Climate Change

New law will study urban heat islands in New York

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Urban areas that face disproportionate heat conditions will be studied by state environmental officials under a measure signed Friday by Gov. Kathy Hochul.

The new law will assess the effects of so-called urban heat islands in low-income and disadvantaged neighborhoods of New York state.

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Proposed New York environmental bond act gets boost ahead of vote

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Environmental organizations, labor groups and Gov. Kathy Hochul are making a concerted push in recent days for the approval of a $4.2 billion bond plan to shore up the state's infrastructure against extreme weather events in the coming years.

Hochul on Wednesday in New York City at a joint event with New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy urged voters to back the bond act in a coming referendum this November.

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New York now has 100 'climate smart' communities

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

There are now more than 100 communities in the state that have received the "Climate Smart" designation as the state takes broader steps toward mitigating the effects of climate change, Gov. Kathy Hochul's office on Monday announced.

The communities have all moved in various ways to meet the social, financial and environmental challenges of climate change by pledging to reduce emissions. The designation has been in place for communities since 2014.

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Study: Antarctica's ‘doomsday glacier’ at risk of rapid retreat

BY Rachel Tillman International

The world’s widest glacier is at risk of rapidly retreating in the “near future,” a process that could raise global sea levels to concerning heights, according to a study published in the journal Nature Geoscience on Monday.

The massive but melting Thwaites glacier rests on Antarctica’s western half, east of the jutting Antarctic Peninsula. The Florida-sized glacier has gotten the nickname the “doomsday glacier” because of how much ice it has and how much seas could rise if it all melts.

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Where New York business, labor groups agree on climate change needs

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Four influential business and labor organizations on Monday in a joint statement signaled where they agree on the direction the state's climate change policies should take as officials develop a plan for transitioning New York's energy to more renewable and cleaner forms of fuel in the coming decades.

The groups — The Independent Power Producers of New York, The Business of New York State, the New York State AFL-CIO, and the New York State Building & Construction Trades Council — in a rare joint statement called for seven principles to guide the prcoess and address "shortcomings" in the current version of a draft plan under consideration by the State's Climate Action Council.

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Study: 1 in 6 U.S. native tree species could face extinction

BY Ryan Chatelain Nationwide

As many as one in six tree species native to the contiguous 48 states is threatened with extinction, according to a first-of-its-kind assessment.

The most common threats to native U.S. trees are invasive insects and diseases, climate change and extreme weather, changes to habitats, and biological resource uses such as logging, the analysis said.

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Study: Nearly 90% of marine species at risk of extinction by year 2100 with continued emission levels

BY Rachel Tillman International

A new study is highlighting the dire risk facing a majority of marine wildlife should global greenhouse gas emissions continue at current levels.

The study, published Monday in the journal Nature Climate Change, evaluated the risk for nearly 25,000 marine species and their surrounding ecosystem and the potential impact of greenhouse gas emissions. Researchers created a checklist – which they deemed the Climate Risk Index for Biodiversity – to assess which species might be most impacted by warming waters through a variety of factors.

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Federal study: New climate law to slice carbon pollution 40%

BY Associated Press Nationwide

Clean energy incentives in the new spending package signed this week by President Joe Biden will trim America’s emissions of heat-trapping gases by about 1.1 billion tons by 2030, a new Department of Energy analysis shows.

The first official federal calculations, shared with The Associated Press before its release Thursday, say that between the bill just signed and last year’s infrastructure spending law, the U.S. by the end of the decade will be producing about 1.26 billion tons (1.15 billion metric tons) less carbon pollution than it would have without the laws. That saving is equivalent to about the annual greenhouse gas emissions of every home in the United States.

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FEMA declares new strategy to engage Native American tribes

BY Associated Press Nationwide

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has developed a new strategy to better engage with hundreds of Native American tribes as they face climate change-related disasters, the agency announced Thursday.

