The United States has Rejoined the Paris Climate Agreement. Now Comes the Daunting Part.
The United States officially rejoined the Paris climate agreement on Friday, but getting the country back on track to meet the stringent goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions enough to keep warming below 2 degrees Celsius by 2100 is still a tall order to fill. President Biden must also rebuild credibility to persuade China, by far the world’s largest emitter, to move faster on its climate goals, NBC News reports.
Biden Authorizes Supplies for Texas Amid Power Outages, Approves New Disaster Declarations
The Biden administration has sent 60 generators, thousands of blankets and other supplies to Texas to help address mass power outages caused by extreme winter weather. One White House official said the crisis showed that the country was unprepared for climate change. President Biden also approved disaster declarations for Oklahoma and Louisiana on Thursday.
How Much Does Climate Change Cost? Biden Quietly Raises Carbon’s Dollar Value, but Not Nearly Enough, Some Say
The Biden White House today took a crucial first step toward building back U.S. climate policy by setting a dollar figure on the primary element driving climate change: $52 per ton of carbon, as much as 52 times higher than the figure used under Trump. The number, also known as the “social cost of carbon,” is the key metric for federal decision-making on global warming.
(Inside Climate News)
Baltimore Continues Incinerating Trash, Despite Opposition from its New Mayor and City Council
In Maryland, burning garbage to generate electricity is considered a renewable source and qualifies for clean energy credits. One incinerator in Baltimore is the largest source of air pollution in the city. But activists are working to change all that by increasing composting and recycling and advocating for a bill that would remove incinerators from the state’s clean energy portfolio altogether.
(Inside Climate News)
White House Rescinds Trump Proposal to Limit Greenhouse Gas Consideration in Infrastructure Decisions
The White House on Thursday rescinded a Trump-era draft guidance that proposed to limit the scope of the National Environmental Policy Act, including consideration of greenhouse gas emissions when permitting pipelines, highways and other polluting infrastructure projects. The 2019 proposal was one of Trump’s many actions aimed at expediting federal permits, particularly for fossil fuel projects.
Almost a Quarter of All Freshwater Fish Species Are in Peril, Thanks to Humans
There are 18,000 types of fish that live in rivers, making up a quarter of all vertebrate species. But after two centuries of industrial development, 23 percent of them are at risk of going extinct, a new study found. Overfishing, land use, pollution and climate change are all responsible for recent population declines, the study’s authors said, but they also threaten the larger ecosystems that support all life.
US Greenhouse Gas Emissions Fell 9 percent in 2020, New Analysis Says
Greenhouse gas emissions in the United States fell by 9.2 percent last year amid the economic slowdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic, according to a report released Thursday. The emissions reduction puts the country at 20 percent below its 2005 level and in line with the Paris Agreement goal for the year, the report said, also noting that emissions will likely rebound this year as the economy recovers.