5 years after the Paris climate agreement, the world is far off track of its goals

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On the anniversary of the landmark global climate deal, we can see the path to limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius—but we’re not remotely far enough down it. It’s been five years since the world’s leaders met in Paris and hammered out the terms of the Paris Agreement, the landmark climate deal with the goal to cut emissions quickly enough to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. Since then, solar power has become the cheapest form of electricity in history . Countries like China and the U.K. have committed to reach net-zero emissions. But the world is still very far from on track to actually addressing global warming. Read Full Story

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The U.S. rejoined the Paris agreement. Now comes the hard part

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Four years of inaction mean the country is far behind on the commitments required by the climate agreement. Here’s the bold action the Biden administration will need to take to keep the U.S. on track. More than three and a half years after Trump said that the U.S. would pull out of the Paris climate agreement, we’re back in. On Biden’s first day in office, rejoining the accord was the third of 17 immediate executive orders he signed as soon as was sworn in. Rejoining was simple; after sending a letter to the United Nations, the U.S. will officially be part of Paris again in a month. The next part is harder. How can the world’s second-largest polluter shrink emissions enough to comply with the deal. Read Full Story

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On top of everything else, the U.S. withdraws from the Paris climate agreement tomorrow

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What happens next depends on the results of the election. Three years after the Trump administration began the process of withdrawing from the Paris climate agreement—the landmark international deal to limit global warming—the U.S. has now reached the date when it can officially pull out: November 4, the day after the election. But depending on the results, the withdrawal might not last long. Read Full Story

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Unilever is investing $1.1 billion in a new climate fund—and hopes to reach net zero emissions by 2039

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The goal is to hit the benchmarks set by the Paris Climate Agreement far earlier than the 2050 deadline. Unilever, one of the largest consumer goods companies in the world, had a carbon footprint equivalent to about 60 million metric tons of CO2 in 2019. But by 2039, the company plans to shrink the carbon footprint of its products to net zero, 11 years before the deadline set by the Paris Climate Agreement. Read Full Story

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How COVID relief funds could boost a green recovery

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It would cost around $1.4 trillion per year over the next five years in clean-energy investment to meet the goals of the Paris climate agreement. That money could fuel a global economic recovery at the same time. As of late summer, governments around the world had pledged $12.2 trillion of relief in response to the coronavirus pandemic. That’s around 15% of global gross domestic product , three times larger than government spending put forward during and after the 2008-2009 global financial crisis and enough for every adult in the world to receive a $2,000 check. Read Full Story

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The enormous COVID-19 recovery plans show there’s money to solve climate change

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We’re spending 15% of global GDP on one crisis. What would happen if we treated the climate crisis the same way? The amount of funding that governments are throwing at the economic recovery from COVID-19—more than $12 trillion announced so far, or 15% of the global GDP—is unprecedented. How much of that would it take to put the global energy system on track to meet the goals of the Paris climate agreement? With only a fraction of the pandemic recovery money, we could fund the transition to clean energy. Read Full Story

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PepsiCo says it will reach net-zero emissions by 2040

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In two decades, the giant food and beverage company plans a major shift to renewables and changes throughout its supply chain. As one of the largest food and beverage companies in the world, PepsiCo has a correspondingly massive carbon footprint—it generated 57 million metric tons in 2019. But by 2040, 10 years ahead of what’s necessary to meet the goals of the Paris climate agreement, it plans to reach net-zero emissions. Read Full Story

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Companies that set science-based climate targets are cutting emissions faster than expected

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An analysis of more than 300 companies found good news: So far, targets designed to avoid worst-case global warming scenarios are getting results. For years, companies would announce plans to cut emissions using goals that seemed to be picked more because they were round numbers. In 2015, an initiative started to have companies use “ science-based targets, ” which were designed to lower emissions at rates needed to curb global warming. But while many companies signed up, it wasn’t clear how quickly they would take action. Similar goals haven’t always worked well—more than 150 companies pledged to end deforestation by 2020 and then failed to actually meet that goal. But a new analysis suggests that the Science Based Targets initiative is working. Read Full Story

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We’re already past critical climate tipping points. Here’s why we still need to cut emissions now

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If we can keep the earth’s temperature low enough, the effects of what’s coming won’t be as disastrous—even if they’re inevitable. If every country in the world cuts global greenhouse gas emissions to zero by the end of the century—or even if they managed to do it by the end 2020—the planet would still keep warming for hundreds of years, says a new study. Researchers found that humans would have had to stop all emissions sometime between 1960 and 1970 to stop the global temperature and sea levels from continuing to rise. Read Full Story

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What John Kerry has planned as Biden’s climate envoy

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At a conversation with Al Gore to mark the U.S. returning to the Paris Climate agreement, the former Secretary of State and new climate envoy discussed how the U.S. can regain the trust of the global climate community. It’s now been 30 days since President Biden signed an executive order to rejoin the Paris climate agreement, which means the U.S. is formally back in the global effort. But while there is important symbolism in that action, it’s only the beginning of the climate work Biden’s administration must do. John Kerry, who first signed the country into that agreement as Secretary of State in 2016, is now tasked with convincing the rest of the world that the U.S. can be trusted as a leader in this space as Biden’s climate envoy. Read Full Story

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