FEMA will include the 574 federally recognized tribal nations in discussions about possible future dangers from climate change, and has earmarked $50 million in grants for tribes pursuing ways to ease burdens related to extreme weather. Tribal governments will be offered more training on how to navigate applying for FEMA funds. The new plan calls for tribal liaisons to give a yearly report to FEMA leaders on how prepared tribes are.

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New York AFL-CIO endorses $4.2B environmental bond act

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

A plan to borrow $4.2 billion to help gird New York's waterways and other infrastructure against the worsening effects of climate change has picked up more support from labor.

The New York State AFL-CIO this weekk officially endorsed the bond act, being put to voters this November.

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Thousands of low, no-emission buses to roll out across the country

BY Rachel Tillman Nationwide

Cities, states and tribes across the country will soon have cleaner fleets of buses thanks to a series of grants funded through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

The Department of Transportation on Tuesday announced the recipients of $1.66 billion that can be used for new low-emission and no-emission bus fleets, as well as to train transit workers on maintaining and operating the coming technology.

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Despite dire warnings, climate change getting few mentions in midterm campaign ads

BY Ryan Chatelain Nationwide
UPDATED 8:50 AM ET Aug. 11, 2022

In a recent campaign ad, Morgan McGarvey, Kentucky’s Senate minority leader who is running for a U.S. House seat, vows to “take real action on climate change” if elected.

But despite constant reminders about the worsening impacts of climate change, the Kentucky Democrat appears to be a rarity in this year’s congressional midterm elections.

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Sprite to retire iconic green bottle in favor of ‘greener’ option

BY Rachel Tillman Nationwide

Coca-Cola is changing how it packages some of its popular beverages in order to better “support a circular economy for plastic packaging,” the company wrote in a statement on Wednesday.

One of those changes will impact Sprite's iconic green bottle, which will be discontinued after nearly six decades on the market. Starting August 1, the bubbly beverage will be served in clear plastic bottles to boost its chances of being recycled into other containers after their initial use.

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Hochul signs 3 bills to bolster state's clean energy sector

BY Spectrum News Staff New York State

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul on Tuesday signed into law three bills aimed to advance the state's clean energy industry.

The Advanced Building Codes, Appliance and Equipment Efficiency Standards Act of 2022 will amend the state's regulatory and policy environment to support energy efficiency and greenhouse gas reduction strategies in buildings.

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Upstate Democratic leaders urge Hochul to pause cryptomining

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Eight top officials of Democratic county committees from the Finger Lakes and Southern Tier regions of upstate New York on Tuesday urged Gov. Kathy Hochul to put a pause on proof-of-work cryptomining in the state.

The county chairs, in a letter to Hochul, called on the governor to sign a bill that would lead to a two-year moratorium for the process, which has come under crticisim from environmental organizations in New York.

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New York Build Public Renewables bill is part of 'all-of-the-above approach' on climate

BY Tim Williams New York State

Despite passing in the New York state Senate, the clock ran out before the state Assembly could move the Build Public Renewables Act through the chamber.

State Sen. Kevin Parker, a Democrat from Brooklyn and chair of the Senate Energy and Telecommunications Committee, told Capital Tonight that the legislation is part of an “all-of-the-above approach” and added “we need to have the market, but we also need to allow utilities and the New York Power Authority involved in this idea of creating sustainable generation for our state.”

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New York’s climate goals will change how you get around

BY Tim Williams New York State

The Climate Action Council, which is tasked with laying the framework for the state to meet its climate goals established in 2019’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, has extended the public comment period for its draft scoping plan until July 1. With 27% of the state’s total emissions coming from transportation sources, the way you get around the Empire State will be changing.

Roger Caiazza, of the Pragmatic Environmentalist of New York blog, told Capital Tonight that due to state law, by 2035, all new cars sold in the state will need to be zero emission vehicles. The Climate Action Council’s draft scoping plan forecasts the price of zero emission vehicles to fall by 2028. Caiazza argues that a demand for rare earth minerals which are needed to create batteries for cars will keep the price of these cars higher than the draft scoping plan’s estimates and despite tax rebates, the cost could still be prohibitive for some New Yorkers.

