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This Saturday, December 12, the United Nations and the U.K. will host a Climate Ambitions Summit to commemorate the Paris Agreement’s fifth anniversary and encourage countries to commit to more ambitious actions. This week ODP will take a deep dive into the Paris Agreement — today we look at what lies ahead.
Why this Matters: The summit comes as the end of the COVID pandemic is on the horizon, creating a global impetus for countries to emerge from the past year with stronger climate plans than before. After the summit, the focus will shift to implementation — acting on the commitments. In the five years since Paris, progress has been “patchy at best,” wrote former president of the United Nations general assembly María Fernanda Espinosa in the Guardian. This next year, as the world emerges from the harrowing experience of 2020, there is a chance to build better, more resilient societies, to work toward a better future instead of simply returning to business as usual.
Looking Ahead to the Biden Administration
Donald Trump, who officially removed the U.S. from the Paris Agreement earlier this year is still the head of state, so the U.S. won’t be sending a national leader. Instead, the Governors of Massachusetts and Michigan, and the Mayor of Los Angeles will represent American commitments to climate at the Summit. For the past four years, lots of energy was spent trying to stop or mitigate the Trump administration’s harmful anti-environment agenda. Cities and states also stepped up and took action when national leadership was working to prop up fossil fuels instead of investing in public health. Come January, that energy can be channeled into moving climate action forward and making President-Elect Biden’s promises of hitting net-zero by 2050 a reality.
“Under the leadership of President-elect Joe Biden, the United States is ready to renew its pledge to the Paris Agreement and declare its strong commitment to solving the climate crisis,” said Representative and Chairwoman Kathy Castor in a statement. “As we turn the page on the Trump Administration, the days of mocking experts, endangering public health, and ignoring the need for climate action are over. Instead, the Biden administration will shepherd a new era of climate progress, as we endeavor to reduce pollution, protect our lands and ocean, and ensure clean air and water for communities across the nation.”
by Natasha Lasky, ODP Staff Writer A new study has found a mere 5% of the world’s power plants are responsible for 73% of emissions released from energy generation. A group of researchers at the University of Colorado at Boulder analyzed 2018 data from 29,000 fossil fuel power plants in 221 countries and found the […]
By Ashira Morris, ODP Staff Writer One of the big headlines out of the European Union’s recently released package of concrete policies to hit climate neutrality was the phase out of diesel and petrol fueled cars by 2035. The proposal plans for charging stations every 60km (about every 37 miles), a massive ramp up in […]
Yesterday, several news outlets reported that the Biden administration will soon propose a return to aggressive Obama-era vehicle mileage standards over five years, after which rules would tighten to encourage 40% of U.S. drivers into electric vehicles by 2030. As the Post and Courrier reported, The proposed rules from the Environmental Protection Agency and Department […]
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