Human rights advocates are cheering a landmark decision by the UN Human Rights Committee (HRC) mandating that governments must take into account the human rights violations caused by the climate crisis when considering the deportation of asylum seekers. In the decision, the UNHRC outlined that countries could violate people’s international rights if they force them […]Continue Reading 403 words
A new study conducted by Portland State University and the Science Museum of Virginia has revealed that a history of redlining in America has forced African Americans to live in neighborhoods that are much more affected by urban heat waves. As the authors explained, “Vulnerable communities—especially those within urban areas in the United States—are disproportionately […]Continue Reading 405 words
In a case we have been following, there was good news yesterday when a three-judge federal Federal Appeals Court panel in Virginia invalidated a state air pollution permit for a natural gas compressor station planned as part of a 600-mile natural gas pipeline project because the state permitting board failed to consider the disproportionate health effects on Union Hill, a predominantly African American community nearby.
Why This Matters: This is not the end of the line for the pipeline — the Court threw out the permit but the state will now get a do-over. Still, the fact that the Court specifically decided the case on environmental justice grounds is a huge step forward.Continue Reading 563 words
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Tim Albert, Politico’s Chief Political correspondent, broke the climate barrier and asked a climate question in the first hour. Interestingly, none of the candidates — not even Bernie Sanders — said the words Green New Deal.
Why This Matters: It would have been debate malpractice for PBS and Politico to ignore climate change in California, where its impacts have hit the state hard. All the candidates recognized that climate is an existential crisis, they were optimistic about the ability of the U.S. to innovate its way out of the crisis, and all of them emphasized the job-growth potential of transitioning away from carbon.Continue Reading 794 words
Last week, as the UN Climate Meeting lurched and sputtered, the European Commission’s president, Ursula von der Leyen of Germany, proposed the European “Green Deal” — a blueprint for how Europe will cut their carbon emissions in half by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, aiming to be a first-mover on creating climate-friendly industries and building clean technologies.
Why This Matters: Countries that seize the moment to transition to a fossil-fuel-free economy will win this century, and those that do not will be left behind.Continue Reading 517 words
The Supreme Court heard oral argument yesterday in a case brought by a group of Montana landowners who want to force ARCO (which is owned by oil giant BP) to comply with state law and reduce arsenic levels in the soil throughout their community to pre-contamination levels. The Justices — even the liberal ones — appeared to side with the Company.
Why This Matters: When the EPA cares more about protecting a polluting company and limiting its liability than protecting the innocent victims of that toxic pollution from harm, federal “pre-emption” of state law claims can actually frustrate the intent of the statute — which was to make the polluters pay for the clean up of their toxic contamination.Continue Reading 614 words
Moving full speed ahead on new fossil fuel infrastructure, the Trump Administration’s federal regulators approved permits for three new liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminals in the Rio Grande Valley and the expansion of another in Corpus Christi, according to the Houston Chronicle. They do not have financing and final approvals yet, and a coalition of environmentalists, Native Americans, shrimpers, fishers, and communities working under the banner Save RGV From LNG are fighting the Brownsville projects due to safety and environmental concerns.
Why This Matters: The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) with President Trump’s appointees at the helm have sped through 11 LNG projects in the last 9 months alone.Continue Reading 528 words
by Miro Korenha, co-founder and publisher, Our Daily Planet These days the tone in Washington is ominous. For those of us who are unnerved by what we perceive to be the unraveling of our democratic institutions, some of our only comfort has come from the voices that remind us of what we’re fighting for. […]Continue Reading 905 words
The risk of wildfires in California and across much of the West is an escalating problem during the summers and dry fall season. Unfortunately, measures to prevent these fires (like the PG&E blackout fiasco last week) haven’t been very effective and have left officials scrambling for solutions. Although we’ve known that Native tribes have managed […]Continue Reading 505 words
As Climate Week drew to an end on Friday, Tom Steyer announced a detailed plan for restoring U.S. leadership on climate change globally if he were to be elected President, including a “Global Green New Deal Fund” of $200 billion over 10 years. Steyer said he will “prioritize strong working relationships with allies and potential […]Continue Reading 551 words
As part of MSNBC’s Climate in Crisisweek of special coverage, Rev. Al Sharpton took the opportunity to address environmental justice on his program with our #FriendOfThePlanet Dr. Ayana Johnson and Moms Clean Air Force‘s Heather McTeer Toney. Take a look at this clip of one of the more substantive explanations that we’ve seen of environmental […]Continue Reading 70 words
It is a bold and innovative plan, with an emphasis on environmental justice. He promises: “In my first 100 days, I will propose new civil rights legislation to address the disparate impact of environmental discrimination and dismantle structures of environmental racism.Continue Reading 367 words