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New York legislative session wins, losses for the environment

BY Susan Arbetter New York State

The New York legislative session was a mixed bag for the environmental community.

While nothing was resolved regarding how the state will pay for its transition to clean energy, there was movement to protect the environment from behind-the-meter proof-of-work cryptocurrency mining.

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Biden invokes Defense Production Act to boost clean energy manufacturing

BY Justin Tasolides Nationwide

President Joe Biden on Monday announced a number of executive actions aimed at boosting domestic manufacturing of clean energy technology, including invoking the Defense Production Act to accelerate production of solar panels in the United States.

The president also issued a two-year exemption on tariffs on solar panel imports made in Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam, which White House officials called a bridge measure amid the push for increased domestic production.

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The pros and cons of — and some cost estimates for — heat pumps

BY Susan Arbetter New York State

The Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) requires New York state to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 85% by 2050. In order to do that, New Yorkers are going to have to make some changes. Those changes are currently being hammered out in the draft scoping plan issued by the Climate Action Council.

Buildings are the largest greenhouse gas emitters in the state; the draft plan is optimistic that decarbonizing the state’s building stock will deliver both job growth and economic opportunity.

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Top labor leader selected for New York climate council

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

A top labor organization leader in New York on Tuesday was selected by Gov. Kathy Hochul to serve on the state's panel addressing climate change issues.

Longtime New York AFL-CIO President Mario Cilento was appointed to the Climate Action Council, which is in charge of developing policies and recommendations for the overall effort of transitioning the state to cleaner and more renewable forms of fuel and energy.

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The City: Push to clean up air around ‘last-mile’ warehouses gets in gear

BY Samantha Maldonado Brooklyn

As online shopping has grown, so have the so-called last-mile warehouses that store the products consumers need so quickly — and the trucks and vans necessary for those deliveries.

All of the exhaust belched out by these facilities is a threat to public health that disproportionately impacts low-income communities of color, say environmental and health advocates. New legislation in Albany may offer a breath of relief.

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How National Grid plans to transition to renewable fuels

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

The predominant utility provider in upstate New York in the coming decades is planning a transition that will entirely eliminate its use of fossil fuels from its energy production by 2050.

The move by National Grid will be a challenge to enact, but also coincides with the broader effort under New York state law to phase out the use of carbon-based fossil fuels and switch to renewable energy in the coming decade.

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How New York's Capitol could soon go all-electric

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

For more than a century, the hulking state Capitol building in Albany has hosted the seat of government in New York.

And on Monday, state lawmakers proposed legislation that is meant to modernize the Capitol as well as the adjacent state office complex by requiring it to one day be run on renewable energies.

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Can using nuclear power help New York achieve its climate goals?

BY Susan Arbetter New York State

New York’s ambitious carbon reduction law, the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, also known as the CLCPA, doesn’t say much about nuclear power. But it does require New York to reduce economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions 40% by 2030, and no less than 85% by 2050, from 1990 levels.

The question one climate scientist is asking is this: “Why not employ nuclear power” to help meet those goals?

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New York voters will consider larger bond act for environment

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Voters in New York are set to consider a larger bond act to shore up water and sewer systems in order to harden them against increasingly extreme weather events.

The proposed Environmental Bond Act, which had the initial price tag of $3 billion when proposed by then-Gov. Andrew Cuomo, has now increased to a $4.2 billion proposal.

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Cryptocurrency critics angry at Hochul over punting air pollution permit decision

BY Susan Arbetter Finger Lakes

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has announced it would delay a decision for a second time on whether to approve a critical air pollution permit renewal for a controversial cryptocurrency mining operation on the shores of Seneca Lake.

Greenidge Generation has been criticized for using enormous amounts of energy to mine for cryptocurrency like Bitcoin.

