Greenhouse Gases Hit Highest Level in 800,000 Years

Greenhouse Gases Hit Highest Level in 800,000 Years

By Natasha Lasky and Amy Lupica, ODP Staff Writers Scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported that atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations are the highest concentration ever recorded. CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere reached 412.5 parts per million in 2020–2.5 parts per million higher than in 2019– despite a brief decline in carbon emissions caused by the COVID-19 […]

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Court Orders Shell to Reduce Emissions in First-of-its-Kind Legal Victory

Court Orders Shell to Reduce Emissions in First-of-its-Kind Legal Victory

A Dutch court has ordered Royal Dutch Shell to slash its CO2 emissions by 45% by 2030, including those from both its operations and the energy products it sells. This is the first time a court has ordered a company to reduce its emissions to achieve climate goals. 

Why This Matters: Despite many oil companies making promises to cut emissions, the world isn’t moving fast enough to meet the goals of the Paris agreement

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The UK Launches Revolutionary Carbon Sequestration Trials

The UK Launches Revolutionary Carbon Sequestration Trials

To meet the goals of the Paris agreement, experts say the world must invest in removing carbon from the atmosphere in addition to cutting emissions. But that can be a tall task as crucial carbon sinks fall victim to human activity and rising temperatures. The U.K. is facing this challenge head-on and has launched a series of carbon sequestration trials using trees, peat, rock chips, and charcoal.

Why This Matters: Carbon sinks are declining worldwide. 

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Direct Air Capture is Ready for its Close-up

Direct Air Capture is Ready for its Close-up

By Dr. Julio Friedmann As Congress prepares major climate legislation and President Biden looks to take more executive action, net-zero emissions has become the science-based star of the show. That show features a climate solution that is often overlooked – undiscovered and waiting in the wings. Carbon dioxide removal (CDR), which pulls carbon dioxide (CO2) […]

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Global Carbon Pollution Reached Pre-Pandemic Levels Again by the End of 2020

Global Carbon Pollution Reached Pre-Pandemic Levels Again by the End of 2020

According to a report out on Tuesday from the International Energy Agency, while the pandemic allowed a brief reprieve from the uptick in global carbon dioxide emissions, global carbon pollution had returned to pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2020.  Carbon emissions in Brazil, India, and China were all up over 2019 levels.

Why this Matters:  Under the Paris Agreement, nations agreed to prevent the rise in global temperature from reaching two degrees Celsius and keeping the rise under 1.5 degrees celsius, but that won’t be possible if our emissions start going up again.

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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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