Tag: US news

President Biden and Boris Johnson share hopes for end to Covid in first phone call

The 46th US president and the UK prime minister also discussed Nato, climate change and human rights

Boris Johnson has had his first call with Joe Biden since the new US president entered the White House on Wednesday. Downing Street said Johnson congratulated Biden on his inauguration and that the two leaders looked forward to “deepening the close alliance” between their nations.

After the call, the prime minister tweeted: “Great to speak to President Joe Biden this evening. I look forward to deepening the longstanding alliance between our two countries as we drive a green and sustainable recovery from Covid-19.”

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Biden to ‘hit ground running’ as he rejoins Paris climate accords

President-elect to block Keystone XL pipeline among other swift environmental moves – but challenges lie ahead

Joe Biden is set for a flurry of action to combat the climate crisis on his first day as US president by immediately rejoining the Paris climate agreement and blocking the Keystone XL pipeline, although experts have warned lengthier, and harder, environmental battles lie ahead in his presidency.

In a series of plans drawn up by Biden’s incoming administration for his first day in office, the new president will take the resonant step of bringing the US back into the Paris climate accords, an international agreement to curb dangerous global heating that Donald Trump exited.…

2020 was hottest year on record by narrow margin, Nasa says

Due to different methods, US Noaa judged year as fractionally cooler than 2016 while UK Met Office put 2020 in close second place

Last year was by a narrow margin the hottest ever on record, according to Nasa, with the climate crisis stamping its mark on 2020 through soaring temperatures, enormous hurricanes and unprecedented wildfires.

The average global land and ocean temperature in 2020 was the highest ever measured, Nasa announced on Thursday, edging out the previous record set in 2016 by less than a tenth of a degree.

Related: Countries adapting too slowly to climate breakdown, UN warns

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US greenhouse gas emissions fell 10% in 2020 as Covid curbed travel

But emissions reductions came at huge cost and will likely rebound as vaccines are distributed, authors of report say

Planet-heating emissions in the US fell by more than 10% in 2020, a record drop generated by extraordinary reductions in travel and industrial activity in the teeth of the coronavirus pandemic, new figures show.

The historic jolt to American life, which has resulted in more than 375,000 deaths and a huge surge in joblessness, caused many states to impose travel restrictions and curbs on business activity. This resulted in greenhouse gas emissions dropping by 10.3% last year, according to a new estimate by Rhodium Group.…

22 disasters, 262 dead, $95bn in damages: US saw record year for climate-driven catastrophes

Report shows US was battered by punishing extreme weather on both the east and west coasts in 2020

The US was battered by a record number of weather and climate-driven disasters in 2020 as extensive wildfires scorched the west, hurricanes in quick succession pummeled the east and extreme heat swept across the heart of the country, a new federal government report has shown.

A total of 22 major disasters, defined as each causing at least $1bn in damage, swept the US last year, six more than the previous record, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Noaa).

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Oregon wildfires are adding more fuel to young activists’ legal climate battle

Plaintiffs in Juliana v United States are suing the government for violating their constitutional rights and asking for a recovery plan

In early September, Jacob Lebel was in Clackamas, Oregon, preparing to relocate a tannery to his family’s Rose Hills Farms when fire broke out 180 miles away. He was quickly summoned back.

Lebel, 23, drove three hours home to defend his farm under banks of yellow clouds that slowly reddened until purple hues overtook the area just north of his farm, then turned to reddish brown, then black.

Related: Humanity is waging war on nature, says UN secretary general

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Facebook suspends environmental groups despite vow to fight misinformation

Facebook blames mistake in system for restrictions on groups including Greenpeace USA

Facebook has suspended the accounts of several environmental organizations less than a week after launching an initiative it said would counter a tide of misinformation over climate science on the platform.

Groups such as Greenpeace USA, Climate Hawks Vote and Rainforest Action Network were among those blocked from posting or sending messages on Facebook over the weekend. Activists say hundreds of other individual accounts linked to indigenous, climate and social justice groups were also suspended for an alleged “intellectual property rights violation”.

Related: Rising temperatures shrink Arctic sea ice to second-lowest level on record

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Most wildfire coverage on American TV news fails to mention link to climate crisis

A media watchdog analysis found that just 15% of broadcast news segments over a September weekend made the connection to climate breakdown

Most news coverage of the wildfires raging in California, Washington and Oregon on American TV channels made no mention of the connection between the historic fires and climate crisis, according to a new analysis from Media Matters

Reviewing coverage aired over the 5-8 September holiday weekend, the progressive media watchdog group found that only 15% of corporate TV news segments on the fires mentioned the climate crisis. A separate analysis found that during the entire month of August only 4% of broadcast news wildfire coverage mentioned climate crisis.…

Only one in 10 utility firms prioritise renewable electricity – global study

Vast majority of world’s electricity companies remain heavily invested in fossil fuels

Only one in 10 of the world’s electric utility companies are prioritising investment in clean renewable energy over growing their capacity of fossil fuel power plants, according to research from the University of Oxford.

The study of more than 3,000 utilities found most remain heavily invested in fossil fuels despite international efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and some are actively expanding their portfolio of polluting power plants.

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Omission of climate crisis at RNC risks losing voters, some conservatives warn

Republicans at the convention did not lay out a plan for climate change, nor even acknowledge it

The Republican national convention, dominated by veneration of Donald Trump and bleak warnings of the dangers of socialism, has completely ignored the climate crisis, an omission that has disturbed some conservatives who warn the party risks being left behind by voters.

Convention speeches have included Eric Trump praising the beauty of the Grand Canyon, a region his father’s administration has proposed opening to mining for uranium, while several speakers have attacked Joe Biden, the Democratic presidential nominee, as a threat to oil and gas worker jobs.…