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Companies set sights on removing troublesome CO2 from air

BY Ryan Chatelain International

Climate change, along with the growing problems it’s creating around the globe, is being fueled by greenhouse gases trapped in the atmosphere. But what if those gases could be erased?

Emerging technologies that essentially vacuum carbon dioxide out of the air are being heralded by some as a game-changing weapon in the fight against climate change. But the industry still has a long way to go, and it has its share of detractors.

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Environmental groups urge rejection of New York gas tax suspension

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Prominent environmental, transit and good-government organizations on Friday urged Gov. Kathy Hochul to reject a proposed gas tax suspension in the state budget, arguing it would run counter to the state's efforts to combat climate change and deprive road improvement projects of funding.

Lawmakers and Hochul are negotiating a potential suspension of the tax that would run from May 1 to the end of the year as the per-gallon price of gasoline remains above $4 in many parts of New York.

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Will New York get new plastic packaging requirements right or wrong?

BY Susan Arbetter New York State

To get a handle on plastic packaging, there is a movement to get companies to take responsibility for all the waste they produce. It’s called Extended Producer Responsibility, or EPR.

According to the group Beyond Plastics, strong and transparent EPR can be used to solve the growing problem of packaging waste and plastic pollution, but only if states get the details right and hold companies accountable.

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How the New York state budget might address decarbonization in buildings

BY Susan Arbetter New York State

Buildings are the number one emitters of carbon in New York state. Those emissions come from the burning of fossil fuels like oil and gas for heating and cooling.

Convincing New Yorkers to support a ban on natural gas connections to newly constructed homes and buildings was going to be a heavy lift even before Russia invaded Ukraine. With the subsequent increase in gas prices and utility costs on the rise, it may seem even more daunting.

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Conservation groups seek final approval of clean fuel standard in state budget

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

A coalition of environmental organizations and labor unions is making a final push in the coming weeks to gain the approval of a clean fuel standard in the state budget with the goal of reducing carbon emissions in New York state.

The measure is meant to reduce emissions by addressing the carbon intensity of motor fuels with the blending of low-carbon alternatives. A version of the proposal, which has been backed by state Sen. Kevin Parker and Assemblywoman Carrie Woerner in the state Legislature, was included in the state Senate's budget proposal this week.

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New York lawmakers want to speed up electric buildings construction

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Lawmakers in the state Senate want a ban on fossil fuels in new building construction to go into effect three years earlier than proposed by Gov. Kathy Hochul.

The provision in the Democratic-led state Senate's proposed budget is part of a broader effort to transition the state to more renewable forms of energy in the coming decades, legislation that is expected to drive major changes in transportation, construction and consumer products.

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GOP candidate Wilson discusses CLCPA

BY Susan Arbetter New York State
UPDATED 2:43 PM ET Mar. 12, 2022

In 2010, businessman Harry Wilson came within five points of beating New York state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli — the closest a Republican has come to winning statewide office since for Gov. George Pataki’s last re-election in 2002.

Wilson is running again — this time for governor in the hopes of ending the Grand Old Party’s two-decade long drought. First, he’ll need to secure the nomination through a primary in June.

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Hochul says labor jobs will drive climate projects

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

The projects to strengthen New York's infrastructure from the worst effects of climate change while also building out projects for renewable energies like wind will be done with labor union jobs, Gov. Kathy Hochul Friday said.

Hochul was in Florida Friday morning for the New York Building Trades annual winter conference, pledging to prioritize jobs for labor in projects like the construction of wind turbines in the Albany area for construction off the shore of Long Island.

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New York climate activists say urgency is needed, but a banner stokes controversy

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Protesters seeking more official action to combat climate change call the issue a long-term emergency facing New York.

That includes Joanna Oldman Smith, who traveled to Albany from Brooklyn to stage a sit-in at the state Capitol. She was among a dozen protesters blocking the entance to the building in order to bring attention to the issue which she said lacks urgency from the state's leaders.

