IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Crunch time for negotiations at COP26 U.N. climate summit; U.S. and China announce surprise, landmark collaboration on climate change action; Renewable energy now makes up nearly all new electricity generation in U.S.; PLUS: Many nations are under-reporting their greenhouse gas emissions, new analysis finds... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): How the U.S. Military fuels the climate crisis, with carbon emissions exceeding 140+ nations; The first US subsea cable plant for offshore wind farms opens in Charleston; Is Texas ready for the next big freeze?; Surging wood-pellet industry threatens climate goals; Judge OKs $626 million settlement in Flint, MI water litigation; Electric truck maker Rivian goes public with massive valuation; FERC, 10 states weigh transmission overhaul to unlock clean power... PLUS: New database shows hundreds of contaminants detected in US tap water... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- COP26: Crunch time in final week of climate treaty negotiations:
- BBC's COP26 Live Coverage (BBC)
- AP COP26 Live Coverage (AP via PBS NewsHour)
- VIDEO: Making the Sausage at Glasgow (Climate Crocks):
It may possibly be that all this is just rearranging the deck chairs on said giant ship, that the Extinction Rebellion demonstrators are right – or it may be that this is just what the "in between" process looks like as we move toward a decarbonized goal as the vast majority of global citizens are still eating, drinking, driving, and demanding services that use energy in one form or another.
- Cop26 Draft Text Annotated: What It Says And What It Means (Guardian UK):
The draft text is the most important document that will emerge from the Cop26 climate summit in Glasgow. Unlike the last major climate conference, in Paris in 2015, what emerges here will not be a new treaty, but a series of decisions and resolutions that build on the Paris accord.
- Carbon Copy: Draft COP26 text mentions fossil fuels for first time in history of UN climate talks (Straits Times):
For the first time in the nearly 30-year history of the United Nations climate conferences, the term "fossil fuels" has emerged in the draft cover text, with nations "called upon" to accelerate the phasing out of coal and subsidies for fossil fuels.
- Draft agreement at the COP26 climate summit looks to rapidly speed up emissions cuts (NPR):
Specifically, the proposal aims to update the timeframe for revised targets for countries, known as Nationally Determined Contributions, or NDCs, to next year – much sooner than the requirement of every five years as laid out in the 2015 Paris Climate Accord.
- VIDEO: 'We are sinking': Tuvalu minister gives Cop26 speech standing knee deep in seawater (Guardian UK)
- Uganda's Vanessa Nakate says COP26 sidelines nations most affected by climate change (NPR)
- Dead Or Alive? COP26 Climate Talks Strive To Save 1.5C Warming Goal (Reuters)
- Carbon copy? COP26 confronts familiar roadblocks on market rules (Reuters/MSN)
- Emissions Gap: Nations are under-reporting their emissions, analysis finds:
- Countries' climate pledges built on flawed data, Post investigation finds (Washington Post):
Across the world, many countries underreport their greenhouse gas emissions in their reports to the United Nations, a Washington Post investigation has found. An examination of 196 country reports reveals a giant gap between what nations declare their emissions to be vs. the greenhouse gases they are sending into the atmosphere.
- COP26 climate pledges could help limit global warming to 1.8°C, but implementing them will be the key (International Energy Agency)
- This is what the world looks like if we pass the crucial 1.5-degree climate threshold (NPR)
- COP26: Short term pledges put world on track for 2.4C warming:
- Glasgow’s 2030 credibility gap: net zero’s lip service to climate action (Climate Action Tracker):
Under current policies, we estimate end-of-century warming to be 2.7°C. While this temperature estimate has fallen since our September 2020 assessment, major new policy developments are not the driving factor. We need to see a profound effort in all sectors, in this decade, to decarbonise the world to be in line with 1.5°C. Targets for 2030 remain totally inadequate: the current 2030 targets (without long-term pledges) put us on track for a 2.4°C temperature increase by the end of the century.
- Despite net-zero pledges at COP26, world likely on track to warm 2.5 degrees C, U.N. report says (Washington Post)
- Vanessa Nakate: 'I'm here to beg you to prove us wrong' (Washington Post):
"I'm here to beg you to prove us wrong," said the 24-year-old activist...Speaking at a high-profile event, packed with delegates from around the world, she said: "God help us all if you fail to prove us wrong. God help us."
- VIDEO: We are seeing commitments but not real action, says climate activist Vanessa Nakate (Channel 4 News)
- COP26: U.S., China announce landmark collaboration on climate action:
- VIDEO: China and US agree to co-operate to ‘actively address climate change’ (Guardian):
China and the US announced a surprise plan to work together on cutting greenhouse gas emissions in the crucial next decade, in a strong boost to the Cop26 summit, as negotiators wrangled over a draft outcome.
- COP26: China and US agree to boost climate co-operation (BBC):
In Wednesday's rare joint declaration, there were steps agreed on a range of issues including methane emissions, the transition to clean energy, and de-carbonisation.
