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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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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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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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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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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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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Can Biden save public transit from the pandemic?

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Ridership—and revenue—are cratering. Will there be anything left once we’re vaccinated? The Biden administration and new Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg will have to act fast to give federal help so states and cities can turn things around. Even before the pandemic, mass transit in the U.S. had been struggling: 2018 marked the fourth straight year of ridership decline across the country, and though 2019 offered some hope with two full quarters of ridership growth, the pandemic crushed that progress. For public transit systems, fewer riders means less revenue, compounding longstanding funding issues. But with the Biden administration now in place, transit experts see hope for their industry’s future—one that is inextricably tied to climate goals and social equity—as long as the administration can get them the funding and federal policies they need. 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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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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