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Study: Increased flood risk from climate change will disproportionately impact Black Americans

BY Rachel Tillman Nationwide

As climate change continues to spur more natural disasters, a new study found that Black Americans are likely to bear the brunt of the risks associated with floods over the next several decades.

The study, published in the journal Nature Climate Change on Monday, found that the United States faces a 26.4% increase in costs from severe floods by 2050, up from around $32 billion to more than $43 billion over the next several decades.

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Biden signs order to make federal government carbon-neutral by 2050

BY Justin Tasolides Washington, D.C.

On Wednesday, President Joe Biden signed an executive order directing the federal government to dramatically reduce its carbon footprint, putting it on a path to net-zero emissions by 2050.

“As the single largest land owner, energy consumer, and employer in the Nation, the Federal Government can catalyze private sector investment and expand the economy and American industry by transforming how we build, buy, and manage electricity, vehicles, buildings, and other operations to be clean and sustainable,” the order reads.

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EPA: Water infrastructure funding should focus on disadvantaged communities

BY Rachel Tillman Nationwide

Michael Regan, administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), on Thursday encouraged local governments to focus their portion of the $50 billion from the Bipartisan Infrastructure law to improve water infrastructure and ensure Americans have access to clean drinking water in historically disadvantaged communities.



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Maine climate activists disappointed, hopeful, galvanized to act after mixed results of Glasgow summit

BY Annie Ropeik Maine

Maine climate change activists say they’re feeling both disappointment and hope for the future after the mixed results of last week’s United Nations summit in Scotland.

World leaders who gathered in Glasgow for the “COP26” conference agreed to offer plans next year to scale up their efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, in a last-ditch effort to keep global warming under the 1.5 degrees Celsius they agreed to in the Paris Climate Accords.

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Study: Oceans polluted with over 25,000 tons of COVID-related plastic waste

BY Rachel Tillman Nationwide

Tens of thousands of pounds of pandemic-related materials like plastic masks, gloves and face shields have been discarded into the ocean since the beginning of the pandemic, according to a report published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

As cases of COVID-19 began to rise in 2020, so too did the need for personal protection equipment (PPE), much of which was made from single-use plastics.

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Pelosi, AOC, Democrats push Biden climate agenda in Glasgow: 'America is back'

BY Spectrum News Staff International

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and several of her fellow Democratic lawmakers traveled to the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland, with one purpose: To show that "America is back" on the world stage to help combat the climate crisis.

Fresh off of a momentous week in Washington, D.C., following the passage of the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill, nearly two dozen members oft he Democratic delegation traveled to Scotland to attend the United Nations Climate Change Conference.

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New climate threats force U.S. to reassess security, migration challenges

BY Reuben Jones and Breanne Deppisch International
UPDATED 7:28 PM ET Nov. 04, 2021

A climate report released by the Biden administration last month offers a stark warning about the effects climate change could have on migration and security around the world.

The report said that migration caused by climate change could exacerbate existing geopolitical tensions, displace millions of people and deepen political instability in parts of the world.

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In call for more EPA regulation, environmental group's database tracks chemicals in tap water

BY Austin Landis Washington, D.C.

Millions of Americans’ drinking water contains potentially-dangerous chemicals, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) found in their newly-updated tap water database, including substances like arsenic, lead and a group known as “forever chemicals,” all of which are associated with serious health conditions, most commonly cancer.

The environmental monitoring nonprofit released the newest version of its database on Wednesday in an effort to call attention to “widespread contamination” of drinking water and the need for federal regulators to do more to clear chemicals from people’s taps.

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Biden climate agenda sparks opposition from some Republicans, oil and gas industry leaders

BY Breanne Deppisch and Reena Diamante Nationwide

The Biden administration on Tuesday announced a sweeping new plan to reduce methane emissions in the U.S., pledging to work alongside E.U. members and others nations to reduce by 30% overall methane emissions by the year 2030.

