General Policy

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Congress should stop interfering in Europe's aviation carbon pollution policy

Jake Schmidt of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) shines some light on an important issue lurking in the dark corners of a huge bill being considered by Congress right now.  The bill would reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) – the US agency that regulates airlines. A  little-noticed provision in the House version of the bill would try to block a program in the European Union (EU) to tackle climate pollution from aircraft coming into and leaving the EU.  Why would Congress try to stop other countries from tackling climate change? 

Presidents of U.S. and Russia Agree to Step Up Cooperation in Bering Strait Region

President Barack Obama and President  Dmitry Medvedev of Russia on Thursday (26 May 2011) in a joint statement noted the "effects of climate change and other pressures on the common natural and cultural heritage of the Bering Strait region" and the "significance of unique Arctic ecosystems." The two leaders recognized the "importance of cooperation to protect nature and natural resources ... and to apply effective strategies aimed at sustainable development" in the region.  They declared their "intention to deepen cooperation...including the expansion of interaction between the national agencies that are responsible for the specially protected natural territories/areas of both countries..."

Promoting Clean Energy is in China’s own Self Interest

China is the world's largest user of clean energy, the leading manufacturer of most renewable energy technologies and the largest recipient of clean energy investments.  China has embraced clean energy to tackle energy security and environmental problems, including climate change.    

China Solidifies Itself as Clean Energy Powerhouse

According to a new report, China has solidified its lead over the U.S. in clean energy investment and installed clean energy capacity. With record private clean energy investments in 2010, China ranks first for the second straight year, surpassing the U.S.

“Use 60 minutes of darkness to help the world see the light,” urges Ban Ki-moon

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon leads a host of world and civic leaders supporting Earth Hour 2011 as a powerful symbol of a shared wish for a sustainable and secure future.
 

NOAA Releases New Strategy for Addressing a Rapidly Changing Arctic

National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has released a report on the Arctic, outlining NOAA’s vision and strategy for dealing with a rapidly changing environment and improving forecasts of the region's weather and sea ice conditions.

Record participation with 5 days until the world unites for Earth Hour

With just 5 days remaining before Earth Hour (26 March 2011, 8:30 pm), the global lights-out event has reached record participation levels.  Thousands of communities in 131 countries and territories on all seven continents are registered to take part.

EPA Clean Air Regulations Save Lives and Money, According to New Study

A new report evaluating the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990, show the benefits of the regulation far outweigh the cost by a factor of 30 to 1. These amendments instituted the acid rain cap-and-trade program and covered fine particles, ozone, nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds. When these amendments were first being proposed, much like proposed bills to regulate greenhouse gases, naysayers predicted the cost to businesses and the economy would be too great. This report proves otherwise. 

Economist Robert Litterman: "Price Climate Risk Immediately" through a Price on Carbon Emissions

"The logic is very simple," says economist Robert Litterman.  "Not pricing risk leads to too much risk being taken; and too much risk being taken leads to disasters."

Legislation Passed by U.S. House Would Strip U.S. Funding for International Climate Change Assessment Panel

Early today (Saturday, 19 Feb 2011) -- after temperatures in Washington, DC, rose to a record high for the date on Friday -- the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation that would eliminate U.S. funding for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).  Missouri Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer, who proposed the IPCC amendment that was approved by nearly all his Republican colleagues,  claimed the U.S. would otherwise contribute about $13 million to the IPCC.  Fact-checking shows that his claim may be more than 5 time larger than the actual U.S. contribution.

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