Here are key takeaways from the Sunnylands Statement on Enhancing Cooperation to Address the Climate Crisis ahead of the UN climate talks in Dubai.
The chances for a productive COP28—the U.N. climate talks that get underway Nov. 30 in Dubai—got a big boost from the recent climate agreement between the U.S. and China, the world’s two biggest polluters. Announced just before President Joe Biden and China leader Xi Jinping met at the APEC Summit in San Francisco, the …CONTINUE READING
Some thoughts for Environmental History Week.
An international agreement in 1992 committed the world’s nations to addressing climate change but contained few specifics. The US ratified that agreement, but there was little concrete action here through the end of the 20th Century. As this century began, things looked optimistic, with both presidential candidates favoring reductions in carbon emissions. Promptly after taking …CONTINUE READING
The standards have gotten tougher. Compliance still lags.
The goal of the Clean Air Act is to achieve national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS), with the primary requirement being protection of public health. As our understanding of the health effects of air pollution has improved, there has been a general trend toward tightening the standards. However, it’s very hard to keep track of …CONTINUE READING
“The Empire Strikes Back” or “The Return of the Jedi”? Either is possible on Election Day.
We’re now a year away from Election Day, but things are already starting to heat up. And the outcome couldn’t be more important. The next election could transform U.S. environmental policy, for better or worse. A GOP trifecta in 2024 would put Trump in the White House with GOP control of Congress. That would be …CONTINUE READING
Republicans think clean energy is terrible and woke and they also want more of it.
“You know, I’ve joined many of you on the groundbreakings . . . And as I told my Republican friends, we’ll even do their districts too. (Laughter.) And I’ll be there for the ribbon cutting. (Laughter.)” That was President Biden tweaking the GOP members of Congress who had all voted against the Inflation Reduction Act …CONTINUE READING
Johnson’s selection as Speaker signals trouble ahead— but could be political good news for Democrats.
So, the Republicans finally settled on a Speaker: Religious Right activist Mike Johnson. Johnson is a climate denier. In 2017, he said: “The climate is changing, but the question is, is it being caused by natural cycles over the span of the Earth’s history? Or is it changing because we drive SUVs? I don’t believe …CONTINUE READING
Biden’s signature climate law spotlighted the need to support tribal responses to climate change.
Five hundred and thirty-one years ago today, Christopher Columbus went ashore at Guanahaní, an island in the Bahamas. That date marked the beginning of an era of European settlement and colonialism, accompanied by widespread destruction of existing American societies. Today, Native Americans communities face another crisis: climate change. Many tribes are at high risk from …CONTINUE READING
A leading environmental lawyer gives his perspective.
Transportation is now the source of 28% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, more than the electric power sector. The transportation sector is also a substantial source of nitrogen oxides and particulates, both of which are dangerous to human health. The Biden Administration has taken important regulatory actions bearing on these problems, with others in the …CONTINUE READING
IRA’s early impacts have been dramatic, and there’s a consensus that it will bend the US emissions curve downward.
My last blog post looked at some of the steps taken to implement the Inflation Reduction Act. Confirming initial projections when the law was passed, models now predict that IRA will significantly cut emissions by 2030. The impact by 2035 is likely to be even greater. Despite the IRA’s substantial assist to emission cuts, we …CONTINUE READING
Sorry, no president can single-handedly fix climate policy. And certainly not with this Supreme Court.
With Biden two-thirds of the way through his term in office, he seems to be catching a lot of flack from climate activists. On Sunday, thousands of angry demonstrators gathered to protest Biden’s U.N. visit. “If you want our vote if you don’t want the blood of our generations to be on your hands, end …CONTINUE READING