But President Biden’s announcement – coupled with his recently unveiled Build Back Better framework, which proposes roughly $555 billion for clean energy and climate change initiatives – have drawn consternation from some oil and gas leaders in the U.S., who have so far resisted calls to shift the industry away from its reliance on such emissions.

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U.S. Climate adviser: Biden’s methane plan ‘buys us time’ against climate change

BY Justin Tasolides and Kevin Frey International
UPDATED 4:18 PM ET Nov. 02, 2021

As President Joe Biden wraps up a whirlwind appearance at the United Nations climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland, his administration unveiled a sweeping plan on Tuesday to reduce methane emissions, pledging to work with the European Union and other nations to reduce overall methane emissions worldwide by 30% by 2030.

Methane, one of the most potent greenhouse gases, contributes significantly to global warming.

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Biden announces new group of global companies to push for 'green' supply chain

BY Austin Landis Washington, D.C.
UPDATED 1:31 PM ET Nov. 02, 2021

In an effort to motivate corporations around the world to prioritize clean energy when purchasing materials and establishing their supply chains, President Joe Biden on Tuesday announced the formation of a new group of private companies called the First Movers Coalition.

The group, which includes more than 25 major companies so far, is meant to set the standard in industries like steel, aviation, trucking, shipping, concrete and more, which together count for about 30% of the world’s carbon emissions.

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During N.Y. visit, VP Harris calls climate crisis 'a moment of opportunity' for America

BY Justin Tasolides and Spectrum News Staff Nationwide
UPDATED 4:54 PM ET Nov. 01, 2021

With President Joe Biden abroad making the case for urgent action to combat the climate crisis at the COP26 conference in Glasgow, Scotland, Vice President Kamala Harris took a trip to New York on Monday to announce key climate initiatives at home.

Harris, who was joined by Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, traveled to New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport, where they announced two new Department of Energy initiatives aimed at combatting the climate crisis and creating jobs:

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Fighting climate change using trees

BY Meteorologist Andrew Kozak Nationwide

Trees are not only beautiful, they also provide shade and create homes for our animal friends. They may also help combat climate change.

As city planners continue to look for ways to beautify cities, many are overseeing new park developments that will in part help lower the temperatures of urban areas.

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Poll: Majority in U.S. concerned about climate

BY Associated Press Nationwide

President Joe Biden heads to a vital U.N. climate summit at a time when a majority of Americans regard the deteriorating climate as a problem of high importance to them, an increase from just a few years ago.

About 6 out of 10 Americans also believe that the pace of global warming is speeding up, according to a new survey from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago.

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Google updates maps, flight search and more in global sustainability effort

BY Rachel Tillman International

Google is launching a host of new updates to a number of its services as part of a global effort to help consumers make environmentally-friendly choices both at home and on the road, the company announced Wednesday.

“Today, climate change is more than a threat,” Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and its parent company, Alphabet, said in a recorded statement. “It is a real and present danger. From wildfires to flooding to more frequent and severe storms, climate change is the most profound risk we face, one that affects our health, our economies and our future together on this planet.”

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Hochul announces 11 new certified Climate Smart Communities across NY

BY Adam Penale New York State

As part of Climate Week 2021, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul announced 11 new certified Climate Smart Communities which are working to support local efforts to meet challenges brought about by climate change. Three communities already in the program have also been recertified and Erie County has advanced to silver-level certification.

To reach certification, Hochul says that communities must establish an active climate change task force made up of residents and municipal representatives.

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Daily Pilot: Irvine could secure $1-million worth of funding to combat climate change

BY Ben Brazil Orange County

Irvine is moving forward in a statewide competition for $1-million worth of funding to help the city achieve its ambitious goal to have a zero-carbon economy by 2030.

The competition, the Cool City Challenge, was started by the Empowerment Institute, an international consulting and training organization specializing in empowering cities to meet their carbon reduction goals. As part of this initiative, three California cities will receive $1 million each to roll out their climate programs. The three recipients of the grants will also share the Carbon Neutral City Prize, which includes $25 million in funding.

