Susan Collins.  Trump’s trade war with China and the coronavirus have delivered a one-two punch to the lobster industry in Maine. 

Why This Matters:  Unfortunately for Trump and Senator Susan Collins (in a tough re-election fight), his efforts to “help” are, according to The Hill, “falling flat.” 

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China Fishing Illegally in North Korean Waters According to New Investigation

China Fishing Illegally in North Korean Waters According to New Investigation

Using satellite monitoring technology and intelligence capabilities, an investigation by NBC News and Ian Urbina an author and former NY Times journalist, has uncovered massive fishing by a “dark” fleet in North Korean waters with deadly results for North Korean fishermen.

Why This Matters:  China is a member of the UN Security Council that in 2017 banned fishing in North Korean waters (which China used to pay to access) as part of sanctions it imposed after North Korea’s nuclear missile tests.  If it’s true (and the UN has an anonymous report corroborating China’s violations with evidence to back it up) it would be a serious breach of the UN’s security rules

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