Heathrow’s planned new runway just got canceled—thanks to the Paris Agreement

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For the first time ever, the Paris climate agreement has formed the basis of a major court ruling. The project to expand London’s Heathrow airport was first proposed in 2009, and it has had a turbulent journey since. It was initially backed by a Labour government, canceled a year later, revived, then backed by a Conservative government in 2018. Proponents have touted the plan as a source of extra jobs, additional air routes, and fewer delays. The U.K. Department of Transport has estimated an economic benefit of £61 billion, or $79 billion, over the next 60 years. Read Full Story

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What Biden could do on climate—even with a Republican Senate

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The election hasn’t been called, but should Biden win but not control the Senate, he can still put us back in the Paris agreement—and push change via regulations and executive action. On November 4, Trump officially withdrew from the Paris climate agreement . If Biden wins, on his first day in office on January 20, he plans to rejoin it—a first step in setting the U.S. on a path to tackle climate change, which Biden has called the “number one issue facing humanity.” 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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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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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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Banks won’t stop funneling billions of dollars into the fossil fuel industry

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Bank financing for companies that are planning new coal, oil, and gas extraction increased 40% from 2018 to 2019, despite warnings that we need to stop burning these fuels. Despite their claimed support for the Paris Climate Agreement, major global banks have not only continued to pour billions of dollars into the fossil fuel industry since 2015, they financed more fossil fuel extraction and infrastructure companies in 2019 than the year prior—funneling billions into new coal, oil, and gas projects even as experts warn that we need to stop burning these fuels. 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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What environmental rule rollbacks will Trump try to sneak through before the end?

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After four years of allowing more pollution and emissions, the Trump administration has 10 weeks left to accomplish its deregulatory agenda. The Midnight Watch Project is keeping a list, so it can all be fixed after. President-elect Joseph Biden has big plans for climate policy, from rejoining the Paris climate agreement to decarbonizing the electric grid , but these initiatives won’t begin until his inauguration on January 20, 2021. In the meantime, the Trump administration still has 10 weeks (and counting) in office. In the past four years, the administration has already rolled back hundreds of rules designed to do everything from preventing the release of methane from oil wells to limiting how much mercury a coal power plant can emit. In the lame duck period, it could accelerate plans to do more before inauguration day. 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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7 climate actions that Biden could take on his first day

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From rejoining the Paris Agreement to stopping the Keystone Pipeline to restoring the Bears Ears monuments, some of the Trump administration’s most public environmental rollbacks can be easily reversed by a new president. The last four years have been devastating for environmental regulation. The Trump administration dismantled the Clean Power Plan, opened Arctic wilderness for drilling, and, as part of a spree of rollbacks in his last days in office, shrank the protected habitat of the northern spotted owl. Those are just the most visible of the more than 100 rollbacks of environmental rules spearheaded by the administration. Now the Biden administration will start trying to reinstate them. Some of the changes will take years to reverse—and going further will often require votes in the Senate that may not be winnable. But Biden can also begin to repair some of the damage on his first day in office. Read Full …

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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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