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Biden EPA completes rule to phase out gases used as refrigerants

BY Associated Press Nationwide

In what officials call a key step to combat climate change, the Environmental Protection Agency is sharply limiting domestic production and use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), highly potent greenhouse gases commonly used in refrigerators and air conditioners.

The new rule, which follows through on a law Congress passed last year, is intended to decrease U.S. production and use of HFCs by 85% over the next 15 years, part of a global phaseout designed to slow global warming.

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WHO sets higher, tougher bar for air quality

BY Associated Press International

The World Health Organization said Wednesday that the harmful health effects of air pollution kick in at lower levels than it previously thought and it is setting a higher bar for policymakers and the public in its first update to its air quality guidelines in 15 years.

The United Nations health agency released its revised Air Quality Guidelines as climate change is a leading topic at the U.N. General Assembly in New York. Chinese President Xi Jinping announced Tuesday that China will no longer fund power plants fired by coal, which generates several of the pollutants covered by the guidelines.

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McDonald's to phase out plastic Happy Meal toys by 2025

BY Spectrum News Staff Nationwide

McDonald's announced that it will make major changes to its iconic Happy Meal toys, with an aim to "drastically" reduce its use of plastics as part of the company's push toward sustainability and reducing their environmental impact.

"Starting now, and phased in across the globe by the end of 2025, our ambition is that every toy sold in a Happy Meal will be sustainable, made from more renewable, recycled, or certified materials like bio-based and plant-derived materials and certified fiber," McDonald's wrote in a statement posted to its website.

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Biden administration takes action to protect Americans from extreme heat

BY Associated Press Nationwide

The Biden administration is moving to protect workers and communities from extreme heat after a dangerously hot summer that spurred an onslaught of drought-worsened wildfires and caused hundreds of deaths from the Pacific Northwest to hurricane-ravaged Louisiana.

Under a plan announced Monday, the U.S. Departments of Labor and of Health and Human Services as well as other federal agencies are launching actions intended to reduce heat-related illness and protect public health.

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Biden, world leaders try to hammer out next steps on climate: 'We have to act and we have to act now'

BY Spectrum News Staff Nationwide

President Joe Biden tried to hammer out the world’s next steps against rapidly worsening climate change in a private, virtual session with a small group of other global leaders Friday, and announced a new U.S.-European pledge to cut climate-wrecking methane leaks.

Grim findings from scientists this year that the world is nearing the point where the level of climate damage from burning oil, gas and coal becomes catastrophic and irreversible “represent a code red for humanity,” Biden said at the beginning of the session.

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NOAA: July 2021 was Earth's hottest month on record

BY Spectrum News Staff International

July 2021 has earned an unenviable distinction of being the planet's hottest month on record, according to data released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Centers for Environmental Information Friday.

JUST IN: It’s official. #July was Earth’s hottest month on record. https://t.co/xKGLizOml4 via @NOAANCEIclimate #StateOfClimate #July2021 (Tweet 1 of 5) pic.twitter.com/Qqbu6CLqVt

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Biden sets electric vehicle sales goal of 50% by 2030

BY Austin Landis and Spectrum News Staff Nationwide
UPDATED 4:45 PM ET Aug. 05, 2021

President Joe Biden on Thursday signed an executive order that sets a goal that half of all new vehicles sold in the U.S. by 2030 will be zero-emissions, and he committed to reversing a Trump-era rollback of fuel emissions standards.

"We led in developing this technology. And there's no reason why we can't reclaim that leadership again. But we just have to move, we have to move fast," President Biden said, noting China's advances in the industry.

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Biden moves to restore clean-water safeguards ended by Trump

BY Associated Press Nationwide

The Biden administration began legal action Wednesday to repeal a Trump-era rule that ended federal protections for hundreds of thousands of small streams, wetlands and other waterways, leaving them more vulnerable to pollution from development, industry and farms.

