The U.S. plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030

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The goal is in line with what climate scientists say is necessary to avoid the worst impacts from climate change. The U.S. now aims to cut annual greenhouse gas emissions in half—between 50% and 52% lower than 2005 levels—by the end of the decade. The Biden administration announced the goal today as its new commitment under the Paris climate agreement , nearly doubling the previous commitment made under Obama. Read Full Story

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Hundreds of big American brands are asking Biden to commit to cutting emissions 50% by 2030

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Apple, Google, Microsoft, Coca-Cola, Walmart, Nike, Levi Strauss, Salesforce, and more are trying to push the administration to set bolder emissions goals. After rejoining the Paris agreement , the U.S. now has to set new goals to cut greenhouse gas emissions, and Biden will announce the details of the commitment within days, before an Earth Day summit. Scientists are pushing for the goal of reducing emissions by 50% by the end of the decade to be on track for net-zero emissions by the middle of the century. That means sweeping changes, but experts say it’s feasible—and now hundreds of American companies are advocating for the same thing. Read Full Story

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This Al Gore-supported project uses AI to track the world’s emissions in near real-time

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“We intend to trace all significant manmade greenhouse gas emissions and assign responsibility for them.” As the world tries to figure out how to flatten the climate curve—cutting global emissions in half by the end of the decade, and reaching net-zero emissions by the middle of the century—one challenge is how to track current emissions from every power plant, farm, and other source on the planet. A new project called the Climate TRACE Coalition plans to use satellite imagery and AI to track those emissions in near real-time, even if they’re not being reported by the source. Read Full Story

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UN Secretary-General: Every country and every company needs to make a plan for net-zero emissions

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In a speech, U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres called on the world to commit to strong climate change goals now. Hundreds of businesses, investors, cities, countries, and universities now plan to reach net-zero emissions by 2050, meaning that any of their greenhouse gas emissions that remain by then will be offset by carbon removal. Some are moving faster: Microsoft and Ikea, for example, plan to be carbon negative—they’ll remove more carbon than they their operations produce—by 2030. In a speech today, U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres said that every organization and government now needs to set a similar goal. Read Full Story

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Biden pledged to cut emissions 50% this decade. Can it happen?

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Most analysts are overestimating how quickly things can transform in the near term, and probably underestimating how profound change will have to be into the more distant future. President Joe Biden announced an ambitious new national climate target at the world leaders’ climate summit on April 22. He pledged to cut U.S. carbon emissions in half by the end of this decade—a drop of 50%-52% by 2030 compared to 2005 levels—and aim for net-zero emissions by 2050. 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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Toward a new Bauhaus: How a century-old design movement could help save the planet

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The Bauhaus, a wildly influential design movement in 20th-century Europe, has new relevance in the 21st century: as a model for fighting climate change. The European Union has an ambitious new goal of becoming an economy with net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Announced by European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen during her State of the European Union speech in mid-September, the goal would be part of a European Green Deal to transform the economy, decoupling economic growth from resource use and turning the immense challenges presented by climate change into opportunities. Read Full Story

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50 global businesses—including Mastercard, Nestlé, and Unilever—announce commitment to transparency

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At Davos, the companies committed to publish information on 21 environmental, social, and governance metrics, from greenhouse gas emissions to diversity to taxes paid. As the world has grown more concerned with combatting widespread issues like climate change and social injustice, the environmental, social, and governance (ESG) movement has gained momentum to ensure businesses are doing their part, by transparently reporting to investors and stakeholders their positive and negative impacts on the environment and society, allowing those backers to make informed decisions about the companies they finance and support. Read Full Story

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The U.S. can get to net-zero emissions by 2050. Here’s how

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The Biden administration is expected to announce 2050 as the deadline for decarbonizing the economy. A new report looks at how we can get there. Dozens of countries, including Japan, the U.K., and Germany, plan to hit “net-zero” by 2050, meaning that any greenhouse gas emissions that still remain will be offset by carbon captured by methods like reforestation or direct air capture . China, the world’s largest emitter, plans to get to net-zero by 2060. When Biden takes office, the U.S. is expected to make a pledge to reach the goal by 2050. Can we do it? Read Full Story

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The U.S. economy is reliant on consumer spending—can it survive a pandemic?

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How did the U.S. arrive at the point where mass consumption—and the greenhouse gas emissions associated with it—is necessary for economic and social well-being? The COVID-19 pandemic has radically affected the American economy, reducing spending by American households on materials goods, air travel, leisure activities, as well as the use of automobiles. As a result, greenhouse gas emissions have temporarily fallen dramatically . Read Full Story

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