- China’s shock climate deal with the U.S. has sparked some cautious optimism (CNBC)
- VIDEO: China and US make surprise climate change promise (ABC News Australia)
- VIDEO: US and China release joint declaration on climate action (Daily Climate, Sky News)
- COP26: Carmakers, countries pledge to end ICE car sales no later than 2040:
- 6 Automakers and 30 Countries Say They’ll Phase Out Gasoline Car Sales (NY Times)
- COP26 sees pledges to transition to electric vehicles, but key countries are mum (NPR):
The agreements, both of which were announced at the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow, were hailed as a significant step toward decarbonizing the automotive industry...But the agreements were also noteworthy for the names that were missing. The world's largest auto markets, including the U.S., China, Germany, South Korea and Japan, were absent from the pledges, and the top two global automakers (Toyota and Volkswagen) also didn't sign.
- General Motors, Ford pledge at COP26 to sell only zero-emissions cars by 2040 (CNET)
- Countries and automakers agree to go all-electric by 2040 in weak new goal set at COP26 (Electrek)
- Nearly all new U.S. electricity generation is renewable energy:
- Chart: Almost all new power plants being built in the US are renewable (Canary Media)
- Renewable energy in the U.S. nearly quadrupled in the past decade, report finds (Washington Post):
The analysis also found that if the current growth rate continues, wind, solar and geothermal would meet current electricity demand levels by 2035 — which is when President Biden aims to have an entirely fossil-fuel-free grid. "The pace of progress is continuing to pick up," said Emma Searson, an author of the new report. "That’s exactly what we need to see in years to come."
- What a difference a decade makes (Grist):
Solar grew particularly fast, the report found, now generating more than 23 times as much energy as it did 10 years ago. Wind power tripled over the same period. The report also highlighted rapid gains in energy efficiency, battery storage, and electric vehicles.
- VIDEO: The Power Grid: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
For a comprehensive roundup of daily environmental news you can trust, see the Society of Environmental Journalists' Daily Headlines page
- VIDEO: War Helps Fuel the Climate Crisis as U.S. Military Carbon Emissions Exceed 140+ Nations'(Democracy Now!)
- The first US subsea cable plant for offshore wind farms opens in Charleston (Electrek)
- Is Texas Ready for the Next Big Freeze? (Climate Crocks)
- Surging Wood Pellet Industry Threatens Climate, Say Experts (Mongabay)
- Judge OKs $626 Million Settlement In Flint Water Litigation (AP)
- U.S. Firefighters On Climate Frontline Face 'Broken' Health System (Thompson Reuters Foundation)
- Rivian (RIVN) goes public at $77 billion valuation, aims to reach 1 million EV volume by 2030 (Electrek)
- FERC, 10 States Weigh Transmission Overhaul To Unlock Clean Power (E&E News)
- EPA Outlines $630 Million Plan To Curtail Tijuana Sewage Pollution (San Diego Union-Tribune)
- New Database Shows Hundreds Of Contaminants Detected in US Tap Water (Environmental Health Network)
- Countries have failed to adapt for unavoidable climate damage, UN says (Guardian UK)
- The World's First Solar-Powered Steel Mill Is Here (Earther)
- Three degrees of global warming is quite plausible and truly disastrous (The Economist/Green Reporter)
- VIDEO: 2050: what happens if we ignore the climate crisis (Guardian UK)
- Guilt, grief and anxiety as young people fear for climate's future (Reuters)
- 99.9 percent Of Scientists Agree Climate Emergency Caused By Humans (Guardian UK)
- An Empire of Dying Wells: Old oil and gas sites are a climate menace. Meet the company that owns more of America's decaying wells than any other. (Bloomberg)
- Climate Fund Choices for Investors Are Multiplying (Bloomberg/Yahoo)
- How climate change could undo 50 years of public health gains (Grist)
- Climate Change Will Force a New American Migration (Pro Publica)
- Exxon's Snake Oil: 100 years of deception (Columbia Journalism Review)
- What Does '12 Years to Act on Climate Change' (Now 9 Years) Really Mean? (Inside Climate News)
- VIDEO: A Message From the Future With Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (The Intercept)
- What genuine, no-bullshit ambition on climate change would look like: How to hit the most stringent targets, with no loopholes. (David Roberts, Vox)
- A Global Shift To Sustainability Would Save Us $26 Trillion (Vox)
- Project Drawdown: 100 Solutions to Reverse Global Warming (Drawdown.org)
- An Optimist's Guide to Solving Climate Change and Saving the World (Vice)
- The great nutrient collapse: The atmosphere is literally changing the food we eat, for the worse. And almost nobody is paying attention. (Politico)
- The world's bleak climate situation, in 3 charts: We've got a long way to go and a short time to get there. (Vox)
- The Climate Risks We Face (NY Times):
To stabilize global temperature, net carbon dioxide emissions must be reduced to zero. The window of time is rapidly closing to reduce emissions and limit warming to no more than 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit or 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels, the goal set in the Paris climate accord. The further we push the climate system beyond historical conditions, the greater the risks of potentially unforeseen and even catastrophic changes to the climate - so every reduction in emissions helps.
- The Uninhabitable Earth: When will climate change make earth too hot for humans? (New York Magazine):
Famine, economic collapse, a sun that cooks us: What climate change could wreak - sooner than you think.
- A beginner's guide to the debate over 100% renewable energy (Vox):
Clean-energy enthusiasts frequently claim that we can go bigger, that it's possible for the whole world to run on renewables - we merely lack the "political will." So, is it true? Do we know how get to an all-renewables system? Not yet. Not really.