The rule — sometimes referred to as “waters of the United States” or WOTUS — narrowed the types of waterways that qualify for federal protection under the Clean Water Act. It was one of hundreds of rollbacks of environmental and public health regulations under President Donald Trump, who said the rules imposed unnecessary burdens on business.

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Biden to suspend oil leases in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

BY Associated Press Nationwide

The Biden administration is suspending oil and gas leases in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as it review environmental impacts of drilling in the remote region that has been the focus of a political fight for decades, according to two people who have been briefed on the administration’s plan.

The Interior Department order was set to be announced later Monday. It follows a temporary moratorium on oil and gas lease activities imposed by President Joe Biden on his first day in office. Biden’s Jan. 20 executive order suggested a new environmental review was needed to address possible legal flaws in a drilling program approved by the Trump administration under a 2017 law approved by Congress.

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Biden administration outlines plan to conserve 30% of U.S. lands, waters by 2030

BY Spectrum News Staff Nationwide

The Biden administration provided the outline Thursday for its “America the Beautiful” initiative, releasing a report compiled by multiple Cabinet agencies outlining a collaborative vision for restoring and conserving America’s lands, waters and wildlife over the next decade.

The report builds on an executive order issued by President Biden in his earliest days in office, which ordered federal agencies to submit a report on how the U.S. can conserve “at least 30% of our lands and waters by 2030."

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Study: Pandemic Leads To 9.2% Drop in Greenhouse Gases by U.S. Economy

BY Ryan Chatelain Nationwide
UPDATED 11:23 AM ET Nov. 20, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has sent greenhouse gas emissions from U.S. businesses plummeting to their lowest level in nearly three decades, according to analysis from BloombergNEF, an energy research group.

Greenhouse gases generated by the economy are projected to drop to 5.9 billion metric tons in 2020, down 9.2% compared to last year, the study says. That is about the same level seen in 1983, when the U.S. economy was less than 40% its current size.

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Cuomo: $3 Billion New York Environmental Bond Act Postponed

BY Susan Arbetter New York State

The Restore Mother Nature Bond Act, which would have been the largest in state history, was supposed to reduce the risk of flooding for vulnerable communities, restore habitat, and prepare the state for climate change.

It’s become another victim of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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The DEC Denied Another Pipeline Permit. Is There More to it Than That?

BY Susan Arbetter New York State

The state’s environmental agency said “no” once again to a pipeline that would have carried natural gas into New York City – the second time in three months that energy giant Williams has been foiled in New York.

Back in February, after an eight-year regulatory battle with activists and the state of New York, and after what the company called a diminished anticipated return on its investment, Williams pulled the Constitution Pipeline project.

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Fahy Wants A Bigger Bond Act in New York

BY Nick Reisman New York State

Assemblywoman Pat Fahy thinks New York is going to need a bigger bond act.

The Albany Democrat on Wednesday announced she is backing an even larger bond act to bolster the environment and combat climate change in New York than the original proposal of Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

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Cuomo to Make Climate Action Council Appointments

BY Nick Reisman Albany/Capital Region

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Friday will announce the appointments of SUNY Empire President Jim Malatras and former Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation Commissioner Rose Harvey to a climate change council.

The appointments by Cuomo are key for the panel to begin its work of enacting a plan to reach targeted emissions reduction goals in the coming decades, and is being closely watched in environmental and climate policy circles.

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Cuomo Proposes $3B Environmental Bond Act

BY Nick Reisman New York State

Gov. Andrew Cuomo proposed on Wednesday $3 billion in borrowing to help bolster the state's environment.

The proposal was the latest plan unveiled in his State of the State agenda, held in Albany and on the first day of the legislative session.

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ExxonMobil Scores Victory In Climate Change Suit

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

State judge on Tuesday ruled in favor of ExxonMobil in a wide-ranging case over whether the company misled shareholders on the effects of the business costs related to efforts to combat climate change.

The result is a victory for ExxonMobil in a case that dates back to Eric Schneiderman’s term in office.

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