The European Union has put its stamp of approval on a reworked law yesterday banning all new sales of ICE vehicles from 2035. Meanwhile, the European Commission has also proposed new targets to cut CO2 emissions from city buses and trucks from 2030 and onward. Here’s the latest.
COP26, the 26th meeting of the United Nations Framework on Climate Change’s Conference of Parties has ended with the successful negotiation of the Glasgow Climate Pact, which updates the landmark Paris Agreement with new climate goals (full text here). The new Pact moves forward timelines for updating national goals for carbon reduction and for the first time explicitly calls for a “phase-down” of coal globally.
But experts warn that the new commitments are not strong enough and will still need to be updated, as soon and as strongly as possible, if we want to keep warming below 1.5ºC above pre-industrial levels.
Systemic tax abuse, corruption, and money laundering slow down climate action, says the United Nations’ High-Level Panel on International Financial Accountability, Transparency and Integrity for Achieving the 2030 Agenda (FACTI Panel).
The FACTI Panel, which includes former world leaders and central bank governors, business and civil society heads and academics, says bankers, lawyers, and accountants who enable financial crime must face punitive sanctions.
The panel has today released its final report, “Financial Integrity for Sustainable Development,” in which it says stronger laws and institutions are needed to prevent cross-border corruption and money laundering. As much as 2.7% of the global GDP is laundered by criminals annually.
Electrek spoke with Dalia Grybauskaitė, FACTI co-chair and the former president of Lithuania, about how governments can tackle climate change with global finance reform.
Newly inaugurated US President Joe Biden wasted no time in rejoining the Paris Agreement to fight climate change on January 20. After 30 days, the US has today officially once again become part of the 189-country agreement.
As of midnight Eastern, the US leaves the Paris Agreement, the 2015 pact between 197 countries to stop global warming “well below” 2C, and work to hold it at 1.5C. Donald Trump formally withdrew the US from the global climate pact on November 4, 2019. The timing in relation to the US election is coincidental, but the outcome of the election will impact what comes next.
A group of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) has released a statement ahead of next week’s talks at the UN International Maritime Organization (IMO) that claims the initial IMO GHG Strategy, the 2018 climate deal agreed to by over 100 countries, risks being undermined at negotiations next week by a small number of countries.
Chinese President Xi Jinping (above), in a surprise announcement yesterday, told the United Nations General Assembly via video that China would achieve a peak in carbon dioxide emissions before 2030 and carbon neutrality before 2060. This will require a radical reshaping of the Chinese economy.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo yesterday announced the US’s “formal process of withdrawing from the Paris Agreement.” The United States is the only country to abandon the agreement. Yesterday was the first day that the Trump administration could give their one-year notice, and they wasted no time. So the US can now leave the agreement on November 4, 2020 — a day after the US presidential elections.
Any concerns that climate change would take a back seat in Congress after Tuesday’s Green New Deal vote seem to have been misplaced, as House Democrats introduced a new bill today to reduce carbon emissions and rejoin the Paris Agreement.
California Governor Jerry Brown, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, and Washington Governor Jay Inslee announced the creation of the group called the “United States Climate Alliance” and the three states, which together represent a quarter of US GDP and more than 20% of the nation’s population (but only about 10% of its carbon emissions), are inviting other states to join them.
Update: 68 “Climate Mayors” representing 38 million Americans have also committed to upholding the goals of the Paris Agreement. These include the non-CA/NY mayors of Boston, Houston, Chicago, Seattle, Atlanta, and many other large cities. One notable city joining the pact is Pittsburgh – in Mr. Trump’s speech, he noted that he was elected to represent “the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris.” Pittsburgh, however, apparently wishes to remain in the Agreement. Also, the governors of Massachusetts, Oregon, Colorado, Hawaii, Connecticut, Minnesota, Virginia and Rhode Island have all proclaimed continued support for the Agreement.
Mr. Trump has announced that he will pull the US out of the Paris Climate Agreement, ceasing all implementation as of today. Despite the vast majority of Americans support remaining in the Agreement by a 5:1 margin, and even a 2:1 margin among Republicans, Mr. Trump claimed that the decision to pull out was borne of a desire to follow the will of the people.
The US will consider re-entering the Agreement after “negotiating a new deal” which is more “fair” to the US. It is unclear what is “unfair” about the Paris Agreement, as the Agreement itself does not set any specific goals for the US or any other country. Click below the fold for more details of the Agreement and analysis of this decision.